Dear Friends and Family, June 28, 2010
Well, if it was two days ago, I would have told you we've been transferred to Korle-bu with Elder W [ from his hometown ] . I spent about a week there, doing nothing but finding amazing people with Elder Jo., and then on Saturday, President called to inform me that we were being transferred again. I have now been called as a Zone Leader in Odokor... McCarthy Hills Zone! My mission REVOLVES around this zone. As I've thought about it, even when I was sent to the Eastern region, I was always back in time for the transfer-ly Zone Conference.
My new companion is Elder Ho., who was my former Zone Leader while I was in Buduburam. As Elder W. said "Oh look, ANOTHER American Companion for Elder Farnbach." He's legit. In the 2 days I've been here, we've become pretty tight. We have big dreams for this Zone, as we were both trained here, so it's going to be awesome.
Because of all the transfers and everything, I don't really have that much to write... Nsawam was shut down. My understanding is/thoughts are the immigration thing turned out to be nothing, but President was happy to have an excuse to get us out of there. We went to the temple on Friday. I'd forgotten how much I loved it. The Lord knows I've been trying harder, because I just sat there and felt the happiest I have in a long time. Just smiles the whole time I was there. The interviews were mostly about obedience. Exact obedience. President asked us to rate ourselves on a scale of 1-10. A lot of elders over-rated themselves. After you did, President explained that 10 was Jesus Christ, and 8 were the Sons of Mosiah. Oh... It's really frustrating that the thing that is holding this mission and the Church here back is simple obedience. Pay your tithing! Do your home teaching! Don't leave your companion! Hopefully, as a Zone Leader, I'll be able to help a little more, but this Zone is generally where President puts good missionaries. We don't get too many slackers out here.
As for people we taught, Elder Ho. and I have been talking about really seeking out the elect. We found an AWESOME family of 8 in Korle-Bu. We taught the lesson, in which I learned a TON about repentance, and then we digressed onto the subject of natural disasters. Scriptures I didn't know I knew came to my mind, and we talked about how God, foreseeing these things, called upon Joseph Smith to restore the necessary knowledge so that man can make covenants with God to guarantee themselves peace, safety, and comfort. I showed a picture of Joseph Smith, and the eldest son said, "Wait... I thought that was John Taylor..." and then produced a Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor book... AWESOME!
As we were teaching about repentance, I learned something. Repentance doesn't mean that the punishment goes away. Not by a long stretch. It just means it will be inflicted on Christ, and not ourselves. Now, Christ is willing to take it, so this should bar no one from repenting. But for those who think "lie a little, cheat a little, dig a pit for thy neighbor", it demonstrates a complete lack of concern or care for the Savior. As we minimize sin, we minimize suffering. Suffering, as we see in even the case of Adam and Even, stems from sin, whether it be our own or someone else's. The other thing I've really learned this week is from an Old Testament movie. At zone interviews, we talked about the biggest challenge we are facing is not major obedience, but minor. It is the simple commandments that make us trip up. We talked of the Israelites and the brass serpent, and Naaman, the captain of the Syrian Guard. This reminded me of the Elisha movie I watched when I was small. Naaman is so insulted and so upset over the simple thing he has been asked to do, that he'd rather have leprosy. His servant humbly chides "A simple thing is simple to do." [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEEi6CEO8VA ] This has become my new motto, for "[His] yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light". Obedience, by definition, is the easiest thing. My new favorite song is "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus"... because I am.
There was something else, but I can't remember it. Don't worry, it's probably in my journal, or letters to President somewhere.
Sorry we lost to Ghana [ in the World Cup ]. Believe me, no one regrets that more then I do. If someone else says "Obruny! We score you!", they will lose an arm. Plus, I was rooting for Germany anyway. When Ghana plays, we generally get told to stay in because it gets crazy out in the streets.
Enjoy another wonderful day in paradise, and write to me about it from time to time ;)
Elder W. Farnbach