A Land Rich in What Matters Most

August 21, 2017

My New Companion

His name is Elder Gadah and is twenty-five. He is a Ghanaian from the Eastern Region, a town called Nsawom (It should be on the road from Kofordua to Accra), and of the same tribe as Elder Gbettie. He has only been a member for three years and came out as soon as he was able. He is so sweet and powerful, but seriously humble. He came ready to work and I am working him. I’m being very diligent and exactly obedient and he said that he is “following in my footsteps” so our companionship is great. J We talk freely and openly and we get along; it doesn’t even matter that we’re the only two elders in the apartment because I’m never lonely. He’s still adjusting to the work, and in just the four days that we’ve been together I’ve already found him asleep during his evening prayers. Yeah, I’m working him that hard. Really, all of our time and attention is focused on the work.


We might start visiting there on Sundays after we close our own church meetings in order to have Sacrament meeting with them. President Cosgrave just barely mentioned this to me and I am all over it! As far as the children thing, we’re finding out more. Lots of families work on Sunday but send their children to church. It’s kind of funny sometimes. We are teaching one family where both the father and mother work every Sunday, but they send their small boy to come to church and now the boy is asking to be baptized. We talk to the father and he says, “I only have 3 more years before I retire, so I’ll come to church then.” It’s a little frustrating, but he knows the church is very good. But we did have a baptism!

2017 8 21 Baptism with Ben
This past Saturday, Brother Samuel Addae, our first baptism in Seniagya. Elder Gadah is on the right.

2017 8 21 Baptism with Ben and Elder Gadah

Brother Samuel comes from Seniagya, and he is our first baptism from that place. His family is staying in Accra, but he was born and raised in Seniagya, so that is where he likes to be. He’s a very wonderful man. He’s been coming to the Sunday School group for about 6 months now. According to the group leader, Brother Samuel is the most serious of all the investigators. This is a real victory for Seniagya. My companion performed the baptism; he was very happy to get to do that during his first week in his mission.

Miracles Still Happen

I’m seeing miracles every day out here. We are opening a new undeveloped area and we are already seeing miracles as far as reactivation. It’s seriously wonderful and I’m very grateful to be a missionary. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I want to honor that with all my heart. I know it’s what He would want me to do and I want to do it for Him. I want to do everything in my power to let the whole world see His image in my countenance. Then, I want to give Him the glory and honor for everything. Some days I feel weak and I know that without Him I am nothing. But I know that with His help and through His Grace I can accomplish all things. I just need to remain worthy of His Atoning Sacrifice by keeping His commandments forever.

I want to end my mission on the highest note of all my mission. I guess it’s my thing to finish with a show stopper, huh?  No regrets.

I will not surrender. I will not stop. I will give it all I’ve got.

A really great part is that I’m working as hard as I want to and I’m able to be as obedient as possible and do what God expects of me. Oh, how my heart sings now. And I love it! I’m enjoying and loving life! I love it so much.

Have a great week,

Elder Gilbert

P.S. I wanted to see the eclipse, but it was cloudy here.

Seniagya, Transfers, and Home

August 14, 2017

Transfer News!

I’m training my last 12 weeks of my mission! I think it’s basically set in stone unless something absolutely crazy happens. That means that I’ll have four areas for my entire mission, and ten companions. Seems like pretty happy numbers! I will pick him up on Wednesday, when I go to the mission home in Kumasi.

I’ll give more info about my companion next week, but as for now I know that there are eight Elders coming: one from Ghana, one from the Phillipines, a couple from US, and a couple from Tonga. So the odds are that I’ll be training a non-African, but from my personal history it is pretty likely that I’ll get the Ghanaian. We’re in a two-man apartment, so he’ll only get my example. We don’t associate with other missionaries very often outside of district meeting and zone conferences so it’ll be interesting. I hope we get along! My last two transfers will be his first two.

This Past Week Was Interesting

We had our Branch Conference and when you invite a Ghanaian to a church conference they take it way more seriously than normal church. So we had a few more people at church. Two of them were from Seniagya, the nearby village, because they organized a car to transport them all. The really interesting part about church right now is that the children are flooding the seats. While we can baptize children after coming to church for 6 months (or a little earlier if they show incredible understanding), I feel a bit apprehensive about teaching and baptizing them. The reason being is that they could be stopped by their parents abruptly and there’s not much we or they can do. That happened to one of my recent converts that was baptized in my first area and he can’t come to church anymore.

2017 9 18 Seniagya
This is where we will eventually meet in Seniagya. It is a school owned by a member. 

2017 9 18 Seniagya front2017 9 18 Seniagya inside2017 9 18 Seniagya compound

Getting Ready to Come Home

I have my release date! I will leave Kumasi early on November 7th and if my flight schedule is like the other American Elders, then I’ll leave Accra about 10 pm that night. Yeah! I’m pumped!

Also, I’m planning on buying a mortar and pestle before I leave, so I can pound fufu for you and teach you how to eat it with your hands. I have a guy, so I’ll call him to make a nativity set for me and I’m also gonna order the kentay scripture bags. You can tell Saylor that one is for him. Missionaries here all have guys, so we connect and the vendors LOVE us missionaries.

Things are winding down a bit as far as time, but I want to crank it up on all fronts. As far as spirituality and diligence, I mean. I love it! I love Ghana, I love being a missionary, and I love The Lord.

With Love,

-Elder Gilbert

Changed by the Spirit

August 7, 2017

A Nice Story

First off I want to tell you about an investigator named Gertrude. She was a referral that wanted to know about the truth of rumors that she heard about the church such as being an occult group, etc. She is studying the Book of Mormon and even came to church once. But after that she was told by her church’s pastor to never to visit another church again. (Boo!) So now she’s working on her testimony and continuing her Book of Mormon reading.

Then we had that conversation every missionary loves to have:

“So Sister Gertrude, how do you feel about the Book of Mormon?”
“You know, when I really think about it, I can start to feel that it’s the truth.”
“So how does that feel?”
“I dunno it’s hard to explain, but it’s a good feeling. And it feels like it’s true”
“Yeah I feel it too, even right now. Sister Gertrude, that’s The Holy Ghost telling you it is true.”


Bam! And just like that through her own experience, she is beginning to recognize pure truth when it’s revealed to her. This isn’t imagined, this is the work of God.

But what’s even better is a couple days later when we went to follow-up with her. We found that Gertrude wasn’t around, but her sister, Akos, was! Akos attends the Church of Christ with the rest of Sister Gertude’s family, but Sister Gertrude attends a different Protestant church.

So anyway, I asked Sister Akos about the origins of her church after some small talk because Sister Akos really didn’t want to talk about religion at first, but with asking her questions about her faith, she opened up. She said that the wonderful part about the Church of Christ is that they don’t have a founder, but the church has just been there forever.


I replied that if you google search Church of Christ it will say that it was established in 1830 on April 6th, by a man named Joseph Smith who later received a revelation to change the name of the church to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. At least that’s one of the sources of one of the churches established named the Church of Christ. She asked me, “Do you do this; do you practice this way? How do you pay tithes?” And her questions about other doctrine principles was similar. She was very intrigued as I opened the scriptures in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible to show her scriptures to go along with everything that I was saying. She asked plenty of questions and she loved the stories about Joseph Smith, the first vision, the restoration of the Priesthood, and the Book of Mormon, all the way to his martyrdom.  Though she still isn’t super interested in investigating the church, she said that she learned something from Joseph Smith’s example and now she won’t be as judgmental anymore. The interesting part is I never once mentioned anything about being judgmental. I guess that’s just how the Spirit works sometimes, and now she has changed her way of thinking for the better.

That’s a good story and I’m just extremely grateful that The Lord was able to do these miraculous things for these people as I teach what I know to be true.

2017 8 28 Stripling Warrior
I’m doing my best to stay “Stripling.” (This is my Stripling Warrior tie tack that I wear to help me remember)


This & That

Time is Going By Quickly: This is Week 6 of this transfer, so that means next week will be week one of my second to last transfer! :O

Letters: I’m glad to hear that you got my letter. I’m glad that Abbie received her letter as well.

Service when I am home: Oh! I wrote down a list of ways that I can serve when I get home and I want to type out Grandpa’s interview that Mom did a few years ago. You said it would be a Labor of Love, and now I want to do it as soon as I get home.

Also, I thought of a project for us to do. To buy a broken down car at an auction and fix it up so I can drive it. Just a thought, I want to hear yours. 🙂

Wishing you all the best,

Elder Gilbert

Agency: A Gift From Above

July 31, 2017

What is New?

I was trying to ponder about what I should tell you about this week, and not a lot was coming to my mind. Not that I don’t want to tell you things, but that I was thinking, what is new?


I think the thing that I’m really dealing with right now is the agency of others. Last week we had only one person come to church in Seniagya, and they came super late. It hurts because they’re all reading the Book of Mormon and we’re helping all of them understand it in simple terms, but the progress seems almost nonexistent.

2017 8 28 CTR rings
Did I tell you that I teach a Primary class in Effiduase? These are my students after I gave them each a CTR (Choose the Right) ring. I’m wearing a CTR ring as well (my hand is the large one). 🙂
2017 8 28 Ben's Primary Class
This is my Primary class. They are all awesome!

When I think about my agency and how I deal with things, I’ve really noticed a change in myself over time. Recently we were playing a soccer match and I royally messed up one time and the opposing team scored based on my mistake and my mistake alone. One of my teammates yelled at me. Not just a single word, but for several sentences. My first reaction was that I should just do something to spite him. But then, I decided to smile and to try my best to not let that mistake shake me, so I kept playing with all that I could. When he messed up a shot that was perfectly set up to him, the temptation came to yell at him and let him know how I felt like when he yelled at me, but I exercised my agency and chose not to. When the game was over we were joking together about the mistake I made and it was as if there was no harm or foul. This is one example of just a little change that I’ve made and that the Lord has made in me that will have great positive consequences later on.

This & That

The Weather: The bush is green and is still great! It doesn’t rain as much as it used to, but it still seems like it threatens to rain often. Still on the grind over here.

Solomon: He moved back to his hometown and will be back in about two weeks to start on semester classes. So we’re waiting for his return. Progression is slowly going but hopefully it will pick up when we have a transfer that will come up in two weeks.

Things at home: Sounds like the Sisters are doing great! Hopefully I can aid to their work when I get home as well. And yay for Saylor and Katie getting a new home! I’m totally gonna visit them like all the time! I’m trying to picture the place they are buying in my mental map of Mount Vernon. Is it close to the Railroad tracks? Man, congratulations to the Medic! I’m so glad that he’s found work.

When I hear about home, I wish I could be at the garden to help with the harvest! I want to learn all your gardening tricks so that I’ll be prepared when I start my own garden at my own house with my own family! Does that sound exciting or what? 😀

Elder Nuamah: I wanted to tell you that Elder Nuamah emailed me and he’s about to be called as the Sunday School President!

I love this Gospel and I know that My Redeemer lives! How glad I am to be a Gilbert and how glad I am to be a son of God! I love this work and I will stay strong!

With Love,

Elder Gilbert

I Feel Like I am Part Ghanaian

July 24, 2017
2017 8 28 Ben with a girl
This little girl is so cute, that I had to include her picture!

The Work is Moving Forward

I can see some progress in our area. It can progress faster, I feel, but it’s still going well. I’ll take it at this pace for now and we’ll see what will happen in the near future. I think I mentioned this last week but we’ve been super focusing on making sure our investigators are reading The Book of Mormon to aid in their conversion and it’s really working! We have more people coming to church because of it. The people themselves say that they feel a difference in their lives since we’ve been meeting with them. (I even had an experience where someone tried to bring out Revelations 22 against the Book of Mormon but I pulled out like two historical facts and three scriptures and he was at a lack of words after. Not sure if he’ll take the Book of Mormon, but I did my best!)

For me in general I’m still doing what I can on a daily basis, I’m trying a lot harder to put more meaning into everything I do…especially in my prayers and in my scripture study. I feel like if I can take my time and really do those things with 100% real intent, my whole life will be influenced and I’ll be living with 100% real intent. I’m doing well, but I want to shoot higher and higher until I’m the best me that I can be!

Elder Nuamah and Elder Hill left yesterday and they’ll be on a plane tomorrow, it’s sad to see them leave, I really loved having them in the apartment. More fun and more support. We’ll be fine with the two of us, but it will for sure be a bit lonely.

Sickness Again

I’m okay, in fact I’m the one that is doing very well between me and my companion. He got Malaria, so we had to go to the hospital for some tests and he’s getting treatment. It’s a 3-day dosage of pills. You can ask Saylor about it, he’s had the experience 😉 For Ghanaians Malaria is pretty common, plus we caught the bug early so it wasn’t too severe.

This & That

About Home: Wow! Thank you for the low down on the family! I like it. It’s hard to believe that things are moving forward and times are changing. As I’m on my mission it feels like I’m in a hyperbolic time chamber. You can ask Brian or Michael about that one, it’s from Dragon Ball Z. 🙂

To My Parents: Really, I was looking at my pictures (from home) last night and I want you to know how dear you are to me. I absolutely adore both of you and feel blessed to be your son. You raised me right!

To Aiden: I loved being able to chat with you, Aiden. You’re a cool kid!

I’m loving the people and the work more with everyday that I’m here. Can you believe that in a little over three months I’ll be home? I know I’ll love to come home, but it will be more than hard to leave this place. I feel like I’m part-Ghanaian.

With all the Love and Spirit of a Son of God and a Latter Day Missionary,

Elder Gilbert

A Farm, Some Corn, and Solomon

July 17, 2017

Just Like Iowa…Well, Sort Of

We had the pleasure of going to a farm with a less active this week. They people gave us some food and some of that was fresh maize corn. It wasn’t sweet corn, but you better believe that I served up some amazing corn on the cob for everyone! I have some pictures attached of the farm stuff and the corn on the cob. It felt like heaven to dive into that corn. I was ecstatic to have this food! It was really, really nice. We only spent a little bit of time at the farm, but the less active came to church the next day and looked happier than ever.

To Michael: I saw a photo of you, with Mom and Dad, eating vanilla wafers. I am so going to eat those when I get home.
2017 7 10 Cornfield
This is a corn field in Ghana. They dry it, but they also roast it, boil it, and sell it  on the streets as well. Corn season is about to end though so I won’t get too much more of it.
2017 7 10 Corn Cooking in a pot
This is my corn I cooked up.
2017 7 10 Corn on the cob
This is my version of corn of the cob with lots of butter and spices.
2017 7 10 Fresh picked Vegetables
These are some of the other things we harvested that day.
2017 7 10 Ben in front of shed
This is a mud hut that is part of the farm. It’s very old and made of mud and sticks. People lived there once, but now it’s like a FOB for the farmers.


I shared this story with my mission president and I want to share it with you as well. Early in the week, we were going through our area and going along the usual route. Normally we would turn right, but on this day we turned left to visit a few houses that we haven’t been to before. As we were coming to the last house on the path, we saw that it was like a boys’ dormitory for a high school.

Feeling a bit apprehensive, we went forward and tried to share the gospel. They didn’t seem very interested at the time and even one seemed to be making fun of us. That ‘one’ is named Solomon.

We saw Solomon again last Thursday. He called us back to him because we were walking a bit in front of him. He asked a few basic questions he had about baptism and the origins of the church. We gave him a pamphlet and invited him to come to church. He came that Sunday, after we had called him in the morning twice as a reminder.

He enjoyed the service and participated in the Gospel Principles class. Afterwards he confessed that many people at the dormitory told him not to go because they believed that it was an occult group. He said that he would correct those ideas and invite his friends to come with him to midweek and church next week. It’s incredible to see the Lord’s hands in this work.

2017 7 17 Elder Nuamah
Picture of Elder Gilbert with a past companion, Elder Nuamah. Elder Nuamah and Elder HIll stayed with them for a few days.

You Can Know for Yourself

I also wanted to mention that this past week I was reading from the Book of Mormon and I saw a talk by Elder Jeffery R Holland where he talks about the Book of Mormon and what Hyrum and Joseph Smith went through. He really puts things into full perspective and it’s a really powerful talk. I took time to write down my own personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Seriously, The Book of Mormon is true. I take my religion seriously in part because of how the Book of Mormon has touched me. When I read, I feel something more in my life. My eyes are touched with understanding and it affects me.

After reading it, I have a greater desire to do more good for those around me. I have a more sorrow for my sins and wish to apologize to my fellow man for the wrongs that I have done. I feel a deeper sense of Christ’s atonement and love him more deeply. Gospel doctrines are clearer and more deeply rooted inside me. So if anyone feels that The Book of Mormon is devilish, I must ask, can a book that comes from hell itself make someone to feel like this? Flipping it, shouldn’t everything that comes from God make someone feel this way? And I plead with anyone who is curious to know more about this feeling to seek for it themselves by reading the Book of Mormon. At first it feels tedious, but as you keep going, it will be transforming and Celestial.

I absolutely promise this. Your life will be changed by reading the Book of Mormon.

Have a great week!


Elder Gilbert


For Dad: I love you, Dad. I thank you for the great example you have set for me and I hope that I can continue to follow it.

Small Acts of Service

July 10, 2017

Seniagya is Growing

Another transfer came and went, and I’m still with Elder Naawu. Elder Nuamah and Elder Hill got added to us for their last three weeks that they extended. Seniagya is doing well. The other two elders went there on Sunday to teach all the members and investigators. About 5 or 6 members and 11 investigators came. Next week they will hold sacrament meeting there. This is waaaay exciting.

This picture is of a part of Seniagya that is particularly bushy!

2017 7 10 Seniagya

Missionary work is good. There’s still not much to report on here in Effidause. The work is slow, for a number of reasons I can’t go into, but yeah. Take comfort, Mom, in knowing that I really am being as obedient as I can and that it is a deep desire within me to always be exactly obedient.

Service is Always in Style

I want to share a couple of experiences from last week. They involve helping people, because that’s one of my favorite things to do. I was going for a run with my companion and as we were going onto the main road, there was a taxi being pushed by two guys trying to get it started. I ran up to the taxi and just started pushing. We run that route often so I think they recognized me and as soon as I came they went from a slow walking push to a running pace to push the car. It took about 8 seconds away from my run and they got the car started and they were back on their way. They expressed their thanks and we were all smiling after.

The other experience I have is about another car that got stuck. This one I readily came to help but instead of just trying to brute force it, I stopped and surveyed the situation. The car had three wheels on the ground and one of the back wheels was in the air as they had gone over a big rut. The truck was rear wheel drive, so it was stuck. I sat there for about 20 seconds and the thought came to me to have my companion sit on top of the wheel-well of the tire that was in the air to get it back on the ground and moving (My companion weighs about 85kg, I think that’s close to 200lbs right?). It worked!

I tell these two stories to illustrate something. That we affect people much more by being an example and helping them rather than trying to direct and control them. I also say this because I’ve been considering more and more how I’m going to spend my time when I’m back home. I really, really want to lose myself in the service of others, both inside the family and out. That’s how I want to fill my extra time. Helping people is always nice, and making people happy helps me feel happy too. A mission is only the foundation for the rest of my life. I need to make the most of it!

This & That

Fireworks is Legal in Iowa! No Way! – Where did you blow off the fireworks? That’s wonderful! We’re no longer breaking the law for shooting fireworks! Yippee! 😀 Oh man, I really miss hot dogs and hamburgers.

The Legacy of the Shoes. – You asked about my shoes. And yeah, I gave my trainer the other pair at first. I gave it to him when he was lacking a good pair of shoes. He served his whole mission with that pair and another pair he got a couple months later. As he was going home, (I actually kinda replaced him here in Effiduasi), he left that pair here so that I would take them back and figure out what to do with them. I’ve given them to my current companion who is enjoying the comfort and sturdiness. I asked him to give them to another missionary as he goes home as well… Just trying to keep those shoes doing missionary work!

Grandpa has a Corvette! – Yay for Grandpa! And woah, a Corvette? Are you serious? I’ve got to see a picture of that! That’s incredible! Go Grandpa! I’m still praying to see him. Please send my greetings to him. I love him so much.

I’m trying to improve and get better and always stay vigilant. I love this work and I love The Lord. These last 4 months will fly by, I just want to do everything to make the most of it with no regrets!

Until next week,

Elder Gilbert

Another Transfer in the Books

July 3, 2017

This week was fairly good. I made some mistakes, had some learning experiences; I’m still repenting daily, so it’s all moving forward!

One thing that is really cool that is happening recently is that we’re working with this sister who is really, really powerful. We’ve born testimony so frequently that the last time we met with her, as she was saying the closing prayer she said, “Please let me know the truth; you have given the truth to the missionaries, so please let me have it too, Father.” Or something like that. We were actually on exchanges when that happened, but it was really awesome to hear about!

In regards to the transfer news… I’m still in Effiduase, I’m still with Elder Naawu, but we’re getting an additional companionship for 3 weeks! Elder Nuamah and another Elder are coming to our area for their last three weeks. President asked them to extend and they’re on special assignment for the branch to find the less actives and work with the Seniagya people.

A Visit From a Friend

I’m including some pictures this week: another transfer in the books, and me and a recent convert who visited me.

The recent convert is named Peterson, I don’t know if you remember him. I baptized him in Asuoyeboah. I call my recent converts from time to time, and when I told him I was back in Ashanti region he was super excited and wanted to come and visit me! He came yesterday and I talked to him about keeping the Sabbath day holy. After his baptism, Heavenly Father blessed him with a job and now it’s taken over his life. He works extremely hard. According to him he works from 7am-8pm every day. He’s in a shoe making apprenticeship and he’s chief apprentice. It was actually really, really cool to visit with him again. I still can’t believe he went from the west side of Kumasi all the way to Effiduase!

2017 7 3 Brother Peterson from Asuoyeboah
Peterson, a recent convert, who came for a visit.
2017 7 3 Ben's Calendar
My six week (time between transfers) calendar.

You Learn Something New Everyday

As customary to being in a village area, we have banana trees. I have to send some pictures home of what bananas really look like. I dunno I always imagined them to be a lot different, so here’s some proof of what they look like! kinda neat, huh?

2017 7 3 banana tree 2
A real banana tree!

2017 7 3 Banana tree 1

Diligence Wore Them Out

This my “Diligence” photo. You remember those honkin’ boots of proselyting shoes that I had? Well, I finally wore through them. That’s the hole! You can send the picture to Mission Shoe and they’ll send me a fresh pair!

Other than that, I’m still trying my best to be as diligent as I possibly can be. I’m beginning my last 18 weeks! That’s crazy!

Love to all,

Elder Gilbert

Goats, Mango Leaves, and the Rain

June 26, 2017

There’s not too much to report this week. I’ve said it a lot in the chats, but I can at least say that I’m doing really, really well.

The Work is Moving Forward

This week we visited the village, Seniagya. There are some faithful people there and we were introduced to an investigator who pays tithing. Seniagya has a request in to become their own branch and we’re going to try to put on the finishing touches to get that done. We’re currently trying to take a tally of members and priesthood holders, but it’s a bit of a slow process. We’re hoping to get them all to come to our branch until they can sufficiently stand by themselves.

It’s not too far away from Effiduase, but enough that it becomes a reasonable expense for these people to come every week (in and out is six Cedis). We are looking into getting a car one week out of the month to bring them to church. When we do that, we will manage to see who is serious about coming and who is just following a social trend of a small village.

2017 7 10 Effidause chapel
This is the Chapel in Effiduase.
2017 7 10 Chapel Effidause
Front Entrance.
2017 7 10 baptismal font Effidause
Baptismal Font.

The Rain and Goats

We got beaten by the rain again this week. Effiduase is rainy and cold right now. We decided to cut down some of the branches of the mango trees in our yard because they were all hanging waaay too low. This attracted a bunch of goats and they’ve been eating all the leaves in the yard. It attracted so many goats, in fact, that one that was very pregnant gave birth in our backyard. The bad part is that it was a still-born kid. We had to clean it up when we found it the next morning. Not too fun, but it happens.

Loving the Scriptures

For scripture study, I’ve been reading before we go out and when we come back. If there’s anything keeping us from going out, I spend the time reading my scriptures.

Because of that…I’m doing well! I finished the Book of Mormon this past week. Yeah, it really feels good. So I’m diving head first into the Old Testament now (I’ve marked my quad so much that I ripped a couple of the pages). I want to finish the Bible before I get home. Right now, I’m on track for finishing the Bible within two months. I have a new copy of the Book of Mormon and I’m on track to finish that one before the end of my mission too!

I think I’ll retire my quad after my mission and buy a new one. I have a nice bead scripture bag with the Ghana flag on it.


With Love,

-Elder Gilbert

Highlighting A Challenge

June 19, 2017

Study Time

Right now, I’m pouring my heart and soul into my Book of Mormon reading. I’m doing something that Elder Bednar challenged us as missionaries to do. That is to take a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon and highlight everything we see about the atonement; when finished we write a one-page summary of what we learned and label it “Atonement One.” Then do the same thing again and label it “Atonement Two,” and so on and so forth. He said if we really want to learn a gospel principle, go through this process five times. Elder Bednar himself has a large section on his bookshelf dedicated to copies of the Book of Mormon that he has gone through. Someday, I hope to have that as well. I just finished Alma last night and I was once again thrilled by Captain Moroni’s stratagem against the Lamanites and the Stripling Warrior’s faith and courage. I like how new things are just popping out that I can apply to myself. I love, love, love the scriptures.

I’m also still loving the bush and the release from leadership has been good. I find I have more time for personal study and being able to worry more about investigators and members in the area is nice. I get to bed on time every night and don’t have to wake up as early. But I do sometimes because my companion still likes to jog to the gym, exercise there, and jog back in the mornings. I like it because I also get to workout every morning! Oh, it’s really the little things that make the biggest difference, I think. Yeah, Effiduase is great!

2017 7 10 Photos of Outside Ben's apartment
A look at the outside of my apartment.
2017 7 10 Apartment
My apartment entrance.

The Heat is a Constant

Effiduase is more humid more consistently than my other areas, but whether it’s dry or it’s humid, it’s pretty much all the same to me. Growing up in Iowa, everything is sticky during the summer time, so I can handle the heat really well. I think I take the heat and the sun even better than my companion, who is a native Ghanaian. Ghana is just flipping hot all the time. It also rains a ton right now. June/July is rainy season and the rain is coming down! Everyday is a toss up on whether it will rain or not. It’s kind of fun actually, but at the same time it’s not fun.

Water and Rain and Electricity

We got our water back up and running finally, but then just as that happened we had a fault with our electricity, so now we’re in a worse boat because we lost both water and electricity. The water pump won’t run without electricity. We should have that fixed no later than tomorrow.

The Church is Growing

Effiduase is also about to get more interesting with a new group of members that we just found out about. They are about 6 miles away (but by Ghanaian standards that’s pretty far). They’re headed by an endowed Melchezidek priesthood holder and he’s doing great. They’re about 20-30 in total.

This and That

More about my Companion: My Companion is from Accra, Ghana, Elder Naawu. He’s cool. Kinda big n’ tall, about 6’1” or 6’2”, I think. We get along great and it’s just the two of us in the apartment.

Membership in Effiduase: I found out the exact numbers of our membership in the branch. We have 89 members on record and a sacrament attendance of about 30 and most are children + 4 missionaries. We have a senior couple in our branch who are just awesome.

Update on the Church in Wa: I forgot to mention that I was actually wrong when I said there was no branch in Wa. It was just organized as a branch a couple of weeks ago and we will probably send missionaries there in 8 weeks time.

Take care until next week,

Elder Gilbert

2017 7 3 Ben

P.S. to Mom: Love you with all my heart, Mom. I may be your Sunshine, but you are constantly filling up my fuel to keep my fire burning. Thank you for that and for being the best Mom ever. Really, I was thinking about this one too and I can’t think of a woman more remarkable than you.