Monday, March 28, 2011

A Very Unique Place

Baptism Candidates

Elder Meinzer always thanks his Heavenly Father for the opportunity that he has to be serving in a place such as Ghana. On his entire mission he has only had two people ever tell him that they didn't want to hear the message they have as missionaries. And he has been out over a year! "It's a very unique place."

Lately he has been taking a new approach to his study time to try and become a better missionary. Previously, the main focus of his study time would be studying the Book of Mormon and then he would study Preach My Gospel. But, a month or so ago, Elder Smith got sick (Elder Meinzer has only had two sick days for the entire time he has been out. He has definitely been blessed with good health) so Elder Meinzer spent like three hours studying the sabbath day so that he could come to a better understanding of it. Once he finished he felt much more confident in going out and teaching about this commandment. So, now he devotes all of his time to thoroughly studying the lessons. He feels that if he does this then he will have a broader understanding of what he is teaching and the Spirit will be able to guide and direct him to cater the lessons to the individual he is teaching.

Frank has progressed quite rapidly and has a good knowledge of the gospel. They have also been teaching Reginald. Both men can read and Elder Meinzer sees that a whole array of options are available to them. They can grow in knowledge and understanding on their own and don't need to rely on the missionaries to help them grow. This past week they were introduced to the mother of Francis, who is named Margaret. She learned of the restoration and came to church. She seemed to be very happy to be at church and had a large smile on her face the entire time. They also met Cobbinah and Dora. (every time Elder Meinzer hears her name he hears Bryan Regan in his head, "Doraaaa the Exploraaaa") They have three sons. They taught them for the first time on Saturday night and they came to church on Sunday. They also came to the fireside on Friday and then to clean the chapel on Saturday. Elder Meinzer is pretty confident they will be baptized in the near future.

Elder Meinzer learned that Stephen, one of his converts from Nketsiakrom, is preparing his mission papers. "I don't know why I have such a blessing to be in a place such as this, but I am grateful!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Here's To The Next Year

Elder Meinzer thinks it's kind of crazy to think that he is over a year on his mission. He always envisioned it as being something monumental, but in reality it was just another day. He took a little evaluation of himself and came to the conclusion that he is doing a pretty good job as a missionary with rules and things (He has always been a rules guy) but he needs to continue to try and improve his teaching abilities, which will happen as he studies hard to come to a better understanding of the doctrine.

They went as a district to John's family farm to do some weeding. Elder Meinzer loves weeding. They also sent and did some cleaning and weeding at the local hospital/clinic. At first he had a broom sweeping the inside but later went outside to help. The branch president gave him a cutlass and the hospital workers were laughing at him but then the branch members defended Elder Meinzer saying he really can weed. "I like to think that I'm pretty good. I'm almost a Ghanaian."

Elder Meinzer found out that Mary reads from the Book of Mormon even though she doesn't understand it since she doesn't speak English. Francis and Gladys committed to baptism on April 16. Frank has also committed for the same date.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Elder Meinzer's Year Mark

We cannot believe the one year mark is here this week.

Elder Meinzer and Elder Smith had their bicycles stolen this week. The branch president called all the members in the outlying villages to look for them. One man walked into his friend's home and saw their bicycles. Prayers are definitely answered.

They have been teaching a young family. The parents are Francis and Gladys and they have three children. The family just seems so happy and is embracing everything very well. Elder Meinzer is always filled with such joy when they go there and they seem to drink up all that they are teaching them. The other day they taught them about the Book of Mormon and in investigators class on Sunday somebody had a question on the Book of Mormon, so Elder Smith had Francis and Gladys answer. It made Elder Meinzer so happy seeing them understand things well enough to be able to address questions.

A couple of months ago an older man named Frank told them that he will come to church one day. A lot of people tell them that. But, he came to church this week. He told them that he had not been going to church because of all the confusion that he saw but has decided to join himself with their church because he knows it to be true. Another person prepared by the Lord.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Twelve Fast Sundays Left

Teaching James
(I love the boys in the tree)
Saturday Elder Meinzer and his companion had a baptism with four candidates:Ransford, Janet, james and Florence. James completed their mission goal.

Elder Meinzer and Elder Smith brought a CD to church to play before the meeting started so the members could learn the hymns and how to sing them correctly. He also had an unusual experience at church while they were having people raise their arms to sustain something. It was the first time in his life that Elder Meinzer opposed. They were trying to give James the Aaronic Priesthood, and Elder Meinzer was the only one who raised his arm when they asked if people were opposed. Standing up, he looked at the surprised face of the branch president and said, "He's ten." He thought it was a pretty cool experience. (So, Zach)

Agnes is a member that they told to stop selling on the Sabbath and she listened to them. One day last week she rushed up to them telling them that the next day all her bread sold in 5-10 minutes. The Lord truly blesses us when we keep His commandments. Sometimes Elder Meinzer thinks it is a little unfair though because we receive such large blessings for doing just little things.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

Every Sunday as they walk around they see people failing to keep the Sabbath day holy. This makes Elder Meinzer sad. Recently they had a sister not come to church because she was making palm oil. When they went to visit her, she admitted that she knew that what she was doing was wrong and that she would stop. They talked to her about the blessings that come from keeping the Lord's commandments. She agreed and took down her shop. Just seeing the humility of this sister in keeping the commandment made him happy.

The village of Asumasi is turning out to be very fruitful for them. Ransford will be baptized this Saturday. They continue to have several investigators. Elder Meinzer is continually given examples that God knows His children and will prepare them to accept the gospel.

Recently a chief died in Abakrampa. Back in the day, when a chief would die, people would go and kill people to put their heads around the c0ffin of the chief. One of their investigators has been extremely concerned about them, telling them not to go out. They are taking her warnings seriously and are paying attention to the promptings of the Spirit, but are still going to proselyte.