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.