Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Gospel, A Change of Countenance & Attitude - January 20, 2014

Here in Africa I have had some eventful week.
   Monday President decided it would be best if we (the office council, Walls, Office Elders, APs) all had our Ghana driver’s license. There was nothing out of place or wrong with the internationals, just better to have both. So me, Elder Van Scheltma (new AP) and Elder Wall had yet to get ours so far, just because we are newer in the Office. We spent a good amount of time trying to work out what was needed to get it taken care of. After words we ran to the bank to draw our money for the month.  We went home and made doughnuts and dinner.
    The next day we did our normal ran by the post and then to the Area Office/ Temple site to pick up mail and general supplies. Then went with Elder Wall to the DVLA with the right paper work, but the Ghanians could not allow for it to be so simple and put us in a mess of other things to do before we could convert our license over. The way they act about handling paper work had me confused how the Country has gotten this far.
     Wednesday we had a small transfer to close some area and release a lot of ward missionaries working for us. They moved us, The OEs, to a new apartment for some reason during this time as well. Later that day we were headed to Kasoa to drop off some transferring missionaries luggage, while making a legal turn a BMW traveling a high speed attempted to cut us off (Ghanians have a really problem with "Me first thinking") We had already turned and were driving when they came up flipping us off, cussing, and honking. A ways down the road they passed us, stopped, and the 2 men (all decked out in fake gold and wife beaters) got out and wanted us to do the same. We stayed inside, doors locked, and a machete under the seat. They realized we were ignoring them and were chased back to their car by angry taxi drivers, not before one man dented our hood with his fist, then sped off like a coward. Later at the office the dent popped out very easy and no damage was taken to the car. I did lose my faith in these people at this time though.
   The rest of the week we were spending the mornings at the DVLA and teaching in the evenings. Finally on Saturday morning we finished the rigmarole of getting the license! I have to wait 3 months for the hard copy, but in the time being I have my temporary one.
    Friday and Saturday we taught a lot of really great lesson with some wonderful new people. It was a nice time and a great feeling teaching the Gospel with these investigators and some faith was restored. Saturday night we had dinner at President Hill’s home so we could drop off Sister Hill's package, it was a wonderful time and I really love my President and his wife, they are some great people.
 We stopped by the Accra Mall to buy a few groceries (A nice perk to the Office and having a car.) We got a huge box of instant noodles and my companion was balancing it on his head while we struck up a conversation with the cashier and a man in the queue. They really enjoyed us and when we went to pay the cashier said they man had already bought it for us. We ran to thank him (it was a BIG box and no small expense) he said it really wasn't that much and told us how his large family were members of our Church, but he still was not. He so enjoyed our company and had a special feeling about us. He then said he would soon visit the Church and we bid him farewell (sad to say he lives far away in the other mission.)
    It was at this time I forgot all the crap, anger, and depression of the week and world. Right there I saw some hope for not just these people, but all people. How just a small encounter with the Gospel can change a person’s entire form and mind. Whether it be in a lesson or at the store, a simple touch from the Spirit can change everything for the better.
  I close with the words of Elder Hartman Rector Jr as he quoted the Prophet David O McKay.
  "The gospel makes evil minded men good, and good men better and women and children better than they have ever been before.”
     Sincerely ,
  Elder Steven T Ray

Of course if anyone knows Elder Ray knows that he loves trains!

I asked if there is a problem with the trains running so close to people and houses - he said that the people are very cautious and were yelling at him when he was taking this picture even though he said it was 300 yards away.

This is the Ghana Train, painted like the country's flag - this is one of two trains that run in the country. Elder Ray said that this one only handles passengers.  He thinks there is another one that runs up to Cape Coast and Kumasi that hauls freight to the mines.

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