Being Led by the Spirit and Celebrating My Birthday in Ghana

Teaching by The Spirit

I was thinking back on when we were getting ready to move to Mount Vernon and my parents wanted me to pick where I wanted to go to school, CR or MtV.  Katie chose CR Kennedy.  I thank the Lord, God Almighty, for confirming to me against my own thoughts and reasoning that Mount Vernon was the school for me. I credit that instance in 8th grade as being one of the first times I can not deny that God spoke directly to me and I use it all the time in teaching. I’m just finding out why, more and more all the time.

The main theme of my email to you is that teaching by the Spirit took some time for me to learn, but is one of the coolest things I think I experience as a missionary. I walked into a lesson yesterday planning on teaching the second half of the plan of salvation. (We had previously covered “Where did we come from before this life?” and “Why are we here, what is the purpose of life?” and was planning on discussing with him about “Where will we go after this life?”) All that changed however, in the blink of an eye by following subtle impressions and we ended up teaching about Christ’s atoning sacrifice for all men and related it to how he needed to ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church. The question that I’ve been pondering and that I asked him during the lesson was, “If we worship God, and we see differences in churches and their doctrines, shouldn’t we ask the Lord himself which is His? Doesn’t His opinion matter the most in deciding where we worship Him?” And his response was simple, but incredible.  He asked me how God wants us to ask Him. I know that he will read and pray over the Book of Mormon; it was powerful and I’m grateful to Heavenly Father for that experience.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that we did some serious service just today. We helped this woman move who literally lives at the top of a very steep hill. I won’t call it a mountain, but it felt like it. The road itself is more of just a rocky path and was very easy to slip on. I took turns carrying things on my head and in my arms. It was rough. Sweat was just pouring down my face and down my arms. Streams were just pooling in the palms of my hands. Man, hard work and hot weather….. It felt gooooooood.

I’m enjoying the service more than ever! Still working hard! Here are a couple of photos from that day.

Here is the view of the house from the bottom of the hill.
And this was our pathway to walk while carrying belongings.

Birthday Number 20!

Guess what I learned is a Ghana tradition? When it’s your birthday, you get water poured all over you. My branch Mission Leader (who is a returned missionary) took it upon himself to do it after we finished proselyting on Sunday. We toasted with some Mango juice and it was all fun. Then I took a shower, got changed into some nice fresh dry clothes, and then guess what happened next? When another missionary in the apartment got back from his proselyting, he decided to do it again! There you have it, two sets of sopping wet clothes. I just accepted it all in fun because it’s not my culture, but I plan on having it be apart of my birthday ritual when I get home! Beware if you tell me it’s your birthday and I have a bottle of water! Ha ha     It was very, very fun. Even with all the water.

You’ll get to see all of the pictures and stuff of it when I send this SD card home (it’s almost finished). However, I couldn’t toast with soy milk like we planned. I ran out, but I got some sparkling non-alcoholic juice! Mango and Apple to be precise!   I also got some letters just before my birthday and that felt great. I love the love that gets sent to me in a small envelope!   But yeah! No more teenager! Woo hoo! No cake, but a celebration none the less. Enjoyment!

My first birthday drowning with a bucket.
Here I am, happy and wet with sparkling mango juice!
All nice and dry, but yet another celebration.  Why not?!   After all, you only turn 20 once. 🙂
This past week was grand. So let’s keep up the happy!

Elder Gilbert

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