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

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!