Monday, January 27, 2014

I get knocked down, But I get back up again!

Times are tough in the mission of Elder Riehle. I have learned so much of the importance of companionship unity. When it is not there, the Spirit runs away faster than a Ghanaian child seeing a White man for the first time. (That means Really fast.)

We had the pleasure of hearing from our President this week on what it means to be a Consecrated Missionary. Give all your heart, might, mind and strength. But it really applies to everyone. As for me, I have been called and asked to give ALL my time and effort for the work of the Lord. As for most people, that is not the case. This week one of our recent converts was called as the 2nd councilor in the Relief Society. It was so amazing that just hours before she got the call from Bishop, we had just taught her a lesson about callings and committed her to accept one when she is called. It is so nice to have the Spirit on my side. I didn't know that she was going to be called, but God did. And he made sure to let me know. So in all that we have been called to do, whether bishop, Sunday school teacher, mother or father, we have to give our all and Do Your Best. Just like in the Good old Cub Scout days.

We had a long time investigator, who is so sincere and so ready, who had a date to be baptized this week, have to be pushed back up to 6 weeks because of transgressions in the past. It was hard for him at first but it really showed him the MAGNITUDE of the covenant of baptism. We can't just be sinning one week and decide to be baptized the next. Repentance truly is the second principle of the gospel and it must be done to the fullness possible. 6 weeks will be a long time for him, but he will truly have the mighty change of heart that the Book of Mormon talks about. 

Everyone has their time and this week is my father/trainer, Elder Harris's last week in the country he loves so much. He was such a great example to me and I am sad to see him leave. But the Lord only calls us for the Best Two Years and not any more. Ghana will loose a little bit of light, but I hope I can grow enough to be as bright as he was.

1 Peter 3- If ye are reproached for righteousness, Happy are ye! If ye suffer for the name of Christ, Happy are ye!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Super 8

The time for being 8 months has come! Not that I am counting. It is just that ties are really cheap here and I restrict myself to getting a new tie once a month! 

This week was pretty good. Always the few ups and downs. The village is continuing to prosper and flourish! The more effort you put in the more you get out!! We have been finding people that have been taught by the missionaries before, but don't remember ANYTHING so we are just trying to  get past the language challenges and the education challenges and teach veerrry simply. The people are so smart with what they have. They have HUGE farms that the only tool the use to cultivate is a sword. You go guys! This week I got to go out with the big Ghana Machetes and collect fire wood for about an hour for an investigator who is not very serious with our message. Usually we come and she says the is too busy and that we should wait. We wait for some time and awkwardly get up and say we'll comeback another time. But NOPE! Not this time! We went and worked for her for an hour (in the 150 degree sun) and came back to teach her and she humbly pulled up chairs and waited for what we had to say. Thats right! Take that! Service in your face!

All the Elders in my district all stay in one apartment. Last P-day we planned a water pistol ambush for some of the elders in the district. They walked out of their room and Bam! The water fight commenced. We did it mostly because the power was off and none of the fans worked. And don't worry, we worked hard for the rest of the day.

The work is divine and we are working hard!
Elder Riehle


Pic 1- What a lot of my area looks like! Barren hills!

Pic 3- The road to Eshiem

Pic 2- Super Kid!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Village Life!

Being in village with 200 people in it is definitely a different style of missionary work. With missionaries going there for the past year, EVERYONE has been talked to and taught. Going here, so many people said, "Its a dead area, there is no hope there." Other missionaries may have been there, but Elder Riehle hasn't! As I am sometimes called, Ohiniba Abeiku! Meaning, "Cheif-son Born-on-Wednesday." All you need is hope and optimism and the Lord provides! This week in Eshiem was awesome! The past few weeks we would be there for 2 hours and have NOTHING to do and just walk around talking to people for hours. But this Sunday, a return missionary and I got there at nine for church and we were busy till 7! We are the first missionaries in months to really be trying at all there and we are gaining the members trust and referrals are popping out everywhere! We got fed three times and even taught the chief! 

I have been thinking a lot about personal salvation this week. God only cares how much I do and how obedient I am and how hard I work. The life and choices of others can't affect my salvation. That is the glory of Agency. Making choices is the reason we came to this earth, so if there is ever a time you find yourself off the path, choose to come back. Choose to make today a great day, Choose to live a Celestial life. Through our outlook and optimism in life will affect how we work and how we live. So Choose today to be awesome and just do what God says.

This week someone looked at me and said I look like Tom Cruise. I'll take that as a compliment. That goes along with the being called Jesus a few weeks ago, all and all, peeps dig me!

2 Nephi 2:27 Choose to have joy!
"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hot and Cocoa. Not Hot Cocoa

My new apartment has its ups and downs,

but a serious UP is that it is next to one of the largest Cocoa refining factories in Ghana! So everyday coming and going from home we get a blast of delicious Hot and Cocoa air. Delicious.

The work is moving surely and steadily, But still on the climb. Still only have about 2 serious investigators and a lot of just 'buddies' who like the missionaries, but just have no interest in our message. Working on it. We had these 2 investigators having a baptismal date for this weekend, but because of some issues it has to be pushed... for a while. It is a sweet couple and the woman comes from the eastern part of Ghana where her family believes in the "traditional beliefs" or Juju. Basically Devil worshiping. Basically just problems. 
Pic 1- My fresh companion and our fresh cuts.

I got my first Ghana haircut this week! My companion is all about looking fresh.. So now... I am something like that.. The Ghanaians absolutely LOVE it. "Wow you are so handsome" "your hair is too fresh." Uh.. Ok. As Long as it helps in the work!

Pic 2- Typical service in my superman shirt pounding plantains!
Teaching is a little on the slow side, so we are doing everything we can to keep busy! The ward was having a big party on Saturday and we spent the whole morning making all the food! Everyone was so surprised the white guy could do anything. They would ask, "Do you have onions in your country?" "Uh.. yes" "How about tomatoes? chicken? fish? rice?" "Of course! You do know we live on the same planet, right?" Sometimes, only a sparse few times, have I had to inform people that No, America is not in the clouds... Basically, everyday is full of surprises.

D&C 100- God promises to bless families with missionaries! 

Elder Riehle
Pic 3- Steps made carved out of a hill. Typical in Peanut town.