Friday, September 24, 2010

Mission Conference & Catherina's Baptism

Sekondi Zone

Elder Sitati of the Quorum of the Seventy came and addressed the missionaries. He told the missionaries that they need to utilize the area book (a record of the investigators) more in their planning and to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost as they do.

Elder Darrow and Elder Meinzer (with his glasses)

Elder Meinzer bought a pair of glasses to wear last week for fun. He mostly wears them around the apartment. He took out the lenses because they were hurting his eyes and he has received a ton of reactions from people. People will walk up to him and look at his face from different angles to try and see if he has lenses in the frames and some have gone so far as to try and poke him in the eye. When they ask if he has lenses in his glasses, he replies "yes" and then scratches his eye through the frame. Just keeping himself entertained.

Their new mission goal is to baptize a referral from a recent convert and to help a convert prepare a name to go to the temple and do baptisms for a deceased ancestor.

Catherina was baptized and Elder Meinzer performed the baptism. She has a bunch of support in the ward, which is wonderful. They had eight investigators to church this week, six were member referrals.

The missionaries love Brother & Sister Lamb

Last week the Lambs took his apartment out to more of the villages to share the message of the restored gospel. It was cool thinking it was the first time missionaries had ever been to those places and the first time the gospel had been heard. As they drove out on the muddy and bumpy road, Elder Meinzer kept thinking how beautiful this world is that our Heavenly Father created for us. He loved looking at the untamed jungle. It was so green.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sixth Month Mark This Week

Sixth Month Celebration with Elder Darrow

Elder Meinzer still hasn't gotten used to the cold showers that they have every morning. He still has to count to three to jump in.

Elder Meinzer and Elder Dodd have decided that they haven't been using the members as much as they could so last Sunday they scheduled a bunch of appointments with families to stop by and leave a message. He loved stopping by the members homes and leaving a message on the Plan of Salvation, because he feels the Spirit quite strongly when he enters their homes and he knows they will be blessed because of their faithfulness. At the conclusion, they say something like, "Unfortunately, many people in Nketsiatrom have never heard of this wonderful plan and the peace that it can bring. Do you have any friends that we can share our message with that will benefit from this knowledge?" The results of this approach have been wonderful! They have received several promising referrals and the families are continuing to look for those whom they can invite to their homes to listen to them.

At one of their lessons, a member named Brother Ephraim told them about how he was looking for the true church for a long time while he was a young man and investigated the church for eight months before he joined. Then, he went on a mission right after he got baptized. Since they didn't have a MTC, they had an orientation training and then he went out to serve. He was one of 20 missionaries in all of Ghana, so he was a pioneer. He was also involved in opening the MTC in Ghana.

This week they commited Emmanuel to baptism on October 9. This Saturday they have Ekua and Catherina getting baptized. He can see many of his investigators getting baptized in the near future. Exciting stuff!

His sixth month mark is this Saturday and he has been thinking about how much he as grown and changed since he has been on his mission. He honestly things that a mission is more for the benefit of the missionary than for anyone else. His testimony and knowledge of the Gospel has increased tenfold, he has come to better appreciate the Church and the wonderful influence it has had on his life, he has come to better appreciate his family, he is now able to better utilized his time (He is always looking for ways to do something else with his time and doesn't really rest unless he is sleeping or eating), he has seen how great service can be and he is more tolerant of others and their shortcomings. "Basically, I know that being on a mission is the best thing that I could have done with my life right now!"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Standard of Obedience

Elder Meinzer has decided to pay three times as much to go to an internet cafe that has high speed internet since they only have an hour for e-mails. It has a fast connection and even has air conditioning.

President Sabey wants to re-establish a standard of obedience. Here is a brief rundown on his chastisement (which Elder Meinzer thinks the mission needed). They need to serve the Lord faithfully because they have committed to follow the Lord. They will receive the gift of faith as they are more obedient and they should not be casual or situational about the rules. It is never safe to rest; they need to do the very best they can do because they are capable of doing so much better.

Enjoying his fufu

Their apartment boiled some casava and plantains, borrowed a mortar and pistol and pounded their own fufu. It took a couple of hours but it was a lot of fun! The fufu wasn't the best but it was cool that they could do it.

Elder Meinzer loved riding the bike...Elder Dodd didn't!

Elder Meinzer was in a companionship of three this week with Elder Ikor. They went to his area and rode bikes to a lot of the villages. It took one hour to get to one of the villages. This totally put a grin on his face. Each time they would turn a corner and Elder Ikor and he would see a hill, Elder Ikor would look back at him and smile because they knew that Elder Dodd, who was riding behind them, would start yelling, "Are you kidding me??" As they went and taught a lesson and Elder Ikor taught in Fante, it made Elder Meinzer look forward to the day when he can speak the language and teach people out in the villages, because he loved it out there. There were only fifty homes in the villages and the homes were made out of mud and sticks and surrounded by a bunch of vegetation.

Catherina has committed to baptism on the 18th and Gilbert has quit his job so that he can come to church on Sundays and he is planning for everyone in his family to be baptized and for his newborn son to go on a mission.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Time is Flying By

The Church in the Africa West Area had all the wards do service projects. For the four wards near Elder Meinzer-Kojokrom, Sofokrom, Nketsiakrom and Mpinstin-they worked at a school for the mentally handicapped. A lot of the members were surprised that Elder Meinzer and Elder Dodd could weed.

Last week Elder Dodd and Elder Meinzer went out contacting and came across a man named John. It was difficult to schedule a time with him, and as they were leaving they asked if there was something they could do to help him around the house. He immediately showed them an area behind his house and they went to work. They worked hard and he told him, "Elder Meinzer, you can weed pa-o" (pa means plenty in Fante and they just like to add "o" to things). After they finished weeding, he asked them to come the next day to teach him. Service definitely opened the way for them in this situation.

Gilbert hasn't been able to come to church because of his job but he has been having conversations with his co-workers about the Book of Mormon helping them to understand that it does not contradict the Bible but accompanies it. He isn't even baptized yet but is already being a missionary.

Elder Meinzer has taken one of his plastic army guys and carries him with him thoughout the day and puts it in his photos-just trying to keep himself entertained.

We can always be improving

Elder Meinzer with his roommates-Elder Conteh, Elder Dodd and Elder Ikor
"Never fall in a spirit of complacency or satisfaction with how things are." by President Kimball is a quote that has had a big impact on Elder Meinzer. I think this sums him up very well-always pushing. The beginning of August he figured they have taught 556 lessons. He isn't too caught up in the numbers but recognizes that it is something tangible that he can see.

Caiji (he has been spelling her name wrong) was baptized so they completed the mission goal of baptizing somebody they found during the World Cup. He is really focusing on making sure the investigators have a testimony and is trying to help them develop friendships with the ward members. Catherina, one of their investigators who has been to church a lot and who has been taught the first three lessons, came to the baptism and then asked Elder Meinzer when she can be baptized. He asked her if she has prayed to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and she said yes but hasn't received an answer yet. He proceeded to tell her that a testimony is part of getting baptized. During the baptism, Elder Dodd saw her go into a classroom and pray.

They have another investigator, Elizabeth, who was taught all of the lessons while she lived somewhere else. She was been reading the Book of Mormon and is in Alma 20. She has told them that whenever she reads, she feels like something is touching her heart, so they are trying to help her understand that this is the Holy Ghost.

Hands of a hard working missionary

Elder Dodd and Elder Meinzer try and do a lot of service throughout the day. This past week they weeded and helped build a house. Blisters on his hands have become a regular part of life.

He has decided that he is going to introduce himself as "Elda Meinza" because whenever he says his name correctly they cannot repeat it but they say it correctly when he says it this way.

Elder Meinzer has memorized a pray in Twi (Twi is similar to Fante) and continues to work on the language.