Monday, May 23, 2011

# 90 Brother Enters MTC / Koforidua's Conference

Dear Family and Friends,                                               May 23, 2011

PAUSE: First, welcome to the work, Elder Hans Farnbach. Enjoy the Provo MTC. Write and tell me about it, as I have not/probably will not ever go there.

     This week has been truly amazing. I have felt the Spirit of the Lord testifying through me to many, many people. In the last two weeks, we have found just shy of 40 new investigators, many of which are in families. The real secret to all of this has been Elder Nic. and I are taking obedience to a new extreme, and have viewed our responsibility less as "teaching" the Gospel, but more of testifying of the Savior. As missionaries, we become so focused on the idea of understanding the doctrine. If the investigator just knew the doctrine, he would of course make the choice to be baptized and enter the gates of the Kingdom of God. But this is maybe only 20% of the battle. In this mission, we refer to concerns that prevent investigators from making this choice as either "Social" concerns (Friends and family pressure, uncomfortable changing social environments, having the right clothes etc) or "Doctrinal" concerns (We don't need modern prophets, anyone can baptize, there was no Apostasy, etc). Really, though, the concerns are Understanding and Belief. I can give a great summary of the beliefs and practices of many major religions, even if I myself do not hold them. All the doctrinal understanding in the world is USELESS if one does not BELIEVE said doctrine. So, as a missionary, my calling is not just to be a gospel TEACHER but a gospel WITNESS. As I teach, I've made a special point of sharing how I came to believe these things, and just how much I do believe them. I was promised in my Patriarchal Blessing that if I was diligent in my scripture studies, I would be able to humbly bear my testimony to those I have been called to serve. I have felt the greatest joys sharing my testimony with the people of Ghana.
     We had District Conference this week. I came here just in time to catch Koforidua's conference. The place was totally packed! Elder Nic. and I were slightly discouraged at first. We had gone out 1 hour before to round up investigators. The ones that said "We're coming" took their time... so 30 minutes before, we went out again. Only 2 people of ours came. But I was still pretty hopeful, though at the time I wasn't sure why. It was a real treat singing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" with a huge group of Ghanaians. At the end of the conference, about a million investigators whom I did NOT know approached me and asked to be baptized. I know that Heavenly Father was mindful of just how hard Elder Nic. and I are working. We give out the Book of Mormon like candy, and share our testimonies of it as often as we can. I know it came from God. I know it is revelation, given in our days. It is proof of the Divinity of this great Latter Day work.
     I had to go on splits immediately after church, so my greeny/son had to go be in charge. When I asked about the day, his splits companion said, "I've never taught so many lessons on a Sunday!" Imagine what a proud papa I was when he came in that day having taught 6 lessons! We have a great family we are teaching, Ebenezer and Vida. The only concern we have is Vida is expecting, and once she gives birth, tradition prevents her from going to church for 3 months. She can go anywhere else, just not to church. Oi vey. So we are hoping to baptize them before she has her baby. The other great family we are teaching is a father, mother, and a university student daughter. It's amazing how easy the lessons just flow as we pray and plan and practice to teach people. We've been praying for this family all week and we hope to get them to church next week. They really seem to like the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the teachings of Christ it contains. Anyone who is familiar with the Savior will recognize His voice in it's pages. It is a powerful witness of Him.
     I am grateful for the atoning sacrifice of the Savior. I am grateful for the chance He gives us to return back into Father's presence, clothed in flesh. I am humbled to have been born into the gospel and be blessed with such a great family. I am especially thankful to serve as a missionary and extend these blessings to others. I know my brother will be a wonderful missionary, too.
Elder W. Farnbach

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