All of those updates are so cool! Less than $2 for a gallon of gas?!?! That's insane. And don't let Ryatt die, okay? [he's been sick with a fever, but he's improving] Thanks for all of the pictures! Other "business" to email about... I was also going to mention that I need you to send me pens. Those Pilot V5 pens are AWESOME. Keep them coming. 'cause I spent 8.90 cedis on a pen last Monday, which is NOT good... I could've bought so much with that money! (it's a special pen... a BiC triumph, the same kind as the pilot v5. I write in my journal with it. Don't judge.) So anyway, send pens, PLEASE. [8.90 cedis is about 3 dollars. It's nice to hear he budgets so well. Good news is that his latest package (which he should receive any day now) has pens in it.]
That report of only five is AMAZING. [the Liberian government reported on Saturday that they only have five cases of Ebola in the country] That's so cool. I'm still praying, and praying HARD. :) I do have some miracles in Ghana (MIG? Should that be a thing?) that I'll share this week. But you'll have to wait a second for those.
No water. Hauling water satchets. [This is what happens when their water tank runs dry:]
|On the porch of the store where they purchased water|
|Elders Wight, Halterman, and Allen|
|Hauling water home|
|One brand of water satchet. :)|
This week has been fun! I'm not gonna run through the week like I normally do because that's getting boring. New stuff!
So, light's been on and off this week, BAD. Lots of no fan nights. Frustrating times, but we've been managing. Let's just say that between the electricity and the water, we haven't done too much cleaning. But today we will!
Okay, story time.
So, on Tuesday we had a sweet lesson with A. and his friend, Pa K. They're pretty smart people, and it was unique because of the way I taught it! I taught it with a direct example of the space between Malachi and Matthew to describe the great apostasy, and I realized how well that example works! Different sects of Judaism = different sects of Christianity! Okay, moving on.
I went on an exchange with Elder Nielsen! He's from Draper, and he's a relatively new missionary on the field. Crazy to be working with someone so fresh from home, really. It was a good exchange! I slept over Tuesday night and worked with him on Wednesday. It was a good exchange, ending with an awesome haircut from Sister Julander! She's awesome. We've been spending quite a bit of time up there with them lately, especially to plan with them about our awesome progressing investigator: B!
B's great. He's VERY smart, and has an incredible story. He approached Sister Stevenson at the stake center in Takoradi saying he wanted to join our church, at which point I understand she turned him over to Elder Julander. Elder Julander normally accompanies us for these lessons, but this week we taught B alone on Saturday. He has deep, searching questions, and truly is trying to understand this message. He committed strongly to come to church the following day. He did attend, arriving early and paying attention the whole time. We taught him a lesson that afternoon at his house, and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had thus far on my mission. We talked to him about many many things, and he was intently listening, especially when we explained the doctrine of the sacrament and baptism. He understood so well the fact that we make a covenant with God, and what that means on our part. He then asked us, "when can I make a request to be baptized?" at which point we explained to him how soon we could have him prepared and what was involved in preparing for baptism on his side. After that explanation he told us that he wanted to wait for his wife to be prepared, too. She has already been with us for a couple lessons, but she travels fairly often, so he is going to be making arrangements for her to be taught by us every available day that she has so that she can catch up and be prepared as well. It was a great experience and it reminded me why I like being a missionary. It really taught me more about the role of the Spirit in truly preparing God's children for this message. This man has a busy job, but he's been so impressed that this is the time for him to (to quote him) "learn truly how to serve God."
So, I like being here. Elder Halterman is worried that he'll be transferred and miss the baptism. I'm not worried, I'm gonna be here for a long time! ;)
On Thursday we had a combined district meeting in Takoradi, at which point I drew that money 'cause I'm broke. Send me pens! ;) I'm still living off subsistence, but I drew some for a safety net, and I'm probably gonna need it. Dangit. [I had asked him about a small ATM withdrawal he made from his personal account]
At that district meeting, the Julanders gave instruction, and Elder Julander gave a great instruction about imposed values vs eternal and good values. It as really cool, because we talked about the imposed values that are created from things like our socioeconomic status. eg. Upper class values Influence, Middle class values work, Lower class values entertainment. And it makes sense! Sharing is done crazy much in the lower class because they are more prone to share what they have earned. Middle class values hard work and smart planning. Upper class will go through steps for influence. All have pros and cons, and I encourage you to think about it more deeply as to why WE act the way we do.
On Saturday was an insane baptism. Seriously crazy, but it made for a chance to go to the Kojokrom chapel for the baptism (no water in Sekondi, right?), and I chatted with Elder Pearmain! Great baptism for the other Sekondi guys.
That's about it for this week. :) Today we had a great district activity at the Julanders apt. There was french toast, eggs, and Forever Strong (the movie). The movie used to be the mission theme with the previous mission president, so it's approved. It was a good movie, and a great activity!
Things are awesome here. I'm trying to serve the best I can while I'm still serving! There's a lot to do, and a lot of growing left. I don't know everything that I'm supposed to be doing in this life, but I know I gotta prepare with every second I get! Here's my quote for you this week:
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." -Mahatma Ghandi.
I love you so much! Have an amazing week!
Answers to questions about/from last week's letter:
I'm doing great! My legs are feeling much better, and I'm trying to work out better in the mornings. I don't have a new mosquito net yet, but I think I'll sew the holes tonight. Being in an apartment with three whites is crazy! It's funny 'cause we all just vocally communicate a lot more to each other. We got a "ludu" board on Thursday and taped our own pictures on it. I'll send you a picture next week. :) It's clever. It's a fun West African game, kinda like Sorry! I'm eating fine. I eat food. Nothing new, really.
The poly tank: 'cause the faucet.. I don't think there is one on the outside of the tank? The water got really low.. Empty.. Yeah, the city water hasn't been on for 3 weeks. Wonderful for our poly tank to refill! Not. Oh, and our balcony is at the same level as the tops of the poly tanks, which means that the water does NOT flow up and drizzle out of the faucets when the pump isn't on 'cause light [electricity] is off, which means we need to fetch with buckets. Sekondi is now complaining of no water.
|Elders Wight and Allen|
Passenger or freight trains? "freight... that's a new line."