Monday, January 23, 2012

So first things first, I'll tell you about transfers and what things are like now. Elder Speirs left to an area called Adweso which was in my district when I was with Elder Nembaware. He's with an elder who was with me in the MTC, Elder Russell. I'm now senior companion with "Elder Sanka" from Liberia, who just finished being trained. I was pretty scared at first. I thought about all the responsibilities that hung on my shoulders now and all the new duties I had. I really got myself worked up for a bit. But I'm realizing that's how Satan gets a lot of people. Worry, doubt, and fear are all things Satan wants us to feel. He knows if he can make us think too much about a new challenge, if he can get in our minds and try to make us think what lies before us is so much bigger than it is, or if he can just scare us and cause us to fear, we'll eventually break down and quit.  Maybe we get a new calling, or a new duty is assigned to us. We have a choice right then and there. Jesus Christ always said to everyone that saw him perform miracles "Marvel not". Many of the prophets in the Book of Mormon have said the same thing. I've found that to be so important on my mission. When different challenges have come to me during my mission, I can choose in the beginning if I will marvel at the enormity of the duty or calling, or if I will relax and just have faith that as long as I'm doing everything I know how the best I can that things will come along and Heavenly Father will mold me to fit my new duty or calling. Its kinda like what my public speaking teacher (Dan Clark) at BYU said "No one is going to ask you to speak on a topic that you don't know anything about".  I know Heavenly Father is not going to give us a calling or a duty that we have not been prepared to accomplish. So knowing that, it's up to us to have the faith. Will we worry ourselves and start to go askew, or will we stay calm, happy, and have that "fun" that McCall talks about in her prayers when she prays for me. (When I read that mom said she said that, I felt the spirit very strong.)  That has been a real struggle for me, to feel at peace and not be worried, and I'm finding a lot more "fun" in my mission now, so thanks Call!) Anyways, so my first few days with Elder Sanka were a little testing. The first day I had with him, we went through the whole day looking for people to teach and trying to get a lesson, but we ended up working the whole day and only having one lesson. I know that some days will just not work out like you think, even if you're trying hard, so I shrugged it off. The next day we taught a few lessons in the morning and then a few at night and I started to feel a little better. I had to adjust to my new companion. He's a little weird when he talks to people, but I know that's because he's still new and he'll get used to it. He struggled the first few days as well, so that put a little stress on me because I wasn't sure what I should do. I prayed to know what to do and I felt like the answer I got was not to worry myself. I told him that if he had any kind of suggestions on what I could do better and how I could help him that he could tell me and I'd definitely and humbly consider what he had to say. I wanted to make sure he didn't feel like he didn't have any choice in the matter of our work. At the same time, I know the rules, I know what's expected, and I'm not just going to compromise with anything. Ha, maybe I've already thought about it too much. Anyways, I just worked through the day, and I felt that as long as we're doing the work the best we could, we didn't have any reason to fear. That's another thing Satan gets at us with, discouragment. We'll work hard every day, and some days will seem less successful. Those times are God's testing times. He wants to see if he holds back the reward for a little longer the next time if we will still keep the faith and remember his promises. Friday last week was like that. Saturday was a different experience. I actually made a voice recording Saturday night to send because I couldn't express how happy I was that day through e-mail. There's another Elder from Australia in our apartment named Elder Thom. He's with Elder Kyeremateng (chair-mah-tang). Elder Kyeremateng was in the apartment with me last transfer. He's from Ghana and even though he's Ghanaian, we both have the same sense of humor and connect really well, so I'm glad I have him to talk to. Elder Thom is just strange, there's no better way to put it really. He's a good guy, but he just tries to do more than needs to be done and.....well he's just weird, ha ha.
So being Senior companion is another ball game. I wasn't sure how this week would go, and I was afraid about investigators coming to church. But when Sunday came, OH MAN, I probably got teary eyed like 10 times that day. I was so happy! Usually we have three, maybe four investigators come to church on Sunday. That's usually been the maximum. But this Sunday, we had 9!!!!! I mentioned this in my voice recording, but it was such a huge blessing for me. With Elder Speirs I always felt like we were working underneath our potential. But now I'm committed to doing all I can for our investigators. It's a lot of work, and it's a lot of organization and people to keep up with, especially when 9 came to church, but I'm being blessed as I do it and I know that in the future weeks and months of my mission, it can't be too hard, it'll always just be a test, and all it really takes to make it through is to continue with patience and have faith. It really can be just that simple.
Thanks for the package by the way, it really will help. Kade! Thanks for all the candy, and the letter! I love the letters! And thanks for that peanut butter! You can find some jelly sometimes around here, but it's expensive. But mango's aren't expensive so I got one of those and mashed it up into jelly for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! It was way good!

So I have a few funny things to write about that I wrote down in my planner during the week. So Thursday morning this last week, there was a woman just outside our bedroom window yelling and preaching as she paced back and forth at like 4:30 a.m. I just thought "what the heck is she doing?! People are sleeping!!" I hoped she would stop soon, but she didn't, so I yelled out the window in Twi "You! Go home!" She didn't stop preaching, but she did hesitate when I yelled out the window and then she continued preaching as she walked away. Ay! the people here huh? As far as the Twi goes, I can speak it probably just as well as I can speak Spanish. I know a lot of it now and can speak with most people here as far as small talk goes. Elder Speirs could speak it well and I was scared how it would turn out if he left. But I do remember when Pres. Morris set me apart as an Elder that he said I would have the "gift of tongues". I think it's very true. I found that I could talk with them very easily in Twi and it was such a help in contacting and teaching people. They trust you a TON more if you can speak some Twi with them. They're kind of all stubborn like that, so you just have to work with them. I hope you know I'm happy, but I'm still adjusting. I just need to remember to keep normal and not go weird. Dad, you said in that letter you sent to me that I should find the humor in things and that my sense of humor is what makes me such an influence on people around me, it's so true. Having a sense of humor and not being stiff or weird has kept me sane and relaxed. It's hard in our apartment aside from Elder Kyeremateng, but I'm making it work.  I love you mom, I hope you know how grateful I am and how much I love my family! Thanks for everything my whole life, it has just prepared me for a mission and made my life so much more happy!

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