Wow, it sounds like Christmas is coming along at home. Here it's still hot (getting hotter), muggy, and nobody seems to know Christmas is coming. We did see a gas station today with a big sign saying Merry Christmas on it but that was it. Nothing ever seems to change here, but I manage to make it Christmas in my mind. I got your package and Grandma's today. They are both pretty big so I am excited. Christmas will be tonight by the way. When given the choice to either lug the two packages back to Abuakwa or wait one day and just have the Sabey's bring them tomorrow, I chose to lug them. Bad choice now that I think about it, but come on! I want it now!
Today we spent the day playing football on a real full pitch. It was the best pitch I've played on in Ghana. Zone vs. Zone and we got killed in the second half, 4-nil. I'm pretty much wasted now which is why I'm suffering with the packages. We played with Elder Akoki and Hill. Hill goes home this transfer with Adjeifio. I'll definitely see Elder Hill again. That guy is pretty talented on the guitar, I'm told. We'll jam out in Utah one day.
After football we came back to the chapel in a taxi with all our stuff. Elder Holmes and I both sat in the front seat and as I got in I slammed the door on his fingers. He screamed and cussed a whole lot but I couldn't open the door because the handle was broken. I didn't even know what was going on. I just heard him screaming. We got back to Bantama and took a tro to Tanoso where we are now. We still need to get back to Abuakwa (which will be a freaking pain), and I'm still wearing the clothes I wore playing football underneath my Priesthood (because you know it's a requirement to wear it wherever we go no matter what we do, thank you white handbook). One big problem we have out here is the traffic. There is only one road coming out from Town that goes to Abuakwa. Everyone uses this road and they are now building a huge interchange thing right where this roundabout used to be. After 3 or 4 o'clock we have to fight for a car, pushing little old ladies out of way, and knocking people over. I usually will make a wall with my body while Elder Rogers jumps in and then I try to follow as best I can. You have to be fast though or else the guys jumping in through the back windows will take all the seats. It's really fun! You should come try it sometime.
This week we saw a small (small in the way it was done) miracle. This week the branch had their last temple trip of the year. Ever since we came here two months ago, we have had a recent convert lined up to go and that would complete the goal. Well, just a week before the trip we heard a nasty rumor that he had been having some trouble with the Word of Wisdom. I didn't really believe it but we mentioned it to the branch president anyway. We met this brother on the day he was supposed to be interviewed for a recommend, and he seemed nervous and guilty. In my head I said Holy Smokes there is nobody else that can go and there won't be another temple trip until after the goal is finished. We walked with him to the chapel and sat with him outside President Sarpong's office for a bit. He couldn't sit still so I decided to leave him for a bit and we went downstairs. I felt very nervous and didn't know what to do. I sat with Elder Rogers and we said a short prayer asking Heavenly Father to bless our friend that everything would be all right for him and to help us to find the best option to complete the goal. I felt much better but was still nervous as we walked upstairs where our brother was no where to be found. I don't know if he ever talked to President Sarpong but he was gone. Elder Mbong was there and had just talked to him. He told Elder Mbong that he wasn't going to the temple and left. I sat there and thought of different options. The only other guy was Felex, a young man who had just told me two days earlier that he couldn't go on the trip because he didn't have the money. He happened to be in line for interviews that night so I went over and asked him if he was going to the temple. At that point I was ready to go to the bank and pull out the 24 cedis needed for the trip. He told me yes he was and that he had already payed.
I was amazed. Just two days ago, there was no way he could go. Now he could go and he had the money to pay for it. How? I don't know. Elder Mbong told me that we are VERY lucky, but I don't think so. I think that the Lord was doing his work and chose to bless us because we humbled ourselves and asked him for help. We would have taken this goal for granted if our first man went and there was no challenge for us. But now, we have learned a valuable lesson that I will never forget.
That wasn't the only blessing this week. After weeks of nobody showing up for church I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. Abuakwa is supposed to be the most fruitful area in the mission. I decided that missionary work is just hard anywhere you go and that every area has it's down times. Well this is true, but the Lord decided to bless us with 6 good people coming to church this week. I know the Lord is doing his work wherever the people are willing to except him. I've decided that even though we are weak and make a lot of mistakes, He is very good at it.
Well I just found out today that we will all be heading up to Sunyani for Christmas. I think it's all of Kumasi that is going. It will be cool because I just had a dream where we were going out there and the place looked like Oz. Perfect grass and farms with wooden fences and scarecrows. It wasn't hot but the sun was bright and beautiful. It was cool. I also had another dream where Jeremy and I were in our backyard by the pool. Balloons attached to strings in the ground were growing everywhere, and Murphy and Hannah kept getting tangled up in them. Everytime this happened they would break the strings and go floating up into the sky. We had to keep shooting them down with beebee guns. They would then fall into the pool. One time Murphy went up and we shot him down and then Hannah went up and we shot her balloons but Murphy came down again. I guess that he had gotten tangled up again but Hannah was nowhere to be found. I guess she just kept on floating up out of sight. Pretty sad actually.
So the work goes on. I'm not thinking about going home too much. Sometimes I just want this freaking thing to be finished and over but I'm chugging along. It's mostly when I'm walking around under a killer sun at 1 in the afternoon with nothing to go and nobody to see. Elder Rogers is sweet and my other friends are awesome. I hope everything is going well back home. I love you and hope to see you again! Haha, just kidding. Thanks so much for the packages! We'll talk in three weeks or so:)
Love Elder Harris