Monday, May 30, 2016

Little Miracles

May 24-30

It keeps raining on us all the time. On our way to pick up Mercy and
her friend for church on Sunday, we got stuck 50ft away from her house
because of the rain. We had to wait for it to stop and then wait for
the water that had built up on the ground to drain away so we could
get to her place. We got there eventually and she and her friend
Princess came. Princess wants to start learning from the missionaries
so we are excited to be able to teach her and teach her with Mercy. I
really want her to have a missionary experience to help build her
testimony. We had a cool experience Saturday evening. The group of
boys we usually play basketball with didn't come. We have a few
investigators that play against us on Saturday evenings. They didn't
show though. So we had the chance to play against some new guys who
then wanted to talk about the church with us. Usually it ends there
and they don't want to learn with us or visit the church. However
there was one young man, Paul, from Ivory Coast that came to church
yesterday. He's a great kid and I want to see the gospel bless his life. 
He is currently the only one in his family left in Africa. His parents and 
siblings are all living in New Jersey. He wanted to come to church on 
Sunday so bad that he even tried getting a few of his friends to come 
with him. I thought that was funny. Chemhuru and I are going to start 
visiting him this week. Our baptisms didn't go through this week. They 
won't next week either. The ward is having their temple trip and so they 
won't hold a baptism. I'm absolutely devastated for those who we have 
been helping work towards baptism that are now having to put up with 
these delays. I think it's more a test of my faith than theirs. Sorry this 
email has been a little all over the place. Just a few miracles from my week.
You may not think much of them and honestly I didn't at the time
either but now I see them for what they are. Every day it rained this
week we had thought it was going to completely destroy our schedule. 
However, by some miracle it would stop raining about 5 minutes before 
we ended each lesson and wouldn't start again until after we had started 
the next one. I'm no weatherman but I don't think that's normal at all. 
It happened on Sunday too. It stopped raining long enough for us to get 
Mercy and Princess to the church for sacrament meeting. I thought that it
was incredible. Seeing small miracles like this are what have made my 
mission so special. I've learned to recognize them and I hope I never lose 
that ability to see and understand the little things God does for us.

Monday, May 23, 2016

And the rains came down...

The Camp
Anyone ready for a workout?
May 17-23

We had a lot of rain this week. Almost every single day we had rain.
The camp is a little dangerous in the rain. The roads tend to flood
and get washed out. That said, it wasn't the most productive of
proselyting weeks since we couldn't get to those we needed to see.
It's frustrating when things like this happen, and they happen often,
but it can't be helped. Not only was it tough to get to people, but
when we did they would tell us they were busy and that we should come
back another day. We ended up visiting a lot of members. I'm very fond
of visiting Mercy. She's fun to be around and very interested in
learning all she can about the church. She has even started trying to
do some missionary work amongst her friends. Because Elder P and I were the
ones to teach her everything and baptize her  I feel almost like a parent to her.   

I'm proud of what she does and hurt when things are tough for her. 
This missionary work she's doing isn't always effective. It brings her down and
I can see the toll it takes on her. That's so hard for me. To see this
young girl that I have helped to mold and shape and that I've grown so
close to, to 
be brought low because of the ignorance of others. It's times
like this where prayer becomes such a big part of my life. It's hard
to find just one specific thing to pray for out here. There are so
many little things you want to pray for that sometimes you forget the
one big thing that's really important to you. This week I prayed for
Mercy. I prayed she would feel God's love. That she would bounce back.
That she would stay strong in her new found faith. Through all this I
saw God answer my prayers and do it through me. I found more chances
to help. I became more of the tool that I want to be. So in this
fashion, my awful week turned into something beautiful.

Success & Godwin (Mercy's, our new convert, sister and baby boy)
Elder Wallin, Jean (a member headed off to college) & Elder Goodrich

Monday, May 16, 2016


May 10-16
Camp buddaburam

This week I want to share an experience that one of my favorite people in the camp shared with me. This man is named Alvin and he is a 50 year old refugee or war from Liberia. Alvin's father was a very high member of the Liberian government prior to the civil war. When the war broke out, he was one of the only ones able to hideaway safely. They were staying at Alvin's aunt's house. After some time Alvin's father came to him and told him to take his siblings and hide them elsewhere. He said he felt something bad was about to happen. Days after Alvin hid his siblings, his parents were found, tortured, and killed. Alvin found them just hours later. As he went to bury them, the same men came back. They bound him and beat him nearly to death. He now has no top front teeth and a large scar on his head from where they cut him with a knife. For some reason they didn't kill him. He counts that as a miracle. Alvin was just over 20 years old at the time. He spent the next few years on the run through Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Benin with his young family. At the time he had two young children, Alvin Jr. and Faith. He eventually landed in Ghana. Since here he has had two other kids, Joy and Miracle, two cute little boys. However things are rough here for Alvin. As a Liberian, he can't find employment. Ghanaians don't like outsiders taking their jobs even if they are better qualified. Because of that, Alvin is unable to find a job even though he has a college degree. Occasionally he teaches at the local university for some extra cash but that isn't regular. His chances to do that are few and far between. Now he is holding off sending Alvin Jr. to college so that he can pay for Faith to finish high school. He lives in a 2 room brick house with a tin roof. It's so small you can't stand straight up in it. As Alvin told me this story while we sat in his house in the refugee camp. When he finished he then when on to tell me how much God has blessed his life. How merciful he has been to him. How grateful he is to have found this church. He testified of its truth to me. He told me this is a truth he would be willing to lay down his life for. Then he offered me a meal. One that I know he couldn't afford to offer but one that he wouldn't let me refuse. While we ate I asked if he would ever go back to Liberia. He told me he can't. They know who he is and they would kill him if he went back. Alvin has been kicked out of his country, beat, hunted, and now struggles to make ends meet. Yet I have never once seen him complain about his life. In fact, every time I see him he asks me what he can do for me. I am in awe at the great faith that this man has. He went from having so much ahead of him in Liberia to having next to nothing in Ghana and yet he has never once turned away from God out of frustration. This is a man that I have learned so much from and being around him has strengthened my testimony. I can say to you with a surety that I know God lives. I know He knows each and every one of us and I know He loves us. Because of Him I am here spreading His gospel to those who haven't had a chance to hear it in its fullness. I love my Heavenly Father and I want all of you to know that I know this church is true. I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Kaden said that there are posters about God and Jesus in everyone's homes and businesses.  He said that the stores and food places all have religious names: God's Will Chop Bar or God's Will Electronics!  He said it is interesting because they really don't know who God is...they are confused by too many churches.  

Monday, May 9, 2016


I apologize for not sending an email last week but things were a little hectic with the cafes. These last two weeks have been hectic as well. Last week we were rushing to get 2 investigators prepared for baptism and interviews done. We got it all but the baptism didn't go through. We thought we'd do it this week too but that also didn't work so hopefully we get it all figured out next week. Right now we are working with Florence, Christian, Pauline, Success, Sarah, Joan, and Binky. We are also working with Mercy, Sammy, Joseph, and Alvin who are recent converts. There are some good things happening here and we hope to baptize a lot of people really soon. However, I will be doing so with a new companion. Elder P is going to be transferred on Tuesday. He's going to Swedru to be with Elder Broadhead and be a zone leader. He'll enjoy that but I'm quite distraught about this separation. I'm getting Elder Chemuru from Zimbabwe. He's also part of my MTC group. Wallin is getting a new companion as well, Elder Bingham. He's a cool guy and Chemuru is a really cool guy so we'll have a great time together. I feel bad though that Elder P and I worked so hard together to build what we have and now I don't get to finish it with him. But I guess there's a reason I'm not the one making transfer news. On a less sentimental note, there were obrunis (white people) in sacrament meeting this week. A cute blonde among them. So yeah that was weird. I hope everything goes well with this next transfer and what not.