Monday, June 14, 2010

Working Hard

Elder Hancey and Elder Meinzer weeding

One thing that Elder Meinzer loves about the the people in Ghana is that they all know how to work hard and don't ever complain. Life is relatively simple and most things are completed by physical labor, like washing, for instance. As Elder Hancey and Elder Meinzer proselyte, they usually see at least one person washing, and they are fast. They wash one piece of clothing in only a couple of minutes. It takes Elder Meinzer quite a bit longer. The people also trim the bushes or weeds with machetes. It is not easy work. Elder Meinzer has weeded four separate homes in the past couple of weeks and currently has at least one blister on every finger of his right hand. As he and his companion weeded, people would walk by and laugh at them and say, "You are trying." It was quite humbling. Several weeks ago they helped with a service project where they were digging a hole for the foundation of a home. There were several members there of all ages and everybody worked hard.

The missionary work is moving forward. Elder Meinzer is figuring things out and feels like he is more productive than he was at the beginning of his mission. They are getting closer to the members, serving people more and teaching people who seem to be more receptive to the gospel. It is difficult to find those that are serious about listening to their message since anyone will sit down and let them teach them. Elder Hancey told him that the people think they are some amazing preachers because they are white.

Lately, he has been having triathlon withdrawals; He misses the chlorine, his S22 Tribike, the sweat when running, the pain and the victory after a race.

He is loving the rain. It cools the temperature down quite a bit and all the cloud cover blocks the sun. Although he gets wet, he would rather be wet from the rain than from sweat. The only downside to the amount of rain is the mosquitos; at any point and time he has at least four or five mosquito bites.

A few weeks ago he splurged a bit and bought two boxes of cereal and two liters of milk. He finished it in four days. It tasted so good! He has decided that some of the reasons he enjoys food so much is because 1) he is a former swimmer, and 2) it provides him with some sort of comfort or enjoyment since one of the few times he has to relax is when he is eating. He is usually busy from the time he wakes up until the time that he goes to bed.

Even though the World Cup is going on, it isn't that difficult to teach people. They are still kind enough to greet them and sometimes let them teach them, but a lot of the time they ask them to come back. It is really sweet when they walk around during the match and someone scores, because the whole town erupts in a low roar. The energy is exciting. As they walk around, they can ask anybody the score of the match and they will be able to tell them; even the old ladies.

He continues to go through the emotional ups and downs that accompany missionary work. This past week he was blessed with the opportunity of having one of the Assistants, Elder Lewis, come out on splits with him and his companion. He was a powerful teacher. It may have just seemed like another missionary split to him but to Elder Meinzer it was an answer to prayer. As he went with Elder Lewis he was able to discover things that he needed to do in order to improve. The things that he needed to improve on were simple, but as he has applied them since that missionary split, he has felt much better about his service as a misisonary.

As he has studied every morning for several hours, he has come to see that he really enjoys learning, which is weird. He is excited as he continues to learn about the different principles of the gospel, because then he will be able to better explain it to his investigators and develop a testimony that will remain with him for the rest of his life.

"I know the Church is true. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation are so simple yet answer so many questions of the soul; they could never have been merely contrived by man. It is just another witness to me of the divine source of everything in this Church. God truly does guide and direct His Church by speaking directly to His Servant, Thomas S Monsen. Christ's Church was restored by Joseph Smith. He was a prophet. I am so grateful for this knowledge."