Monday, September 7, 2015

"Thought I'd try out my sea legs!" "But Lt. Dan.. you don't got no legs." "Yes, I know that" -Forrest Gump

In addition to the letter below, Elder Peters sent a few extra notes to some friends and family.  These notes reveal some interesting tidbits of information that are absent from his main letter. Things like:
·      The missionaries in his apartment say that he is starting to slip up and say stuff with an African accent.
·       His Twi is coming along nicely
·      He had 17 investigators at church last week!!! 17!!! WOW!!!
·       He tried to play “All Of Me” (John Schmidt) on one of those electric keyboards that had enough keys (most of them are short all the keys) but it had a really bad delay on the notes so he couldn't play it very quickly.
·       Ghana isn't too hot right now, but we are still in the rainy season. Though it hasn't rained yet while he's been there.
·       The kids all call him “obruni cocoa machi” Twi for “white man red good morning”. They have also nicknamed him “Peta Croch”. I guess he’s a really tall redheaded futball player in England. Kids in Ghana will do that to the white elders, name them after a famous footballer who they think the missionary looks like. (the real player is actually Peter Crouch, he’s 6’8” and plays for Stoke City FC)
Any Guesses as to why the kids in Ghana have named Elder Peters after Peter Crouch?
·         He sees a LOT of lizards in his area that they call “Push-up” lizards because they climb up high on the walls and then do “Push-ups” with their front legs.  Some are over 3 ft. long.

·         He made water balloons out of sachels?
·         He bought himself a Barcelona FC Futball jersey for $4 as a birthday gift for himself. (his birthday is this Saturday if anyone wants to wish him a happy birthday.)


Dear Friends & Family,

This week I learned something cool about the fishermen. That’s why I used this quote. When they are half way through the day out on the sea and it’s time for lunch, they swim into shore. Really they anchor the boat and swim to shore. Then when they are done pounding their fufu they swim back out to their boat. I thought that was pretty cool. 
Typical view of the beach where Elder Peters is working. 
We spent most of this week building up our investigator pool. Taking the trip out to Palmrose we walk for about 10 minutes across this empty mini desert. No one is there. No houses nothing so it’s a good time to talk and we have had some pretty cool conversations. On one of these walks at the beginning of last week we decided that we need to work with members more, reflecting on the past month we got 4 referrals from Richard. All 4 were baptized by the end of the month. We compared that to our contacting numbers which were a lot more than 4, 4 is a low daily goal for contacting. But none of those we contacted were baptized last month. They progress, but as fast. Also investigators that are member referrals usually are taught with the member present in the lesson and have someone to be fellowshipped by at church. 

We had a zone training meeting this week. At the meeting president hill called Elder Liera and I. He congratulated us on accomplishing 2-fers and told us to keep up the good work. I learned in the meeting that only us and the zone leaders got 2-fers. I don't say this to brag in anyway. I mostly want to use it as a lesson. Coming into the mission I thought that almost everyone got 2fers every month. So I worked towards it, thinking that it was a very normal thing to occur in our mission. I did not realize how difficult or rare this actually was. We learn that "by small and simple means are great things brought to pass." I learned that when you simply focus on the work you usually accomplish it. If you focus on the difficulty of the task, you often create self-imposed limitations, and convince yourself that you will never succeed but that is simply not true. Some of the greatest feats in history have been accomplished by those who did not know that everyone else thought it was impossible. So everyone reading this find something hard to do and convince yourself that it’s really not that hard, and you will do it!

We are getting 21 new missionaries in the next transfer and it sounds like elder Liera will leave. There is this really nerdy missionary that is really good at stats and everyone loves him. his name is elder graves and he keeps track of where everyone has been, who they have been companions with, how long they’ve been places, etc. and when it gets close to transfers missionaries will call him and ask him where he thinks they will go, and according to all the elders in my apartment he is almost always right. It’s funny really. So he predicted that elder Liera will become a zone leader and someone else will finish my training. We will see if he’s right. We call this the GTP graves transfers predictions. He even has percentages. He is 80% sure that Elder Liera will leave and become a Zone Leader.

The other day Elder Liera and I were out contacting and we saw something rather unusual. There are lots of guys that gather up scrap metal in these wheelbarrows and take them to use. Usually its small stuff but these dudes had an entire car in their wheelbarrow. I have no idea how they got it there, it had no wheels. I took a picture of it to send home. It’s kinda out of focus and not set up well because I didn't want it to be obvious that I was taking the picture. It reminded me that there’s lots of things that you can get away with here in Ghana that you can't at home. For example I never put my eggs in the fridge. No one does, and when I got here I bought eggs and put them in the fridge and everyone in my apartment was wondering why there were eggs in the fridge. They also stay good for a really long time. I will try to think of other stuff in more emails but there’s plenty.

We made a piñata for our mutual activity this week and the kids loved it! They had never seen a piñata before and we had to explain to them how it worked. All we told them was that there was a surprise inside. When one kid finally hit it and candy went everywhere they went NUTS! Even the adults were diving in for candy. I think we may have just started a tradition in Ghana, who knows? 

I got good news from Emmanuel. He is trying to get accepted to a school in Germany and is pretty sure he will get in. it means that he will move in 3 weeks. He wanted to tell us because he was very concerned that the church wouldn't be in Germany. We reassured him that it most certainly would and got his contact info so that we could send it to missionaries and his branch in Germany. Pray for him. 

The other day we were working at Palmrose and all these people started screaming and running down the street. They explained to us that there’s this weird tradition that once a year people go around and break things and sometimes it gets violent. It was weird because elder Liera and I were both really calm. I really was not worried in the least. Richard was scared for us and escorted us to the desert area where we walk home. I don't think anything actually happened, it was just a rumor but it was cool to feel that spirit of "your safe because your My missionary" feeling that you can get from only being obedient to God.

We are working with three new investigators and 2 less actives and a bunch of recent converts. Those striving for baptism are making good progress and I can see the hand of god working in their lives. 

The work in Ghana is great and it is fun. It’s not always easy, but it’s cool to wake up every morning and say God's Adventures in bringing others unto him await me. 

With Love, 

Elder Peters

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