Of course Elder Schmeltzer has not said anything regarding a title or position - he is focused on the work. But it sounds like he is learning leadership as well.
Yet another week has passed by in the Ghana Accra West Mission. Here in the Odorkor District as a whole we are expecting to achieve 6/8 for our goal of July. We are faithfully planning and working ahead for August.
Our baptism on Saturday was another rough one. Everyone was there (missionaries, candidates, members etc.) by 10am. We were waiting on the presiding authority, the first counselor in the Bishopric. I called a few times and finally he answered and told us he [was] coming. An hour later he still hadn't showed up. I called him and he said he was still about 30 minutes away, and was late because he had to tend to his pregnant wife. The baptism was supposed to start by 10 and it didn't start until after 12:30. It was completely embarrassing. I really don't want that to happen again.
During church the Bishop called Elder Robertson and I into his office to talk about what happened [at the baptism]. We explained everything to him and came to the conclusion that we need to plan better. We came up with several things to do to prevent it from happening again. We talked about how if we want, Thursday evenings we can get a key to the church and to the clerk's office to get the baptismal clothing. That way if we need, you can give authority to one of the missionaries to preside. This was the second Saturday baptism in Odorkor ward so it will take some time for the ward to adjust to them. We're going to announce the baptisms in church better, several weeks in advance.
We also talked about the date for an open house with the Bishop. He said the Stake President told him it's one per building so he should coordinate with McCarthy Ward. The Bishop didn't want to just take our word for it, so what [President Hill] will have to do is talk to the Kasoa Stake President again and clear up that confusion.
We have not been getting any less-actives from the ward but in PEC on Thursday we talked about it. The Bishop said he will talk to the auxiliary leaders to start getting some.
Odorkor 2 (Elder Robertson and Elder John) exceeded their goal by baptizing 3 on Saturday and confirming them all on Sunday. It was my first time doing interviews so I was a bit nervous but excited to do them. They were all very prepared by the Lord and missionaries in Kumasi. I was with Elder Robertson in his area on Friday. His area definitely is a challenge, but that's why the best missionaries go in the hardest area right?
Odorkor 3 (Elder Joseph and Elder Kanu) are struggling. I went to their area on Tuesday on exchanges. I was hoping to do some interviews for their main people but it was almost as if the people weren't sure what was going on. So there are definitely some challenges there.
Odorkor 1 (Myself and Elder Ebisasa-Mensah) are really trying. We faced a lot of challenges this week. I personally was only in my area 3-4 days during the week. On Thursday it was like we were facing every opposition even though we were doing everything we should. We didn't let it get us discouraged. Elder Ebiasa-Mensah is doing great. He really has the missionary spirit. I think he'll be ready to be a senior companion or even train by the end of this transfer. Having Elder Ebiasa-Mensah is helping me a lot. It's really good for me at this point to have someone pushing me to do better and be better.
My family back home is finishing up everything with the moving process. They're all loving the St. Louis area now. They're getting the house in GA ready to be sold. They said the new ward is great. I'm excited for that change.
Now I was looking every day to find something super cool in the Book of Mormon. Usually I find one or two things each week. This week there wasn't any "ah-hah" scriptures. There doesn't always need to be. I did however find something interesting in Alma 44. In verse 3 Moroni tells Zarahemna that the Lord, and the people's faith in Christ is what had delivered the Lamanites into the Nephite's hands. In verse 9 Zarahemna says "Behold, it is your breastplates and your shields that have preserved you." I pondered about those for a minute and thought, sometimes people mistake coincidence with the will and power of God. Even myself sometimes. It's all about attitude though. Like it's true that the Nephites' armor did protect them, but then if we go back even further it was heavenly inspired that they should wear the armor.
On more thing that I saw this week in the Book of Mormon was when Captain Moroni fortifies the cities. I think it's in Alma chapters 49 and 50. He has the people spend (what I would guess to be) a few months digging a huge trench around the city and then piling up the dirt and putting timbers at the top of the hill with towers looking out. There was only one entry way to the city. I thought for a minute as I read about that and said to myself "why would they include digging ditches and building hills for the cities in the sacred book of scripture?" I learned the following lesson: The commandments is how we spiritually protect ourselves. If we break small commandments we're taking off our armor and breaking down the efforts to protect us.
For me I'm very far from perfect. I really am re-committing myself to be exactly obedient. I am seeking the spirit more than ever.
I'm continuing to be changed. I'm continuing to grow in my understanding of the Atonement. I really love being a missionary. I love serving the Lord. I know that the Plan of Salvation as well as with all of the Keys for saving ordinances have been restored in these latter-days. I hold my testimony dear to my heart and try to reflect upon it frequently.
May God continue to bless you as you serve him. I pray for you daily.
-Elder Jordan Schmeltzer