From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 11:55 AM
Let’s get down to business.
We have been able to participate in the reactivation of two less-actives, Abigail and Susan. Abigail has had a lot of deaths in the family recently that have pushed her to rely on God more. She bore her testimony about that this past fast Sunday. It has been great to work with her and help her keep an eternal perspective.
On Wednesday, we (Elder Wheelock, Elder Sarkodie, Elder Olouch, Elder Alofaki, Elder Palacay, and I) did not leave our apartment at all, due to it being election day. Police were blocking travel between sections and cities, so we weren’t even able to reach our proselyting area. We prepared for this day by purchasing a pig over the weekend from a member. That was butchery day. We have a Tongan (Elder Alofaki) in our apartment who really knows his way around an animal. Built a nice big fire and roasted some pork. This is AFRICA!
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to give instruction at district meeting. We’ve had some difficulty with members of the district not respecting the district leader, which is currently my companion (Elder Palacay from the Philippines), so I tailored the instruction to individual attributes. We compared Nephi and Laman’s responses to requests by authority. The Zone Leaders joined our meeting and gave a lot of valuable insights. I learned a lot as I prepared for the instruction and as people contributed.
1 Nephi 2:13-14,21; 3:5 missionaries who disobey leaders and then grudgingly obey:
13 Neither did they abelieve that Jerusalem, that great city, could be bdestroyed according to the words of the prophets. And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.
14 And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the avalley of Lemuel, with bpower, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did cshake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.
21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be acut off from the presence of the Lord.
5 And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
1 Nephi 2:16,19-20; 3:6 missionaries who do not understand but try through personal revelation/pondering:
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the amysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did bvisit me, and did csoften my heart that I did dbelieve all the words which had been spoken by my efather; wherefore, I did not frebel against him like unto my brothers.
19 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy afaith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.
20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall aprosper, and shall be led to a bland of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
Then we looked at possible reasons why the Lord did not have Nephi and his brothers take care of everything in Jerusalem in one go. I offered the reason that maybe it’s because the brothers needed to learn to rely on the Lord and trust in Him rather than in mortal man. Or because Lehi needed to learn the same thing as his children went back to a hostile land. Sometimes we just don’t know why leaders ask us to do something, and sometimes they themselves don’t know why when they just barely received that revelation from the Lord, but that fact does not diminish our responsibility to obey.
Friday morning, I ate about five fists worth of really heavy fufu with palm nut soup. Having a Ghanaian in the apartment who loves to cook is a real blessing. I kid you not; I was not hungry for the rest of the day. We had a nice PEC meeting that day as well.
Saturday was a baptism for Christiana Karim and Joseph Jackson. Christiana’s husband is a member and Joseph’s mother is a member. It’s a good feeling helping families become complete. The next step for them is the temple!
Sunday was a real whopper. No time to go home and eat until call-ins in the evening, so I was at the mercy of members for a meal. They delivered! Anyways, at church, one sister, Theresa, came and told us that she had been taught by many missionaries before and knows everything but has never been baptized simply because they lost her and she lives far away. I took our ward mission leader aside and we assessed her knowledge of each lesson we missionaries teach. She wasn’t joking. We set a baptism date for March 24th. Of course we’ll see her a few times this week to make sure everything is okay, but I truly believe this was a miracle.
In the evening, we visited the stake president, President Hindowa, who is the former branch president of Bo Branch (during my time there). I told him my regrets from being in that area before and not doing the work as effectively as I now could. Oh how I wish I had the experience I do now so that I could have done a much better job! We had a good conversation. He lives just up the street from us, so we will be visiting him often. He is a great man.
This week was more difficult than past weeks because our momentum was thrown off by this election business, but we’ve gotten back on track. I’m getting a little nervous because today marks exactly 22 months since I started missionary service and also is the halfway point for my second to last transfer. I’m going to give it my all till the very end! Thank you all for your love and support in my adventures here. I really need it, especially now!
Excerpt from other letters…
BTW, I have a chipped tooth. Top front right big tooth. It’s got a story.