Monday, October 5, 2015

"Don't whanna be an American Idiot..." - Green Day

The first paragraph here in Elder Peters letter might be shocking at first, but it is a fantastic lesson on how NOT to be a missionary in the service of the Lord.  Unfortunately too many missionaries are just like this and it makes it tough on those who genuinely want to love and serve and he wraps it up beautifully with his example at the end.  With that in is his letter for this week: 

So this week went well but I have some chastisement to issue. Today I just finished lunch at KFC with several of the other white elders in our mission (we were eating at KFC to "escape Ghana"). They were talking about the beats (headphones), Ray Bans, Nixons (watches), and other stuff that they have bought over the week. A lot of missionaries view their missions here as a 2 year waiting period to buy expensive stuff for really cheap (compared to how much you would get it for at home, its actually really expensive here. i.e: 240 Ghana cedis = about 80 us dollars.) They whine and complain about the Ghanaian people. How much it sucks to not have this or that or whatever they want to complain about. When they aren't whining they just talk about how many days they have left to go home, how nice home is compared to "this place", they walk down the road and insult people in twi. I'm sitting here cafe-ing with them watching them watch music videos on YouTube. They have no love for the country in which they are serving or the people which they are serving and its really sad because I know that one day they will look back on their mission and think to themselves, "if only I would have enjoyed it, then maybe I would have worked hard and seen miracles,perhaps it would have changed my life..." They will go home small boys, instead of men. Sad.

OK enough negativity. 

I learned that I can get reimbursed by the mission for TP and soap (for washing and for dishes) so that's really cool. It adds about 20 Ghana to my sub every week. I trying to learn to balance things on my head and i have become much closer friends with the people in my ward. I need to correct some things about my bishop, he does a very good job, he is learning to work with missionaries that is all. This week we have a plan to watch Joseph Smith: Prophet of the restoration the ward and our investigators are invited. 

We are working with several really cool people right now. Robert Amissah is doing awesome. i watched him fill out a tithing envelope after sacrament meeting, and i know that that is a hard concept for a lot of people who have been members for years to follow, it made me really happy. I wish i could go to the temple with him, but i don't think that i will be able to.

Francis is doing really well. from what he has told me he has not had a drink since elder Liera and i met with him and talked with him that first day. he sleeps with the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet on his head and carries it in his pocket to remind him of what he has learned. Unfortunately Satan is working hard on him, which only tells me that he has great potential in the eyes of God. He hasn't been able to find work for about a month. therefore he hasn't been able to bring his family to church yet. about 3 or 4 weeks ago i was walking by a construction site and he ran up to me, (he is a stone mason) and his hands were covered in concrete powder and he shook my hand violently and took out his pamphlet and proudly told me that he hasn't drank since we gave this to him and he carries it with him all the time. hes awesome. Pray for him. 

Aaron used to be a Jehovahs witness, but he likes to write music and they told him that that is too worldly so he quit them. Now hes investigating our church. he is a really cool guy and hes actually a really good singer. My companion told him that Killers, Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, and David Archuleta all have Mormons in their bands and shared the story of the talents with him. He came to church on Sunday which is the first investigator we've had at church for the last two weeks. I remember contacting him with Elder Jessee more than a month ago and thinking, i hope this guy will someday be able to be baptized. he is really busy and is out of work right now so he just works where he can find it at bars and things like that. (he doesn't have a drinking problem though he just performs at them.) But he has sacrificed time to see us so he has made a ton of progress. pray for him.

I learned how to pound fufu and where to buy the ingredients and I'm learning how to cook it so get a motor and piston for when i come home and i will make you guys a nice fufu. Ghana food is really good once you know how to make it and adapt to it. also i am practicing carrying things on my head because you can carry incredible amounts of weight for long distances that way. its super cool

I have slacked off on my memorization, but my push-ups are doing well. so far I've got up to 80 in a single set. i do jumping jacks and abs on this little piece of cardboard so my back doesn't get all dirty from the floor. I only memorized 3 scriptures last week i think. it gets harder the more you memorize. i think i have about 50 or so now. 

I've had several experience this week that have helped me to focus on the type of missionary, and man that i want to become. It starts with two stories. i was walking and there was this drunk guy just yelling with a machete. I walked passed him, took notice of him but didn't really mind him. now i probably did the right thing but it kind of freaked my out a little bit. It got me pondering on fear. Then on our way to the baptism this past Sunday i was sitting next to one of the counselors in our bishopric and he asked me where elder Liera had gone. I told him that he had gone to Abomosu and that I missed him. he said that he missed him to and, "Elder Liera, he was a sharp missionary." I got thinking about that. It reminded me of the scripture in Nephi 21:2-6. It says, "and he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft (blow dart or arrow); in his quiver hath he hid me. I got thinking about this and teaching the gospel and being a missionary, and really just a solid person. elder Liera was sharp with teaching, the words he used struck quick and deep to the very core of the people he taught. Like a sword. he wouldn't take crap from anybody, he was a very kind and compassionate missionary but he was to quick witted for people to fool him, both in teaching and relationships with ward leaders, other missionaries, with taxi drivers, everyone. he had the ability to think very fast. to me this is the definition of sharp. 

Before he came on mission Liera was a boxer. he is also only about 5'6". This scripture talks about how the sword is hidden in a quiver (sheath). I imagine that Liera wasn't that intimidating of a fighter because he was so short. I also imagine that his opponents eventually began to fear him as the fight went on. imagine if you were in a boxing match, your much bigger and visibly stronger than the person you are fighting. then all of the sudden you find yourself getting beat. bad. really bad. you start to fear, you're caught off guard, you lose. you would leave the fight with disappointment, but much higher respect for your opponent. He was sharper than you. 

This is in short the type of missionary I'm trying to become. Sharp. now i don't want to be "better than" or argumentative or cruel. But too often i find myself sounding unsure, un-confident, weak,  and down right foolish. These are the things i am striving to change. i was at first very discouraged with myself after realizing this but i continued reading. it says, (1 Nephi 21:4) Thou art my servant, Elder Peters, in whom i WILL be glorified. i inserted my name here and recognized that hey i'm not doing to bad, as long as i take these things to heart and do them i will glorify my God! 
sorry that's kind of weird, but its my self pep talk for the week that i wrote down and thought i would share. 

keep up the good work at home i love you guys a ton!

-Love Elder Peters

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