Monday, May 29, 2017

"He's a rootin' tootin' cowboy from the wil' wild west!" - Toy Story 2

Dear Family, 
My week was hard, in that we were just really tired at the end of the day, but it was good! 
On Tuesday we said goodbye to Elder Ofosu Hene and Elder Beya, I will miss those guys. Elder Ofosu Hene didn't get transferred far and I will actually see him this weekend at a District Conference. My new companion Elder Parker is sweet! He came from a place called Odobeng, which is much more bushy than Kade. He was there for the first 6 months of his mission and as come here to Kade, his second area. He comes from Rexburg, Idaho
and is the most legit cowboy I have ever met. His family owns about 200 head of beef cows and he has competed in steer wrestling, calf roping, and a bunch of other rodeo events all over Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona. He was telling me this morning about how his last investment prior to mission was to buy a horse trailer to take his horses to rodeos. trying to buy a truck and a trailer post mission would be too much. Most of our talk just really makes me miss steak...These last few days of walking around together we have swapped some really cool stories! He is also really focused on his purpose here on a mission and is a very genuine servant of the Lord. I really love that.
A lot of this week was spent in trying to find new people to teach. With Elder Ofosu Hene leaving we have moved some of our investigators who only speak Twi to the other companionship of elders in our apartment here in Kade: Elder Antwi (from Kumasi) and Elder Beall. Things are going good though. We have decided to go and visit each member of the branch here in Kade and teach them a short version of the Restoration and leave them with some pamphlets to give to their friends. At the end of teaching the Restoration lesson with an investigator we always invite them to pray to know if the things that the book says and that we have said are true and follow up on it the next time that we see them. This time as we have gone about sharing the Restoration message with members we have rather invited them to pray to ask God to lead them to someone who is looking for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life, and we will follow up on them with it.
I have realized that many of the members in our branch here in Kade are struggling with conversion themselves. Most of them have found a church that they like, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they just go because that’s what you do in Ghana on Sunday morning. I go to my church, you go to yours, we all worship the same God so it doesn't matter where you do it. Very few of them realize what they are actually doing, and struggle to actually live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A big part of this is because so few of them can read, or speak English. So we, the missionaries, have decided to go and re-teach to strengthen the Church from within hoping that as we do, we will also strengthen it by bringing more in as well. I have tried this in other areas and I know that it works. 
We also wrote some big questions on a white board in our apartment and took it to the roadside at the center of town. We also brought a box of Restoration Pamphlets to give out to people. We will do it again next week so that people will actually start to come and ask questions. A lot of people walked by looking at the questions but continued on their way. If you weren't there to chase them down, you wouldn't get to talk to them. Elder Beall tried this in his last area and said the first time is always a bit of a failure, but the second and third time you actually get people coming up and asking questions. 
I was privileged to give my very first (and quite possibly the last) sacrament talk in Ghana! I talked about working together as a team and how missionaries are just members of the church with name tags, but we are all disciples of Jesus Christ and we all taken his name upon us and committed to keep his commandments which are to love God and our fellowmen. And if we love God and our fellowmen we will share the truths of the Gospel with them. I also made the analogy of pounding fufu. One person can pound and drive fufu, but you can't prepare a ton and it takes longer. But when two people are pounding fufu you can work faster, prepare more food, but you have to be united otherwise someone will get their fingers smashed! I related this to missionary work, how we all work as a team to bring souls unto Christ. 
Dad, I miss doing projects like that. In Ghana white people are treated kind of like "holy people" and so they really hate it when you try to help them with something, it just isn't normal for them. I remember one time i helped this guy push wheelbarrow of cement and he was just boggled that a white person could push a wheel barrow with that heavy of a load. They think we all have office jobs in AC and so we don't know how to do manual labor. I try my best, but i miss BIG projects like tearing a ceiling out of a kitchen.

I love you guys so much! Love, Elder Peters

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