Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s a privilege once again to be able to share a few words with all of you this holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s a wonderful time of year. I love it because it is all about Christ. It’s always refreshing to take another look at his humble birth, sinless life, and glorious resurrection, whatever form it may be. I would simply like to share today my feelings about the Savior as well as an experience that has greatly changed who I am today and made my mission all that it has turned out to be.

Just over two years ago 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." I was deeply touched by his remarks. 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 was going? But I continued to pray. A month or two later I received my call. I was called to serve in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. I then began praying that the Lord would bless me with that same Christ like love that he has towards the Ghanaian people. And I prayed and I prayed, day after day. Well the time finally 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 to this very day night after night 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.

As I have reflected on this throughout my mission it has became clear to me that because we are begotten sons and daughters of our all loving Father in Heaven, we are born with and inherit the same ability to love as he loves. It’s in our divine nature, we inherited that ability from our Heavenly Father. I don’t know when it happened, but in a way very similar to the way that Jesus Christ loves these people, I also have come to 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 have been answered. As I think about all of the investigators, recent-converts and members that I have grown to love my heart is full, full of love towards them and towards the people of Ghana, to an extent that I know is 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 are directed to the Savior. If I love the Ghanaian people as much as I do, If I get worried when an investigator calls me in the middle of the night, , if I cry because an investigator starts crying, if I am happy because they are happy, 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, I can't even begin to comprehend how much Jesus Christ must love and care about me. Because of the love I have now for them, I have come to understand the love that he has for me. In a way I've never understood before, I now understand the true meaning of the atonement and why Christ did what he did. I feel so much closer to my Savior and feel like I know him so much more now than I ever have before. Now I have an idea what it is like for him, how he feels when I sin, when I do wrong, when I fail to choose the right, but at the same time I now know how happy he is when we repent. I know how happy he is when we are happy. 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 understand his love he has for us, and we love him with all our heart. Love conquers all things. Mom and Dad, Family and Friends, I love my mission and these people so much, I dread the day I will have to leave them. My testimony has grown so much and my desire to share the gospel has grown even more. But my love for the Ghanaian people is the true story behind my whole mission and the foundation of my joy and happiness. My prayer is that this Christmas we may all find our hearts given out in love. Just as our Father in Heaven showed his love for us by sending is only begotten son into the world, may this Christmas we also show our love for him by loving those around us. I know that Christ lives. He loves us. He is the Savior of the World. He is real. Of that I so testify, In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baptism of 30 members in Bibiani

December 12, 2011

Well another week has come to an end. It was a mighty long and exhausting week, but it was a great week nonetheless. Friday we didn't have much to do in Kumasi because president was having district meetings (the same meeting we have been to 5 times and could repeat in our heads word for word) so he gave us the day off and said that we didn’t have to go to the district meetings. So instead we spent Friday driving around doing some errands and helping Prosper the apartment man to find some new apartments for the Elders. It was pretty boring day but we still stayed productive, and then in the evening we helped Elder and Sister Zoll prepare things for Saturdays big baptism out in Bibiani.

We left the house at 7 in the morning and got to Bibiani around 9:30 or so that same morning. We gathered all of the people up who were being baptized from the neighboring villages and dresseed them at the chapel and put all of them in their whites. By the way we just got them a brand new building to worship in, their old place was terrible. 30 people in all white is a powerful sight. I helped finish doing some baptismal interviews for those people who couldn't make it out Friday for the interviews. I interviewed one lady named Grace who had been waiting for this day for more than two years. She came to know that the church was true by picking up a BOM and reading and coming to know that all the rumors and everything people were saying was false. She was by far the most prepared person I have ever interviewed for baptism. For example when I asked her if she could promise to keep the Sabbath Day holy for the rest of her life, without hesitation she said "No!" I asked, "well, why not?" She said "Because what if I get sick and can't partake of the sacrament one week, then I have broken my promise" You should have seen her face when she said that. It looked like someone had just ripped her heart out. She really felt how important that covenant was and she was scared of breaking it. Then when I asked her, "well grace, if you are not sick then can you promise to keep the Sabbath Day holy every week by partaking of the sacrament?" and then she said with a big smile "Yes of course, always, and my savior will help me." It really blew me away how serious this was to her and I could really tell that she was determined to never, ever break that promise of baptism. It meant everything to her. Half the people being baptized live in a village 40 min away and they pay to rent a bus to come in at least every 2 weeks, which for them is a huge sacrifice. After everyone was ready, we loaded them all up and drove them down to a river about 2 min away. It was a beautiful place to do the baptism. Even the Queen Mother of the village heard about the baptism and she came to see it for herself. It was great. We had a lot of people there to see the baptism too that weren't members. Probably like 75 people upwards I would guess were there. Two members gave some really great talks as well. After all of the baptisms then we did all of the confirmations and then enjoyed some time together. It was one of the neatest experiences ever. The only thing that I was a little bummed about was that because I was the camera man of the whole thing I forgot and never got a picture with me in it, so I have nothing to show for the whole thing. But oh well it was still great.

The baptism finished by 4 then we drove to Sunyani. We got there late and then I wasn't feeling to good so I just went straight to sleep after dinner. We got up in the morning and worshipped and then sat in meetings for the rest of the day with the Branch leaders in Sunyani and with the Elders. Closed from that and then we recorded the weekly numbers for the whole mission late into the night. Got up this morning and played some basketball with the boys and we just got back to cape coast and right now it is about 9:45 in the evening. I am so excited to sleep on my own bed :) YES!

It was a really good week and we were able to do a lot of really cool great things. The baptism was the highlight of it all. Now I am just exhausted so I am going to bed. I love you guys and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas this year. Enjoy the Holidays. Love you.

Elder Adams

December 4, 2011


I am in Kumasi right now and we have a big weekend ahead of us up here. We are going to have a baptism in Bibiani tomorrow where we are baptizing 30 people who have been meeting together in a group for more than 8 years or something, but because of how far away they live the church hasn't allowed them to be baptized or really be established. They have been paying more tithing than any of the mission branches and they even double the highest paying branch in amount of tithes payed. They have been begging the church to send missionaries to them for years. They are among the most faithful people this church has ever seen. So tomorrow is going to be a really special day. I get to do a few interviews and be one of the witnesses for the baptism and I also have been given the assignment to be the camera man and do interviews of the people being baptized and all that. It will be a once in a lifetime experience and I am really excited.

On Sunday we will then head up to Sunyani and have a meeting with the elders up there and go on splits. We are also making the preparations for the Christmas zone conferences and it is going to be really sweet, we have a lot of really fun things that we are going to do and the instruction will be powerful as always. When it comes to Christmas I really don't want anything I would rather just have at least one Christmas where everything is focused on Christ and on its true meaning. It would make it one to always remember. I have been thinking about what to put in my letter but I haven’t really come up with anything because I put everything in last years letter, and we all know that somehow I have to make it way better than lasts years, so I am still trying to come up with something good, plus I am the only missionary out so that is also added pressure.

Now to answer some of your questions, when it comes to the police I have been stopped more times than I can count. They have on numerous occasions taken my license and filled out a court date and a ticket and all kinds of other things, but always all they want is money and so a lot of the people associated with the church they just pay them off and then nothing happens. But as for me I am very stubborn and I was taught that you never pay them, but that you can always find a way out. So sometimes I spend 30 to 40 minutes talking and negotiating my way out before they will let me go, but they usually get tired of me and know that I won't pay them so they just let me go. You do have to be very respectful and beg and beg and beg but in the end I ALWAYS get away free (knock on wood) But I have had to go to some extremes and at times practically get on my knees and beg for forgiveness and give them the big spill about how we are representatives of Christ trying to help their country and then that always gets them and they just turn their head, give up their pride, and let us go haha. It's a great experience. As for the retainers I have been wearing them pretty regular, but not every day but usually I never go more than a day without wearing them.

Well I am staying more busy than ever and the mission is so big that we are always going. I think it may be one of the biggest missions in the world. So it is really making me grow and making me stretch, a lot. But at the same time I love it. I talked to Pres the other day about staying in the office and he wanted to know if I wanted to be released for my last transfer. But as I thought about it I just said "I don't know what the Lord wants me to do, but you are entitled to that revelation so when you find out, that is exactly what I would love to do." So that's how it is going to be, up to him and the Lord but I really love what I am doing and would also love to be with the people more, but thank goodness I don't have to make the decision!!

Well I love you guys and hope that you are having a great Christmas season. I pray for you everyday and I am always thinking about you guys. So I was late in emailing this week but truly I haven't had much time, not even to sleep haha jk. but not really.

Love Elder Adams