Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 53- Officially one year!!!


Hey family!! It sounded like you had a pretty normal week! I am thankful you are all happy and healthy, it helps me out here.  I am doing great, everything in Ghana is normal, hot, humid and a ton of fun!!!:) Dad Its true, soon enough I will be home and continuing my life, I actually want time to slow down because I’m nervous for that, I feel different, look different and I’m nervous but I’m excited to start.  It reminds me of the sign mom put in my letters before I left, "Strength doesn’t come from things you have done it comes from accomplishing things you thought you couldn’t," or something along those lines, I really love that saying.  Dad I am glad work is going good and you and Colby were able to go on a ride, I sure miss those rides but I am glad you guys get to do that.  I bet it was so dang pretty up there.  Colby's bike is good now too which is good, should have got a Honda haha.  Mom happy Bday again, I sure miss ya but I will be home guaranteed for your next one:) I love that you were able to get together and have a good time.  The package is here so I will get it next week Wednesday.  

I can’t believe one year ago I was at home preparing to come.  I feel like a lot has changed and I have grown so much in this past year than I have my whole life.  It’s truly amazing how serving a mission grows you from a small boy into a man.  I have learned so many life lessons and attributes to help me have a successful and happy life.  I have also learned the importance of being Grateful in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.   You know Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants us to be true disciples of his son so he does things to make us stronger (Ether 12:27)  I have learned that I have been so blessed in my life and the importance of always being grateful for those blessing.  Another thing I have learned is the importance of service.  I have found that when you are in the service of your fellow being you are serving your Heavenly Father.  When you do this with a humble heart you are so dang happy, you forget about how you look, things at home, what others think, you are just focused on serving your Heavenly Father, as you do this you literally are so happy.  I have made one goal that when I go home I always want this happiness, so I decided I would visit an old folks home 1 to 2 times a month and visit the widows in my ward.  Can you imagine how they feel??  I just want to help people always.   I have learned the importance of keeping my covenants.  Do we realize when we are baptized, go to the temple and perform these ordinances we are making a promise with God?? For me I have to keep that promise because he has blessed me so much in my life and all I can do is keep that covenant.  As I have kept these covenants I have grown so close to my Heavenly Father.  I trust him with all my heart and know that he will guide me as long as I am worthy of that guidance, what a great blessing.  The power of prayer is simply what has saved me on my mission and in my life.  I remember when I wanted to do what is right always I made a goal to pray to my Heavenly Father every night.  At first it wasn’t easy,  I felt I wasn’t worthy to even mention his name but as I communicated with him night after night  I felt his love for me and for my loved ones.  I know Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants us to pray to him every single second we can, I love my God so much!!   This new year I want to just be the best missionary I can be, I thank everyone for their prayers and support, I couldn’t be here without the examples and support of my family, the blessings I have received from missionary work are also bestowed upon you as well. 
This week was a great week, very very fast.  Well on Tuesday we had District Council, after Jensen challenged me to some ping pong so we played.  We then had a great Family Home Evening for Elder Valdez's bday.  The member fed us legit Spaghetti and marinated spicy chicken.  It was so dang good, my best meal in Ghana by far.  The following day we did another one for his bday as well.  We played games with Elder Valdez's recent converts and my investigators and we were all laughing so hard.  We reenacted a joke Elder Jensen told and Elder Bangi my comp was so funny I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time, we were all very happy.   M our baptismal candidate is progressing very well, this week is her baptism she is so happy.  Also she has been bringing a friend and that friend wants to be baptized as well, but we are taking it slow so she gets a strong testimony first.  J and all of are other investigators didn't come to church we were so sad.  We decided for this week we have to find some more people so we will see!!  We found an old less active though which was way cool!!! We had contacted this woman a long time ago and we were riding by her house and she told us to come tomorrow to teach her.  We did that and met her Grandfather and he was like I’m a pioneer to the church.  We chatted and in Ghana a while ago there was something that happened called the freeze.  Ghana thought the Church was a secret organization spying on them so they stopped our church here and investigated all our buildings; it was very wicked, well when that happened he left.  It was so cool though we mentioned the book of Mormon and asked him if he had one and the next day we were there he said I found the book of Mormon and hadn’t read it so I decided to read...he was almost done with first Ghana that is a miracle...we are so happy for this man.  Also while we were teaching him his grandson came out and was so interested in the church and the man was just teaching the boy about the book of Mormon and the church and he was like yeah the church is true...powerful dang cool!! What was funny though as we were teaching him we asked him to pray...most of the time Ghanaians pray in their local language so he started to pray in twi, as he prayed he said amen so my companion said amen but the man wasn’t finished so Elder Bangi said oh sorry then bowed his head again.  After we finished he was blaming it on me and was like pure wickedness haha, we had this happen to a french speaker just the week before and we laughed about it for a long time.  
Family I am doing so well, as I write my weekly email I realize how much the lord has blessed me throughout the week.  I am so grateful for all of you, next milestone is Christmas:)  I love you all very much, again thank you for the emails, and more importantly the prayers!!!:) 

I love you all tons!!

Elder Duke