Monday, March 31, 2014

A Wonderful Week

Hello all!  I hope that everything is going good back home and everywhere else.  I have had a pretty good week... pretty interesting as well.  As I have said before, there is a monkey in our area and I took my companion by to see it the other day... we gave it a few bananas to eat and some ground nuts... I was crouched down just watching it for a minute while it was eating and it just jumped at me trying to grab me... scared me to death, but luckily I was quick enough and since it was tied to the tree I was able to get away... but his fingers pretty much brushed my face... fun little experience.  And then later that day there was a man who called us over to talk to us and learn why we were in Ghana... he was a little bit drunk, so we were trying to just say small and then leave, but then I looked behind him and his friends right behind him, who he was with, were snorting drugs right in front of us, right in the middle of a main path... I think that it is sad that people waste their money  on such things, especially when they are living in circumstances such as these... sad to see.  But there are some amazing people here as well.  One of our investigators, Julie, had us over yesterday to make fufu... and she actually let us make it... I drove it and Elder McKeon pounded the fufu.... it was fun... first time that I have been able to drive it and it was fun... it ended up tasting really good... she made a really good soup with it... and I ate goat stomach with it and cow skin... pretty good!
But this week I was listening to some of the music that Kristi sent me and one of the song's lyrics really hit me... It was talking about how we all have our different trials in life.  It mentioned different things that have happened to people such as loosing loved ones having a home burn down or such.  It said that "like stones in the river we are tossed and turned" but that is what makes us grow. It is being tossed and turned in that 'river' that makes us who we are... it shapes us just like the river will shape those stones.  We are helped by Christ as he has suffered through the atonement for each and every one of us... we will be helped through these trials and we are never alone.  We will have trials, no doubt about it, and some may have harder ones than others, but we all will have that help from our Savior as long as we look to him.
I love you all! Take the best of care!
Your Ghanaian Missionary!
Elder Walston

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Week without power.... more or less...

Hello guys!  Thanks for the updates and I hope that everyone is doing well!  Kojokrom is doing pretty good... this last week was okay except for the part that I might have caught the flu on Tuesday... I have been completely out of energy these last few days... but all is well... I am doing better now.  Power has been pretty bad across Ghana I have heard though.... We haven't had power for probably half the nights this week and it has now been off for over 48 hours... yep!  But I got my new companion this week... it has been fun being with Elder McKeon... I picked him up on Tuesday and we have been doing work on our area... we have been able to find a few new people and been able to work on things together... it has been good.
Yesterday we went to stake conference here in Takoradi... it was cool to see everyone across the stake gather together... there was quite a few people there and we were able to get two of our investigators to come.  I learned yesterday that there are about 3100 members in the Takoradi stake... definitely not all of them came, but it is cool to be able to see the devotion of members to a certain cause.  We were also teaching our investigator, Julie, and it is cool to see her conversion happen and continue to happen...  I have seen her give up so many things and do so much just to live the standards set by the church and study the things we ask her to and do more than asked... she will go the extra mile and that is something that can set us apart.  If we go that extra mile and do all those things that will distinguish us from others, then we will see changes in our lives that will differentiate us from others.  We need to become our best selves and the only way that we can do that is by doing the most that we can.  
Life is good, the church is true, and I am happy to be able to serve the people here in Ghana!  Love you all!
Elder Walston
One huge rooster & Elder Walston

Elder McKeon & Elder Walston
Trevor sent this picture to me, Kristi. I gave him this tie...and they don't have dry cleaners he said. Crazy oh dirty.
It was raining rather hard...

Monday, March 17, 2014

A killer week in Kojokrom!

Hello all!  This last week was pretty sweet!  It started off by going down to Sekondi and meeting with Elder Vinson of the Seventy... he is the First Counselor in the Africa West Area Presidency.  It was sweet and he talked about so much sweet and interesting stuff.  One thing that really hit me is that he talked about acting and not being acted upon or acting upon someone else.  We must do all we can to be and act our best, but we should not force others to do things or make things a certain way.  We also should not do things because we feel like we 'have to' but rather because of a sincere desire.  He covered so many things and it just made everything click together... it was powerful to hear him speak.
After that we had a pretty good week proselyting... we have two sweet investigators, Julie and Stephen.  Julie is actually a Nigerian but she is a powerful person.  They are so accepting and it is inspiring to see people hear a message and be completely willing to change their lives on the message that they hear from just young missionaries such as myself.
Then Saturday was a busy day... we actually fed by members all three meals of the day which was sweet!  But in the morning we went and weeded an area of land that some members are going to build their house... that was way fun but weeding with a cutlass destroys your hands... I think I ended up with six blisters on the palm of my hand... Africans are tough and sweet people... I think next week they might let us go with them and we will make cement blocks to build the house with.  But yep!  Then I was also able to finish the Book of Mormon again... sweet stuff.  Then that night we received  transfer news.... and I will be staying here in Kojokrom and Elder Moffitt will be leaving and Elder McKeon will be coming to be my new companion... excited to be able to be with Elder McKeon again... that will be a ton of fun.
But overall this week was pretty good... been able to work with the members more and more as that is one thing that Elder Vinson stressed... we cannot do the work without the help of the members around us.  Each of us need to be missionaries, and as we have been told, every member a missionary!  
I love you all!  Keep safe and take care!!
Elder Walston
It rained a lot...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Just another good old week...

Hello!  This week has just been a good week here in Kojokrom... doing a lot of work and we are starting to have a little bit of success... We are working with some sweet individuals... I am excited for what we can do in this area... If we stay together it will be sweet!  The place died off a little bit but I am sure that things are going to start picking up more and more!  But this last Monday we had FHE at a member's house this last week... they fed us a Ton of fufu... it was pretty good I have to say... we have been having a lot of fufu and banku this last week... there is a pretty good chop bar in town... nicest one that I have seen in Ghana.  But I can't really complain about anything... except we haven't had power Saturday and Sunday... but that is just Ghana for you.  I am excited for this week as we have a mission tour with Elder Vinson of the Seventy... that should be fun and spiritually uplifting to be able to learn a little bit more about the gospel.  I have definitely realized that being out in the middle of Africa, just teaching the gospel to those around us makes me stronger in every aspect of my being.  Sorry I don't have much to say today, but I don't feel like too much has happened this week.  I guess today was an entertaining day as we came to the Takoradi stake center and played some soccer... I have realized that I have absolutely no energy at all... it has been way too long since I have ran or played or anything like it... but it was fun to be able to get together and play some games.
So this week I read a talk that was given at General Conference in Oct. 2012... 'Converted unto the Lord'... it is a sweet talk that talks about how we must have both testimony and conversion... that without a testimony conversion is impossible and with only a testimony, we might falter.  From what I understand, if we build our testimony and then truly do all that the Lord asks, putting in all our heart, might, mind and strength, then we will be truly converted.  But not just converted to this or that, but converted unto our Lord.  We must build up our testimonies and then act upon them... action... such an important part of our lives... if we put in the action, then we will truly succeed and be blessed for all that we have done.
I love you all!  Keep safe and enjoy the good old USA!
Elder Walston


Monday, March 3, 2014

Just chillin' in Kojokrom

Hey everyone!  Hope life back home is all cool.:)  It is pretty sweet here... Kojokrom is an area that is a little different because it is city but then it is also the village at the same time... I guess there are just different parts of our area that are totally different to each other, but it is sweet.  The power has been pretty bad though here... keeps going off, but that is just a part of Ghana.  Kojokrom is split into two areas and I think that we area more along the outskirts of the town and the more villagey side of things.  Right now there aren't very many people who we have been teaching but that is something that we are working on!  Elder Moffitt is a sweet guy... he is from South Jordan, Utah... at least I think that is the part of Utah he is from... at least that area.  But yeah... he has been out for 9 months.  This week has just been rather busy going out and trying to see people... we have been seeing a lot of recent converts and less actives and trying to help them.  But yeah... we have one member that always helps us, Brother Arhin who is 68 years old!  He is such a sweet guys but he sure does like to talk a LOT... sweet guys though.  The ward here is nice... still trying to get to know them better but it is cool.  The biggest ward that I have been in I think. They speak quite a bit of Fante here but they also speak a lot of English... pretty nice.
Life is good... recently I have been reading the war chapters in Alma.  I think one interesting thing about it is that Moroni prepares and fortifies all their cities and helps them to be safe from all the Lamanites.  The Lamanites were still able to overtake a few of their cities but because of their fortifications they were protected so much more.  Likewise, we need to strengthen ourselves with the light and gospel of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that we will not have 'losses' in our lives or hard times that we have to deal with, but we need to be ready for the best.  When we fortify ourselves, we will be able to face the challenges that we have at hand to the best of our capabilities and we will be able to know that we did our best.  
I love you all and take the best of care!
Elder Walston
Us in our area!
View of our area

Train tracks got flooded
Me and a Monkey!

A view from our apartment