Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"That's the good part (about finding your dream) i guess, you get to go find a new one" - Tangled

Elders, Antwi, Beall, Evans, Jackson, Peters and Parker...conquering the mountains of Ghana.  Elder Parker is holding a cutlass that they had to use to hack their way though the jungle.
This letter is a day late because the power went out on them yesterday (Elder Peters explains below) but is was worth the wait.
Dear Family,
So it is now Tuesday, the internet cut out last night while i was writing this letter so I bought just enough cafe time to send it to you guys today.
This could be my last email home to you, but I’m not sure. We went to Accra today and so we are getting home late and writing to you.
Ever since I was a little kid in primary, it has been my dream to serve a mission. I would watch my cousins give farewell and homecoming talks, listen to my dad tell stories about his mission in Mexico, and read the scriptures and admire the missionary hero's like Ammon and Alma. I longed for the day when I could also be like them.
As I entered my teenage years I kept up a habit of reading the scriptures and praying. At times it was something I really wanted to do, other times I felt like I was doing it simply because I was raised to do it, and I knew it was a good thing to do.
I remember finishing reading the Book of Mormon for the first time as a 14-year old. I scrambled up into my tree house at 2am, determined that if Joseph Smith could summon an answer from God at my age, so could I. I prayed for a long time, no angels appeared, after a few hours I started getting frustrated because I wasn't "feeling it." As I jumped down from my tree house somewhat angry at the Lord, I had a thought come to my mind, "You wouldn't have spent all that time praying, if you weren't sure the things the Book of Mormon had to say were real. Heck, you probably wouldn't even taken the time to finish the book. But something kept you praying up in that tree, something kept you reading, that was Me, you know it’s true." I knew it was the Holy Spirit, and I knew that the Book of Mormon was true.
The mountain that they climbed last week.
That is one moment that I can pinpoint in my conversion process, but I know that my conversion is still taking place. I mentioned in my Testimony in front of the missionaries at my last Zone Conference that if you would have asked me what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is before serving a mission, i would have given an answer similar to one that our investigators give to that question before we teach them the lesson. I would never have connected it with our missionary purpose, the 4th article of faith, or countless other scriptures that teach its sequential, but continuing steps of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end by starting the process over again. I thought living the gospel meant being nice, but I have learned so much about how to have faith every week through your actions, repent of your transgressions, take the sacrament and renew our baptismal covenant so we can have the holy ghost with us. That’s how we live the gospel, and this is all something I didn't learn until serving a mission.
This week Elder Parker and I went to Asoum for an exchange and I stayed there overnight. It was cool to help them interview some of their candidates. It was kinda crazy cuz one of them had a pet monkey and they had put it on a leash around this tree and it was jumping at me at first when i sat down to do the interview. I thought to myself, "shoot! i can't have a monkey jumping at me, screeching, while I’m trying to do this interview, its hard enough that we are outside and we can't go inside because there's no light there except the TV" I prayed about what to do and i guess that did it cuz the monkey settled down. Kinda cool, but weird experience at the same time.
We also have contacted this old man named Michael who introduced us by saying, "i don't believe in church, they are all corrupt! I am now simply practicing kindness like Jesus taught in the Bible." Whenever you hear this as a missionary in Ghana your heart jumps because they have realized that the Apostasy is REAL! Usually that’s one of the biggest hang-ups, "wait, we are all worshiping God right? Every church is right, cuz we are all worshiping the same God" We have got to the Book of Mormon with Michael and he is reading and eating it up. Now just to get him to church.
According to Elder Antwi at 5am on Sunday morning we had an investigator come to our apartment (everyone knows where the obrufo live) who we were planning to pick up for church that morning. He came to tell us that his pastor older brother is in town so he has to got to church with the rest of the family, and that he's sorry.
I would like to thank my Mission Presidents for all that they taught me. It was such a privilege to serve under 3 very different men, who all built my testimony and made me a better missionary because of their diversity. I know they all LOVE their missionaries.
I would like to thank my companions: Elder Liera, Elder Ferrin, Elder Varo, Brother Lago, Elder Herrod, Elder Miller, Elder Christopherson, Elder Pohlsander, Elder Tohouri, Elder Ofosu Hene, and Elder Parker for all that they have taught me and for the good times we have had together.
Leaving Ghana will be a really hard thing for me to do.
Leaving a Missionary life will be an even harder thing for me to do.
I love you all and can't wait to see you in 9 days!

Next time we see him, it will be in the SLC airport!!!

Love, Elder Peters

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