Monday, June 26, 2017

Transfer to Nungua


This last week I took some time to recover from my sickness. On Thursday I was finally good enough to go back out again. We put some really good work into the area. On Friday morning I got a call from President Heid. He informed me that I will be leaving Teshie and that I will have a new assignment to be Zone Leader with Elder Loveridge in Nungua. 

I was really sad to be leaving Teshie and especially my companion. Here is a little bit I shared with President Heid:

"We were able to get out in our area the end of this last week and do some good work there. I was happy with the work I put in and I feel like I left the area better than when I found it. I always want to leave something in an area when I leave. Not my name on a desk or a forgotten shirt, but rather part of me that will stay there forever. I tried my hardest to do the same in Teshie. Teshie will definitely have a place in my heart forever, and I hope I influenced it for good in some way. If not at least I know I left a really great area map there for Elder Eduok to teach the area to Elder Roberts."

I found it really hard to split with my companion and I know that he did as well. When transfer news came out he was so upset that I was leaving. He has anxiety about finding his way around the area and he felt like he was with someone that was helping him to be a better missionary. It really touched my heart that he was so sad to leave me. Usually I get the sense that people are generally happy to move on from me being their companion because I am "strict." I truly felt like Elder Eduok was progressing so much and he was really helping me as well. In my patriarchal blessing it says that I will be a "guiding star to my companions." I really felt like Elder Eduok viewed me in that way and that is something that makes me so happy. What he doesn't know is that he was also a guiding star to me."

My new companion is Elder Loveridge from Zimbabwe. He is a really cool guy and I have known him for a long time. He was my Zone Leader just a minute ago and now he is my companion. He was trained in Oyoko and then was also the district leader in Teshie district so we have already found similarities in our past mission experiences. I'm really excited to be here in Nungua with him.

I love you all.
Mission Leadership Conference
Elder Shelton

Dear Family,
Some highlights of this week:

MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) on Thursday. It seemed like when I was younger on mission the MLC was for all the big dogs. Now it just seemed like a reunion with all of my MTC mates. It was really great though. There were some really great instructions given. My favorite was from Elder Bailey about magnifying our calling.

Getting to know Elder Loveridge. Elder Loveridge is almost 26 years old. He is nearly finished with a degree in English and Communication. He is a really smart guy and just sensible. He isn't really fooled by anyone and just sees things in its true light. It is really awesome to be with another experienced missionary.  One thing that I have really enjoyed about him is his understanding of African Society and also how the gospel fits into the culture and society. He understands the problems and works well to help others understand as well. He completely has the culture of Christ.

Church on Sunday. We had lots of members and investigators there. We are planning on baptizing 4 this next week. The ward is awesome, members are great, leadership is great. It is really quite impressive.

Responses to mom's questions:
Have you been feeling back to yourself this week?Yep

Are you living with any other Elders? Yep. We are 4 in the apartment

I've heard the new MTC is opening in August. Do you know anything about it? Yep. Its true. Probably the group that replaces me will be the first in the new MTC. They are planning on almost maxing out that MTC on the first group that comes in so the number of missionaries in West Africa will expand. Probably missionaries will start going into Guinea and other countries.

I love you all so much.
Elder Shelton

Dear Family,

Well I will start off with good news. We were able to have 4 baptisms this last Saturday and confirm them on Sunday! I was the baptist.  It was really great to see the progression of these people even as I worked with them for the last 2 weeks.  I had taught some of them when I went on exchanges here last month and really the progression was incredible. As I stepped out of the font I had to wait until the wash room was open. I sat looking at the water thinking of all the sins that had been washed away and forgotten.  I thought of the new life that these people were given.  It is really such a blessing to have the restored gospel in my life and to see others experience those same blessings.

Most of our week went into preparing those people for baptism but we also had some other things this week.

On Tuesday was President Heid's last multi-zone conference.  Some great instructions were given and I was able to instruct as well.  Sister Heid talked about life lessons from a Navy SEAL. It was really awesome to think about ourselves as spiritual Navy SEALS. President Heid talked about being a righteous man and forgiving others. It was strange not to be a part of organizing and making sure everything went smoothly but it was nice just to relax and learn.

I have to tell you about a funny experience this last week. On Friday evening we went to the chapel to fill the font. As we waited for the font to fill we sat in on the YSA (Young Single Adults) Outreach class in which they were learning from the Eternal Marriage book about finding a mate. One of our investigators showed up which made us happy. Anyways the class was so funny. Here in West Africa people like to use the scriptures and doctrines to prove their points. The class turned into a debate. People were using Isaac as an example of someone who waited until all things were in order to get married. A big debate between the men and the women was on what the definition of attractive is. Also they debated about marrying a man that can provide for the family and if that means marrying someone wealthy. It was really funny and Elder Loveridge and I were just falling on the ground laughing. We have a really sweet YSA program here in Nungua.

Thursday we watched the Restoration video with all of our investigators. It was really spiritual. Several people were crying. It was really great as people here are much better at visually learning rather than just learning by reading because of the literacy level.

President Heid leaves this Saturday. I really can't believe it. So many people are going home. Elder Loveridge leaves the 24th of July and is getting excited. It is really weird to think that I am going, but not just yet.

I love you all so much.
Elder Shelton

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