Monday, February 19, 2018

12-11-17 "Harmattan aba biem - Harmattan has come again!"

Wow, this week was really, really crazy.  Wonderful, and crazy!

To start the week, we had our Christmas Zone Conference with the Kwamo, UST, Dichemso, and Konongo zones. It was a wonderful conference, my favorite part was when they invited all of us to write on a slip of paper what we would give to the Savior this year. As I thought about what I could give, I knew that anything that was temporal, I couldn't give. It really caused me to think about what I would give to the Savior, and really all that I can give to Him is my heart and my determination to follow Him. Really a tender moment to stop and think about what I would give to the Savior this time of year. Most Christmas', I never really focused on the true meaning of Christmas, but this year has really touched my heart as I continually come to know the Savior.

We ran up to Efidaue to do an interview in the bush. I loved it - it totally reminded me of Mpraeso walking on dirt paths in the jungle almost. I love it!  I interviewed a young boy named Wisdom, and it was so wonderful to hear about his testimony and all that he believes in.  Little children have a sweet spot in my heart and I was grateful to get to know him on a personal and spiritual level.  :)

Wednesday, we had our interview with the mission President for our investigator Omar. He was formerly a Muslim, but chose to be a Christian.  He is a really cool story, I mentioned a little bit last 2 weeks, but this week, he passed his interview and was baptized on Sunday.  As we completed the baptism, he had a huge grin in his face, and truly the Spirit was present as we performed that sacred saving ordinance for Omar.  :)

HARMATTAN has officially begun. We had some huge rain in Thursday, and then Friday, the dust from the Sahara came.  It almost looks like fog, can't see more than 300-400 yards in the distance.  The bonuses are that it is a lot cooler, a little dryer, but it does make your clothes a bit more dirty, and makes you sneeze a ton! :)  hahahahaaa! Oh, how I love my Ghana!  :) 

I bought my first Christmas tie, cost me the equivalent of 50 cents, and is in good shape!  It has the 3 wise men on it, so it has a good message for Christmas.  :)  I love it! :)

My thought this week comes from the story of Alma the Younger.  He has a wonderful conversion story I think. He went from being super wicked to being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I will attach some of the highlights from the chapter in case you have never heard his story before, and then talk about what is special to me in this story.

8 Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he ledmany of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities.

9 And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.

11 And as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood;

13 Nevertheless he cried again, saying: Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God?

14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heardthe prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

16 Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

19 And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands;

23 And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort:

24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.

28 Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

29 My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was rackedwith eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.

32 And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to teach the people, and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them, traveling round about through all the land, publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen,

35 And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.

36 And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.

37 And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.

Isn't the Atonement of Jesus Christ wonderful?  Alma, who was once so wicked and idolatrous, could become a mighty instrument in the hands of the Lord. This has great meaning to me because although I was not so much a wicked and idolatrous man, I didn't always make great decisions, but through our Savior, I have been made clean, and am free from those heavy burdens of sin, and I am able to be used as an instrument in the Lord's hands to preach His gospel, with His power, and His authority.  No matter how bad we have become or what we have done in the past, as we follow the counsel of Jesus Christ, to have faith and repent, and make covenants with Him, than we too can become instruments in the hands of the Lord. The Atonement of Jesus Christ really can strengthen us and make us better than we could become on our own, as I have seen it in my life and have felt its cleansing power. This I know to be true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you all, have a great week.

Elder Wawro

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