Monday, February 24, 2014

It's a Me-Eat-Dog World

Every day I see new things and find a new part of Ghana that I hadn't seen before! This week I got to try dog! Now I can say that I really went to Ghana. That is added to my list of dolphin, shark and rat. I seem to still be alive...

This week was again just another week of Ghana ups and downs. Our investigators are on it and the members are as always giving their well intentioned support.

This Saturday, I got a call from the Bishop asking if I could speak in sacrament meeting for a "missionary moment for 10 minutes." It is not really normal, but it was a fun little try. I started with the prepared notes I had speaking.. well.. English. The only language I can really speak. And I could see heads bobbing and other heads turned to the windows listening to the loud drum beats coming from the Church across the street. I realized I needed to change something to put some umph into the meeting. How about a white guy speaking a scarce African Dialect? That should do it. So I went off script and just started saying the things I know how to say. I bore my testimony, talked about missionary work and invited them to be missionaries themselves... Or at least I think I did... The Spirit worked its stuff and the message was put across.

This week I got the sweet news that my favorite older sister, Alex, is engaged to my new brother, Logan. It will be happening while I am still gone and it has really hit me that... Life moves on with out me! I mean everyone knows that I am the center of the universe, but I guess it still means that they can still live their life. I will never ever be a little kid playing with my sister in the playroom ever again. Life is so short and so precious. We have to live to our full potential everyday! We have no time to waste. How lucky am I to have 2 whole years to serve the Lord. What a lucky, blessed (and modest) guy I am! 

Live life in the fullest. Everyday is a new day.

Colossians 3:23- Live your live for God- Not man!
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

As all of our favorite fish, Dori, says, "Just keep swimming!" Whether deep sea fish with big teeth or sharks or jelly fish or seagulls or whatever! Just keep swimming!!

This week was, as the Ghanaians say, small small. Not to much happened. Not that there wasn't plenty work and sweating and spirit and love, but none too noteworthy. For Valentines day this week I celebrated by eating a pancake. Not just any pancake, but a pink pancake!! But as a missionary serving God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, that was all the Valentine love we get. 

This week I was reading in a Liahona that said that this year's motto is in Moroni's final exhortations before he buried his record for 1000s of years. What a better way to end The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ then by inviting all that read to "Come unto Christ and be perfected in him." Perfection seems pretty nice. That would get rid of a bunch of problems and make life all around easier. All I have to do to be perfect is Come unto Christ? That's not too hard. Well, it is hard, but it is worth it. Coming unto Christ is the most important and influential path that we as God's children can ever walk on. As we come closer to the Master, we may not have complete perfection but we will grow in testimony and in understanding of trials. What better day than today to start on the quest? Start today. Come unto Christ.

Moroni 10:32
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

1- Me making the traditional Ghana fish baskets!

THE COOLEST GHANAIAN KID I HAVE MET. I was sitting next to him waiting for someone and he turned to me and said, in perfect English (which doesn't happen much) and said "Do you about Superman?" So for the next 20 minutes of waiting we talked about Superman and other superheros. Of course Jesus came up as the best Superhero. So of course we also had to pose for a picture as Ninjas. that just seemed right.

Next time you are snacking on a Chocolate chip cookie you can know the origin of the Cocoa you are eating! The pods grow right off the trunk and when they are ripe they turn bright Yellow!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Humble Lion in the Hood

One of my  member buddies liked to rap and that little gem came out one time.

I can truthfully say that there is room for improvement here. Perhaps not the best it can be, but that's just life. And sometimes in life, God throws something hard at you to see how you react. That's where I am right now, in the middle of God's test to me and it is up to me and only me to pass. Humility is rewarded by God, but not by man. It's not easy.

This weekend there was a funeral for a church member in Esheim. There was just big parties all day and lots of loud music and old ladies dancing funny. Ghana funerals are definitly a sight!! The good thing about them are that family from all around come, for Friday, Saturday.... and Sunday!! And Sunday means Church!! So with all the family and friends that were visiting we had about 20 investigators in Gospel Principals class!!! Every chair was full to the brim. I don't know how many will come back again, but now they can firmly say that Latter-day Saints don't have any blood sacrifices and spirit chantings... So thats still a plus!

We found ways to serve this week. As we were coming into Esheim a old old man was making traditional Ghanaian fish catching baskets. So guess who now knows how to make traditional Ghanaian fish catching baskets? Thats right!! Me! They call them something like Toris... or something and they are made from a part of a palm tree. I got to talk to the man and teach him the gospel small and all parties were happy.

Today, we had a zone service activity where we filled in the patches on a road on a hill and weeded the side. So for a good hour I went head to head with a sword against the oncoming weeds. Elder Riehle- 1, Ghana Vegetation- 0. It was great to see the apprection (and shock) from all the people walking by. Everyone except for the rich pastor in his shiny car who said that all of Ghana's problems are caused by white people and fixing a road doesn't help anything. In return, I said "For me I know that when we are in the service of our fellow beings we are in the service of your God." Crazy guy doesn't even know I quoted scripture at him!

As a final story, I smelled cheese this week. You might not think that is a big deal... but it is. Elder Wamono and I just stood and smelled for a long time. I have no idea where it came from, but all that can be said is that God blesses his servants in his own time and own way.

D&C 58:4- For after much tribulation comes blessings
"For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."

Elder Riehle

Monday, February 3, 2014

Short on time this week!

This week was a very odd week in that... no missionary work was done. My companion was sick and we were unable to go out. So for the whole week I had to find stuff to do all week. I learned how to cut my hair, play harmonica, made brownies and pizza (on a oven) and read a whole gospel book, listened to a whole 8 hour talk, and redecorated the appartment. Ie I was really bored. But I grew in knowledge and skills that will help me as a missionary!

Transfers came and I am staying in Nketsiekrom with Elder Wamono.

Praying for you all!

Elder Riehle