Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 36- I hope everyone can feel of my love!!!

Well I am currently 1/3 of the way through my mission!  I can’t believe it, it truly has gone by super-fast but needs to continue in that speed or even a little faster, and I miss my family!! It sounded like you all had a great week.  I can’t believe how different everything looks.  Everything is so much bigger then when I left, I always think of that, and how much bigger the pine trees will be when I get home.  Dad you sound busy with that road, if I was there it would have been done in a week haha.  You made me laugh when I read about Mikey I miss that man, can’t wait to see him again, he is funnier than heck!  
This week was great.  We have had a ton of success and have been able to find some more people that the lord has prepared for us.  It was kind of a normal week though nothing much has happened.  E and F are still on track to being baptized this week so I am super happy to get them baptized, I love seeing them glow as they come out of the water, it gives  me the motivation for another couple of months.  G is so dang funny, J is G's daughter in Law, I’m sorry I get in a hurry and probably don’t make much sense.  G is hilarious she doesn’t speak great English but does pretty well.  So me and J always laugh with each other about it.  Whenever I say crap she thinks I say crab so we always say crap and Grandma goes yeah crab haha it’s so funny.  As well I always joke with her that someone is a gay, Ghanians by the way hate GAYS if someone is gay in Ghana literally they get it beat out of them haha, so I always say someone is a gay so me and grandma whenever we see each other she says gay, just hearing her say it is funny to me!!  This Sunday we had stake conference and that was really neat. 
Something really special this week was Mommy B called me and so did Nana!!  Mommy called and said how much she loved the gifts and to tell you thank you thank you thank you and how much she loves us!!  The girls all got on the phone and said thank you as well they loved the gifts. Mommy B said she can’t wear the necklace to church though because the woman will be jealous.  It’s true though Ghanians love Drama and Gossip it’s terrible, and Mommy hates it so she said she is going to wear it around the house!  Nana called and the only thing he said was Carson, my son Carson I love you, I love you, he said that everyone talks about me in Oda and everyone misses me.  He says in the church everyone mentions my name always.  I wrote a message to Nana and he said it gave him the motivation to continue to help missionaries, and how moving it was, he loved it.  Well he called twice that night and said the same thing every time haha it made me feel great!! Mommy B as well said she has my picture on top of the television and all the missionaries know who I am haha and the girls when they watch Grachi get sad sometimes because they miss me haha I sure miss them as well!  After hearing those phone calls it really made me grateful the lord used me to help them, It helped me feel like a successful missionary.  I hope everyone can feel of my love!!! 
Oh yeah so we were teaching an investigator named J he is a great guy, around 25 we get along great, his family is pretty wealthy and owns a big shop, so we always sit outside the shop and BS and learn small.  Well we were outside on Friday evening and the false prophet guy came up and I recognized his face but didn’t recognize who he was so I was All friendly at first and was like hey boss how are you...he didn’t mind me haha and then went inside and started talking about us in Twi, but I can understand hahahaaha fag but anyway I just let it slide and he made himself look like a fool in front of everyone because everyone there knows us and he just looked like an idiot, well as he left, I just said have a good evening sir, just to be polite, in Ghana its very rude to not greet so he passed and turned around and he actually remembered my name and told me I shouldn’t have greeted him and he basically tried casting a spell on me lol it made us all laugh as he went away, what a false prophet lol!! 
I have been eating the same food here as I did in Oda, it’s still rice and stew, Bread and Egg, and Indo-Mei(top-arromin),  Its been hard but I have been trying to eat a lot more!!! 
Mom, Dad , and Colby,  I sure love you guys so dang much!! I miss you every single day of my mission, but I know Heavenly Father is watching out for you guys while I am here.  I love you all tons!!
Love you guys so much!!!
Elder Duke

Elder Carson

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 35- So many dang miracles and a ton of fun doing it!!!!

Hey family!!!!:)  It sounded like you guys had a great week. Were able to get some running in and go to the hills. Enjoy every minute of those experiences you don't realize how bad you miss that stuff until you are away from it. I bet the snow will be gone here shortly, I'm sure that was a beautiful ride though!  Colby is a priest already, holy cow, I'm so dang proud of him, he is a great young man.  I’m happy that he has some kids his age to hang out with now.  I can't believe school is almost over; I will miss you guys this summer a ton!! I loved being able to hear your voices but its true dad it does somehow make it hard and better. I miss you all tons, but I’m doing great, I'm staying super busy and I can't believe this transfer is almost done. Mom I would love the general conference talks only when you send a package, I don't really need anything but more pictures so it’s okay!  I love you guys tons!!!  
This week was amazing; we saw so many dang miracles and had just a ton of fun doing it!!!!! Missionary work is so hard but it’s so rewarding and somehow the lord gives you the strength to do it, to say the least I don't think I have worked this hard ever, You are on your feet always, in the sun and its long days, I am tired all the time haha but it’s so dang sweet!! It’s crazy once you learn that this is the lord’s work and we as missionaries are just merely the messengers or the instruments for our Heavenly Father that is when everyday seems doable.  I love this work, it’s truly the hardest thing I have done, but it’s the most rewarding as well!   This week we had so much success the lord really helped us this week.  I’m not a fan of numbers so I won't put them...I don't want to make other missionaries in the world to feel bad haha but no I don't like numbers they take away from the people, but we had a great week.  We were able to contact and meet some new people who have a lot of potential and we will work with them this week as well.  
Overall this week was the best week I have had in the mission thus far. We had 5 investigators at church!!  E will get baptized next week with J and hopefully J’s husband, and sister as well!  We are preparing all 5 of them for baptism for next week and the following as well.  The lord is really hastening his work in this area!   Well J is a part member, her mother in law just got baptized like 4 months ago and just wants all her family to be baptized and everyone she knows, she is awesome. She feeds us every day we go there, and she loves us. I always joke with her and its funny my reputation in Oda was the white man who could talk plenty and now it’s the same here, haha you know me I won't make things awkward but she says I talk plenty lol!  I love her to death the mother in law\s name is G and she has a great sense of humor, we get along great!   Well we have been teaching J and she loves the teachings she knows it’s true and she can’t wait to be baptized.  Then her husband starts coming to church as well, we had her baby blessed last week so he came, and now he came this week as well.  I talked with him a lot and he is a great guy and he wants what is best for his family which is why he loves the church.  He is a super busy man but he said he will take off work to meet with us, we talked to him last night and he said he wants to learn for 2 hours tomorrow and he wants to be in the baptismal class as well, so he is thinking baptism...I'm so pumped!!!!  Well we have a return missionary from our mission, he was my companions zone leader and he is staying right next to this family, and he has been doing family home evenings with them and he sat down with G's daughter who hates the church and had a casual talk and then it turned into a 5 hour lesson I guess,  During the lesson she had personal revelation on what he taught her, she just said I know this already and she asked him what she should do and he said get baptized and so she is getting prepared as well.  The return missionary is really helping us... I hope I am like him when I get home!!!  The woman he taughts name is B she is J’s sister in law and G's daughter and she came to church on Sunday as well and we taught her small, I noticed she is like our family, she doesn't want religion crammed down her throat...so basically I know how to handle them and I got her laughing and she opened up with us everything...it was merely a miracle!   

This week as well one day when we were contacting, we had another miracle.  We were riding our bikes and a man was carrying water in a wheelbarrow so I grabbed it from him and helped him take it to his house. He had a nice house on the inside and we started talking to him about what he does and he was a firefighter and so we started just BSin and he asked what we do and we told him and asked if he had 5 minutes, he said he did so we had a small 5 minute lesson. Well at the end of the lesson as we were bearing our testimonies I just started talking about how hard life is and how the gospel gives us a purpose.  Well he started getting a little emotional and he told us he was marveled because he had been praying for things like that and he was shocked because he said that I said everything he was praying about...crazy miracle.  This is truly the lords work haha its crazy, just have to be humble enough and know your purpose here!  As well that day we were contacting we contacted a house and went inside well we quickly found out that the man was a false prophet.  So he started telling us how he could teach us the bible, and here the people go to bible school for years to be a prophet haha people just take advantage of these people, well this man went to school just to study the bible haha well it went okay at first and then it started getting a little confrontational and then my companion got a little riled up so we got asked to leave haha so we did and then he said a comment that pissed me off (by this point I was the most calm out of all of us haha surprisingly)  He then said that we were going to hell and joseph smith was from the devil...well I just said sir, I want you to read Mathew chapter 10 about how the savior tells us our words will condemn us in the last days and I said I testify those words will condemn you!  He didn't like that, he started yelling at me but then my companion and I started to leave and noticed his church sign was using our picture of Jesus holding the sheep and I said sir you're even using our picture haha and then we left it was the first time I have had a door slammed in my face to say the least, it was smooth though, no worries!! 

Other than that, it was a great week and we will continue to try to have another great week this time!  Family Thank you so much for everything.  I love your emails and love hearing from you...don’t be afraid to tell me everything!  I miss the heck out of you guys and want you to know how much I love you!  I thank my Father in Heaven every day for my family and know that he is watching out for you!! I love you three so very much!!! 

Love you guys so dang much!!! 

Elder Duke

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 34- What a great week!

This was such a great week I can't even tell you!  It was so good to hear your voices and be able to talk with you. It did make me miss home a little but overall I feel refreshed and motivated to make it another 7 months until Christmas and talk to you then.  You all sound so good and happy, I am so thankful for Heavenly Father and keeping you guys safe.  It sounded like the dunes were great and it sounds like you will have a busy summer!  Only a couple more weeks mom and Colby!  Mom it’s okay I love answering your questions but I may think of some later on and ask you next week, don’t feel bad about that I just love hearing your voices and it was like being there in a way.  Mom I hope you had a great mother’s day! I love you so much and have a letter coming your way, I had to write you on that day and I hope it gets to you in a time when you need it!  But thank you so much for everything mom you are the best mother in the world I don’t doubt that, I love you very much!!!
This week was so special to me!!  We first got to go to the temple on Tuesday and that was much needed, it amazes me how much you learn when you go there, I learn something new every time!  I realized how important it is to honor your covenants that you have made with the lord.  Heavenly Father has so much mercy but he is also very stubborn and will never compromise, he will always have a just punishment, but it’s important for us to live our lives to honor our covenants we have made with him!! I don’t know I’m rambling haha but it’s very important in order to receive our overall goal, our salvation and for me personally to be able to live with my families forever!   At the temple though as I prayed in the Celestial Room, (this brings tears to my eyes) I felt that Corban was there with me!! Actually I know he was!  I always read about Jason and Tanner and how they felt Grandma and I always wanted that but I somehow didn’t believe that could happen!  I know that Corban was there and as I sat on the chair It just felt like his hand was on my shoulder saying I love you, I know he is with our father in Heaven and I know he is watching over his family!  I love him and miss him dearly!  Which brings me to a testimony I have gained out here regarding the Christ like attribute of hope!  I realized that having a perfect understanding of this gospel or other things isn’t as necessary as I thought.  I realized that Faith and Hope kind of tie in together, well they do.  I realized that I need to hope for things and I have been working on it. I know this may not make any sense but what I am trying to say is I hope for the day I can see my family again, I hope for the day I am home and I live my life accordingly so that, that hope can come true!!  Our Investigators are sweet!  We have a recent convert in the area and she loves the gospel so much and is sharing it with everyone (doing missionary work as a member helps missionaries so dang much) and has brought her daughter in law, her son and her friend to church this week and the daughter in law wants baptized!! Plus E came to church as well, he is struggling with some addictions but he wants a better life and he is such a humble hard working man, I am going to give him a pair of pants, a shirt, and a tie at his baptism he doesn't have one, it will be next week Saturday!  

Well family it was so good to hear from you, I hope you know and understand how much I love you!!! I miss you three like crazy.  I loved the videos and the pictures.  I love seeing you guys and its weird nothing much really changes it all looks about the same but it will still be weird next year and things will change a lot I’m sure!  Know that I am doing great, I am happy, I am actually at peace with everything, and the mission is sweet!!! Mom, Dad, and Colby, I miss you guys so dang much, I love you three with all my heart, dream of the day when we can get those dews, go to the hills and shoot the breeze about everything!!!
I love you guys tons!!!

Elder Duke
Elder Carson

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 33- Be humble enough to follow

5/5/2014 8:04 AM
Hey family!! I have to say I have been a bit homesick this week, I think it is because we get to talk soon and I get so anxious for that.  I truly love you three so much!  I am so grateful for my family and I have realized that two years is a long time haha but its okay, it’s going by fast and nothing is really changing, I just wish I could enjoy some of those memories with you.  I will always be fine, the lord is always on my side and I have also used this mission as a way of giving thanks to him and to you for such a great life, and memories in which I treasure so very much!  Colby, happy birthday again bro! I love you man so much, again know you are my best friend and obviously my brother but I love you man! Dude you can date, be careful my brother...don't follow your brother on his dating pool...basically I know it was the best ever jk jk I was terrible at it, choose wisely and don't ever get serious man, I know you won’t!  Send me a pic of the bike all decked out as well!  I can't wait to ride with the family again, I miss the hills so dang much, I won’t ever leave them again!!!!!!!!  Have a great birthday and time at the sand dunes though family, take some pictures for me!!!:)  
This week was great, we had transfers on Wednesday and said goodbyes to people on Tuesday!  I made another goal for this transfer...be humble enough to follow!  I realized how important goals are and I am always making them!  The area is still sweet, there is a big hill and it kills me, I have lost almost 15 pounds here haha I'm sitting around 185 its been hard on me but I have been being positive.  The apartment is sweet, still bucket baths though haha I haven't had a constant shower in about 4 months now haha not many people can say that about their mission, it’s all good though!  Our investigators are sweet dad!  E came to church for the third time so we will baptize him at the end of this month and a man named E came as well for the 2nd time haha the lord has really blessed this area.  This week was somehow short so nothing spectacular happened!  

Well only one more week!!! I am so excited!!!! As well we are going to the temple tomorrow...I need that so badly I miss the temple, I am blessed to have the temple in my mission!  Family, I love you three so much, thank you for the emails and encouragement it means so much to me!  I love hearing from you, and next week we can talk it’s going to be sweet!!!!

I love you Mom, Dad, and Colby tons!!!!

Elder Duke