Thursday, August 25, 2016

ELDER BEDNAR!

Mom: I've got two weeks of email updates in one posting.  It's been a little busy with back-to-school and early-morning seminary prep.  :)  But here it is!  Updates from Gabe...

8-15-16
What a sweet week this week! Elder Davis got a haircut from Elder Sewell, we almost ran out of every single peswa (like american cents) but we managed!

I have been still practicing the piano and Elder Sewell loves playing the guitar so sometimes we jam :)

This Elder who visited our apartment this week came up to me and dead serious asked, "Do you have Rambo?" ....like seriously.... :)  The whole room was dying laughing because I am a strict rule keeper, so it was hilarious!!!  :)

Elder Dudley and I snapped some pictures this week after Elder Bednar visited us which was sweet! I love that guy :) I took another jungle video this week so that should be interesting to see what else we walk through :)

I SAW THE MOST DISGUSTING WEIRD BUG THIS WEEK. ITS LIKE A WASP, PREYING MANTIS, MIX! AHHH.

Now for the spiritual stuff: And btw, sorry I forgot to add some spiritual stuff last week, but this week I will make up for it :)

We prepared by reading a few talks by Elder Bednar: Ask in Faith, Seek Learning by Faith, Always retain a remission of your sins, and Converted unto the Lord. We started out by taking a mass picture with him when he arrived and wow...you can just feel the burning inside when you see him. We then went inside and began our conference! We sang the song we have been practicing for him, "One by One" and the Spirit was really strong then. He then began by saying that we should not take notes on what the speaker says, but just what the Spirit tells us in our hearts. He said it was a silly tradition of the church and that we should write less "large plates: and more "small plates" so that was difficult, but it was a powerful note taking experience.

It was really reallllyyy sweet to have Elder Bednar and his wife open up to us! Sometimes I forget they are normal people with a sense of humor, and not just spiritual speakers that we listen to every 6 months. I loved hearing about them! Anyways, many of the questions I had were answered, not by Elder Bednar's direct words, but through the spirit that was present. I knew the doctrine of our church is rock solid in my mind, but I was missing the part that knew it was true in my heart. And I definitely got my answer and had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I felt the warm comfort of the Spirit as he spoke, and I was spiritually edified for sure.

He spoke a lot about being agents and not just objects waiting to be acted upon.  He helped us to understand that we play lots of guessing games as normal people teaching others, by helping them to be agents and act on their own moral agency. Then, he bore a powerful testimony for us and promised us some blessing with his Apostolic keys which was really sweet. He promised that as we read the Book of Mormon everyday and strive to help others, we would not suffer from the sin of pride. So, I have taken the challenge and have not missed a day of reading the Book of Mormon since! I also invite you to take the challenge to read and feel the power that comes from those scriptures. It is a priceless blessing to have more of the Words of the Lord from the Book of Mormon.

We then went to the Great Hall in KNUST for our Sunday service with him and the 2 stakes that visited. It was about the size of the Murchison center, maybe a little smaller, but it was really sweet. The 2 general authorities that were with him, their wives and Elder Bednar himself, all spoke about serving others, doing our part to reach out and make friends with less active members and to invite our friends to church and things, which would also protect us from the sin of pride. Also those blessings can be conveyed to those who take the challenge.

Lastly, and also one of the more spiritually strong moments of my life was when we sang 'How Firm a Foundation' (hymn 85). Elder Bednar again promised through his Apostolic keys that as we sang that song and thought about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that we would feel the burning in our hearts that it was true, and that we would know he is our Savior. As we all sang, tears filled my eyes as I truly came to know that He died for me. One by One, he suffered for me and for the sins and sorrows of the world. One by one, he knows us and knows me personally. I will never again look at that song the same.

I know that Elder Bednar is truly an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He holds the same authority that Jesus Christ gave to his Apostles in times of old. I know it with all my heart. "I'll never no never forsake" what I have felt and learned these past 2 days. I love you guys and hope that those who are not members of the Restored gospel will pray to know if it is true, AND become an agent in finding your answer by reading the Book of Mormon  and attending church on Sunday. I promise that as you do, you will come to know of Jesus Christ more fully and know that this is in fact the same church of Jesus Christ Restored in our time before He comes again. In his name, I bear my witness, even the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Wawro

8-22-16
Sorry I am on way early, we hit the gym today so we came to town in the morning! I will probably be on this schedule for a few weeks too...realllyyy early Texas time.   :( So I will try to get on before mom has to go to seminary!   :'(

Well, to start, this week, we have been to the gym EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Yikes, it is hurting my body TONSSSS. But it is really sweet, I feel great, I sleep great, and I am feeling the small improvements! It is a legit gym though...lots of the gyms, called "local gyms" are just some flywheels welded to a bar in the middle of a field.  But the one we go to is called Palestra Fitness, and it is a legit gym with a complete set of dumbells, tons of machines with cables and ropes, and it is powerful. We are enjoying and in a month or 2, or whenever I leave my area in Kumasi, I will see some serious progress.  :)

Hallelujah, I got my package from home this week! I got a fetching lot of drink packets, Hallelujah.  And i got a pocket knife to carry with a monkey fist, and a bunch of other suuuper sweet stuff! It feels like Christmas every time I open one :)  Thank you tons to Mom and Dad for the packages!

We had our zone council this week which was good!  I got to see some other missionaries which is always sweet, and right after, we went and got 10 Cedi fufu.... I was not happy about that because it was soooooooooo expensive. But at least it was good.  :)

Elder Yates, from my MTC group, is finally in Kumasi, so I get to see him a lot now! Last week, we went to Max Mart and found Dr. Pepper, which is FETCHING HARD TO FIND.  So we enjoyed.  :)

We had a ward service project this week where we cleaned out the gutter in front of the chapel, and this gutter is massive by the way, and someone had just drained a bunch of water in it, so it was really muddy!  The members started working and we started to clean up the trash, when I saw someone lay their shovel down on the ground. I grabbed it and jumped in to start digging out some of the dirt/mud and everybody was freaking out because the white guy had gotten in to work with the others!  Ha ha!  The stereotype for white people here is that they don't work very hard, so everybody flipped out when I jumped in to help.  Funny experience, but the members were totally surprised and the bishop fed us last night because of Elder Simpson and I's hard work! Life is good.  :)

Elder Simpson was super happy this week to hear that Fiji won the Gold in Rugby!  Since we played last week, we have all been wanting to play again, so maybe soon we will get to.  :))))

Lastly, this man named Augustine just showed up to church because he has been looking for the true church of God. What a powerful man...he even lived in Italy for 8 years, lived in Libya for a while, and somewhere else.... I don't remember, but he is really sweet! We taught him after church, and he took everything really well that we taught him (or at least the message we presented him with that the Holy Ghost taught). I learned a lot of lessons from Brother Augustine just in a few minutes. He started off saying that there are many people who like to judge a church without going inside and then proceed to bash on it and basically persecute the people of that church that they have never been inside of. Then he followed that with saying that he wants to be on the right side when he goes to heaven, not the wrong side, so he has been hunting for the true church, even throughout many different countries, and we are happy that he has finally arrived at his destination. There is surely a lesson to be learned from this. This man has been searching his entire life for the truth, and has not quit, even when it gets tough. He has always put his trust in God, and never faltered.  Just as one of the Apostles said, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith". But lastly, he did his part in searching. He became an agent, not just an object. He took the step into the church to find his answer, rather than sitting outside waiting for the answer to come. We must do our part in reading, pondering, searching, and acting to receive our answers from God. This applies to Member of the church, but also to those who want to know if the church is truly the Lord's kingdom once again Restored on the Earth today. I promise if you seek, you will find.

Love you guys,

Elder Wawro

PICTURES:

Special meeting with Elder David A. Bednar


Missionary choir practicing (can you see Gabe in the back against the door frame?)
Thanks to those in the Kumasi mission for sharing these photos

Gabe is in the back row, center

Poster for Elder Bednar coming

Gabe is in the back row, center


































VIDEO:

So funny!  Dancing in the rain and saving children.  Notice Gabe's accent...ha ha
video

Washing dishes in the rain, taking advantage of natural resources!
video

Mopping and skating.
Yes...missionaries have fun too!  :)
video

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