Monday, August 14, 2017

Last Transfer and New MTC


Brigham and his companion, Elder Odhiambo
Well, Elder Loveridge has left. It was really weird to say goodbye to him knowing that in a couple hours he would be home.  My new companions name is Elder Odhiambo from Kenya. He is 20 years old and has been on his mission for 11 months. I actually saw him coming into the mission while I was in the office. He is a superb guy from everything I have heard. I am really excited to be working with him. His fresh legs will keep me going strong this last transfer.

Wednesday I went on exchange with Elder Olasehinde. He has a really cool story. His mom was a member and the missionaries showed up to his house one day and said, "Your getting baptized next month."  A month later the missionaries showed up again and said, "Today is the day of your baptism, lets go." He wasn't taught anything, had never been to church, and didn't have and interview. He said he didn't know what struck him but he just decided to go. He was baptized and after 2 weeks stopped going to church. He was baptized into other churches and was even a prayer warrior in another church. One day he just had the impression, "Go back to  the Latter-day Saints." So he came back home to his mom and started going to church again. Nine months later he was on a mission. He always says, "I wasted so much time. I was so confused. How will I ever make up for that lost time." He studies like crazy now and loves the gospel. He is a really great guy.

On Thursday Elder Loveridge and I went to the temple for his last temple trip. It was a really sweet experience. It is always a joy to be at the temple. We went to the mission home and were there when transfer news came out.  It felt like I was back in the office.

Friday I went on another exchange. I was with Elder Perkins again. It was good for me to navigate and know the area in preparation for Elder Loveridge's leaving. Friday I also received a call that I was selected to give tours at the new Ghana MTC. I am pretty excited about it.  I guess we will take 3-4 days in August at the MTC giving tours.

Saturday we had a fun contacting activity. We had a big group of Elders at the mall and we contacted lots of people. It felt like I was in the U.S. I've never had so much rejection. It was a really good experience though and we met lots of good people. After we got home from the mall Elder Loveridge and I came back to the apartment. We sat down and started talking. It really hit Elder Loveridge that it was all over. He almost started crying knowing that he was going to see his family and his girlfriend in a couple of days. It was really a tender moment from someone who has put everything into his mission despite having some health challenges.

Sunday was great. Church was superb. Elder Loveridge left after church by himself. It was really crazy to see him go knowing that next time it will be me.

I love you all so much.
Elder Shelton

So today we went to the new MTC. I think I made mention that next week Elder Odhiambo and I will be giving tours to the general public. Today they trained us and gave us the tour. I can say that I was the first missionary to step foot in the new MTC. The building was really gorgeous. It was like a really nice hotel. I couldn't believe how big and nice it was. It will be exciting to give tours there next week. Monday is reserved for VIPs so that should be fun as well as that will be our first day.

This last week mostly Elder Odhiambo and I were trying to build our teaching pool. We are working with 2 people that should both be baptized in the next 2 weeks. We have Brother Ransford who was contacted by Elder Loveridge and Elder Bailey a few months back. He traveled for some time but when he got back has been coming to church consistently. We also have Sister Rita who we are baptizing on her 18th birthday. Her father wouldn't give her permission but as soon as she is 18 we are going to baptize her. She stays with lots of members.

Elder Odhiambo is really a great guy. Very obedient and really works hard and smart as a missionary. I am really enjoying him as my companion. We share the same views on a lot of things so it has been really nice.

These next few weeks are going to be very busy. Multi-zone conference and interviews with President on Wednesday, then a baptism on Saturday. Then the next week we have Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that we will be giving tours. Thursday we are visited by Elder Renlund, and then we have to fit a baptism somewhere in there as well. It should be really great.

Well that is about it for this week. I love you all so much.
Elder Shelton

I don't have much time this week, I'm off to see an apostle.

We had 2 baptisms this week. It was really great and everything went well. An excerpt from my letter to President.
We were able to have a really good week this last week and have 2 of our Heavenly Father's children join his fold. The baptism was really sweet as two people who I have seen come so far finally made the decision to follow God wholeheartedly and put away anything that was preventing them from progressing into eternal life. Both of them shed tears sometime during the day. I could tell how much this baptism meant to them, and also the anxieties they faced entering into a new world. At the baptismal service I thought a lot about birth and rebirth. I have often imagined how our births were like. I am sure we were nervous and scared to leave our heavenly family and home, not sure of what earth life would bring. I'm sure we had things we were looking forward to, and others we didn't know would be a part of this earth life. Baptism is very similar. I could see they were a bit nervous to leave their past lives, friends, and religions, they weren't quite sure what a new life would bring. I could also see an excitement in their eyes, looking forward to something new and exciting. As they came up out of the water you could see such a happiness in their faces. It was so beautiful.
This picture is in the article written by the Church about the new Ghana MTC.
You can see Brigham in the background looking like he's trying to get out of the picture.
Other than that we had our MTC tours yesterday. We got to meet the Mayor of Accra, some local Kings, some ambassadors, Elder Quaise and Elder Tawiah and also Elder Renlund and the area presidency was there. Mormon newsroom was also there.

I love you so much,
Elder Shelton

Click to see the Church's video and article of the new MTC in Ghana.

This week was really quite a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we were giving tours at the MTC.  It was so awesome to see members that I know from all over come and visit.  It was like a reunion with all of my friends. There were lots of people coming through and it was really exciting.

Tuesday we were also in Accra to listen to Elder Renlund. It was really a great experience. I went in having a few questions in mind and they all were answered. He talked about a few things including the Savior's appreciation for missionaries, our divine calling as a missionary, and also our mission president's diving calling as a missionary. Elder Vinson spoke as well.  I really enjoy when he speaks. He gave a great talk about not easing up. It really touched me. He gave a story about President Eyrings father being called to the High Council when he was old and sick. They had a service project to weed an onion patch and he organized it and was there to weed even though he couldn't walk. He pushed himself on his elbows to weed this section of onion patch. At the end someone came to him and asked him what he had weeded. They told him that the place he weeded had been sprayed the day before and all the weeds were going to die anyways. As he was telling the story to his son he laughed and said, "I wasn't there for the onions."

Other than that is was a really great week here. Always with love.
Elder Shelton

Elder and Sister Renlund (center) and the Ghana, Accra Missionaries

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