Monday, May 11, 2015

Just a Beginning

In a worldly sense, all things that have a beginning must end. All that goes up must come down. All things that start must one day have an ultimate stop. 

But we know better.

Nephi asks, "After you have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold I say unto you, NAY."

We know that our existence is that of the eternal. Without beginning. Without end. From eternity to eternity. For those given the duties of the holy priesthood, they were among the noble and great ones chosen before they were born. Chosen for a marvelous work to commence and fill the whole earth. Is that work finished? Nay. The tag may come off. I might get new Sunday shoes, but all is just the beginning. God has a plan for each one of our lives that goes much farther than when we are 18-26 year old young men sweating and walking through unknown streets of an unknown land. 

It is just a beginning.

It is that joy that we are able to bring to those we meet in our missions by providing the waters of baptism. This week we had a baptism for the whole district of 8 plus the first Child of record for the Dunkwa Branch. For my companionship baptized our brothers David, George and Bentil, and for them their journey of the eternities just began. There is only one way, one truth and light for us to follow. All we have to do is just keep swimming. 

Stay on the path and all the rest will be added upon you.

Watch out Virginia. 

Elder Riehle

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prophet for the Whole World

Just wanted to let you know that I met the Prophet for the Whole World this week. Or so he told me. He invited me (not my companion...awk) to a paster and prophet meeting to hear what God wants to say... Sorry my guy. Pretty sure that happened a few weeks ago in a GIANT BUILDING that fits 22,000 people in it, not your wooden shack. He did prophesy for me though. He said, "If it is God's will, you will progress."
Then he asked for money.
Then I walked away.

We had a baptism last week of 4 for the other companionship. One man was quite a story. A drunk womanizer turned his life around in the past few months and was ready to be baptized! It is a gospel of change, brothers and sisters! Lets see how the past prostitute who has been coming to church for the past 3 months turns out.... Repentance is for everyone!

It is never too late either! Tony Antwi clocking in 82 years on this earth loves the Book of Mormon and came to church this week! A man gave him a Book of Mormon over 20 years ago and it sat and collected dust for all that time. He told us this week, "I had this book for 20 years and I never knew what I was missing! It talks more about Jesus Christ than even the Bible does!"

A young women's president was finally called!! Just in time for my package to come! Now our Young womens room is adorned with lovely colourful things and banners. Thanks mom! Your work is appreciated! 

I was reading through the Personal Progress book. OH MY GOODNESS IT IS SO MUCH HARDER THAN DUTY TO GOD!!!! Young women are at a totally different level than us men. I sat in young womens this week and recorded on my camera a girl who MEMORIZED THE WHOLE LIVING CHRIST FOR ONE OF HER PROJECTS. This program doesn't mess around. Invite me to the next New Beginnings night. I will testify! A Young womens medallion means so much more to me now after reading through.. I will be on the look out now!

Ta Ta for now!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dunkwa is a bustling and highly populated town but happens to be positioned in Hours of absolute BUSH. So it takes a long time for anything ever to happen. We have been meeting in a rented house under construction, no water, a bathroom made from a tarp in a corner, no light bulbs or fans (very hot and very dark) and a random wall in our chapel making things very cramped.

Hot. Dark and Cramped. With no bathroom. You feel me?

But this week, work finally got done!! The church construction team came in and in a series of 3 days, lightbulbs- inserted, fans- in motion, wall- obliterated, toilet- functioning, water- flowing. This church knows how to get things done! I personally helped bring down the iron curtain wall making our normal sacrament meeting attendance of over 100 fit much better when there was space for 150 chairs (instead of 80). For some reason, the landlord wanted 35 FANS IN HIS HOUSE. So when all that are in the chapel are on the highest setting, it was like a wind tunnel.

I didn't even procelyte in mine own area this week. Every day interviews. One was with a child of a woman getting baptized. Interview in Twi ONLY.

Saturday was the day we had been preparing for. After 6 months we have been here, we finally got a double digit baptism! it should have been 11 but one wasn't able to come. The Spirit was definitely there.

Sunday was crazy with 10 confirmations. Once again, no time for talks. But last week, 2 of my recent converts gave talks! One was only baptized 2 weeks before! And this week another was prepared to give one if time had permitted. 

With the new sign board, we have found 5 new members! One was living with her endowed father in the Muslim community and he died JUST last month. That was a bummer to hear. Another guy, has been here for about 4 months and is 24ish preparing for mission. The work is moving forward!!

Elda Riehle

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blessed with the Plan.

This didn't send last week for some reason.

How grateful we are for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. Our dear investigator, the mother of the recent convert, Rita, who was the one to let the church meet in here building for what at first we told her was just 2 weeks, which turned out to be about 2 months. She went out and helped the church look for land to build a chapel for no reward of her own. We were just getting to the point where we could teach her well. She passed to the other side of the veil this Saturday evening. This happened to me once before and it is never easy. But already we have gotten to teach Plan of Salvation to some of the family members and the Spirit is so much stronger. 

We are teaching a extremely old man named Tony Antwi (to show how old he his, one day Ill get a picture of his teeth. They can be counted on one hand) We ran into him during his daily exercise walks and he told us he had a Book of Mormon and wanted to know more about it. This is no normal Book of Mormon. Printed in 1924 by one of the break offs founded by Wm. Bickerton. Their headquarters (100 years ago) was a log cabin somewhere in Pennsylvania. I got him to switch it with me for a much better copy.

We will be having a baptism this week, completing part member families. We have been having a good patern over the last few months. Baptise the father one month and the rest of the family, wife and kids, the next month. So we are planning for 2 wives and 5 kids, for this week Saturday, 28 March. 

We finally got sign boards for the Church. On Sunday, we met 3 new solid members of the church happy to come back to activity. There was even a man that had been being taught by the missionaries a while ago and came on Sunday and said he wants to be baptized. 

How happy I am for my family to be able to be together forever. What a blessing that is. It gives me so much more joy to give that same joy to families I  have grown to love so much. Love this work so much.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Elder Dube - yes, one of the two African 70s NBD

This week, we got to see the celebration of 6 March Independence day here in Dunkwa. For the last 6 months, every on has been talking up how big of a deal Dunkwa takes 6 March. And it was true, in the morning literally every person in the town came to a football pitch and different groups marched and the people screamed and shouted and said unnecessary things. The real party apperently happened after the sun went down accross the street at the drinking spot. The normal light din emintating from there at night was replaced by a window/ bed shaking uproar that lasted well into the night. 

Also, 7 March appears to be National Hangover day. In the morning, the streets were EMPTY. Too much celebrating the independence of Ghana. No wars. No fighting. But plenty Drinking.

We were also lucky to have Elder Edward Dube to come and speak to us. On the way down, we stopped at Kakum National park (for my 3rd time...) You can do the math your self. 2:30 from Dunwkwa to Praso. 1:30 to Kakum and 1:30 back to Praso. District leaders and Zoneleaders left that evening, 2 hours to sleep the night in Cape Coast. Next day the 2 hours back up to Praso, and didnt come in time to get a car back so had to sleep over at Praso. And then a 2:30 of terrible road back to Dunkwa. My head still hurts. Too much to add them up.

Elder Dube was one of the most happy and scripture afluent men I have ever met in my life. He instructed us 4 times in during the conference and he was almost hard to keep up with. Opening Old Testament and Book of Mormon, while flipping to Preach my Gospel and White Handbook and trying to take notes all at the same time. I learned so much from him. Two things I will be changing. First, he said that everyday before we leave the house my whole mission the Elders in the house say a prayer before we go out. He said that we should always pray on our knees at the door before we go.

Currently, I am searching through the misty fog of the New Testament, looking for the bits of truth left behind. I love the Book of Mormon and have already read it twice on mission. I figured I have read it enough on mission and will read it again when I go home. But now I must repent. He said since he went on a mission in 1985, he wakes up at 4 everyday and reads the Book of Mormon for 1 hour and other study for another hour. He says that it is fine to read other scripture as much as you want, but you should always dip your toe into the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY. I will be working on that.

We have hit over 100 every Sunday for the past few weeks.

Working hard. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Baptism and Branch!!

What a great week! And the one we have been waiting for since we came to Dunkwa-on-Offin. After the five months we have been here with all the struggles and victories, finally, we are on the map.
Dunkwa-on-Offin Branch. We had a turn out over 100. We had to pause the program for a few minutes to be able to set up more chairs. We were packed like sardines but the spirit was there and we were lucky that the light came on about half way through. Blessings of God.

Saturday was our Baptism day. We prepared 6 for that day and all came but one had second thoughts and will be pushed to the next one. It was a Spirit filled day. Matilda, the one I mentioned who was begging to be baptised last time came up out of the water with the biggest smile on her face. I was so happy to see Lily and Andrews make that covenant after seeing them progress. After the baptism, all the Melchesidek priesthood holders waited after to be interviewed.

A miracle happened when the Zone leaders came to interview. Andrews could only meet us that night. So they came the night before and we went to see him... he wasnt there. He couldnt come home from work in time. We waited for some time and we had to go. It didnt look like he could be baptised this time. The next day while I was with Elder Etim from Nigeria we finished a lesson and to our shock, there was Andrews! He had a few minute window at work until he had to leave. We asked him
if he wanted to be baptised and he eagerly said yes. "Give us 10 minutes and you can." 10 minutes later all was finished and all was well.

Our Branch President newly called is a great man. President Eshun. He is ready to work and build the church!

We are still preparing many for next month! As time goes on we will see all the Lord has in store for Dunkwa!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Busily preparing for the baptism this coming week. It will be 6 for the whole district. On Friday, I went for the interviews in my past area. It is nice to hear people calling my name ;) Abeiku! I went there with two interviews planned. By the end of the day there was 3. A certain lady named Matilda has been coming to church for the last few months but has found it hard to meet with the missionaries because of her schedule. We went there just to teach her a lesson because her schedule was open. As we were teaching, knew all that we were teaching. She had been reading and studying on her own time and she knew all the information reviewed on in the baptismal interview. I had a clear impression that she needs to be baptized. I brought up baptism gave her a date for next month. She then got really sad and started begging to be baptized sooner. I read D&C 20:37. It gives a list of qualities the Lord looks for in baptismal candidates and then summarizes by saying that they "SHALL enter into the waters of baptism." She SHALL. who am I to stop it? I felt inspired again to extend to her baptism NEXT WEEK. If she fits all the qualities the Lord wants, she SHALL. 

Two of our investigators are best friends. Sule and Philip. They are  the ones that have been smoking weed, Philip, for 10 years and Sule for at least the past few. They have been waiting for a miracle to stop. We committed them to do a fast on Friday and we fast with them. The day after we told Philip, he told us that he was afraid of what would happen. He had heard how painful it was and it was not easy to stop. Previously, we had given him Alma 7 to read. As we discussed with him, verse 15 leaped of the page.
 15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

That is inspiration. No vision. Just doing what feels right and it turning out to be a life changing moment for someone. He took a picture of it on his phone and set it as his wallpaper. I have faith he will stop.

The two we are preparing for this week is an older woman named Lily and a man Andrews. Both of them were basically cheating. From the first time coming to church, Lily felt like she was already a member. EVERYONE at church ALREADY knew her. Instant fellowshiping. A few weeks ago we committed her to pay tithing. "Lily, when you are baptized, will you pay a full tithing?" "Why should I wait to when I am baptized? I will start this week!!" You go, Lily.

And Andrews. He is the real cheat. We met him a few weeks ago and he came to church right away. He just moved from Sunyani where he had a baptismal date with the ward there. Because of work, he moved here and now BOOM. Free baptism. 

Small world. My companion might know Frieda Asante in my ward. Not just in my ward but my neighbor!! its a small world in Ghana. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Burdens Made Light

You might think that the title has something to do with this weeks missionary work or how the Lord has helped lift burdens. It is true that He does lift spiritual burdens but like in Mosiah where he made the Nephites burdens light under the bondage of the Lamenites. I was praying for that burden liftage when we went to bush this week and helped a family collect fire wood. We spent about an hour collecting and cutting wood and trees to pieces. Then the lady made ropes out of palm fronds and split the wood into two and put one bunch on my head. Think. we just collected wood for an hour and HALF of it was on my head!! I never prayed so much for my 178430 pound burden to be made light for the 20 minute walk back to he house. I might be a few inches shorter vertebrae compressed together.

Also Shout out to Alexandra's birthday this week!

I met a man whilst on exchanges who asked amazing questions. Life long Catholic but did not agree on Trinity, Infant baptisms, clergy, and so many others. It was so nice to be able to speak the truth and have it all make logical sense. Can all this truth be really found in one place!! We had a very lengthy lesson with him and were very excited to see him again. Could be Golden? But there is always a catch. He doesnt stay in Dunkwa and lives across mission boundaries.

We had a district activity this week where all the missionaries in the district all met up in one area who was struggling and just contacted for a whole hour. In one hour we had tonnes of contacts and found 19 people who look promising. Who ever said we had to to the work by our selves?

In a lesson with a Young man who had previously had contact with the church in his secondary school said he had some concerns with the church. One was that dating starts at 16. He was shocked why it was so low. LOL different cultures.

We have a great investigator who is having some serious Word of Wisdom problems. Maryjuna, cigarettes, snuff.... yeah. not easy. But he is very self driven to stop. We did the math with him. The money he has spent on those things for the past 10 years could have bought him a few cares.... That freaked him out and he is more driven to stop. 

Keep the commandments if you do you can buy cars. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Gospel in every corner and clime!

Things are rolling as if it were cut without hands here!! We hit 3 digits at church reaching 101, after being here for 6 months, the Dunkwa Branch has been approved and things will be getting started soon!

A crazy miracle happened this week. A missionary was transferred here last few weeks from one of my old areas, Eshiem! It was great to hear how every one is doing there and the work is still going strong. I found out that the man I baptized there is now the Seminary teacher and will be going to the temple in the next few weeks! 

He also related to me a story how he was with my old friend, the Ward Mission Leader, Ebeneezer when he was leaving telling him that he was coming here to Dunkwa-on-offin and he didn't believe it. He said it couldn't be possible because his father has been here for years and he knows the Church was not here. But this missionary told him how it was just opened and it is a new place. He came with Ebenezer's number when he was transferred here. 

Weeks past and the guy called him telling him that he will be coming to Dunkwa this week to visit! So he came, first day wanted to proselyte with us! He showed us to the house of his father who was so happy to hear the church being here and came this Sunday! Ebeneezer came and in 3 days  gave us like 5 referrals, all who look like they will progress very well! 

The Lord's Work.

I got to talk to Mission President this week and told him of how things are going here. I told how we just hit 100 people at church and this new place only has enough room for 120. So small time, we will be to big. He gave the go to LOOK FOR LAND! Only 6 months and already they want us to look for a place to build a chapel!

I have now first hand been able to see the formal traditions in Ghana. We are so lucky that the equivalent to Governor of the county is a strong member of the church. He has a lot of pull in the local government. He took us round to day to meet the Dunkwa Chief, the Dentrya tribe Chief and local Municipal Chief Executive. We went to all of them and formally introduced the church's presence and and the desire to build a chapel here. It was kind of nerve wracking to be with all they big big men, but they were all very happy to have the famous Latter day Saints in their town. So small time now. 

Things go so fast when there is faith. This is the fastest growing place in the mission only because the faith of the members is strong and they have the desire for the gospel to reach every corner.   

Oh yeah. And I had to preside at church on Sunday and no one giving the talks showed up so I had to improvise the whole program on the spot. Not easy.

Monday, February 2, 2015


This was a great week but it went so fast that I forgot all that happened. 

I have been thinking very much about hope to explain the concept of the priesthood to people who think that authority af God is given to all who the Holy Spirit comes to. Authority of God is a tangible key given from Man to man according to the revelation of God. God is the only one who has the power and authority to give a forgiveness of sins. He gave that power to his Only Begotten Son by which he also could for give his fellow men of their sins. For example in Matt 9 When the man had to be lowered down from the roof on his bed because he lay sick of Palsy, Christ says, "Be of good cheer , thy sin are forgiven thee." The scribes didn't believe and he told them "For whether it is easier to say thy sins are forgiven thee; or ti say Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins. 'Arise and take up thy be and go unto thy own house." No man today in his right mind can claim to have that authority by which the Son of man had to forgive sins of another man. But it was that same authority he gave to his chosen twelve to "bind on earth and to bind in heaven" It was that authority that through the names of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost a repentant man can step into the waters of baptism and have his sins be washed away as if the Savior had said the words himself to "Be thou clean." Now the question is, Can any "man take the honor upon himself?" Can a genuinely good man start a church or claim himself to be a prophet and honestly think that Jesus Christ has given him the keys of Salvation by which baptism is made valid. Except by the laying on of hands in the similitude of Christ himself, or his chosen Apostles of even as Moses of old? 

"We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy and by the laying on of hand by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."

That's all that has happened this week. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Download, Read, Ponder and Pray

Moroni saw our day and spoke to us as if we were present. But in his final words he forgot one important detail. If you are in an area hours away from the mission home and you run out of Book of Mormons, the work doesn't cease! Talk to people with smart phones and commit them to download, read, ponder, and pray. No problem. 

We had another baptism this week. All were fathers completing their families. One was a Bro. Eshun who has been a return missionary for a long time but hasn't been able to go to church since he moved to Dunkwa about 10 years ago. He has come back to the church as if he had never been gone. When we came his non-member wife, Christina, had no interest in joining the church. After some months, now she is full of testimony and light and is a big strength to the group. He baptized 3 of his children as well. Another, my convert from last baptism, baptized his daughter and his wife will hopefully be joining shortly as well. Another long time member, Bro. Yehayah had come to baptize his daughter but because he is was a hero and saved a man's LIFE, dislocating his arm in the process, (long story) he could not lift his arm quiitttee up to the square. This is a church all about families brothers and sisters.

I went on exchanges three days in a row. It makes the work interesting

Even more interesting is that I saw a many roasting an ARMADILLO. How did he find an armadillo in Ghana? Absolutely no idea. I never knew those things were here. In Twi, it is called "the meat of kings" I didn't get to try any to be sure. 

Oh and the best thing about the week? Church. How many people were there? Wait for it. Wait for ittttttt. 90 PEOPLE. We started with 20 PEOPLE and this Sunday it has QUADRUPLED from our first Sunday. There wasn't even enough space in our new chapel. The Lord Hastens the work.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Secret

Insane week. Going from two companionships, 5 missionaries to 4 companionships, 8 missionaries and just a short time made for a lot of crazy times. But from the past few days, everything should be settling down and the work will explode. We are happy to welcome Elder Degen USA, Elder Okwii Uganda and Elder Assibey Ghana to the Dunkwa District. Fastest growing District in the mission! I am so excited to work with Elder Assibey as my new companion. He has already taught me plenty things and we get along well!

The most humbling lesson I learned this week was that, the most logical thing is not always the right thing. As soon as  we heard new missionaries were coming we tried to decide which area of town would be the best place to put new missionaries. I felt certain they place we picked was the best place by means of population, density and location. Elder Assibey and I were picked to be the ones to open that new area and I felt confident it was right.

WRONG. We proselyted in that place and there was a tangible feeling that we were in the wrong place. Just a solid deep down feeling that it was not where God wanted us to be. I was so confused because it made so much sense to go there. The next few days we WALKED the whole town and finally found a large community called Sofokrom. As we walked those streets, the Lord blessed us by helping us find two long time members and serious investigators. The Spirit has comforted us to know we are in the right place.

God speaks through the heart. As much as we truly thought we were doing the right thing, God had a different plan for us. Our reason in this life is to sense God's plan for us by his Holy Ghost and humbly follow it. 

That's the secret, friends ;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Off to a Good Start

Being the first missionaries in a brand new group makes for some unusual duties. For example, this week the missionaries were in charge of the New years Party. In Ghana, EVERY church has a "watch night" on the 31st where "if you are in the church praying when the year crosses over, all your sins will be forgiven you." Churches start at 9 and go till about 7 in the morning the next day. And of course as the only true and living church of the Lord Jesus Christ OBVIOUSLY we did not do that. Got permission to close at 10. Long story, but not because of anything we did, it went terrible. But we made it up for our New Years Day party which plenty investigators came to! More than 100 people showed up.  Our 'Group' with 60 members better be a branch soon.

The best holiday gift was to see everyone mingling with the investigators and members and recent converts during the party. The best way to end this Holiday Season was about half our recent converts from while we have been hear went up to bear their testimonies of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Even the ten year old boy, Junior, in the family we baptized stood up and boldly announced that  he knows the Book of Mormon is true. There is not much of a better Christmas gift than that. 

The time has come for Transfers and I already knew I was staying. The news was that we will be having 3 more coming splitting our threesome companionship. In our mission, oddly enough there are only about 10 missionaries actually from Ghana. I served with Elder Bannerman and few months ago and now again. Elder Tyson also from Ghana came to be with us and now Elder Assibey also from Ghana will be coming to be my companion. Three Ghanaians is not very common!! Him and I will be going to open a whole new area of town where we haven't even set foot in yet. We will find plenty plenty members! And I will be learning even more Twi!

The guy sitting next to me right now, I just found out is a member from Accra and sometimes stays in Dunkwa for business. No such things as coincidences Brothren and Sisters.