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

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