Monday, December 14, 2015

"I want a PONY so i can ride it twice, get bored then SELL IT to make GLUE!!" - The Grinch

I was surprised this morning at 3:45 AM with my phone going off and Elder Peters was online.  He was wondering if we could test out the Skype connection from the internet café where he was (next to the ShopRite store, which is Ghana's version of Rite Aid).  So I quickly jumped out of bed and fired up the laptop.  I was trying to be quiet and not wake anybody in the house so I didn't turn on the lights and had the volume down, but soon he was on the screen.  It looked like he couldn't see me, so I turned on the lights and he smiled so BIG!  I couldn't hear him, but we waved to each other and then the picture went out.  I can report that he looks happy and healthy!  It was AWESOME!
"Afesshapa!" Merry Chirstmas in Twi, From Elder Peters. He painted this Christmas Tree on his wall with electrical tape.
We were able to exchange some short emails back and forth.  Some cool things he shared.

He's going to Skype with us at 8 AM on Christmas day!

He gets to go to the temple Thursday morning.  Then they are having a mission conference to say goodbye to Pres. Hill.   He also told us that on Transfer day last week, he got a phone call from President Hill just to tell that "he's really hit the ground running and that he's adjusting to missionary life very quickly and very well".

He commented on lessons learned from DXC specifically for teaching him to WORK HARD when it's time to work and PLAY HARD when it's time to play.  So...shout out to Talley, Brad and Coach guys are still coaching in Ghana.

The new Elder in their apartment (companion with Elder Friday) is Elder Brown from Pleasant View, UT.  He's pretty new to mission life and Elder Peters is working to help him adjust to life in Ghana and to be his friend.  Lucky Elder Brown.

Some things that he wrote to his Mom:

I learned about a guy who lives in Asamankase that makes the nativity sets and a lot of other cool wood carvings. Elder Ferrin had a carving of a lion that he bought from him on his mission when he was about 8 months in and it is now growing mold. Stuff just spoils super-fast here for some reason. Even my Leatherman is starting to get a lot of rust on it along with the charger cable for my iPod. so I have the guys phone number I think I will call him sometime next Christmas to get the nativity sets because I don’t want to pack them around for 19 months and have them get ruined. But I found some!

 I will go to the temple this Thursday at 8 am. So it will be 2 am in Utah. I will take grandmas name. 

Thank you so much for sending the things that you are! I feel so blessed that you are wanting to send me packages. The Twix bars are being enjoyed by everyone in our apartment as is the Christmas advent calendar. I haven't opened the other Christmas presents yet, I’m waiting for Christmas. I was talking with these investigators that we have. Edward and Abigail. They are very stubborn on doctrine, but they are learning. they have been very convinced of things by their church that they have been going to since birth but Edward especially is really started to question his church and consequently is questioning what is right, who has the truth, what the truth is and so on. He traveled this weekend (like a lot of our other investigators only 1 at church) but he has been reading his book of Mormon and studying our pamphlets and will write questions in them as he reads them. He is truly investigating the church. In Mamponse everybody I taught was just yes, yes I know it’s true, baptize me! I love this... Edward is really digging, he is working for his conversion which is cool. But isn't easy when you’re the missionary teaching him. But I have strayed from what I was going to ask. They have never tasted strawberries, and they were wondering if I could send them. So if you could get some dehydrated strawberries to send that would be cool! 

apparently there is a burn line track in Asamankese zone somewhere, so if Elder Mantz and I or Elder Perry are all ever in that zone I think we will have a race so send me my red Nike running shorts it that ever happens. I will ask for them toward the end of my mission I think. 


Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been cool. It was a pretty normal week but everyone is really getting excited for Christmas! It’s nice because Christmas will be so cool here, but it’s also hard because most of the people we were teaching have traveled to their hometowns in the bush to visit their families. Sometimes we will contact new people and they say, "oh I would love to meet with you guys, I will only be here for a month cuz I live in Kumasi..." so that gets difficult.

This week we will meet with Asamankese zone and go to the temple on Thursday then have a Christmas devotional and President Hill will get to feed us for the last time! It will be awesome. I will miss President Hill but I am excited for President "Rusty" Lowell Snow. Varo is practicing the Haka with his islander brothers at the Iron City apartment right now and they will perform it for President Hill at the Christmas conference. I went to the last practice and it was super cool.
We are pretty sure that this is Elder Peters bathroom.  Pretty high end!

This past week my bike got destroyed. The rear tire has ripped, not the inner-tube but the actual tire. Also the crank has lost several of its bearings and the axle of my back tire is bent like a U so the tire hits the frame of the bike every time I pedal it. I requested for a new one from the office elders so we will see when it gets here. This means that elder Varo and I have been on foot for the past few days which has been good because we have been able to get to know each other a lot better. If anybody wants to go on vacation to Fiji, I now know all the cool stuff you can do. I also have learned a ton about rugby.
Playing Rugby in the Rain.  This was the last big rain storm before Amatan (the dry season) started.

We went to Bawtjase (in the past spelled Botchiasey in my emails because that’s how it sounds but I saw a sign this week that I learned how it was spelled from) this past week and there were 42 people there. I think they will have a set of missionaries there this next year.

I found some material at a shop and bargained with the lady for it and got a yard for 7 cedis which is really good. Then I took it to my tailor guy who made it into four ties. So we will all have the same ties for Christmas conference as a district. It will be good because it will help our district look unified.

There is this sweet little old member lady (who I only know as Sister Deborah’s mom because Sister Deborah lives in our ward and it’s her mother). In our district counsel meeting I suggested that we try to do more service projects. In the white handbook it says that we should do a service project each week but in this mission we haven’t seemed to be doing that, probably because we have so many people to teach and baptize, we don’t really have time for service projects. But in December traditional proselyting gets more difficult so in district counsel meeting I suggested that we try to do a service project each week in December. So this past week we cleaned out sister Deborah’s moms shop and helped her arrange all the stuff that she brought back from America. She calls me her son, and I call her mamme. She really treats me like I’m her grandson. I found some Christmas lights while we were cleaning out some boxes and I said something like "Wow these would be cool" and she insisted that I take them no charge. I told her I wanted to pay her at least something for them, (Christmas lights are super expensive, only the super rich can afford to have them, nobody in our area has Christmas lights. the only place I have seen them is in the mall.) she hid them in my bag. So I learned that I have to be careful what I say is cool around her because she will try to give it to me. I have never met such enthusiastic, energetic old people in my life as I have in Ghana. Grandpa Peters would fit in well

This past week we baptized a man named Jude. He has been investigating the church for almost 2 years now. It was interesting because he would ask a lot of questions and it took him a very long time to accept and live the gospel. he was orphaned when he was 7 years old, then he went to this one-man church (a church started by some dude that’s good at preaching and usually insist that if you don't bring your family to his church you will burn in hell! muahahaha!! or he will do juju (Africa’s voodoo) on people that leave his church) he had a lot of questions and still has a lot of questions but because he really had to fight for his conversion. Because he really had to question what he really believed and took the time to do some soul searching he is now a really really solid member who is not leaving the church anytime soon. We met with him on Sunday and he had a lot of questions about baptisms for the dead. He said that he wasn't quite sure about that, after discussing for about and hour he said something that really was cool, "but if you ask me to, I will do it, because I know that you speak for Gods prophet. If the prophet commands, then I must do it"

More baptisms for he Kasoa 2nd Ward. 

The Elder Peters Drone aerial shot.  Somehow he finds his way onto a lot of roof tops. We think that is Elder Varo baptizing Jude in the photo.

This statement made something very clear to me that I think sometimes we as church members and especially missionaries forget and it is this: Just like in times of old, God has called a prophet who receives revelation to guide us today. you can quote all the scriptures from the bible on any topic imaginable, but when it comes down to it if Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet then we are guided by God and any question we have can and should be answered by the teachings of our modern day prophets. If the Book of Mormon is true then Joseph smith was a prophet, and the keys are still here to guide us today. Sometimes people will want a quotation from the bible and they feel like that will answer all their questions. Instead of placing our faith in the bible (which is the word of God, but notice that the Book of Mormon introduction used to say that it contained the fullness of the everlasting gospel and they have taken that out. I’m serious go look at dad’s Book of Mormon into, then look at James’s and you'll see) they need to put their faith in Jesus Christ and the fact that he has called a prophet to guide the church that He established. If you can get an investigator to understand and know that in their hearts then they will be converted.

Jude will really goofy questions and then his responses will also make me chuckle: "Do you teach Muslims?" ya we try. "Why? Those people are stubborn and filthy!" Do you teach the law of chastity to women and small girls? Yes but we teach everyone on their own level. Jude: Correct! What does the church do about gays in America? We showed him the family a proclamation to the world taught him that they are all children of god but we don't condone their sins. Jude: but don't they DO something about it? Man if I was the president of America all those people would be in prison... in investigator class this past week I guess he started to chastise somebody because they asked a stupid question (in his eyes) that distracted from the focus of the class and our ward mission leader (the teacher of the class) and Elder Friday had to help him understand that anybody can ask any question they want in this class.hes kinda a goofy guy but he’s cool.

So Christmas in Ghana is more about celebrating that another year has gone by and a new one is coming, feasting and being with Family. (Based on the title of this email...I think that Elder Peters was going to say something about how they don't really focus on gifts in Ghana like we tend to do here and what a great thing that is.  Unfortunately the internet went out and he ran out of it will have to remain a mystery...)

I love you all!

Love Elder Peters
Elder Peters Bedroom.

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