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

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