Monday, August 12, 2013

Daily Life

Hello Family!
You want to hear about my daily life? Let me start with when we wake up. At 6:30 my alarm goes off and I switch it off immediately so that I can have a personal prayer. Then I either read from Jesus the Christ, work out, or read from the Bible. At 7:00, I take a freezing shower (when power is out, we have to dump buckets of water on our heads), sweep under my desk, iron my shirt and tie for the day, and wash any plates or pots that are in the sink. At 7:30, I start boiling Good Morning Oats. I add sugar and some chocolate mix to make it taste good and finish eating by 8:00, at which time I go to my desk and open personal study time with a prayer. I haven't been reading from the Book of Mormon too much because we are supposed to study according to our investigators' concerns, so I find myself reading from the Old Testament and the New Testament for the most part. I have many scriptures memorized because we have some pastors that we are teaching at the moment, so we help to explain New Testament scriptures for them. One issue we run into quite often is this topic: speaking with tongues. Here in Ghana, people go to religious school to learn how to speak in tongues. When walking back from our proselyting area to go to our apartment, we hear many people saying "Bababababbarabarabobababab... Ahwoababababbaabrababaaba," and this will go on for hours. This is how they pray. There is a common belief that God will only listen to you if you "speak to Him in tongues," so we always have to explain the true interpretation of 1 Corinthians 12 to our investigators. The New Testament has so many doctrines that no one outside of our church understands, so we are always explaining and expounding the scriptures to them. As of now, I have read from Genesis-1 Samuel 15, from St Matthew-Acts of the Apostles, and 1 Nephi-Jacob. I try to study one book from the Old Testament (because there are some Muslims here to teach) before I move on to one book in the New Testament, and I study from the Book of Mormon when I have extra time. Apostle Paul is swiftly becoming my favorite apostle though because of his undying faith, his ability to speak many languages, and his desire to serve the Lord without fear of death.
After personal study is companionship study (9:00), where my companion and I study lessons from Preach My Gospel (PMG). I know how to teach lesson 1 and lesson 3 really well (from Chapter 3 in PMG), but am still only halfway confident in teaching lesson 2 in full. Thankfully, my companion and I are always switching off during the lesson, so we have never said something wrong or had awkward pauses where we don't know what to say. Teaching from PMG is a lot harder then just memorizing lessons word for word. We are instructed to just use it as a guide, to make sure we hit the points that are mentioned but to use our own words and scriptures to expound. Thankfully, my trainer knows how to do this almost perfectly, so I am learning quickly.
At 10:00 we have extra companionship study time (if you are not training, you leave the apartment at 10) and use the time to follow a training guide that we have. My companion can not believe that we are almost done with this transfer already, and pretty soon I won't be a true "Greeny" anymore! Anyways, at 11:00 we are out of our apartment proselyting. We always fill up our planners with investigators that we call in the morning to confirm appointments, but the lessons fall through quite frequently. If this happens, we use the time to street contact new people. If we get a little hungry, we go to a small roadside stand that sells bread cakes and usually buy one or two for 50 peswes-1 Cidi (25-50 cents). The sun has not really been out as of late, so we are thankful for the cloud cover. It always looks like it is about to rain, but it never happens. We proselyte and teach until 7:00 PM when it gets dark (we can't teach investigators at this time due to lack of light and safety reasons), so we get the apartment around 7:30 and cook dinner. Sometimes I have rice and stew, but most often I find myself eating fried indo-mei with eggs (fried top-ramen with eggs). Then I use the remaining time to write in my journal and study the scriptures, and then I prepare for bed at 10:00. By 10:30, I have already said my prayers and fallen asleep, only to repeat the routine when I wake up. Sometimes my legs are sore from all of the walking we do, but I am getting used to it. The terrain here is really rocky and killed my feet in the beginning, so I am glad that my shoes are broken in now.
I don't have time to talk about my companion right now, so expect that information to come next week. Both of our baptisms fell through this week because our investigators came in contact with Anti-Mormon pamphlets again and are shaky in faith, so we will continue to work with them. It's one thing for them to say that they want to be baptized, but it's another to see them actually walk into the waters of baptism and then be confirmed a member of the church the following week. As each week goes by, I realize even more why missionary work is divine, and my testimony strengthens even more every day. Be expecting another e-mail next week.
Elder Twede

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