Mathew 18: 3-4
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Mi Abusia (My Family),
Ghana is great! I received an email from my dear mother this week telling me that she is loving the cool weather in Washington, as well as the beautiful colors of fall. I am also enjoying my time in Ghana. Although the temperature is far from cool and the colors only change if the dirt has been soaked with rain, it is beautiful here. I woke up this morning to watch the sunrise after a night of rain and it was wonderful to feel of our Heavenly Father's love here. I felt like a little kid again, just enjoying life. And it is good for each of us to become as a little child and see God's hand in our lives.
Last week Elder Hanberg and I received a referral from our Ward Missionaries, Etonam. Etonam used to be a preacher before joining the Church 3 years ago, so he has many friends that are always interested to hear a message about Jesus Christ. Luckily, our message talks of a Restoration of the same Gospel that Jesus Christ taught. The referral, and our new friend, is named Robert. He is a Rastafarian. Please Google that if you don't know what that looks like. We arrived at his compound with Etonam and he asked if Robert was around. They said, "You mean Rasta?" They called him and out came a thick tall Ghanaian with wild dreadlocks and a thick beard. He smiled and we shook hands. We sat down and introduced ourselves. He was a police officer who worked in London for over 20 years. He used to be a pastor but stopped as he saw some differences with his church and what he found in the Bible. I knew that our message would be able to help him. We then asked him questions and were able to teach him about the message of the Restoration. We invited him to pray and read. The next day we were in the apartment for lunch when I received a call, it was brother Robert! He had a question and needed us to come that afternoon. Robert knows the scriptures and he has had much experience in the Gospel. I was a bit nervous, to be honest. But I was praying that the Spirit would give my companion and I the wisdom to be able to answer the questions of our friend. Elder Hanberg and I prayed and went out with faith. He had one question. "How can we, as Latter-day Saints, put a picture to Jesus Christ.? None of us have seen him so we cannot create an image to His name and worship that." We were not expecting that. We first cleared up that we do not worship the image of Jesus Christ, but we follow His example to return to the Father. We tried our best to answer but he kept challenging us. I've learned that in many cases when you try to convince someone intellectually, you cannot touch their heart, so I shared the one reason why I accept having a picture of my Savior Jesus Christ. I shared with Robert Joshua 1: 9, and bore him my testimony of God, even Jesus Christ, always being with us. I have a picture of our Savior over my study table which brings me strength each time I look at it and I shared this with him. Robert had nothing to challenge because you can't challenge what somebody knows and feels to be true. He has not invited us back yet, but in that moment I realized the power that comes from sharing a simple testimony and I continue to pray that something we said will touch his heart.
The funny story this week came as Elder Hanberg and I went to visit our dear members, the Nyemasin's. Sister Nyemasin prepared fu-fu with Peppe soup. Fu-fu is normal for me and I can eat it quickly, the peppe soup is something I am still getting used to... Peppe soup is one of the cheapest foods to prepare in Ghana. They use tomato paste, onions, and a gallon of peppe (hot peppers). Elder Hanberg and I had hand washed our clothes the day before so our fingers were a little raw from the scrubbing. As soon as we prayed and put our fingers in the soup, we about died. OUR FINGERS WERE ON FIRE!!! I finished the fu-fu, and quickly washed my hand and mouth. I turned to Hanberg and he just burst out laughing. Apparently there was a red ring around my lips because the peppe was burning it, and my right hand was on fire. I held it in the washing water for a few minutes. Then Sister Nyemasin came and gave us a cup of yogurt to help with the peppe. Yogurt, perfect! I was thinking of home when dad made the salsa too hot, we would just drink milk to dull the burn. So as soon as she walked out of the room I was rubbing yogurt all over my hand! And it worked perfectly. :D In case you are ever being burned by peppe, just remember to rub some yogurt on it. Works every time.
Elder Hanberg and I had a baptism this Sunday of a young woman named Dorothy. She lives with her mother who is a member and decided to be baptized at this time. We have been teaching her for a few months and finally the day of her baptism came. We woke up Sunday morning and it was pouring. We were afraid that Dorothy would not make it because her home is quite a distance from the chapel, right by the mountain where it rains the most. As Elder Hanberg and I dropped from the tro-tro at the Junction leading to the Chapel, we heard a small voice yell, "Elder Beg-a-sin!" (That is how they say it... :P) and there was Dorothy hiding from the rain under a roof. We ran to her and then made the short sprint to the Chapel. We had a baptism in the rain and I was so impressed with the humility and desire of Dorothy to make it too her baptism. I pray we can all become as little children and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Thanks for all you do. Continue on in patience.
Elder Bergeson's buddy, Apostle
Ghana this morning