Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Missionary Moments

Sekondi & Takordi Zones

Ransford was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. Also, Kae committed to baptism on August 7 and will fulfill their mission goal. "These are the moments when the missionary work is sweet."

Elder Meinzer had the opportunity to give the District instruction and felt like he did a lot better job than he did the time before. But, he still feels like there is much more for him to improve. That realization hit him when he did splits with Elder Halling, his Zone Leader. Prior to the split, he was feeling pretty confident in himself and his teaching abilities, but as they had lessons and Elder Halling taught, Elder Meinzer realized what specifically he could work on. His high expectations of himself continue, which is usually a good thing.

Elder Meinzer has decided that there are low and high points everyday and throughout the mission. Last week was kind of a low point for him but the Lord blessed him on Sunday when he had nine investigators come to church, most of which he can see getting baptized in the near future. One investigator, Gilbert, stopped them on the road two weeks ago and said he wanted to come to their church. They didn't think much of it because they hear that all the time. But, he showed up. They have been able to meet with him a couple of times and he has told them that he has prayed to know what church he should be a part of and wants to have his name added to the records of the Church. He also mentioned that he wants to bring his wife next week. They also had Joseph come to church, which was a miracle in and of itself. He is the member with the foot that is crippled. This was a man that had so much faith that he walked about a mile to church on a crippled foot so that he could feel the joys of church worship. It definitely was an example to Elder Meinzer of what his attitude should be while attending church. "So, in my moment of sadness and despair, the Lord blessed me when I needed it the most."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Four Months Already

Elder Darrow and Elder Meinzer get to see each other on P-days

Can you believe Elder Meinzer has been on his mission for four months? We are glad it is going quickly because we miss that kid so much!

The little boy side of Elder Meinzer is still there. Recently he took twenty cowboy and indians from his aunt and numbered them on the bottom from 1-30 then hid them throughout the apartment. Obviously, there aren't thirty little toys so if anyone ever starts looking they won't ever be able to find all thirty. He thought that was pretty fun.

Elder Dodd thinks the food is pretty spicy so Elder Meinzer has to finish his bowls of fufu and other native dishes. No complaints though. Elder Meinzer has found a place that sells Kit Kats, Twix and Snickers so he is excited to buy one every Monday.

They had eight investigators to church last week. It is great to see the progress in the area. As Elder Meinzer has continued to develop his testimony and obtain as much knowledge as he can about the gospel, he has descovered how truly remarkable it is.

He recently was teaching a man named Emmanuel about the Plan of Salvation, specifically about the Atonement. He shared his testimony and really felt the Spirit. "The Atonement is very special to me because I have been able to feel its cleansing power in my life. I'm not a perfect person (surprise!) so I've needed to go through the repentance cycle countless times throughout my life. Before I would fully repent, I would sometimes be so weighed down with hopelessness, guilt and shame that seemed too much to bear. But, as I looked to my Savior and took advantage of His atoning sacrifice, I began to see a light in my life and could feel the burden of sin being lifted off of my shoulders. And how great did that feel! My outlook on life then had a very positive spin and I realized how real the sacrifice of our Redeemer truly is. And as I think about all that the Atonement entails I am overwhelmed with gratitude; He not only took upon Himself my sins, but my pains, sicknesses and trials as well. He bore and suffered everything! And He did it out of pure love for all of us." How great is that!

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Companion...Elder Dodd

Elder Meinzer and Elder Dodd

Elder Meinzer says being a trainer is definitely a humbling assignment and he is grateful that both the Lord and his mission president have enough trust in him to accomplish this task. He is excited about the experiences and responsibilities that are ahead of him. He has been out in the mission field for over three months now and finally feels like he is adjusting more to the schedule, the environment and the missionary work; "Ghana now feels like home!" He also feels like the time is starting to fly by.

Elder Dodd is from Utah. He is 6'4'' and has been enlisted for about 22 months as an army combat medic. And since he was in the army, he is pretty good at following the rules, which Elder Meinzer thinks is sweet.

This past week they had Zone Conference. Here are some of the highlights of what he learned: The commandments that we have been given should not be viewed as restrictions, but as opporutniites to receive blessings. The rules are designed to protect us and defend us. And, happiness is a choice.

The missionary work in Ghana is great. They have had more progressing investigators, the members are becoming involved and they have had more investigators come to church. They challenged a 15 year old boy named Ransford to baptism and he accepted and his mom gave her permission. He will be baptized on July 24. He has come to church regularly for about a month or so and enjoys the teachings; he even told them that he always feels "good and happy" when he comes to church. They are also teaching his mother. Kae s the niece of a family in his ward that they have taught several times. She is a football findee (they began teaching her during a World Cup match). There is also a man named Cornelius that they have taught the first two lessons to and he is doing great. After they taught him the Plan of Salvation, he included a little piece of paper on the back of the pamphlet entitled "What I know," which basically had his testimony of the teachings. Elder Meinzer really enjoys teaching the Plan of Salvation to investigators but they don't get to teach it very often because the Restoration lesson weeds out many of the investigators who aren't serious.

As he has been out in the mission field, he has had a lot of different things put into perspective, like how important the gospel is, how much he really loves his family and other things. One thing he has come to discover is that prayer is essential in all that we do. As a misisonary, he has come to realize how great prayer is. Elder Dodd is like Elder Meinzer, in that he wants to pray to seek for the assistance of the Lord as they go throughout their day. This has resulted in some pretty spiritual experiences. He and Elder Dodd say tons of prayers every day (maybe 20-30) and he is doing his best to avoid vain repititions. "I am speaking to my Heavenly Father! It's amazing that we have such a means of communication readily available to us and for that, I am extremely grateful!"