Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Craziness!

Picking Up the Mail for the Week
(He does it just like a real Ghanain!)
Mission Home Open House
This week was something. We were preparing for all types of conferences and parties and such. The post office was pretty crazy this week. We spent hours there trying to pick up all of the packages. We finished our project of buying sim cards and credit for people to call home. The cost of these types of things is crazy.

Mission Home Open House
The different events we had this week. We had a Mission Home open house party on Friday. It kinda fell flat. Only a couple people showed up. We had another one on Sunday evening and a lot more people came. Even Elder Nash from the area Presidency. I was in charge of the children and coloring with them. It was a lot of fun. I was coloring this picture of Mary and Baby Jesus with this 8 year old girl. I'm asking her about school and stuff. It is quiet for a while and she just says, "They shouldn't have killed Jesus, he was a good man." It was the cutest thing ever. So we had a little discussion about Jesus. It was a really fun night.

Saturday was our bush Christmas Zone conference. It was pretty good. We made Christmas cards for our investigators. Elder Harris talked about teaching about Jesus from the Book of Mormon. Elder Koronikalou told the Nephite Christmas story. Sister Heid talked about following the spirit's promptings. It was really good because I have been thinking a lot about that lately.

Dinner with President & Sister Heid
They Ate Too Much!
Sunday there was a great talk given by one of my favorite members. Sister Owuwumi talked about Sacrifice. It was probably the best talk I have heard in Ghana. It made me think about how as missionaries we are called to sacrifice.  All God has asked is that we sacrifice a little bit, even if we don't understand. Sister Owuwumi talked about Abraham sacrificing his son. He didn't know why. It was difficult. Abraham could have said, "Oh, God knows what a struggle it was to have this child, he would want for me to keep him." He could have said, "Oh, God is talking about the other people who have more than one son." or he could have said, "I don't understand why so I won't." But Abraham didn't ask any questions. He became as a little child and became willing to make the sacrifice.

Today we had a multi-zone activity at the beach. It was super fun. I got to play football and cards and some soccer. It reminded me of how much I love the beach. I love the breeze, the sound of the waves, the sand. Oh it was so nice! I did miss the ocean though.

Anyways, I love you all. I think I will try to skype around 3 my time. Our church has been changed to only 1 hour and at 9 so I am free pretty much all day. If you have any other requests of times or anything just email me and I will be able to view it.
I love you all so much.
Elder Shelton
Brigham's Apartment
Part of the Mission Offices Complex

Mission Office & Home Complex

Monday, December 12, 2016

Getting Ready for Christmas


This week was difficult and tiring. We are trying to get ready for Christmas and there has been so much to do. We are getting Christmas calling cards all ready and it has been stressful because its a lot of running around and trying to communicate things with the phone people. It wasn't all that easy. It was also a week after coming off of transfers which means we had a lot of office updating to do. We didn't get to proselyte at all this week. Thursday we were to stay in and deep clean because of the election. I cleaned all day and it wore me out. I don't think missionaries ever deep clean anything, (or even clean anything). So it was a lot of work. I am actually grateful for Rosa (Brigham's boss in high school when he did janitorial work at our local elementary school) for holding a high standard for cleaning. It taught me how to clean.

My new companion's name is Elder Anusiem. He comes from Nigeria. Like my other Nigerian companions he also comes from a richer demographic. His parents work for the church. He is a really cool guy. It has been a while since I have had an African companion so that has thrown me a little curve ball, especially here in the office when I am talking and trying to get things done at a million miles per hour. I have had to learn to slow down and be a good and patient teacher.

The nice thing about being in the mission home is that you feel so much more of the Christmas spirit. There is more Christmas music and food and lights and parties. The bad part is that it is making me miss home even more this Christmas than last year. But I am grateful to have senior couples and President and Sister Heid to be my family for Christmas this year.

One thing I've been thinking about that I will miss about Ghana and that I have missed since coming to the city: I miss people not caring about how they look.  I love being around people that you can walk up to and they could care less how they look. It was really refreshing.

Anyways, Questions
How are things going for your new companion?
It has been a lot different. He is still getting used to things around here but he really wants to work hard and learn things fast. He is really trying to improve in many ways.

Is he able to drive the stick shift? Can't drive at all. Our trotro got taken away unfortunately so I am not even driving the manual. We got this big ol ugly soccer mom van that can't really fit anything besides people. It really is terrible for dropping off supplies.

What was a miracle this week? I got a free T-Shirt at the Vodafone store because I asked if they had any and the woman just dashed one to me.

Tell us about the election. It was very peaceful. Ghanaians don't look for an excuse to be violent. They look for an excuse to party. So mostly it was pretty normal except there was less traffic which was nice. Then when they finally declared the winner people were just celebrating. Packing many people into small cars, hanging out the window. Honking the horn and driving fast. That's a fairly normal practice for weddings and funerals. So not much excitement.

Do you still write a weekly email to the mission president? What do you say to him? Yep, mostly he knows what I do. I usually just write him a spiritual thought I was having during the week.

What was the best thing that happened this week? We had zone training and then went to the temple. That was pretty sweet. We watched the Christmas Light the World video. It was fantastic.

I love you all,

Elder Shelton

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving and Transfers

Ashaiman Stake Cultural Festival
  We got transfer news this week. Elder Falk is leaving the office. I will be really sad to have him gone. He has been a good companion. Plus he knows everything around here. I will receive Elder Anusiem-Nzenwa as my new companion. He is a Nigerian. He was called from a zone leader to be in the office. I have served around him in Koforidua. It will be interesting to have an African in the office. It will be a good opportunity for him to see the church from a ministerial point of view. I am excited to have him. Although he is older than me on mission and this might seem like a demotion to him, I just hope he is willing to learn.

This week was cool. I helped Elder Bullie out with getting all of his forms and medical stuff for his passport. I also did a lot of office work this week. I am creating a reference sheet with all of the supplies and how we get them and how much they cost. So that's been time consuming. I am also making another reference sheet for when future Elders need to order food or find a caterer because there is no record of that and every time someone new comes in they just have to start from scratch and find someone that can cater for events and such.

On Thursday the senior couples had us over for a Thanksgiving meal. It was the best meal I have had in Ghana, even though there wasn't any turkey. I love the senior couples. We have Elder and Sister Pace and Elder and Sister Jones. The Pace's are just smart and loving. I will sometimes just come into the office and talk to them for hours. The Jones do the apartment maintenance and medical for our mission. Elder Jones is from Canada and he is so humorous. He just throws in random comments at the funniest times. Sister Jones is like a sweet Grandma. She is from Scotland and has this thick accent. She is the best. Anyways it was a lot of fun. Afterwards we were invited to the Heid's for pumpkin pie. It was really good.

On Saturday we made a big supply run and it was very tiring but we were in Ashaiman and the Ashaiman Stake was having a cultural festival. It was so much fun to go to. There were all kinds of dancing and skits and stuff. Every unit represented a different region and displayed there culture. It was really great.

That Saturday we had another cool experience. We went to this tailor's place because he was fitting some clothes for Elder Falk. We had been there a couple times but we just started talking about worship and the point of worship. I told him I thought the best way to worship God was to obey his commandments. He agreed and asked how I viewed him. We chatted a little more and he just broke down and told us that he is breaking the law of chastity. He knows it is bad and he has fought hard to stop before but he keeps falling back into it. He talked about the guilt that was weighing down on him. It was very spiritual and we just bore our testimonies about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what that means to us and what it can mean to him. It was really cool. He said he will start sewing white shirts and trousers so he can come to church and be baptized. It was really cool.

Comment on teaching the Word of Wisdom. It is actually super easy here. Lots of people don't drink tea and coffee because it is hot. And mostly those who do when you teach it to them say, "I knew it was bad, I just hadn't had anyone tell me before." and they stop. I have had countless people just pull out their coffee or tea and hand it to us saying they are done.

Comment on Ghanaians and the Word of Wisdom. Ghanaians have a unique ability to obey whether they understand or not. They don't understand or know the reasons for a lot of teachings or doctrines but they just follow it because they have that kind of faith. Its really humbling to see.

I love you all.

Elder Shelton

Ashaiman Stake Cultural Festival

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Busy Week


This week was crazy busy and tiring. On Monday night we were trying to prepare for the conference and we realized that we needed to print this talk for all the missionaries but it was like 6:30 and we were afriad the printing place we normally go to would be closed. We decided to go there anyways and surprisingly it was open. They printed our stuff and we started to staple everything there. We asked them what time they normally close and they said five. So it was a miracle that they were even open. And then we started talking to one of the employees there named Vida. We started asking about her life and such. Somehow to conversation kinda evolved to how as young adults we can tackle the challenges of the future. She just opened up to us and told us what she wanted to improve with praying and scripture study. The talk we were printing was perfect for her. It was "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence" We read a little to her and it really touched her. The whole thing was just a miracle; that the place was open, the talk we had was perfect for her, and it was later so customers weren't bothering us. It was just real life missionary work and a miracle.

We had a multi-zone conference on Tuesday and another one on Thursday. They were so crazy and exhausting. Like we don't really plan for them, we just kinda show up and all of a sudden we've got to be everywhere at once and if anything goes wrong or if someone has a problem it magically becomes our problem. It was really cool though. There were some really powerful instructions given.

Our Multi-zone conference on Thursday was up in Kpong. The drive there was so beautiful. We saw baboons on the road and there was this baby one that was so cute. That Thursday night a missionary from Sierra Leone named Elder Bullie flew in. He was called to the Cape Town South Africa mission and was going to leave on Dec. 29th but they just called him on Tuesday and told him he would be leaving to Ghana on Thursday so that they could get him a visa while he is here. So he will be serving here for a bit. I felt really bad for him. He's been a convert for just over 1 year. He's a really cool guy, he used to be this really rough guy and then he just turned his life around, found the church, and is now serving a mission. I feel bad because he has just been hanging around the mission home with us the last couple days and he has kinda been neglected by everyone else. I have enjoyed getting to know him though. It is one of the blessings of the office to meet lots of people and make a small influence in their lives.

Saturday I got to go with Elder Koronikalou and Elder Bullie to Madina market to buy him some more stuff he would need. Afterwards we went to the AP's area which is the University of Ghana. It was really cool. A beautiful college campus with college kids doing college stuff. It made me want to be part of them. Anyways, a great week.

Elder Shelton

Monday, October 24, 2016

Stories of Faith

Not much happened this week. Just preparing for transfers. We moved some people into new apartments. Prepared all the stuff for the trainers and had a small training with them. We had the farewell devotional today for the missionaries going home. The new ones will come tomorrow. Best part of it all was that I could be a part of the departure dinner.

One of the best things about the office is that you get to know everyone. You hear such incredible stories of faith. So I think this week I will just send some pictures of people and tell their stories a bit.

Sister Effiom & Sister Moyo
This is Sister Effiom and Sister Moyo. Sister Effiom is from Nigeria. Sister Moyo is from Zimbabwe. Oh, and that is Elder Harris from Caldwell ID. We drove them back from the Trainers training. The started to share their testimonies with us. Sister Moyo grew up in the Church, she didn't really pay much attention to religion until she was 15. She said for the first time in her life she failed a semester at school. She was so shocked but the thought that came into her mind was, "You aren't reading the Book of Mormon, read the Book of Mormon." She said from that time onward she has never stopped reading. She also never failed a class again.

Sister Effiom also grew up in the church. She said her testimony came from two places. The Book of Mormon and the temple. She didn't read the Book of Mormon growing up because people would make fun and say the book was satanic. There came a point when she decided to find out for herself if it was satanic or from God. She read, and knew it was from God.

Elder Udonsa
This is Elder Udonsa. I don't know much about him. Nigerian, really humble guy. Instead of always saying, "I'm going home", he would always say, "I'm still here." I loved it.

Elder Avana
This is Elder Avana from Benin. French speaker. He is such a humble hard working guy. He was serving in the area I was in in Tema. (I went to Tema this week by the way and saw Bishop Mensah and he gave me a huge hug!) Elder Avana came and played tennis with Elder Harris and I today. He is going to be Elder Buys's new Zone Leader companion in Koforidua. He is the only missionary in this mission from Benin. I didn't even know him before this past weekend. He has trained 4 different people. He is just a stud but you would never know it because he is more quiet when plenty of people are around. I enjoyed talking with him this weekend.

Elder Fall
This is Elder Fall. He is the only missionary from Burkina Faso and I think he is the only member there when he goes back. He joined the church 3 years ago and hasn't seen his family since he has joined. He is a native French speaker but speaks English incredibly well. He is just the nicest coolest guy you will ever meet. He bore his testimony today and his conversion story really touched me. He first went to the Church in Benin and started to have the lessons. He didn't feel right there for some reason. As he was walking back from church one day he asked God that if he should be here then show me a senior couple. The senior couple walked by just a minute later. His faith still wasn't perfect, but as he continued to come he gained his testimony. He will go home to no family, no school, no work, and no established Church. He is in a sticky situation but is the most humble Christ-like guy.

Sister Onwujiougu
This picture is of dropping off the sisters at the airport. The one on the right is named Sister Onwujiougu from Nigeria. She is 30 years old but still had the faith to come out this even though she is an older missionary. I have served around her a lot and her faith to overcome her trials is awesome. She has lost her father and mother and brother. But still is willing to serve.

Elder Falk & Elder Shelton
Ghana, Accra Temple

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Normal Week at the Office


Well, I don't really know how to explain my week. It was normal. We were preparing stuff for MLC (Mission Leadership Conferences). We got to go to part of MLC. It was definitely cool to be there with all of the mission leaders and see what ideas they had to make the mission better. Other than that mostly it was just the stress of hosting the Zone Leaders here and making sure we had all the food and stuff for the MLC.

We were able to go out and proselyte much more this week. The area that we are in is rich. It is rather like serving in California. It is cool though. I have been able to serve in very poor areas, might as well test my skills in a rich area. It is a brand new branch so it is hard to get the ball rolling with missionary work and other branch work but it is really great to see a new branch blossom and there are many great members. Other news: I went to the temple again this week. Had an activity today. Had the opportunity to go on several exchanges this last week.

I would say in the office I have really seen so many ways that I need to improve. It has been good but humbling. In Oyoko we were only 2 and honestly everyone kind of looked up to us no matter what we did. Now I am around many people who are expecting things of me.  It has given me an opportunity to really try to be qualified for the work I am called to do.

The office has actually taught me many things. I think this experience is very valuable because you learn to share the gospel in a more practical sense. It's like I have an office job but also a responsibility to share the gospel. I think that many people back home are in the same circumstance. You learn to share the gospel with your associates and while doing business transactions and stuff. Obedience here is more self discipline. In the field it is pretty black and white. Here you have to govern yourself a little more, but still obey.

Mom, after being to the post office this week I would really like if you didn't send so many packages. The system there isn't really a system. It is by far my least favorite part of being in the office. We have to sit in traffic for like an hour to get there. Then we have to barter with these customs officers for decent prices. Then it is like an hour again in traffic to get back. On Tuesday we left the mission home at 11 in the morning and didn't get back until 5.

Dad, I have always told you that you set a great example for me. I wish I would have paid attention to your computer skills as well. I have thought many times. Back home I would have just asked my dad to fix this. I guess it is good to learn to be self-reliant though.

I love you so much.
Elder Shelton

Monday, October 3, 2016

One Year Out, One Year Left to Go!

Dear Family,

It is weird to think that I have been here for a year. Its a long time but also a short time. On Saturday for my one year mark the AP's and Elder Falk poured buckets of water on me. We also went and got a hamburger.

Wasn't conference great? I really enjoyed that talk by Elder Yamishita and so many others. I got to watch most sessions. Sunday morning session we were invited to watch in the Heid's living room and have dinner with them and the Senior couple. WE HAD LASAGNA. It was the best day of my life!

Other things I did this week... worked on making maps, moved people around, picked up mail at the post office, helped find new investigators in a struggling area, called everyone who didn't mail President, and helped some people apply for BYU Hawaii. My MTC group did come down this week to get our Non-Citizen ID's renewed. It was kinda fun to be with them all again.

Some more exciting things this last week: We went to the temple because President said that we can go whenever, our stake just created a new unit which I will be serving in, and I proselyted in my old area for a couple hours! I am getting the hang of things around here and I can find more ways to be productive now.

Questions from Mom:
What has been the hardest thing about being in the office? Not proselyting much and the pressure that is always on you.

What is something crazy you did, and what was a miracle? I had walk through a river that was created by the rain. It was a miracle that we got home safely that night because the roads were rivers and we couldn't see out the windshield. Also, the lasagna was a miracle.

Brigham and his companion Elder Falk
Are you doing much driving? Yep. I drive the tro all the time. I am still a little shaky at stick but it isn't bad. You have to be ready to go anywhere at anytime and that calls for some high pressure driving. Driving in Ghana: It's like navigating the Senior Ramp at Brighton. No rules, you just find little places you can fit and hope you don't get run over. It's tiring because your blood is always pumping from all the times you almost die.

Tell us about your new companion: His name is Elder Falk. Went to Olympus and played baseball, basketball, and football there. I really enjoy being with him. We have a lot in common.  He is a good missionary. It is really nice to be with someone mature on the mission because when we do teach together we have really solid companionship unity. He is really patient with me and is a great guy.

I love you all so much.

Elder Shelton

Monday, September 19, 2016

Elder Stevenson Visits and Office Life

Dear Family,

This has probably been the most interesting week of my mission. Tuesday was my last day proselyting for a while. The new Elder came to replace me Tuesday afternoon and I slept in Effiduase for the night. On Wednesday I came down with the rest of the Koforidua zone to see Elder Stevenson speak. It was really good.  Ulisses S Soares and his wife spoke, and so did Marcus B. Nash and his wife. Both President Heid and the Accra West Mission President spoke. It was a really wonderful program all together.

Accra and Accra West Mission Wide Conference
Afterwards I came back to the mission home and a whole bunch of other people were here for the program and transfers and such. It was a little stressful because everyone expected me to know what I was doing but I didn't really have any idea. So many people made office elder jokes and stuff. That night we had all the trainers and trainees sleep here in the bunkhouse and on Thursday they got them processed and assigned and sent out.

Friday everyone was tired so President gave us an Office P-day. Me and Elder Harris went and played tennis! First time in 1 year. It was a lot of fun and we will be going several times a week because the Heid's play tennis and have court time there that we can use. Then I spent the rest of the day cleaning because there was nothing else for me to do. I also went to this place called Shoprite which is just like a normal grocery store back home. I hated it. Everything was labeled and stuff and there are too many options and too many white people. I was really missing the simplicity of the life that I used to live and the lives that the Ghanaian people live. I just sat in an aisle an stared at everything for a minute. Anyways on Saturday Elder Harris and I went out and bought tennis stuff and got lost somewhere in Accra. When we got back Elder Falk and I went to Teshie to drop off some bikes for some Elders.

Sunday we went to church. My area is called Cantoments. It is a really sweet ward. We worship at the temple site. I am used to having to communicate and get to know people in Twi. Sunday people were coming to me and telling me about their trip to Salt Lake and stuff. Super awesome people though that know how the church is supposed to be run and have been members since the beginning of the church here in Ghana. It is really enjoyable though to be right by the temple and have so many great members. I bore my testimony and I realized that I have heard three apostles - David A Bednar, Ronald A Rasband, and Gary E Stevenson - all speak from that same pulpit. It is also the ward that people visit when they come to Accra and I met the Relief Society President from Oyoko there. It was really awesome to see people from old areas. Sunday I also learned how to drive stick shift. It was crazy because there are no church parking lots here. I had to drive across like the busiest, tightest road in Ghana after like 2 minutes of practice!

Questions from home:

You live in the actual mission home - with the President? How is that? Are the living conditions better than most? Yeah, so I live in the mission home with Elder Falk, who is my companion, and the 2 AP's, (Assistant to the President) Elder Harris and Elder Osei-Brobbey and President and Sister Heid. Elder Falk is cool. He lives close to us in Salt Lake so I know everywhere he is talking about back home. He was a baseball player for Olympus. Elder Harris is my good friend. We were trained by the same person. He plays tennis as well as I do and he reminds me exactly of Uncle Bart. Just this really goofy guy that is really smart and friendly. Elder Osei is a Ghanaian that is going home next transfer. He is also pretty cool.

What kinds of things are you doing? I don't know actually, this week was abnormal. Mostly I just sat around this week. I understand it like this. I do all of the mission statistics and office work. Give reimbursement. Fix problems. Run supplies. I have heard it explained like this: We are not proactive, we are reactive to all of the problems that come from running the mission.

Do you get the chance to do any teaching? This week we didn't. We have an area that we share with other Elders. Elder Falk said we will teach maybe 5 lessons a week. I think we can put in some good missionary work though.

I love you so much. I can tell whenever you email me now because I get notifications on my Iphone.

Elder Shelton

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Phone Call Home

Great view of Oyoko
Last week's hike to Boti Falls

Editor's Note: We received a phone call early last Friday morning from Brigham. I didn't answer the phone in time as it roused me from a deep sleep. The caller ID said "Ghana" and I got a little excited and a little freaked out. I imagined Brigham possibly being reassigned to the Liberia or Sierra Leone Mission - it has happened to a few other elders as they have reopened those missions. Mike started googling Ghana news outlets to see if there had been any political unrest or natural disasters. After a few minutes when we didn't get another call I figured out how to call the number back. Brigham answered and immediately said, "Mom, I'm ok, I'm ok." and then we were disconnected. We finally were able to connect with him after calling again and he apologized for the early hour. We spoke for maybe three minutes when he said he was getting a call from his District Leaders and needed to answer their call. The phone call ended with a quick "I love you." and then he was gone. Read on to find out why he was allowed to make this unusual call home.

- Brigham's Mom

Dear Family,

Resident of  Boti Falls
It has been a really great week here. I had a mission standard week to finish off my time in Oyoko and hand it off to the next person. I guess I should explain about my assignment and the phone call. On Thursday President Heid called me to ask if I could help one of Oyoko's perspective missionaries to fill out his online application. We planned to go to the internet cafe on Friday evening to help him. I had some questions so I decided to give President Heid a call and clarify what action I should take. We sorted everything out and then he asked, "Elder, do you have an international driving permit?" I explained to him that I was working on getting mine renewed. He said, "Why don't you go ahead and call your mom and tell her to expedite that immediately." I asked, "You want me to call my mom?" He said, "Yeah, why don't you go ahead and give her a call, you'll be working with me in the office so this will be your last week in Oyoko." I was shocked and excited and didn't really know what was going on. I immediately called you because that is what President asked me to do. I was so excited I didn't really think about what time it was there. I knew right when you didn't answer that it was like 4 in the morning and that I had just scared you to death. Anyways, I am glad it all worked out.

In the mission, the President has 2 office Elders. They stay at the mission home with the AP's. "They are President Heid's personal ministers to do whatever the Lord needs them whether it's preparing audio visual materials or buying frying pans or transporting missionaries all over creation." (written by a former Office Elder) My companion will be Elder Falk who is a really cool guy. He went to Olympus high school and played pitcher for their baseball team.

Over the river and through the woods
to the Teye Family's House we go.
The Teye Family
I am very sad to leave Oyoko. There are so many things I will miss about being here. I have seen so much progress in this area. I heard many things about Oyoko as I came here.  I am convinced that no area is "bad". Rather an area is what you make of it. I am confident that I worked my hardest while I was up here. I don't know how much of a difference that will make to the branch or the people here, but I know it has made a difference for me. I will be sad to leave many great investigators, members, recent converts, and my companion. God placed me under the stewardship of this area, and it will be sad to pass it along. I know the Lord will take care of the area and help it to continue to progress.
Elder Shelton and Godfred

Mom's Questions:
Is Elder Robertson staying in Oyoko? Yes.

Do you have time to tell the story about the new drunk guy you've been teaching? His name is Godfred Oware. I told you the story about how we met him. He has traveled all over Africa. He has been under a drinking addiction since he was in high school and he is 43 now. We taught him about baptism and he was so grateful that he hadn't died so that he could be baptized now. He has read like the entire gospel principles book and definitely knows more than all the members now. Super cool guy.
Recent Convert

 With Oyoko Branch Relief Society Presidency
Anyways. I love you all. I will email you next week from my new home.    
   -Elder Shelton
What African Kids Do During a Rain Storm

Monday, September 5, 2016

Interpreting Dreams

Dear Family,

This week was a fantastic week. It is funny some of the things that you mentioned mom in your letter. You mentioned dreams.  We have this woman that is the daughter of a local pastor. She is 30 years old. This week she was telling us about this dream she had about 5 years ago. It took her like 30 minutes to tell but I will tell the short version. She told that in the dream there were some people that were trying to keep her locked up. It was the people that were close to her and familiar that were trying to keep her locked up. She said that she saw 2 white people dressed like missionaries. She wrote down there names. She said the 2 white people were fighting and fighting to free her and to help her. She talked about angels being with the white people trying to unlock her and free her. Eventually they were able to free her and heal her from this sickness that she was having.

She told us that when she first met us she kept looking at our name tags over and over again. She recognized them before. It is why she talked to us in the first place. She eventually realized that the symbol she saw on our name tags was the same symbol that she had seen 5 years earlier in her dream. We had been teaching her earlier about how there is only 1 true church. She was super confused by that. I think the dream helped her to understand a little more. She is still really confused by what the dream means. It is funny because to Elder Robertson and I it couldn't be more obvious. Her whole life she has lived under this blanket of false doctrine. It is not easy to uncover. But God truly can send dreams to help people understand.

In other news the drunk guy we found last week is progressing very well and came to church and has stopped drinking. Pretty incredible story he has that I will have to tell you some other time.

Today we had a zone activity and we went to a place called Boti Falls. It is actually just over the mountain from the Oyoko apartment. It was actually this huge waterfall and it was really cool.

I love you all.
Elder Shelton

Monday, August 29, 2016

"My hand is in the Lords work."

Dear Family,

I have to say that this was a truly unique and wonderful week. There were many events and experiences to remember and I would like to share a few. The first happened on Tuesday. There is this family in our branch and some of the children are not baptized. They have been coming on and off and until Sunday I didn't know the children weren't baptized, so we scheduled for Tuesday to come and visit them. He said his house was difficult to find so he sent his boy to come pick us up on the main road. He started leading the way from Jumapo down into these smaller villages on the outside of town. I thought we would be stopping at one of these small houses on the outskirts of Jumapo. I guess I was wrong because after about 1 hour we had climbed up to where this family stays. We had to cross rivers and streams and swamps and we walked through a rice field. We got up into the cocoa trees and there were many huge beautiful trees. As you might expect they live in a very humble circumstance. We started teaching the children and it was a great experience to see these children so excited to learn. We committed the whole family to come to church on Sunday and sit next to each other. They must walk 2 hours to get to church. As we were starting church they were all there sitting together. They also came to our baptism on Saturday. It is truly an incredible act of faith for them every week to come but they are there with no complaints. It is wonderful to see that the gospel can even touch and bless families that live in such a remote area of the world. They are a great example to me.

Elder Robertson, Festus, Isaac, Elder Shelton
Our baptisms on Saturday went great. It was truly a joy to see both of them come so far and to see all of the blessings that have come to them in their lives. As you remember Isaac was a drunk that has had his life completely changed by the gospel. Festus is 14 years old and is a really funny kid with a lot of energy. He pretty much just was invited by someone at church and came and then we started teaching him. We are planning on him going out with us and working this week.

That same Saturday night we were trying to find one of our investigators and we only found the brother in the house. We started talking to him a bit and behind us we heard this voice that I couldn't discern very well. We turned around to see this man who was sitting on some dark steps at the opposite house. Immediately the spirit hit me like a hammer and I knew that God wanted us to come in contact with this man. He saw that we hadn't understood him and he again asked for our contact. We went over to him and started talking with him. He expressed that he was a drunk and he couldn't stop drinking although he had the desire. We sat down with him and started to talk about Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us so that we could change. He was in tears. I have never seen a Ghanaian cry before. He kept saying, "I am trying, I am trying, but I just can't stop." We spent some more time with him teaching him about Jesus Christ. He was so grateful for us and our desire to help him. As we were leaving he said, "I think this will be my last day drinking." I told him I thought it would be too. It was an incredible experience for me because I had just seen the journey of a man in a similar situation be baptized. I could see how much agony he was in, but I also knew with an absolute a surety that he could be changed by Jesus Christ and his gospel. After this experience I realized that it isn't me who should have the influence on these people. As we were coming home that night I said, "The Lord's hand is really in our work." then I recognized that more accurately, "My hand is in the Lord's work." I know that it was God that put that man there to talk to us. I don't know what will happen with him, but I can only hope and pray that he will be able to feel the influence of not me, but the Lord in his life.

I love you so much. You are always in my prayers.

Elder Shelton

Monday, August 22, 2016

Service Project

Dear Family,

This week was a normal week. We were able to find 3 part member families that we want to teach. As I have said before families are not easy to find in Oyoko. I hope that I can make some difference in these families lives and bring them closer together. I know how much the gospel blesses families. When you do find a family here it is super hard to schedule them to all be together because no one has a schedule. But I am optimistic about putting in some good work with these families.

We did do a service project. It was an all African service project. We went to the Oyoko Library which was a huge mess with a bunch of old dusty books thrown all over the place. We dusted and cleaned everything up on the inside and out. It was a little bit of a disaster. We had children climbing to the top of bookshelves throwing books off and having illiterate people try to organize books putting them in upside down or backwards. But it was really fun and we had a great turnout. I will show you some pictures.

Isaac and Festus' baptisms are this week. I am super excited to baptize them. They are both truly converted.

Anyways, love you all.
Elder Shelton
Okoyo LDS Branch


Monday, August 15, 2016

Investigators Progressing Well

Dear Family,

Sounds like you are having too much fun at home. I have only seen 1 person watching the Olympics here. Soccer is still the thing that people are watching.

The investigators are progressing well. Brother Isaac will be baptized soon. What a joy it has been teaching him. When we first found him he was abandoned by everyone and drunk. Now when we go there he is with his 3 children and they are all making dinner together. This week he told us of some of the blessings in his life. He said that his friend came over and saw that he has stopped drinking and he gave him two huge contracts to build some story buildings in Koforidua. When we met him we boldly promised him that if he stopped drinking that the Lord would bless him. He has stopped and the Lord has blessed him in more ways than he can think of. I have confidence in promising anyone blessings because I can see so easily how their lives will be effected by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people are always asking for money.  I wish they could see how much more joining the church would bless them than me giving them money.  It seems like while I have been out here my vision of the world and God's plan for us has deepened so much. I can see the cause and effect of the gospel so easily now.

We are also planning on baptizing this boy named Festus. He is smart and is progressing well and has a desire to learn. It really excites him to be a part of the church and to be able to hold the priesthood.

Gabriel is doing wonderfully. He is the deacons quorum president and is passing the sacrament. He says he feels shy to do it. I guess that is one of the blessings of the church. You learn to do hard things.

Constance has still traveled. She was going to get baptized and then she went to her home for a while and her family saw her reading the Book of Mormon and said that there was no way they would allow her to be baptized. We hope that she comes back soon because she still has a great desire to be baptized.

I love you so much.

Elder Shelton

Monday, August 8, 2016

Catching Up . . .

Brigham's Apartment Complex

Editors Note:
I have gotten behind on Brigham's blog
so there are three weeks of posts this time.

July 25th -
This week seemed to be a spiritual week for me.  At many times the spirit spoke to me and reassured my testimony.  I would like to tell you about one experience. Many times I have had the thought come to my head, "What good are you really doing? Do you really have an influence? Are people really changing or are they just hearing?" I know all the answers to these questions and I know it is Satan that puts them in my head.  This week I was able to get reassurance.

We were teaching our investigator named Isaac Adu.  He was the alcoholic when we found him.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and I am not sure he has put it down since.  His change has been incredible. This week he was asking about the plan of salvation and we were talking about life after death. He asked several good questions that we were able to help him understand.  Then he asked, "So if I make it to Paradise, will I be able to see you guys again and say that these are the men who taught me the gospel?"  I nearly started to cry because I had a sure knowledge of how to answer his question and because the thought of seeing him in Paradise touched me.  I remembered how great shall be our joy if we bring but one soul unto Him.  It was a wonderful experience for me that gave me much reassurance and hope.  I am grateful for experiences like these that make me realize how much the Lord is in my life watching out for me.

August 1st -
This week was a really rainy week and we had to battle to rain and mud. I have been in Oyoko for 3 transfers now. 1 with Elder Robertson. I am staying here for at least another transfer. I hope to stay here for some time still. I am really happy here. Although there are always disappointments I am really happy here and really excited about the future in Oyoko. The other day I realized how happy I am and how happy my mission has been. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in all of the busyness and commotion and not take time to count your blessings. I realized how truly wonderful of an experience this is an that I still have much happiness and memories ahead.

This week I gained a greater respect and love for the Ghanaian people. After a disappointing day where we only had two lessons we tried to go visit one of the less actives in our branch. Unfortunately he wasn't there but we met his daughter Sister Faustina Mensah who recently returned home from her mission. She informed us that her sister died the night before in her sleep and Sister Faustina was sleeping right next to her. Sister Faustina seemed to be o.k. and you could tell that she was still happy for everything she had and everything she knows about life after death. It really opened my eyes. I had just been complaining that I only had two lessons and feeling sorry for myself but one of our branch members just lost her sister. It really made me think about how much these people suffer and how little they complain and just takes it as it comes.

Then a few days later we invited Isaac Adu to a mid-week activity. He lives about a 30 minute walk from the chapel so we decided to walk the distance with him as he has been doing every Sunday. About half way through I started thinking about how long of a walk it was and how I was getting soaked by the rain. Again I caught myself complaining. I realized that this man walks this distance every Sunday and doesn't complain at all. He is as happy as can be that he is at church. It is the life he lives everyday and here I was feeling sorry for myself. It really gave me a greater love for him and the sacrifice that all of the Ghanaian people go through. Sometimes I forget how much I am asking these people to do for the gospel. I am touched by how much they will do and go through for their Savior Jesus Christ and not complain one bit. They truly love the Lord.

August 8th -
This week was a normal week. We were able to find a lot of new investigators that seem like they will progress well. This week I was reminded about a line in Preach My Gospel that says that the Lord will lead you to those that are prepared or He will lead them to you. My first day in Oyoko, about 5 months ago, 3 women kind of jokingly called us over and started asking us some questions. There were 2 that were more loud and 1 that was in the background a bit. The 2 that were more talkative let us know that they lived in Koforidua and the shy one stayed in our area. Luckily we got all of their contacts and we began teaching the more reserved woman named Constance. She has really progressed and has a baptismal date for the end of the month although she has traveled. I was surprised that she has progressed so well and has gained her own testimony because of the weirdness of the initial contact. It didn't seem like she would progress. I know the Lord prompted her friends to call us over.

Then the other day we were in Jumapo, the town next to Oyoko, and we saw the other 2 friends, more accurately they saw us. They told us they have now moved to Jumapo and they said we could meet with them. It turns out that they happen to be incredible investigators that are progressing rapidly and they have had so many of their questions of the soul answered by the gospel. It was like the gospel was the perfect missing puzzle piece in their life. 

Apartment Bedroom
It is incredible how the Lord provides opportunities for those who are held from the truth only because they know not where to find it. The way we found these 3 investigators was a bit out of the ordinary. I know that the Lord provided a way for them to have the truth in their life and fill that hole of doubt and confusion in their lives. It was a testimony that this work is not mine. It is the Lord's. If we are doing all we can do the Lord will lead those people right into our paths.

Elder Shelton

Apartment Kitchen

Monday, July 18, 2016

Isaac the Miracle

Dear Family,

This week was crazy. Elder Buys and Krofuah moved out so it was only me and Elder Robertson. We taught 30 lessons this week and had a mission standard week. We were very effective and didn't have any distractions. We gave this guy named Isaac a book of Mormon last week. He was a drunk. Ever since he touched the book he won't let it go. He came to church and hasn't had a sip of alcohol. He still has a long way to go but it was a miracle that was incredible to see.

Other than that a pretty normal week. Today Elder Robertson and I just decided to hike the mountain that is near us. We got to the top and found a legit village with mud huts and stuff. Somebody up there just took us around to see all of the cool things. I love that about the Ghanaian people. If you want to make them happy let them serve you. They guy just dropped everything and took us all over and then asked for our phone number afterwards. He was so happy to see us. It was a pretty cool adventure.

Note - The past couple of weeks I have been reading a book about modern day 
Ghanain tribal king so a lot of my questions came from the reading. -Brigham's Mom

  • Is there a king of Okoyo? A Chief
  • Are the people really spiritualistic about their ancestors and believe that the ancestor spirits come and direct their lives, or tell them what king to choose?  Yep
  • Do they have elaborate, expensive funerals that last for days that they can't really afford?  Hahahahah. I have had to pull out Matthew 8:22 a couple times
    . It happens every week.
  • Do they believe in witches and cursings?  Yep. Creates a big problem with the Book of Mormon.
  • Do they believe in pouring libations (liquor) daily on their doorsteps to appease their ancestors?  Sometimes
  •  What do Ghanaians think about the temple?  It is pretty normal to them. Never had a problem explaining the temple. Baptisms for the dead is the main reason why Bro. Gyasi got baptized.
  • Can you buy Kente cloth and is it really expensive?  Remember Isaac? He does kente. It is like 20 cedis for a piece the size of a scarf and 200 for like blanket size. It is really cool though. I want to take a picture of him doing it.
  • Tell me more about Gabriel.  Gabriel is the sweetest boy. Really quiet and soft spoken. Not easily influenced by the world. Content with himself.
  • Does he live with this family and why is he taking care of their little girls?  He is house help for his Aunt's family. His aunt is always at work. His biological mother and the girls mother are sisters.
  •  Tell me a miracle that happened this week and something you did to serve someone.  Isaac was a miracle. We pushed a car all the way up this huge hill. We are planning on reorganizing the Oyoko Library though.

Anyways, love you all.
Elder Shelton

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gabriel's Baptism

Dear Family,

Gabriel's Baptism
We had a baptism Sunday. His name is Gabriel and is 14 years old. He is staying with members but he is a really smart kid and it has been great working with him and listening to him absorb the gospel.The baptism went great, although neither the father or mother was there. Gabriel is such a good kid. He is pretty much the house help for a man named Cowbell in our branch. The boy takes care of the 3 young girls. He cooks, cleans, washes, and does almost everything else in the house. He is taking his Book of Mormon story book to school and reading it to all of his friends. He is quiet and calm, which is amazing considering the 3 small girls he has to take care of. He will make a great father one day. It was wonderful to see him be baptized and I know he has a bright future ahead.

We are also working with a woman named Constance. She is 22 years old and has had a really difficult life but is still positive. She is here for school. Cape Coast University has a distance learning program they hold at Omess on the weekends She will be baptized probably next month but it is a joy teaching her because all of the lessons with her are so spiritual. We taught her about the Atonement and about eternal families this week. Both of them were just incredible lessons because she has had a rough past and has lost both of her parents. She is traveling but when she comes back I hope we will baptize her.

Questions from home:

  • How are the people that you have been baptized while you've been there doing? Some have traveled. As is always the case Satan is working on them hard but they are doing well.
  • Are they coming to church still? Sometimes.
  • How is your Twi coming along. Kakrakakra. If people are talking to me I usually understand it.
  • Is it still the rainy season? Yep 

Anyways, other than that we had a fun zone activity today and played soccer and ping pong and just had fun talking together. It seems like because Elder Robertson is fresh from the U.S. he is reminding me a lot of home so my mind has been thinking about you all this week. Again, I can't describe how grateful I am to be a member of a family.

Elder Shelton
Making Banku

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Companion /Trainee

Dear Family,

This week was really crazy. We went down to Accra on Tuesday to pick up my trainee. His name is Elder Robertson from Memphis Tennessee. He is a big guy but really cool. He reminds me a lot of Josh in the way he speaks and carries himself. He is a ready to go and do work. It was a really exhausting week. I am still trying to find out how to run everything and manage being senior companion and still think about how I can help Elder Robertson.

We are working to get this family called the Sarpongs baptized as well as a girl named Constance and a small boy named Gabriel. They are all really cool and I think that all of their baptisms will go through.

Today we bought a rabbit and killed it and cooked it up to go into some Fufu. It was really good and a fun little adventure.

Anyways, not much to report on today. I want to start a project where I make a list and write about some of my heroes here. I hope to write to you about some people that have made a big impact on me.

I hope all is well back home. You are always in my prayers.


Elder Shelton

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hectic Baptism

Dear Family,

This week was one of my best weeks on my mission. It was also a very humbling week. We spent much of our week preparing Loretta and Pomaah for baptism. Loretta has had some really difficult things happen in her life lately and it reminded me of how much the gospel blesses our life especially in difficult times.  In church we talked about how being a member of this church provides protection and security. It is true, this church has protected me and my family from so many worldly things that can be devastating.

The baptism on Sunday was hectic.  After sacrament meeting Elder Okorie and I went out to check the font. It wasn't filled and there were spiders and lizards and all kinds of gross things living in it. We were able to recruit some primary children to come and help us clean it. It seemed as if almost everything with the baptism went wrong. The water that came out of the tap was brown so they were baptized in gross water, the rain came just as they were being baptized, they had to both be baptized multiple times because they didn't get all the way under. Eventually everything worked out and they were baptized. After we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" . It was really beautiful and I almost started to cry. I was so happy to see them baptized. Sometimes in this mission you just expect the baptisms so when they come they are just routine. I was able to just sit and sing and enjoy the moment of what had happened. It was a really great day.

On Saturday I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Buys. It was really great and it was nice to work with someone so skilled and my good friend. In the evening President Heid called us and asked us to help him set apart our new Branch President. It was one of the coolest most spiritual experience I have had. The blessing was so powerful and unique. It was really great to be a part of.

I also received transfer news. Elder Okorie will be going and I have been called to train someone up here in Oyoko. I will go down to Accra tomorrow to pick up my new trainee. I am really excited but also nervous for the opportunity. My trainer, who went home today, was such a good influence on me and I hope that I can be a good influence on my trainee as well.
At the Mission Office Picking Up His New Companion

Anyways, it was a really great week. I love you all.

Elder Shelton

Sorry my letters are getting shorter. President Heid knocked the time allowed at cafe down.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Lord Decided to Bless Us

Dear Family,

This week was a really great week for me all around. Elder Okorie and I were able to put together a mission standard week which is really hard to do in this mission. At church on Sunday we had members and investigators show up in numbers. We had about 90 members there which is up from our usual 60, and we had 8 investigators. I would like to say that we tried something different and this magic happened but we just worked and the Lord decided to bless us. We have several investigators progressing to baptism. One of them is Loretta. She was the one that was gone to Accra for a month. She is super serious about her learning and she is allowing it to change her life. It was really awesome to see someone take the Gospel very seriously.

I was able to go to the Temple twice this week. President called us for a trip down so we went on Thursday evening and did a session and then another Friday morning. We slept at the mission home. It was a really great trip.

The other piece of news was that we got a new branch presidency in Oyoko and I am really excited about it. The branch presidents name is President Moris Amate. He is 28 years old and is actually one of Elder Okorie and my good friend. It will be wonderful to work with him and he is really energized to get Oyoko moving.

How have the rains affected your area? Mud.
How is your investigator Loretta coming? She will be baptized next Sunday.
Does she have children? Two, they are adorable. I will try to get pictures.
Is she married? Could be soon.
How about the man who was baptized who wanted to learn English so he could understand the Book of Mormon? He is doing ok. He was working really hard and saved up a bunch of money and then it all got stolen so that rattled him a bit. He played soccer with all the men in the branch and has been attending activities so he is doing well.
What did you do for P-day last week or today? Wash, Clean, wash, eat, clean

It was also a great week because I finally got my Easter package and the replacement Easter package as well. Thank you mom, there are some great things in there.

I love you all! Send my love to the baby as well.

Elder Shelton

Monday, May 30, 2016

I Am Loving It Here

Dear Family,

On the way back from zone activity in Accra
Rainy season struck this week. It has rained every single day this last week and it is tiring fighting the mud and wetness. I just got back from a multi zone activity in Accra. President came and gave some great instruction in the conference we had afterwards. 

This week we had a solid week. We found a family to teach. We have taught them twice and they have been to church twice. Unfortunately they don't speak English very well but it is nice to be able to teach a family. I called all of the numbers in our Branch Directory to people about the Open House we had for the new chapel. There was this less active named Naomi that doesn't speak English. I tried to explain to her in Twi about the Open House. I thought she didn't understand anything but she showed up. It was pretty cool. It was a disappointing turnout but it was ok. I felt like I was able to do some good work with the members.

I don't think I have written about the Donkor family yet. They live in Jumapo which is a ways away from Oyoko. The children grew up in a normal family. Their parents joined the church when they were young. Unfortunately when they got older their mother left and they were with their father. Their father fell sick and has been in Accra hospital for the last 6 months. So Foster aged 23 and Docas aged 18 have had to support the family. Their brother Evans aged 21 just returned home from his mission last week. They have 2 younger girls. Victoria aged 12 and Mary aged 10. Mary is crippled. Their family is still as happy as can be. They come to church with a smile on their faces. They are some of the most humble, hardworking people I have met. Mary loves to share the gospel. I have really enjoyed getting to know them and their story has inspired me.

We had 8 new investigators this week and 5 with baptismal dates. We are hoping that our really awesome investigator Loretta comes back from Accra this week. She is the one with 2 children and told us thank you for changing her life. I really am loving it here. Some days it drags on and the tro tro rides are nauseating and the children are annoying. But I have always tried to remember where I am, and how privileged I am to be here. And then the children become a joy and the tro tro rides are an adventure through Africa!

Answers to questions:
What do you like best about your companion? He notices funny things and likes to laugh.

What is the strangest thing you saw or did this week? Talked to this drunk guy who was really enthusiastic and when we talked would keep saying, "Relaaaaaaaaax"

Are you aware of any unique resources in your mission? I know they have plenty of resources here. Some include gold and oil. I am sure they have other gem stones as well but many of those come from East Africa and even a lot in Liberia and Sierra Leone. A lot of the resources here are food. Unfortunately most of the resources are taken and processed by foreign countries.

I love you all.
Elder Shelton

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Normal Week

Dear Family,

Sounds like you had a fun week. I can't wait until that new garage is functioning. That will be lots of fun. I was super excited to see that Brandon got his call. When you get your call you think it is a really big deal where you go, especially while in high school. I have come to learn that their are children of God everywhere. And they all need help in their own way. The blessing is serving and learning to love people not where you go.

We had a normal week this week. On Monday (Brigham's birthday) we went to a nice Restaurant called Lindador and had Pizza. It was really fun and it was also a send off party for Elder Okiyi who was transferred on Tuesday.

Wednesday we had our Zone Training. It was really good and also strange to have Elder Buys back again instructing but he gave a really good instruction that the Zone needed to hear.  He brought the truck up here and it has been really nice getting rides from him.  (Elder Buys was in Brigham's apartment in Tema and was transferred to Oyoko this week.)

Saturday and Sunday was district conference for the Koforidua district. President Heid came up and he gave some really great instruction to us and some really great talks in the Saturday and Sunday sessions. He told this story of a missionary who was in a Temple in Arizona and he felt like one of the ordinances wasn't performed exactly correctly so he went to the Temple President and raised the issue. The President told him, "You would be surprised what the Atonement covers."  I love that thought.  It is comforting to know that the Atonement is more infinite that we know.

It has been weird to have Elder Buys back in the apartment. It is like I am halfway back in Tema now. And halfway in America.  I realize that I had forgotten a lot about how Americans really are. Luckily we still have Elder Krofuah to cook for us although it was hard to say goodbye to Elder Okiyi. I was thinking today that most of the people I know and are friends with are older than me on the mission. Not many people have come in after me. It will be sad to watch all of those Elders leave. Elder Ojaide and Okiyi both leave next transfer and Elder Krofuah the transfer after that. I don't like saying goodbye.

We are teaching this lady named Rachel. She just moved to Oyoko and has no friends here so we have quickly become her good friends. She has a 5 year old daughter and a husband as well. It is rare to find a family like that. I haven't taught a family my entire mission. Hopefully we will be able to teach all of them. I really enjoy teaching her. She is really humble and speaks English which is nice. Her daughter is really cute and will always run up to us. Even when we first contacted her, her daughter took my hand and followed us for a long time while we walked away. They are really enjoyable to teach.

  • What is school like for the kids and is it different in the city than out where you are? How long (years) are they in school? Does everyone go or just the privileged? 

You have to pay school fees so it is difficult for some people. In Tema 99% of children went to school and most of the older people had been to school. In Oyoko some don't go to school because they don't want to because educated people are kinda frowned upon, or they can't pay. Most of the older people haven't been to school. Especially the women.  The school system is very different.  They can beat you at any time for anything. There are prefects that have the ability to beat anyone as well. They start children at school here much younger. When you get into middle school you have to pick a subject to "Major" in for lack of a better term. Lots of people don't finish school here because they have adult duties early in life.

  • How big is your area?  It sounds like you cover several towns.  About how many miles from one end to the other?

Our area covers 4 towns. New Asakore, Oyoko, Jumapo, and Suhyen. It is maybe 10-15 miles long. We mostly stay in Oyoko and Jumapo, the two middle towns.

  • What is the one dish that you will want to make when you get home.  Is there one particular food that you enjoy most? I suspect that you will miss the Elder who does the cooking (when you go seperate ways).  It sounds like he knows what he is doing.

I will make rice and stew all the time. Yam will be another one. Elder Buys and I have been trying to devise ways to make all of our favorite food back home and find out how it will be possible. Emutuo (rice ball) will be possible and most of the soups and stews as well. I definitely want to continue to eat Ghanaian food when I go home. I tell investigators that my favorite food is Tuo-zaafi with Ayoyo. It is more a Northern dish but it is really nice. I also like Kontombury stew.

Tuo-zaafi (TZ), made with corn flour and cassava flour and accompanied by a variety of soups,
 such as ayoyo or bra (dry okra soup or fresh okra soup)
I'll be excited to see how the state tennis tournament goes.  I want a thorough update on the tournament. Especially how Ben does. GO BENGALS!!

I love you all.

Elder Shelton

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Letter to President Heid

Sunday was Mother's Day and Brigham got to call home and talk with us for about an hour. It was great hearing from him. He has a bit of an accent, speaks like a Ghanain, and is doing really well. He has adjusted to life in Oyoko and is working hard. We are so proud of him and the things he is doing in Africa. 

Dear Family,

It was so great to talk to you again yesterday. I don't have much to say so I will just send you my letter to President this week.
Dear President Heid,
I was very grateful to be able to talk with my family yesterday. It is really incredible how much I miss them and how much I love them. I really don't know where I would be without them. I have often wondered to myself why God decided to put me in that family and to be born into the church. I don't know exactly why but I am beyond grateful for it. As I hung up the call Elder Okorie asked me, "Why is there water in your eyes?" I told him it was because I love my family. I am not ashamed that I miss my family, nor am I ashamed of crying. I have often seen coming on mission much like the Plan of Salvation. We leave our home and our parents for some time, so we can learn to love in a deeper way. There was a time in my life where I missed my Heavenly home, but I found that because of that time my Heavenly home felt closer to me. I think the same has happened with my family. As I have missed my family, I have felt my love for them as well as my testimony of eternal families increase. I don't have to always be worried or missing them, because as deeply as I know that the Plan of Salvation is true, I also know that God has a specific plan for me and my family. That plan is for me to be here.
My mom asked me yesterday how missionary work had blessed me. I have come to find that as I have met people and learned to love people I have been blessed with a greater understanding of God’s plan for me and for all His children. When you care for someone and try to teach them the things you can see will bless them and make them happy, you understand better that God cares for us and has sent us here to try to teach us the things that he can see will bless us and make us happy, even if we can’t understand it now.

Thank you all so much. I love you all. I wan't pictures of Emily's baby when she comes!! Hopefully I will do something fun today. (It was Brigham's birthday when he wrote this.) I think I might splurge and go get pizza.

Elder Shelton