Monday, March 3, 2014

And then there were 2

Well this week things have started to change. The fact that I have 2 weeks left is finally setting in. Here in Ghana we have what we call "dying missionaries" - those are missionaries who just get so burnt out and lazy. I'm not one of them. However I would fall into another category called "tired." I'm extremely "tired!" I'm still pushing though. Still using the last 2 weeks to the best of my abilities.

This week I got another fresh copy of the Book of Mormon and started reading in Enos. It's been nice having blank pages. All my other copies are marked up like crazy and, I think in my mind, I get limited to what is already marked. I've been able to ponder completely new teachings and scriptures that I've read a lot but never seen because of all the other ink on the pages.

Today we played soccer with a few other districts in the Zone. It was awesome!

So as a missionary it gets very difficult the last few weeks when everyone you meet is not, at all possible, to be baptized before you leave. Just a small challenge that I have to deal with. President Hill expects us to be getting 10 new investigators each week. A new investigator is defined as "someone you've taught at least once and set a specific return appointment with.

We've been exceeding that goal the past few weeks. We've been finding so many new people and those who aren't prepared we drop and put them back into the Lord's teaching pool. A frustrating thing is when we feel like we taught at our best and felt the spirit testifying and they just don't want to leave their church. It's always sad but we just find more people.

I can see how this process of getting lots of new people is helping me to become an escalator missionary rather than an elevator missionary. In the past, we would do like 2 weeks of finding where we get a huge teaching pool and then for the next 2 weeks drop those who aren't serious and work with those who have even a tiny bit of potential. The whole process of missionary work has changed with President  Hill and I'm very grateful for it. It's something wonderful and I'll be able to apply it in my life.

One man we found is named Phillip. He's struggling with the Word of Wisdom. We're going to have daily contact with him to help him. We called all of his family (his wife, sister and 2 young kids) and asked them how they would like it if his father stopped drinking. Every single one of them had a light of hope and joy in their eyes and they were all excited. It's not going to be easy, and I'm not going to be here for the end of it, but I'm excited I can be a small part in it. He did come to church on Sunday and loved it so much.

Reuben (brother Sakum's brother) is still coming to church. Ready to be baptized on the 15th, right before I leave. I'm excited to finish with a baptism.

Monday, February 24, 2014


What an excellent week!

I thoroughly enjoyed the mission tour. I got to do the Jeopardy with President Hill at my side. It was so much fun to do the game with him. I appreciate when he takes my ideas and runs with them. I really learned a lot as I prepared it, mostly about how to do things rather than just talk about them.

I'm proud to be able to say that I'm finishing strong! I set a personal goal to teach at least one lesson each day. Thursday we almost went straight back to the apartment after a mission tour with Elder Dube (from the Area Presidency). It was about 4:30PM and I realized that if we did went back to the apartment we probably wouldn't have gone back out. We each had a lot of stuff to carry but we made the agreement to go straight and see some people. 

Because we sacrificed our will to God's, miracles came! We met a member on our way (Raymond) who decided to come with us. He helped teach and testify. We committed all of that group to come to church and to pray to get a testimony. Out of that group of about 5 people, one man actually did what we asked. His name is Abraham. He said he felt a peaceful feeling in his heart after praying. He's new to Christianity and loves feeling the spirit. Because he's new to Christianity he recognizes the spirit. He came to church on Sunday also! If we decided to go back to the apartment and relax for the night I doubt he would have gotten a testimony that fast and I doubt he would have come to church last Sunday. So sacrificing our will to God's does have incredible blessings because we're able to find them "one by one."

Elder McCullough is doing great! I'm so glad he's pushing me to work hard and to be obedient. He has so much potential.

Christiana called this morning, she said her and her husband are going to be endowed in 2 weeks. I asked for permission to go through with them. That would probably be the most joyful experience I can think of. Literally watching them go through the finish line.

Things are great! Feeling so happy and excited!

3 weeks left!!!!!!!!

[He sent pictures but they didn't download on his end like they were suppose to so he said he would try again next week with a different card reader- the mom]


When is the temperature going to get warm? I won't be able to handle the cold.

Well my week was great! Glad to say I'm still working hard and finishing strong!

We had a few rough days.

We had one big challenge this last week. We would have NOTHING to do in the evening from about 6 to 9. We continued to pray and counsel things that we can do. When we did that we noticed a huge difference. The Lord would place things to do in our way. Nothing like a member calling us and inviting us to come and teach a friend but simple things like we'd have an investigator who stays far ask us to come back for a return appointment. So again, God does answer prayers! 

Something interesting happened Sunday morning. We went to pick an investigator named Sarah. She had promised to come and we were excited. We got to Amasaman and parked our bikes. I had an idea to park and lock them to a power line near her house so after church we can get them easier. As we were walking close to her house we saw a man calling us far off. It was Moses, another investigator! I thought he was going to his church then I noticed the restoration pamphlet in his hand. I was so excited! We had comitted him but weren't able to see him at all during the week. We didn't think he would come. We went to pick Sarah but she wasn't at home. The storal of the mory is that the Spirit can work through us even though we aren't making a concious effort to follow it. It's always a great feeling knowing that you're living worthy of things like that. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I hope as you all read that ponder about in your life within the past few days or weeks when you've had similar experiences. 

Elder Mccullough is really pushing me to finish strong! It's a truly inspired companionship.
Everything's looking good to divide the ward in march. The building is almost complete. Just left with a few finishing touches. The ward conference is scheduled for the 9th of march. If everything goes well my last sunday in Ghana (15th March) will be at the Amasaman ward as it's first week! I'm pumped and I continue to pray for that to happen.

My goal is to do family home evening each week and home teaching each month. I've gotten to learn a different way of doing FHE. Be prepared!

I'm so excited!

Thursday Elder Dube is coming for a mission tour. President Hill took one of my ideas (making a missionary jeopardy game) and ran with it! He gave me an assignment to prepare it and we'll play it in our meeting Thursday. I'm so excited for that. I'm nervous! Leading a game in front of a general authority. It will be good though. I'm gonna finalize everything tonight and tomorrow.
We talked for a good hour last night about that and missionary work. We went through a lot of the questions he helped perfect them with me. I have a lot of work to do to make them perfect I love when he just calls and chats. 

I'll only email you in Ghana 4 more times after today. I might not even email my last Monday.
[I assured him that he WILL email me that last Monday! -the mom]

I got my itenary this week. 
I fly to JFK then to Detroit then to st louis??
I'm going to be so tired by the time I get home.


Well this week was excellent!

I started my LAST TRANSFER!!!!

My new companion is Elder Mccullough from Provo Utah!

I haven't taken any pictures with him yet, sorry. I'll send one next week.

He's great! He's about 6 months on mission. A fireball! He's very easy to get along with and we're sprinting my final weeks!

We did tons of finding this week. We got a lot of new people. None of them committed to church this week. They almost all committed to coming to church next week. That will be exciting.

As soon as we got back to the area from transfers we hit the ground hard. I'll be honest though, time has STOPPED! 

That's how it is for the first few weeks of getting a new companion. We're still getting used to each other's teaching methods and stuff. He makes me feel like a legendary missionary. Every day he says he's learning from me. I'm learning from him also!

We set a goal this week to be more fun and free with investigators. We're going to start playing games at the end of lessons like go-fish and stuff. I saw it work in the past when I did it. They get to see the fun side of us rather than just the preachy side.

Got a few changes in the district. I'm excited! We're working much more effectively so far. I just gotta point everyone in the right direction and keep them motivated. 

I'm proud to say I'm not a "dead" or "dying" missionary. I'm working hard until the end. I can feel the tiredness setting in but the end is in sight. 

A new family moved into the ward into our area. We moved quickly after church and set up an FHE for tonight. I was afraid of it being too pushy but I saw the husband's surname was from Dodowa. We clicked and had some laughs. I'm excited for that!

I know you might not like it, but I ordered another suit. I saw Elder Robertson's gray one and I just couldn't resist. I pulled out money that was on my card, it should be plenty to last until I'm going home.

The exchange rate has been very good.

So yeah that's about all that's new.

{then there was more}

I'm working on making a Jeopardy game to do for a ward activity.
President Hill also wants me to let him know when I finish so we can do it as a dual or tri-district meeting.

I love when he takes my ideas and runs with them and points me in the right direction with them. It makes me feel great!

I look pretty much the exact same as when I was in high school.

I noticed that this week. I haven't physically changed at all!
I'm gonna hit up the gym when I get home.
is there a rec-center there?

Monday, February 3, 2014


If I can chip in a few things that I learned from Elder Bednar this last week.

He talked a lot about agency. He said (and I'll quote it): "When you are baptized and make covenants you no longer have agency. It becomes representative agency. You give your will to God. Don't teach your children that agency is to choose whatever you want. In this church, we don't have the freedom to choose whatever we want. We have made covenants to God."

It made me think very seriously. Yeah we still have our choice but the consequences are much bigger than what we often expect. It's the covenants that allow us into heaven. 

Just a small food for thought.

I'm staying here in Amasaman for the next 6 weeks. I have a new companion (I'll get him on Wednesday) and if I'm not mistaken he's from Utah, a very stellar guy. I'll let you know how he is next week and include pictures.
I have loved serving with Elder Morrison.  I hope I have another hard working companion finishing off my last leg of my mission!

One thing I thought of when I saw your sandwiches ...I look forward to butterball turkey & cheese sandwiches!

One by One

Well this week was excellent!

We got to take El-Shaddai to the Elder Bednar (Elder Bednar came to Ghana and hosted a missionary devotional this past week) member-devotional. He liked it! He didn't come to church because he traveled to eastern region.

On Thursday we had our missionary devotional with Elder Bednar. Basically it was a very mature question and answer session. I was so happy because there's a few things I was struggling with spiritually and I went in with questions written on my notebook. By the end of it every question was answered. The way he formatted the discussion was very awesome. He would have someone ask a question such as "what do you find most difficult about being an apostle and how do you get the motivation to push forward?" He would then give an answer and apply it specifically to the person who asked the question. It was very edifying.

He talked much about "one by one". Basically he said the Lord works one by one. He used the example, if he goes to Home Depot to buy nails to fix his house the Lord will lead him to someone who needs his advice or help. He said everywhere he goes he's looking for "the one".

It made me think more as a missionary wherever we go we should always be talking to people about the gospel. It's a lesser scale for me but still the principle applies to missionary work.

Things are going great here. We were greatly blessed with 5 investigators at church:

1. Lydia and her 2 8-year-old sons. We've been working with her for about 2 weeks. She currently goes to the Church of Pentecost. She hasn't ever been baptized and she liked the church.

2. William B. His wife wasn't able to come with him but he liked the church. We've been trying to work with him for about 2 weeks also. He's very spiritual and has had a lot of spiritual experiences in his past churches. For this reason, it's difficult because it's like telling someone they're not going to be saved when they believe they are. It's looking like he's going to progress though especially that he's been one time and has got to see the teachings of the church.

3. Cynthia, We met her right by William's house. The first time we saw her (Friday) she gave us a seat without us even asking. She currently doesn't go to any church because she sees the corruption in a lot of them. She also loved the church and I see her progressing very well.

4. Francis K. We contacted him a long time ago and have just been calling and inviting him to church. Finally he came. He's pretty old. He drives trucks for a living. The night we met him, 1 month ago,  he bought us some juices which are not very cheap here. We really saw that he is a good person. He loved the church. He doesn't speak much English but enough to understand us. He's a tiny bit slow but he's extremely humble.

Overall I've seen this week, more than ever, that this IS the LORD'S work. He is hastening it and I am hastening my efforts so that I can be a part. He is bringing forth His prepared children and I get to be a tiny part of that. I love when the spirit can use me and work through me even though I fall short in so many ways. I have felt the Lord's love for the people of Amasaman. I feel a change happening in me once again.

Also, a small testimony: A few months ago I remember saying a specific prayer asking God if he will send either President Eyering or Elder Bednar. As Elder Bednar was talking about "one by one" I felt a very strong deep impression that he was sent specifically for me and to address my concerns. I know that God answers prayers and can do miracles. He literally sent an apostle to find me in Ghana to help me in the areas I was struggling. I feel God's love so much for us. If I have learned nothing else in the past few years, I've learned that God knows each of his children. He has ways and means of showing that love to us.

Well, I have about 6 weeks left. I'm going to work so hard and finish strong. I'm so excited! It doesn't even seem real and so I don't really get trunky much. Things are looking great for the month of February.

Monday, January 27, 2014

"If it's painful, get it all out"

This week was another "experience."
It had lots of good and lots of bad. 
I'll start with the bad, then finish with the good:
We struggled with the morning schedule this week. 
We got a bit annoyed of each other and Thursday evening had a bit of an argument. We both went to bed angry at each other and at around midnight we both still couldn't sleep so we talked everything out. It ended up being a blessing in our companionship. It was a very small issue but we ironed everything out.
Friday morning one of the other companionship's has some issues and both privately came to me for advice. I told them not to go and proselyte until they talk all their issues out. They both didn't want to but eventually did. It was really good for them and they were both happy they did.
I put the subject of this email as "If it's painful, get it all out" because just like a nasty case of what we call runny tummy if you don't get it out while the pain is there you'll crap your pants while proselyting (which I've never done). A better simile would be each little annoyance and disagreement is like a piece of firewood. Some are small and some are large. If you don't get rid of them when they happen or shortly after, when a small spark of fire comes it will burn the entire place down. I think it's a great lesson for missionaries to learn. It will flow on into our lives because marriages, friendships, work relations and church assignments all have problems and we need to be able to resolve issues with ourselves as well as with others.
We also had an open venue street contacting activity. We went to one of the areas in another companionship's area and had some posters and just did street contacting. It's something that we hadn't done before and it was so great!
I showed up almost an hour late (GMT) and everyone was just standing around not sure what to do. Something in my head just said "let's get this rolling!" I didn't even talk to any of the missionaries and went and contacted someone walking by. It jump started the whole event. It was sweet! We got the phone numbers for 54 people in just about an hour and a half.
We had 0 investigators at sacrament meeting. That was sad but depended on their agency. Some had some legit excuses but some didn't. This next week we're expecting like 5 or more. It depends on a lot though. We're going to work very hard this week. We're going to earn all of the Lord's trust!
Overall I'm surprised at how fast last week went. As time gets closer and closer I have more and more of a desire to work hard. I keep telling President Hill, whoever my companion is next transfer, he's dead! I'm going to work his butt off.
I had a nice phone chat with president Hill for about 30 minutes on Wednesday. He asked me about my plans for my future career. Sadly I don't really have any plans. I told him a lot of the ideas I have. He gave lots of advice that was more like a reality flash of how difficult things will be. I hope to be very successful in whatever the Lord has in store for me. I'm hoping that everything just falls into place. That's how President Hill said his life worked out.
Well this week already is looking a lot better. We deep cleaned and re-arranged the bedroom this morning and we're ready to get things rolling!

I won't lie, I've changed a ton! I'm excited for y'all to see the change.
My mission has made me very bold and frank. I think it's good but also some people get rubbed wrong by it. I just have learned to say things how they are.
It's the way my trainer was.
They say "if you don't change, change will change you"

well my time is done here
I'll talk to you next week.
I'll be meeting Elder Bednar this week!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Frog - Toad Thingy

Jenny S. 9:44 AM
Tell me about the frog toad thingy....where was it? how big was it really and...

Jordan Schmeltzer
9:53 AM
Kind of a joke, we were putting frogs in each others rooms. Elder Morrison and I are planning to catch like 100 and dump them through Elder Bowden's window. Not sure when that will be.

My last mission birthday week

Well Tuesday was my birthday last week. Monday we went to KFC. It was so good!

Tuesday we had District Council Meeting in the morning and then PEC in the evening. After PEC we went and got pizza. It was great!

I got to enjoy my birthday after all!

This week was pretty slow. Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Bowden. We worked hard and had a very effective day.

This week Elder Morrison is taking the lead in everything. I'm going to be helping from behind. I'm excited for us to both learn as we do this. I don't think any of his previous companions have given him the opportunity to lead for an entire week, he will be great at it I am sure.

I was having some trials with some things in the apartment. I won't go into details about that but I found that in times of extreme difficulty the Lord uses that time to teach us and help us to grow closer to Him.

I wish I could show you my Book of Mormon right now, it's pretty crazy - all the things I've been able to learn through studies.

One thing that was prominent this week can be found in 1 Nephi 21:14-15
"14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel."

Basically I learned that at times we forget that the Lord loves us. Or something happens that causes us to stop feeling it. But if we turn to Him, He'll remind us that He never forgets. He'll allow us to see all His blessings. I experienced that this week. I guess I had, in a way, forgotten that the Lord loves me. Through all the trials that I faced this week, the Lord reminded me that He does love me and watches over me. I am, therefore, grateful for all the trials that I have and all the burdens that He gives to me. He loves me enough to give me difficult times as well as joyous times.

We were blessed to have 4 investigators at church:

  1. Kofi came again but needs more time until he's ready for baptism.
  2. Stella came, after pushing so hard to get her to come. She didn't really like the church very much, she was expecting a charismatic church (dancing and clapping and singing)
  3. Reuben who is a brother of Brother Justice. He LOVED the church! 
  4. Mariama who is Reuben's wife

Each night I was praying that the Lord will allow the investigators to come to church despite my weaknesses and faults.

El-shaddai wasn't able to make it due to work but he's planning on coming on Sunday. Each of these people are progressing toward baptism. Only Mariama isn't quite ready yet. She's kind of just following Reuben which is good. February is looking very good for all of them!

KFC - Birthday Dinner

Frog - Toad thingy?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Alma 50:16 And thus ended the Twentieth year.

Well 2014 has been great so far! Still I'm learning tons every day and every week. Each day the bitter-sweetness of going home grows. I'm trying harder and harder not to even think about it. 

Well most people would say another year has been taken from my life, but I would say another year has been added to mine.
This last week I would define as a diligent week. We changed our teaching styles and techniques. President Hill showed us a page in Preach My Gospel and advised that we (unless directed by the spirit otherwise) teach lesson 1 (The Restoration) and then move to lesson 2 (Plan of Salvation) and then move to lesson 3 (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) in that order.

We weren't feeling very confident about it because normally we just go straight to Joseph Smith and the First Vision and then jump to the mode and manner of baptism. However as we followed the wise and inspired counsel of President Norman C. Hill miracles were brought to pass.

We met so many people!

Tuesday was exceptional. We visited a member who we re-activated. Brother Justice.  He gave us a seat and said to wait here. He went to call his friends. We had a lesson with about 5 people and then he had a 2nd group of some of his other friends. While we taught his friends, his wife prepared some akple and pepper and fried fish and Brother Justice washed our bikes. He's very serviceable and it's humbling to see someone with that amount of faith.
We taught one of Brother Justice's friends named Elizabeth. She had her husband die about 2 years ago and had some of the same questions that often come with a death. That is "why would God allow this to happen to me if he actually loved me?" Through teaching her about the Plan of Salvation and the chance to do baptism for her deceased husband she was touched. I think she'll come to church this coming Sunday.

We taught another one of Brother Justice's friends named Reuben. He also had some of the same questions and he loved the Plan of Salvation. He was about to come to church on Sunday but he had an emergency trip to his hometown.

We have been teaching a man named Kwabena. He owns a bunch of shops around our apartment area. He is currently Jehovah's Witness but doesn't attend their church much. Teaching him the Plan of Salvation also gave him a desire to come to church. He came and I was looking at him and thought he didn't look interested.

When he was leaving he looked at me and said "I LOVE the church, there's no problem with me coming here every week." His baptism date is set for 1st February.

Kofi also came to church. He too loved it! He was giving in class contributions (participating) and asking questions in the investigators class. His wife came last week but she couldn't make it this week.

Friday was January 10th. It was Justice's son's 9th birthday. We found out he hasn't been baptized and so we feel that it was a gift from God. We're planning for his baptism this Saturday.

We had a successful baptism for Gifty! I got to preform the baptism. It's been a while since I've done an ordinance for someone. I felt the spirit as I said the baptism prayer and put her in the water.
We were able to get some new people this week because we simply talked to more people. Instead of giving people a pamphlet with our contact number at the back, President Hill has changed the definition for a "contact." He's included taking down their information, finding where they stay and also setting a specific return appointment. As we've adapted to this new definition the work has moved forward much more.

We come home at night satisfied but also exhausted. From now on, I'm going to work this way until the end of my mission!

Some pictures are included. 

The first one is exactly how I would define Ofankor Ward. (the picture where everyone looks confused and is looking different directions) I love them all so much! 

The ward is due to split mid-March. We're working hard.
The building is PACKED! I'm pumped for it and hope that it can be done before I return home.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. It was a huge surprise to see way more emails than normal. 

Love you all!

-Elder Jordan Schmeltzer

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

First off, Happy New Years!

2014 is going to be a great year. I'm very anxious for it to get rolling.

Tuesday we went to a stake activity for New Years. We had to leave and be home by 9. It was still cool. There were TONS of YSA. It made me super excited for the YSA when I get home. They had insane amounts of food. 

I look drunk in a lot of pictures lately but I'm not. I think I've just been having a lot of fun.

New Years Day was excellent for proselyting we got a ton of lessons.

We've been working with Kofi and his wife, Linda. We did our very best to commit Kofi to coming to church. He said he wouldn't but his wife committed. They stay right next to Bishop and he said he'd bring her (he has a car) and when we got to church Bishop pulled up and didn't have Linda in the car.

I normally would be bummed but for some reason that time I wasn't. Halfway through sacrament meeting she showed up on her own. Now I was very very impressed because she's like 8 months pregnant so to get into a tro tro it was a sacrifice. She loved the church though!

I made the joke, I'll bless her baby when it's born and she said she would like that. I personally would love that if I was able.
Sacrament meeting on Sunday was a whole 'nother thing. It marks my number 1 favorite sacrament meeting in my whole life. It was so funny! Honestly the spirit wasn't there too much but a newly wed couple went up together and were standing next to each other so awkwardly and saying how they love each other. All these other couples followed. They would each tell a small story and everyone was laughing. I've come to love these types of things.
We got to take a tour of the Chief's palace. It's pretty awesome! I'll send some pictures. He said we're welcome anytime. It's pretty unusual for a Chief. They're usually too caught up in the traditional fetish beliefs. This one still does fetish rituals but also is a good Christian. We would teach him but he has to be Chief until his last born son is around 20 years (10 more years). It's pretty much compulsory for them to do the shrine rituals and stuff. We put our foot in the door in case the church needs anything in the future.

 It was a good week. We're planning on baptizing Gifty this week. It couldn't happen last week. She's a 9 year old girl who stays with a member. She's very smart for a 9 year old.

The town is called Amasaman. it's a developing area. Lots of nice houses, lots of uncompleted houses too. 
The ward is due to split early march. They said the building will be completed in the first week of February but projects never are completed on time here - kinda like home I guess.
We're working very well with the Bishop and some of the other members.
One less-active family that we helped re-activate is the Sekum family. Brother Justice has really been helping us with the work. He gave 4 referrals last week. The only problem is that he's going out of the country for work in about 1-2 weeks. He'll be gone for a year or more. (we find out details tomorrow)

A lot of good people we've been finding and teaching are leaving for school or going to live with family members soon. It's an area that lots of people are coming and going. 

We're going to do better at contacting more people this week which will give us more people to teach.
My President Hill Quote:
"I'd rather be burnt out than rusted out."
I'm going to burn myself out my last transfer. Whoever my companion is, he is dead!

I forgot a story I forgot to tell you. A few weeks ago we were coming home and in the back of the bus there was a drunk guy. We went and sat by him. Keep in mind I LOVE drunk people - they make me laugh so hard! I laugh with them not at them, if that makes sense.

I started just messing around with him making him laugh and then I saw his watch. I asked if he would give it to me. He smiled stupidly and said "because we're friends, yes!" he gave me his watch and then saw the watch I had on. (I bought mine from a candy stand that very day which cost me like 1 dollar) I then gave him my watch.
So that's the watch I'll be coming home in. 

I think that's one of my favorite stories that I've gotten. And the moral of the story is don't drink alcohol, some white guy will end up with your watch. 

(You asked who we can pray for this week) :

  • Kofi and Linda
They could use some prayers to get answers to their prayers. They both committed to coming next week and I'm confident that if they come once more, they'll be baptized

The bicycle repair man has a huge pile of old bikes and bike parts

This mannequin is my wife, she won't tell me stupid things. Isn't she cute?

The blue wall goes into their shrine at the chief's palace. We didn't go inside though

(Elder Schmeltzer has expressed a desire to becoming an owner of a motorcycle when he gets home, when we get this picture.  I was glad to see that the kickstand was still down and he was enjoying a moment)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Don't worry, yesterday I de-wormed...

There's a surprise coming to the Amasaman District council Meeting this Tuesday.

President and Sister Hill are coming to lead us through our district meeting with their own agenda. The other missionaries don't know. I found out because I called President Hill on Sunday after church and asked him about when I can get my temple recommend renewed. He said he was already coming to our DCM to have my district and myself have some input on a new program we're going to design to improve our teaching skills.

I'm pumped that they want to use my district as kind of a beta test.

President also told me that after the meeting he'll be conducting what is called a "Temple Recommend Interview" which will restore me to my full temple attendance capabilities.

So on the last day of the last month that my temple recommend expires, President Hill will save the day! Cutting it close isn't it?

Well as you know this week was Christmas, a very nice time to be a missionary.
The lady who's iPhone I borrowed (Charity) was upset when we weren't able to return the phone Christmas night. She missed a lot of phone calls from friends and family. She came and found our apartment the next morning and we gave her the phone and charger. We saw her later that day and found out she was about to paint her house. We offered to bring all the missionaries and paint her house to make up for what we did.

She was more than accepting for that offer. We went on Thursday morning and spent a few hours painting the inside of her house. It looked much better and her nephew who was visiting also wanted to come to the church after he learned about the church and saw us doing service. He was so happy but it's too bad he lives in Kumasi and we'll have to pass him off as a referral to those missionaries.

Doing the painting reminded me of when we painted the Utah house. I can totally do that as a job if I get a friend/business partner. That could make some serious money!

Anyway Boxing Day was the 26th, That's the day in Ghana where everyone exchanges Christmas gifts (boxes). We visited some members and get 4 huge meals, I was suffering with too much enjoyment!!

Today we went to Accra and went to KFC. It was very expensive, honestly not worth it. But it was nice to have a tiny taste of home.

I got worms during the week. Don't worry, yesterday I de-wormed. I'm ok now!

It was a great week and this week will definitely be way better! We have a lot of people we have to see.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yearning for Home Cooking?

I'll have a list of foods that BETTER be in the car when I get there. I'm thinking (but not very much) that we'll go to like golden corral that night, so I can get a little bit of everything. 

You'd be surprised at how much I can eat now, and how fast.

I met a guy who works in an art market There's a wooden sculpture made from one piece of wood. It has 7 people joined together and it holds a bowl on top. I'll get one of those when I come home. It folds up and it would represent all 7 of us being sealed together. It would be excellent for a coffee table decoration or even dining table decoration.

I'll start getting all of that stuff in February so we've got some time to save and stuff.

How to plan effectively

This week was full of learning and experiencing! One thing that I've noticed the Lord wanting me to learn is how to plan effectively. We've been setting our weekly and daily goals but not ever talking about them as we go. We noticed our numbers were extremely low on Thursday and sat down and discussed what went wrong. We couldn't really determine the problem but we found a solution. We set goals by breaking the day into "before lunch" and "after lunch" We push ourselves to get 2 or 3 lessons before lunch and then however many after. We don't let ourselves come back until we have reached those. It's really made me notice the importance. We're definitely going to do better at setting goals. We're going to work harder, smarter and better. We're going to get our numbers up and help other missionaries learn what works for us.

Impressive Elders

Elder Idemudia and Elder Saleh are doing so great together! They're both on fire and excited with the work. Things are going very well for their area. They're still getting a bunch of people to church and making friends with members of the ward and their investigators.

Elder Bowden and I had a long chat Saturday evening. He really reminds me of myself when I was about 8 months on mission. Elder Reeves is pushing to work hard. I really like that. He has integrity.

Elder Vinson came on Sunday. Oh my gosh! It was an interesting Sunday for him to come. One member bore his testimony about giving his dog a priesthood blessing, it seemed like everything that could go wrong did. I felt a firm impression that I've been sent to Ofankor Ward to help strengthen them. I'm very excited and anxious to have the ward split. I heard a rumor that they finally bought the building and now it's under renovations. I've been praying and fasting for it to split soon. Our area will be going very slow because of the distance. Nevertheless, it will be moving forward.

I'm continuing to improve on all the things I fall short in. I'm finding a new sense of commitment and desire to share my testimony with others. As a whole, the district is improving especially in finding and contacting. New investigators are going up, lessons are going up, sacrament attendance is going up and I'm sure baptisms will go up. I'm not saying everything is perfect but things are going great in the Amasaman District!

-Elder Schmeltzer


Find yourself going through the motions?

Let's see, we were just kind of going through the motions early in the week, not having very effective days. Thursday we sat down and discussed why we weren't getting to teach many people. We discussed for a while and didn't really find any reason why. We decided that on Friday we'd set a goal to see 3 people before lunch and 4 people after lunch. That's 7 lessons in one day. We pushed hard and forced ourselves to get lessons. 

We saw it very effective when the same thing happened on Saturday and the very last guy who we met was a very cool guy, Phillip. He currently is an Elder of his church. We discussed all about the priesthood in depth. We taught in such a way that he really understood where we were going. We explained that after having the first vision, he received the priesthood because it had been lost for so many years. He couldn't really fight against it because we used scriptures and the spirit to back us up. We're going to try and visit him and help him to get some real intent.

We finally got our bikes yesterday. Now we'll be able to work a bit more effectively.

Christiana and her son came to church on Sunday. We had a Family Home Evening with her on Friday. She loved it. We cooked for her (made a simple stir fry) and then played some games. It was very fun. The previous missionaries had been pushing to get her to church for a while and I think she just needed that friendship. We've established that very well and she's told us some of her concerns without us even asking. I like that style of missionary work. It's so much more fun.