Monday, September 29, 2014

God makes dreams come true.

This has been the fastest FOUR WEEKS in Agona Swedru ever. Saturday evening I got the call from the assistants. I am going to a NEW area where four of us are going to OPEN the church in a town called Dunkwa. I have known about the potential opening of the branch for a while now and have been hoping and praying to go there. And it came true! I am go to be the district leader for a four man district with my past Ghanaian companion, Elder Bannerman and my MT Elder Moffit and one of the missionaries that was evacuated from the Sierra Leone mission because of Ebola. The crazy thing about this place is that it is on the very edge of the mission . The people have been traveling to Obuasi, which is in the Kumasi mission but reside in the Cape Coast mission. So it became a problem of boundaries. They should be in GCCM but they are TWO HOURS away from any other Church congregation. So they are sending us up there and we won't be seeing other missionaries for a long time. Funny thing is that I am going back to my old Zone with all my old peeps in it and my old Companion too! Elder Bannerman and I might even be able to go and visit our are together. Basically, God knows how amazing and super excited I am for this call. We will be pioneers of the church in a big town in Ghana. I am so blessed and honored.

I have been thinking alot about my exactly one month here in Swedru. What was my purpose? I didn't even have a single baptism of progressing investigator. Does that make me unsuccsessful? The beautiful thing about this work is that success is not measured on the number of baptisms and investigators but on the QUALITY of work. It has been so hard the past few weeks seeing all of the potential contacts and investigators who really have promise... living out of my area and having to hand them over to other Elders. It has happened 4 times and 3 of them have dates. Did I have any baptism? But are souls saved from the work that I have tried to give my HEART AND A WILLING MIND to do? Yes. That is what our Lord looks at. We are all working for the same church, same gospel and same salvation. Whether Ghana, Korea, Japan or Brazil, we are for the same Lord and Creator.

This work is so divine.

It is also divine that I am being transfered at this time because Electrical Transformer for the whole city of Swedru just BLEW UP. It is a good 20 miles away from where we were and we saw the sky lit up with red, blue and green. Power is expected to be out for 2 weeks to 6 months. Basically from those figures- no one knows when it will come back. But I am going to Dunkwa!! an hour from the Capital of Kente!!

Elder Riehle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Melchizedek, Prophet, Amazing, and Kolob

Once again, What do all these things have in common? Rack your brains! The answer is at the end of the email!

It has been an adventurous past weeks here in Agona Swedru! We are finding more investigators and more members and more creative ways to do the work! One of the members we have met is named Brother Nash. He is such a solid member with a great testimony! He joined the church in Ukraine a loooong time ago when he confronted the missionaries trying to prove them wrong. he has been through many trials in his life including getting into an accident and loosing his right arm and leg. He is home bound and has read every book ever-in English and Russian. We have visited him a few times and he has taught me the strength of testimony through hard trials. (Elder Judy- His place doesn't smell thaaat bad)

Last week we had the oppurtunity to has Elder LeGrand R Curtis Jr. of the Seventy come for a mission tour. He is the Area Presidency for all of West Africa Area. He gave us some great instruction and told us the whole situation of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Lord's hand was in everything that the Church did to save the missionaries. Not a single one was hurt. The Lord loves his missionaries.

A whole year has gone by since we got our Non-Citizen Residence cards. So it was time for them to be refilled. For those of us in the Swedru and Winneba Zones, they found it was more cost effective for us, instead of going to Takoradi, but to go to.... wait for itttttt... ACCRA!! Yeah! We got to go to Accra! It was pretty much the first time ever that a group of missionaries got to go to Accra except for coming or going home or if sick. So... Basically a big deal. We go to go to the temple (not in, just pictures) and see Accra! Three small world things happened there. First, I saw my first Zone Leader from Nigeria who went home a loong time ago. Second, I got to see my past companion's, Elder Bannerman, Dad! He is a Gate gaurd for the temple. And third, while I was talking to some members, I found out some were from Kumasi. I went on a limb and asked if they knew Elder Seyoum.... and they did! He was just being transfered from their ward! They called him up right then and there and I got to talk to him. Elder Seyoum- We are going to ENJOY we went get home. It is a small small world!

This monday, we had a beach party at Winneba and.... I learned a valuable lesson. There are many ways to kill a cat. but the best way is puting it in a bag and wacking it against a wall a few times. Cat tastes very good! 

The answer is..... They are all names of Children I have met in the last 2 weeks! Yes, I seriously met a baby named Kolob. 

Also on a serious note. An Elder in our mission's sister just died of Ebolla in Sierra Leone. These are real people over here. Keep them in your prayers that this ends quickly. 

Elder Riehle

Pictures from Accra Trip

Pictures from our cat feast!

Monday, September 8, 2014

White wash and Hog Slaughtering

So I am here now in a town Agona Swedru, a large city in Central Region. It really is... large. But I guess, anything is big compared to my village, Nyenasi!  But in this town alone there are 10 missionaries and 2 wards! 6 in my ward and 4 in the other. My companion Elder Egunza and I are white washing a new area, a previous area which was massive in to two halves. I see what you mean now Elder Judy. It is big. Even split in half, it still takes about 45 minutes to walk to one end and 30 minutes from top to bottom. SO MANY PEOPLE. and the craziest thing is EVERYONE SPEAKS ENGLISH. You cant realize how big of a deal that is. I can seriously talk to every person I see. With great power comes great responsibility. With that in mind, we already contacted 50 people in 4 days!

God has blessed me so much in my areas with amazing young men. Everyday this week a YSA Justus has helped us. Every single day. It has been amazing, we have no idea about anything in the area and he has showed us everything. He already feels like the third member of the companionship and when referring to our proselyting area he says, "our area" and "our goals". We are so blessed to have him!

I am also very lucky to have two Fijians in my district! One in my apartment. In this mission, Polys means... PIGS! So today we bought a good sized pig and roasted it. Oh. And important detail. I was the one who did the killing. Elder Bolabasaga and Naivanwalu told me what to do and I went for it! Straight for the heart. First time I missed but second I got it dead on. Full pig roasted over a fire is so so sweet. And now I know how to slaughter an gut a pig. Mission is an amazing experience.

I am loving life being able to talk to everyone! It is the promise of the Lord. If we open our mouth- It shall be filled!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Time Has Come

I have spent 6 months in my lovely village, Nyenasi. Many tears have been shed as I have been telling people that I will be leaving to Swedru on Wednesday.

I have learned so many things in this town and I am so sad to leave it. I will miss knowing everyone's names and everyone calling out my name when we walk by. Sometimes it has been hard to get from place to place with all the people we have to greet along the way. We have moved mountains with member-missionary relationships and with working with a wonderful family. I have been able to see and learn so many things.

I have learned how to go a farm with out modern tools and technology!

I have planted, harvested and a whole lot of weeding with cutlases. I have even learned some of the local uses for plants, the right one for ropes, for bandages and for whistling.

I have learned how to shoot a slingshot to kill things and then eat them!

I have learned how to catch squirrels with my bear hands... and then eat them too. My Squirrel count is four. And only one bit me.

Still on the eating thing, I have had so many different weird meats. I have emailed some of them. Dog, Rat, Grasscutter, Bush possum thing, and Alligator.

I have seen 4 out of 5 of the surrounding villages perhaps being the first White man some of these people have seen!

I have learned so much more how to speak Twi. There are so many times that the Lord has helped me to get across a message that I couldn't by my own power. I have even started to read the Book of Mormon in Twi and understand it!

I have learned the power of members. With out them there is no work.

I have learned to Love members. So of the best friends of my life are here. The biggest one is a recent convert, Michael. Wow. I have seen him grow so much. Now he WANTS to come with us every day and we can say, "hey Michael, tell this lady about the church." Then he goes off to her about Apostasy, Joseph Smith and sometimes Book of Mormon. I love these people. I have given them my heart and they have given me ALOT of Banku. I have gained weight here.

I have learned that even when it is hard and we don't have anyone to teach- there is still some one to teach.

I didn't come to learn this here, but I continued to learn that this work truly is divine. The Book of Mormon is too much true. I love it so much.

I will be going to Swedru white washing with an Elder in my currant district. From same District to companions. Doesn't happen very often but Elder Egunza from Kenya and I are just unique.

Being transferred hopefully means more emails and maybe even pictures! But I don't know. We'll see ;)
Wow I totally forgot to add to the big email that we had a baptism this week!! The past month we have been working on a certain family who the father is a member but the family isn't. The mother loves us but doesn't want to come to church. This week we baptized some of the children and the mother came and watched. It was a beautiful miracle that rewarded us for a lot of hard work and time. Families can be Forever. So great!