Monday, April 18, 2016

"You see my beautiful angel son Cal?" - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Ready for that GQ cover shoot...except your tie is backward...
Dear Family & Friends, 

This week has been a good week. Sometimes on mission you just really get into the daily grind of missionary work and before you know it Sunday has come and then P-day and you get to write home again. The longer you are on mission, the faster the weeks seem to go by. I can't believe that it’s April already. 

A little about my companion:
Elder Miller is from England. His mom is from Jamaica and his dad is from England. He lives in Lester City and the local football team is in the top of the premier league there right now. He wants to be an aerospace engineer when he goes home and he will go home in august. He is a really cool guy and I like him a lot. He is really focused on the work. Right now we are trying to organize a zone activity in which we will have the islanders in our zone roast a pig and play volleyball on a p-day sometime soon. 

He is a great example and we exercise in the morning which is really nice

Elder Miller is in this photo somewhere...and YES on the right is Elder Perry and Elder Peters!
Thank you for the rubber snake that you sent me in the last package. In my new apartment there are six missionaries living here and we also have all these seamstress that work in this sewing shop on our front porch. I started with Elder Friday from Nigeria. He got a huge jump out of it and a good shout too. Then I took it outside. I started to talk to the seamstresses and told them I had something in my pocket that I found behind our apartment and asked them if they wanted to see. Ghanaians are very curious, yet very superstitious people mostly and the snake is closely associated with Lucifer so it is something they are very fearful of usually. I took it out of my pocket and they all ran of our front porch, out of our compound front gate. I showed them it was just fake. Ghanaians also love jokes, they love to laugh and they got a good laugh out of that one. 

I took a picture of our apartment; we call it the "great and spacious apartment" because it’s really really big compared to most other missionary apartments. Elder Herrod and I were very, very clean in our last apartment and when I got here there was seemed to always be a mess. So Elder Miller and our apartment leader wrote a constitution for the cleanliness of the apartment. If anyone has left one of their dishes out past 10 at night then someone is to report it to the apartment leader and qualify themselves for a strike. When you get 3 strikes at district counsel meeting, you get flogged with a cane we bought at a school supply shop for 50 peswes. The whole idea is that we will all be getting ourselves into the habit of checking ourselves and picking up our own dishes.

The photo of their "Spacious" apartment

We have been teaching a lot of people, I’ve got the area down now. today we went to market to get elder miller a new waist bag, the bag of choice by Ghana missionaries, because it doesn't touch your shirt so its a lot easier to keep your shirt clean when you wear one. I quit wearing the strap on my bag and it has cut down my wash time by about 30 min. 

We had a meeting this past Thursday and talked about how to help members become more involved in our work as missionaries. I was reading in a book about missionary work and the author mentioned something about how converts to the church that are strong have a better social transition along with a doctrinal conversion. It’s easy to help somebody understand the doctrine of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, but it’s really hard to help somebody make the social transition. We have been working with several members of the ward including a member named Leslie (who is 12) and our ward mission leader. Elder Miller has a carriage on the rear tire of his bike and we usually just have our ward mission leader sit on the back of it, or Leslie. I took a video and sent home a few pictures. But it’s pretty funny to watch Leslie just contentedly bouncing along. 
Riding on Elder Millers carriage.

As I was studying and teaching this past week I thought a lot about Jesus Christ. I’ve learned and realized so much more about Him as I have been on my mission. It’s pretty incredible if you think about it that the somebody who was assumed to be the son of a shamed carpenter (Joseph should have been king at the time, but the Romans were in power. he is descended directly of king David.) was sent to save us from death, and also from our sins. Elder Miller and I have been using the because of him video that the church made for Easter a few years ago a lot as we have been visiting less actives and members. The more I watch it and think about Jesus Christ the cooler it is to me that I’ve decided to follow him. I’ve noticed that the Pharisees’ were always going back to "well the law of Moses says..." cuz they weren't willing to accept that God still loves his children so he will send them more. The same has happened to us today. I hear people all the time, "well in the bible it says..." show me in the bible where it says that Joseph smith was a prophet. But they won’t get a testimony on their own until they want to believe. Alma 7:11-13

I thought of the Cloudy with a chance of meatballs quote as I was thinking about Christ’s Atonement. I'm sure it was super hard for God to watch his son suffer and die for us, but I bet he couldn't have been more proud of him. I think back to Dad and mom cheering me on at races and soccer games. Sometimes it would make mom sick to watch. I think God experienced a similar type of feeling as he watched his beautiful angel son do the most fearless, incredible thing in all of history. 

The other day I sat down on a little wooden stool and set my bag in the dirt and opened it up to get out my sword and wrestle with the foes of Satan! We taught brother Hankiel with our Elder’s Quorum President. He is trying so hard to help his wife and small boy, Gabriel, come to the light of the gospel. We, as missionaries, have a good relationship with sister Aggie (his wife) but she never really gives us time to sit down. She is really pregnant with their 2nd child and we help her fetch water, but she isn't really giving us time to teach her. We pray for her a lot, and continue to strive to strengthen their family. She is an awesome woman and is really funny. 

James- Thanks for the drawings.  You are getting really good. I draw pictures in the dirt all the time for people while I am teaching them, especially the Plan of Salvation lesson.

Dad - Happy birthday! I got some kente stuff recently and am gathering things little by little, but I’m not really focused on gathering souvenirs. I try to keep my mind focused on the people I’m serving and the work I’m called to do. It is incredible how much the gospel gives people perspective if they will let it, but it’s sad that some people, even those in the church, choose not to let it help them. You can tell when someone is an active member of the church here in Ghana. They carry themselves different. They act a little different. I remember you telling me about STP one time. It’s totally true. I have never really realized all the work that those of the ward council try to do to help strengthen those in their ward, now that I regularly attend Ward council and PEC I’ve got so much more perspective on that. 

Edler Herrod and Elder Peters on the back of a motorcycle...riding across Kasoa
Mom - how are you? In your last letter you expressed to me that you were really having a WOW changing moment from being a mom of little kids to a mom of teenagers and a missionary. I wanted to thank you for all that you have taught me and especially the things you taught me when I was little. As I have been in lots of members and investigators homes I have realized all of the little things that little kids are taught to do, or not do, that really shape them for the rest of forever. I'm so glad that you taught me to clean my dishes, use a planner, do my best on my homework, etc. it really has made such a huge difference for me as a missionary. Every time I get an email from you, I always leave the cafe motivated to be the comic book super-hero missionary that you envision me to be. (This is based on James’s action figures) I honestly miss you guys a lot, but when I think of you, it only motivates me to work harder. At times when I want to give up, I think of you, or like you taught me Jesus, standing beside me, and think to myself would I do this if they were here? Thank you so much for all that you have taught me and continue to teach me. I love you so much! 


Elder Peters

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