Monday, February 27, 2012

Lesson I Learnt Hiking

I wanted to share an insight or experience that i felt as we hiked to
the top of the Wli water falls here in Ghana's beautiful Volta region.

The path to the lower falls, was flat, it was a little windy with
about 8 bridges, but a flat walk the whole way.  The reward a
spectacular waterfall about 40m high.

About 500m from the lower falls a side path branching nearly vertical
upwards and over what appears to be a never ending mountain.  But we
felt it was worth it. We arrived at the beginning of the track and our
guide handed us each a hiking stick to help us on the journey.  As we
hiked up the near vertical track we came to know that there were
pieces of path that were easy to navigate, some were not as steep as
they appeared, and it even changed from uphill to downhill at some
places.  As we came closer to the upper falls, we came to a very
narrow path with a cliff-like drop off on one side.  Our guide
cautioned us that we should rely heavily on the support of the hiking
stick as to not over balance over this next section.  We continued
having what i could describe as big heads thinking that we could do it
without the support.  However it came to a point where that support
was vital and without it we would have certainty fallen over the steep
side. While it was there to support and strengthen me throughout the
whole hike, there were times that without it we could have easily

In life we hike up and down emotional, physical and spiritual
mountains everyday.  But we are not alone.  We also have a guide and
we have that hiking pole to support and strengthen us at all times,
always ready to take the weight that we cannot bear.  As i thought
about the guides we have and the pillar of support given it prompted
me to think of who these people are in our lives.  Our parents, church
leaders, the Prophet and Apostles, the scriptures and so many more.
That hiking pole, is the Atonement.  Jesus Christ suffered the peins,
griefs and sorrow of the world, he is our rock, ready to support us
through any trial we find ourselves inflicted with.

My Question is do we follow these guides and use this support as much
as we should?  Or are there are times when we with "big heads" feel
ourselves strong enough to endure without the needed support.

However we know that there are time's of narrow track in our lives,
times when storms threaten to swallow us up that we must lean upon
that rock, hold on tight! So he may carry us through the storm an
safely back to the shore. We need to build ourselves upon that rock
the rock of our salvation who is Christ.  For it is "a foundation
whereon if men build, they cannot fall."

The reward?

A most amazing sight.  Breathtaking 60m waterfall, with wildlife and
scenery most serene and peaceful.

Our reward in life.
Eternal Life ... Exhaltation ... To live forever with our Families.

I love you all so much.
Thank you for your support as i am here in Ghana.
I know i am where i need to be and that i am in the service of my
Father In Heaven as a representative of his Son Jesus Christ to
declare repentance and Baptism to the

The most wonderful birthday of my life!!

i do not think i will have any problem eating McDonalds on the way home!! so we can definantly stop there for some Big Mac's and Chicken nuggets!!! hehe!!!

For you information I had almost the most wonderful Birthday of my life!! Thanks for the present!!! it was great!  You spoil me!!!!!  but i found some nutella here in HO!!! it was 18cedis for the small jar but i slurged and got me a little birthday treat!!!

In the Morning of my birthday, Elder and Sister Lyon picked us up bright and early at 6am.  She made muffins and some caramel chocolate toffee over crackers that you put in the fridge i think she called in sal-teen toffee.. but it was really good!!!!! and some fresh fruit! they sang happy birthday to me too!!!

and the day was just amazing!!  On the way home we stopped for gelato at the only gelato shop in all of ghana, in accra and it was so great!! what an awesome birthday treat!! Sister Patience also made us some really nice Fufu when we got home to Ho at about 7pm with chicken lite soup!! (i will have to learn how to make it so i can prepare you some!!! but maybe we will just eat it with spoons and maybe some dipping bread!!)
(but i already told you all of this!!!!) hehe just some more details!!

Before the meeting with Elder Snow and Elder Holland we waited on the steps of the temple (in the sun mind you) for about 45minutes, but no one cared as it was so exciting!!!
Then they came and we took the picture and then we went to the stake centre for the meeting.
Elder and Sister Curtis, Elder and Sister Dickson, Elder and Sister Snow and Elder and Sister Holland all spoke to us!! IT WAS AMAZING!

Just breifly,
Sister Curtis spoke about how we are all servants of the Lord and about Alma 16:16
Elder Curtis spoke about how the "sacred choir of the Apostle" is back on the earth once again!!! and what a privilege is is to be lead and guided by them today!

Sister Dickson talked about moses 7:62, how we must seek and share truth.
Elder Dickson told of the importance of Revelation, and how we would cease to be a church if we stopped receiving revelation. and to be teachable.

Sister Snow spoke about Genesis 45:25, and to not fall by the wayside.. to be true and pure, to live and learn the doctrines of the gospel and keep our covenants.
I also felt impressed with the doctrine of enduring to the end as it applies to our investigators, that we should also support them so they to do not fall by the wayside!
Elder Snow also talked about being teachable, meaning that you apply what you learn, not just listen and take notes!  He spoke on Knowing our privileges as missionaries and members of the church, to not leave any cards on the table to have no regrets.  He also shared a poem, called myself "I do not want to sit at the setting sun, and regret the things i've done" i also added or what i haven't done. He told us to EXPECT miracles!! be ambassadors for Christ at all times and all things and in all places (Mosiah 18) 

Sister Holland is just an amazing woman! She spoke about Joel in the Old testament, about his prophesying about the last days, but that we need not fear as the SPIRIT is promised that the word of Truth will go forth, she also touched on us not living below our privileges, it reminds me of Elder Uctdorf's talk about the man on the cruise ship!  That we in our day will dream dreams and see visions!

He testimony was so powerful, that her husband is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ a special witness of him here, and a member of that "Sacred Choir of Apostles"  It was heart warming and was the first time i almost cried.  She told how her husband does dream dreams and receive visions.

Elder Holland is even more grand than his wife. He is so humble and just emanates the qualities of Christ we are all chasing! He talked on the grand "Tradition of Mission"
That missionaries are the most recognized symbol of the church today.  "So many not of our Faith wonder how the heck we do it! How do we get young men and women to do the things they do as missionaries!"  He talked about the mission standards how they are hard in today's world and then reminded us that we are not of this world, we are the Youth of a noble birthright and can do it!  We as missionaries and members of the church cannot compromise the name of the church, we do not have the right to do that!

When we go home, we must declare what a mission should be, what it can be and represent the best of mission forever!!! THIS IS OUR LIFE..  There is no going back to the 'real' world, this is the REAL WORLD!!! our life forever more, to be a missionary, we never ever stop being missionaries!  We have to do it right, build it right "pull your socks up to your armpits, cowboy up, be big people!!!! We never have an opportunity like this again"

He spoke on becoming a Book of Mormon mission, it is a miracle maker!  As you will read in president's email, we have more than doubled the number of Book Of Mormons we have been using in the past 6 months!! HOW GREAT IS THAT! the word is getting out there and working the hearts of Ghanaian's all over Ghana!

We are privileged to see the Church being born here in Ghana.  With the creation of the new mission, the new district that Ho will soon be apart of, we can see it! The church is flourishing here in Ghana and it is just amazing!!! and I am here to see it!

Finally he said, that he understands missionary work/the work of salvation is not easy, BECAUSE salvation is not easy!

It was a life changing experience, it was a perception changing experience and it really helped me to receive more direction and to what i will do after mission.... continue to be a missionary, even after i die.

I wanted to share a mini miracle we experienced on Saturday, a physical one but a miracle none the less.

At our Baptismal service, we were able to have 3 investigators attend, the service was very nice and the spirit was present.  The speaker was talking and afterwards we would proceed to the font outside.  Outside the wind started to howl, the sky went dark and the rain that had be daunting all day was about to pour down.

Our candidate leaned over and asked me if they would go out to do the baptism if it started raining, i responded with a smile and said "Everything will work out."  As the speaker finished and everyone got up to go to the font, the wind stopped, the rain held off and we were able to proceed with the baptism.  As the last candidate was exiting the font, a small wind started again and by the time they had reached the pathway rain started to fall very heavy.

I know that Heavenly Father was watching over, that he knew they were prepared and provided the weather to allow for the baptism to come on.

It may have been a small thing, but it is by small things that great things are brought to pass.

It is so great to know we are engaged in the work of the Lord.

I love you all so much and hope you continue to be missionaries!!

New Companion, growth in Ho

As promised this weeks email i devoted as much time as possible to help keeping you up to date with everything that has happened this past few weeks!!

They have been quite a Hectic few!!

I got a new companion, Elder John, and yes he is my second new missionary.
However Elder Imende got transferred to Kasoa, and Elder Fairbourn from Utah came to replace him, so still 2 whites in the apartment! But it is a little spot the white person!
The other Elder Anderson went to a place called Tantra Hills in northern Accra.

We received some great, fantastic news on Sunday!!!!  President Judd got a letter from the 1st presidency informing him of 2 new stakes and 1 new district being created in the mission area!!

The 4 stakes in Accra are becoming 6 and Ho will now be apart of a District!!!
the Kpong Ghana District.  With Kpong Branch (which will probably be split) the Senchi branch and the Ho branch which president also said, should be split before the end of the year!!!

The vision is the same a stake of Zion right here in Ho.
They looked at land again yesterday for a Stake centre, not just a meetinghouse. It is 2.8acres!  The other plot of land is just under an acre, but they are 4 parcels next to each other and the 4th person changed his mind and is not sure if he wants to sell!
so we are all praying that his heart will be softened!

I am still the DL up here in Ho, the new zone (Koforidua Zone) covers quite a large area, but it only comprises of 2 districts and 6 companionship's and 2 senior couples.
Just have to travel 2.5 hours to reach meetings!! but it is better than 3.5/4 to accra!!!
at least to Koforidua there is no traffic!  Keeping the district motivated is not an easy task! missionary work is demanding! i always try to be a good example and offer encouragement and support!

The Mission tour that i was telling you about with Elder Sitati from the area presidency was really great!!

They discussed about striving for further light and knowledge and following paths and light and righteousness and avoid darkness.  Light and Dark are always paired, we know that there must needs be an opposition in all things.  In Moroni 7:19 it talks about being the children of Christ by walking in that light, and by following light in brings more light!
He said, "When we go against the light of Christ, it brings imperfection, godly sorrow, and a desire to rid ourselves of imperfection, therefore having the light returned to us.  However, failure to repent leaves us vulnerable to Satan and to sin as our definition between light and dark is diminished."

He re-issued the challenge to be 100% missionaries for the next 6 months and try and see how the blessing will.

In D&C 76:5-10  It talks about obedience and how we can be lifted up thru following that light which is good and right!

Sister Judd also gave us three simple rules to live by.
1.  Obey commandments
2.  Work and Work Hard
3.  Have FUN!!!

Then on Saturday we went to the new zone, district leaders council.  So much instruction, it went or about 4 hours!
Elder Speirs instructed on being more pure, aiming for that light!
Elder Afu instructed on leadership skills and how Satan uses counterfiets to trick us into doing things we think are right and are very close to truths but a just barly twisted. Like using flattery instead of praise, or criticism instead of instruction or reprove. 
Elder Lyon (Couple) on family history in missionary work
Elder Baker (couple) on effective meetings
Sister Baker (couple) on getting converts to the temple
Elder Nembaware on covenants and 
Me on using the Book of Mormon more effectively! 

I recently gave an instruction at a meeting we had about the choice to be obedient and it went something like this!
I love how the gospel applies on so many levels.
We need to exercise faith in being obedient and repent of any previous disobedience and keep our covenants and the commandments, then we can receive an increase of the Holy Ghost.  thus being able to teach with more power and authority. 

Elder Holland said, "Authority comes from our ordination, the power come from obedience and worthiness"
"When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power!"

You know working hard is now always easy, there are so many times and different situations that can bring you down!
My new companion is doing great! He is very humble, and has a strong desire to help the people of Ghana!

I love Ghana, I love the People, I am scared that in just over 6 months i will be coming home to a polar opposite of the life i am used to here in Ghana.
Some will be a nice and welcomed change, but many will be hard to re-adjust to! just as adjusting when i got here was Hard!!

Lots of Love
Elder Anderson!