Monday, July 2, 2012

Dad and Family,

                     That's pretty crazy about all the forest fires and stuff. It's been just about the opposite here. It's been raining every day here lately. It's not continual, but it's always cloudy. It's been nice as far as the cool weather, but it's kind of depressing to wake up every day and have it be a little dreary and damp outside. But I'd really rather have that than hot sunny death. This week, to be honest, was pretty junky. Almost no one wanted to listen to us. If we caught them for the first time just contacting, then they would sit down with us, but when we scheduled a return appointment, they were never there and they avoided us from there on out. So most of our week this week was spent riding miles back and forth to failed appointments. It was really a lot of fun..... not really. Towards the end of the week I just thought, "I'm done, there's no point anyway, we're just going to get to the appointment only to find that they've left to Accra and won't be back for a week". That's pretty frustrating. We're changing the way we do things. We're just going to go have fun with people. Get to know people and be more personable. Because whatever we were doing before made our investigators never want to see us again.
                     This evening we're going to host a Family Home Evening at a member's house with one of our missionary training DVDs. We're going to buy and pop some popcorn and just invite people in the compound to come watch. We'll see how it goes. discouragement has just been huge this week, and I can't handle too much more, so we're doing things different as to avoid to much of that. We just need to have fun and not be the two obruni's that come into people house and teach them "the word of God". The people here seem a little desensitized to someone sharing the gospel with them. No one will reject us because they've been told never to reject "the word of God", but at the same time, no one keeps commitments because they listen to us almost against their own will sometimes. It's weird. We actually get a lot of people who say "oh, won't you sit down and preach us small?". And I can tell they aren't really interested, they just have that instinct to say that or something so I just say, "No, like we're just passing by right now". That sounds wrong, but believe me, it's right.
                     Transfers are this Wednesday, but I won't be transferred because I'm training still. Unless something strange happens. It's crazy to think it's already July. Next month I'll be a year out. I think I gave up on counting the months a while ago and just decided I should just get used to living here. I saw a monkey leashed to the back of someone's car yesterday. Good thing too, because I don't think I could have gone to Africa for two years without coming back and saying I saw a monkey. It's just part of the whole stereotypical experience.
                    I've got a lot of time left, so I'm just gonna keep writing. No pictures this week. I probably should just take some random pictures that I don't think are all that great, because you guys will probably like them. The power has gone out like 4 times while I've been trying to write this letter. I really hope it doesn't go off again. If it does, I'm going to die. Every time it rains the light goes off. So since it's been raining a lot this week, we've been having a lot of light off. That means a lot of mud too. There's a lot of pot holes in the roads, so they fill with water and you have to time your walking right or else a taxi comes flying by and hits one of those potholes and just sends the mud puddle flying everywhere. Because everywhere is so muddy lately, I always seem to end the day with mud on the bottom of my slacks. We've even been taking our umbrellas around a lot because of the rain. If it rains, it cancels any appointments. That really doesn't make it easy for us. We're all ready to go, but when we call them or show up at their house and it's raining, they just say "oh, it's raining, let's make it next time". Ha ha, it's great. I'm glad I get to be with Elder Strong for another 6 weeks because it's so nice with him. Everything is just great! Things get hard, but it could be so much worse when you don't get along with your companion.
                    I've really been loving the Banku here lately. I don't think I liked it at the beginning of my mission, but I really like it now. I'll even buy it at a shop and take it home and eat it. Eating with your hands is the best. I think secretly Connor knew better than the rest of us. It's so much more convenient to eat with a spoon or fork, but it's just fun to eat with your hands. There's not too many rules to eating with your hands, and you just kind of suck everything off the best you can and swallow it whole, especially with Banku and Fufu. I'm actually just really hungry right now.
                    I hope you guys know how true this church is. To go anywhere else is just a joke to me now. This church is just complete, or "restored". It has everything. It's definitely from God. It's one thing for a church to teach something, but it's another thing for you to find out that that thing is really true from God. The church is like that. It's not a scam, it's up to you. But I can tell anyone that it's definitely God's chosen church on earth. I really don't like the idea of people saying that we brainwash people into the church. I think that's a load of junk. You can choose for yourself. You can't be brainwashed past your own control, that's ridiculous. We have agency, and although other churches may not emphasize or teach that as much, it doesn't take away from the fact that we can choose. And we can choose to know the truth even. It seems that it's all about diligence and faith. Those people who keep "trudging" (like dad said") hoping for something better, always find it. But those that don't put their faith in anything and just criticize things around them hoping for something to just magically happen, never get anything. I really started thinking more about the scripture in D&C that says " receive no witness until after the trial of your faith". That's absolutely true. I think so many people give up faith right before they receive a witness. After they give up, it takes some time again for their faith to be tested, and if they give up right before the witness part again, they could do that over and over again their whole lives and never get anywhere. Things won't be hard just one time, and then one day it all clicks and it's never hard again. That wouldn't make any sense. If you work out a muscle and the muscle gains some strength, that doesn't mean you can lift anything you want now. There's always room to grow, always room for improvement and greater happiness. There's always a bigger "mountain to climb" (from a talk in the last general conference).
                 Well, I could go on and on, but I'm hungry, so I'm going to go get something to eat. I'll answer Mom's questions in her e-mail before I go, but know I love you guys. The thing that gives me the most security on my mission is knowing my brothers and sister and doing well. It's so nice to hear they're succeeding and stuff like that. It would really take a toll on me if something bad happened to them. I love you all.
                                                                 Love, Dallin (Elder Littlefield)

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