Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 15: The Theme for the Week---The Struggle is Real!

I’m proud to say that I have a new nickname in the district--- "Macdaddy McFarland"

"The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature." (said in a deep southern accent) – Elder Ferrin

I guess the highlight of the week is that I found some Poptarts here in Oda and just so you guys know I am going crazy with those. They are the cookie dough ones. Let’s just say I finished those Poptarts in 2 days. Oops. You learn to really appreciate American things once you are in Ghana, especially when you are put in the bush to start your mission.  I lied. I guess there was another highlight for the week. We were taking our usual bathroom break at the chapel and I decided to take my glasses off to wash my face. Ferrin came into the bathroom, which was weird to me because he said that he didn’t need to go. So I hear what i thought was him using the bathroom. So I finish washing my face and Ferrin steps out with his pure water bag (drinking water) and starts spraying me with it. At first I thought he was peeing on me. I was about to be so mad. Of course I couldn't see because my glasses were off. But later I heard the crinkle of the pure water thing....the struggle of being blind. Soooo now we get to the low light of the week. It turns out that I am sick.... Yes it happened... I never thought it would. I really underestimated Ghana... well that’s kinda an intro. You all are going to like the part about our baptism. haha 

It was hot-- probably the hottest ever. I  know I keep saying that but I  have a strong testimony that this was the day! haha A bunch of clouds were out but apparently none of them wanted to help me out and cover the sun so me and Ferrin are over here dying trying to visit as many people as we can to get indoors and under a fan- the struggle is real. Somebody said to me that their husband will bring back Dr. Pepper from the US. I am seriously happy. I destroyed my ankle today oops, Guess my ankles can’t support all of this spiritual weight I have- the struggle is real.  I taught a very powerful lesson about temples. Can you believe it’s only my second time teaching about temples? The member we went to go teach had a very powerful dream about the temple. I have a strong testimony that God reveals things to Ghanaians in dreams. Usually Ghanaians can’t afford to travel to Accra. It is really sad. But I’m glad the branch is having a temple trip where they all squeeze into a trotro and go to the temple. Our branch president is a really good guy. I finished my plans for the district counsel instruction. I have a good feeling about it. So lights went off and I told Ferrin that if light came back on in 5 minutes that I would run around the compound, bang a pot and a pan together, and scream “light is back, light is back.”  You get the point. It came on like 2 minutes later. I have to keep my promise.  The neighbors got a kick out of it and thought it was the funniest thing I have ever done, and I’m pretty goofy. Ferrin and I have made it a thing that we will go crazy every time light comes back on.

So I figured out in my study today if you actually sit down and focus on something you will get it done a lot faster and actually understand what you are doing. Now before I came on mission I did finish the Book of Mormon but it was more of how fast can i get it done and didn't really gain anything from it. Now I sat down and focused and right now I’m on Alma marking things and putting my spiritual insights in my margins. All is well.  I found something cool in 2 Nephi 29 that literally says you are a fool if you don't believe God can give us more scripture. My instruction in district counsel went so well. It was kinda about why missions are hard and how you can overcome it all. I shared the story of Job and the story of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. It was kinda a pump up lesson. I’m thankful for the help I received while thinking about what I should say. I think it worked because we set 2 more baptismal dates in the same day to a very serious older couple who said they were ready to be baptized. We sat down with a referral from some member in our ward and he said he knows that the church is true. But we haven't set a date for him yet. Our area went from 0-100 real quick. I never knew baptisms would come like that. I guess the Lord is blessing us right now. So we were on our way to visit our investigator and had small extra time so we decided to go visit this member who is on the way. When we got there they had a little learn English program on their TV for their little girl. It talked about ABC's, colors, foods, and animals. I’m not even going to lie, Ferrin and I were intrigued by this and may or may not have been doing the little repeating it back to the TV exercises. But all is well. We learned English.

“Dang.  Is it national turn off your phone day?” -Ferrin
“Maybe we should turn off ours too and join the party.”- me
We found a kick out of this conversation. It was a struggle to plan the day because nobody was picking up their phone. The struggle is real. Mostly we just found ourselves walking around our area like lost dogs trying to find people to teach. Not an effective day. I wouldn't say it was a waste though. We did have a couple of good lessons. We didn’t get destroyed by rain this time but there was a scary looking cloud in the sky.

Happy 100 days to me. You want to know how I spent it?  Sitting on the toilet and feeling like crap. Man was I not expecting this...long story short I was on the toilet all day and we didn't do much proselyting.  Every time I would need to go to the restroom, Ferrin would look up from his Bible with a creepy face and say "gooooood."  Guess what? The struggle is real. :)  A last minute meeting with the zone leaders scheduled for tomorrow. "gooooooood"  I’m just praying that this baptism will happen tomorrow like that one elder on The District who wants to be a blue chair when he grows up-- always worried about baptizing people. I feel like that guy right now.

da da da da da da circus circus, Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, step right up and witness two white men in Ghana , juggling while so many things are being thrown at us, while still keeping our baptismal candidates in the air! Watch them deal with runny tummy, scheduling conflicts, last minute meetings, and problems finding someone to preside!

Satan will do anything to not let a baptism happen. Dang I hate that guy. I’m just sitting here trying to reschedule everything, hoping that everything will work out and also hoping that God will relieve this pain from me. I probably used half our water supply flushing the toilet every 30 minutes - the struggle is real.

Quote of the day is by me: “I hope I don't explode while standing in the baptismal font.”

Wow this day, you are not going to believe this, man this crazy. It was the shortest baptism I have ever been a part of. So first of all our zone leader decided they want to schedule this meeting last minute in Asamankese. It’s not his fault. I just like blaming things on people when it interferes with my wants. The meeting was at the time the baptism was supposed to be. So we did a bunch of calls and changed it to 7am so all is well.  We wake up at 5 and get ready get to the chapel a little bit before 6:30 and started filling the font but it was filling up so slow we didn't think we were going to have enough water in time. Trust me, I was getting kinda sad. Our candidate was there just staring into the font like it wasn't going to be good. So we brought a hose and started filling it with the well water. Then I remembered like maybe 30 minutes later, the church has a tank and a pump. But we don't have those keys. So we call the clerk and say we need you right now and he came and unlocked it. So we were getting water faster. Still we weren't going to fill up the font in time. So I start to fetch water in these big buckets and dump it into the font. Just imagine this fat ginger dripping with sweat running around with buckets of water - the struggle is real here in Ghana. We ended up starting at 7:30, but we had another problem. We didn't have someone to preside--nobody ever came....but we figured it out. The program is just like what we do back home. I had the great opportunity to baptize Edward, the guy I have been teaching from the beginning. I will never forget him. Samuel decided to go to a funeral. So he didn't come in time. His will be next week. We went to Asamankese for this meeting we were supposed to be there at 1 and it started at 2. We were just a meeting about the new way we are doing baptismal records. It’s actually a lot better. We have sisters in our zone now (African sisters, we can’t have white sisters here or it wouldn't be good) and we were waiting for them so we can start. I swear you are always waiting on a woman, didn't get back to
Oda until late.

"Welcome to Ghana where taxi drivers would swerve and rather hit people than potholes." Nothing special happened. We did teach our branch president. It was a bomb lesson. I called Sister Sanders who is over the medical stuff on the mission and she told me to buy this medicine and that I probably have food poisoning.

We are going to Accra on a Monday on the 14th. Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is going to speak to us. I’m excited to go to Accra. I will go crazy at the mall.

Thank you all for all your thoughts and prayers. Again I am very grateful that I am serving a mission.


Melissa B said...

What an adventure! I'm so grateful the Lord is your guide- without Him, this two-year tour your on would be frightening. Praying for ya Elder MacFarland!!

Mom said...

It is definitely an adventure!! Thanks for the prayers!