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?