New couple missionaries-"The Zolls" 06/29/11

New couple missionaries-"The Zolls"                              06/29/11

Elder David & Elder Lehr

Elder David & Elder Lehr

Good bye to Pres & Sis Sabey

Good bye to Pres & Sis Sabey

Missing my Silverstone Ward

Missing my Silverstone Ward
Silverstone sticker on back of van

One Christmas down.....one to go!

Posted

Family!

Christmas was awesome because i got to talk to you! I was suprised at how much christine and karli have grown up in these 4 months, really scary. This Christmas was obviously unlike any others, but it was still great because we were able to share a really nice meal with a needy family (needy is an understatement...we're in africa remember?).  It was so great to see all the parents and little kids of that compound smile as we brought in drinks and good food (french toast, plantain and stew...delicious) The kids really loved it since it was full of sugar haha. I also brought some disney movies that i found in town and they hooked up the tv outside for all the little kids to watch, they sure loved shrek! We are all so blessed to live in the US, we take it for granted. I remember hearing that a lot and not really listening whenever that was said but now i know the reality of living in a 3rd world country and im still way blessed to have 110 ghana cedis a month to live off of. Christmas Eve there was a stake young adult talent show that the missionaries sang a Twi song in, everyone had their laugh. Then they called a few of the white Elders one by one to come answer some questions in Twi and everyone had a good laugh because the Elders that they happened to call could speak Twi pretty well. Everyone was crackin up. They really love it when we speak their language, it doesnt happen very often lol. Also, for Christmas eve a big group of Elders went to Bonjour... AKA "On The Run." We each bought our own large pizza and enjoyed!! Never knew crappy pizzas would be so dang delicious only after 4 months! So thats about it for Christmas besides the usual...people always asking us for money because both of us are white.

As for the missionary work, we have been focusing on the goal since we had to start over because Elder Clements came, not a problem. We have been working with a few less-actives trying to get them to come to church and get referrals from them. We had 2 of them show up yesterday and one of them brought his nephew and said, "Elder Lehr, this is my nephew and he is stubborn when it comes to learning about the church, but i know you guys can handle him for me." He didnt even know that he was helping us with the goal and just in time too! What a miracle since we have been praying for referrals and hoping for the less-actives to come to church. So we'll see how that goes! We have dropped a lot of our investigators because they havent been keeping their commitments, which is good cuz we need to focus on the goal (Reactivating a less-active by getting them to come to church 3 out of 4 weeks in a month and then baptizing a referral from the less-active. The main goal is having "fruit that remains.") We have until the end of February which sounds crazy if you are in any other part of the world but for Ghana it happens all the time. President Sabey doesnt like numbers, but Elder Woodhouse (one of our APs) started calculating how many baptisms our mission had for the year and he found that we are super close to the 1,000 mark, it all depends on what happened yesterday. 1000 for a year!!!  President Sabey really knows what he is doing. He knows how to motivate us to go out and do the same thing they have been doing for months and to be excited about it. He's inspired. Well I am still getting Christmas mail from everyone so thanks a lot!!! I love the letters and especially the seminary letters and card from both Karli & Kaydens seminary and also Sis Troth's senior class! Man they are both awesome! Thank you so much for all the love!

I wish mother's day was closer... haha but its all good. At least this week will fly by too because we have district meeting tuesday (E. Clements and I are instructing) and we have interviews with President on wednesday, which i am not going to take for granted anymore... I am prepared this time with questions and thoughts that I want to discuss with him haha. Maybe its because I am actually praying over the scriptures i am studying trying to find more insight instead of just reading to read. I challenge you to try it. Try to ponder over the scriptures during your day... its really difficult if youve never done it haha. I am definitely learning and growing in the gospel. I am so grateful to have you guys at home supporting me! Its really not going to be that much longer til we are together so I am making the best of the opportunities i have now!

Yes, Elder Harris got to talk to his family, it was just our electricity box that switches off when we have 20 credits left, which lasts a day or two. So we flipped it back on and had no problems! And Be nice to those elders at home! Give them a break! haha...dont start comparing their mission to mine haha. Just love them and help them with referrals... at least the members here give referrals so that might be the big difference in the missionary work in LV...no referrals from ACTIVE Members! While in Ghana we are getting referrals from LESS-ACTIVE members AND active members! Just putting things into perspective for ya.... love ya! Hahaha :D

Well i love you all so much and will write some letters this week to ship on home. I am glad to be started the 2010 year! It means when its over i only have 8 months left! I'll be sad and happy to leave... its not going to be easy.

Love Elder Lehr

4 Days til "The Phone Call"

Posted

Family!

Ghana is alive when it comes to christmas..... NOT! Theres no lights or trees or music ringing everywhere, its just like any other holiday it seems. There was a few extra people at church because its the week of christmas and you always tend to find those lost members coming out for christmas time haha. Well i have been great! i loved the letters and it sounds like more is coming its just gunna be late cuz im 10,000 miles away from home. I CANT WAIT FOR THE PHONE CALL!!! :D I will call sometime in the morning your time which will be around 4pm my time...so like 8am ish. So from 8am-10am i will call. Im not sure exactly because we will be at a members house making food for them for Christmas :D. Best Christmas ever! We get to help out a family who doesnt have very much and cook them some food! I love being a missionary! Well how is AZ? You guys back yet or still there through the week?
This last week went quick since we had our christmas zone conference! President had a cool presentation about the nativity and then sister sabey busted out christmas cookies! A whole plate for each of us! YA! I loved it. We each got a mission tie and some other stuff. Elder Clement's first zone conference and he gets spoiled... not sure if he'll enjoy the next few ones haha. Elder Clements is still alive so does that mean the training is going well? He's not sick and we are teaching people so i think its going well haha. He doesnt talk very much, i try hard to get things out of him but its just a couple words. Which is pretty funny cuz he writes millions of letters....i always think to myself, "What could he be writing all the time since he never talks?" Haha. Im doing my best to bring things out of him, he's probably annoyed, its all good. It still hasnt cooled down here in ghana.....still a blazing 100+ degrees mid-day not including humidity. Yaaaa.... talk about HOT! Sweating more then ever before. So my dream of another white Christmas probably wont happen for a couple of years. I can still hope though.

This week has been kinda tough teaching and visiting people because everyone seems to have traveled or have been busy with final exams or just something! I think this week might not be better haha. Baptizing is sweet and everything but it does take away from our list of investigators to teach every week so that means we've gotta find more and I wasnt really ever good at contacting and Elder Clements is on his 3rd full week out sooo, it could be interesting. Its a good thing talking to people here is easier then in the US or probably europe where people dont have time for you or even care what you have to say. It'll all work out.

Well ill keep it short this week since i get to talk to you! :D I love you all and hope you are having fun in AZ without me to keep you awake driving or irritating the sisters on the road and all of that good stuff :D

LOVE YOU!!

Elder Lehr

Obrunee Obrunee (2 white elders)

Posted

Family!

Merry Christmas, almost, dang! How is Vegas?? Sounds like everything is starting to get crazy just like the normal holiday season is. Today was awesome!! I got mail from cape coast since nobody has been up to kumasi in 4 weeks!!! There was lots of letters and a few packages! Thanks grandma! Elder Clements is doing great! He is starting to slow down his english slowly, but surely. Man he really was prepared when it comes to teaching and baring testimony, hes good at it. Im pretty sure i wasnt asking personal questions to investigators about "how they felt" when we were teaching. Its such a good question especially when you know they are feeling the Holy Ghost! Just ask them how they feel and then bare testimony that its the Holy Ghost telling them that its true, works everytime :D

CHRISTMAS is coming! Everyone is excited for our Christmas Zone conference this friday, the stake christmas show this saturday, then the week of christmas!! YAA! Lots of friendly members want us to come by for some good foods :D Im excited! I dont know what people were talking about when they said they got sick when members fed them, its good food and cooked well (i have to add this part in here just for MOM :D ). We learned how to make a stew, which is just like a tomato sauce with some meat and vegtables in it, they dont have Ragu bottles we can just buy so we make it ourselves haha. Its fun to laugh and cook with eachother since we all have almost no idea what we are doing! We did break down and buy syrup for our french toast! YAA! Slowly our menu is increasing haha.

Its awesome to hear that Elder Fonbuena is going! Im excited for him!! Tell his mom he will be an incredible missionary! Hows elder Kissner and Trotter? And COOP? Havent been able to hear much about them. Thank you Kissners for the postcard!! It sure is a funny one and made me smile so thanks!

My week has been great! We were able to teach 20 or so lessons and are working on less-actives since Asokwa has PLENTY! Its been kinda hard to get in touch with the leaders of the ward but we are doing our best :D Its funny how each day becomes more and more comfortable to be here in africa. I am starting to catch myself humming their music and am learning the twi faster now that i know how they pronounce their vowels (Much different!!). Its still funny to me when i speak to some lady in twi and she just busts up laughing cuz its a huge suprise for any white person to know twi lol. It seems to be a good ice breaker for contacting people too. This last week i have noticed that more people talk to us and irritate us since its two white guys instead of having an african with us haha. Its a big difference in how people treat us and ask us about the US and always beg us for money... I'll probably be a little more heartless when it comes to bums at home since these africans have it MUCH worse. Talk about poverty... Christmas time will be sad for me to see, especially since people barely have money for food and its only the small small children who get presents and stuff. Its definitely something americans should witness once in their lives, it will change them. But hey, i live here and its my home for another 20 months! Im enjoying the people,music, culture and food of the ghanain people! Its a way different kind of life haha.

Its so awesome to see the recent converts come to church and have friends and their testimonies are still burning strong!!! I love that feeling! They are slowly starting to get friends and visit with them and visit less with us. I love it! Missionary work is divine!

It sounds like Elder Mckay is also training! He sent me a letter and talked about us two representing vegas! It felt good to get a letter from him so im gunna write him back and send him some shirts and maybe some ties or something for his new companion who came out with nothing. does he need ties? I can send some cuz they are really cheap here, ill send some anyways. You would be suprised at the faith and desire some of these african elders have. A lot of them dont have anything when they come and they have no family support, but its a huge blessing to have american elders here to help them in anyway possible! Its such a sweet feeling and this service doesnt ever seem like a burden because it comes from the heart!! :D I love this work!!
 
now that i have an american companion who understands we are gunna spend a little longer at the internet cafe. wow... thats awesome about dad getting asked to bare his testimony in Stake Conference!! Tell him i bare my testimony to 1000 people probably every couple months haha. It was probably really good for him. :D



The duty for the packages was like a total of 53 Cedis... dont worry they dont take it all out at the same time, its gradual. I used my bank card again today so you might get a call to confirm it. I took out 50 Cedis...its probably like 35 or so dollars.

This last week there was a guy we contacted and he sat us down and started to tell us about the "spirit" he saw come through his wall and it had horns and it asked him what he desired... ummm TIA!!! This Is AFRICA!! There are other stories like this that ill write in letters about but it would definitely suprise you at the things we hear from the Apostate people here haha. They really do love God and desire to know the truth but most of them just are set in their ways about the church they attend... most of the time its because its their families' church and theyve been going there since birth, those people we just move on and look for better contacts haha.

Family, i love you so much and know you will have so much fun this holiday season!! I love hearing from you and cant wait to call you!!! Be prepared! haha. Missionary work is sooo hard yet its the MOST rewarding of any work! I love it so much and can see how the Lord is refining me for the task that he gives me. I can see how I am being prepared for upcoming assignments, but training is definitely the hardest and most important calling i can recieve on mission. President really stresses the trust and confidence that he has in his trainers which scares me because i dont have the qualities he says i do haha. Im really working on developing into the missionary that Pres. says i can become. I love you guys and know you are doing a great work with your school,work, callings etc. KEEP IT UP! ASK THE LORD FOR HELP AND BE SPECIFIC IN YOUR PRAYERS! He really is there to help us! Keep the Christmas spirit! And i want pictures of CHRISTMAS at our house!! :D
Love Elder Lehr!

Greenie from Idaho

Posted

Family,

How is everyone? We are starting to sing Christmas hymns!! Im getting more and more excited for this season of holidays. Ok so my new companion is Elder Clements. He is from Rexburg, Idaho and lived on a farm. He seems like a pretty cool guy and we'll be just fine in Asokwa ward.  Its a way different experience trying to teach someone who just came to Ghana when it feels like ive learned so much and been here for forever. Taking what ive learned and teaching it is the hard part. It will be a learning experience for both of us since he isnt used to ANYTHING including a huge city like Kumasi. Its a totally different life for him, im kinda used to it by now haha.

This last Sunday Elder Harris confirmed brother obuakye (the guy who calls me clinton and john the baptist). Both E. Harris and I were asked to bless the Sacrament this week too since not many people were early for church. It was a great experience for the both of us. Elder Clements was asked to bare his testimony and just like all of the other white elders when they first get here, he was speaking english soooo fast that im not sure if many people except Elder Harris and I understood him, oh and the Kiffers. It was great and you could really feel that he is ready to learn and grow and WORK! Thats one thing about mission... if you arent working then theres no point in being here and we might as well have some fun while we're at it.

We went to TOWN TOWN today... It was the craziest place Ive ever seen, Elder Clements didnt know what to do or say or how to even react, it was pretty funny to see haha. The place is just filled with people everywhere!! We went there with a few elders to get some Christmas gifts for home! :D Not telling you. Its been good to have an american companion who likes to eat bread and noodles and fried rice instead of fishy junk. The fish here just isnt the same at all and i didnt like fish much before i left so you can imagine. We make and eat a lot of our meals together as a companionship... It sounds kinda homo but its the Ghanain way for everyone to eat out of a huge bowl. We have gotten many many offers from ward members that they will "take care of the missionaries for Christmas." So im excited and told E. Clements he was lucky that president put him in this ward haha.

The one thing that has got to change is that E. Clements is way too shy. I'll have to help him fix that (president said i would be a good person to help him with that).  Training is not easy at all but it makes me be on my knees praying a lot more! :D Im so excited to be training even though its really tough and everything. When we teach he is just fine and knows when and how to start teaching or even bare testimony, that part is fine. Its the everyday talk that he seems to not know how to respond, itll take time but he'll know how to be a people person by the time the two of us are split. haha. Hes a really nice guy and loves to work and study so we will get a long just fine.

This week was Elder Adjeifios birthday so sis. Kiffer made us all cake yesterday and we ate it, then called him and sang happy birthday and told him we were eating cake for him hahaha. It was pretty funny!
Im so excited for the next zone conference! I heard we get pizzas and all kinds of presents from Pres and Sis. Sabey!! The only problem is that instead of zone conference being this upcoming week it got moved to next week so it can be somewhat closer to Christmas, which is fine its just that we dont get mail or even our subsistance money until they come! So now all 4 missionaries in our apartment STARTED our missions in Asokwa and havent been anywhere else. E. Akoki has been out 2 transfers more than me, so 6 months! Ive been out 4 months and E. Harris 2 months and E. Clements almost a month haha. Its funny how all of us are fairly young on missions compared to most other apartments.

Well i hope all is going well. I hope you have been studying the conference talks... they are amazing. The only reason we even have them in our apartment is because E. Clements brought the Ensign from home, we were all jealous haha. I got really excited to read the priesthood session since we havent been able to hear it or even read it yet. All I could think about was you dad and the relationship that we can build and make even stronger between the two of us when I get back. I love you guys and am writing you all Christmas letters and sending you all a little something :D Hope you like it even though its small and inexspensive.

Love Elder Lehr,

PS: Give more to others this year than ever before, even if its just a warm smile or a friendly visit. Trust me, it will make a difference in that person's life.

Chicken on Turkey Day :)

Posted

Family,

How was Thanksgiving? Well mine was pretty much awesome compared to other elders. The Kiffers made everything and invited our district (8 Elders) over for Thanksgiving dinner! They had chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy and some other stuff! The best was the apple pie!! We were really spoiled just because we are in the same district as the Kiffers! It really was nice except for the fact that all I could think about was you guys! I really got homesick that day, but the food made things better haha. We then washed the dishes because it was the least we could do then we watched a church movie about the salt lake temple. I loved it even though I was missing you guys so much! :D

Yesterday we had confirmations for the baptisms we had last week. It went really good. I loved Sacrament meeting because it was the primary program. You can imagine how different it was for me to see and hear these little African kids singing primary songs. I thought it was amazing how every single little child knew their part in the program and had it all memorized. Even really little kids had their part memorized and nobody needed help haha. There was just something special about little African children singing songs about their Savior Jesus Christ. It really touched me, especially the song that dad always sings, “we are a happy family.” I was really missing you guys right then and it’s not going to be easy for these holidays. Ok so on a happier and less crying note, 3 brand new investigators walked into church yesterday and they were all future leaders which means they have money and know English. They didn’t know each other at all and they all showed up on their own with nobody with them. 2 of them asked me during the investigators class how they can become members, so we will teach them this week! Exciting! I know what you might be thinking, “This cant be possible! People just don’t show up to church on their own and ask how they can be members.” Well here in Ghana, it happens all the time! It really is the best place in the world to serve and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the opportunity I have to serve here. Miracles happen every single day in this mission!

So this week is the last week of my 2nd transfer! We find out tonight if Elder Adjeifio will be leaving for if maybe I will leave. I hope we both stay! We are doing well here and working good together, but its up to the Lord. If ElderAdjeifio does there is a chance i could be training!!! FREAKIN CRAZY! President Sabey is unlike any other mission president. After 2 or 3 transfers he has missionaries train.... its very scary and ill know tonight!  So ill let you know next week what happened with transfers. I am loving this area called Asokwa and dont want to leave!

MISS YOU! :D I need stamps! Dont send packages unless its my birthday or christmas... its just too expensive and id much rather get pitcures and letters.... true joy that lasts.... food goes away too fast haha. i loved it though, dont get me wrong! But i loved the pictures and letters more haha.
 I am buying some phone credit card to call you guys in 3 weeks!! Im so excited for that! Well i love you guys so much and it seems like all is going well at home which is good. Study hard for your mid-terms!! I wish i would of. Haha.
Love,
Elder Lehr

Christmas already

Posted

Family,

I got the Christmas packages you sent! :D I was sooo happy to get it! And to be honest I opened it early, sorry haha. A month early for Christmas. It was sweet even though im not eating anything from it til around Christmas time! Im pretty much upset at the empty buffalo wild wings containers. You guys are soooo funny. The pictures were my most favorite part! The duty was kinda expensive because of the beef jerky so I think for next time I can deal without haha. It is delicious though! I can really tell how much you guys love me and support me by all of the time and energy that was put into the packages! The little notes on all of the things made it fun and my apartment sure does love you all! So thank you so much!

I finished the Book of mormon this week! I started on the flight over and finally finished. I don’t read during my designated study time but during my free time. :D It really does bring you closer to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father by reading it. I learned so much from this time that I read it. It has helped me so much especially in the missionary work.

This week was awesome! We had interviews with President Sabey on Friday, which is always good. He really does know how to make missionaries happy and help them to progress. I have seen a huge difference in some of the Elders since the MTC. Im kinda scared at some of the questions he asked me. It gave me the impression that Elder Adjeifio might not be around for this next transfer. Crap! Just when I get a little comfortable, things change. I hope its just me feeling this way and that he doesn’t leave me. Ive gained a good friendship with him and it sure makes life so much easier.

OH! Did I mention the baptism we had yesterday? It was great! Bounti, Bro. Obuachy and Sis. Yaa were so happy even though they were nervous for the baptism. It went really good and the members welcomed them which was great! The members are really gaining a strong trust in us missionaries which makes things so much better. Missionaries really do need the members in almost every aspect of the work so its good that they like us. The baptism was right after church because they want members to be present and not many people can come on week days or on Saturday. After the baptism a member told me she has a friend she’d like to take us to go see, so we headed over and met her friend. It made me happy to see that the members trust us enough to take us to their friends. I’ll have to get you guys pictures of the baptism, probably next week I could have them. :D

The weather really has changed lately. They call it the Hamaton (pronounced Ha-ma-tawn) season. It is really “dry,” dusty and foggy everyday.It’s like a huge fire from California is burning only miles away. You cant see more than a few miles in each direction. I love this weather because it’s much cooler and it is sooo much dryer than a few weeks ago. Its still not a dry heat but its not like we are sweating bullets as much. I seriously haven’t stopped sweating since I got off the plane, except for the last few days with the weather…it’s a blessing in us white guys lives. :D It should last through January-February and was supposed to start in December but it started early this year. I hope it doesn’t end early.

Family, I hope each of you know how much I love you and cant wait to call you this Christmas! I think about you all the time and some days are harder than others when it comes to missing home. The more I focus on the work the better it is and the more happy and blessed I am. You guys only miss one person, but I have to miss all of you and it’s not easy at all. I know that if I stay focused I will be blessed and the work will get better. How grateful I am to have a family that loves and supports me and more importantly, loves the Lord. How blessed I am to be serving in the Ghana Cape Coast mission. The people here are unlike any other. Their hearts are truly softened and they are ready and willing to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it’s the only gospel that comes directly from Jesus Christ. I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me. Prayer and repentance really can change the lives of people if they do it sincerely. The gospel is the only thing that can bring true and unlimited joy! Follow the prophets and we can all live together forever. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ amen.

I love you guys so much. Keep up the good work and enjoy this holiday season! Eat lots of pie and turkey sandwiches. Take lots of naps and drink lots of hot chocolate. Enjoy all the little things that you don’t always notice because trust me… I’m really missing the little things about home, my family, and the holidays. LOVE YOU!
Love Elder Lehr

Elder Clinton

Posted

Family,

E Te Sen? (How are you? In Twi). Aye (Im fine or good). This week has been pretty successful. We have atleast 3 people that we have been preparing for baptism for this Sunday November 22!! Im so excited for it! I don’t know who is doing the baptizing and I don’t care. What matters is that these people have changed their lives, repented, and are making their first covenant with Heavenly Father through the ordinance of Baptism. Their names are Brother Obuachy, Sister Yaa (grace), and Bountie. Brother Obuachy is an old man who has gone through a lot in his life. He used to be a manager for an oil company but he lost his job, his wife left him and she took all of his money with her. He’s very intelligent and loves to get up at 4am to watch CNN. He says that I look like Bill Clinton, so he calls me Elder Clinton…hmm…I didn’t laugh much at that joke. Sister Yaa is in her late 20s and single. She works at a chemist (this is how they call a pharmacy). She understands English but cant or doesn’t speak much of it, only Twi. She had an amazing dream about Joseph Smith showing her where the church was and he told her that it’s the only true church. She didn’t know it was Joseph smith until she saw his picture. Pretty amazing things happen in West Africa when it comes to dreams. She showed up to church on her own and now 2 months later she is getting baptized! Bountie is a 19 year old who just graduated highschool. He is looking for a job so he can pay for his schooling. He had a friend tell him in highschool about a book that can bring true happiness. He told him he’d find it in this church so he showed up to church on his own. When Elder Adjeifio saw him he was way nervous and shaky because of all the crazy things he heard about the church like devilish powers and stuff. He told him to go sit down in the Sunday school class and find out for himself what the church is all about. He now loves the church and the Book of Mormon. I’ll get pictures of everyone when I can.

I have been doing good as you can see :D I got that first envelope and some letters from karli and tine. I love letters and packages! Elder Adjeifio liked how you put his name on the letter with the package... Now he knows i have to share lol. Thats awesome to hear about Brady!! Im so excited for his family... he will learn and grow more than they will ever know! I know i certainly have!

Thats so funny about jacob and michael with the waffles!! Hahaha... those guys crack me up. They'll be a tag team as they grow up!

 Enjoy a turkey or 3 for me!  I loved the letters and package you guys sent. Oh and im in town about to try the Debit card so ill tell you next week if it works, it probably will. I dont need money very often, only for needs, but it probably wont be til later in the mission. Im using the washboards for the collars on my shirts haha. it works pretty good and the others in the apartment are using it too. Its sweet. Lots of powder drinks...i love these things. I can get butter and sugar and all sorts of things you wouldnt think so dont send that stuff. Sunflower seeds, peanut butter, salsa, cheese dip (the frito brand dip).... easy cheese. Little stuff like this! :D If not its ok, ill live as a Ghanain. I loved the reading materials so send more in all the packages!! :D

I’ve really learned in the short time I’ve been here that the number of baptisms doesn’t matter It’s all about how many people I help to repent and be actively involved in church. Less-actives are just as important as finding new people to teach. I love the Lord’s work. The Lord really does give missionaries so much help. I want to bear my testimony that I know this church is the only true church in the world because it really came from God and Jesus Christ. God loves each and every one of us and that is why we have been blessed with life, families, prophets, scriptures and continual revelation. Jesus Christ directs His gospel through the prophets and apostles. This life should be focused on an Eternal perspective, meaning we should only work for our needs and the rest should be given to those around us who are struggling. We should be anxiously engaged in helping people to grow spiritually. Teach a man to fish and he’ll have food, but teach a man to pray and he shall have Eternal Life. The mission is preparing me for serving the Lord for the rest of my life. I want to stand blameless at the judgement seat and have my Heavenly Father tell me, “Welcome home.” I have seen people who have near to nothing, yet they still pay tithing, pay for taxis to go to visit other members, and give their all when it comes to helping people to stay active and they are happy about it. I’ve never seen a more faithful and truly happy people than here in Ghana. They don’t take their lives, blessings or the Gospel for granted. They cherish every single blessing and they are content with the small amount of physical blessings they have received. I know we can all give a little more of ourselves. This is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all and hope you are coming to an understanding that this life is not about yourself because I know I am. Charity is the pure love of Christ and to have this attribute you must be striving to live like Jesus and asking Heavenly Father to help you become more loving and giving. I know I’m the last person you thought would say this, but I HAVE BEEN WAY TOO SELFISH to call myself a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. It’s not going to be easy and it hasn’t, but I am going to change. Line upon line. Precept upon precept. Til the perfect day.

Love Elder Lehr

PS: Thanks for the letters and the first envelope with the tinker bell and flower stickers on it! Elder Harris got some powder mashed potato mix in his package and so that gravy will be perfect!! LOVE YOU ALL!

Gone is the washing machine;(

Posted

Family,
Is it Thanksgiving this week or next week? Either way its coming up so Happy Thanksgiving! You guys better eat a lot for me! I think the couple missionaries, the Kiffers, are going to try and find a turkey. They said we would all eat a goat if they couldn’t find one haha. Goat isn’t that bad haha. I got your dear elder letters mom and also your Halloween letter which was nice! Thank you Christine for your letter and the pictures too, it looks like you had so much fun! You look too old to be a junior, scary. It was a nice surprise to get letters haha, not so used to that :D. So where are you guys having Thanksgiving? Our house? Who’s coming over? Don’t miss me too much while you are watching the Cowboys lose and stuffing your faces! Just think of me when you see those starving kids in Africa on those commercials. Enjoy and appreciate Thanksgiving this year! Not many families in the world are able to get together like ours. Cherish those moments. I know I have.

This week flew by even though it wasn’t all that busy. Elder Adjeifio has been suffering with 2 ingrown toenails, one on each big toe! Ya… he’s got it bad! Poor guy. The doctor for West Africa missions, Dr. Elder Stubbs, told him to soak them 3 times a day and shove cotton up in the nail to eventually lift the nail out of the toe! Ouch! Elder Harris is a little more brave then me so he is the one who puts the cotton up his toenail haha. We haven’t done much proslyting this week because of it but we were still able to teach the people who are preparing for baptism which was nice. The week we didn’t go out much I was still called Obrunee atleast 53 times that I counted. Ridiculous. Sometimes it’s funny but mostly its just annoying haha.

Tuesday was district meeting and it was my companionship’s turn to instruct. I instructed on charity and unselfish service. Elder Adjeifio instructed on unity within companionships. It went really good. While I was instructing, the biggest wasp ever flew in and started flying around me. Everyone in my district was laughing except me. The thing was freaking scary huge!

Remember the Phillipino investigator I mentioned a while ago? Brother Jay? Well we went to visit him and apparently his friend, who is a member, downloaded all of conference! So our lesson was watching the second session on Sunday which starts out with Elder Holland’s talk! It was awesome! Holy smokes. It was straight forward and directed at everyone in the church including the very elect. Powerful talk.

Since I was kind stuck in the apartment all week, I got a lot of reading and studying done. I started and finished Mosiah and Alma this week. I don’t think I’ve ever read this much in my life. And yes I actually understood what was going on haha. Moroni is still my favorite stud in the Book of Mormon.

I told you last week that the washing machine was taken away, the AP’s came and got it for Elder White. So, we had to wash by hand this week, which isn’t hard it’s just more time consuming. My clothes came out pretty clean, surprisingly. You’d be proud of me mom haha.

I can’t wait for this next Liahona, Ensign to come out! If you could, please send me a copy. I don’t care when it gets here as long as it eventually does. I miss you guys so much you don’t even know. Make these upcoming holidays the best ones ever, but remember that I want pictures and stories! :D I love you all! Keep spreading the gospel! Don’t be afraid to bare witness of TRUTH! (October Ensign, Pres. Monson, Fountain of Truth). Im excited for those packages!! And no i havent tried my debit card yet but if i get time today i will, if not it will be next monday for sure. Would it be ok if whenever i needed money you just call B of A and told them im still in africa? I wont need it very much at all but just an idea. Mom is a facebook user now?? What the heck? Haha... i thought you were an anti-facebook person? So much changes in 3 months haha. And I dont know why you had to tell me 300 times that I should know im loved and stuff, haha i already knew that! Always will! Taking third is probably worse then a sister kisser dad & Karli, just thought i'd say it. Go big or go home....a sister kisser. Haha better step it up! Next tournament? That's awesome that you got to do sealings this week! Im so jealous, i love sealings after going through the temple a month or so ago. Well i love you all so much and cant wait for that phone call!! :D :D Start thinking of things to ask me, or not, we could just find out what to talk about when the time comes. Im sure i wont be able to stop talking sooo nvm dont think of things to talk about haha.

Love Elder Lehr

Journal Entries

Posted

Family that I love and miss so much,

It has been yet another week in the mission field. I have to say that this week has been the most uplifting and spiritually strengthening week I have ever had in my entire life. I’m not sure how else to explain except by copying day by day out of my journal. Ill show only pieces of what I wrote because it’s so long.

October 27, 2009

Today was awesome when it comes to missionary work! We have started working on the mission goal, which is to reactivate someone by getting them to come to church 3 out of 4 times in a month, then baptizing a referral from that less-active member. So today we were headed over to a less-active member’s house named Alex. He has come to church twice so far and we need him to come at least once more for the goal. Another awesome thing about Alex is that both times he came to church he brought a different friend with him. So as we got to his house we knocked on the door and both of his friends answered the door and said Alex wasn’t around. So we were kinda disappointed, but asked the two friends, Richmond and Clifford if we could share a small message with them. They agreed and I had already had a good feeling about this. We started lesson 1 and answered questions they had about the Restoration. They were sincerely agreeing with everything we taught them, about Christ’s church and the Apostasy and even the Restoration through Joseph Smith. The Spirit in the lesson was powerful and my companion and I were shocked when they both said they want to be members of the church!! How blessed we were as a companionship to have the goal fall right into our laps because we worked hard during the Elias Goal or preparatory goal. We haven’t completed the goal yet, but this was definitely a huge blessing that we gave thanks to our Heavenly Father for!

October 28, 2009

We went to visit Clifford and Richmond at 11am today and found that Richmond was out, so we taught Clifford. He had plenty of good questions so we answered those first, then moved on by teaching him about the Book of Mormon and how it came about. My companion, Elder Adjeifio had told me before getting there that it’s my turn to start the lesson. So I began teaching him where the Book of Mormon came from, what it contained and why it is important. After my part was over, Elder Adjeifio started teaching him how to pray and how he can find out if it is true. It was another great lesson where the Spirit was definitely present. He said he could already feel that what we were teaching him was true, but that he would pray anyways. The rest of the day went really well, including the missionary fireside that we were in charge of and had been planning for the past couple of weeks for. The fireside was to motivate members to bring their friends and family to the missionaries and even to teach the members a few things about introducing the church to their friends and family. It was a success because our 2 companionships got 10 or so referrals a piece and it was an uplifting meeting. (I was asked to bare my testimony near the end of the meeting J). It all went well and we have been continually blessed in our efforts this week.

October 29, 2009

Today was one of the best days of missionary work! We went to teach Clifford and Richmond again and found that all of them were there, including Alex. Clifford and Richmond had a lot of questions and so we answered them one by one and then moved on with our lesson which was mostly for Richmond since he missed the lesson yesterday. It went well and Alex participated with his testimony which made the lesson even more powerful. After the lesson we had lunch and headed to Daban (sounds like Duh-bine). There we taught Obuachy who will be baptized in a few weeks (since General conference is this Sunday and stake conference is the next Sunday). While teaching him about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, it started to rain like I have never seen before! It was pouring harder then ever! So we waited for the rain to stop after our lesson and it never did. It was getting late so we took some plastic bags to put our scriptures in and headed down the road to a member’s house, sis. Elizabeth. That’s where Elder Akoki and Elder Harris were teaching someone. We walked through the pouring rain which was totally awesome and actually refreshing since it was cold. We got to Elizabeth’s house and found them there waiting for the rain to stop, which it didn’t. We waited a small time with them and sis. Elizabeth pulls out a plate of rice and stew and says,“Heavenly Father won’t kill you for eating this.” She was referring to the rule President had made about FM’s (free meals). The rule was that we had to teach a non-member first then eat with them. BUT! That rule ended with the Elias goal on the 25th of October (unless president tells us it’s a rule this Saturday in Zone Conference WHICH HE DID). So we didn’t break the rule, but it was hilarious how sis Elizabeth told us that Heavenly Father wouldn’t kill us for eating her food. So we ate and decided it was getting too late to wait for the rain to stop so we walked the few miles back to the main road to get a tro-tro. It was still pouring so hard and we loved every second of feeling one bit of cold. (atleast me and Elder Harris did!).

October 31, 2009

Today was Zone conference, which was exciting and very powerful. Among the great instructions, Pres. Sabey’s final instruction on the “deep doctrine” was my absolute favorite. He started with this quote, “The doctrine of oneness is the doctrine of Exaltation.” We have been taught so many times in so many ways about being unified whether it is unity in companionships, Eternal companions, families or even as church members (zion). We talked about what it meant for the Father and the Son to be One. They are infinitely more One then they are separate. President then talked a lot about how our mission prepares us for Eternal Marriage. He said, “I care more about what kind of husbands you will be, than what kind of missionaries you are.” Why would a mission president tell us this? It’s got to be extremely important if he tells us that and also if he talks about marriage more then any other mission president in the world! He then talked about how difficult the first few years of marriage is because of how different we will be from our spouse. Pres. Then showed us an example of how giving 50/50 in your marriage is setting up to fail. We both will have different perspectives of what meeting “halfway” is and so it won’t match up. We have to give our all, 100/100. Instead of give a little, take a little; It’s giving my all and not expect any return and be thankful if I do. President then gave us a pretty deep statement, “Celestial Marriage is both the End and the Means.” We have to have Eternal Marriage to make it to the celestial Kingdom and Eternal Marriage is what forms us into the kinds of people we need to be to get there. After he finished talking about marriage, he focused on the Atonement. He was a lawyer back home and he explained what it’s like to be the advocate for a defendant who has to be brought in chains. He related the situation to us with Christ as our Advocate before the Father. He then read a scripture of what the Savior will say in our defense. DnC 45:3-5: “Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him--- Saying: Father, behold the sufferings of and death of him who did no sin in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; wherefore, Father, spare these my bretheren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ became One with us so that we could become One with Him. His arms are stretched forth towards us. Are we showing our love to Him by “feeding His sheep?” We should be preparing to live the law of consecration because we have been told that someday we will, why not start as much as possible now? “He that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loses his life shall save it.” I am grateful for the Spirit that was present in the Zone conference. It has really helped me change a lot of my points of view in life.

November 1, 2009

Today was the viewing of General Conference at the stake center. We only got to watch 2 sessions, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. No, I did not get to see Elder Holland’s talk on the Book of Mormon, but I do have the printed version. I had our investigator named Bounti sitting next to me during the conference. He asked plenty of good questions about what was going on and how the church is organized. I could tell he enjoyed (as did the rest of us) Tad R. Callister’s talk. Bounti said he agreed with everything that was taught by Elder Callister and when he was done speaking, Bounti said, “wow, he is a powerful man. I could really feel it.” Bounti really has been prepared for baptism so I committed him to be baptized while we were having a break between sessions. He said, “when is the next baptism taking place?” I was shocked and told him the day then he said, “Ok, ill get baptized then!” I was being really bold with him and felt that that is how I needed to be. I enjoyed conference a lot and am going to apply the things I’ve learned, especially about gaining an unconditional love for people. That will include service to every person I notice that has a need. I will definitely need the guidance and help of the Holy Ghost and it will take time to fully apply this principle in my life, but I am totally willing to learn and grow. Submission is something I am learning so much about.

All of these experiences happened in only one week! Is that even believable? I didn’t even have time to mention a “many mighty miracle” (as sis Sabey would call it) that happened on Friday with a random contact. He is a really wealthy man but the most humble man I’ve met. He accepted the whole Restoration and loved “our teachings” (as he called them). Being submissive to the Lord’s will truly brings blessings, especially blessings that form me into a better person, missionary, son, brother, future husband and future father. I am blessed more then usual when I serve others and give my all to His work. I can’t wait for you guys to see how much I have grown and changed. It’s only been 2 months and my life has flipped upside down (in a good way of course). All I have to do is be humble and submit myself to His will and do my best and the rest is done for me. Ghana really is a specially place to serve the Lord.

I hope you all know how much I love you. I think about you every time I pull out my scriptures because there is a picture taped in the back.  I pray for all of you everyday that you will continue to serve faithfully, gain even stronger testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ and keep the “big picture” in mind. Remember how important it is to leave the herd of 99 for that 1 lost lamb. When you are apart of bringing somebody back into the herd, you can really feel the love the Savior has for that person.

This week I took a lot of time to make sure this email home taught you all a little something about the faith here in Ghana. I hope you now know how much I am learning and progressing. I can’t wait to call you at Christmas!! Only a month and a few weeks away now!
Love,
Elder Lehr

PS: 94 weeks left for me to serve full time, I had better get busy! Each time you think of me I want you to ask yourself this question: Did I make a difference in someone’s life today? If not, you better start getting busy too!

Ahhh....The Outhouse!!

Posted

Wow this week has flown by once again. So many things to talk about. I didnt get transfered but Elder White in our apt. did. His companion Elder Akoki is now training a new greeny who is a white guy yaa!! His name is Elder Harris from Burbank, CA. He's an awesome guy and is exciting and relieved about Ghana. He had some of the same thoughts about Africa that i did and hes realized that in our area its not so bad.

The work really is sweet. Yesterday at church my companionship had 4 of our investigators at church and i sat by two of them throughout all of church. Their names are Harrison and Bounti... Bounti is my age and Harrison is a nurse, they are both really young but they are progressing. Bounti keeps asking what he needs to do to be baptized (so we are teaching him the rest of the discussions, while making sure he really is ready) and Harrison has really been touched by the gospel. We have taught him all the way up to the point where we challenge him for baptism and yesterday after church he told us very sincerely, "thank you for bringing me such good news" (referring to the gospel of course).

We still havent been able to hear anything or see any of conference :(. We get to watch two sessions on sunday at the stake center with the whole stake there. Im excited for that! The missionary couple who lives by us, The kiffers, printed off what they said was one of the best talks of conference, the Elder Holland safety for the soul talk!! It was sooo powerful just to read, if only I could of heard it! I hope i get that talk in the sessions this weekend.

Well, im sorry I am just not as impressive as Elder Lytle, sounds like he is doing just great! Its harder then you think to just pull out a bunch of paragraphs about my week when im rushed. The letters i sent are better because I can take my time.

Ghanain culture is crazy. They love to sing and dance all the time. I have sent a CD with letters on wednesday so i hope you get that. It has videos of a few things including a Family Home Evening at the "timothy's" home. They are great family! I wish we could invite all other families in the ward over to the Timothy's so that they can be shown how a REAL family home evening is supposed to be conducted. You will know what i mean when you see the videos haha. Elder Harris told me yesterday that he noticed that I dont speak like an American anymore haha... He says i speak slow and like a British guy. (I have to speak slow english cuz nobody understands english when i speak "fast"). It really is a good feeling to have a new greeny in the apartment. It really opened my eyes as to how much ive learned in just a transfer.

I wish i could of been there to eat all the chocolate chips mom!! Or even eat some of that roast you cooked... oh how i miss mom cooked meals. I have been relying off of egg sandwiches and they are getting old. Sooo this last week I kinda got a little sick... nothing to worry about though. I had "runny tummy" which is what the Africans call it. My companion and I were just getting to a members house where we teach some investigators (Daniel and Esther, not related, I teach in english to daniel and Adjeifio teaches in Twi to Esther) and all of a sudden I remembered what a missionary in the Accra mission told me in the MTC, "Every single American Craps his pants atleast once on their mission and if they say they didnt, they are lying!" Hahaha, thankfully for me I didnt have that problem, BUT I still had to go sooo bad and my companion was making fun of me for walking wierd. So we got to the members house and he told her I had runny tummy and had to go now! She laughed and said that her toilet has been leaking so I cant use that, so she pointed towards the back of where these chicken coops were and there was an old outhouse there.... she didnt have paper or even toilet paper for that matter so I used my Hanky that i use to wipe off sweat.... it was quite an experience and I didnt get THOSE pictures on the CD I sent home so itll have to be next time!! :D Youll never believe what this outhouse looked like hahaha.

I am really enjoying the africans in my apartment... They have such a different kind of humor here it was hard to get used to but not its hilarious! They like to use parables, especially parables from the Bible. (They really KNOW their Bible) It's funny to just listen to them argue and laugh cuz they sound so funny, but now that Elder harris told me I kinda sound like them maybe the joke is on me now haha.

We have a new zone leader, Elder Mason. He was Elder Carton's companion in the office, an office elder. Since we now have a new couple in the office the office Elders were no longer needed. Haven't been able to talk with him much but i will at p-day today when we meet the two Kumasi zones at Bantama ward's chapel to play games and enjoy for a couple hours. They have now changed yet another rule, we HAVE TO leave the church at 12:30pm and cant stay to play games past then, not sure what the problem was but being submissive is a Christ-like attribute so im not going to say anything, just follow the rule.

I am enjoying the lemonade and Kool-aide packets that i brough from home. i didnt use them in the MTC and am now enjoying :D.

I would love to have gatorade but thats probably asking too much haha. Mom, i know you want me to tell you when im suffering or dont have enough of something but i just cant disclose that information, I plead the 5th. Haha. Im just kidding... There really isnt any problems, im taken care of pretty well and youve seen my apartment, its not a bad place haha. I guess im just lucky to be in the city of Kumasi, it's really a nice place, despite some of the 3rd world areas we go teach in.

Ties here are 3 Cedis!! Which is less then $3! I have gotten a few new ties but havent found too many Kentay ties (you know what i mean, the kentay cloth, the cool tie I got before i came).

It rained 3 days in a row which hasnt happened since ive been here! It rains at night and it poured so hard! I loved it because it cools off the apartment! It's so hot in the sun and this is "winter." I guess sometime in January the Hamaton (not sure if this is spelled right) starts and it is freezing cold at night and hotter then heck during the day. The best part i found out is that it lasts a whole month in Kumasi and only a week or so in Cape Coast sooo yaaa its gunna suck to walk around in.

Yesterdays Sacrament meeting was the best one I've had since ive been here! Probably because ALL of the speakers spoke in english and I could understand! It was pretty nice for a change. They called Elder Harris up to bare his testimony, which is what Bishop likes to do to all the new guys that come to our ward. Im not sure everybody udnerstood him cuz he still speaks like an American and speaks really fast. Well, I understood him atleast and it was a solid testimony, he really is pumped and ready to get to work haha.

I also sent in my envelope home a letter for the ward so i hope you get it, probably this week sometime. It's kinda expensive to send letters home when its not pouch haha. But there is also some printed pictures in there so enjoy! :D

Well i love you so much and hope all os going well (sounds like it is). Keep up the good work!

Love, Elder Lehr

Helaman 3:35 (scripture of the month)

Transfers this week

Posted

Thats so awesome to hear about matt, blake and jared!! Cant believe he got to come home early for his brother! Thats great! Well we finally get to watch a little conference this sunday which im sooo excited for!!

How did karlis tournament go?

I am getting pictures printed today and sending a big letter home with some pictures :D Hopefully the memory card thing will work.

lol Jared ward keeping things from his family isnt a suprise.... but dont be suprised if you find a whole lot of NEW things about my mission for when i get back! haha. Oh and i get called Obrunee every single day...some of the people even call me Okokonee sometimes, which means "red man." Not because of my hair but because im just have a red complexion hahaha. yaaa not so funny anymore, it was cute the first few times now it drives me crazy to hear it so i ignore it.

Ghana beat brazil to win the U20 World Cup!! Tell that to sis. dos santos! haaaa. How can i write her? you didnt really give me a way to get a hold of her, looks like ill write her next week.

This last week we got to have a suprise zone conference where Elder Carden from the 2nd quorum of the Seventy came! Hes the Area President of the West Africa area. Hes from Mesa, Arizona area...wheres that? Hahaha. He really is powerful! The second portion of zone conference he stood up and pretty much asked all the Elders... "what would you like to know?" It really shocked me that he really asked that kind of question. Some elders asked some good questions and it turned out to be one of the most powerful meetings ive had on mission which is hard to come by. :D

This week is transfers and we honestly have no idea if anyone is gonig anywhere or not, but atleast one of us in the apartment is probably leaving. Everyone is telling me that you just cant predict what president is gonig to do. Some guys stay in an area for one transfer and others are there for 10 months!!! So i just never know! haha. I love my area and hope i dont have to move.

Well this week has flown by and so will this next week. As long as i work hard and make everyday enjoyable it just goes by fast oh and its a good thing to not think of how many months you have left, that always helps haha :D

I love the mission and am doing my best. The Lord really is making up the big difference :D

Love you all and have a good week.
Elder Lehr

shortest email yet.....:(

Posted

Family!


I have been waiting for p-day to write you guys! So much has happened. First lets talk about homecoming!! I cant believe my sister is grown up so dang fast! WHAT HAPPENED? Well it sounds like it was a lot of fun and that the whole family got involved hahaha, sounds like my family, always getting involved. Im just glad that this time it wasnt me, jokes on you now Tine!! Hahaha.

Moving on... Missionary work is the sweetest work ever. We are working hard on this new goal, We have completed the 5 services projects (more like 8), we have visited 15 members homes that we didnt know where they lived before and i am learning all the members names (the goal is %80 of the average number of people at sacrament) I am probably at like %60 or so. Still have a couple weeks to finish that! The work is much better when we have gained relationships with the members. Member referrals means more "fruit that will remain." We teach less lessons a week but ALL of the lessons are to people that are progressing towards baptism. We help them understand commitments and how they are making promises to the Lord and not us. We had 10 of our investigators at church and there were only 67 people in sacrament. The members make things so much more productive and easier on us because they can answer little questions that we as missionaries arent always around to answer. We have 4 Elders in one ward and its still not enough to handle all the work!!! Crazy!

Well this letter is really short this week and im sorry that its short, next week will be better! gotta go!

Love you all and remember "its the Lord's work" Not ours. Pray for His will and help!

Elder Lehr

First Baptism date 10/04/09

Posted

Cant believe it has already been another week...22 and 1/4 months left. Im not counting down but some other elders sure are. I AM SO BUMMED!! We didnt get to watch ANY conference and thats because none of the members have tv's and if they do its just the few channels that come through local cable. And even the stake centers dont have satellites. We were told that in about a month or so we would get both the Liahona and a chance for all missionaries to watch it in the stake center but thats a month away!!! ahh. Im jealous.

Well this week has been just awesome... WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE! Which is not supposed to happen because it's not in our mission but President Sabey took advantage of the new Area President. :D We had to leave at 3am wednesday morning to get there on time. We went through the session and then we went in to do a sealing session (my first time!!). Holy COW!! It really opened my eyes about the importance of being married and sealed to your children in the temple. wow. looong time til that happens haha.

Sounds like you guys are staying as busy as ever. I cant believe how much i am missing in my families lives!! I leave for a month and a half and BOOM! I think and pray for you guys everyday and it seems to be working so ill continue of course (id continue if it wasnt working especially!) I heard about Elder Mckay last week... poor guy... Malaria is serious business...ive seen an elder go from totally excited about a zone conference to all of a sudden pale white and feeling like death. I take my medicine and sleep with the net like my life depends on it (and it does).

My week has gone by so fast, thats what happens when you stay busy and teach a lot of very effective lessons! We committed a guy for baptism... I dont know his first name cuz nobody has even used his first name but we all call him bro. Obuachy. (a lot of ghanains have this name around here haha). He is an older man who has been through a whole lot in his life and says his mind is finally stable :D. Its so great to see people change after we teach them and bring the Spirit to them! Its so hard to choose which investigators to talk about so ill jsut pick my favorite one (if we are allowed to have favorites :D) . His name is Bro. Jay. He is a phillipino! Hahaha... kinda random. He is avery very smart guy, an engineer here to work on an overpass and some other roads. His friend is a member and was actually a member his bishopric not too long ago, so he brought his friend to church and now we teach him. After teaching him for a few weeks, we committed him to baptism and he said he just needed a little more time but he broke down and bore his testimony that he knew the Book of Mormon was true...you have no idea how much this can make missionaries happy!!

Im trying to find time to write the ward! I will write soon though and just send it home.PACKAGE??!! Sounds good to me! :DHmm what to put in it... skittles are good, hmm this is hard to decide... I want a little caesars pizza really bad!! Holy crap do I miss dairy products... Somebody should make a dairy farm here and become a millionaire!! It is all powdered milk which just isnt the same, all watery. I recommend just sending packages in those US postage envelopes that seal all the way around the package (is this making sense). I say this because they dont open those packages and check what is inside :D Anways...what to put in there. Blank CD's for pictures!! (or was there some in my luggage?) Cant remember, let me go look and ill get back to you on the package haha.

Africa is sweet!! Its crazy and i love it here... the people in my apartment really make things awesome... There are sooo many differences from the American Elders and Ghanain Elders. We just dont think the same way about many things. It has been tough to get used to but im doing a lot of changing and its really helping my companionship... I got THE BEST African Elder in the mission. He really is incredible and teaches me how to teach and I really am getting good at teaching and asking questions... Getting the people to really think and to come up with the answer before i just tell them the answers to things. It works really well and im glad to be able to spend this time with this kind of a missionary! We are working hard and get to see the fruits of our labors...we had a baptism this last Sunday! It was from the other elders in our apartment. They have another one next week in another ward (because its a french family and the guy in our apartment, Elder akoki teaches them in french). Then we have our baptism the following week with bro. obuachy! We are helping people understand the importance of commitments and they are starting to follow the commitments we give them much better. We see this plan going into effect and its working with the people here in Africa.

The food is starting to taste better but some meals it is sooo very hard! We can only have Free Meals (FMs) if we teach an investigator and the member is there and then the member feeds us and we all eat together. (This is a part of the goal that was given in our last zone conference).

President is coming to Kumasi this friday! We have interviews on Saturday and im way excited!! Ive only had a small 3 min interview at the mtc with him and he is so inspired!! I love how kind and loving and how powerful he is!

Then next monday we are playing a full field game of soccer with pres as the referee! Tuesday we have an "emergency" zone conference. Its just that Elder Cardon is coming (The new area president). He is going around the entire mission to get a feel for what may be needed and stuff. So that he has a better idea of how the mission works and how the missionaries and people are. Im excited for him to come, he spoke to us in the mtc and is VERY powerful...wow. Hes a general authority!! So hes gotta be powerful haha.

Well i love you guys so much!! Keep doing what is right and dont worry about me! Im working sooo hard and following the rules just for you mom! Haha no really i am. You have to or you either get sick or dont have the Spirit with you and both would waste the Lord's time.

Elder Lehr!

PS... EAT A PIZZA FOR ME! :D (yes a whole pizza, one per person)

Surviving the Tro Tro's 9/28/09

Posted

I cant believe it is monday already. Africa has been going crazy because there is a U20 (under 20 years of age, for you people who are slow) Tournament with teams from all over the world representing their country. It is being held in Egypt but all that matters is that it is in Africa. The whole continent is alive and its not even the world cup yet! Ghana was playing two days ago and you could totally tell when they scored... literally the whole city screams and cheers when they score, all the cars honk their horns like crazy (the taxis do this anyways). All the investigators and members with tvs invite us in to watch a game (we have to limit ourselves haha).

The missionary work has been really progressing. I havent been mentioning any of our investigators names because there are just so many. We teach 20 lessons a week without even trying and the goal for our mission is 30! HOLY COW I KNOW! My eyes were huge when I read this goal haha. We have about 5-6 people who are committed to baptism and need a date set, so we are working on that. Missionary work for the most part seems so easy, but I know its because we are doing what is right and humbling ourselves in every aspect. My companion is incredible. He is really helping me along and showing me how to teach the people of Ghana. (Its %100 different then any kind of teaching in the States) These people are soooo faithful! They really do KNOW their Bibles...It was a little scary and intimidating at first when investigators whipped out all these Bible scriptures I didnt know existed. But its all good because my companion knows the bible like the back of his hand. AND it all comes down to following the scripture in James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom..." If they really do pray and keep the commitments we give them then they progress and all is good! Its sad to see only 60-70 at church every week when there are a lot more members than that! We have been working hard with this Elias Goal that ive told you about.... its the goal where we interact a lot with members, especially inactive or less active members. We have visited 11 members houses that we previously didnt know where they lived this week. It is really tough here because there is no addresses or sense of direction. When we get directions it sounds something like this... "Go do this road and its the 3rd right at the roundabout then go down past the chickens and its on your right." No its not really like that but you get the point.

The easiest lesson to teach is the Restoration.... we help them understand that when Christ was on the Earth one of the things he did was establish His church. The foundation of the church was Prophets and Apostles with Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone. Once Christ and the other Prophets and Apostles were killed, the foundation was taken away and the church fell. And when it fell, the people were left with only pieces of truth that they used to create their own churches according to man. yada yada yada then the Restoration! It is a powerful lesson to talk about Joseph Smith actually seeing God and Jesus Christ. Just from teaching it we have gotten people afterwards telling us they "felt that it is true"... or feel peace or love while we are teaching them. You wont understand the joy that I have until you have experienced this missionary work for yourself. I have never been happier!!

So one thing that i havent told you guys about is our transportation! We use taxis and these buses that are filled with people called Tro-Tro's. They are all ghetto buses and that extra seats welded in to maximize the space! They are really cheap but really crazy! Pray i dont die in one! haha. We travel just about everywhere in either a taxi or tro tro. My first experience in a tro tro went like this.... I got in a bus with tons of people (of course im the only white guy so everyone is looking at me like what the heck is this rich white guy doing in a tro tro). We sat in the only empty seats which were in the back....after driving a little ways the driver hits a huge bump going pretty fast and the back door of the tro tro flies open and our seat isnt exactly welded on very good!! Our whole row started falling back until we grabbed the seat in front of us and pulled our row back into the van. We started shouting at the driver to stop! Hahaha...my companion and I just laughed and he said.. "Well this is a great first experience in a tro tro!" Hahaha...nothing to worry about mom! Its all good! :D

:D Well ive got to go to meet up with the rest of our zone to play some futbol!! They really do love that sport here :D I love you all and am happy to get your emails and letters! I am doing my best to write you back and sorry if it is only a short response! The Lord's work is definitely taking over much of my time, as it should be.

Love, Elder Lehr

Can't Handle Rejection............09/21/09

Posted

Hi everyone!
That's awesome to hear about the tourney! The boat thing...serves you guys right! haha. The mission is awesome, people are really receptive in this area...we have 5 or so people that we are teaching twice a week who are committed to baptism they just need dates and a little push. I think I have figured out why I have been sent here........I COULDN'T HANDLE REJECTION!!! The people here are incredible. Just an example....we had an extra hour to go contacting (means that we are meeting random people and giving them our introduction and stuff and trying to get a day we can go teach them). So we happen to be on splits with the Zone leaders so it's me and Elder Adjeifio and Elder Lewis from AZ (Zone leader). We decide to pick a nice looking house and go up and see if there is anyone home and it happens to me MY turn to introduce us. I was a little scared but I manned up. The lady we me (Alice) was in her mid 20's and was kinda happy to see us. She invited us in and we taught the first lesson and she started crying after our testimonies were bore. She said she will come to church and read the pamphlet we gave her. There is something you need to know about Ghanians...They feed their guest no matter what! So her mom pulls out food and tells us we are invited! It's crazy...we just met them, they listened to the lesson, fed us, and left us with commitments...sounds like some easy missionary work...NOT!! Ghanians have a problem with keeping commitments. They will tell you what you want to hear just to make you happy. so we have to try and tell if the person we are teaching is serious or just pullin our leg. haha. Most people we teach are serious though, they keep commitments.

My companion is pretty awesome...he is teaching me so much and we are good friends already...the other elders can see that we are bonding really well and it seems as if they are jealous of how much fun and work we are getting done. 2 other roommates are pretty funny guys. Elder Akoki is from Ivory Coast and oh man do they know EVERYTHING!! They think they do...it's frustrating because he loves to bring up things about America (yes including Obama) and sometimes I just want to go off on him and tell him he know nothing about America. The people here have this twisted thought that America is paved in gold and that every Obrunee (white man) is rich.

I have been eating fried egg sandwiches, PB&J (yes I found some!!! nobody else has it but my area :D, rice balls with grandnut soup (Ghanian dish that kinda tastes like peanut butter, looks sick nasty), and tuna fish sandwiches. The rest is just stuff off the street that gooks good and I have no clue what it is (yes mom I make sure it's cooked and healthy looking).

The plumbing kinda sucks but hey, TIA ( this is Africa)/ There is only cold water and there isn't much water pressure so we fill buckets and stand in the bath tub pouring cups of cold water over us haha. It's interesting but it's a good way to wake up in the morning at 6:00 am!! NOT 6:30! Mission rule. We had Zone Conference this last week which went good and we found out a whole lot of information. We had a mission fast yesterday to show gratitude for the Lord helping the missionaries here to complete the last 3 goals which were crazy difficult. We get to go to the temple in 2 wks. which almost never happens!! We have been given a new goal...It's to bring inactive members back to church to become active again and to get a referral from the inactive and baptize that person. Pres. Sabey has been following a common goal...It's in John 15:16!! I think that's right, I forgot. It talks about "Fruits that remain." After giving us that goal he said there is going to be a smaller goal to come before that one which is a preparatory goal. it includes 1) Know the names of 80% of active ward members. 2) Visit 15 members homes that you haven't been to. 3) Do 5 service projects for the members. 4) Do all of this without receiving a FM (free meal). We will have til Oct 25 to complete these things. Nobody was happy with the FM thing.. and to be honest it's not because us elders want free meals. It's because the people in Ghana have customs that they MUST fee you whenever you visit. Members have already gotten soooo upset with us because they think we don't want their food or that we don't like it or something. It's really offending them. We had a member last night who started crying when the Kiffers (an elderly couple who live next to our apartment, also on a mission) told her that we couldn't eat her food. I'm not so sure about that part of the goal....We are supposed to be building relationships with members by serving them and no them serving us but it's doing the opposite...I sure hope Pres. Sabey knows what he is doing cuz it seems as if it's not going to help.

No too many bugs, but the mosquitoes are crazy!! i pay attention and do what I'm supposed to and so fa it seems to be effective. 4 guys in my MT group (the group who was in the MTC with me) have malaria including Elder McKay! Poor guy! I think he's lost like 10 lbs. and is just suffering. Malaria really does hit you like a bag of bricks, it settles in after a few weeks and then BOOM! You are in your bed or on the toilet for the next couple of days! Crazy!

That would be cool to get a package from you guys....it'll work but don't send anything electronic or the tax is insane. Send just food and a little thing of stamps (I have a good amount left). Lemonade packets are always good :D Oh and with my email address and password go to www.blogger.com and sign in with the info I gave you.

I will pray for you guys, especially Shortney, poor thing. I'm so glad I got emails from grandma and Mark n Rachel! It was good to hear from them :D Send letters and whatever else all to the mission home....You should have that address somewhere...It's like PMG(street number) Cape Coast, Ghana. It's a very short address. Love you!

2nd Week in the Field--09/14/09

Posted

Ok so myldsmail is really irritating and not working so next time when you send me an email, send it to both elderlehr@myldsmail.com and to mlb2k5player@hotmail.com just in case. I read Tine and Karli's emails but it wouldn't open your or dads or the addresses sooooo idk what to do.

The work is awesome...we teach a lot of people and this next week will only get busier!! There are a few people that are already committed to baptism which is awesome and exciting. We are teaching a lot of investigators and now finally our church building is done being refurbished and people will go to church more cuz it's not so dang far away.

Trotro's are crazy! They are vans that are taxis and they are waaay ghetto and are always stuffed with people but it's the cheapest transportation so we use them. I'll get a picture of one or something. Most important thing is getting to write you guys an email. Sounds like everything is going pretty well from what the girls have been saying. I just got your email to open on myldsmail but still not dad's. Sooooo ya we have a can opener...it's not as 3rd world in my area haha. I will write whoever, that's not a problem, it's getting the addresses from that email that is the problem.

Jesse McKay was probably able to go to a cafe, my companion wanted me to and if Elder McKay didn't have a companion who thought it was ok to go to a cafe then he probably hasn't gone til today (pday). I have not idea where he went. I just know the 9 people including me that got sent to Kumasi and he wasn't one of them, I think he's in Cape Coast.

Soooo yaa, you like the pictures? I lost 5 lbs. in the MTC while everybody else gained weight...who knows? haha. This area is so awesome and I'll most likely be in this ward probably 3 transfers in a row and the first 2 transfers will probably be the same companion and then the 3rd one I'll probably be training someone...there's another huge group coming in Oct. and another huge group in December so they'll probably need me to train, maybe maybe not. We'll see...that would be even more humbling!!! haha.

I am getting way better at teaching especially with the spirit, it's coming along. I can teach and bare testimony without getting so nervous!!! It's a great feeling to be able to be bold!

I said today is pday and right after we are done here at the cafe the 2 and only 2 zones in Kumasi get together at this huge park and play soccer, basketball, tennis, vball, and ping pong...sounds awesome!! There's like 40 missionaries that make up the 2 zones. Zone Conference is this Friday!! Sounds like a huge spiritual feast!! The goals Pres. Sabey has given these Elders are CRAZY!! But everyone has been able to complete all 3 of them! There are some crazy stories that go along with the goals. We will be getting our next goal at Zone Conference. I also have video of my companion speaking English and twi...I want you to see how dang difficult it is to understand people here AND MY COMPANION IS AN EASY ONE TO UNDERSTAND! If you can believe that.......

Well, I love you guys so much and still can't get dad's email open. Since it's not working well we can come back later today and finish emails. I LOVE YOU ALL AND HOPE EVERYTHING CONTINUES TO GO WELL!! READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!! LOVE EACH OTHER!!!

Elder Lehr
09/14/09

FINALLY heard from Cody :)

Posted

Sept 11, 2009

FAMILY! I have finally gotten out of the prison known as the MTC!
My new companion is Elder Adjeifio! He is from Accra. He's a solid missionary! I am gunna try to send you some pictures if I can. Have you gotten any of my letters? I have sent 2 and the 3rd one is written just hasn't been sent yet. I always send a letter to the girls. I need family and friends' addresses to send them anything, so whether it's email of address-either one fine. Please send that, I would like to write more family and stuff. Africa is crazy, but so amazing. Their "english" is crazy and broken. I am holding up great! I had to switch computers because the other one had a keyboard that you had to pound the space bar for it to work, irritating. It's very different here but it's amazing. I will soon send pictures, you'll love it. The work has already been great and I've only been here for a day and a half now.

I got here Wed night and went straight to a members house to eat. It was comforting when I saw that it was rice and chicken instead of banku. Banku is like fufu but waaaay worse. I'll get used to it though. You would be so amazed if you came here, the people are the MOST FRIENDLY out of anyone in the world. You can talk to just about anyone about the church and they'd listen. Ghana has really been prepared for the church. My companion is an answer to my prayer...and I'm an answer to his prayers (so he says). The guys in the apartment are me, Elder Adjeifio (my comp), Elder Akiko from Ivory Coast, and Elder White from Vernal, Utah. I love these guys already, they are all way way cool. I was kinda scared to get some weird elders or something but they are awesome, they are so glad that I'm a cool guy haha. We are already way good friends, I love these guys. They teach me a lot, especially about the area and missionary work. The MTC is almost worthless in my eyes, ya you study a lot and learn a lot but you learn soooo much faster and more when you are out in the field.

There is a LOT of good food and I'm slowly getting used to Ghanian food. I'm loving it haha, the mission is sweet, busy and hard, but sweet. I can already see (especially in the MTC) the Lord usuing me as an instrument. Lots of guys needed emcouragement and some love cuz they were waaaay homesick or whatever. I'm not saying I'm not a little homesick but it was just a little easier for me cuz I wasn't focusing on my family I was focusing on what I'm supposed to be doing and how I could better myself.

I'm so excited to finally get to hear from you!! Both yours and Kristen's dear elder letters went through!! I got Kristen's in the MTC and yours when the office elders came on our last day. It definitely made me smile and gave me encouragement to keep going :D

OHHH I totally forgot to tell you where I am haha...........I got sent to Kumasi!! Which is more north compared to Cape Coast. It is the 2nd biggest city in Ghana, Accra being first! It's a happenin place! They speak a lot if Twi here which I'm slowly slowly learning. It sounds sooo wierd haha. The city here is ridiculous, sooo many people, 2 million I think, The curch is growing sooo fast, faster than they can build buildings. Pres. and Sis. Sabey are incredible. You have nothing to worry about, I am well taken care of here! Pres. Sabey is a stud, he's the man!

I can't talk much more but I want to say how much I love you guys and miss you guys, it's sad to think that you are spending so much time together and I hate myself for not taking advantage of that sooner. This work will change me a whole lot and if I never baptize one person I will be so happy just with the fact that I have learned and grown so much. There is nothing like serving the Lord everyday and becoming like Him. I can definitely see how I will miss it so mcuch 2 years from now. I want you to know that I am working as hard as I possibly can and following the mission rules. I'm grateful for your prayers, I could feel them helping me! Can't wait to get some pictures to you guys of everybody.

Everything is supposed to be sent to the mission home, so if you have that address use that. Don't send me anything that is electronic through the normal postal service, the duty (tax) on it when it gets here will come out of my monthly money and it's expensive. Food is fine though. I don't really need much so don't waste your money, wait til Christmas and my birthday haha. I'm sure you'll email me before Monday but that is p-day and I can email then too. Today I'm setting up my ldsmail account so I'm sending a lettle something to let you know. My email address is: elderlehr@myldsmail.net Use that please.

Elder McKay is cool, saw him in MTC.....not sure where he is now.
I love you all!! Keep up the food work! Work hard in school and siminary, it will pay off! The mission is the best work I could ever be doing! I'm so glad all of you pushed and helped me along the way to make it to this point. Thanks so much! LOVE YOU!

Elder Lehr
Ghana Cape Coast Mission
Kumasi, Ghana