1 Nephi 2: 3-4
And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.
And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.
Mi Abusia! Etisen?
Family and Friends, I first want to say that I am incredibly grateful for this time I have to serve the Lord as I serve His children here in Ghana. Each day I learn new things that I know will help me the rest of my life and each week I am being changed to become a better servant of my Heavenly Father. It is difficult. It is supposed to be, because it is in the hard times when we truly come to rely upon our Savior; our Friend; our Exemplar.
What a wow week. The Lord answered my prayer this week. As I was reflecting on the Easter week that was coming up, I desired to be a "savior" to someone this week. I knelt and prayed and in my prayer I used the words "lift someone’s burden." As a missionary you truly come to love the people who you serve. You go and see them each week and you see how they are suffering and the struggles that they must pass through and your heart breaks. And the hardest part is that there is nothing you can do except lift their Spirit. But this week I wanted to lift someone's burden in some way. The first person who I was able to lift was Sister Sarah. We went to see her one morning and when we came to the house her daughter met us and said that she was inside working on her work; she is a seamstress. We had never met her inside because her shed is small but she invited us in. The house is about the size of two twin mattresses laid side by side. I can say that because half of the house was taken up by a twin mattress that the family shared, and the other side was filled with a few dishes and her sewing materials. Her son was inside and I said, "Kofi, what do you want to be when you grow up?" He immediately responded, "I want to be a police officer." A police officer is a difficult job to get because it is all about who you know in Ghana. I looked at Sarah to see her reaction. I was touched by the way she was looking at her son with so much love. She would never tell him that it would be almost impossible for him to do that. She just looked at him and said, "You can be anything you put your mind to." She is full of Faith. There is just so much that I wish I could do for her and her 3 children but I am only an 18 year old boy and I don't have much to offer in worldly things. But I do have much to give spiritually. And that day we were able to lift her spiritually. She said that recently she just hasn't felt that God has been with her. I have experienced this many times and I shared with her my favorite verse; Isaiah 41: 10. I bore my testimony that our Savior is always with us. He will never leave our side and He will always be there to hold us up when we are weary. He is our Brother, and our Friend, and His love for us is eternal and when we follow Him, we will feel of His love.
The next experience Elder Ferrell and I had, was when we physically lifted someone's burden. We went to visit one of our investigators who live with a member. When we got there we found the member outside hauling buckets of dirt on her head to fill in a low spot in front of her neighbor’s house. We quickly went to her and asked to help. She argued we were in white shirts and we would get dirty but I can hand wash very well so I don't even worry about that. Then she said that we weren't strong enough. We silenced that one when I grabbed a washing bucket full of dirt that usually takes 2 people to lift and lifted it to my head. She then agreed that it would be good for us to help. I can thank my mother and father for teaching me how to work like that. We hauled dirt for about an hour for our member, Sister Hannah, and her landlord, Brother Thomas. Brother Thomas was not a member and by the end of the work he agreed to sit down and have a lesson with us. We shared our testimonies that the same Gospel that Jesus Christ taught when he was on the Earth has been Restored again in these days through a Prophe that has been called of God. My prayer was answered as we physically and spiritually lifted others this week.
Finally, this Sunday was the first ever Ward Conference for Agbogba Ward. Elder Ferrell and I had been practicing all month in the Ward Choir to prepare and Sunday was our day to sing. We were to meet at the Chapel an hour early to practice so we left our apartment at 7:45 on bikes. There was one small problem. It started raining at 7:30 so when we started riding on the road the dirt and water was flying everywhere. Including onto our white shirts. When we got to the chapel the back of my shirt was black. We got there and the whole choir was just looking at us in shock. Our director took us upstairs and gave us some new shirts that they use for baptisms and so Elder Ferrell and I spent the next hour washing our shirts in the bathroom. I was just amazed at how kind the members were. They got us new shirts, soap and water, and they were even looking for an iron in the neighboring houses so we could iron them. They are so kind here. Well the meeting started and we sang pretty good. Many great memories that I will never forget.
This week I learned a lot from the example of a prophet in the Book of Mormon named Lehi. He was completely obedient unto the Lord. He was called by the Lord to leave Jerusalem and go to a promised land, so he left everything he knew; his home, land, gold, silver and precious things. I was so touched by this and I was also thinking, what did I leave? But then I realized that it is not, what did I leave when I came on my mission, but it is "What Will I Leave?" Because I have chosen to follow my Savior Jesus Christ I know that I will be asked to leave a lot for Him. I left a lot coming on a mission, my family, home, school, friends and loved ones, but I realized that this is only the beginning of a dedicated life to Christ. I will have to leave much more in my coming years but I know that it will be for my benefit. And even if things get difficult I can look to my Savior as an example. He left everything and gave everything for me and for you. Each of us will be asked to leave things and to even leave the world and follow Christ. Will we leave for a better life or will we hold on to that of the world? For me, I have chosen to follow my Savior and now I must ask myself, what will I leave? If you have chosen the same, you need to ask what will I leave for Him?
I love you all.
Kofi, Sarah's Son
The District. The African went home though
Muddin' on the way to Church from the bikes
Our new long sleeved shirts at church