Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Christmas was good"

This Christmas was probably the best one that Elder Meinzer has had on his mission. He and his companion went and bought some fried rice and chicken and some Malta that they enjoyed. He also bought soda for his apartment. On Christmas they had a ton of food. They were fed massive amounts of rice in the afternoon, then some fufu a couple of hours later, then some more rice and stew that evening. Elder Meinzer was stuffed. When they got to the last house they had to ask them if they could take it home since there was no more room in their bellies.

Gift of Understanding

Elder Meinzer and his companion went on splits with the Assin Foso north apartment. Elder Meinzer went with Elder Butler (from Orem) and Elder Reid (from Colorado). He really enjoyed it. In the zone of 14, they are the only other Americans. During that time Elder Meinzer realized that he is a lot more capable than he thinks he is. It is when he is with other missionaries that have less experience than him that he sees how far he has come.

They had a three zone Christmas devotional and had some great talks by some of the missionaries. Each of the missionaries received a Kente tie and an oil vial. On the tro tro ride back home Elder Meinzer was really proud of his zone as he watched them having Gospel discussions with the people next to them.

They contacted a man named Felix last week and began teaching him. "It was a sweet lesson." He initially told them to come by once a week, but after the lesson he told them to come twice a week. After the second lesson, he told them to come three times a week. Elder Meinzer thinks Felix has the gift of understanding because he is able to explain and expound things to others right after they teach him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gospel Conversations

This week the Mission President came to their district meeting and gave some instruction. He began by talking about the plan of salvation for awhile, spoke of the great opportunity they have as missionaries to bring others to the straight and narrow path so that they can return to live with God again, then BAM, tied it all up to obedience (Elder Meinzer's words). Their mission is quite young (like over half of the 150-ish missionaries have come in the last six months) so the President was establishing what is expected of them.

They also had a status update at Zone Leader Council. In September their mission baptized 113, in October baptized 134, and in November it was 178. To date, they have baptized 462 of their goal of 572 for the last four months. Their zone of 14 missionaries has baptized 70 of their 77. Elder Meinzer still doesn't like number goals.

The Mission President also asked them to commit to participate in gospel conversations everyday. As a part of the mission culture the missionaries go from appointment to appointment and not really talk to people along the way. The Mission President wants them to open their mouths more so he is asking them to have five gospel conversations each day. The Zone Leaders have been doing it for the past month and miracles have happened as a result: people have started learning from the missionaries, people have come to church and people have been baptized. On the tro-tro ride back from Zone Leader Council Elder Meinzer tried talking to the guy sitting next to him. He motioned that he was deaf. "Crap, I thought, well I tried." He sat there for a few minutes and realized he could share the Liahona article he was reading with the guy. So he showed him the article entitled An Answer for Every, "What If" and he read it. Once he finished it he took out his phone and typed, "Where is your church in Cape Coast?" They then had a silent conversation for a half hour where Elder Meinzer explained to him the work they do as missionaries and talked about the Restoration of the church and he shared his testimony. He said he would come to church in Cape Coast on Sunday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Fast Sundays Left

Elder Meinzer's week began with being squished into a tro-tro to go on splits with the Elders in Praso. There are four elders and all are under nine months on their missions. He went with Elders Sarpong and Levi. Elder Sarpong has been on his mission six months and he is training Elder Levi, who has been out for like two weeks. He was really impressed with Elder Sarpong, who gave Elder Levi a lot of room to grow by allowing him to make decisions and take the lead in lessons.

The missionaries now get their subsistence through an ATM. Foso recently got an ATM so Elder Meinzer was really looking forward to not needing to make the 3-4 hour round trip to Cape Coast and back to collect money. In typical Ghanaian fashion, the ATM was broken. So, the entire zone had to go to Cape Coast. Their tro-tro broke down. Along the way Elder Meinzer saw a store filled with American goods. "I would describe it as being a type of Celestial Kingdom." He bought pringles, two candy bars and 7 Up.

Elizabeth was baptized. They gave her a Book of Mormon Storybook, which she looks through frequently.

Elder Meinzer woke up at 5:00 this morning so that he could go on a run with Elder Reid, from Colorado. He was a cross-country runner. After running for an hour and half, he had to call it quits. After running for like 30 minutes, he had to stop and walk for 5 minutes. After another 30 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking. Then 30 minutes, then 3 minutes. After the run they found a place that sold chocolate milk, so they bought some for their recovery drink. :)