Monday, February 7, 2011

#75 - ZLC / Cherry "Pies"

Dear Family and Friends,       February 7, 2011

    Well, today was the best P-day ever... But more on that later.

    This week started off a little bit slow. That's because we had
Zone Leader's Council. Now, that is not to say I don't LOVE ZLC, but
with the Terry's wonderful work with the Institute programs in the
bush, they usually aren't free to give us a ride down there. So, we
have to spend ALL of Tuesday getting on a Tro-Tro and riding in
those death-boxes down to Accra for 5 hours. We can't really
proselyte those days, which starts the whole week on a bad foot.

    ZLC was entitled "Doing It All"... Everything missionaries should
be doing, everything leaders should be doing. The mission has this
dirty little habit of going where we lead it. By that, I mean, if this
month we focus on planners, our planners look phenomenal... much to
the detriment of our working with members, or keeping good teaching
records. When we move to correct, suddenly we are doing great having
members sit in on our lessons, but then our planning (and planners)
regress to their previous miserable state. So, now we have settled on
focusing on EVERYTHING. As President Smith once said "Makes you feel
about 3 inches shorter, thinking about all that, doesn't it?" but I know
it's possible. I have been amazed by how much my capacity to do things
has increased as I have set out to do them. I used to think washing
took up all of P-day. Now, I can do it in an hour. Our capacity for
work grows as we WORK.

    Now, as I said, this put us back two days, but Thursday, Friday,
and Saturday, we really kicked it up a notch to get out there and make
up lost time. The whole time, though, I felt discouraged, seeing how
much we had to do, and how little time we had to do it. I never really
felt like we caught up, but the whole week, things just kept falling
in our lap. The Dz. family came back!! Mom, Dad, and 3 kids!
They are just so wonderful. "Will you be at Church this Sunday?" (Mom)
"What?! Of course we will. Why are you asking?" Then, Bernice, a
wonderfully strong sister, 19, and taking care of two children, by
herself, asked "So is it okay if people follow me to Church?" "Sure!
What do you mean?" "Well, I was reading the Book of Mormon at my shop
the other day, and 3 of my friends told me it wasn't good, and I
should stop. So I taught them, and now they want to come to church
with me." What? That's more referrals than I have had from the whole BRANCH
so far! Converts (or soon-to-be, in her case) are really the most
amazing people. People we've never taught before came to church,
and it seems like everyone and their grandma wants to be baptized!
The crowning joy was when the A family,
a family I taught here 1 year ago, has decided they need to start
coming to church again, and be baptized. I'm so glad to be back for
that. They really are the greatest people. It was a little
frustrating, because I remember feeling all week "Wow... this is going
to rough" and then we had the best week ever. When something goes
well, and you don't know how you did it, it's the most frustrating
thing in the world.

    On to today. We've been doing more to arrange service projects. I
complained to President Smith that no one in the bush will let me
serve, because I'm white, and they think I'm useless. Well, a lot of
the Branch Presidents and leaders have been giving us opportunities,
and you know what? I've discovered I'm pretty useless. Today, we went
to harrow up some cabbage patch that the Asunafo Branch President has.
I broke two hoes, because I worked so hard (of course), and eventually
they just said "We want Elder Farnbach to take a break." So they took
the hoe from me... until they finished. They were really encouraging,
and showed me what to do, but MAN! Ghana farm life is really hard.
Then, we came back and had a birthday party for Elder Cranney. The
Cranney's are the missionary couple in Koforidua, not far away, and they've
become good friends with the Terrys. They have each served 3 missions
as senior couples, so I was around some amazing Servants of God today.
We had chicken enchiladas, fudge, and I used the biscuit mix Mom sent
and the cherry pie filling to make little pies, like Oma showed us -
except I used a cupcake tin and the Terrys' oven. We played card
games and just talked. It was just a relaxing experience. I have such
tremendous respect for those people. The Spirit they have around them
followed us to our next two lessons, and now I'm just floating on
cloud 9. I love being a missionary. When I'm old and married, I will
go on as many missions as Heavenly Father and my wife will allow me to
go on.

Anyway, that was my week. I love you all. I love hearing from you. I
pray the Lord blesses you. I testify Christ loves us. He is our
perfect example, and I want to be around Him, and be like Him as much
as I can. He helps us out of situations we can't fix, and He eases the
burdens of mistakes and sin. I'm glad to be here, serving Him, and
representing Him to the people of Ghana.

Elder W. Farnbach

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