Please forgive me for not sending a weekly update for the past 3 weeks!! I'm going to try to be better on updating y'all on my weeks here in Ghana!
To start, my new companion is Elder Tshibangu from DR Congo. He is very cool and we get along great! He's very funny and makes proselyting in this crazy HOT African sun bearable!
For the last few weeks we have been teaching a few investigators that we found after my "faith in fasting" Sunday, which I shared with you a few weeks ago. If you are truly in need of something, not material things like money or possessions, but true life blessings, and you ever think "maybe I should fast" DO NOT second guess your thought and DO IT! Remember President Uchtdorf's quote "doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith!" Fast and pray and you will experience a mighty miracle!
Anyways, we are working with the following individuals. Ernest, who from the start has had a strong testimony of this gospel and loves the teachings! Emmanuel, who has had a few problems with leaving his current church congregation but after he told us about a word of wisdom problem and we helped him with a plan to stop, he came back to visit the church and would like to be baptized as soon as he over comes his addiction. He's been trying to stop for a few weeks now but because it’s an addiction he has had relapses. I told him whenever he gets the urge to drink or smoke to turn to the Lord in prayer and then open up the Book of Mormon and just start reading! It doesn't matter where but read until the temptation is gone!
Another man we are teaching is Joseph. He was previously being taught by the sister missionaries in Tema before moving back to Asamankese. He initially told us he was a member in Tema but I asked when he was baptized and he said he hasn't been! (most people consider themselves members if they attend the church once or twice) so we set a baptismal date for last Saturday. Sadly when we came to speak with him about an interview he told us that he had to travel to help get money for his sisters kids school fees. At the time he told us, we were teaching him how to use the Tithing slip. When he told us this news he started tearing up. That was the first time I'd seen him that way. When we said we'd be able to postpone the baptism for next week he cheered up. Joseph truly was prepared to receive the gospel when he did.
A little spiritual thought for this week comes from when I was reading a general conference talk given by Sis. Carole M. Stephens titled "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments".
Often as teenagers we think that the rules our parents give us or the rules of the church or even the commandments are overbearing and sometimes hard to accept...maybe some think they keep us from having fun. While reading this talk I received a spiritual reassurance that these "rules" or commandments are really there to guide and protect us. She says "Commandments are vital instructions to teach, guide, and protect us as we gain earthly experiences." As we follow Gods commandments, the instructions we have received from Prophets of the church, and our parents, I know that we will be protected and this is where we will find the most joy in our lives. It might not be current joy, or immediately experienced, but it can definitely be joy in the life here after. Knowing that we chose to do what our Father in Heaven wanted us to do with our decisions in this life will bring us true joy.
For those who are serving missions or preparing to serve or even if you just need TO REDUCE FEARS and INCREASE CONFIDENCE and FAITH, I've found this in the church magazine, The Ensign...I've been applying it every day.
1) Obey the commandments
2) Move forward in faith
3) Live in the present
4) Draw on the strength of others
I really like #3 on this list. At times we can get caught up in "what if " or maybe "in the future". You might even be afraid of what might happen next. BUT I've learned I have more peace when I focus on what I have to do RIGHT NOW! not in an hour, not tomorrow, but in the very moment or situation at hand. Trust God and He will gently guide you. Follow these steps and see if you can feel His hand in your life.
I hope everyone is doing well back home. Please know that I love and miss you all!
I'm praying for you!
and Thank you for your prayers in my behalf!
HUGS and love from Ghana!
p.s. Still no Wi-Fi availability to send pics :( Sorry