Christmas in Ghana

** Editor’s note: This is a bit late, but enjoy looking back at Christmas with Ben.

Christ is the Reason

I recently forgot that there are indeed plenty of people in the USA that don’t believe in God. It’s been so foreign to me to think about because everyone in Ghana believes in either God or Allah. I haven’t really found one person who professes a sincere disbelief in God and Christ. So, I will go to The Book of Mormon. I love the way that The Book of Mormon explains this in 2 Nephi 2:13 and Alma 30:44. I love 2 Nephi because it’s giving a logical pattern of reasoning as to why there is a God: if there is no x, there is no y and ifthere is no y, there is no z. Sometimes after reading that passage I read it backwards justto see the whole thing. It then becomes, if there is z, then there is y. If there is y, there is x.

“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”      2 Nephi 2:13

This is a similar explanation that Alma makes. Alma is speaking with an Anti Christ, who is seeking for a sign that God exists. Alma explains so well that because we, the world beneath us and the stars above us, all exist, therefore there is a God.

“But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”   Alma 30:44

I will support this reasoning with the very instance of the Big Bang Theory (weird that I’m using the Big Bang Theory to prove God, right?)  Well, hear me out. Imagine the instance of this theory: two heavily massed objects run into each other and Bam! We got the universe!  …What?

That’s like saying that a printing press exploded and amidst the contents of the things in the blast, we find a letter perfect Oxford English Dictionary sitting nicely on top.

Okay, it is possible, but it can’t be random. It would have to be coordinated in some way. I can see it being used by God as a method to create the universe. Remember, God uses Science too.

I can understand when people have an emotional loss and they begin to question and doubt; I’ve been there before. I’ve had doubts, but what we believe doesn’t change reality: God has a better plan for us. Perhaps that loss is to strengthen you to be able to help others with their losses, or it could be to help you rely on Him more. Or perhaps Godjust didn’t intervene but allowed everything to run it’s course. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you. In fact, He loves you more than you have ever felt, more than you can ever know in this life.

I know that God lives and that as we enter into this Christmas season, we should all be mindful that it truly is because of the Almighty Son of the Almighty God that we are celebrating. I know Christ lives and it’s because of His sacrifice that we even know Him. We need to keep this in mind as we celebrate with our families.

A Package for Christmas from Home

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I’m so glad that I got two padded envelopes from home! I set up the Christmas tree and put my presents under it. I love my family!  This is what Christmas in Ghana looks like for me. And of course all the paper snowflakes on the walls.

 

The Holy Ghost Teaches

The other thing that I wanted to talk about is that I had a testimony builder yesterday. A man had a question about Faith and we taught him much concerning this. This man is very powerful and very receptive. He had been making plenty of changes in his life. As we read Ether 12:6 from the Book of Mormon about not receiving a witness until after the trial of your faith, he began to tear up. It was slow at first, but as we went through the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ and said the closing prayer, this man was really crying. I gave him a hug (which is abnormal in Ghanaian culture, but he readily accepted it) and he said “Please pray for me. I know I’m a sinner, but I’m trying and I will get through this.”

This man, Thomas, is turning away from Alcohol and a bad group of friends to learn about the gospel and he has a baptismal date for the 31st of this month (December). He is working hard towards it. He told us that he’s been listening and eagerly learning with us, but yesterday was the very first day that he felt the Spirit deep within him telling him that this is true. That is the power that the Holy Ghost has. The Holy Ghost touched Thomas’s heart in a way that I could not, nor ever will be able to. For that I’m grateful to My Heavenly Father for blessing him and me.

“I’ll go where you want me to go Dear Lord,   I’ll say what you want me to say,   I’ll be who you want me to be.”

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Friends and Missionaries after church.

This and That

Saturday was the elections in Ghana. It’s a big deal here too.

The Christmas Call:  Are we 5 or 6 hours difference? It changes all the time so I don’t know… But the answer is… We shall Skype! On Christmas Eve! If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out, I’ll call on Christmas (always need a backup plan). It will be around 6pmstart time for me. I’ll be coming straight out of a lesson and eating a big bowl of fufu, so I’ll be ready.

Mom and Dad met a Ghanaian Sister Missionary at Temple Square in SLC:  All of that sounds absolutely wonderful! What was the Ghanaian Sister’s name? Fufu is their favorite food so I’m sure she would miss it a lot. But everyone will ask her what things she experienced in America; I know for sure. I don’t know of a day when I havent heard someone asking me to take them to America. Even small children will call it after you along your way. They’re infatuated with America. I wonder if it’s what she really thought it would be like!

Katie and Saylor Move to Iowa: Yay Saylor and Katie! It will be so exciting to have them so close! I’m sure that they will love it. Will they move to CR or MV or anywhere else? Now I really need to get accepted to BYU straight out of mission, that way I can be close to both Brian and Michael and not be a loner in Rexburg. Here’s a not so secret secret! Both Brian and Michael would be willing for me to move in with them after my mission is complete. I love my brothers 😀

I can’t tell you how much I feel like I’ve grown out here in Ghana.

With all my heart,
Elder Gilbert
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