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!