Monday, December 30, 2013

Afihyia Paa! Merry Christmas! In Peanut town!

I hope all is well across the pond! It has been here. The Christmas season has come and gone and it came in a whisper. Christmas is just another day in Ghana and most celebrating had to be done on the inside rather than the out. No Santa, no presents, no lights, no songs. We did have a Christmas tree thought! Made fully out of balloons by yours truly! We ended up giving it to a family and they just loved it! Even with the country not joining with our celebration, we tried to have as much Christmas as we could! Most of it was just normal proselyting but we went out and ate TONNES of food at a member's house and I made cherry cobbler at night. It was a nice time to see, after all of the bright and shiny things have been taken away, what Christmas is really about. 

Some pretty big news is that they sad day has come where I had to leave sweet little Agona. I am now in Nketsiekrom and Eshiem! Nketsiekrom in Fante literally means "peanut town" but I havent seen any increase of peanuts... It is a large town with a lot of work to do. Eshiem is a TEENY village that we have to travel to a few times a week. The town is smaller than a normal high school campus and has about 200 people in it. The tiny branch there (with a real building and a baptismal font!!) has about 40 members. Only 19 of which were able to come to church on Sunday... I have high hopes for my village and many improvements will happen to the missionary work that is currently happening. My companion is Elder Wamono from Uganda! We are having a blast and half learning each others cultures. I am learning Swahili! 

People in Esheim are not too exposed to people of the Caucasian race and me being of that race apparently makes me Jesus. Or so some insane old man said. I told him. I am not Jesus.

Isaiah 9:10 For unto us a child is born, for unto us a child is given!
Elder Riehle 

Ghana culture for birthdays are very different. Instead of presents and pampering, you get soaked with water. 
My last companion let it slide it was his birthday and he got the full brunt of it!

My Ghana-style balloon christmas tree and present!

Elder Wamono and I. He is a fresh guy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A new area and new companion

We were able to Skype with Elder Riehle on Christmas Eve. He moved to a new area on Monday. He is in Nketsiekrom (translates as Peanut Town) which is still near Takoradi and very hilly. He will also be working in a small village called Eshiem. His new companion, Elder Wamono is from Uganda.
Elder Wamono and Elder Riehle

Harrison Skyping Home

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jason is dead and Headbutted by a goat!!

What a crazy week! I hope you can tell from the title. First off, as of last week I have killed my first Jason! I will kill another one next year as well! Don't worry, all commandments are being followed. July, August, September, October, November. Jason.

This was a powerful week. Numbers wise, one of the most so far yet. We had a sweet 30 lessons with room for more. Days go by so quick when we have a lesson every hour. They are just a blur. We have bumped our 1 gospel conversation per hour goal to 2. I have friends in Korea, Japan, England and others that talk to people all day. I need to make sure I get that experience too! Also our goal of setting times after GCs has exploded in our face. Saturday was a solid 9 to 9 12 hour day, lessons every hour. 

This is the life! During a lesson, teaching the Restoration, a nearby goat apparently did not like the content of the discussion and straight out head butted me!! Right on my knee and had me limping around for a while! What made it worse, was they tied it up but it got unloosed headbutted me again! NOT on my missionary call! You are hereby called to serve and be headbutted by goats. No. It was really funny and added a good mood to the lesson. Maybe God works in mysterious ways?

What was nice about our 30 lessons is that half were with a member! We have about 8 youth that are preparing to go on a mission in the next year or so and we have made a big focus to get them out with us. One of the young men especially, Arthur-Young, comes out with us all the time and is becoming a powerful missionary! We are setting up a mission prep class soon.

My time in Agona is running short. The transfer ends in two weeks and according to all logic, I am leaving. It will be weird to leave the place that has become my home. Arthur-Young was looking through my planner and saw the day I had marked Transfer Day. He teared up and said, "Please don't say you are leaving." That was like a punch of love to the face. I have grown to love these people so much and one thing I have seen the most, the work is fueled by love. If you put your full heart and soul into the work, you will get so much in return.

Speaking of love. I just want to say that I love my Dad so much! This week is is big FIVE ZERO!! Half way to a century, Dad! Even with your salt and pepper hair, you are still the young guy at heart!

Modern day scripture. "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel." Joseph Smith

Monday, December 2, 2013


This week had some fun stories! Thursday was Thanksgiving! Elder Richards and I had big plans. WE prepared a favorite Ghana soup called inketsikwan or Groundnut soup which blew peoples minds off. White people that make Ghana food? WHAT?! Not going to lie. We succeeded, it was delicious! We bought a full chicken that some guy cooked on the side of the street, which may or may not be really
sketchy... And then, the best part, FIVE LITRES of icecream!!! The first time I had had REAL ice cream in Ghana. It was expensive but very very much worth it. We saw that from all that we got it was
actually a good amount of food... too much for us... So we called up our investigator getting baptized next month, Michael Dreamson, and said, "We are coming at 8 and we hope you are hungry!" As we were getting ready to leave a less active member, Danny, called to say hi and that he was by our house. We ran out side and kidnapped and told him it was for a good cause. We all went to Dreamson's tiny mud hut and enjoyed big time! Danny had never had ice cream before and Dreamson loved it so much that he is going to buy it next time. I will be sending pictures. It was so much more enjoyable making others happy than us getting belly aches.

More on a missionary note, our dear sister Noadia got baptized! The first one to be baptized in our new font at our chapel. And also, the first baptism in a some weeks and it was great to see the excitement
of a new member, especially now that we don't all have to trek to the river!!! Noadia is going into surgery next week to fixed her injuries from a gas accident a year ago that has left here with thick burns all over her body. She desperately wanted the holy ghost to be with her for her surgery. She has received such a strong testimony of the gospel and she cane already seen how it has blessed her life. That is better than 5 litres of icecream!

I have been thinking a lot about being a friend recently. And my dad sent me a sweet story about how a lady became friends with the missionaries and has now found the truth. There are so many people
that I walk by everyday and stop and talk to them and I have become good friends with some. But over time, I realized that the Gospel discussing had stopped. I was reading in Alma 16:14 where it says the
Alma and Amulek were "As many that would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, with out any respecter of persons continually" I quickly repented. I have so many people that it has been crazy. I set about 10 appointments with people that we walked by everyday. The best way to be a friend is to be a missionary. There have been 3 straight out of university guys who we see regularly that I had to make a bold and loving change with. We had been teaching them, but slowly it had become more chatting and less teaching, until one time I couldn't squeeze any teaching in at all. We came this time and said that as much as we have liked being friends, we are workers of God. We have given them commitments and they have chosen not to do them. We set a time with them in three weeks to decide whether they truly want to know what we have said was true. One of them got insulted and pouted, the other 2 respected what we did so much and told the other guy he was dumb. It is great to be friends and a missionary is the best kind of friend. An eternal one.

Alma 16:15 Like Alma and Amulek, I have been Chosen for the work.

"And thus did Alma and Amulek go forth, and also many more who had been chosen for the work, to preach the word throughout all the land. And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites."

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Short Note

I wasn't able to finish my email time on Monday so I came back another day and wrote a week email on a word document and put it on a card and for some reason it needed to be formatted. So the nice email I wrote is gone. So just know that I had a good week and we had a baptism set for our friend Noadiah, but Sunday she was unable to come to church which was a cause for some stress and confusion. We now have a font at our chapel, so no more river. At church we taught about Baptism in Gospel Principles and afterwards one of our investigators saw the font and said, "The font is full. Can I get baptized... now?" Haaha we told him yes he can be baptized, but not today. We gave him a date for next month. What is the coolest is that Acts 8:36-38 the man says, "Here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?" In that situation they dunked him right then and there, we thought it might be good to maybe allow time for testimony first. Testimony is good. 

Weeks are flying. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.... but there is no geese here so there is a problem...

Elder Riehle

Monday, November 18, 2013

6 Months

As of this past Sunday, I have been in the lovely country of Ghana for 6 whole months! So much has happened in the past little bit and it has gone so fast! I have learned so much and I hope I have become a better person. One big thing I have learned is that progress can't always be seen up close. You have to step back and look at the whole picture. If I looked at the past week and try to look at what has changed, it would be tough but as I step back, Oh boy! It's like getting tan. I have gotten quite dark, not going to lie, but day by day I can't see the difference! 

This week I was getting over the sickness. I told God on Tuesday Morning that I will give my all, or at least the all that I can give, but it won't be a lot. He will have to give me some slack. Tuesday Afternoon, we had a man named Sammy who wanted a Book of Mormon and wanted to "learn all about it". He said that and I probably smirked a little bit and in my head I gave a little salute to God. Thanks Captain. I know you have got me covered! 

I love just meeting people sometimes! This week I was able meet Brother Hanson, father of Abigail Hanson who I know in America! I had a nice chat with him and snapped a picture! It just amazes me how small the world is with in the Saints.

My biggest goal this week has been working to please God. If we worry about all the people around us we will do just that, worry. And too much! I still get nervous and I still get like butterflies, but I know that God wants me to share his true gospel and there is nothing to stop me! All I can do is give my all!

D&C 4- Give my heart. my mind. my strength.

The Church is true!

Elder Riehle

Monday, November 4, 2013


I have so many stories from this week. Ill review them all tem tem (fast fast)

On Monday, Elder Richards and I took the prophetic advice to heart and decided to plant a garden!! Only problem, this is Africa. We don't know how to garden in Africa! We got our recent convert to help us plant Cassava, pepe, avocado, onions, papaya, okra, pineapple, garden eggs (egg plant?? I think?) and tomatoes. We will enjoy... in 6 months... :/

This Thursday was Halloween! In Ghana... no one cares... We did though. We bought candy (there is no good candy here), I put a Superman shirt under my priesthood and went out! I wore a thickish shirt so no one saw it until we got to our recent convert, Ernest and I ripped it open! Then we enjoyed candy. Sort of. I know all you Americans are enjoying your Halloween candy right now. Send some to the Missionary cause in Africa!

There is a first time for everything and this week I had a first! My knees were trembling and my mouth was dry. First time having a gospel conversation with a white man!! Frightening to say the least. I dont
know what I will do when I come back. You white people are scary.This guy is a super rich guy from Britain who has rented out an old Slave Castle in Dixcove for 50 years. He goes around to the villages and sets up churches. He was VERY set in his beliefs and wasn't very nice to us... It put into perspective how Elder Frederickson's life is in England! This was the first time I have ever really had someone truly reject me. Ghanaians are too nice for that. I am so lucky to be in a place where I don't get rejected everyday.

I over stepped my racial boundaries and learned how to cut African hair! With a tiny blade.. I shaved a kids head with just a flimsy blade and it actually looked good!

This Sunday was interesting for two reasons. First, I got to finally see the Lord's chosen in General Conference! Notice that I said see.... I SAW it but for hearing.. not so much. Lets just say that
four hours of Fante talking was a wee bit long. But the spirit was nice. Second thing was an Eclipse!! Finally could check off a life long bucket list. It was a partial eclipse, no total darkness but hey, It is an Eclipse!

And then today. Oh boy. There are 3 large beaches in my area boundaries and I have now been to all of them. Butrie, Busua and Cape 3 Points. Today I went to the last, Cape 3 Points. It took about 2 hours to get there on a tiny dirt road. We got there and went to the famous light house. It wasn't all that great, but we had a good time on the rocks next to the ocean. The way out was where it got interesting. I have truly learned the lesson in Osmosis? How did I learn about the travel of water through a membrane on a mission in Africa you ask? Well. It is a lot easier to get transportation from a big town to a small town. Small to big? not so easy. We were un able to get a car back and ended up having to WALK for about 3 hours (going about 20 kilometres) and blessed to get a car for the last hour. All in all a four hour trip. We went with some guys in the branch and they repeated "a day I will never forget."

I realize that none of those stories had anything to do with the gospel and missionary work. I promise you that I AM actually working hard, not just cutting hair and going to the beach. So i'll bring it back
D&C 6:10-- We all have been given gifts. I have been so humbled and so strengthened while I have been here. I have been able to see my strengths and weaknesses like night and day. We just always have to remember that our talents come from God. So am I really good at cutting hair with a razor? Yes. Thanks God.

Choose tomorrow to be happy for the gifts you have.

Elder Riehle

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Wow. I am sure I have said this before but Wow! Time flies by so quick! It is probably because from dawn to dust we are busy busy busy. We walk allll day and its great! I have gone down 3 belt holes in my belt buckle! We are trying to get bikes so that we can see even MORE people in the day. That is our problem. We have so many people to see, there isn't even enough light in the week to see them all!

One of our biggest goals for the branch has been to set up a mid week! So far it has been a bit like pulling teeth... but we are on it! This week Elder Richards and I built a volleyball net! to go along with our Basketball hoop. It has been fun to see kids going and playing on our court. 

I had THE coolest thing happen yesterday. Totally fulfillment of Doctrine and Covenant prophesy. We were meeting with some guys who are in Agona for a national service requirement to graduate university. So they are very educated but also very polite. One of them is Muslim but knows the Bible very well. We were going over the Plan of Salvation. Everything we said, he really agreed with, or that's also what his religion believed except for the big separator in our doctrine. That of the Divine Ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ. Our Muslim friend, Khalid, pointed a scripture in the Bible where it says A prophet will come who will die for our sins. He read that thinking Mohammad. Then it happened. Words started coming out of my mouth that I didn't know and couldn't back up! I said that the Book of Mormon had the same prophecy in it. Shoot! I had no idea if it was or not! I started going off on this and I cant even remember the words I said. I said I would have to go and come to find it (thinking I was going to have to read 1 Nephi to Moroni) and then right then. Bam. I opened up my scripts and read 1 Nephi 10:4 "A prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews- even a Messiah or, in other words, a Savior of the World".

Had I read that scripture before? Yes. Did I know that scripture was there? No. But was I able to use it when I needed it most? Oh yes. D&C 84:85 "treasure up in your minds continually the words of life and it shall be given to you in the very hour that portion meted unto every man"

I think I just got meted.
I always loved hearing stories like that. It truly happens! 

Press forward in your faith!

Elder Riehle

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Water Situation

I have been asked a few times what the water situation is. We have a HUGE tank of water that has 2500 kl in it. For that we are set. BUT, the problem is power. Ghana's power is super unreliable. So last week, every time I tried to do email, the power would go out!! But its all about Priorities. If I really wanted to email friends, I wouldn't have gone to Africa for two years. Getting my priorities straight! If I
know why I am here I have no need to fear. This past week, I had a sweet experience with a man named Henry. I met with him the first time 3ish months ago and he was very contentious. For some reason, we felt like we should call him again. This time we met him with our Elders Quorum President and it went 100% better. Having a member there was key. Henry understood so much better what we were trying to say and said something so so powerful. "If this church is true.... there is a lot of work to do." Wow. So true. If there is truth, it is going to take a LOT of work to do. I have heard that Conference was great... I haven't actually seen it yet. I had no idea it even happened till I saw it mentioned in an email! The mission will probably send it out to the branches in a few weeks... but it will be in Fante... So one day one day I will see it. Some updates on Michael Dreamson I talked about a
few weeks ago. He is officially off the wanted list from Cote D'ivoire and is going to be baptized on October 27th. This week was the one year anniversary of him meeting with the missionaries!

This week was an anniversary to something else! Saturday was the day that Alma and Amulek rent the prison walls in twain! In Alma 14:23 it says "on the twelfth day of the tenth month." October 12th!!

I found THE greatest scripture this week, for me.. maybe not so much for you.... Whenever I am feeling down, I will ask my self, "Who is a super cool missionary?" and then I will open up to Alma 32:35 and read, "Oh then, is it not Riehle (real)?" Why yes Alma. I think you are right!

Shout out to Cub Scout pack 55 from Chesapeake Virginia for having one of their t-shirts make it all the way to Africa!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Way too much rain

This week. Oh boy. Nsu odoso. Too much rain. Technically, this right now is the "minor rainy season" but, I don't know. It rained ALOT this week. Appointments were hard to keep because if Ghanians see rain, they don't go outside... even for Church.... This week was probably the least productive week I have had on my mission thus far. Partly because of the rain and mostly because the Branch is not involved in the work at allll. We have tried everything we can. We try to set something that the branch can use, but they ignore it. As of right now we have a few things in the works. Along with our Branch mission leader (who is "very busy" all the time) we created Branch Mission Plan that is an effort for the branch to be more involved. We also have tried to set up mutual on Wednesdays with the Young Men and Young Womens president (who are both 19). This week... no one came... not even the presidents. But things are about to change!!

I cannot complain. The branch is not helping much, but the Three Amigos are doing just fine. Elder Riehle, Elder Richards and Elder Heavenly Father. We have 5 people with dates for the next few weeks, so we will be busy busy.

A big thank you to Leslie Green! I love the package you sent me! 

D&C 50:24 LIGHT
"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fun Little Stories

I went on splits last week with Elder Moore from York (the Old one in England) and he asked me what my favorite part of my mission is. I thought about and I said that it was just waking up in the morning!! Everyday has something new in store! I have realized that I have only been talking about one thing every week so here are some fun little stories. 

The work in Agona... wow. Feel free to send any free time of yours in the mail. We need it so bad! There is not enough time in the day to see the people we need to see! Like Ammon says, "I do not boast in my own strength, but I boast in my God" so that is what I will do. Wow! God is awesome! He is blessing this place so much! Elder Richards and I sat down and wrote down all the people who will be baptized in the next few months and we counted 15. And those are only the solid ones. I boast in my God for the success he is providing in little Agona Nkwanta.

I never knew people could resort to violence over the Book of Mormon!! We were outside the branch Quorum President just chatting. People come up to us all the time thinking that because we were white we have mon-ay and to that we say saw-ray. They come to THE worst people to ask for money from, volunteer missionaries. But this time was no different, while we were chatting and lady came up and got into my son's face and not very nice way, asked for money, in which we always take the opportunity it to say. "We don't have money to give but what we have is better than money, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We would love to set a ti--" but this time we were cut off and she saw a Book of Mormon in my hand and she said "give me Bible". And STILL trying to turn this in to a positive conversation, I said "This is a book like the bible. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jes--" She cut me off again and said "I don't care, just give it!" And then she latched onto my arm and was trying to rip it off! The "it" in this situation being my arm! For about 30 seconds it was my arm vs crazy Fante woman and it wasn't going well. (But to make sure you know, in this battle, my arm was definitely the Nephites.) She was still fighting for it, so as a representative of Jesus Christ I felt it was best just to let go. When I did, She took the book, placed it... down her shirt... and laid on the ground. It was at this point where the Quorum president decided to intervene and get it back. 

I met a man this week name Zion Ellis who is 100% Rasta! His dreads are 4 feet long and he is suuuper hippieish. He is new to the town and needs a friend so we happily obliged. He invited us to sleep over at his vegetarian tree house restaurant of which we had to respectfully decline. maybe in 2 years! 

A recent convert, Robert about 25 years old, asked me where babies came from.... That is NOT in the missionary handbook.

Last week was me being her for 4 months. Wow. Blessings are coming about as much as it is raining, which is really hard, everyday. 

Psalms 133:1 Unity is pleasant
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Elder Riehle

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crazy Week

What a crazy week! It was chock full of preparing for the baptism this sunday (September 8th). Once again it was in our river! :) We did a lot of preparing but it was tough! There are a lot of details to work out... such as Baptismal clothes.. Which I didn't think of till Sunday morning and we had to take the 45 minute tro tro ride to the Stake centre during church! Oops.. The Baptism on Sunday was awesome. Three new members of our little branch! We even saw a snake this week haha But, The greatest experience happened on Wednesday and today. Wednesday was a Combined Zone meeting and a bunch of missionaries were there. One of the companionships brought a set apart Elder who is going to Nigeria. After the meeting the Elder told us how his father lived in Dixcove which is in our area and we have to go see him! What an amazing referral. A missionary son wanting to bring his father n the Gospel. Dixcove is a little bit away and we cant justify our proselyting time to go out there so we went today! P-Day! I have been to Dixcove before with Elder Harris and went to the Fort there (which we had to pay 5 cedis to get in) and the beach. This man, Robert Mensah, the Elder's Father is one of the villages most respected men and is the care keeper of the Fort! Recently though he got in an accident and his right leg is broken. But this man had some of the strongest faith I have seen in a Ghanaian (which is saying a lot). His son gave him a bible and a triple as a parting gift that he has been studying everyday. So basically we meet a man who already has a love for the Book of Mormon and wants to know what his son is going to Nigeria to teach! Hello open door! I had a vision (more like a thought hah) while we were talking to him and I saw him as a powerful member someday! The Lord is providing!

D&C 19:23 The recipe for Peace!
(Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amazing Times

Since Elder Harris is gone, I am the senior missionary. And I am just finding out how much Fante I know! I can have full conversations in Fante which is just blowing Elder Richards away ahaha

 I live in a comparatively nice apartment with running water and electricity... Sometimes... The past 2 weeks or so we have had to live out of big trash cans of water and take bucket showers, but now the water is back. Ghana water is really random and it turns of at random times. And same with the light. It has been working pretty well for the past few weeks, but it used to turn off at 12ish everyday and not come back on till 10 pm. We sleep under mosquito nets but the bugs haven't been so bad. But they will get worse soon. Dry season is coming and it is going to get verrrry hot soon. But I worked at scout camp so it cant be too bad!!

What amazing times we live in! Times when there about 80000 missionaries around the world spreading the good word! Wow. Just had to throw that out there. This week I have just marveled again and again how much the Lord helps in the Lord's work. Makes sense when I put it that way... So many times this week we went the extra feet and got pushed the rest of the mile. Example. A "Standard of Excellence" In the Cape Coast mission is to have 5 Gospel Conversations (GC's) every day making a total of 35 in a week. One day we were walking (I like to walk fast) and we walked right by a guy. He yelled for us to come back. He said something I will never forget, he said, "You are here to teach the Word of God, but you walk by so many opportunities everyday! Why?" CHASTISED. He is SO right. Who am I to only talk to 5 people a day and call it quits. Selfish is who I am! I had that thought in my whole day and that night when we were closing our day I pitched my goal, AT LEAST one GC every hour, making a goal of TEN per day. Wow. What a difference that has made. Now we are excitedly searching for opportunities and will talk to everyone who is not yelling racial slurs at us! I say that in jest, we GC them too. Sometimes racial slurs are a great conversation starter! "Why in fact I am White! Good observation! It just goes to show how God loves all of his children individually and makes us all different!" Ever since we have made that goal we are talking to 15 to 20 people per day and having really good conversations. The best part that in the past few days, more than ever, people have been coming to us! Its like God wants us to complete our goal and throws all these freebees at us. As we went a few feet over the line and made the goal, God pushed us to the mile! What a blessing!

We are having another 4 baptisms this Sunday in our humble little pond making a whopping 100 PEOPLE in the Agona-Nkwanta Branch!! Coming from maybe 30ish people coming to Sacrament Meeting just a few months ago to 100 members and most of them coming, Wow! Blessings are raining down! 

What a privilege we have to live in this time.

2 Nephi 25:26-- We talk of Christ. Rejoice in Christ. Preach in Christ. Christ is our centre to our whole being!
(And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.)

Elder Riehle

Highs and Lows

I have heard it said that going on a mission you feel the highest of highs and lowest of lows. That definitely applies to this week. I don't know whether I should start with the high or the low first... I'll go high. Well, I am a father! My son is named Elder Richards from Holebrook, Arizona. He is part of the first wave straight out of high school and is 18 years old. It is nice to train now because I remember what it felt like 3 months ago. He is very new, very timid, but he will blossom and be a powerful missionary soon enough. I am working him hard, don't worry. The FIRST thing, before we had even gone to the apartment or dropped off the bags, I took him to eat fufu. He ate it and said he liked it, which is definitely a sign of a good missionary. The oddest thing has been the sudden switch from being a son to a father so quick. Last week, I didn't have to worry about making the big decisions, answering ALL the questions and teaching the WHOLE lesson, but now I do! It has been allll up to me. The biggest thing I am thankful for is the times I went out with the missionaries at home and the time I spent studying and preparing. I have been relying on the examples I knew from back home to know how to teach since it has changed so much from one principle to ALL the principles. The Lord is blessing for sure. 

This week with Elder Richards, we invited 3 people to be baptized for September 8th and a few more on the way! Which brings me to the low. Our goal was 4. On Thursday, we planned to go out to an outer village, Bokro, to see one of our sweet investigators, Peter. He was the father of another of my investigators, Evelyn, and was a very smart man. He had a insatiable desire to read the truth and loved the Book of Mormon the day we gave it to him. We had talked about baptism and this next time we were going to see him we were going to invite him to be baptized the same day as his daughter. However, we were unable to get through to his phone and did not make the trip out to see him. Now I really wish I did. Friday morning Evelyn called us that her father, Peter, our friend and investigator had died in a motorcycle accident the night before. I hit me like a tro tro. My investigator is dead. I am flooded by many emotions. Definitely sadness, I will not be able to see him again in this life and teach him the truth, but also, overwhelming joy for the Plan of Salvation that out Father in Heaven has given us. Whereas I will not be the one to finish the job, I paved the way for someone else to finish what I started. Peter's salvation or eternal happiness has not been taken or destroyed, he still has the opportunity to accept the gospel and live with his family forever. That gives me so much joy. Our God is a merciful God. He loves every one of his children. Me, Peter and you as well. God really wanted to teach me that this week because I had to teach the Plan of Salvation nearly 6 or 7 times. I know that Peter is in a better place where he can still accept the gospel.

1 Nephi 11:17--  I don't know the meaning of all things, but I know that God loves us so he will always do what is right for us.
[And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.]

Monday, August 19, 2013


Wow. This week has been humbling. Not to say that I have been prideful before, but now I just have a whole new understanding of humility. The Lord qualifies whom He calls and this week I have been called to train a new missionary! 3 months in Ghana and the Lord wants me to use the minuscule amounts of knowledge I have, to TRAIN a brother who was on the same page I was only a small time ago! I don't know anything! I can't speak Fante! I still eat fufu like a white man! I don't know everywhere in my area and I still have trouble even remembering all our investigators names! I am so inadequate! But then I think of the words of the amazing missionary example in the Book of Mormon, Ammon. "Yeah, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak... in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise in his name forever." Wow. I feel so blessed for this call to train because it truly showed me that I, Elder Riehle am. Nothing. BUT even at the depths of my doubt I know with all my heart that in His strength I can do all things. I, Elder Riehle, will go and do what the lord has commanded me with all my heart, might, mind and strength and I know he will prepare a way for me to accomplish his call! I am grateful for the amazing example of Elder Harris as my trainer and it is not easy saying good bye, for me or the people of Agona. He has been here for 10 months and has completely laid the foundation and now I have the job of stacking the bricks!

I have grown so much in the past 3 months and have become such a better teacher because of him. There is a problem though. For the past 3 months I have been here and for a while before, the Ghana Cape Coast Mission has been using a teaching system called the Covenant Training Pattern (CTP), where we would teach ONE principle at a time and leave a 'promise'; for them to complete to make sure they understand the doctrine and to judge seriousness to commitment. It was a very good way to sort the wheat from the chaff and not wast our time. I have become proficient with this system and am able to talk about any gospel principle for 45 minutes! But here is the problem, starting this week,  CTP is dead. Gone. It will be "disobedience to revelation" to keep doing it. So now, I need to forget allllllll the teaching skills I have developed in the past three months and now teach how to teach the new system which I cannot teach myself! Once again, "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak... for in his strength I can do all things" Oh boy, oh boy, the next few months will be fun. But don't think I am complaining!! I love a challenge! I love that now I will have to rely on the spirit 24/7! I love that I will have the chance to have a new companion that, in large part, will become the missionary he will be from what I teach him! 

No one ever said it would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.

Everyday, I wake up and know it is worth it. I have written on a Sticky note and stuck it on my mirror and I read it every morning. It says, " You can choose to be happy :) or you can choose to be sad :( CHOOSE HAPPY." That's what I have going through my head all day. No matter how hot it is or how racist the things the drunk man is saying, I AM HAPPY!!!

I love Ghana so much and I am loving every moment that goes by.

Alma 26:12-- In His strength I can do, not just some, but ALL things.
[Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.]

Elder Riehle

Monday, August 12, 2013

River Baptism and New Pictures

This week was powerful. It is my week 11 which in the mission is usually the week where the trainer just lets the son go. But this week has been the busiest week I have had yet. Everyday was full of busy busy busy. We had to get ready for the baptism that would happen in the weekend and there was a lot to do. I was blessed this week to be able to baptize in a river! We call it the Waters of Mormon. We had four powerful brothers who were ready, and one more that should be very very soon. All this week we went to the river to prepare it. On Tuesday, all the young men went with cutlases to weed the place. Elder Harris and I tried to come, but we had to go see a man that lives in Gybenkrom, about 30 minutes taxi drive from Agona. By the time we came back they had DESTROYED the place. The intention was to just clear a bit, but about 50 feet of it was clear. They left all the weeds on the ground and it looked terrible. But they promised to come back on Friday.  On Friday they didn't come back. Only Elder Harris, our branch mission leader, Felix, and one more man named Daniel and I came. So just the few of us we had to clear and weed and burn and get in the water to make sure it was safe. The water is.... somehow clean... When I came out from being in [the water] for a while my white shorts were brown... but it was good enough. When Sunday came God's hand was definitely there helping us. This first baptism was a test run to see if we could do it again. President Bybee, the first counselor to the mission president had to come to supervise. We baptized 4 awesome guys. Joseph Amofah, Robert Kofwie, Ernest Boateng were all baptized by Felix, the branch mission leader and I was fortunate enough to go in the water and baptize Daniel Yankey. The spirit was so strong there at the Waters of Mormon and we had about 30 members come. It was an amazing experience and it will be the first of many in the Waters of Mormon. 

I want to talk a little bit about Ernest Boateng. August 11th, the Sunday he was baptized, was the month anniversary of meeting him in a bar! He was so prepared by the Lord and I am so excited to see what great things he does in the work.

On Saturday, we had to go to Takoradi to get some baptismal clothes. While we there we ate pizza!!! In America, it is not that big of a deal, but here pizza is hard to come by! It was 20 cedis for a "large" which is about the size of a medium. 20 cedis is about 10 dollars, but it was totally worth it. We had our friend Jude there and he said it was good, but "not as good as fufu" Hahah. This week was so great. It is crazy that the transfer is coming and Elder Harris is probably leaving... leaving me the big man in Agona...

Jacob 6:12 What more can I say? ("O be wise; what can I say more?")

Below are some pictures sent by the Branch Mission President, Jude Fiifi Yankson
Baptism Pictures

Pizza in Takoradi

Making fufu

Monday, August 5, 2013

Upcoming Baptisms

What a busy busy week! August has just started and it already feels like it will be ending soon. This week we tied the knot for a few people. The knot being BAPTISM. We have had a few people who have been ready for a while and had some things to iron out before they actually went to the water. But now, we should be having 5 people be baptized all at once on Sunday August 11. Most Agona has ever had at one time. So that is cool. Also we will be inaugurating the "Waters of Agona" which is basically a slow moving stream about 20 minutes walk from town. We had to jump through alot of hoops to get it approved including having the counselor to the mission president come with his wife and look at it. They were all down for it until a little kid mentioned there were snakes in it... He said "big snakes!" and then went on to show they were about the width of his finger. So we don't think it will be a big problem. The men in the branch will come this week and clean up and weed around it. It should be a nice service and it will be cool to say I have baptized in a river! 

My companion, Elder Harris, has the mission record of losing 90 pounds since he has been out. Whereas I am not going for any record, but just the shear walking around and sweating in the hot sun all day has made me lose 15 pounds already. Ghana will do that to a white man like me!

Everyday is teach teach teach. This week we talk 27 lessons and there was still some down time. My biggest effort is to try to lead as much as I can in the next few weeks because Elder Harris is most likely leaving, since he has been here for 10 months. I hope I stay here in Agona for a looong time! I am loving it!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Candy and a EMT in Ghana

Another great week. This one seemed to have just flown by in a flash. We spent most of the week getting ready our 4 investigators with a baptismal date and getting ready 2 more who are almost there. We started teaching a boy named Enoch who we met from our basketball activity. He is the first of many!! Maybe one of the most exciting events of the week was getting my first big package from home! Full of duct tape, candy and Superman. Some of the candy was Warheads and it is super funny to give them to the little Ghanaian kids. They say "Ah! It is spicy!!" Their faces contort as they try to act like they can handle it.

In the middle of a lesson (last week), a lady came in with bleeding abrasions on her legs and arms. She came just to get some alcohol to put on it but I lept into EMT mode and patched her up. I am carrying around a little first aid kit and I pray to help people as much as I can. This was an answer to my prayer! Half way through my second transfer and the work is going well!

2 Nephi 25:29
"And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Some Stories and thoughts

This week has been powerful. The Lord has definitely showed his hand (But not in a cool Brother of Jared kind of way but you know what I mean). Every Day is super busy and packed and not long enough for all the investigators Elder Harris and I have. Agona is so buzzed our branch now has exactly 90 members with 5-6 more coming in the next month. We will definitely hit a hundred soon. Recently we found out that we have been put on the list to get a building! For right now we are meeting in a an old school house. The deal for a building is to have over 80 members present each Sunday and 40% tithing for 2 years. So I will never see it is a missionary but it will come! The members are super excited about the work.

Our Mission President really stressing the importance of teaching lessons with a member present. This past weeks we had 26! In one day we had 11 lessons out of 9 hours of proselyting! I am very blessed with success. To put the name of the The Church out and bring people we thought about what we did to bring people at home: Basketball! We found an old tennis court with a stick and found a ring that could be a basketball hoop. So we asked around and prayed for someone who could weld a basketball hoop. Basically, through a big effort with some branch young men we have a hoop, a backboard, a pool and paint for the court. We should be putting it up soon. It should bring a lot of youth in just teaching them how to play and then inviting them to church! But don't worry Dad, it won't be like the baseball baptisms in England. These will be solid.

The other day we had a district activity and we watched a movie about The Willie Handcart Company called "17 Miracles. Wow, powerful movie. It is even cooler that it is about our ancestors. I would definitely suggest watching it. I hope you are all doing well! Ghana is a great place to be right now. It looks like you guys are having a fun. Summer has come. Do you guys have any summer plans? Don't have too much fun without me :). I hope letter writing is ok. I just don't have enough time for email.


In Ghana on the sides of streets there are gutters about 3 feet deep. They are kind of the worst plan ever because they just fill up with trash and urine and . . . other bodily excretes. Every once in a while there is enough rain that the gutters overflow and flood the street. One particular day we were caught in a especially bad storm in a city called Takoradi after a District Meeting. The water in the street was about 1-2 feet deep and just smelled terrible. But I am used to bad smells. We were walking on the "sidewalk" (A narrow strip next to shops) and we wanted to cross to the other street. We turned and at the last second some people shouted to stop and they were just laughing. Next moment we were 3 feet down in the gutter the water was a foul smelling brown now black death flowed up to the surface around us. Boy did we get out of there quick! The funniest part about it was all the people on the whole street was it coming and died laughing. The whole way down the street people were just laughing and I just did a little queen wave. I looked like "oh yeah. I totally meant to fall in that gutter".

Over the past few weeks I have been able to give and witness many baptismal invitations. They are my favorite because the spirit is so strong there. We have been fortunate not to have a no yet. But I have noticed there are three ways to say yes. The first is kind of like a "uh, of course!" They already know they want to be baptized and is an easy answer. The second is a reluctant yes. They say yes, but they really don't know if they want to or if it is right. I have only gotten one of those and they are disappointing a little bit and it just means we need to work with them more. The third is the best. It is when they pause, think about it and whisper a solid yes. That is when the spirit is the strongest and it si hitting them what they are saying yes to. I love teaching and giving the gospel to people. I love the transformation people have when they find the truth. This work is so true and I am so glad to be a part of it Everyone needs to go on a mission.


Alma 7:23-25 "And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works. And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with aAbraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments bspotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out.
Be humble, submissive, gentle, full of patience and long suffering, temperate, faithful, hopeful, always abounding in good works
Your garments will be made spotless
You can hang out with Isaac and abraham and Jacob and Gordon B. Hinkley and Joseph Smith and Ammon!

2 Nephi 31:10 (Shall we be willing to Keep The Commandments of the Father?)
"And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?"

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Poem

This was a great week. They keep passing by like seconds. This week I have been hearing a lot from people how they have been falling into temptation and having to repent. Because of all of that, I wrote this;

A bird was sitting overhead
and saw some juicy berries
He also saw a cunning fox
whose grin was wide and merry.

"Come down" schemed the fox
feeling mighty hungry,
But the bird thought hard and saw the jaws,
that really were quite deadly

"No no" chirpped the bird,
"for if I do, it definitly wont end good,
and everyone knows that a bird like I,
certainly makes good dog food.

"But oh, dear bird, it is not so, 
for I am quite the bird friend,
and just today I chose that I
wouldbe a vegetarian.

The bird thought once, 
the bird thought twice and saw the fruit so juicy
"I do not think I will come  down
till you are far more busy"

"Just try itonce, there is no harm
for all your friends have tried it,
and if you do , it will be like you
are on a no fruit diet"

The bird stopped to think a sec 
and took some time to ponder
"I think this fox can be a friend 
I'd say in him I have grown fonder

"I suppose that just for once I go
There is no harm in that"
And with a hop skip and a jump he flew,
his tiny wings did flap"

"Of course my friend,, Just come on down 
from you perch above,
and partake in you r hearts desire
the fruit I know youll love.

The ill-fated bird, the fruit he pecked
and ate the lot in bunches
while his friend the fox licked his lips
and thought of other lunches

The bird got snatched and in a flash 
our little tale has ended
the little bird greatly misjudged
the fox to be a good friend

And so to my friends, I say,
I urge you to be wary
for you should never once decend
and eat the tempters berries.

I have seen this in so many instances happen to great people who just get snatched in sin and are dragged down. The beautiful thing is that for us, God's children, we don't just have one chance. With repentance we can always be forgiven. One of the most amazing things I have seen here in Ghana is that God loves his children all over the world. The church is just as true 1000s of miles away. 

Alma 34:35 Don't procrastinate! 
"For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked."

I appreciate all the letters and the encouragement and support I am getting. Big Congrats to Jared Gillans and Kelsey... Gillans? for being able to get a wedding invitation all the way to Ghana! It made my 18 month companion who has someone writing him anxious. It was super funny. Thank you all!

Elder Riehle

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Baptism and First Basketball Practice

Yet again, another powerful week! Elder Harris and I had another baptism, a great man named Emmanuel Frimpong (which means Brave Man). He is a good friend of the first counselor of my branch and since the first lesson he has been telling us to hurry up and baptize him. Weeks ago he introduced himself as "Emmanuel- Church Member." It was great to have him finally baptized even though the water was only about 2 feet deep because of the power outages. Ghana is apparently the second best country for electrical power in Africa. I would hate to see other countries power... Agona lost power for about 2 days. At night, it gets very hot without a fan for ventilation. It made me appreciate electricity a bunch! 

In my last email, I mentioned that we met a man in a bar when we were checking on another investigator. The man we met was named Earnest and is probably the most intelligent Ghanaian I have met yet.  For everyone I have taught so far, we separate the Lessons into segments. So we teach them one principle at a time so that there is no confusion. This man however was just eager to learn the whole thing. We were with him for TWO whole hours because he kept asking and asking good questions and didn't want us to leave! He agreed to be baptized and he also wanted us to meet his whole family. Right time. Right place. It was amazing. 

On the way home from him (he lives about 45 minutes away) "Call Me Maybe" came on the radio in the taxi!! The funniest thing is that Elder Harris had never even heard of it because he has been out so long. While the taxi driver and I were rocking out, Elder Harris was pouting in the back. Its funny to me now, but I am sure all you guys will be rocking out to something over there and I will never know. Ignorance is Bliss. 

Early this week I finished the Book of Mormon. Every time I read it, it seriously gets better and better. Something you may or may not know about me is that... I talk in my sleep. Apparently the night I finished, I woke up my companion because he heard me saying "I know the Book of Mormon is true" and keep going. He said it was a really powerful testimony. I told him that I wish I had been there, I didn't remember anything about it at all! But sleeping Elder Riehle is right, I do know its true. 

This week was the first Agona-Nkwanta Basketball League practice! I have never been a basketball coach before and the only time I was taught to play was when I was 10. So my decision was I either teach these grown youth like 10 year olds or wing it. I winged it. I tried thinking of all the inspirational basketball movies like... Space Jam and think what cool things Michael Jordan said... Like  I said, I winged it. The guys had fun even though there were a lot of double dribbling and flying elbows. Good thing I am an EMT and I know how to patch up bloody noses, these guys aren't pros... yet! watch out NBA! The Agona Basketball League will be a big competitor! Its all fun. I love the work!

3 Nephi 27: 8- the church belongs to Christ so it is named for him too!
"And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Right Time, Right Place

This past week has been a week of miracles. I want to testify to the statement of being in the "Right place. Right time." But before I talk about that, I want to talk about Basketball! In my farewell talk I said that Basketball can be a missionary tool. I took that thought and Ghana-ized it! Where an old run down tennis court stood we replaced it with a brand new (hand made) basketball court. Elder Harris and I had the idea a while ago, but it has taken time to finalized the details. We had to get measurements of what size everything had to be. We found that we had to get a rim, back board, pole, paint, cement and the strength of youth (not the pamphlet) to do it. We got a welder in Takoradi to weld an 18 inch rim, and a back board and a pole here in Agona. 

We told our young men about it a few weeks ago and they were just ecstatic. They said they are going to invite all their friends. This Wednesday we all got together and served by weeding and cleaning up the land surrounding the court. Weed wackers and lawn mowers are just a dream in Ghana, it is all about giant 3 foot knives they call cutlass. They said, "In America, man use machine. In Ghana, man use strength." Trying to do manual labor next to these people is tough, mostly because they think Americans don't know how to work. But when they saw me chopping grass and digging a giant hole with my hands some of them stopped and said, "I have never seen an Obruni work so hard before." That's right. Redefining racial stereotypes, one chop at a time. 

After about 3 hours we transformed rundown tennis court to a clean, NCAA guideline approved Basketball court.  We will start on this coming Wednesday for the first Agona-Nkwanta Basketball League. The reaction when we tell people is usually super excited like "Basketball! Yes! I love playing Basketball!" but then they get more serious like "Wait. Basketball... I have never actually PLAYED basketball" So these first few times will be teaching. I am very excited to truly mesh Basketball and Missionary work. We are trying to think of a good name for the court. Kimbell Court, Utah Court or Riehle Court.... Its a work in progress.... The job of putting up a basketball hoop in the bush of Africa was surprisingly much easier than I thought it would be. Must be the will of the Lord. "Right time. Right Place." 

This week has been full of spiritually edifying experiences. On Friday, it was just one after the other. In the morning, Elder Harris was calling people in the morning setting up appointments. Accidentally he called a past investigator who wasn't very serious. It wasn't until after the call that he actually realized who he was talking to. So that day, we went to go talk to this already proven not serious person. He didn't remember anything we had taught him last time. We felt it right to teach the first lesson to him again. One of his colleagues was in the back of the shack watching tv. As the discussion went on and on, became more and more involved in the lesson. He started asking golden questions and became really interested. We collected his name and number and will be seeing him soon. Right place. Right time. 

A few days ago one of the couples missionaries was buying something and man came up to them and asked to be a part of their church. When we got the chance to talk to him he said "When I saw them and the name of the church on their nametag it was like God was shouting at him to talk to him. Right time. Right place. 

I remembered that one of our investigators was feeling sick, so I asked if we could stop by to see her. She wasn't there, but we talked to a man there. He said he had been taught by guys like us before and he had been looking for us since. Right time. Right place. 

We stopped to talk to a member at his shop. The same time we came, another member of the branch who hadn't come to church for a month was there and was desperately looking for the Branch President but had no idea where he lived. We were there at the Right time. Right place. We were able to help her with a big problem that she was facing and needed help immediately. If we hadn't of been there at that time. That place. She could be in danger of her life. I testify as a servant of the Lord that you don't always know the impact you have on other people's life. If you follow the promptings of the spirit he will guide you to be in that Right time Right place to be there when someone needs you most. If nothing else, I have learned the importance of being worthy of Spirit. Live in Faith. All will be worth it.

Ether 4:11. Belief-> Spirit-> Knowledge 
"But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mission Life

The work is going so well here in Agona. We had yet another baptism this week. His name is Benjamin and he is a miner. His job is he runs down a really deep hole, lights a piece of dynamite and gets out as fast as he can before it goes off. I just hope he has a chance to be a new convert without being blown to pieces. We can pray. He also can rap… in Fante. So you may or may not be hearing about the Ghanaian and LDS Missionary rapping and beatboxing about the gospel. It happened. 

Elder Harris and I are going strong. Wake up, get to work, eat fufu, keep working, go to bed and repeat. It’s the good life though. There is nothing else I would want to do. For the month of July, we should be having 4 more baptisms and 4 or 5 more in the works. I am so blessed to be in a place where the people have been prepared for me to come. So Blessed. 

I have had some interesting food experiences here in Ghana. Shark, snails, alligator and fish head to name a few. All of those have a very good reason why they are uncommon. They are truly weird. 

One of the best parts about the missionary life is the time to study! The scriptures have never been so clear to me in my life and I read almost 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon a day. I started in the MTC and I got to 3 Nephi 11 today. This go around I have been tracking the pride cycle and how many times it loops. It is very interesting to see. I am glad that I am a part of the work and that I am not getting stoned and beaten when I go to the Lamanites… Once again. Blessed! 

The teaching is going so well, sometimes up to 10 lessons a day. The highest I have had has been 12 in one day. It was so worth it. This past week I got to go to the beach and witnessed God heal a man (Helaman?) All and All it has been a good week.

Well I thank all those who have been reading my blog and I definitely feel the love. But I realized that I have not yet bared my testimony. I just want you to know that I have one. A wise man in the Book of Mormon once said some profound words, “Oh be wise, what can I say more?” (Jacob 6:12) Short. Sweet.  And perhaps foundation to my testimony. It all rests on the word Wise. It doesn’t say “Smart” or “Knowledgeable,” it stresses Wisdom. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a wise way to live your life. “Don’t Kill.” Cool. “Have Faith.” Sweet. It just makes sense. The Almighty Creator, omnipotent father of the world who knows every person on this Earth loves me specifically. He has given me an opportunity to live with my family forever. He sent his only Begotten Son to die for me and a Comforter that can tell me the truth of all things. With a possibility of that being true, why wouldn’t you believe. For me, Elder Harrison Riehle, believe is not an adequate term. Know. I Know that I have left the comfort of my home and family to come to a foreign land where they don’t even usually speak the same language as me, for the Lord. He has a plan for me and who am I not to follow it? He wants me to be here where I can tell everyone the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that the truth has been restored again to the Earth. The invitation is there for everyone. I love Ghana. I love the Church.

Scripture of the Week
1 Peter 2:17 "Honour all men. Love the Brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King."

Baptism #3 
I am helping our new convert Grace pound fufu. 
The picture was taken while I didn't have the pestle, but you can see how it works. It is really tiring.
Benjamin has the tie in the middle. Benjamin has the tie in the middle. Everyone is either members or will be soon. Left to right Elder Harris, Harriet Mensah (Branch President's Daughter), Robert (owner of a bar... Working on teaching Word of Wisdom. Will be baptized next month), Benjamin, Brother Mensah (Branch 2nd Counselor), Joseph (Fixes tvs, will be baptized next month), Koby (Benjamin's senior brother, will be baptized soon), Daniel (Benjamin's apprentice, will be baptized next month), Delois (wife of man below her, Daniel, Will be baptized in August), Bottom. Felix (Branch Mission leader, working on his mission papers) and Daniel (husband of Delois) It's a sweet little ward, but they have to pay 3 Cedis to come to baptisms in Takoradi which is a big sacrifice. We are looking at a small river in Agona to baptize in and it just needs to be approved by the mission.

Opening a coconut with a 2 foot machete! 
Don't worry. All my fingers are still intact
My lunch one day! A coconut I opened by myself! 
Coconuts are so much better fresh that dry. 
The water is almost carbonated like a soda and the meat is super soft and delicious.

Elder Harris and I on the Beach in Dixcove.

Me, Elder Harris, Investigator Danny and I. I just thought this was a hilarious picture.

Ghanian Phrases

It's great to hear that life is still happening! CTP is definitely a way the Lord has used to humble me and to tell me "No silly. You don't know everything" haha It has been nice. That is great you are going out with the Elders at home. To sound really cool to the Ghanaian guy here are things to say

Eta Sen? --Eye
how are you -- Fine
Apome --Nymadim
How are you-- By Gods Grace
Beboni kyewing gum fam wo nim
(Black person) There is chewing gum on your face

There is an explanation. I swear. hahaha Out here there are nooot many Obrunies (white people) around. Apparently at some point in Ghana history there was a white man who sat down on a chair with gum on it and he cursed white people for time and all eternity. Everywhere we go, every kid, seriously every single kid in Ghana, knows the saying, Obruni Kyewing gum fam wo to (White man there is gum on your butt) We get it everywhere we go!! Chanted over and over and over! And I have checked! There is no gum on my butt! Not once! So we always reply that they have gum on their face and they die laughing and can't even handle themselves. It is pretty funny. 

I wish we could give out more Book of Mormons, but it would be a waste. If we went on a street corner and tried to give them out it would be like saying "Hey! Everybody! Free book you can use as toilet paper!" And that is what it would be used as. It might work 1 out of 10, but right now we only have 10 Book of Mormons so it isn't worth the risk. Cape Coast Mission is an interesting story. It is on the rebound of being a very disobedient mission. I don't know if there is a cause and effect, but this mission is very short in supplies. Next transfer, we only have one planner to share as a companionship and we are running low on lots of the pamphlets and baptismal records. I hope the day doesn't come where we run out. (So if you want to "borrow" some from the Franconia Elders, it would be for a good cause hahaha.

One day Agona will be on the map. I have been drawing out a map on paper and its working. I just wondered what it looked like from the air. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where is Elder Riehle?

Frequently asked questions. Answered by his mother.

Where is Elder Riehle?
Elder Riehle arrived on his mission in Ghana on May 17. He spent 12 days in the Missionary Training Center in Accra and then was sent to the town of Agona-Nkwanta not far from Takoradi to serve. His mission covers the southwestern area of Ghana. Attached is a map showing where Takoradi is located. 

What language is he speaking?
He will be speaking English on his mission, but he was learning a few phrases in Twi before he left, and may pick up more during his two years in Ghana. He is also currently learning some words in Fante.

Is he alone?
He is assigned a companion (currently Elder Harris) who has been in the mission for a longer time and who will help him learn what to do and stay with him at all times. About every six weeks they will have transfers when he might change areas or companions. The mission is very organized and he will be reporting regularly to his mission president.

Will he be coming home to visit?
He will not come home during his two year mission. He will stay in Ghana and focus on serving and teaching about Christ. He will call home only on Christmas and Mother's Day, but writes letters and e-mails once a week.

Can we write him?
He loves to hear from family and friends. Please be aware that he has very little email time so he may not be able to email you back. We are posting all his letters and pictures here for everyone to read. He can receive email, or regular postage mail. 

Elder Harrison Riehle
Ghana Cape Coast Mission
PMB CC 1385
Cape Coast, Ghana

There is also an option to send him "pouch mail" and use a regular US stamp. This must be one sheet of paper, folded into three panels and taped at the top. There must be return address in the left hand corner.

Elder Harrison Riehle
Chana Cape Coast Mission
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More Pictures

Some African children and me

A small girl in the hallway of our chapel.

 I had another baptism this week! My companion, Elder Harris and I with Baptism #2! Her name is Grace Diamewu (holding the baby, Abigail) She was baptized by her husband Henry. 

A picture from our second family home evening. We had about 15 people there, members and investigators. Our lesson comprised of Elder Harris reading the Story of Nephi out of the child story book and me making balloon props. Laban was killed by Nephi with the (Balloon) Sword of Laban. Then we played Rocks (a variation of the game Spoons, played with cards, but instead of spoons we use rocks) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Prepare for a Mission

Dear Family,

Whereas this letter is addressed to Cole, it is not private and has stuff that could not fit in your letter.  Consider this as another set of plates that adds to the knowledge you have and is still the word of…me.  I still don’t have his address. but I will email him for it today.  Feel free to put any of this on the blog.  I lovest thou.  I hope all is going well.  It sure is over here. 


17 June

Dear Cole, [who is leaving shortly for a mission in Korea]

I am writing you a letter because I can take my time and tell you stuff instead of my spazzy hour of email.  You can email me back though.  And, yes, I will read it even if it is long.  I can suffer for the greater good.  I have actually been reading a lot lately.  I have read half of the Book of Mormon [again]!  Personal study time is legendary. 

So right now I am in a teeny town called Agona-Nkwanta.  But everybody just calls it Agona. 

No matter what people tell you about missions, I know you best.  If you are anything like me (which I think we have established you are) you are totally prepared.  Knowledge of scriptures; willing to be spiritual; confident in talking to people.  The whole package.  For those things, the mission has not been hard at all.  Keep preparing.  Oh, yes, but use your time wisely.  So far I have been very, very blessed with a receptive area and branch, a great trainer, super prepared people that are super to teach.  Super blessed.  The biggest thing I wish I had studied more about was culture.  Dude, talk to every Korean you see.  Don’t be scared.  Just do it.  Start talking about where they are from, what it’s like, differences to America.  I am a very adaptable guy, so it has not been a big challenge (yet…now that I say that, God will trial the crap out of me).  But it would have made me hit the ground running better. 

Basically, I learned really well how to “America” teach and how to talk to Americans about the gospel.  Ghana teaching is completely different.  A big piece of advice for you is to study the pamphlets: Restoration [The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ], POS [Plan of Salvation], GOC [The Gospel of Jesus Christ].  Those.  They break down all that you need to teach. 

In America, you teach the full restoration lesson all at once, and people can follow you.  Not in Ghana.  I am farrr out in the bush, which [is] basically Ghana hillbilly town.  People are not very well educated and mainly speak a language close to Twi called Fante.  Some of them never really learn English that well and don’t have a good attitude on life.  They think, “Oh, I am poor so I will never amount to anything, so I might as well not try…  But hey, at least I love Jesus.”  

There is a big misconception about the LDS church that is when you join, you get money and be rich!  And it is kind of true.  All the members in my 90-member branch work very hard and have come a long way, but are now quite successful and happy.  The church doesn’t make you rich, it teaches you that you have unlimited potential and [can] do anything you want with your life.  Kolob is the limit! 

When we start to teach someone, we don’t start teaching doctrine and restoration at all.  We start with CTP, or Covenant Training Program.  Every single person in Ghana loves Jesus.  As missionaries we could preach to every person in our town about Jesus and about restoration and make them all promise to come to church and they would definitely stand there and listen.  But they would never come to church or actually want to change.  We could baptize everybody!  But no one would be serious.  People just call us on the street “Obrunis, bra, (white guys, come) preach to me.”  CTP is a way we can see if they are actually serious.  We teach them about promises and how God is sad when they don’t keep promises, and then give them one topic to read in the Restoration pamphlet and a question in the back and send them off.  When we meet them gain, we check their promise and if they didn’t do it, we tell them to call us when they finish and be done with them.  They will always say, “I will call you, God willing.”  Apparently, their god doesn’t will them to learn of the true restored gospel because they never call back.  If they do finish the promise, we start teaching them one principle at a time:  God, prophets, Christ, apostasy, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  It can take a long time because there are 2 whole lessons, Plan of Salvation is split into 3, Gospel of Jesus Christ into 2 or more, then the commandments, which is usually 4 or more times, depending on their needs.  So before anyone can be baptized we have to teach them all those lessons one at a time.  So at [least] 15 lessons.   That’s how we separate the sheep and the goats. 

And it works.  All the new converts are spiritual studs.  Already this month we have 2 baptisms.  I got to baptize the first one, a boy named Valentine.  And I got to confirm the second one, a lady named Grace.  I have already had a lot of awesome experiences. 

Here is my month long wisdom advice:

--Study Preach My Gospel.  After the lessons, “Using Time Wisely” (chap 8) and “Teaching Skills” (chap 10), memorize pages 176-177 and “Your Purpose” (page 1).
--Study The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Find scriptures; find life examples.
--Study Alma 1-29: Alma, Ammon, and Sons of Mosiah.
--Culture and language!  Start with greetings.  Then learn easy words in the lessons: faith, repentance, God, Jesus.
--Bring pictures: family, friends, good times, me—mostly just me.  Not to be trunky or home sick but for motivation. 
--Find out what you can’t get there and treasure it.  For me, I can’t get sticky notes, quality scripture markers, or chocolate. 
--Mark and know a bunch of scriptures you can use in lessons.  I love stick notes for tads.  You can flip to them fast and be cool
--Mission supplies.  Stock up if you can on pass along cards, planners, and pamphlets.  You never know how much you’ll have. 

I pray for you, man.  Korean is not easy.  A lot of the vehicles here are Korean rejects so I see Korean all the time.   I am thinking about you and wishing the best.  I hope you love your time in the MTC.  It only gets better in the field.  Never lower your expectations.  Know you are better than sin and pride. 

Your brother in the Lord,

Elder Riehle


Sweet scriptures for Elder Rosenberg:

Alma 17:2 (classic)
Alma 18 (attributes of a good missionary)
Alma 8:10 (our goal to be said of us)
Alma 2:30 (what our attitude should be)
John 5:39 (notice the scriptures never say “read”)
John 10:16 à 3 Nephi 15:21 (just too cool)
John 15:16 (you have been chosen)
Acts 7:55 (Godhead are separate in the Bible)
3 Nephi 18:21 (pray in your families)
Moroni 10:23 (2 years isn’t that long)
D&C 4 + 13 (memorize if you haven’t already, in Korean)
D&C 43:15-17 (teach, don’t be taught)
D&C 50:13-15 (preach my gospel!)
D&C 84:85 (treasure up these scriptures)

These are just some I have.  Personal study is awesome.  Treasure it!  Stay strong.