Today we all traveled to Abura for a special Zone Conference to say goodbye to the Sabey's. No one knew the status of the goal which ended yesterday evening so we were antsy for news. President Sabey began the conference with some opening remarks. He said that many of us were anxious to know the status of the goal. Well, when we committed ourselves to take on this goal, Sister Sabey remarked that it was impossible for every missionary in the mission (more then 140 total) to baptize someone with a family member in the church and then help a family to go to the temple to be sealed for all time and eternity. In the end it really was impossible. But we have also learned that where many things are impossible for us, nothing is impossible to the Lord. He then showed us the completion sheet for the Ghana Cape Coast Mission and every companionship was checked off. The Lord completed a goal that just a week ago I thought was impossible to achieve.
Deep down I knew the Lord would do something for us though. I can honestly say we did everything we knew how to do. We fasted and prayed, then went out and tried everything. Last Sunday all of our candidates basically failed because their temple trips were canceled. I couldn't see anymore options so we continued working on Edward and Felicity who we helped to get married civilly but weren't sure they could get off work to go before Sunday the 26th. We succeeded in getting Edward's temple recommend activated and he is now ready to go to the temple but his wife's records are still in Kisi so they couldn't activate it at the Takoradi Stake Center. After facing all these problems, the Lord gave us the blessing of finding two families who were ready to go to the temple that Friday. It was a miracle. On Saturday we finished twice with two families we taught in different areas. The beautiful part is that Edward and Felicity are all ready to go get sealed in September. That is something that would have taken years if we did not pursue this goal.
What good were these goals? I think the best part of these goals was the training we received from them. This mission is now primed and ready to baptize many, many people. The number doesn't matter so much as the quality of the investigators. We have learned the importance of families. The only people who will enter the celestial kingdom will do so in families. We learned the importance of future leaders and member referrals. We learned the importance of serving and working closely with the members in missionary work. We now know how powerful it is to bring back a less active then focus on their referrals. Such strengthen each other and work together towards eternal happiness. We learned that baptism is not the end of our work! The end goal is fruit that remains. We learned how important it is to help a recent convert go to the temple as soon as possible. The spirit they feel there is unlike anyplace on earth. We learned that what we want for each family we baptize is to help them be sealed for all eternity. Without that they can not receive a fullness of joy. Without that our work is in vain.
So we now know how to work towards each of these goals. As we do so the "numbers" and the quality of those "numbers" will go up. With that our faith in the Savior and the fact that this is His work has gone up tremendously. We know He is very good at doing His work and we feel privileged to be a part of it. Serving a mission is simply awesome.
This was President Sabey's final Zone Conference. Sister Sabey spoke first and expressed her love and appreciation for us and the people of Ghana. Then President got up and told us how things will work in the transition process. Basically the new president will come and he will leave. Simple. It wouldn't work outside of the church. He told us that because he was curious he decided to think about which goal we would have pursued if he wasn't leaving. He said that after thinking he had no clue. Then he told us that as he thought about what to say to us as he was leaving, he couldn't think of anything. President Sabey is completely dependent on the Lord for guidance and his time as mission president has ended. He expressed his love for us and then invited us to ask he and Sister Sabey questions. After an hour or so he invited us to get up and bear testimonies. I felt that horrible beating in my heart that told me I was going to go up so I did. I told everyone that I could remember when President Hinkley had passed away some years ago. When he went I was a little bit weirded out by President Monson being the new Prophet. I had grown up with President Hinkley and it was all too strange. Well we all saw how the mantle of the Presidency shifted and rested upon President Monson and there was a feeling like everything was going to be OK. I felt a little of that shifting today in our conference. It might be wierd and even uncomfortable for some for some time but eventually everthing is going to be OK. I love President and Sister Sabey. The things that they have taught me are eternal and will bless my life forever. But I am excited for the future as well and I know that everything is going to be all right. I love this work and I know that it is the Lord's work. Change is just part of life.
Following the conference, we ate and I sat with Elder Pinnell, Holmes, and Jaggi. Brother Akoki walked in randomly and I got to embrace a true friend I thought I would never see again. I love all these guys and it was hard to see them go. I talked with Elder Pinnell and I'm ready to pull the trigger in moving to Utah. If the apartment thing fails then I have places where I can hang for a while. Then we all went out to a really cool football pitch and had a tournament. We got smoked but I looked freaking good in a complete Manchester United Jersey, short shorts, Man United socks and matching football boots. I played all right in our second game and even had a shot on goal but I didn't get enough ummph on the ball and it rolled into the keeper's hands. There went my chance for glory!!! Then when we all finished, we said a final farewell to the Sabey's before returning to Takoradi where I am now. I won't see them again in Ghana.
What a crazy day! What a crazy week! Thursday we will have a new Mission President and quite honestly, I don't know how he could be more powerful, humble, and gentle as President Sabey is. I do know that everything will be all right and we will adjust.
Today I love my mission. One thing that Sister Sabey taught us today really stuck with me. She told us to never live beneath our potential. Never do anything that will keep you from becoming like our Father in Heaven. Then the line that was cemented in my mind by Ben Flinders came to me: Infinite Potential, Infinite Worth. All of us are God's children how great is the worth of our souls in His site. How grateful I am that He really does know my name and will do all that He can to get me home.
I don't really have much else to say. The Lord has blessed us with more people to teach and a few referrals. As for the letter this was a different one that had nothing to do with how hard mission is. I suppose you haven't got it yet.
I love you all very much!