Monday, June 19, 2017

"I was caught away into an exceedingly high mountain...” - Nephi

The missionaries in Elder Peters area who will be going home soon.

Dear Family & Friends,
I had an awesome week this week and I think I’ll start with today while it’s still fresh on my mind.  (Usually he writes short letters to his family before writing his bigger letter)
This morning I had planned to make the 3 hour trip to Accra to visit some people in Lartebiokorshie. I got up this morning and there was a text on the phone from the Asamankese Zone Leaders asking us if we wanted to come and climb a mountain with them and so I bagged my plans and went to go and climb a thick rain forest jungle mountain! I hadn't scheduled any appointments in Lartebiokorshie so this was OK.
Upon arriving at the base of some farms on the roadside we followed a road until we found something like a caterpillar excavator graveyard. I think it was an abandoned mine, but it was pretty cool. At the mine there were two giant quarries that had filled up with water and while we were throwing some stones off the cliffs of the quarry into the water, a crocodile swam across the pond! I immediately thought, "Yes! I can tell James that I saw a new animal!" and a cool one too! Unfortunately my camera was in my bag and I didn't get a picture of the crocodile before it disappeared below the surface of the water. We then started up some farmers trail into this mountain. There was a lot of bush to hack through and at one point we thought the trail ended and we would have to cut our way up through the bush. We took turns hacking away at the bush with our cutlasses and spent about and hour blazing our own trail. At one point Elder Jackson said, "Whoa! You guys! I found the trail!" turns out we had taken a wrong turn and thought we had to do all this work to get to the top of the mountain, but really there was a nice trail going all the way to the top!

Elder Peters could not get the Café to read his photo card again...but thanks to Google I found this photo from a mountain top near Kade.  Breathtaking views!
It was a mini lesson for me as I think about it now. Sometimes our pride makes us believe that our own ideas are the right ones, and if any thing isn't our own idea in the first place, it becomes difficult to follow. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is such a smooth path that saves us a lot of trouble if we follow it.
Earlier in the week I went on an exchange with the Asuom Elders. I went mostly to do some baptismal interviews for them, but we still had a great time teaching some of their investigators. The next day we traveled to Accra for our multi-zone training meeting. They asked all of the departing missionaries to bear their testimonies. When it got to my turn I really didn't have much to say. They do this every transfer, ask the departing missionaries to give their testimonies, and I’ve seen too many elders take it as an opportunity to whine about how hard their mission has been, and proclaim to everyone else that they are going home. I bore a simple testimony that I have gained a greater desire to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because of a greater understanding of how The Atonement of Jesus Christ applies to me. I also said that I know that a mission is fun. It was really short and simple, but I felt good about it. I also thought about when I was in the MTC and just staring out the window of our dorm room, just trying to imagine what the next few weeks had in store, I was so excited to just get out there! I feel that my last weeks on mission should be anticipated with the same excitement as the first few.

Elder Peters sent us this photo when he was in the MTC nearly 2 years ago, looking out that window, wondering what it was going to be like outside as a real missionary.
I wasn't able to attend the Book of Mormon class this week because I was on exchange, but Elder Antwi told me that it rained a lot and so only two of their recent converts came. Elder Antwi gave an awesome talk in sacrament meeting this week and I think it really inspired a lot of our members to be more committed disciples.
At one point this week it was raining so hard that we couldn't do anything. Really, if we went out in the rain our clothes would get so muddy and dirty that no one would want to sit down with us, and also because everyone lives under thin tin roofs, the rain is louder than a snare drum in a broom closet. Try to teach someone who can hardly understand English to begin with in that circumstance. Elder Parker and I were close to the cafe so we decided that we would buy 30 minutes and wait for the rain to stop and download conference onto his thumb drive so we can listen to it for some study. It's been cool to not only read the talks of our leaders, but to hear their voices as well.
We have a few progressing investigators, this week we will find a lot more! We have high hopes for this one guy named Joseph.
I love you guys a ton!
Love, Elder Peters
P.S. We also saw a Toucan that I failed to get a picture of...sorry James. I did take a picture of a huge rhino beetle on my bike though. I'll have to show it to you in two weeks when I come home.  
Toucans in Ghana courtesy of Google.
From his letter to his MOM: I actually  asked President for permission to go to Latrebiokorshie next Monday, I might also swing over past Gbawe and say goodbye to some people there. Next Monday will be my last email home. From what it sounds like, I will go to the mission home on Sunday night, we have a program on Monday morning and final interviews, and then Tuesday we are busy with getting ready for the airport. I'm not sure if I will be able to do much cafe in two weeks, Monday.

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