Saturday, November 8, 2014

Week 59- Truth Hurts!!!

Hey family!!!:) How are you guys?? Boy I miss you guys so dang much. Every single Day I miss you guys but it’s because I love ya!! You know I love Mondays so dang much and love hearing from each of you!!:) Tell Colby that Dog to email me some details here and me he will want me to do that on his mission;) I see the weather is changing back home it's crazy it's that time of year again, I swear months feel like weeks now time is flying! I'm going home in August which means I only have 9 months left. It's wild!!! I had a dream where I had finished my mission and hadn’t gave everything I had and hadn't enjoyed my mission as much as I could the feeling sucked so it made me really evaluate my mentality here.  I realized that I have been so complacent about things around me and haven't been soaking in to see the blessings and joy here in Ghana! The only thing I don't enjoy is the grind every day is the dang sun that thing is not fun. 

Well family thank you for telling me about your week here is mine. I want to start going into more detail on some things. Like here in Ghana almost all our teaching is done outside on wood benches I have been so used to it but I have realized that that isn’t normal in most missions and I love it!  Anyway the area I am in and have been in for about 5 months now is sick! I really love it here it’s a super hard area but it’s been a blast! We deal mainly with women here and sometimes we want priesthood leaders but we do what God wants us to do. I have often said women are way more righteous then men. Most of the churches here are only filled with women, you usually see women every Sunday dragging their children to church and I have realized that there is probably going to be more women in the Celestial than men (my opinion).  Speaking of churches there are so many churches here you can't even begin to start naming them all! We laugh if you open the bible and say the first word you see and do that three times you will have a name of a church in Ghana. There is royal house priesthood, rock ministry, house of prayer for God international, true church of God, lighthouse, Salvation Rock, Fire for Fire haha and the usual churches! One thing is though that has strengthened my testimony of this true church is we are the same everywhere throughout the world. We don't differ in different cultures or countries! The churches here have all changed to Ghana, the Methodist and Catholic here actually dance, clap, sing and preach totally different doctrine then from back home or what they are founded upon. The Jehovah Witness are plenty here and they go out like us mostly on weekends but they are always out. They are very stubborn people here and throughout the world I don’t think they even can comprehend the meaning of the word humility. Basically when we contact a JW we just leave it’s a waste of our time. People here have the common belief that it "doesn't matter" what church you go to because we all worship the "same God." Pastors here are very wicked and you see churches built up for gain and it’s so sad to see these people being misled, but they are stubborn and still make justifications for those pastors. When you pass churches you will hear blabbering and yelling and a baby language and that is what they think the Gift of Tongues is haha it's so funny to see those people talk like that And from the words of Paul "Won't they say ye are mad?" Those are his words and mine:) Also you will see in these churches a person passing around a bowl in almost all the churches here except ours of course asking for something called collection. The Pastors will say it’s for this and for the church but it goes straight to his pocket. They actually do games with it like oh this person paid 20 cedi they are in this club and those that didn't pay or paid little will be put in another club and it forces them to pay due to the opinions of others it's sad. What I dislike is when I say your pastor just built your church for him to make money and I will say does your pastor have a nice car? They will say yes, and then does your pastor have a nice house? Yes. Are his children in America? Yes. Then you say where does he get that money? They say the church pays him he is full time pastor. I usually laugh and say what was Jesus? Did he receive money? Or his apostles did they receive money? Are your pastors better than Christ? They will say no but then STILL justify it somehow it’s just brainwashing. People say we brainwash but that is totally false. Our doctrine for the plan of our Heavenly Father is he has given us our agency to choose right from wrong and we give that to others throughout the world. Just like back home there are plenty of false and observed rumors about the church here in Ghana. Actually most come from pastors and most tell their congregation to never allow us as missionaries into their homes it's sometimes hard. Some of the rumors in Ghana is that we drink blood haha, that we have secret rooms, we worship naked, we have our own bible, we have a room called the holly of hollies that if you enter you become rich, And many more haha. You know just like home people say Joseph was a bad man, Joseph was a magician, Joseph looked into a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. These and all other rumors of the church are completely and 100% false. Joseph wasn't and didn't do any of those things he was a great man that lived in a world of apostasy. I often ask myself why do people say these things? The Church of Jesus Christ helps most people in the world today! We have one of the largest humanitarian aid in the world! Where are the other churches? Yet you never hear anything about them or have anti-catholic, or anti-Methodist nope but we have anti-Mormons, it blows my mind. I ask why and the only sense that I can conclude is people hate the truth! Nephi also taught us of this when he said "wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." 1 Nephi 16:2. People hate the truth. As we look at the scriptures the true followers of God and Christ were very small compared to the population of the world. Also we see that almost every Prophet in the Old Testament faced some sort of ridicule, persecution, or even death, because why........they spoke the truth. Then look at the New Testament. Jesus Christ the son of God, our Savior and Redeemer of the world came and the people called him possessed, false, spit on him, humiliated him and guess what they even killed the very son of God, because why......he spoke the truth. Then all except John the Revelatory of the Apostles of Jesus Christ we killed in horrible ways and also persecuted, because why.....they spoke the truth! Today the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faces that same ridicule and persecution, because why.......we too speak the truth. Don't let those false rumors that come from the very one who wants you to fail and finds joy when you are sinning, Satan, allow you to fall away or question your testimony of the Lords Church! We can follow the counsel of Moroni and ask God for the truth!
Also here in Ghana the traffic is wild haha there is so much honking, yelling, and noise! When you ride your bike you really have to watch out or you'll be African dinner that night. Don't worry though we are being watched out for here!

My week was really a great week! We had an investigator named E. She is a very nice and humble woman. She with her Grandmother were pounding fufu so we went and helped them pound and then taught them small. They really loved our message and wanted to hear more. Well we have had great lessons with them and they loved it! We invited them to church on Sunday but they had a hard time with that so we invited them to Mid-Week (like mutual) and they came!!:) Well our ward isn't serious and no one showed up for mid-week but thank goodness Heavenly Father caused the church to be lights off and we had to go it was a blessing but they still came and saw the outside and we chatted with them after. The only problem is here in Ghana is their culture is when you get married you have to follow your husband to whatever church he is attending and that is the problem we are facing with her. Also we contacted this man named D. Very very nice and humble man! He is also a very smart guy too he is a doctor! Well he has some mixed views of religion and has concluded that we are in apostasy so he has found a way that he feels to please and serve God like just loving your neighbor. Well we taught him the Plan of Salvation first and he absolutely loved it! He had some personal stories of where his family had dreams and experiences where they described the spirit world! He agreed and admitted that it was true but still is having a hard time accepting that we are the only true Church on this earth....the truth is one;)  great guy and we are excited for him! Vivian and Chris are doing great and loving the Church and are progressing towards their baptism on the 15th we are happy for them!

Also this Sunday we were able to watch conference it was so great! I Loved Hollands talk his talks are what I picture Dad like when he is speaking! I think Dad would love Holland and they would get along very well haha! I hope we all have loved conference!!:)

Also in the area I am in we have to bike far to the Chapel! It's probably about a 15 mile ride there and then another 15 back Plus our proselyting time as well basically we probably bike close to 25 to 35 miles a day so basically they call me Lance Armstrong haha! 

Christmas is just around the corner I am looking forward to seeing you guys!!:) I miss you but know you are okay! I pray for your protection every day and know there are angels surrounding you and keeping you safe! For Christmas I don't want a lot just something small as a matter of fact I would love it if you could send a package to Elder L and let him have my Christmas there are so many Elders that don't get one thing it's up to you but that's my preference! I love you each very much and am so grateful for the memories we have!!:)

I love you guys tons!!!:)

Elder Duke
Elder Carson