Monday, October 17, 2011

10-2-11 Love for the Ghanaian People

Hi Family,

This week has been kind of a spiritual emotional rollercoaster for me in lots of ways. But I feel like I should share it with you. It is the greatest lesson I have ever learned. We went to Kumasi on Wednesday and then up to Sunyani, and then back down to Cape Coast yesterday which is a six hour drive from Sunyani. I had a lot of time to think ponder and pray over the last few days. The whole of my thoughts over the past few days have been solely focused on love, love for the Ghanaian people. Exactly two years ago today I was sitting in my mission prep class at BYU-I listening to my teacher speak, and even though I regrettably don't remember much from that class, I will never forget these words. He said "You must start your missions now by praying that the Lord he will bless you beyond your own ability, to love the people wherever you serve. If you love the people you will love your mission." And so that is exactly what I did. Almost every night before I went to sleep I prayed that wherever I served I would be blessed with love towards those people. At times I doubted that my prayers were even worthwhile. I remember thinking how can I even ask that when I didn’t know where I am going. But I continued to pray. A month or two later I received my call. I began praying that the Lord would bless me with that same love that he has towards the Ghanaian people. And I prayed and I prayed, day after day. Well the time came, and my mission began. And those first few months I had the hardest time truly loving the people the way I should have. They were just so different. I was so judgmental. But I still remember kneeling down at my bed side begging and pleading the Lord to bless me with charity and love for these beautiful people. I knew that without his help I could not do it, I could not truly love them as he did.

Over the past week this ran through my mind. As I reflected on it, it suddenly became clear to me that because we are begotten sons and daughters of our all loving Father in Heaven, we are born and inherit the same ability to love as he loves. It’s in our divine nature, we inherited that ability from our Heavenly Father. We can love as he does, it is possible. As I sat in the Sunyani Group conference on Sunday and heard Elder Vanchere who is going home bear his testimony about the love that he has for these people and how he was sad that he had to leave, and as I saw his converts cryin,g I broke down. I was overcome with emotions and tears began flowing because I knew that I had that love. In a way very similar to the way that Jesus Christ loves these people, I also love these people. All of those prayers, all of that pleading and begging that I would find within my soul that Christ like love for these people, all of those prayers were answered. I was overcome with the spirit. I always had it somewhere, but it now became so real to me. As I thought about all of my recent-converts and members that I had grown to love my heart became full, full of love towards them and towards the people of Ghana, to an extent that I knew was not possible without the help of my Heavenly Father. I now know why I love my mission so much and why it has been the greatest building block in my life. Because of love. Almost instantly my thoughts were directed to the Savior. If I love these people as much as I do, If I get worried when an investigator calls me in the middle of the night, if I dread the day that I have to leave this country knowing that maybe in this life I will never see many of them again, if i cry because they cry, if I am happy because they are happy, I can't even begin to understand how much Jesus Christ must love me. I have come to understand in a way I've never understood before, the true meaning of the atonement and why he did what he did. I feel so much closer to my Savior and feel like I know him so much better than I ever have now. Now I know what it is like for him when I sin, when I do wrong, but at the same time how happy he is when we repent. I know now why the 2nd greatest commandment is to love all men as ourselves, because when we truly learn how to do that we know God, and we love him with all our heart. Love conquers all things. Mom and dad I love my mission and these people so much that I fear, I dread the day I will have to leave them. Because of this I am beginning to feel like my time is coming to an end here in the office because I need to be out in the homes of these people, in their families, building relationships of love and giving all that I can until the end of my mission, spending time with them. I have learned so much here and I want so much to put into practice the many lessons I have learned and the skills I have acquired, and just love the people. It's been a very emotional week. At times I feel like I am missing out on the true joy that comes from teaching loving and baptizing and seeing people change their lives. That's how I want to finish my mission. But I know that I must lift where I stand and I will do whatever the Lord asks of me. It's been a great weak. My testimony has grown so much and my desire to share the gospel even more. But my love for the Ghanaian people is the true story behind my whole mission and the fountain of my joy and happiness. I can't believe I have only 4 months left. God bless you and always know that I love you.

Love Elder Adams

ps. If the circumstances are right, would it be okay if I extended?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rockin a New Style! September 26, 2011

How is it????
We were visiting a less-active women who we have been teaching and we were trying to get her to smile and be happy, so this is the only way we would get her to laugh. Sometimes you have to be creative. She is the one in the background, her name is charlotte. And she came to church today! Thought this might make you laugh a little.

Well it was another fairly normal week with a lot of time in our own area. But we started off the week on Tuesday going with Pres and Sis Shulz to do apartment checks in the Swedru Zone. Right now I know every single area, chapel, and apartment in the mission, but one. And that is Odoben which is the closest area to the Accra mission and the only place in the entire mission that I haven't been. So on Tuesday we were going there first to begin the apartment checks in the Swedru Zone. Well on the way we got false directions, and we actually ended up driving 45 min outside of our mission boundaries and into the Accra mission. And so we got lost and we never found Odoben and so I still don't know where it is and still haven't been there. Anyway it was pretty funny, not to mention President wasn't happy at all so that somehow made things even funnier. But we did find the other apartments in Swedru and we finished the apartment checks there on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Thursday we spent most of our time in our area. Right now we kind of are going through some tough times in our area. All of our people are kinda falling like flies due to one or two things and now at the end of this week we only have 1 serious investigator left that we are still going to continue to teach. Four of them flat out lied to us and then ran away haha, so I don't think we are ever going to go back to them. So now we are somehow starting from scratch and we are going to just work hard and visit the members and see what happens. So Thursday was disappointing. Friday we did the apartment checks for the Assin Foso zone, nothing to talk about there. I guess we did finish up the transfer that night on the board and chose all of the new trainers and zone leaders etc. Saturday there was a stake football tournament and we went and watched for a bit. Moree played Bakaano and that was pretty funny to watch because I new almost everyone. Bakaano actually ended up winning the entire tournament and won like 4 or 5 games which was crazy cuz we weren’t that good, we just had a bomb goalie that blocked everything. Then the rest of the day we found out that all of our investigators weren’t all that serious and by the end of the day we didn't have much left. Kind of a tough week. Even at church we didn’t have a single investigator, which I don't think has ever happened really through my whole mission. Sunday after church we took part in some home teaching with the elders in the ward and then went around with the relief society to show them some less actives and visit some members.

Well that was about the whole week in a nutshell. So it was a bit of a downer because we have been working really hard, but to no avail. So we are hoping for a good week this week and some new investigators that will progress for us. I think it is a good humbling experience for me, it makes me pray harder and rely more on the Lord to help us through these times. Oh wait, we are going to Kumasi on Wednesday and we aren’t coming back until Sunday night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crap I guess we will see what happens in two weeks. Well I am doing good, as for my companion I will let him email you small about himself.

Here's Elder Tadaeo.

l am brodreck tadaeo , l am from zimbabwe a city called Bindura it's under Harare Zimbabwe Mission . ln my family we are five three girls and two boys , l am the third born . Me and my sisters we are members , and my father he was a member but he died Sep 2006 . My mom she is not a member , but soon she will be when l go home . l am the first one to come on mission. l like to play cricket , american football, soccer, basketball.l like hiking , talking stories , listening to music .l am 22 years old but soon l will be 23 this coming October 29.l like reading BOMormon and other church books . l forgot one thing yaa l like joking too muchooooooooooo.l love missionary work and also working with Elder Adams he is cool elder , in my mind l awalys call him MR NICE GUY but he doesn't know that yet .

And yes he would like you to send him a package. And you can email him he would like that too, but he won't say it so I will say it for him. Well that is really all for this week. I love you guys and will talk to you later okay bye bye now. Nyame Nyira Wo.

Love Elder Adams

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sept. 16th, 2011


Sorry I am late with my email this week. Everything is just moving so fast around here. I got the packages that you sent yesterday, so it was like I had two birthdays one last week and one this week. But we didn't really do anything for my birthday, so basically it was just the packages. Thanks for the camera and other goodies, I will be sure to take lots of pictures okay. I can't rely on Elder Mackay to take the pictures for me any more, so I will have to start. I like the card that you picked out, I can say that it was pretty much spot on for someone like me!! I also really liked the short messages from the family and pictures. It looked like a real fun family reunion. I like how we don't have one for the 20 years that I am alive, and then once I am out of the country we throw a huge party. I SEE..... I honestly don't know who any of those kids are in those pictures though. It looked like you guys had a good time.

Well were do I start? The last two weeks we have been going around and having training meetings with all of the bishops and stake presidents in each stake. So far we have done the Kumasi Stake, Cape Coast Stake, and Assin Foso Stake which we did last night. We are teaching them how missionary work is to be run in their wards and we talked about a lot of things like ward council meetings, PEC, ward mission leaders, ward missionaries, stake coordination meetings, coordination meetings with the missionaries, and a whole lot of other stuff. A lot of them I think didn't fully understand that the Stake Pres holds the keys to the missionary work in the stake, and the bishops hold the keys to the missionary work in their wards. Basically in a round about way the purpose of the meeting was to help them to understand that they are in charge of the missionary work in the stakes and wards, not us, we are just there to help. I already know that it is going to make a big impact on the missionary work. The members are going to give a lot more referrals. Each ward set a goal for baptisms by the end of the year. Add those together and you get the stake goal, and then add those together and we have the mission goal for baptisms from Sept. to Dec. We just have one more meeting to do tomorrow and then we will have done all the stakes and it is just left to have the meeting with one of the districts and then we will have the mission goal for baptisms by the end of the year. If you were wondering our branch set a goal for 18!!!!!! And we are the only 2 elders in our branch so we got a whole lot to do! And not much time, especially for us so its going to really make us use every single solitary second that we have of our day working working working. Pray for us please! I will say that it has been interesting to see what the leaders of the wards have to say about the missionaries. A lot of things have been said, both bad and good, but mostly good. It is interesting to see what they really think though. It also made me feel pretty uneasy standing up in front of 1 stake presidency, 8 bishops and bishoprics and their ward mission leaders teaching them about their duties haha. You can imagine how I felt. But it was good and it was fun. I am a lot more comfortable standing up in front of people and talking now than I ever was.

Now that Elder Mackay is gone I have to take care of everything on the computer, which sucks, but I am getting better with the stupid machine. It just ticks me off sometimes cuz it takes me forever to figure out something that should take 5 sec. in excel. Pres has been having us put together year to date baptisms for each ward and stake and we don't have that already so we have been doing a lot of searching and finding to gather the information as accurately as possible. I tell you it not easy! But we have managed to put together 4 separate spreadsheets for the stakes and their wards baptisms so we are doing okay so far. The other big task that we started today was the upcoming transfer. We have 15 elders going home and then 19 new ones coming. That means we have to find 19 new trainers and we can’t choose any of the other 12 who are already training, and then the following transfer we have 29 elders coming meaning 29 more new trainers!!!!!!! I tell you again, it not easssyyyyyy!!!!!! haha but we are doing all we can. When those 29 elders come that is really going to be a crazy transfer.

Okay so other random things that we did this week. We counted out the subsistence for the whole mission and packaged 129 pieces of paper with money. We had a sisters workshop here at the mission home today teaching and training them which was fun. We played football, on Monday, we got a new mission van with a sweet stereo system that we can rock out in to our motab cds, its powerful. We had our last zone conference in Kumasi and then went on splits for two days with Bantama and Dichemso zones which was a lot fun. After teaching an investigator about the priesthood we gave the investigator a blessing who was having major headache problems that had gone on for a long time and she was fully healed the same night and now she has a powerful testimony of the priesthood. (even though she is still having trouble leaving her church) At church on Sunday we had 5 less-actives come that never come to church because the week before we took the relief society sisters around to do visiting teaching because they knew none of their homes. The power of visiting teaching is unreal! One of the women was one that we reactivated which was sweet.

So in short it has been a wonderfully long but very successful week and a half. I can't even begin to explain how much the Lord has truly been blessing us and especially in our area. We have 3 or 4 people who I think can be baptized within the next month or two which is great. The last 3 weeks we have had a lot of time in our area and it is really starting to pay off and I am excited. My companion is the man, I seriously love Elder Tadaeo so much. You just can’t have a bad day with the kid. He is so funny so happy so goofy and he is working hard so things couldn’t be any better. I know the church is true and I am having a great time teaching the gospel. I don't think there has ever been so much required of me before from the Lord, and at times I don't know how we keep on keepin on, but we are still keepin on because the Lord is by our side and he is there every step of the way. Because it is his work I know that there is nothing to worry about if I just do all that I can, because then he will do the rest. My family, I love you and thank you for everything. You guys are the best. Have a good week and can't wait to here from you again next week.

Lots Of Love,

Elder Adams

ps I also got the package from grandpa and grandma. Love them, thanks.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Aug. 29th and Sept. 5th

On Mon, Aug 29, 2011

The family,

Well I can see that I have once again dug the hole a little deeper than before, and instead of climbing out I just keep falling back in when it comes to this emailing stuff. I can see that mom, you're a little annoyed with you son now a days haha. Sorry oooo. You know I still love you.

As for this past week I did get sick on Friday night, but by Sunday I was feeling a lot better and the malaria, if it was even malaria, was pretty much gone. I was only feeling crappy for about a day before I started to feel fine. The thing that made it not fun was we had to drive up to Kumasi on Saturday to pick those missionaries going home, the day that I wasn't feeling good. The roads are extremely bumpy and we had to drive the old mission van, which when you put those two together make for a very uncomfortable ride when you have diarrhea and a giant headache. But luckily I never spoiled my garmies. Surely a tender mercy.

Sunday we worshipped in Kumasi. We went to Bantama 2nd ward which is where I served about 3 weeks before coming to the office. Elder MacKay also served there for about 3 months before coming to the office. Pretty much nobody even remembered who I was except for like the Bishop and one or two of the other leaders in the ward, which was expected because I didn't really remember too many of them either. There was the one Lady though ( sis morgan) whos husband me and Elder Christensen reactivated who had been less active for like a decade. I was surprized, but she recognized me and remembered my name and everything and was excited to see me. So that was pretty cool. I got to talk to her for a little bit and she seemed really happy now. It makes me feel like the Lord knew me and needed me to serve there for that purpose of helping reactivate Bro. Morgan. I was only there for 3 weeks, but the Lord knew that and he understood that even if it was only 3 weeks, he had me there for a purpose. Anyway it was cool to visit Bantama. Elder MacKay got to see a lot of people he wanted to meet before he went home, it was good for him. We came back to the mission home Sunday night and then had dinner with those Elders going home. After dinner around 8 p.m. we went and taught a lesson, Elder MacKays last lesson, to a women name Rejoice. She is the wife of a member in our Branch named George Koomson, and he is somehow active but somehow less-active at the same time. He is just really busy with work and travels a lot so it is hard for him to come to church on a regular basis. But he has a strong testimony and he wants his wife to follow him to the church. She is currently attending ICGC, which is a church but I can't remember what it stands for. She is a strong member of her church. They are getting ready to do the civil marriage in her church and ICGC believes that once you are married the wife should follow the husband to his church, even if it means they have to leave ICGC. So basically George could force her to attend Our church but he is a good guy and he wants her to have a testimony and only follow him if she believes it is true. He doesn't want to force her to do anything. Rejoice has met with missionaries in the past, but she has always been reluctant to meet with them. I think she found the missionaries before to be somewhat of a burden and an annoyence. Some months back we tried to meet with her but she just told us to leave in a pretty rude way, and you could see that she didn't really want much to do with us. But we tried again about 2 weeks ago, and this time she let us in with a smile on her face. Instead of just preaching her we felt like we needed to just become friends and gain her trust before. So the first lesson we had we talked to her about her and her life and really got to know her. We left pretty good friends and now we have a strong relationship with her and she really likes us. The following lesson we felt prompted to start by teaching her the plan of salvation

SORRY I GOT REALLY BUSY JUST NOW. I will send the rest of the email tomorrow, but this way you will know that I am alive and well if I send this much :)

love elder adams

Alright I am back its only been a week haha. Well Iwill finish the email that I started last week. We taught sister rejoice about the plan of salvation from the beginning and used the bom a lot and she agreed with everything that we had taught her. It was really good bacause she saw how the bom agrees with what she already believes, and she saw that it really was a good book, not what she had thought. I have been using the bom a lot the last week in the lessons we have been teaching and on splits and it has really made my teeaching more powerful as I have really tried to use it more. Anyway since that lesson we have now taught her 2 times, that is me and elder tadaeo. Thats my new companion he is tight. I will tell you more about him later. Things are going well right now with sister rejoice. We taught her last night again, it wasn't the best lesson because she was really tired and we could only meet for a few min, but she made time for us. She is doing well.

Well thats all I can remember from last week because a lot has happened since then. This last week was zone conference and me and Elder tadaeo have given three trainings during the conferences on how to use the new training program that the brethren have jsut come out with. its a 12 week program for trainers to follow with their new trainees when they come. It is a super powerful program and I can see it will make a huge difference in all missionaries abilities to teach. The church has also mass produced thousands of mini dvd players so that every companionship in the world can have their own dvd player in the apartment to use to watch Training dvds from preach my gospel. (Talk about a lot of broken dvd players in the next few months) So that program started this last transfer and we have been busy with it. Its great. I hope the elders use the dvd players the right way, because they are powerfully effective.

So my new companion is elder tadaeo from Zimbabwe. He is seriously the funniest elder I have ever met and I love the guy to death. He has never been in a leadership position before so he has a lot to learn when it comes to how the mission runs and all that, but he is ready to work and ready to learn. He is extremely humble. Anyway we laugh all day long because he is just so funny. I am really excited for the next few transfers it will be a lot of fun and we have more time in our area to work hard. Elder Tadaeo was training in our branch, so last transfer there were 4 elders me elder mackay elder tadaeo and elder nwatu. Now its just me and elder tadaeo and we are companions. he already knows people to teach and now we just have double the work to do, its sweet. We picked up some good investigators and we are really enjoying our area right now. President and sister shulz are pretty well oriented now so we have more time to proselyte.

Right now I am emailing from elder zolls laptop in kumasi. We are about to eat dinner with pres and sister shulz and the zolls. We have the last zone conference tomorrow up here with about 50 elders and sisters to wrap things up and then we will stay for a few extra days and go on some splits with these northern zones. It will be an eventful and fun week. Sister shulz is a bomb cook and makes the best food and she said that she is going to cook me a birthday dinner, and she even said that she is going to try and make me some cheese cake. I love her. Well i can't believe I am turning 21, I still feel like since I turned 18 I just stayed there. 21 sounds old -to me. But not as old as you mom and dad. Your grandparents and empty nesters, haha now that is old. jk.

Well i think that is all for today. I love you and pray for you every day. God bless

Love Elder Adams