I had heard about problems that a bunch of elders were having with the MyLDS mail. I guess its a widespread thing. Sorry for not writing last week! It's just hard getting to the cafe all excited and then there's nothing there! Don't worry though. I feel bad so I won't do it again even if you don't write me.
Elder Haderlie sat right next to Elder Pinnell who sat right in front of me on the plane from New York to Ghana. He was my good friend in the MTC and now he's my companion. We'll be going home on the same day. Probably the 4th or the 5th. This week we both turn 18 months old but we're trying not to think about it too much. We will do something to celebrate it but I almost would prefer just letting it pass and go.
We've been working our butts off for the last week. Last Sunday, Elder Dickson came to the Takoradi Stake Conference and held a special meeting with the missionaries. He told us a bunch of things but these were what I wrote down. First he talked about building your brother. He said that if we could just look at the Celestial Kingdom for ten seconds none of us would ever hesitate to help build our brother. So go build your brother! Second he told us that if we haven't been the best missionaries in the world that this could be the time to plant your feet. Start now; it doesn't matter if you have 6 months to go, or you're 6 days on mission, plant your feet and make some memories. Then when we are a little older we can put our arm around a son, or a grandson and tell them something amazing that happened on our mission. A timely piece of advice that I've put into full effect this week. The spirit has taught me a great lesson about obedience and the Lord has seen fit to give me an absolute change of heart concerning it. I don't think I have ever been happier.
With us working harder we have had the chance to increase our teaching pool. President Sabey gave us a new version of the Promise Pattern that now includes the Doctrine of Christ. If you don't know what that is you can read 2nd Nephi 31. It's now called the Covenant Training Pattern and it allows us to train our investigators to make and keep commitments from the very first lesson. In a place where everyone will tell you, "Yes, I will come to church," or, "Yes, I will be baptized," it's a great way to determine who is really serious with our message and keeps us from condemning people who aren't ready for the message. Not only do we now invite people to be baptized during the very first lesson but we help them prepare for that baptism with promises. It also prepares them to endure to the end and continue on to the temple to receive even greater covenants that will bless them for all eternity. I love it and use it with every investigator.
We are right on the edge of the rainy season here in Sekondie. I hear that it is raining a lot in Accra but it has only rained once here. I'm thinking that the rains will come sometime in the next month. My boots are still strong but they have holes in the tread that suck up mud and stones. I'm pretty sure they are still water proof but they are starting to wear down a little bit. They should last for a long time after mission.
I sent a pic of Gordella. Precious is the younger one. Porchia is actually Princess. Princess Porchia Gyan Peterson. Brother Peterson loves P's I guess. Anyways this is the little girl who brought me down to the dust like David did Goliath. We bought canes though. They are what teachers and parents use to beat their children and they are really afraid of them! We leave them with Porchia for our lessons. I've only used it once.
Last night we got into 1st Chronicles and now we are suffering through the worst list of names I could ever think of. I want to read the whole thing though so we're doing it. Luckily, we read 30 pages a day so we won't have to suffer too long. I've come to realize that you can't really look for doctrine in the Old Testament. There are too many mistakes! I'm just taking it for the stories. What our reading has done is bring us closer together.
Your Elder's singing together reminded me of my first Christmas in Kumasi. All 30 or so missionaries in the area got up and sang The First Noel and during the final note which we held for a second or two, the power went out and there was a roar of applause. We were so powerful! Now most of those missionaries aren't around which is weird to me, but you can imagine just how President Monson felt when he became the prophet. All of the 14 men he came to join in the apostleship had passed away and now there are 14 new apostles. Mission is just like that! Just they aren't usually dead!
All right I must go now. Don't you ever cry for me Mom! I'm enjoying an sweet time in my life and definitely the easiest time. Elder Holland told us to enjoy every last second, the good times and bad times, the heat and the...cold! He said that every good thing that ever happened to him ever since came because he decided to serve a mission. Soon it will be over and I finally feel like it will be too soon!
I love you all!
AKA ZOOMLION/WHITE TIGER
AKA. Senior Esteban Vasquez