"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Monday, April 24, 2017

Elder Wadsworth home from Africa :)

Brent has been home for a while now, and we are loving and enjoying his company and seeing the wonderful changes that have taken place in his life while he was serving the Lord in Africa for 2 years:)  This is one of his last letters home:
Dear Family,

     I know I was warned that these last weeks would be fast. It's crazy how real it is getting. A lot of things happened this week and I have learned a lot. The last part of a mission is really defined by what a person does from the beginning. I didn't think I would have the energy that I have but its still there so I'm happy. We met two new people this week and both of them came to church. Both are young women that have children under 3 years. Its amazing how mistakes bring people around the pride circle back to humility where they can change. Most of the people we teach hear rumors almost immediately after we leave so it has been hard to find people. There aren't anti-mormon sights as much as the anti-mormon people here. Its sad how gossip spreads here but on the other side of people push through all of the fog they are prepared. We have high hopes! Serving a mission is such an adventure. I still feel like crying a little when I look back. It hasn't been easy. But I am always grateful that I did everything for the Lord and his cause. So I'll keep doing it! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Grandbabies :) xoxoxox

Because they're too cute not to post:)  Thanks to Natalee for taking most of these pictures:)

 Nathan's a real grandpa-buying chicks for a 5-month old and 12 month old baby:)  haha

Update on Elder Wadsworth, Ghana, Africa

June-Dec. 2016

June 13 
Well this week was full of rain. We had zone conference this week and president talked about how we should still be proselyting even if it is raining. So this week that's what we did. It wasn't easy though. all my things are getting soaked.  We are still trying to get the info for Evelyn so we can baptize her. How sad is that. It's the only thing holding her back and she was so sad last Sunday when we weren't able to baptize her. But like they say. "If God permit this Sunday." I went on an exchange and did an interview on Friday with Elder Adams. That was a fun day. The lady I did the interview for was pretty crazy. Saturday we filled the baptismal font by hand only to have it drain out overnight. So we filled it again Sunday morning right up until the baptism started. We just watched the baptism from the doorway. During sacrament we were told that we would be teaching young mens and talking about missions and answering questions. An RM came in and posed as a young man and grilled us with questions. We didn't really care it was fun. The sky exploded during the class though and I thought the world was going to end because the rain came so hard with a bunch of cross winds and stuff. So that was really nice and it was easy to keep the young men's attention during the lesson. Not. It was a fun week and we worked hard. That's all that matters.
Have a good week!

Elder Wadsworth

Saturday the font wouldn't fill again so this time they had a long hose and I started the siphon. I felt pretty smart because no one else could start it. Our bishop was blowing in the hose instead of sucking...? Finally I remembered the easy way of putting the whole hose in the water and pulling it out. It was so easy. Sunday was the best though. We got a small electric organ in the chapel and we were messing with it Saturday while the font was filling and found out that it played hymns by its self. So elder Johnson was like "I'm going to make these people think that I can play this thing!" He has no idea about playing the piano. But he got up there Monday and pushed play on the opening hymn and it was going way too fast He ended like 15 seconds ahead... It was so hard not to laugh out loud. When he sat down he told me that he had a lot more appreciation for music players. 

We had a sweet discovery this week. Avocados are so good if you eat them with grilled fish and banku! 

Elder Adams did some surgery on my companion's food. Ghana doctors already had their chance. They failed with his ingrown toenail. We didn't tell sis Stevenson about that. His foot is getting better so fast now though! Great week! 

 I went with Elder Apelu to proselyte this week. That was cool because I didn't have to travel. We did a lot of walking. Again. There are a lot of hills in Yamo and we are getting some good workouts in. I did an interview on top of a big hill and I was dripping sweat pretty bad. I don't know if this will be as funny to you as it was to me but in the interview I asked who the prophet is today and she said Thomas S. Mensah (Mensah is a really common Ghanaian name) it was sooooo hard not to laugh. The person translating for me didn't care. She laughed her head off... It was pretty funny. 

A mate tried giving me too much change on Friday. It's pretty funny to hand someone 5 cedis and get 6 cedis back. He really felt like a bonehead for giving me more change than the money I gave him and EVERYONE in the tro was making fun of him."Mate! On co school??" Haha! 

We also met a LA on Monday names Issac. He told us that he wanted us to teach his wife. When he told her his little idea she gave him a big NO. So he told her she could find a husband that went to her church because he was getting another wife that would go to the Mormon church. We had a good lesson about the Book of Mormon and the importance of families. I think he got the message. It's pretty fun teaching people about how they can't force others to make choices. We had president interviews this week and it was a good experience as always. I learned a few more things about what I want to become.

We were blessed to try dog for the first time. of course I was privileged to get the part between the back legs. Yea. It was pretty junky meat. Well. The parts that were meat. I didn't finish my food for like the first time in a year and I thought that my Bishop was going to hate me. He probably did over the night, but on Sunday then the less active guy we were teaching, Issac, came to church and bishop was so happy with us because we were teaching him he was pretty much praising us. So that was well timed. My guess is that he will pull out the rest iof the dog tonight for FHE. We will enjoy tonight... 

My new area is Elmina. One ward and two companionships to cover it. It's a really big area and we cover a lot of it. I really love the drive on the east side of the castle. Super nice breeze nice view. Totally changes on the west side when we get to the fishing heart of Central region. So stinky and busy. There are also a lot of white people here and it makes be feel strangely uncomfortable. I just feel . . . watched. The only thing more awkward about being one white person in 300 is seeing another one haha. Pretty sweet ward though we meet right by the castle.

The week before was really interesting. I have some good stories from that week. We cooked a pig, went to a school anniversary and were the guests of honor, had a good laugh at bro Kwesi when we filled the font one last time. I don't know what Yamoransa will do without someone to fill their font. 

We had the all African service project on Saturday. It was pretty fun to get the gloves on and use my cutlass and a shovel. They always make fun of the white people when they work but I made sure they didn't make fun of me. Nobody makes fun of the farmboy when it comes to service haha!  Anyway I didn't get too many pictures. It was cool though I met some of the early church pioneers. Some of the first people to join the church in west Africa. A lot has happened since then.... We did the service at some hospital for crazy people. (I forgot the politically correct word for that...) But yea. It was pretty creepy. I was weeding right outside of the building and of course they all came to the windows to watch me because I'm white. Apparently they are all expert weeders because they were telling me what to do the whole time. I tried doing the opposite of what they were saying and they went crazy!!! It was so funny!!I guess they were pretty desperate for entertainment. Sunday was sweet! I went with Elder Gasolo to the Agona group. It's a new group in the bush that was created like four months ago. I was really impressed with how kind and well organized they were. New units have a lot of enthusiasm. It was nice though. The taxi we took was pretty funny. The guy didn't speak a lick of English but we still needed a language filter when the police took his keys and wouldn't give them back until he paid her 10 cedis. Dang police. I felt bad for the guy but what can you do... I also found out how to make a homemade protein shake. 

Our bishop forced us into coming to a funeral and carrying the casket and all that stuff. So uncomfortable. I mean everything in missionary work is uncomfortable but this was a different level. These people need the plan of salvation! I've been watching Ghana funerals for a long time and that is why bishop would have to force me into it. People were yelling and screaming and grabbing the coffin I think they were trying to say they loved him. Thats why the apostles say to tell people you love them NOW. Anyway I thought it was all over when we got in the hurst/ambulance. Yea, the driver was a little buzzed and he was popping the clutch and the coffin was sliding around and they opened the back doors. I thought it was going to turn into an emergency drop for a minute. Luckily we stayed on the local roads. We got to the seminary and they realized they had no ropes to lower the coffin. They almost stripped this one guy of his native style clothes. That was pretty funny. But yea. I'm never trusting my bishop again. And I'm never going to a funeral again. In some cases life is too short to make it shorter with members. 
Other things that happened this week: 2 bike wrecks, 1 three-wheeler accident involving someones foot, 16 white people from Utah in church Sunday. I really enjoyed that! It was nice seeing white people that were not missionaries and they treated me like a king! Gave me loads of candy and pens and stuff like that. It was so nice. I was not expecting that Sunday morning

Well the transfers are here again and I am glad they are gone. We went to the station on wednesday and my companion left me and I was in charge of the transfer. I think I am still suffering from PDST. There was so much happening at the station that I don't even know ho everyone got to their areas. Like president says "We haven't lost any missionaries yet, so why change it?" It was pretty stressful with a big transfer like this having all these drivers yelling at me and trying to talk prices at the same time organizing luggage so no one gets their luggage mixed. I have a lot more respect for the people who do transfers now. My new comp is Elder Sithole from Zimbabwe. He brought a washer with him so it was pretty much best friends automatically. It was SO NICE not washing by hand for the first Monday in 18 months. And my shirts feel a lot softer. So yea. I'm happy about that. We have already made a lot of progress in the area. Working with the bishop. we offered to weed his yard and he said he would call us so we could visit some LA's with him. Thats some pretty big improvement... We are talking to everyone and trying to get the teaching pool back up! Yea!

 I am starting to get to that point as a missionary where I care so little about what I eat that I just eat what my companion eats. I didn't think it would come to this but it crept up on me. My companion wants to loose weight so we eat an egg sandwich for breakfast and only eat fruits and nuts for the rest of the day. Who even does that? The surprising thing is that I don't even get hungry. I haven't even eaten sugar in like two weeks... Another example is that we were walking down the street and we saw some girl throwing chunks of meat in a traditional 55 gallon drum smoker. I didn't really think much about it but Elder Sithole asked her what kind of meat it was. So yea. We bought raw sea turtle off the street and cooked it up that night. Man it was just like tri tip with a salt tinge. It was so good! No wonder the things are an endangered species! I probably wont make a habit of it but maybe sea turtle will increase my lifespan! Haha! Or shorten it... The week was pretty good though. The funniest thing was my comp calling a radio pastor and asking about the apostasy. I listened to the whole thing over the radio. The guy has guts. I actually really like him because hes not afraid to say what he things and it helps things to happen. He's actually more like a black american. I mean he talked like a black guy and says all those hip words in smooth ways. Its funny. We are learning pigeon english together and talking down prices all the time. Haha! Anyway. Good week. 

Most of the people in the mission assume that if you warn someone once that they are doing something wrong than you have done your part. President kicked that one out the door. He compared us to the watchmen on the tower and said something like "A watchmen doesn't blow the horn one and then take off running, he blows and blows until the enemy breaks through and he is killed!" It was pretty funny in the moment. It was a good lesson though. We are to warn people of spiritual danger sharply and consistently until they can't accept it anymore or until they change. Pretty good advice for life. 

The gospel is really making a big difference here though. Its nice to look and see how the church is growing here and how people are learning to live the gospel step by step.

We went and bought talapia and banku on Thursday. It was ok. We spent a lot of time licking bones and talking that night. We said a lot of stuff like "I hope my family has enough ice cream for their apple pie. It's too bad they can't be enjoying this fish and fermented corn dough with us." Just kidding we aren't that ungrateful. I actually had one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had because for the first time I just sat down and counted the things I was grateful for. I guess Africa has humbled my because I can count a lot more than I used to be able to count. I'm just thankful for my cleared perspective on living the gospel. The knowledge we have really is so key to having a good life. I wish it was this simple for everyone.

 If you are wondering what that word is doing on the subject space it is the name of the new president. Elections were this week and it was so dead on the street. We really struggled because for some reason people pretty much travel back to the land of their nativity to vote. It's about the closest parallel I have seen to Christmas this week haha. People don't really celebrate Christmas here like at home. You would be surprised to know that it is commercialized a lot if you compare it to how much it is celebrated. Tailors and seamstresses don't rest. Churches are on a rage around Christmas and new years trying to put on elaborate "worship services" so they can get as much money as they can before the end of the year. And no caroling... Its ok though. Christmas is in the heart anyway. Right? I haven't even thought about it very much. Things are just moving on the same as they do the rest of the year. It did cool off a little this week and it was really nice. I even slept with a sheet on top for the first time in a few months. My comp saw a snake outside of the apartment in a patch of grass that we walk through every day so now he falls behind me every time we walk through. I guess it doesn't bother me. He's had more traumatizing experiences with them than I have. His brother was spit in the eye by a king cobra. I'd be scared too... Haha! Enough of that though. Transfers were fun. My comp and I are trying to save money because the mission is way over budget this year because of the move back in Jan. Anyway it has to start somewhere so we mere making some tro drivers cry because they were used to cheating the missionaries. I guess the missionaries before us didn't do their homework because they were paying the drivers way too much. Anyway. That was fun to do that. It always feels good to take the initiative to start saving the Lords money. Kwabena got the priesthood yesterday. it was good to see. I think he is one of my favorite converts. He is just always smiling. A good example of someone who has nothing and everything. Christmas is in his heart.
Have a good week!
Elder Wadsworth