Monday, January 30, 2017

"What were you expecting, an exploding pen? we don't really go for that kind of thing anymore.." - Skyfall

"...sitting on a bench under a palm tree teaching somebody.."

Dear Family & Friends, 
This week was really really fun. A lot happened, and unfortunately I didn't take very many pictures, sorry.
On Monday, I will explain why I wasn't able to write last week. Elder Tohouri and I got up and washed our clothes and studied small and then we went to Hannah and Darlington's house. They moved from Gbawe and live about and hour and a half tro tro ride away past Amasaman. We had no idea how far it was until we got there.
Their new house doesn't have running water so we spent about 3 hours carrying 4 gallon barrels of water up from a well down a path through the bush up to their house where we emptied it into giant garbage cans so that they will have water to cook and shower with for a while. We made about 5 trips back and forth from the well. We would carry the barrels on our backs/heads up this hill from the well where we parked the wheelbarrow and then we would fill the wheelbarrow with the barrels of water and push it back to their house. One time while I was pushing and walking up the road I almost stepped on the biggest scorpion I have ever seen. It was about 8 inches long and was a black glossy color with little tines jutting out if its claws.

the African Emperor Scorpion is common in Ghana...this is probably what Elder Peters nearly stepped on.

 It was super cool looking. I called elder Tohouri and Darlington to come and check it out and they killed it and cut off the stinger on the back. I was excited about it cuz I would get to tell James about the scorpion. So after all was done, elder Tohouri and I hopped back into a tro tro and bounced along through the bush until we got back to the main road from Nswam and caught another tro tro home. By the time we got home it was 9 o'clock. But it was a great day. 
On Tuesday I went to the dentist (I’ve been struggling with a toothache). We got up, studied and went to the mission home because Sister Simpson told us that she wanted to take us there so we wouldn't get lost. it was so funny to drive with her because she is still kinda getting used to the Ghana roads, there's a lot of crazy traffic that I have just kinda gotten used too, but it was funny because she got stuck behind a motorcycle that has a trailer built onto the back that's purpose is to collect trash. they go super slow and most people just honk and zoom past them, but she was just putting along behind it chattering and telling me all these stories about how she got lost driving on her own here in Ghana. She's a sweet lady. The dentist looked at my teeth and said that I have been practicing good oral hygiene, he took an X-ray of my mouth and we discovered a small soft spot just below my only filling that we got done right before I left. He said it was too small to do much about right now, but to keep watching it and if it gets worse to come in again. He also gave me this special toothpaste from the UK that is supposed to "repair and protect" so I’ve been using it and he gave me enough to last until I go home. So ya the dentist was good, the problem was going back home was going to take forever because of traffic. So most of the day was spent at the dentist. I got home just in time to go on exchange with Elder Smith.
Wednesday was spent in Anyaa. And I spent my first night in Dunso again for a long time. Jon Mahama (the former president of Ghana) sold the light company to a Chinese company that would manage the light for them, so we have had really really good light for the past year. I guess with the new president we are experiencing some changes small, but it’s all good. The exchange went well; elder smith is a good guy. We taught this one dude who wanted to know the signs of the second coming and Elder Smith opened up to a chapter in Mormon that is actually prophesying about all the terrible circumstances that the world will be in when the Book of Mormon comes forth to the world. It was kinda funny to explain to him and to help Elder Smith, but everything worked out. 
Thursday we had our Zone Training meeting and also as part of it watched the World wide missionary Broadcast from the Church Headquarters. This was for sure one of the highlights of the week for me. There were so many things that I picked up on and I wish I could share them all with you, but I will share a few. The conference was held like a meeting in the church office building. Elder’s Bednar, Anderson, and Oaks sat around a table with Bonnie L. Oscarson and two other guys that I can't remember off the top of my head. Ok one of them was Bishop Waddell. In this conference they made some changes to our daily schedule and to the key indicators that we report and it was really cool to listen to them talk because you could tell that they were thinking about how there are many many missionaries who come home and fall less-active or become complacent with the gospel. I think that most of the changes they are making are to help missionaries not only convert people, but become converts themselves. One part that I particularly liked was when Elder Nelson (also at the table) who was leading the discussion and asking questions asked something to the effect of, "how can a missionary know when he has the companionship of the spirit or that heavenly father is pleased with his work" or something to that effect and they went around the table and each person stated their own view, but I loved what elder Bednar said, "I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but you'll know when you quit worrying about it" he went on to explain if you are just focused on working and repenting, doing your best and striving to please God, you can take comfort in the fact that God is happy with you. I also thought that it was interesting that it was very focused on missionaries repenting in the mission field. I think they see a lot of missionaries who say to themselves, all right I’ve reached the point of being a successful teacher, I know how to plan, I’m obedient, I’m getting bored, etc. and they aren't changing, cuz they aren't repenting. I learned how important it is to continually be humble enough to repent. I also loved something that Elder Anderson said, “I always know that I was speaking from revelation when I learned something from what I said." that is so true! I can't wait to tell you all the things I have learned about the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so many other things because of words that came out of my mouth sitting on a bench under a palm tree teaching somebody. I have recognized so many things that I never would have known had I not taught them. 

The best news of the week is that Beatrice read and committed to a baptismal date!

On Saturday we got up at 5 AM and went to Deborah's sister’s house and helped her and her friend make 200 Meat Pies for a funeral. We didn't finish until about 11. It was a lot of work, but it was really fun. Most Ghanaians get up at about 4 in the morning to get to work and school just a fun fact. 

I love you all so much!
Love Elder Peters

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