Monday, March 27, 2017

God Loves Them Too


We had another really free week this week. It has been interesting. For the past 2 weeks we have had almost no office work to do. I'm sure that pretty soon though everything will come crashing down upon us again.

The extra time this week mostly went into helping others in my district. On Wednesday the whole district did a contacting activity in one of the areas that is struggling.  It was super fun to contact. I generally enjoy talking to people. Especially Ghanaians. In the office we don't get to contact very often because if you contact it is really hard to follow up on the people because you don't know your schedule.

Saturday my companionship went out and proselyted with the sisters that we did the contacting activity for.  They are both young on mission so it was fun to give them advice and council and help them follow up on the people that we contacted on Wednesday.

We have still been teaching Rose and Perfect. It was a little tougher this week because we couldn't get many members to come out and help us. They are still doing really well except their home situation isn't all that great and they are being harassed because we are visiting them.

Another cool thing is we had a meeting with the people at the distribution warehouse here in Accra. I have actually really enjoyed gaining insight into how the church works in a more business sense. Working with the area office and such gives you a greater understanding of everything the church does. It is really incredible.

  • Mom's Question of the Week: What is the most important thing you've learning while serving in the office?

I've learned a lot of important things while I've been in the office. Depending on the day you ask me I might have a different response to that question. I think though I have learned how different everybody is, yet I have also learned how much God loves all of them. In the office you often dodn't see the best side of people. You are often reminded of your own imperfections. Yet God has a plan for everyone, and he loves us all. I used to think, "Why doesn't President Heid just put all the obedient Elders together and all the disobedient Elders together. That way at least the obedient could get some work done."  I have learned that that is sometimes contrary to God's plan. God doesn't just give up on those that come to mission with different ideas or values than I do. He loves them too. He has a plan for them too to develop. It is also part of the development of the obedient to learn to love and counsel someone else even if they don't share your same views.

I love you all so much.

Elder Shelton

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Really Great Week

March 6

There is a member in our branch whose name is Sheila. She is 19 and is going to serve a mission. She is a really awesome member and helps the missionaries out a lot. On Wednesday night she got a call that her mission call had come and was at the area office. Meanwhile her boyfriend, David, who I also know because I helped him with his missionary application and going through the temple and all that stuff, was going to attend our Mission Leadership Conference at the area office to be set apart and then go to the Ghana Missionary Training Center. Anyways long story short, she was going to come to the area office to open her call and say goodbye to David but was unable to because she had to watch over her mom's provision shop. David opened her call for her because she was unable to come and she is going to Jackson, Mississippi; which never happens so it was pretty crazy! She was so happy but also sad because she was missing out on David's setting apart. Elder Anusiem and I went to go get pizza and as we pull back into the area office Sheila is running at us from behind trying to chase us down. I guess she was able to come somehow and took a taxi straight. She made it back to MLC in time for David's setting apart and then the Jones took them out to lunch and then to the MTC. It was just a really great day for them both and I was so happy everything turned out perfect.

Our investigator Sister Rose came to church on Sunday. She probably walked like an hour to get there. She has a small baby as well who is deathly afraid of me but I am winning her over small small. We taught Rose and her husband 4 times this week. Rose has a husband and he is progressing as well. The lessons with them have been coming slowly because they don't hear English very well but it is really enjoyable to teach them.

We had surprise transfers again this week. A Ghanaian missionary that was with us temporarily finally got his Visa to the UK so he will leave for his mission tonight. So some other people were shuffled around a bit. Elder Koronikalou left to go be companions with Elder Falk. Elder George will replace him as AP. Elder Magda who is 5 months on mission will join us here in the office as a trio. President Heid  told me that Elder Magda would eventually replace me.  I just hope I am here to see sister Rose baptized. It was a really great week.

I love you all.
Elder Shelton

An Email From the Mission President's Wife...

March 7

Hi Sister Shelton,
   I am helping my good husband this week by reading the letters from the missionaries addressed to me. It is quite touching and humbling. I just read this one from your son, and my husband advised I forward it to you. You will be so proud of your sweet son. They grow so much. Enjoy, and grab a kleenex...

Dear Sister Heid,
Since being in the office I have learned to appreciate a lot of different things. One of those things that I have learned to appreciate is the value of an individual. Before receiving my mission call my dad explained a lesson he learned on his mission. He told me that when he got his call to serve in the South Dakota, Rapid City Mission he was so disappointed. All of his friends were going to foreign missions and he had wished so much to be blessed with experiencing a different culture and language and way of life. He really struggled accepting his mission call and only accepted because he saw it as a 2 year duty that he had to make it through before he moved on with his life. He told me that by the end of his mission he had realized that it wasn't where you served, it was the people you served. People everywhere are in need of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is who we are representing as we are here. At the start of my own mission is was very much in the honeymoon stages. I was excited by the culture and the language and the food. Soon I went through the normal adjusting process and finally came to be in harmony. Everything around me just seems normal now. As I have been further removed from proselyting regularly the thing I miss most is the people. I have really felt the worth of one soul in the sight of God. We have been teaching this lady named Rose. She has a baby named Princess. As I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday I was sitting behind them and I was touching Princess's hand and watching how she would react to it. I started to ponder about the miracle it was that they were here. That they came from Heavenly Father's presence to Ghana. I started thinking about the life that Rose lives. She is in an uncompleted house that she has taken as her home. She is there almost all day and has to struggle to feed herself and her baby. By the same outfit that she wears to church every week you can tell she has almost no earthly possessions. Yet she walks an hour to church each week with a baby on her back to come to a church where she can only understand half of what is going on. How great is the value of this individual to God. How much love God has for her. How much God desires for her to learn and grow. It is the power and worth of the individual that pushes me to do all I can for her, to make even a small difference in her life. 
Thank you for all of your help and kind words. Thank you for being my mother out here in Ghana.
Elder Shelton