Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Ghana

For Christmas Eve their district went out and sang Christmas carols to people and handed out oranges. One day Elder Meinzer and Elder Smith were going to an appointment and a man walked out of the bush from his farm with about 125 oranges in a container on his head. So, they bought the oranges for 5 cedis. For Christmas they went and cleaned the church.

Earlier in the week they had a Christmas gathering at the mission home and received instruction from President Sabey and ate food and got some gifts. Elder Meinzer learned how Christ's Atonement was infinite and accomplished in a finite amount of time. They discussed Christ in America, letting 2500 Nephites come and feel His hands and side and feet, one by one. If each one took twenty seconds, that would have taken fourteen hours. The Atonement was also accomplished one by one. Heavenly Father also planned in advance for the birth of His Son. A star appeared in the sky. Light travels. The light of the sun takes 8.5 minutes to get to the earth. So, if the star was in our galaxy, it would have been created 100,000 years ago. If it was in the furthest galaxy, it would have taken 2.5 million years to get here. God is in control. The missionaries also received a Book of Mormon that they are supposed to finish reading by February 28, marking all the scriptures that reference Christ.

For Christmas the President gave them 5 cedis extra to use on others. Elder Meinzer and Elder Smith combined their money to prepare rice and stew for a couple of different investigators and member families in their area. It was sweet.

They had 10 investigators come to church. The Lord has definitely blessed them!

Saying Goodbye

Elder Meinzer & Elder Smith

Elder Meinzer got transferred to a new area called Abakrampa and absolutely loves it. He went around and said goodbye to a few members. Joseph cried a little bit. Elder Meinzer loves that man!

Elder Meinzer and Joseph

His new area was under the care of the office couple, the Saunders. Some sister missionaries would also come out twice a week, but eventually it got to be too much and they needed full time missionaries. So, Elder Meinzer and his companion, Elder Smith, are the first missionaries to be staying in the area. Elder Smith is from Accra, Ghana and actually was in Elder Meinzer's first apartment for a little while. He truly teaches by the Spirit and gets to know the needs of the investigators. Most of the lessons they have taught have been taught in Fante. Elder Smith teaches, then Elder Meinzer teaches and Elder Smith translates. "The people here are freakin awesome!" Many members walk 3+ hours to get to church each Sunday.

The branch has been around for about five years and most of the members have been baptized in the last little while. The branch president is President Abaan, who was baptized three years ago and became president five months ago. During that time he has organized three temple trips and has helped several people to become endowed. The second counselor is named Paul. He used to be the head Pentecostal minister and was one day praying to know if there was a true church on the face of the earth and "Latter-Day Saints" came into his head. So he went to church. He has always believed that the true church needs to have apostles, prophets and seventies and that was what they happened to be learning in investigators class that day. He was baptized in April.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Elder Dodd's Six Month Celebration

Elder Dodd and Elder Meinzer met with Isaac and he told them that he knows the church is true. Apparently, he has gone to over sixteen churches but hasn't been satisfied with any of them and said that none of them were good. But, when he came to our church, he noticed something different and knew that it was true.

Every Saturday they go and visit Joseph. Their visits always boost Elder Meinzer's spirits because he loves meeting with him. They always have a good time and laugh a lot. Before visiting with Joseph last week, they went to Emmanuel's house and did some wash for his wife for an hour and a half. He has never washed so many clothes in his life. She really appreciate it!

Gilbert told them a story about how a pastor for another church tried to confuse Gilbert about the church and cause him to question his faith. He told his wife, "They cannot confuse us because of what we know to be true." That made Elder Meinzer so happy. He loves that family!

Elder Dodd celebrated his six month mark so they ordered two containers of groundnut past each and bought 5 liters of vanilla ice cream. They split the ice cream and mixed in the groundnut paste so it tastes just like peanut butter ice cream.

It's crazy for Elder Meinzer to think that this time last year he got his mission call.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ups & Downs of Missionary Life

There is a village called Enoe that is on the top of a large hill and has a lot of houses made from mud. A lot of people don't speak English. There is a 70 year old member who lives near the base of the hill and for the last few weeks they have been going with him to visit some less-active members and to teach some of his referrals. A member recently hired a taxi to go and pick up three elderly women from Enoe and bring them to church. Sunday there were three investigators from Enoe on the front row at church (Isaac, Edward, and his daughter Comfort, who is 11). Later, as they took Comfort to primary, they saw a 10 year old girl named Patience who has sat in on the occasional lesson with Stephen who had walked herself to church. So Cool! Experiences like these help to balance the disappointment of having some new members not coming to church.

There are a lot of ants in Ghana that come into their apartment. They are tiny and fast and you can't leave food out for half an hour or the ants will find it. They really like sugar so all sugary stuff has to go in the fridge.

A recently baptized family was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting and Gilbert received the Aaronic priesthood. Stephin also received the priesthood. Elder Meinzer totally believes these people were prepared by the Lord and all they did was help them along the path to baptism.