1 Nephi 11: 17
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
Family and Friends,
What a wow. This week was full. I grew a lot this week mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I am just praying that I do not grow too much physically from all of the good food here in Ghana! My faith was really tried this week, but I am grateful for that because I know that it is stronger now. Elder Ferrell and I are working hard and doing our best to bring people closer to Christ, but many people do not have that desire. Agbogba is a tough area but I told Elder Ferrell that no matter how tough the area is, the missionaries in it are tougher. It is a wonderful work that we are doing and we are having fun along the way. This week I taught my companion and a missionary in our apartment from Fiji how to do the Mormon Shuffle. Now we are just trying to master doing this dance move while riding our bikes..... :) I am thankful for hard things because we all grow because of them.
Elder Ferrell and I cover a very large Agbogba Area and this week we felt prompted to do some exploring. We decided we would go to Ashongman, a town in our area. We only planned to meet two people and the rest of the time would be filled with finding new people to help! So that we found 7 new friends that had desires to hear the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were so excited to return on Friday to meet with them again. came and we met with the first person and when we came she called her family over who were Jehovah's Witness. We didn't stay long because that usually turns into an argument and you can't argue and have the Spirit. We moved on the next and when we knocked on the door to the house, a thick tall guy came to the door and helped us to understand that his wife would not be interested in meeting with us and that we should not come back. Next house. This was an older sister who we had stopped to help and the first thing she said to us was that she was a strong member of her church and that she would not be changing churches. She was happy to learn with us but that was all. We shared our testimonies about Christ’s church in His days, how the authority to lead His church was lost, and how that authority was Restored again through a Prophet, Joseph Smith. It was hard for me to watch as she just continued to say that everyone worships the same God so why should she change churches? Elder Ferrell and I are doing our best to find those who are ready and I guess we have to pass through many who are not. But we ended that day with a great investigator named Josephine. We also found her this week and we are so grateful for her desire to know. We must taste the bad to know the good and I am thankful for the good the Lord sends each of us every day.
Among our struggles this week we also witnessed many miracles. It is getting into the rainy season now and so it seems like there are always rain clouds on the horizon. We sat down to teach a brother named William. He is so interested in hearing our message and he has many questions. He lives in a compound and when we went to teach him this week the many children that live there also wanted to listen. We invited them and Elder Ferrell and I taught a powerful lesson. The Spirit was so strong... and so was the wind. We finished the lesson and as soon as I closed "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." the rain started coming. I closed my scriptures and we were about to run for cover when a little girl ran to my arm and yanked on my sleeve. She said, "Please, that girl over there wants you to go and preach to her family." I turned and looked to my companion and asked what he thought, and I received an excited yes! We walked in the rain with a little girl named Sewah. When we go to her home we met her humble family in their humble circumstances. We met her parents, Richard and Charity, and her Auntie, Peace. As we introduced ourselves they brought out chairs and water for all of us and we sat on the front porch of their unfinished house. I felt a wonderful Spirit there and as we testified of the Restoration I could see something change inside Richard and his wife. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. I was grateful for the courage of a young girl to ask us to come and help her family come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I'll end last with the funniest thing that I heard this week, that came from the mouth of a humble child. We sat down to teach a sister and her two young daughters. The sister, Diana, is 35 and her twin daughters, Harriet and Henrita, are both 10. We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation and sharing with them about how we once lived with our Heavenly Father before we came to Earth. We shared Jeremiah 1: 5 which says, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." And I asked, "How do we come to 'know' someone?" After a moment’s thought, Henrita turned to me and said, "Well.... first it starts with a smile!" I died oh. I was expecting them to say you have to talk to them or to be around them, but Henrita helped me to realize that first it starts with a smile. As I pondered this I thought of how I first got know the people in my life. When I first came to my earthly parents, they looked down on me with a smile. My siblings smiled at me before I could talk to them. And as I grew I smiled and made lifelong friends. Even now, I am still smiling as I share the love of my Savior with others. This even helped me to think of how my Heavenly Father and Savior smiled at me when I was with them and chose to follow Them. They smile now as I continue to come closer to Them. And I know that one day we will both smile as I come back into Their loving embrace. Life is full of challenges that make us to forget that we are loved. My advice to all of us is that we must SMILE. Remember those who love you here on Earth and never forget those who love you and are still smiling with you Heaven. You are never alone. You are loved more than you can know. When life gets hard, as it always will, just smile, because you are loved. :)
I am so grateful for all of you and the love and faith that you have shown me. Continue to press on.
Celebrating Elder Ferrell's 6 month mark with
Proselyting in Rain Coats
In the Cafe at Agbogba
Last picture of 18-year-old
(His birthday is tomorrow on April 5)