Monday, July 28, 2014

Sweet July!

Hello everyone!  This week has been nice.  We went on splits twice this past week... well I guess it wasn't really splits because both times it was both of us with the other elder.  On Friday we went on splits with Elder Shinasi... that was fun... we ended up proselyting in both of our areas.  We went to Fijai in the morning which we had to take a trotro out to.  It was cool... but we only had one lesson out there.  Then we came back to Kojokrom and had a pretty good day.  We had one of our investigators feed us some plantain ampesi with a kontrumbre stew (I have no idea how to spell it but it is this leaf that is similar to  spinach).   It was very nice!  Then we were fed it by one of our members on Saturday.  It is the only meal that I have had that the host or the one feeding us has actually eaten with us.  I have only had a Ghanaian eat with me three times and all three times it has been plantain ampesi.  It was very nice of them though.  We also were fed some very nice fufu yesterday.
But I would have to say that the highlight of the week was being able to get to go out with President Stevenson on Saturday.  We were told on Friday afternoon that President Stevenson was going to be with us Saturday evening to go proselyting.  So he was able to proselyte from 5 pm until the end of the evening.  We definitely had quite a few failed appointments but we were able to see two of our investigators, Sarah and Beatrice.  They were very good lessons and I very much enjoyed President Stevenson's input in both of the lessons.  It was very cool to  have this experience.  He said that this was only the 8th time that he had been out so far.  It was nice.
Yep... this week was okay.  We had to just come back to finish our emails as the power went off in the middle of writing you guys.  My time is short, but I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!  Love you all!!
Elder Walston

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ghana's going great!

Hey family!  How are you all?  I had yet another great week and Elder McKeon and I will be staying yet another transfer together.  I am excited for that... that means we will have been together for 6 months at the end of this transfer.  It will be pretty sweet and it is nice since the area is going well.  We had a few people come to church on Sunday and I think that we will have a baptism coming in two weeks.  But yeah... we have been really blessed by the members this past week... we have had help from many many members in the for of proselyting and then they have been providing us with referrals as well.  It is such a blessing... I sure love the members here in Kojokrom as they have been truly helping push the work forward.  This week we were able to meet President Stevenson for the first time... that was very nice.  The interview that I had with him was very short but it was cool to finally meet him.  It seems that he is very excited for the the missionary work.  He went proselyting with our Zone Leaders after the meeting and I hear that he has gone proselyting with the elders quite a bit, which is very cool.  He seems like a very nice man to have as our president.
This last week with one of out recent converts, Julie, we have been helping her learn the hymns so we have been going and singing the hymns with her.  They don't have someone who can play the organ or piano so every congregation I have served in and been in sing without music... it is pretty cool... the Ghanaians sing load and proud even if there voices are not the best... it is pretty cool... so yeah that is why we have been teaching her the hymns... it has been sweet.
Then on Saturday we went and helped a member make banku... then they fed us the banku and okra soup... so much banku!! 5 big balls of banku.... normally if I have my choice I will eat on and then be satisfied.  But it was very nice and we enjoyed it a lot.
One cool thing that the Young Men's presidency encouraged their young men to do is to go through the Book of Mormon and highlight all the attributes of Christ, the teachings of Christ, and the names of Christ... they gave them three months to do it.  I think that it is a really cool challenge.  Since I have been out I have taken two paperback copies of the Book of Mormon and I highlighted the gospel of Jesus Christ and then references to the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost... it is a very cool activity that we all can do.  Just go in with a question and something that you want to learn a little more and you will learn a lot by focusing on that one thing. It is cool to see them encourage the young men to do that.
Well, I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!  Take care!
With love,
Elder Walston

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Blessed Week

Hello everyone!  This week was sweet!  It was a very good, very tiring, and a very productive week.  We have been blessed this week with those that we have been able to see and visit with.  We have one sweet investigator, Benjamin, who we have been working with quite a bit who is progressing really nicely... he simply loves the things that we teach him.  Maybe three or four years ago the missionaries used to be teaching his family and him, but nothing ever came of it.  But right now he is 20 years old and he has plenty of friends in the church.  There have been quite a few other people that we have been working with that look quite good.  We have been getting quite a few referrals but quite a few of them have been younger so we are definitely planning to take our time with them.  But things are going up and up... just hope that I get to stay a little longer here.
This week we will have interviews with President Stevenson... it will be my first time meeting him so I am very excited about that.  I am excited to see who our president will be for this next year.  I think that he will be good for this mission from the things that I have heard so far.  I think he is a little more technological as he has already said that we need to write our president's letters online.  But we shall see. :)
On Saturday we had a missionary fireside.  It was something that the four of us elders in the Kojokrom ward put on.  Each of us took a bit of time on trying to help them understand how the members can be more effective and how they can best help the missionary work go forth.  It was very good.  For me I taught about the how the members and directly help us through teaching, referrals, among other things.  But it went pretty well even though it started over an hour late... Ghana standard time... but it was good.
Today has been pretty sweet.  We had a member, Julie, who wanted to teach us how to make jollof rice so we went to their place and made some jollof.... a ton of it... six cups of rice... so I am stuffed right now, but it was really good.  We had not been fed in quite some time and in the past three days we have now been fed twice... fufu and jollof.  The members like us (at least I think so) and we are very grateful for all that they do for us.  We are very blessed to be able to be in the ward that we are in.  They are definitely trying to help in this wonderful work.
Well... I love you all and I am excited with what has happened and what is to come.  I know that the Lord blesses us in our many different circumstances and no matter what he is there to help us.  I love you all and wish you a marvelous week!
Elder Walston

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Marvelous Work!

Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!  Hope that Ashton had a wonderful experience being baptized as well... it is so cool!  But he is getting so old!  But yeah... this week has been pretty good on this side of the world.  We have been working with one of our investigators, Emmanuel.  His father won't allow him to come to church... he told us that he is going to work out how he will be able to come to church.  He even said that if he has to he will move out and find himself his own place, as he is 20 years old.  We are trying to help him and we are planning on teaching his father tomorrow and hope that his father's heart will be softened.
We also had a cool experience with an investigator, Mavis.  For her she had been sick and had been having body pains all day.  We went and saw her on Thursday night.  She asked us if we would "pray" for her before we left.  So we explained to her about blessings and gave her a blessing... the next morning she gave us a call and told us that "by the grace of God, I am healed."  She was completely better... no pains, no anything.  Definitely a experience to remember.
Also we have this very cool member in our ward... his name is Brother Arhin... he is about 68 years old but he loves his Lord and Savior and loves to share the gospel.  He is the best member missionary that I have ever seen... he wants to go out with us and help us all he can.  Maybe a week or two ago, we were teaching Emmanuel and his sister was calling him over to go pound the fufu for her (not an easy task... gets a little tiring)... but Brother Arhin goes over and does it for him... a 68 year old... but he wants to help anyway he can and he does.  Since we have been in this area we have been struggling in getting any referrals, but he has given us 6 people to teach in the last two weeks and they are all people that he has already shared the gospel with.  He is such a great example, even to me.
Recently I have been reading "Our Heritage" and it is very humbling to see and read about the pains, trials, and afflictions that the early members of the church had to go through and suffer.  From the beginning, people were persecuting them until they had to leave to a different area.  They built the Kirtland Temple and had to leave Kirtland just two years later... they just barely completed the Navoo Temple and then they had to leave to go west.  They had to go through so much, yet so many of them remained so faithful.  So do we have that kind of faith?  Where no matter what trials we face, we will be able to handle them.  The pioneers were able to face these trials with a cheerful heart because they knew the truth.  We should also be able to know the truth with such a conviction.  This is what we should all strive for.
I hope that you all have a great week!  I love hearing from you and glad to hear that all is well!
With love and care!
Elder Walston