Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016 I'm in Ansaful

Helloooo friends and family!!
So transfers came and here's what I've been up to this past week.
I was sent to a area near Winneba (which we were just assigned from another mission) called Ansaful. To be honest, it reminds me of a small Arizona city. So it kinda feels like home.

We arrived to the apartment, which is very nice, it used to be a sisters apartment so it's very clean and big, but it's huge because there's only 2 of us in it.

My new companion is Elder Sakala from Zimbabwe. He's a cool guy, but keeps to himself. I guess you could say he's pretty quiet. Being in a 2 man apartment is hard though. So far I've not had to do that. Anyway, so guess who's district I'm in now??? ELDER BARR!! It was so good to see him again.
Teaching this week has gone well. We have a few people planning to be baptized this next Saturday but we have a water problem so we might get to go to the beach and baptize them in the ocean which would be very cool! Elder Barr just had a baptism there last week.

Speaking of  no water, we don't have running water from the city so we haven't been able to shower using the tap. So we have used pure waters which are like a small bag with water in it. It doesn't really help much but it's all we have so we're making do.

There is also a college campus here in Winneba so there's a lot of students around and it makes church fun because we have people around our age that bring their friends to church. It's really going to help us find people to teach.

I've seen a lot of humble people that we are teaching and really believe our message that we share so it's great to see that. The ward is also very helpful! They take good care of us missionaries. Every Sunday night one of the bishops in the ward invites all 6 of us, in the district, to come and eat at their place which is actually right across from our apartment. It's great to be together and talk about the work in our area.

Today (preparation day) we went to the beach and played football!! We had a great time and also caught some crabs. We thought about boiling them but the Africans said they were poisonous. I used a bunch  of sunscreen but some how I managed to get a terrible sunburn!!! My face now looks like a tomato..:(  It hurts too! haha

I'll be hitting my 6 months on the mission this week! It's hard to believe.! Elder Wilcox(in my district and with me at the MTC, also from Texas) Are going to celebrate together by eating at this chicken and chips place later this week.

As for the spiritual experience this week, let me share a story about young girl named Princess (she's 16). She is a recent convert and she lives far from the chapel (5 miles). She shared with us her testimony of the temple and because I love the temple so much it really touched me!! There's no doubt in my mind that the temple is the house of the Lord and the closest place on earth that we can feel as if we are in heaven! I felt inspired to give her my 2Ghc (money) for her transport to come to church. Usually we don't do that, but I was so touched and she said she hadn't been to church for weeks because of transport money. She had the opportunity this week to attend and let me just say, you should've seen the smile on her face as she walked into the building on Sunday! It was priceless!
I know this church is true! I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I love it so much! I want all my friends and family to be able to come to know the truthfulness of it as well!

I love and miss y'all so much!

Elder Morris!
sorry if some of this is out of order. My English is getting bad! I'm starting to speak broken English because of the Ghanaians! hahaha 

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016 Transfers are tomorrow!

HEY!!  Happy Valentines Day--sending love from Africa for everyone!! 
Another slow week in teaching right before transfers. Just to let y'all know I'll be getting transferred to a place near Winneba. Anyway our area and the other 6 Elders here in Asamankese are being white washed -that means we are all leaving the area and different missionaries will come in. They are bringing sister missionaries (all sisters are from Africa in our mission) will come to take our branch and the Zone Leaders will have the other branch. So they went from 8 missionaries in this area down to 4.

Sisters in the bush now!! Yeehawww!

Sadly...the people we've been working with won't be getting baptized as far as we know. This week they seemed to be hiding from us. Even when we went to see Ernest we saw he was playing cards with some buddies under a mango tree. We decided to go to his house across from the tree and usually he gets up and comes to meet us. But this time, we saw him stand up and duck down behind his friends. We looked away and when I looked back he went and hid behind a gate thinking we couldn't see him. We could tell he really didn't want to meet with us that day. We carried on our way. Sadness. But, the Lord prepares people at different times so we only allow them to use their agency.

Funny story. Yesterday (Sunday) we were walking on the way to our apartment when this small girl (about 3 years old) saw me and said "ma Pablo Pablo" while pointing at me. Pablo is a character on a popular Mexican TV show here in Ghana...hahahaha

Also this week we had a Zone Training meeting...something we haven't had since December. We finally got to meet President Snow and he's a really funny, cool, spiritual guy! It was so great to spend a day learning for him and his wife!

Missionary work is beginning to change. We know that we are all missionaries while being a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but the way we are starting to change things is by putting more focus on members getting involved in the work. This is fairly new to the Africans.

If you're a member and reading this, please... I BEG YOU invite the missionaries into your home and ask them to come teach you the lessons so that you can have a knowledge of how to teach. Pray for missionary opportunities and help the work move along!! 

If you're not a member and reading this, please!! I BEG YOU!! Invite the missionaries into your home and ask them to share with you our message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
our purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ by Helping them receive the restored gospel through
Faith in Jesus Christ
Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
And Enduring to the end"

We INVITE because we know the blessings that may come to you by accepting our message. You'll begin to see them as you investigate to find out for yourself if this is truly the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I truly love this gospel and know it is true. I know Jesus Christ is the son of God. I want to help all of my friends come to know this because I know the blessings that can come by accepting it. I've seen the blessings in my family and with others who have come unto Christ.

I love and miss y'all!!
I hope you have a great week

love from AFRICA,

Elder Morris

Monday, February 8, 2016

Keep the Commandments

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!
Elder Morris!:)

 p.s. Still no Wi-Fi availability to send pics :( Sorry

Monday, February 1, 2016

So, I have only a little news...all of our investigators that were set for baptism didn't come to church last week and we have a mission rule that requires them to come to church at least 3 times before being baptized. So E. may not be getting baptized this week. P. hasn't been in town for the last 2 weeks so things with her are not progressing. E. still isn't sure about changing churches. That is something we see often here in Ghana. They don't want to disappoint their pastor even though the spirit has taught them truth. 

There is another guy we met this week that moved here from Tema. He had been taking the missionary lessons with the sisters there. We taught him this week and hopefully he will continue to progress. 

We contacted a new investigator this week. She asked if we could come back each day to teach her. Again, she is very interested in learning but she sings in the choir at her current church. We'll see how it goes. Sorry not much else to share. No pictures this week again. The cafe doesn't have the capacity for me to upload my photos. :(

Thanks for the love and prayers!
love and miss you mama!

Elder Morris!!