Monday, December 30, 2013

Tema finally taking off!!!

Dear Family,

Yes I broke my promise....

Remember how I always said, "I'll never let myself be sick on Christmas...NEVER!"  Yeah, I was way sick this year ha ha.  I guess better this year than next year right?:)  It was killer though!

I woke up not feeling all that well, but couldn't really tell if that was just from excitement to talk to you, or what.  I made an awesome breakfast, took a few bites and then it just hit me!  I went and laid down still trying to convince myself that it was just because I ate too fast or something...but it persisted...I died that day!  Ha ha, I felt terrible!  I thought that I started to feel a bit better, then I woke up and threw up more than I think I ever have in my entire mission!  Mom like you said, throwing up is a bit more common in Ghana than at home, but I promise you never get used to it! ha ha.  I always have the same thoughts..."I'm going to die".  Ha ha...and I think every missionary truly does believe that they are going to die when they are sick here.

I started to feel a bit better before the phone call and I was so happy that I would be able to talk.  And then about an hour before the call...the worst of the worst came and I knew I could not talk.   I remember convulsing, and just being covered in sweat and saying a prayer just begging to be able to have the strength to talk to you.  6:00 came and I was still feeling like I was going to die so I asked one of the other Elders to put my phone chip in the phone so that I could send you a text that we would have to do it another time...and right when he handed me the phone I started to feel 1000 times better.  I stopped needing to run to the bathroom...I did the call...and it was great!

I think this was God's little way of helping me to be obedient to the 40 minute rule.  I knew that was going to be a really hard one for me to follow, since we got to talk so long last I had been praying all week for help in being obedient. soon as Dad said, "okay time check, its been about 40 minutes", my stomach pains came back.  Not with as much vengeance.  We ended the phone call on time...I ran to the bathroom...and then I felt fine!  Yeah still sick but it was something that kept me distracted so that I ended on a happy note and didn't really allow myself to get to the sad/homesick I was pretty good after the phone call this year:). 

I loved talking to you all though!  It was such a highlight, and a blessing that no one but a missionary really fully comprehends.

Okay so this week my email will be a little short, we have a mission tour this coming week so I had a few things that I needed to do for that on the computer today so that took most of my time but I love you all so much, next week I should have more time!

Tema is finally taking off though!  We are finally getting out of this rut and up on to the tops of the mountains again!  We have been so blessed with the people that we have been able to work with lately.  It is such a blessing and a privilege to be where I am right now.  We have my two favorites right now, Fat Albert and Godwin, I talked about Fat Albert but maybe Mom you can put in a little more of the practical info on Godwin (Taylor told us that Godwin is a great investigator that has graduated from college (unusual) and his two sons are at university right now...close to graduating...extremely unusual)

Anyway story of the week.....

We met Godwin about two weeks ago as we were walking home one evening, we set our first appointment, and things have just been incredible since then. We went to visit him this week and when we arrived he had his laptop opened up to in front of him and was reading from his copy of The Book of Mormon. We started talking with him, and I can safely say it was the best lesson that I have ever had on my mission! I have had lessons where I was overflowing with the spirit but I have never taught someone who is so prepared and ready to receive this Gospel. He truly STUDIED The Book of Mormon, I find it difficult to explain just how prepared this man is...but it was a lesson and an experience I will never forget. We had a quick lesson and then gave him a quick little tour around, as we showed him a few places we thought he would enjoy.  We felt prompted to show him Elder Holland's General Conference address about the Book of Mormon from a few years ago. We found the talk and began to play it, he listened intently and the spirit soon filled the room. All three of us were edified and two of us were in tears by the end of that amazing testimony.... (Elder Nondala is a little tougher than Godwin and I were) ha ha.

We had the opportunity to follow up on Elder Hollands testimony and add our own simple testimonies of The Book of Mormon as well.  As I bore my simple, but sure, testimony of The Book that I have grown to love over these last few months, I was filled with an even greater measure of the Spirit.  Obviously, it wasn't as eloquent and magnificent as Elder Holland's but it really vitalized the quote from I forget who that, "a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it". My testimony isn't grand but I can say with more surety than I ever have before...that God lives. He hears my prayers each and every time, and He answers them in the best way possible. I know that Christ came to die for me specifically, and although repentance isn't easy, it is worth it (kinda like a mission), the Book of Mormon is true and NO one, and nothing can turn me from that knowledge that I have. It has been amazing to see since I started my mission how much my faith and testimony has grown, not just my testimony of the Atonement, or the Book of Mormon...or any one principle...but my testimony of nearly every aspect of this great Gospel.

President Judd once said to me, "Elder I will die for this church! And I think you would be right along side me, wouldn't you?" I think I nervously shook my head...but I can now say with confidence that I would. I have always known this Church to be true but now I know it with a surety.  I'm ready to let it lead and be the top priority in my life. Its an amazing feeling! I love it!

I love where I am.  Yes I am jealous of ski trips but I've got my whole life to do that!  I love where I am, I am now healthy and I am happy.  It's hard but I am happy.

Love you all, be safe, no getting lost in the Back country....oh wait that was me ;)


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