Matthew 3 : 17
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Wo nea eho tew.
This saying is quite a complement to give someone. It means, "You are perfect/without blemish." Elder Hanberg and I learned it as we were teaching a lesson this week with Emmanuel and his family. As I pondered these words I started to think of our perfect example, our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him we will one day be perfect, but for now we can only be perfect in trying. And as I thought on that remembered the words of our Heavenly Father to His "beloved son, in whom [he is] well pleased." As I went about serving and changing myself into the man I desire to be, I tried to imagine my Father in Heaven saying those words to me.
I continue to see the hand of the Lord in my life each day and especially as I look back on these weeks. Elder Hanberg and I have felt such great joy as we have seen others come closer to Christ and we it is so humbling to be a part of it. We just get up each day and do our part and the Lord works through us to bring joy into the lives of His children in Ghana. This week we had a baptism for our dear friend Patrick. We held it Saturday morning because he would be leaving this week to travel and wanted to do this all before he left. On Friday night we called him and he said he would be there by 8:30 Saturday morning to prepare for the baptism at 9:00. We arrived at the Chapel by 8:15 and arranged the place and prepared for the meeting. 8:45 came and still Patrick was not there, so I called, and called, and called. No answer. Great. I was worried but we had nothing to do buy wait and pray. At 9:05 we are standing at the gate looking down the road hoping to see him coming. Then we see someone run around the corner of a building about 200 yards away; it was Patrick! He was sprinting to his baptism! He ran in sweating but ready and we went to change. He came down and I asked what happened. His grandmother had asked him to fetch water for her and when he had finished he looked at his phone and it was ten minutes to 9:00 so he grabbed his Book of Mormon and ran the 3 kilometers to the Chapel in 15 minutes in his sandals. I was asked to give a talk on baptism and I shared the verse above with him. I know that as Patrick was lowered into the water and as he came out, his Father in Heaven was so proud of him because he was following the example of his Savior. Patrick, like many others, showed his love for his God as he ran to make it too his baptism.
What an adventure we have each day. We went to see our Mama Hotor and we met her daughter there named Portia. Portia is a member of the Church also and one of our great friends. She is an actor and has been involved in many Ghanaian movies and commercials. We were talking with her one day and she shared with us that she was dating a Ghanaian singer named Klem. He is very popular here and his songs are great! I told Portia that I was also a singer and joked that Klem and I could sing together one day. Wellon Saturday that day came. I met Klem. And he sang for me. I have never before heard a professional singer in real life, unless you count my dad who sings Les MIserables very well. It was amazing to hear such a trained and beautiful voice. I just sat in awe and watched him. He finished and then he turned to me and said, "Well before we go on I think you should also sing for me." No no no no no. I am very shy of my voice and it is difficult for me to sing in front of my friends, how much more in front of a professional Ghanaian singer! But I remembered that I am supposed to share my talents. So I sang for Klem. I finished and He said, "Wow. That was so good man! Your voice is very unique. I did not expect you to have such a groove. That was great." I was blushing bad but it was worth it and I am no longer embarrassed to sing in front of people.
This Sunday Patrick convinced his mother, Eva, to come. We have been asking her, serving her, praying for her, and even pounding fufu for her, hoping that she might give us a moment to share our message. And then this Sunday she just came to Church. After Church we shared the message of the Restoration, and by the end of the lesson Eva said, "I was baptised once already, will that stop me from being baptised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?" She accepted to be baptised at the end of this August and I again thought of the words of our Heavenly Father to His Son. When we do all in our power to follow our Exemplar, we can be comforted to know that Heavenly Father is well pleased with us. Many times as we follow Christ we will pass through trials and tribulations, but this is to help us grow, and to see if we have faith to endure. Our faith must be centered on Him and His Gospel. We must must change our hearts and choose Christ each day. No matter what trials come, have the faith to choose Christ. What ever temptations come, have the faith to choose Christ. Then you will have the peace in your heart and you can hear your Heavenly Father say, You are my beloved Child, "in whom I am well pleased."
I love you all and am thankful for your examples. Continue to do the things that would make your Father proud.