Monday, August 1, 2016

"Remember the good ol' days" "Which good ol' days" "Oh..ya know, yesterday, last week" - Ice Age

The Accra KFC.  Elder Perry, Elder Peters, Elder Pohlsander and Elder Babira enjoy some extra crispy Americana. (they didn't eat there...too expensive) The bigger question here though is what the heck is Elder Peters wearing on his feet? (turns out that he inherited Elder Ferrin's All-Stars)
Dear Family & Friends,


It has been a really good week. Some days are hard, usually they are really awesome, it’s funny because every time I see or talk to Elder Perry we have pretty awesome conversations but we tend to reminisce a little, at first it was about high school, now it’s about mission, and what we have discovered our friends all over the world are doing. These are good days!


Photo from Elder Christopherson, shows the missionaries helping repair the fishing nets.
Last Tuesday we went out to the beachside in the morning and I met up with Godlives and his dad. They took us to their friends who speak strait Ga and I learned how to fix fishnets. It was awesome. It took some work but at the end I was doing pretty good. We climbed up into their giant canoes. And they had this big ‘ol pile of fishnets in there. The nets holes were about a 1 inch square and you use a needle about the size of my finger to weave the thread in and out to tie new knots and repair the net. Also you have to pinch the net in-between your big toe and pull it really tight so that the knots will be tight as you are tying them on your finger. I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.


Closer Picture of the Elders in front of KFC.
On Friday we had the coolest lesson I’ve had for a while. In the morning as we were studying I was looking over our plans for the day and I had this thought that I should invite Bishop to our lesson at 6 with Joseph and Belinda. At first I was kinda fighting it. I had actually had the idea for a few days but I hadn't made the appointment with Bishop thinking he would say, no, I won't have time. So what’s the use in calling? eventually I had elder Pohlsander call him, and he was available to come with us. Bishop Chris served in the Ghana Accra mission back in 2002. His last area was even Laterbiokorshie. So when we went and introduced him to Joseph and Belinda at first it was kinda awkward, but they broke the ice pretty quick and I initiated the start of the lesson. at first I was trying to take turns talking and giving Bishop time to talk and Elder Christopherson (we were on splits) to talk, but eventually Bishop just went full-missionary mode and me and Elder Christopherson just sat there and listened to a master teacher expound! It was sweet. I learned SO much from that lesson and it has completely changed the way I will teach someone the restoration.

The way I have been teaching the restoration my whole mission goes a little like this: 

1. God is our loving Heavenly Father

2. Because He loves us, He has given us His gospel which is taught to us by prophets

3. Not anybody can call themselves as a prophet -explain priesthood

4. Prophets taught about the coming of Jesus Christ

5. When Jesus came he established his church on apostles and prophets (Eph 4:11-14) and he gave Peter the keys to run the church (matt 16:18-19) 

6. Those apostles were killed so the church was lost. Many different churches arose.

7. Confused, Joseph Smith asked God what to do, who told him not to join any of the churches.

8. Eventually Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and given priesthood authority. The church was back.

9. Oh ya and he translated this record called the book of Mormon that is also the word of God. 


I have made it sound better than what I have written but basically that’s what I was saying and I realized as Bishop taught, he didn't talk much about the church, but more about the gospel which are two different things. He taught more like this:


1. God is our loving Heavenly Father

2. Because He loves us, He has given us His gospel which is taught to us by prophets

3. Not anybody can call themselves as a prophet -explain priesthood

4. Prophets taught about the coming of Jesus Christ

5. Jesus Christ taught us the gospel. His apostles wrote it down. They were given authority to baptize (same scriptures as before)

6. As the followers of Christ were persecuted they many of the records kept pure and correct were lost or destroyed. People fell into the dark ages and they suffered. Eventually they realized how much they needed God and started to try to find these records of Christianity.

7. Good people did their best under intense persecution to translate these records, and by so doing they recognized errors in the churches they were attending and founded their own organizations to try to follow Christ. 

8. This confused Joseph Smith, and made him wonder where he could find the true gospel. So he prayed to ask God about it

9. God told him that their teachings were not correct, they were close, but not quite there. They also didn't have the authority

10. Joseph Smith was led to an undisturbed record that contained pure doctrine from Jesus Christ. There he discovered the need for authority


It was so cool to watch him teach about the restoration of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ instead of the restoration of the CHURCH of Jesus Christ. After all it says right on the pamphlet the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It reminded me of something that President Snow said, “We don't want to help anybody come to church, we do want to help people come to Christ"

Its crazy how much you learn and how much you are always trying to improve and change on a mission.


We discovered that a member lives near a lady that we buy fruit from in the evening time and decided to go and find his house. We found it but he wasn't home, but as we were in the compound I started speaking Twi with this woman pounding fufu. Her name is Dorin. She has one little boy and one little girl and she lives with her husband. We gave her a Restoration pamphlet and then said we would come back on Saturday cuz that’s when she could meet with us. Now knowing what I did about the restoration message that I learned from Bishop Chris I taught that way for the first time and her whole demeanor changed as the lesson went on. She told us that when she first saw us she was a little freaked out because people had spread rumors that Latter Day Saints were a cult-secret-society thing and we were there to just try to win her over to our church. But as I talked about the gospel and how much it blesses families, that really that’s what we are all about. There was a spark of interest in her eyes. We will see what happens this week with her and her family. Her dad is a reverend and she goes to his church so that might be kinda hard but we (us and the spirit) got this!


On Saturday night Angel (Leslies 4 year old sister) had her birthday. It was after choir and it was like 8:30 and I was really tired and was debating in my mind just going home, but I thought about how I promised her that I would come and bring her something and how much I hate it and distrust people when they don’t come through with me so I went to our shop woman and bought a chocolate bar and a pack of cookies and we went to angels house. We played “hot-and-cold”, and I tried to teach them about the “bonk on the head” tradition that we do when we are giving presents but I got up there to do the little rhyme and I forgot it! How bad is that! I still can't remember! It’s been bugging me all week! Anyway it was really fun and I am super glad that I took the time to go and do that for her.


I'm so happy that I will be staying here in Lartebiokorshie! This ward rocks! when I get transferred from here I am going to ask President Simpson if I can finish my mission either here in Larteb or in Korle-bu cuz I love this ward so much!


Watching Elder Ferrin pack up and leave has been weird. thought you guys would be interested to know that I have 152 pages in my journal so far, so I am working on documenting the events of my mission better for this next year. Also I think I have about 700 pictures, so I need to do better with taking pictures as well. 


Mom, that is a super cool apron, where did you get it? I had a backpack made in a market that is that same kind of material. Very colorful all different swatches. Just so you know there are several different types of material. They all have names. I think your apron is “basa-basa” (Twi for “nonsense”). There is also angelina, kente print, and battique. 

Some types of Ghanaian fabric patterns.

You asked me “What was the 'stuff' Pres. Simpson wanted you to bring to the mission home?” I found this packet of papers in a manila envelope that pres hill gave to elder Gabriel and elder sharp when they were zone leaders in Lartebiokorshie. It has some papers on how to be a good leader, what qualities make you more effective as a leader; ideas for making things run smoothly in the mission like district and zone meetings. Exchanges, ideas for how to give missionaries correction. He wants me to bring it to MLC to share it with him.

You also asked: What did you do for the birthday program? We were actually really late to Sis. Ramie’s b-day party. We basically were fed Rice and Stew. It was really good though!
Mixing Fufu

Write to us a little more about “affliction week”: Ok so we get 400 cedis of subsistence for 4 weeks. If you budget that out right you will get to eat decently for that time. if you ever splurge and decide to buy something like a candy bar at a gas station or just exceed more than 3 cedis a meal then the last week you will suffer cuz you won't have $. Things like drinks other than water, meat, or anything in a nice container or can (especially if it’s from abroad) will eat up your sub so fast! Our shop woman got a Capri Sun from somewhere and is selling it for 5 cedis! You may be asking, why only 3? That doesn't add up. If you include transport (taxi's) for 4 weeks, cafe (for 4 weeks), and soap for washing and toiletries you can only eat on about 280 cedis a month.
 I am excited to see Thomas when he comes! I really loved the advice that he gave in one of your previous letters, I am excited to get more advice! I love you all a ton!


More to come next week!


Love, Elder Peters


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