Monday, April 18, 2016

Baptisms - the Highlight of My Week

Brigham, his companion, and the two new members!
Dear Family,

I was able to baptize 2 of our really good investigators this week. Brother Phillip and Brother Isaac. They had been prepared to receive the gospel and be baptized even before we taught them. Their faith and willingness to act touched me. Although their was a small language difference I couldn't help but smile and almost cry when they tried to explain what they were feeling and the experiences they have had. It was the highlight of my week to baptize them.

I have enjoyed getting to know some of the members up here as well. I have come to know a member of the Branch Presidency named President Baffoe. He was only baptized about 2 years ago. He is so diligent in everything. He shows up with a smile at all the Branch events and activities even though nobody else comes. The gospel has touched his life and he is truly converted. He still has the same joy and zeal for the gospel as the day he was baptized. I think it is one of the biggest privileges of being out here to meet people like this and to hear their stories. He is really a bright spot in the Branch in Oyoko.

I downloaded conference and have been listening to it small small. It seems like Africa was mentioned plenty. It really is a privilege to serve here. I have loved so many of the talks and they have given me some wonderful insights.

So the Taylor's are leaving? Are they going home or to another area? I thought for sure they must be a new missionary couple because she has been posting a bunch of pictures on the Facebook page lately and I've never seen a post from her before. The Taylor's are going home because of medical issues. They are fairly new in the mission. We won't have any other couple missionaries for a while.
 Elder Okorie, Sister Taylor, & Brigham

How do you get to Koforidua without bikes? Taxi or tro-tro
How far away is it from where you are? 15 minute taxi
How do you grocery shop for the whole week?I don't, even on monday.
Is there not any food to buy where you live, like off the streets? Rice and stew, banku, red red, rice ball.

What is your apartment like? Tiled, 2 bedrooms, 1 wash room, 1 kitchen.
Do you have warm showers? Nope, bucket showers mostly.
What is the electricity situation like there? It is usually on.
Do you have a refrigerator? Yep.

Is there a language barrier with you and the people? For sure. Contacting is a nightmare. Even visiting members and less actives is hard because they don't speak English. It is hard to know if they are teaching the what they should be teaching because I can only pick about 25% of what they say.

Anyways, I love you all

Elder Shelton

Monday, April 11, 2016


Koforidua Zone
Dear family,

These last two weeks have been a big adjustment. I have really felt the effects of culture difference I guess; both with my companion and the members and with people here in Oyoko. I am actually excited for all the opportunities here though. It is a small branch up here that is really struggling. They don't speak English.  They don't pay much tithing which is keeping this area from becoming a stake. I know that there is a lot of work here for me to do and it excites me as I see all of the opportunities to help.

I really love the scenery here. It is like I am in a dream. We are jumping across streams with naked children bathing. We are trekking on little trails through the bush. I have small children gathering in groups around me chanting. It is pretty crazy.

I remembered Uncle John's council to find the chief. I found his palace and will hopefully contact him this next week.

Nothing much exciting happened last week. I got to watch half of the Sunday morning session on conference. They showed all 4 main sessions live at the district center. We didn't know that they were showing them until Saturday night. Sunday I finally got Elder Okorie to agree to watch the Sunday morning session. The sound didn't work until about halfway through so I missed a lot of it. It was sad, there were maybe 10 members from our entire district there. People didn't have an interest and they might not show it again next time. The small part I heard though really changed the spirit of the entire week. It is amazing the spirit those guys have when they speak. The sound came on just as Elder Christopherson was talking about handing out fliers for his fathers campaign and how much he loved and respected his dad when people said that they would vote for him because he was a good guy. I started to cry even though I had no background on the story. I could relate so strongly to what he said about his father. It really was a testimony to me that God knows me very well and knew I needed to hear that at that time. The rest of the conference was great as well. I loved Elder Uchtdorfs talk.

We are preparing 2 men for their baptism next Saturday. It has been a pleasure teaching them and seeing their testimonies grow. They seem to be really committed to the gospel and they love everything we say to them. Their names are P___ and I____. Neither of them speak English really well so we have to teach them with members. It is really cool to teach them the simple aspects of the gospel and see how happy it makes them. P____ keeps having amazing dreams about the church and things that lay ahead for him. He gets so excited and tries to articulate it to us in English and it makes me so happy to hear it. They have been a bright spot in my week.

Multi Branch Easter Activity
I have found that there are almost no complete families that attend the church here in Oyoko. It has been discouraging me because our entire church and the Plan of Salvation is based on families. I have a strong desire to try to help some of these part member families unite so they can benefit from all of the blessings and ordinances the Gospel has to offer. I know for me there is nothing more important than my family and not being with them after this life would be devastating for me. My testimony of eternal families has grown since I have been away. I hope that I can help people see the importance and blessings of eternal families.

Mom's Questions:

Multi Branch Easter Activity
How is the weather in Oyoko, is it the same as in the big city? It seems to rain more an be more cloudy. That might just be that we are going into rainy season.

Does the church have a building there? Just got one 2 months ago

What is your companion like, how long has he been out, what's his story? He has been out a year. His parents joined  the church when he was three so all he has known is the church.

Where are the zone leaders from - they are your other roomies, right? Nigeria and Ghana. It is very different. The Nigerians speak Ebo to each other so I don't know what is going on. The Ghanaian can cook. He owned a restaurant back home so we are getting some really good Ghanaian food.  I eat 3 Ghanaian or African dishes a day whereas in Tema I was still eating a variety of food.

Where will you buy your food? Koforidua. There isn't any food here.

I was wondering the other day if you have refrigeration? We have refrigeration when we have light.  Although it is hard to find anything that has to be transported in refrigeration so dairy products are non-existent. There are a lot of things different in this area.

Will you go into Koforidua much? Yeah. Every week.

Are you on bikes? We should be but we are walking.

Where do you email from? Koforidua internet cafe. There isn't one in Oyoko. We have to come down here for most everything.

I love you all so much.

Elder Shelton