Monday, December 29, 2014

Boxing Day Baptism

A Crazy busy week preparing for the first group Party, Christmas day and our second baptism. Alot of our time was chopped with interviews and setting up for the party. The member who was asked to be in charge of the Christmas Eve party is a GIANT policeman who has been a member for about 7 years named Patrick. To show how massive this guy is he said while our planning, 'Even when I sleep I think about gyming.'  He uses his bigness to get things done and the party was a sucess. We watched some of the new church videos on Christmas. OUR CHURCH IS SO GOOD AT VIDEOS. If you havent seen them yet, watch them. and then #SharetheGift. The Church is going serious online. 
And thanks to the fam for sending sweet decorations. Our drinking bar we are meeting in for a chapel was transformed into a Christmas wonderland!

Christmas is only good when you are with people. Seeing smiles and love is better than any gift. There is a family, the Essiens,  who is having serious financial issues and Christmas morning we invited ourselves over with wrapped presents and food, and pumpkin pie (thanks for this one too!) and a Christmas tree. The father said it was the best Christmas his family had ever had. That is what Christmas is alll about.

Friday, the 26th, Boxing Day, was our baptism. Another 7 prepared souls. In one transfer, we almost doubled the members of our group. We now have a whopping 39 members and an average of 60 attendance every Sunday!! Today, the couple missionaries came and we settled everything it will take to become a branch. They say by the beginning of 2015, our chapel should be finished, we will be a branch and even next week, 3 more missionaries will be coming making 8! Any more and we will be our own zone! The Lord has prepared this place for his work to flourish. 

During the time we were able to proselyte this week, it hit me how important the sacrament was. We invited a great investigator to come to church this week and she said that her church was having a a special program this week. I said, "Wow! We will be having a special program this week too! We will be partaking of the sacred emblems of Jesus Christ and renewing our covenants with God! You should come!" 

She did come and wants to be baptized next month. Thats the Lord's work, Brethren.

Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2014


First off, Happy Birthday to the Pops! I will still love you no matter what colour your hair becomes. Age is not a punishment but an excuse for a new hair style! Love you Dad! 

This week was made interesting with the introduction of Elder Tyson into the companionship. Now I am not just serving with one Ghanaian but now two! I try to speak the language and conform to the culture, but when you put two life-long Ghana language speakers together, they might as well be speaking Chinese. I have no idea what these guys are saying some times. 

I say Chinese because that is a typical way in the English language to say someone is speaking gibberish. God blessed us this week to have us find a new strong member. We met her in Dunkwa town and she said she works for a mining business in a few towns over. We were impressed that she is a Togolese living in Ghana and is fluent in French, English, Twi, Ewe and 9 other Togo languages. Imagine our COMPLETE SHOCK when a Chinese man walks up and talks to her AND SHE TALKS BACK. This member is A FLUENT CHINESE TRANSLATOR. Saying that our minds were blown is an understatement. She learned Chinese in only one year and specially requested to go through the temple in complete Mandrin. We have now found our in on preaching the gospel to the Chinese peoples. Have I ever tried to share the gospel to a Chinese man? Yes. Do they just stare at me in confusion? Yes. Usually I just give them a Jesus picture and walk away. Seed. Planted.

A few weeks ago, I received a referral from none other than my Stake in America! This week we successfully contacted her! Madam Alice Brown has been waiting for the church to come for getting to 30 years. She is very involved in her church but is happy to hear that her church is here. She has a granddaughter, Benedicta who is very interested and we will be following up on. Madam Alice knows all the original pioneers and even has the old old version of the Book of Mormon with Angel Moroni on the blue back ground. We will be working on her and will let you know!

Working seriously for our baptism on the 27th of this month.

Elder Riehle

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lots of work

We counted our members in our group about 50. We have 16 dates for people in the next 2 months. So we are hoping for about 60 members by January. A 60 member group is just two massive. Our poor group leader is feeling it. The duty of the group leader is basically to be in charge of everything. And with so many people.... it is not easy. The Missionaries are counselors for now and on Sunday him and I personally went through all the members and extended callings to them. It was a position I have never been in before. We prayed for revelation before we started and it was uncanny how revelation works. No fires or visions but there were times both of us knew with out a doubt that this person needed this calling. God's Hand is in the work. This is his only living church.

I had an State-side mission experience. Flat out rejection is not all that common. We found the sister of the Bishop in Mpinstin ward. She is the only one in her family who is not a member. When we asked if her and her husband would visit church, her large-in-stature/bellied husband said "NO WAY" later we asked again and same answer. That doesn't happen very often. Have we given up? HA! no. 

A random kid walked up to me and gave me a genuine American Dollar. I gave him a Cedi for exchange. His life was made and I was 30 cents poorer.

Like I said before. There is so much work to do and time is going by so fast!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Full of the Spirit. . . . and Food

It has been a big blessing to have been the first missionaries in a town that has been waiting to have the church in their town for many years. How else do members show appreciation to missionaries? Food. Lots and lots of Food. And it is not like in the VA, where they have a website scheduling months in advance. No, this is a, sit down, shut up, and chop or I won't talk to you again. Best thing to do is... just that. Endure. So, with that being said,  We have been fed forcibly everyday for the past 2 weeks with a record breaking 5 in one day. It is not really easy, brothers and sisters. With that being said.... I am on a fruit-only diet. 

This week had two very large events. The first, and American Thanksgiving and Second, the monumental first Baptism done by the correct authority in Dunkwa-on-Offin, Ghana. Life is good.

So for the first. There are some white mans I think I have mentioned who live near to us who are members from Utah. They are the big bosses of their Gold company and were not going to stay for the Thanksgiving. Something came up and they all had to stay. Lucky for them, their cook is a member who was trained to be a cook by americans. WOW. See real Thanksgiving. Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, string beans, dinner roles, gravey, and heavens, everything that is Thanksgiving. To add to the lot, I went early and made the classic apple pie for the feast. In our pleasent conversations over the table, which I have never ever had before, First time. (Ghana culture is to never eat with a guest) we discussed that we were probably the only missionaries in West Africa to have feasted as such. Blessings. See Blessings. 

Other notable firsts. First time eating with my left hand and first time using a fork and knife combo. 

Baptism. First one. It was defintely a celebration. We had 7 lovely sons and daughters enter into the waters of salvation. MAny were spouses of long time members and some were ones God has prepared. President Stevenson made the 5 hour terrible road trip for the event and it all went very well. These are the first of many for this area. In our talk to President, he said as soon as we have become a branch, they will work on us being a district on our own as soon as possible.

We will be having another baptism  on 20 Dec and another in begining of January. More on that later.