Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Letters from Elder Garrett

July 30th Letter
We met an investigator this week, we talked with him and invited him to church, he didn't seem very serious though. Much to our surprise, he showed up to church last week. And we were able to set an appointment with him, and actually met him twice during the week. We have had great lessons with him this last week, and he came to church again yesterday. He loves church and the message that we are sharing, he loves it so much that the very first time we taught him, he accepted a baptismal date for the 19th of August. (I am bummed i won't be around!!!!! :(  ) He is doing great though, and loves the message of the restoration so far. 

On Wednesday of last week Elder Wheeler and I loaded the mission van with some supplies and headed up to Sunyani for a couple days. We went up there to go on splits and to do some baptismal interviews. And it worked out nicely for me, because i was able to go back and do those things in my old area up there, Penkwase. I got to see almost all of my recent converts.  Most of them are still active and doing great! I was actually able to attend the institute class there on Thursday night as well, and it was such a powerful experience for me. One of my recent converts up there, was the one teaching the institute class. And he taught like he has been teaching for years, it was so awesome to see that! He is preparing to go on a mission and is hoping to have his call before the end of the year. While I sat in the class, on my left side was another of my recent converts who is now the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency in Penkwase branch and is also thriving in the gospel. He is working on his mission papers right now. And sitting on my right hand side was another of my recent converts! He is super powerful now as well and has all the scriptures on his high tech phone and was making contributions to the lesson that just blew me away. He is also hoping to leave for a mission next year. In addition to that, one of the other people who attended institute was a converts sister. I interviewed her for baptism and she did great. It is so much fun to see a recent convert now bringing his family to partake of the goodness of the gospel. The Penkwase Branch is booming right now. And it is was so much fun for me to go back and to see some of the fruits of my labor up there. It nearly brought tears to my eyes as i saw how helping just one person into the fold creates a chain effect and it is impossible to measure the good that will come from that one person, and the amount of people that one person can bring into the gospel as well. That one night of seeing all those people in Sunyani made my whole mission worth the sacrifice and the pain. That was so rewarding for me! I can't accurately describe in words how i felt up there. It was like i was home again. Sunyani will always be one of my favorite areas. 

Yep, we had a baptism yesterday, he is just one of those people who is so prepared for the gospel. Witnessing his baptism was awesome! I'm jealous that Jordan gets to be involved in missionary work at home too. I am really gonna miss this work- being submersed in it all the time. 
It has sure been an awesome week of missionary work. I am determined to work hard until the very end, which is coming a whole lot faster than i realize it. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

July 16th Letter
Well, this week has been pretty crazy. If the next month goes by half as quickly as the last month has..... then I'd say its still too fast. Weeks are flying now, and we are so busy and will be so busy until the end of this transfer, that i know the remaining weeks are going to continue to fly by for me. On Tuesday of last week Elder Wheeler and I escorted President Holmes to a district meeting. Pretty much the entire day Tuesday was spent with him, between taking him to district meeting and then coming back to the mission home and preparing for the zone leaders to come in that night. The zone leaders all got here on Tuesday evening, and we had dinner and a short testimony meeting. It was really good. We ate so much good food! Actually..... it was probably what we think is "normal food", but it was good food to us! Even dessert! Haha. We also watched a video of a talk given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland at the MTC about a year ago, titled "feed my sheep". It was about missionary work and the importance of missionaries learning from their missions and staying strong for the rest of their lives. I almost felt like the video was aimed towards me, i learned a lot from it. 

Elder Wheeler and I were so busy we didn't really have time to prepare our instructions for Wednesday, so Tuesday night at like 10 we finally got time to sit down and talk about it. Don't ask me how.... but we planned 2 hours worth of instruction in an hour. On Wednesday we woke up and all went jogging together, then we ate and had a group scripture study session where we went deep into 2 Nephi 31, teaching about the doctrine of Christ, it was awesome! Elder Wheeler and I gave an hour instruction to the zone leaders about being examples, and another hour about weekly planning sessions. Overall I think the meeting went well.

We are still teaching our investigator. We gave one of the members an assignment to pray for him that he would accept the truth. On Wednesday night we taught him about the Book of Mormon. During the lesson his shift ended and another person came to replace him, so they both sat in on the lesson for a while. At the end of the lesson, he was pretty much teaching the other guy about why the Book of Mormon is true. It was so awesome. Elder Wheeler and I just looked at each other and smiled and let him do a little missionary work. He came to church again this week, so we are hoping that when we meet him next we will try to set a baptismal date for him. He very well could be the last person I see baptized as a full time missionary, and I'd love if it was to be him. Because of that discussion, we have also been able to start teaching the other guy, and even a 3rd guy that works the graveyard shifts!!

We had 5 investigators show up to church again. That makes 2 weeks in a row with 5 investigators at church. We are doing well and finding some sweet people to teach. Not to mention that Sunday after church all the members piled into a trotro and we went to the nearest ward meeting house where there is a baptismal font. We had a baptism by a recent convert (one of Elder Wheeler's recent converts from his last area actually) in that ward. He had even brought his wife to church that day, so she was able to witness the baptism as well. And he is very serious about us getting his wife converted to the gospel as well. Sunday was a great day and it was so good to see the smile on his face after he was baptized. That baptism makes the first in our proselyting area in about 10 months now. Everyone is starting to see a ray of hope and they are all getting excited about it. I feel like good things are going to happen in Daban!

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