Thursday, December 30, 2010

Transfered to Kumasi

The Adams Family,
It was nice to hear from you all on Saturday and I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas. I know I did. Well I didn't think I would have anything to tell you today, because the phone call pretty much covered the majority of the week, but this morning I got a phone call from President Sabey. He started by asking how my Christmas was, and asked a few other questions regarding what we did and how are family meal went. I thought at first that he was calling and asking questions because we did something we weren't supposed to do on Christmas, and I just kept thinking what did I do what did I do, because I knew we didn't do anything wrong. Then he said he was glad we had a good Christmas, and he went on to give me a new assignment. Usually transfers are always done every six weeks, but because of Christmas he never transferred me and Elder Brown because he wanted us to be in our area so that we could really enjoy our Christmas together and have a good meal with a family we knew very well. What a nice guy President is. But he was planning to transfer us this week. So anyway, he gave me my new assignment.

I am leaving Moree tomorrow morning and I am headed to Kumasi to open up a new area there. He said the apartment there is finally ready. It is the very first area and apartment in Kumasi were they are starting the new expansion program. They have some of the big new apartments open in Sunnyani already, but none in Kumasi. This one is number one. So I will be going to open up a new area where no missionaries have been stationed, we will be holding sacrament meeting every week in our apartment, and when we get there tomorrow we don't know a single person and we are starting from scratch. Talk about exciting!! I know it won't be easy because we are going to be contacting 24/7 and will have a lot to do in finding people before Sunday for church. My companion is Elder Smith from the U.S., but I have never met him and know nothing about him. It's going to be only us in the apartment, which will be weird because I have never been in an apartment alone, but it will be fun. He is about 3 1/2 months out on mission or something I think, so I will somehow be the Senior Companion I guess. Elder Brown took my place and is now the District Leader and his new companion is from Kenya.

Well anyway, I am way excited, but I have a lot to do today I got to wash, pack, and try and see as many people as possible this evening in Moree before I leave in the morning. It's gunna be crazy! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love Elder Adams

Dec. 20, 2010

Merry Christmas,
I don't know about you, but I can't even tell it's Christmas time ha. 95 degrees and getting hotter doesn't really feel like Christmas, but it's still sweet. I got a feeling it's gunna be an awesome Christmas. Well about last week and transfers....... umm not much to tell. Nothing changed I am still staying in good ole Moree for another 6 weeks and Elder Brown is still my companion and I am still the district leader. Crazy uh? In my first year on mission I will have had only one area and 2 companions!!! I doubt that happens..... ever. But I'll take it how it is and just keep doing my best. It's really kind of sweet just to see how much people have changed and how the ward has changed over the past year. SO staying has been a real blessing in many ways. I wouldn't want to do it any other way. And who knows, I could stay even longer than a year. One thing that did change was our district. President has started moving missionaries around for the new expansion we are working on and now there are 8 missionaries in my district and 4 areas including mine, so I get to visit some other areas and see a little more of Ghana. But I am definitely a lot more busy having to do lots of interviews and planning district meetings and just stuff like that. It really makes time go by so fast.

This week was ridiculous. So Fast! Well as for this week it was good. We did some farming for a member in Yamoransa named Jobi and he is the coolest Ghanaian ever. He speaks English in the funniest way and has the craziest way of pronouncing words. He's funny. But we went to his small farm this week and helped him plant some lettuce. We planted about 900 or so heads of lettuce and weeded some. Gardening or farming is actually pretty fun when you get to see how well the things you plant grow. Kinda enjoyed it a little bit, plus service is always the best part of missionary work. Right now we have 12 investigators with a baptismal date, we are teaching 1 husband and wife family, a really powerful and intelligent guy named Seth about 28, and then a bunch of young men and a girl between the ages of 24 and 16. Things are going pretty well. You know you have a lot of people to teach when you can fill every hour of the day for Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday and part of Friday before you week even begins. That's what happened this week. So sweet! Maybe I will tell you small about Seth. He is a guy that we just contacted late one evening while we were out tracting on our way home. I didn't think that much would come from it because contacts are not usually very successful here. But over the past few weeks he has been progressing really well. He never lies to us and always keeps his promises. He accepted a baptismal date and everything last week. It seemed like things were going to good to be true. So we gave him a bigger challenge to come to church this week. He said he would. On Sunday we were going to pick him, but he said he would come by himself so we waited for him at church. Church started and he wasn't there. But right when I was about to lose hope here came Seth walking toward the chapel. He seemed really nervous. I sat with him at church and he was so shy and nervous that everyone was watching him, but by the end of church he actually had a lot of friends in the church and even knew many of our recent-converts including Andrew Aikins. It was an awesome Sunday just because he came. But we'll see what happens, he says he is traveling soon, so we might have to try and rush things a little. Albert Essoun our recent-convert who has gone less-active came to church also. He hadn't been 6 months straight. It was a good Sunday.

Well nothing much else I can think of to tell y’all this week. We did just play some b ball against a bunch of wanna be ballers (who were pretty dang good actually) and I still can play alright. Man I miss basketball, all this soccer is getting to me ha-ha. As for the phone call I will call the number at exactly 9 in the evening here, so I will let you figure out what time for you. If you set it up a few minutes before 9 then when I call we can get right into it. Umm I got one package today with the Jesus sticker so I will have that one for Christmas. Got one from grandpa and grandma today too. Its gunna be a sweet sweet week, we have lots of awesome Christmas activities scheduled and it should be a lot of fun. Love you all and wish you a Merry Merry Christmas. Talk to you Saturday.

Love Elder Adams

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Letter

Friends and Family,

It's a privilege this Christmas season to be able to share with all of you a few words. My prayer is that it will encourage and lift each of you. Now, Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. It's the best time of year because everyone is always so much happier. Everyone is in the giving spirit. Everyone puts on a nice big smile. Families gather together for the holiday season. The best Christmas music is played all around town and on the radio. Gifts are given. Gifts are received. And there is plenty of food to go around. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, with all of the excitement and festivities that the holiday season brings, the true meaning of Christmas is often overlooked or forgotten, and is lost amongst the giving and receiving of presents.

My Christmas message I would like to share with all of you is simply this. Do not miss the real meaning of Christmas, but make our Savior Jesus Christ the center and focus of all we do this holiday season. Bring to life the birth, mission, and life of our Lord. That is what Christmas is all about. Growing up our family would watch the video “Luke II” together every Christmas Eve, and share with each other our testimonies following the film. I will never forget the power and influence that my parents testimonies had on me and my life on those nights before Christmas. My greatest memories aren't the gifts I received or the food that I ate. But I will always remember most those feelings that entered my heart and testimony I gained from remembering our Lord Jesus Christ in that way each Christmas Eve. We can all remember the In-Keeper mentioned in the 2nd chapter of Luke, who told Mary and Joseph there was no room in the inn, and that they had to go elsewhere. This Christmas each and every one of us is the In-Keeper, and we decide whether or not there is room enough in our lives for Jesus Christ. Let us all put Christ at the center of all we do and say this holiday season. Love him. Adore him. Admire him. And emulate him. Thank him for the greatest gift ever given to mankind. The Atonement. No greater gift can or ever will be given.

I would like now to share an experience that I cherish and love from my mission, one that has a great impact on me. One that helped me understand more fully the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the example he set for us, and how we can emulate him. Late one afternoon while proselyting were walking along a dirt road on our way to our next appointment after church, when it started to rain really hard. So we stopped and waited for sometime underneath the overhang of the nearest building. While we were waiting for the rain to stop a little 5 year old girl was running down the road, on her way home I presume. While she was running she slipped on some mud and took a hard fall right on her face. She lay in the middle of the street crying. There were a lot of people nearby but nobody would stop to help her. It was as if they didn't see her. I couldn't just stand there and watch this little girl lying in the street scratched up and crying, so I ran over to where she was and picked her up in my arms and carried her over to the building we were sitting under. I washed her face off with my tie and then wiped off the rest of her body the best I could. She was still bawling. I talked to her small in Fante and after a while I was able to cheer her up. I got her to smile and talk a little. When she was smiling again and happy and cleaned up we sent her on her way and continued on. Afterward my tie was covered in thick muddy clay and my shirt was completely covered in mud from top to bottom from carrying her in my arms. There was no white to be found. But I couldn't have been happier. I will never forget the feeling that came to me afterward. I had never felt more in my entire life what it really meant when they say; "We are the Lord's hands" "We are his servants" "We represent the Savior and do what he would do". I have never felt closer to the Savior. It was a simple and small act of kindness. But I was the Lord's hands and I was doing what he would have done.

I wanted to share this story because we need to always be on the look out for those that are struggling, not only physically, but also spiritually. It will bless your life more for helping , than it will bless the one in need. I have never been happier in my entire life and felt more joy than what I experienced after helping this little girl. How many times has the Savior picked you up, cleaned you from your cuts and wounds? How many times has he come to the rescue when there was no one else there? I encourage each of us this Christmas season to stand firm as a representative of Jesus Christ and do what he would do. A heart-felt act of service is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas, and the blessings and feelings that follow are the greatest gift we can receive. There is no better way to put Christ at the Center of this holiday season.

I share my testimony with you that Christ is the center of everything. I know that he lives and that this is his church. And that he is our Savior and Redeemer. That he truly did suffer all things that we might not suffer, if we would repent and follow him. I've come to know that more than ever this past year. Serving amongst these humble faithful people in Ghana has been the most remarkable experience of my life. I am not sure I will ever want to leave. I have come to love the people of Africa in a way I can't express. In a way similar to the way Christ loves them. I love all of you. Many of you have a special place in my heart. You have made me who I am today, and I have you to thank for that. Thank you for your prayers. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Lords choicest blessings be upon you.

Love, Elder Adams

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 6, 2010

Well we had a good week once again. We did a lot of contacting this week, which isn't something we do very often. We have had a lot of baptisms lately and right now our teaching pool is pretty small and the ward isn't pumping out as many referrals as they normally do, so we seem to not have many people to teach. We contacted in the wealthier part of our area, if you can even call it that, and met some smart people that speak pretty good English. We are excited to see if any of them progress. I've only baptized 2 contacts my whole mission, but they seem ready. At church on Sunday we had 19 of my recent converts there, 6 others are fisherman and have traveled, 3 were sick, and 2 are somehow having problems and have fallen a little less active, so we have some work to do there. One is a boy who Bishop asked us to teach and baptize who had been coming to church for over one year, but as soon as we baptized him he got sick and then hasn't come since. The other one was the 1st person I ever baptized like 3 weeks into my mission, and he was baptized because his girlfriend was a member and they were going to get married. He was active and strong for a few months, and then the girl broke off the marriage and now he is less active. Can't really blame him there. That's tough. So out of everyone of my recent converts in the last 10 months all are active except two! My goal is to get them coming again before I go, then I can leave Moree in peace and feel good about what I did there.

Lately I have been studying and pondering about the spirit. Preach My Gospel chapter 4 really gives wonderful advice and instruction on how to become more acquainted with the spirit and understand it better. I've been really having some good experiences, and the spirit is really becoming apart of my everyday prayers and study. It makes all the difference in the world. Something else I did this week that I don't normally do is read my Patriarchal blessing. I haven't really studied as much as I should. . Sunday I sat down and read it before church and boy was it sweet. I had some great insights and saw some things that I had never before realized. It's packed with amazing promises and blessings if we just stay faithful. It has some powerful blessings related to my mission, and I feel that there is a lot for me still to do here in Ghana. Read yours this week. See if anything new comes to your mind.

For Christmas we will be having a party at the mission home with another zone, Fosu Zone. It should be pretty awesome, and some good food which is always exciting, not to mention the air conditioning in the mission home is a little piece of heaven. I did receive your Thanksgiving package this Friday so that was awesome. I had a lovely meal that night. I'm still to eat the pie. Can't wait for that. Sorry if I have been spending more money leately from my account. I have been kinda of buying a few more things than normal. Anyway how is school going? Are you loving school right now or what? Are you guys all ready for Christmas this year and excited. Anything new to tell me?? I haven't heard from anyone of my friends in like 3 months or so. Sounds like Miles is tearing it up on the court. Is the competition still at a pretty high level and fun to watch? Well anyway that's about all I have for this week. Ma, I love you and thanks for all that you do, the packages, the emails, the 20 dollar bill. You’re the best. I hope everything is going well for you right now. I can't wait to be able to talk on Christmas. It will be a lot of fun. Love you always.

Love Elder Adams

November 29, 2010

Well, another fine week we had. It was actually one of the sweetest of my mission in a few ways. Tuesday we went on splits with the assistants and that is always fun. You can really learn a lot from those guys who have a lot of experience. But Friday was such an awesome day. We were invited by Andrew Aikins to play in a football game at Moree Park, which is right in the center of the town. We were playing with his school teachers vs students, and we were on the teacher’s team. Our team had the sweetest uniforms ever. We had legit jerseys and team short shorts, you know soccer style, so we looked pretty legit. I must say I can't quite pull off the short shorts with my thunder thighs though. You will see some funny pics. The sweetest part was we were playing against some of our investigators, who really aren't all that serious anymore. So I beat up on them a little bit and knocked em around, but they still made me look like a fool with their mad football skills. We ended in a tie 2-2. I think we got a few contacts out of the whole thing and maybe some really good investigators. But it was by far the funnest football game ever. Right after the game the couple missionaries the Saunders came and picked us up in Moree to take us to their area. I had to do a baptismal interview for them there. Actually my first baptism interview. It turned out that the man I was interviewing, John Nketsiah., for baptism was a man that me and Elder Mackay taught maybe 8 months ago!! I was so excited and the interview was awesome, he had a very strong testimony and was so ready. He even said that me and Elder Mackay and his friends from Moree are the reason why he continued with the church when he left Moree. That was one of the neatest experiences I have had. It truly just shows that no effort is wasted and that even if we don't get to see the person baptized or if we don't continue teaching them, that the seed can still be planted. I think the Lord allowed me to be able to interview this man and gave me this experience to teach me a lesson. This experience strengthened my testimony so much. It really just opens my eyes that we can make a difference everyday, even if we don't realize it. And then to add to it I was able to conduct the baptism on Saturday in which John Nketsiah was baptized, along with 3 of our own candidates from Moree. It was a neat experience.

Sunday at church we had all of our candidates confirmed. Our ward is also making some changes and Andrew Aikins became the Young Mens President and Belinda who was confirmed, Sunday became the Relief Society secretary. It is really sweet to be able to see all of our recent converts getting serious callings. Oh and they had a primary program on Sunday. I am not going to lie but these kids made the kids back home look bad. We had 6 and 7 year old kids memorize the articles of faith and say all of them perfectly, and in English. One kid even memorized like an entire chapter from the Book of Mormon and repeated it perfectly. It was pretty impressive. All of the kids are really well mannered too when it comes to something like that. Probably because if they aren’t they will get beat, unlike back home where they will receive a biscuit to shut them up. Other than that not much that I can think of. I didn't really celebrate Thanksgiving because when we were out proselyting that day Elder Brown felt sick so I had to eat a giant bowl of rice balls and soup and fish all by myself that a member gave us, so when I got home I was to full to eat anything. It sounds like you guys had a good Thanksgiving. I am excited for Nevada, but more mad because now am not there to see it the only year that they are even good. But it is fun to rub it in Elder Browns face that BYU lost and Nevada won. That makes things better.

Well missions going pretty well right now, but I do kind of feel like I need a change. I’ve feel like I just replay the same day over and over sometimes now that I have been in the same area for so long. But at the same time it’s really sweet because I get to see how my recent converts are doing and even have cool experiences like I had this week. So it all has its ups and downs, but mostly ups. I am glad everything is going well and I look forward to hearing from you next week. I am grateful to have a family who writes me every week. I love you guys. Keep the faith and let your light so shine for all to see.

Love, Elder Adams

ps. I will write Bishop next week when I email if you guys are
wondering. And miles don't be a weenie, shoot the ball a lot. I want
at least 20 a game, come on now this is 3A were taking about, take
over now. Something random, look for a drink called Malta. I think guiness
makes it. It’s the best drink ever you should try it. Plus I want to
know if they have it in the US.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

November 21, 2010

My Family,
Well this week was another good one. They all just seem to run together and every week somehow just feels like the same thing over and over again, but I guess that is because I am doing the same thing over and over again. Go Figure! The week was good teaching wise, we had about 37 lessons or so this week and some new investigators. We had zone conference this week and it was pretty insane. Here’s the down low on the Ghana Cape Coast Mission........ Okay so they opened up Suanyani a city more north past Kumasi and right now it has only 6 missionaries and a couple. There are three different "groups" that are meeting together for church right now that just started. They purchased really big apartments so that they can have church in the missionaries apartments on Sunday. And right now it is growing and there are about 70 people going to church in Suanyani, but very few are members I believe. So they are really trying to expand that area of the mission and work there and fast. The city is big like well over a million I think. Now for Kumasi. It is the same size as Accra at least pretty close to it. But Accra has 5 stakes and Kumasi only has 1 stake and there are like 40 chapels in Accra, an only 8 in Kumasi and people won’t go to church a lot in Kumasi because they have to travel so far. So what they are going to do is purchase a whole bunch of big apartments in Kumasi for missionaries and a few more in Suanyani so that they can have church in them like the others. And President is going to send a bunch of missionaries to these new areas that haven’t been opened and we are going to establish "groups" all over the place, which will then turn to branches and districts, and then to wards and stakes. It will give people many places to go to church so that they don’t have to travel so far. They have 20 areas picked already for the groups to be established and they have already purchased a few more apartments. So in the next year and years coming look out! This mission is going to blow up!!!
Now the reason why we are able to do this is because of the amount of missionaries in the mission. We have tons of wards or branches where there are 4 missionaries serving in the same ward or branch. And tests show that 2 missionaries in a ward get the same number of baptisms as 4 missionaries. They just split the baptisms. So they are going to take all of the missionaries that are 4 in a ward and put them in these new areas to start groups, and the work is going to double we hope. President Snow said " the Ghana Cape Coast Mission has the power to baptize thousands". President Sabey is taking that serious and we are striving to baptize over 2000 people in the next year. It’s not our focus, but he says if we do this and we work hard, it will happen. Now how is that for where this mission is going!! But at the same time there is still some few problems with disobedience in the mission and laziness, but things are improving. Anyway that is a shortened version of what we heard in Zone Conference. Its gunna be interesting to see.
Well here is a summary of the rest of the week. Tuesday as apart of our district meetings when we finish with the instruction side of things we take 30 min to do something "cultural". This week we went and Elder Katoa taught us how to climb palm trees. Man its fun, but not easy. My goal is to be able to climb one all the way before I go home. So every week we do a cultural activity as a district so that we can learn more about the culture and also have more unity in our district. I think it will be cool to see, our district is so awesome. This week we are making fufu from start to finish. Saturday I went on splits with Elder Mortensen to Yamoransa. It was cool to see what the work was like in a different area, but man did I miss Moree. We did a lot of contacting because the ward there doesn’t hand out referrals like Moree does. I am so grateful to serve in the Moree ward, the members are awesome. We actually ended up teaching a couple girls and a 9 year old kid who thought he was a thug haha. He had a big chain, baggy pants, nice phone, and a few bills to flash.... But when we asked him where he got the money he said that his mom gave it to him haha. He had a picture of 50 cent on his wall. He said that 50 cent is handsome, but he doesn’t like his character haha. The kid was so funny. Then at the end we met a deaf kid who was like 4. He will never be able to communicate his life because nobody can teach him sign language. He will never know his own name either. Pretty sad huh? It was my first time going on splits though, so it was pretty fun. Stake conference was Sunday. It was one of those televised ones and Elder Oaks, Sister Dibb, Elder Golden, and President Packer spoke. They talked a lot about temples and some other pretty normal church stuff, but Elder Oaks really targeted the cultural issues that are conflicting with the way the church is run. Such as the bride price that they pay when they get married. WAY TO MANY people here don't get married until middle aged because they can't pay the pride price. So they pretty much said that has to be done away with. They also talked about funerals and how we shouldn’t spend our life’s saving just to bury someone, which is something they really do here. They go into debt like crazy over funerals. But they also talked about they have really strong family ties here and praised them on a few other things. It was really sweet, and the week was a really good one.
I love you guys and I am so thankful for the examples that you are to me. Thanks for the great emails, and I hope you have a good Thanksgiving. Love you all and take care.

Love Elder Adams.