Alma 32: 42
“And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.”
Family and Friends!
There are some weeks you have where you might feel like a piece of gum. Like the world just took you, chewed you up, and spit you back out. And then there are weeks where everything just seems to be so sweet, like biting into a delicious pear. Last week I felt like a piece of gum, but this week I can say I was having fun and enjoying The Sweet Spots of my mission.
Last week the Ghana Accra Mission and the Ghana Accra West Mission had the opportunity of hearing an Apostle of the Lord teach us and show us what we can do to improve in our work as missionaries. As Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke with us, he asked many questions, giving the opportunity for missionaries to comment. As each missionary stood, he asked them how long they had been on their missions. The answer varied for each missionary. They said they had been out for 3 months, 11 months, 13 months (like myself), or even 20 months. And to every missionary Elder Stevenson said, "Oh wow. You are in the sweet spot of your mission!" Of all the things that he taught us, the greatest thing that I picked from him was his ability to see each day as an opportunity to find those who need to be helped personally by you. As we live each day like this, we develop a desire to be more and to serve more. We truly see each day as an opportunity to go and do. Each day brings new challenges, new triumphs, new people and new knowledge to be gained. You see each day is your own little spot of sweet. Elder Stevenson taught me that no matter where we are in our mission or in our life, we are living in the Sweet Spot.
This week Elder Hanberg and I were enjoying the sweet spot. Because of time I will talk about the most precious moment to me, and that was seeing two of our dear friends choose to come unto Christ by being baptized. Brother Samuel Addo and his daughter Valentia Addo were baptized this Sunday. It was so special to me to see as these two children of our Heavenly Father faithfully pressed forward in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We met Brother Addo only 5 weeks ago. Valentia came to Church with a member family. We were introduced to her and set up a day to meet her at her home. That next week, we met her family and her father Brother Addo. In our second lesson we invited him to come to Church, which he accepted. Elder Hanberg and I were overjoyed as we saw him walk into the Meeting House, proudly holding his Book of Mormon. The second Sunday he came to Church our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Isaac, gave him a copy of the Gospel Principles book. The next time we met him in his home he had studied several chapters and knew that everything that he had read was true. He had prayed about it. Brother Addo only had one question, "Elders, what is a D&C?" We explained that it was the Doctrine of the Church and included many of the Covenants we make. Hence the name, Doctrine and Covenants or D&C. Immediately he said, "Then I need to get one of these books so that I can study it, because I will be a member soon." After only 4 weeks he wanted to be baptized with his daughter. It was special to see them standing by the baptismal font together, both dressed in white, and ready to show their love for their Savior, even by following His example. It truly is sweet to have experiences such as these. As missionaries we work diligently each day to find and teach those who are prepared to come unto Christ. Many people are not yet ready and even turn you away. But the moments like the one we had with Brother Addo and Valentia this week was worth all of the work and patience we have given. Just as Alma teaches, as long as we show our faith by working diligently with patience, we will taste the fruit that is "sweet above all that is sweet."
Elder Hanberg and I have been seeing miracles here! It has been said that I am in the sweet spot of my mission. I have been out for a few months and I have a good understanding of what we teach and how to teach it. Truly it is sweet! I sometimes think that many of you are experiencing "sweet spots" in your own lives. I'll speak of my dear parents, who I love, as an example. For the past year my parents have been living as "empty nesters." This is a very accurate term for those who have had a very full nest which suddenly seems to be empty. The nest is left for just the two parents. Some people might see this as a boring time or sad in some way, as they have lost a large piece of their entertainment (high school is an entertaining time, I must say). But my parents always express how fun it is! They find new ways to enjoy together. They have time to grow as friends. They must be creative and find ways to do more work with fewer hands. It is a sweet spot to them. My oldest sister is living in Texas with her husband and 3 beautiful girls. The girls love helping Tanae and Garrett work together on their patience, love, and endurance, what a sweet spot! My brother is now a newlywed going to Medical School. Garin and Morgan are both working but still find time to grow in love, what a sweet spot! My middle sister is raising her darling little girl while her husband is in harvest. Mattie and Andrew serve and care for each other through it all, what a sweet spot! The youngest sister is at college, working, dating and preparing for her future employment. There is a lot of pressure for Dayna but she always smiles, what a sweet spot! Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, as we open our hearts to Christ, every moment can be a sweet spot for us.
I love and thank you all for your support.
Baptism of Valentia and Mr. Addo
Dancing the Kpalago
(the fishermen pulling the net)
Conference with Elder Stevenson
Enjoying some delicious food at the