Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Don't give me excuses, GIVE ME RESULTS!" -Madagascar

Before publishing this week's letter there are a couple of things that I wanted to share.
Elder Peters letter is late this week because they had a special mission conference with Elder Rasband of the 12.  This conference included missionaries from the Accra and Accra West Missions.  So to answer the first question: YES he did get to see Elder Dan Nybo:

Elder Dan Nybo (Accra Mission) Elder Brandon Peters and Elder Mitch Perry.
They got to visit for about 20 minutes and he had this to say about their visit:
"Ya we had a good 20 minute chat with him and Elder Perry, it was super super cool. I loved it. He (Dan) is gonna be an awesome missionary. It's so funny how you can just tell when someone is a awesome missionary as you talk with them"
So because they were late getting home last night they got permission from their Zone Leaders to email this 2:30 AM our time.
We also got to learn a little more about Elder Kaelin, he graduated from Olympus High and is an amazing guitar player.  He'll come home in 6 months.
Sunset over Africa
Dear Friends & Family,

I have found that it is really really easy to come up with excuses, on a mission, and in life in general. As we look at the life of Nephi that really is the difference between him and Laman and it divides the children of Lehi into sinners and followers of Christ. Where Laman makes excuses why that’s impossible, that’s hard, I don't wanna do that. Nephi tries to make stuff happen. He tries 3 times to get the plates from Laban. Cross country, mowing lawns, school, lots of things taught me this many times, but I am always re-learning it. And I am learning it again here on my mission. A lot of the time missionaries make excuses, some of them even can sound like legitimate reasons why we shouldn't do something. The bishop doesn't support it, they only speak Twi so they won't really progress, no one ever keeps time so planning really isn't effective anyway, no body is ever out in the rain, so it’s pointless to be out there proselyting no one will receive you. There are so many excuses that can be made to keep you from doing your duty as a servant of the Lord.

I even found myself making some pretty lame excuses at church this past week after we had no investigators show up. I had 6 people tell me less than 24 hours ago that they would be there the next morning and nobody came. As I sat in elder’s quorum with Simon Nortey I felt frustrated and looked around. There were 18 priesthood holders in the meeting of which 2 actually live in our area and one of them was baptized 2 weeks ago (Simon Nortey). How can I work with members? No one lives in my area... I realized this was a pretty lame excuse and thought about how the church in Ghana started with one person. Even the church itself started with one person. If I’ve got one member to work with, then I’ve got someone. And even if they can only come and help us teach 1 time during the week, at least I am doing my part in TRYING.

Earlier in the week this 11 year old girl named Mary that sat in while we were teaching Dennis (who I haven't seen for a while) ran up to me while I was walking and gave me a hug around my knees (she's pretty normal 11 year old girl size for Ghana, but I’m super tall compared to everyone here). She told me she missed us. It was a nice boost; I love the little kids in Ghana.

'Hangin' loose' with a bunch of kids.   How can this NOT be fun?
Also a funny thing happened. Some dude was making fun of us and I said “ahh 50 peswes”. Elder Herrod said, "For what?" and it made me laugh because 50 pesewes means that your only half way there, you’re only using half of your brain. Its Ghanaian slang. I totally forgot about that one. The other one that was funny was "how far?" Elder Herrod: "to where?" No no, they are asking you how you are doing... It’s been so much fun to train. We have a transfer in 2 weeks and I have a funny feeling that I will be leaving... but we will see.

Simon Firburg didn't come to church this week and so we went afterwards to see if he was OK. And why he didn’t come? We went there and he had just finished with a meeting with his former church where he is employed as a pastor. I guess his superiors found out that he was going to another church. They came to meet with him. And he pulled out his Book of Mormon. He told them they were teaching the wrong stuff, they weren't teaching people to repent and change their lives. All they were teaching was "future predicting: you’ll get a passport to the USA, you’ll get a car, all that (stuff)" as Simon would say. He went on to tell us they fired him and gave him 1 month to get out of the apartment they are paying for him to live in. He is trying to find a place to put his things like his computer and his speakers and some other basic things he has. But he told us, “if I have to sleep out under the trees I guess that’s just what I’m gonna have to do”. Then he said, "If they don't want the truth, I don't give a (dang) about them!" plus now I can come to church every Sunday. He has some serious faith. Pray for him.

I love you all a ton!

Love, Elder Peters
His former Mission President asked him a question about a recent mission conference and this is Elder Peters reply:

P.S. for Brother Hill (Formerly President Hill): The theme of the missionary conference was “Teaching Repentance, Baptize Converts”. Elder Bednar gave a really cool instruction about taking the spirit to the heart of the investigator, but really it is up to them to let it in and how we can do our best as missionaries to do that. They talked about the importance of testifying of the Savior and helping people to repent so that they will be truly converted as they become baptized.

Some ways that I’ve applied some of the things that they are teaching is I am having a prayer every night as I get home with Elder Herrod in which we account to the Lord for our efforts for the day and ask for His guidance while we plan for the next day. I have often been lazy with this in the past because it’s late; often in the past my companion and I would just count the numbers and jot down some names for the next day then just take off strait to bed. I learned that having the spirit in the lesson starts way before the opening prayer is said, that planning and praying for them the night before, even the week before, is where it all starts. There are lots of things I learned but those are some things that really stuck out to me and a way I am applying it into my proselyting.

Elder Herrod helps stir up a pot of dough...not sure if its for Kenkey or Banku....still learning all that.

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