Monday, February 21, 2011

#77 - Sick, But Not Malaria / Gingerbread Cookies

Dear Friends and Family, February 21, 2011

Well... this week was not as good as the former two. In fact, I feel
kind of like I got mugged. These past two Sundays, I sat back and said
"Wow... things are going great! Why are they going so great?" This
Sunday, I had that same waking-up feeling after the week... except
this time I woke up and everything was gone!

    Monday and Tuesday, I was not 100%. I had some weird achy
sickness that was NOT Malaria. That record still holds. It was
compounded by having to travel on the nasty road to Nkawkaw. We
interviewed a crazy martial-arts master to be baptized. The guy was
built like a tank. He runs to Konongo and back to Nkawkaw as part of
his training... which takes us about 2 hours in a TRO TRO. He was
worried his ability to kill people will his bare hands was something
of a moral issue. Really cool guy.

    Wednesday, we went and interviewed the Dz. family. The
father is still gone somewhere else,  but the mom
and 3 children seemed REALLY excited to be baptized. We're hopeful for
the dad to join them when he comes back. OH! And Transfers! We lost
Elder Bi.... I'm more then a little broken up about it. He's been
around my whole mission, and now, he's gone! He and Elder T. were
called to be ZLs . I'm also a mission GREAT-GRANDPA! Elder Be., my first son,
trained Elder Ma., who was called to train this time! They are
both DLs, too, btw. Now I know why parents brag about their children's

    Thursday was pretty cool. I went out to Effiduase to work with
Elder Ch., from Zimbabwe. Man, the guy is just cool. He plays
guitar, he is a stone carver, and he's a pretty solid missionary, too.
Koforidua is just a cool place to be. The roads are SUPER nice, they
have lightning fast cafes (I'm told), but they also have all the glory
(and weather) of the "Bush". You can baptize like mad, while still
having all the comforts of the city. It poured when we unsplit, but I
didn't feel like staying in. I was DOUSED! Friday, Elder Do.
started feeling sick, so by the time he arrived home, he needed to sleep.
I cleaned up a little bit around the apartment. I'm trying to develop
the habit of not wasting time. There is so much you can
accomplish if, instead of lounging around looking for something to
do, you just started DOING something.

    Saturday was the Dz. baptism, and it was pretty awesome.
We didn't have to do anything, the branch is really starting to figure
everything out.

    Sunday is when everything fell to pieces. We found out one person
we've been working with is not properly married, another one
traveled. The A family is wavering. We went to a branch
conference in Asunafo, where we had to teach the investigators class,
which turned into a primary overflow, because Branch Conference brings
out the less actives like nothing else, and they all brought their
kids. So there was 20 little children, the
parents of whom will not come back to Church until District
conference in April. OY! I've discovered I'm probably a little
hyper tense, because watching the Church NOT function as it should
ratchets my blood-pressure up about 6 ticks. The rest of the meeting
was in Twi, anyway. On the plus side, Sis. Terry graciously made the
gingerbread cookie mix my mom just sent and delivered a giant pile of
ginger snaps, which I immediately devoured.

    We had one very great lesson with a woman name Agnes. She knows
the Church is true, but is terribly worried about leaving her old
Church. As we read 1 Nephi 3:7, we promised, God would not tell her
the Church was true if He knew she couldn't be a part of it. God has
confidence in her, so she can too. At the same time, I understood the
scripture a little better. Out of something akin to pride, I've been
working in Abomosu district expecting grandiose miracles, like the formation of a
stake, perfect member involvement, and completed families who hold FHE
EVERY Monday night and long for the 1 year waiting period to elapse
so that they can be sealed. I've been working towards double digit
baptismal numbers and self-reliant branch mission leaders who are so
well-versed in their callings, they've memorized the handbook and PMG.
And you know what? That's pride. It is foolish for me to expect God's
help in a project that He has not told me He wants me to do. We are
not promised God's assistance in our idea of our calling. Rather, I've
realized I need to sit, pray, study, and listen for Heavenly Father to
explain to me what He expects me to accomplish before I am transferred
out of Abomosu. I need to get a picture of God's plan, and then work
to accomplish it. THEN I have the promise of Providence in my calling.

    Heavenly Father is amazingly knowledgeable. He is all powerful,
and benevolent. He loves His children. He wants what is best for them.
He has a perfect plan, which, if everyone followed, would result in
the exaltation of ALL. We need to learn to recognize our part in that
plan, and do it. We should not wish for a greater or lesser portion,
for higher assignments, or an opportunity to take a break. We need to
humble ourselves as diligent little children, and finish everything
God has for us to do. In this, I've been impressed by the faith of the
leper, who said "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." This
is the attitude I wish to have. This humble soul recognized Christ's
ability to do what he desired, but dared not in any way, shape or
form, demand it. If Christ would do it, he would graciously accept.
But in his declaration, we can also see that if Christ would NOT, his
testimony would remain unshaken. Faith is not always about getting
what we ask for. It is about accepting what God sees fit to give us,
and striving to become our best under His direction, trusting that He
is leading us to our fullest potential. I know this is true. I hope to
humble myself to follow His plan for me until I am immediately
responsive to His promptings, until I am one day called into His

Elder W. Farnbach

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