Sunshine in the Soul

June 12, 2017

This week was pretty busy with a couple of fun things.

A Visit to a School

First, I have a story I would like to tell that involves two young women in a nearby Islamic boarding school. They are members, one from Accra and one from Tamale! The one from Tamale happens to be President Gakpo’s daughter from Kanvilli Branch. I got to know her before she left to go to Effiduase to school and I told her that I would only be able to see her if I got transferred to Effidause. That was about week 2 or 3 of last transfer. To be honest, I thought that the chance of me being transferred here was slim to none. Well, I’m very happy that I was able to go see her at her school. Her name is Enyonam. We visited the two girls yesterday because the second Sunday is the only visiting day they get each month. I got permission from the Branch President, President Wenchi, here in Effiduase, and we took them the sacrament to them. It was super cool because as soon as I told them that I had it with me, they both started jumping up and down in excitement to partake in the ordinance while at school. I felt so good after doing that service because of the Spirit, because I initiated and arranged for it all, and because this was a much needed ordinance. I truly felt like I was on the Lord’s errand in a special way. I felt like a true agent of myself and that I used that agency to bless and do the Lord’s will. I was really happy to be able to do it.

2017 6 12 Two school girls
The two young women in their Islamic boarding school

A Service Project

Next, I took my bush clipping skills I gained from Grandpa’s yard-work job and hacked into some bushes at the Church house. They were all different sizes, so I clipped them a certain way that I thought made them look uniform and good! Everyone at the Branch complimented me for it, mainly because I think they didn’t have any experience cutting or shaping them. I used hand clippers, so it proved a little more difficult and I definitely messed up on a couple, but I got the job done!



Continuing from that one, I deep cleaned our apartment kitchen today. Having had no water has caused us to neglect it hardcore. It was smelly. But it was raining while we were cleaning, so I guess we did have running water! Ha ha! I scrubbed the walls and felt like I was doing the job right! All of that cleaning and doing it well and stuff really makes me feel like I can succeed in a home-life setting.


2017 6 12 Clean sink
A look at the apartment kitchen.


2017 6 12 Clean Kitchen

2017 6 12 Elder Gilbert Dirty Mirror
Elder Gilbert after all that cleaning. 

This and That

To Mom- I got the package you sent: Yes everything was in the package just as you described it and it arrived just fine (except they held it for awhile, opened it, and charged me a lot to retrieve it, plus I worried things were missing). I was just worried. It is a wonderful package! I really appreciate it, especially the letter. I really loved that one. I got a bit emotional while reading it.

To Dad: I finally completed your challenge. Though late, I finished reading Jesus The Christ! Bam! That’s right! That’s like a book version of a Quadruple Cheeseburger from Red Robin. I don’t know if Red Robin even sells that type of sandwich, but we’ll just have to imagine what that’s like…then in book-form? That’s Elder James E Talmage’s Jesus The Christ for you. All the dictionary-look-ups were worth it, cuz that book was awesome. Honestly, it’s like a very close look into Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry with a lot more context and historical background. I LOVED it. P.S.- I still look up to you as my example. I still want to be just like you when I grow up, Dad.

With love and happiness,

Elder Gilbert

Another Learning Curve

June 5, 2017

Learning My Way Around In My New Area

This week was slow, still feeling my way around the area, trying to survive and learn it fast.

Effiduase is a branch. I think about 70-100 members on record, with about 30-40 attending every week. Some people say this is a hard area, but so far I’m loving it! I think others have thought it to be hard because of how large and spread out it is. Much of the area is bush so therefore education is lower. But I really think that it’s going to be fun because of the people. I’ll keep working as hard as I can.

I’m probably going to finish Jesus The Christ this transfer. I’ve been nibbling it for my whole mission, but now I’m going for it. I love, love, love to learn about my Savior. I hope this thirst of knowledge about Him never leaves me.

The rain story was truly a tender mercy, it’s a small thing, but it was so big to me. I love it!

2017 6 5 Elder Naawu and Ben with the Joseph Gogo, Sandra, and Amanda
Joseph Gogo, Sandra, and Amanda with Elder Naawu and Elder Gilbert

I sent a picture from a baptism! They’ll be confirmed next week. They are a really sweet family and it was a really sweet baptismal service…very reverent. The girls are the sister and neice of the man that baptized them, so it was more of a family moment. They come from Wa and are very, very wonderful people. I really like the Northerners.

This and That

Learning the Native Cooking: I’m gonna try to learn a lot of nice dishes from my current companion, he’s Ghanaian and willing to teach me. We have a good relationship, so the work just moves. In fact, the weeks go by like days.

Water Shortage: The water being out is due to an overdue bill from before I was living there. They disconnected the water and can’t reconnect it. It really puts a damper on things. Yeah, rain will be coming almost every day for the next two months. Man, I can really say that I’ve missed the Ashanti region, a lot. Tamale was great but I couldn’t experience the same bush and hills that I love.

Making Some New Goals for Later: I’m serving with someone who’ll go home at the same time that I go home, so we talk a lot about what will happen when we go home and things of that nature. I’ve been considering a lot about what I’ll be doing, not necessarily school and all that, but the little things like my free time and stuff. I’ve been thinking about the time I wasted on videogames before, and though I want to have fun and be able to play them more, I know that I will limit myself. I will indulge rather in scripture study, family history indexing, temple work, developing talents, and serving-inside and outside of the house. It might seem ambitious, but I really don’t want to lose this Spirit I feel as a missionary.

With Love,

Elder Gilbert

The Rain in Effiduase

May 29, 2017

I’m in My New Area

This week was good! I am finally in Effiduase, and the area is mostly like a village. There are spots with nice paved roads and some good buildings but mostly bush. I think the whole town is developing “small small.” But it’s really good and it feels nice to be here. I think I’ll like it. I’m in a branch and it’s struggling a bit, so I’ve heard, but it seems okay from what I’ve seen. The area is very green and huge with lots of villages and bush. It’s not as densely populated as Tamale, but more total people with one part being just a series of towns.

First on the list of things to do is a renewed focus on my work. I was reading from President Hinkley’s Teachings. I was reading under obedience about getting distracted from the best with the good or even the great things (good, better, best). And this hit home to me. In fact, now more than ever I feel confident that I’m going to be exactly obedient and nothing will stop me from that.

2017 5 29 Road in Effiduase

2017 5 29 path through Effiduase
This is Effiduase scenery…small roads but a very large area. This is a big change from the savannas of Tamale.

New Companion

My companion is called Elder Naawu. He is my ninth companion and my fifth Ghanaian companion. He’s cool.

2017 5 29 Elder Naawu

I Have a Story

I experienced a miracle yesterday. For some time now Effiduase has been out of water and we’ve had to fetch and buy water sacheys. On Thursday night, however it rained and we filled all of our buckets and water storage cans to over flowing. That lasted us until Sunday morning, where we used it for bathing and the last flush of the toilet before Church. After church when we were in the apartment, I looked up at the sky and saw that it was partly cloudy. No way were we going to get rain but we did!

Before it came, I had a prayer in my heart that it would be very nice if it would rain. It came as a sprinkle around 6pm (Elder Naawu was having stomach problems and was resting to get better). I immediately put water barrels under the rain gutters that pour streams out of them whenever it rains. I then said another prayer asking that could it please come down harder, enough for us to get by until today. Right after saying “amen,” I received an impression saying, “What are you doing to show your faith?” So I went inside and grabbed more buckets and put them under the run-off from the roof. After getting the last bucket into place, the rain came harder. I said prayers of gratitude and saw that we had enough to get by, but God didn’t stop there. He kept it raining until every bucket was filled.

Just as the last bucket was receiving it’s very last drops, the rain came to a stop. We had a rainstorm that was just barely enough to fill everything? I’d say that’s a miracle. I said one last prayer of gratitude and then I heard the Lord say to me, “Well if you’re willing to stand out in the rain to make sure everything is in place and moving smoothly, I’m willing to do something about it”

What a lesson of faith, to myself. I just kind of marveled and danced around in the front yard of the apartment. The rain had stopped, but it had served its purpose. I feel like that’s the Lord’s attitude for us all in our callings and in other things. If we do our part, He’s willing to do His. I really felt the warmth of the Spirit throughout the whole experience even though I was soaking wet!

I miss home, but I’m glad to be here. Today, I believe, is my 19th month on my mission. With my companion and I being MTC mates (we arrived on the same date), our calendars are lined up.

I love this work and I’m so happy to be a missionary. The Spirit feels so good. To do what is right is my code, to live with integrity is my love.

I love this Gospel and I know that it’s true!

Love to all,

Elder Gilbert

Baptism, Double Cheeseburgers, and Effiduase

May 22, 2017

My week was good. We thought that we would have a whole week to spend in our area, but we had things come up. A companionship wasn’t getting along at all so we helped them out on Tuesday. Then we had to escort a companionship to the hospital, so even less time in our area.

But… we had a baptism and confirmation this week for a woman named Salema.

2017 5 22 Sister Salema
Sister Selema after her confirmation.

She had been coming to church for a long time but because of difficulties that would arise, she just hadn’t been baptized. Throughout her life this woman has had challenge after challenge. It was a blessing to baptize her; I even got to do the ordinance myself! I know she will be a blessing to the branch. She is very strong in her faith. And with my final Sunday I leave with a bang! Yep, I’m getting transferred this week!

My Last Sunday in Tamale

I will be very sad to leave Tamale. The branch welcomed me with open arms and I just loved them. It’s like a family here in the small branch, and I made like three people cry when I told them I would be leaving. I got a little emotional myself when I was bearing my final testimony. No tears but my voice shook at times.

2017 5 22 Elder Leird and Amina
Elder Leird and myself with Amina, a member from the branch who used to be Muslim.

So, in celebration, I just had some really nice food; a double cheeseburger with fries! We celebrated my three transfers in Tamale (18 weeks). I’m going to a place called Effiduase. It’s about one hour north/northeast of Kumasi.

Map of Effiduase

I’ve also been released as a zone leader. It has been quite the experience; I’ll say that! It’s been stressful but a blessing to have served in that way. Ten full months of it. I feel about this assignment the same way Grandma felt about family coming to visit; “You are happy to see them come, and happy to see them go.” It looks like I’ll have more time to do missionary work now and not spend so much time organizing others. So it’s back to full, full-time proselyting.

It has been a blessing to serve as a zone leader and serve as a regular missionary. I am grateful for both.

My New Area: Effiduase

I’m pretty sure my new area is bush. And by bush I mean village. haha

Yeah, jungle and less developed and stuff like that. I believe my new companion will be a missionary who came to the MTC with me, and the Branch presidency in Effiduase has recently been reorganized. Well, that’s about all I know about where I will be starting on Wednesday 🙂

Love to all,

Elder Gilbert

My True Self

2017 1 2 The view through the trees
This is an older photo from my hike at Nyamkomasu Falls.
May 15, 2017

This Week

To give you a quick update on what happened this week… we went to Bolga and it was really incredible. I love going there and seeing the pigs and the people; the people there are so, so kind. It was wonderful.

And the Mother’s Day phone call was wonderful. I’m sorry that we got cut off at the end and you couldn’t hear me, but I heard every word that you said… all the way to that goodbye. It made me tear up a bit, actually.

Learning and Growing

Growing more is exactly what I was trying to say at the end of the phone call before we got cut off, as well as what I want to talk about today. I’ve been thinking a lot about my progression as a person.  For sometime it has seemed like I was making little, maybe even backwards, progression in the ways that I wanted to grow the most.

When I was back home, my personality and my core nature were not always aligned. I would have a caring personality, but in my core I was still a prideful, arrogant person who thought he had everything figured out. The change that I’ve seen on my mission has been a slow correcting of that core nature, to have the integrity of sincerity inside and out and to lose any self-righteousness, any “judgemental-ness,” and any backbiting.

I remember one week after Church I was walking with my companion where I had taught a good Sunday School lesson and had overall enjoyed Church. I was bouncing from person to person trying to make as many people laugh and smile as I could. I know I felt the Spirit during the meeting and I wanted everyone else to feel it too. I took some time with a couple people who were down (one boy in particular) and I just tried to make everything better (just like I would if I was back home but this time with an added something). As we were walking away after the close of Church, I told my companion how much I enjoyed Church because I felt like myself. I felt like my true self. Weird observation, but this is how I truly felt. I felt like an agent. I felt like I was acting completely of myself, that I was doing good things (now I’m starting to tear up a bit), and I felt like I’m on my way to becoming exactly who God wants me to be.

This and That

There was one thing that I really wanted to share that I didn’t have the opportunity to say during the phone call yesterday. Dad, I’ve got the running itch. I’ve worked out on and off again throughout my mission kinda half-heartedly. I think the best shape I ever got into was when I was in Obuasi, where I worked out well for about 4 months then stopped.

I couldn’t sleep well one night. It was kinda hot and I just felt wide-awake while lying down. I took the phone that we share and saved a draft of a text message. On that draft I set goals. So I set some new goals. I set a goal for each race stretching from 400m to a marathon. I will not stop until I do everything I can to achieve my goals or get as close as possible.

I know that at the same time I have this determination for running, I have the same determination for the work of the Lord. Indeed, I am a disciple of Christ and I will hold true to that. True blue, through and through, right? Yeah. I’m on it.

That’s what I want to share this week. Sorry no new photos, I didn’t really take any recently.

All the best,

Elder Gilbert


May 8, 2017

Short on Time

2017 5 29 Fruit market of Kintampo
The fruit market of Kintampo.

Sorry I can’t give you a full accounting of the week because of time. I have 30 minutes less to email today.

But I will say…crocs for last week. And this week?

We roasted a pig as a zone.  Yup, I’m doing stuff.

(Tell Saylor not to be jealous, it’s okay. 😉 )

I can’t speak too much about the work because of time, but I will say that I’ve been studying the principle of work and I’ve been loving the work and work in general. Look at the man you’ve raised me to become. I’m here Mama!

Basically, we are focusing on this one family right now. Lucy and Noah with their little boy Godfred. They’ve been ‘married’ for less than a year, but they only did a traditional thing called a knocking, so they’re not really married. That’s one obstacle that we’re gonna have to hurdle, but they are super sweet and very faithful. It really seemed like they found us rather than we found them.

Traditional Weddings in the Ghanaian Culture

In the traditional Ghanaian culture, the first step in the marriage process is called the“knocking on the door”… The man’s parents and elder relatives or his mother and brother or sister (as in the Asante tribe), will approach the girl’s family on his behalf by “knocking on the door” of her family’s house to ask for permission from them to allow him to court her.           from

This and That

Question: Who all went to visit the crocodiles? Crocodiles. Others in the zone went, but just our district. It was powerful. They were sort of, kind of tame…as long as you fed them a chicken. That was the fee to be with them. We were pretty careful and had a guide nearby.

Question: How is all the sickness going? People are getting better, but it’s still got us bogged a bit. And last week we went to Kumasi, so we didn’t get much time to our area. Suffice to say, when I get released from this assignment I will be happy to be a full time proselyting missionary again.

For Mothers day: I will call in the evening like this. You can check the time differences, but I will call around 6-7 pm my time. I’m giving myself some buffer room. That is the plan. Love you so much Mom! I know that you mentioned that I have 6 months left and that I should blow the lid off in doing good in Ghana. Well, I am loving this work and I have no plans on slowing down.  (Note: missionaries are allowed to make two phone calls home each year, on Mother’s Day and Christmas.)

Go Jack and the Mount Vernon Track Teams!

I would also send pictures of my adventures but I really am out of time. Shorter time this week, but we will have all the time in the world to talk next week on Sunday.


-Elder Gilbert

Temporal Crocodiles

May 1, 2017

Well, this week there will be plenty of pictures!

The reason I’m emailing so late in the day and you probably thought you missed me was because of this…We went to Paga! Get out your maps, folks, cuz it’s about northwest of Bolga, following the west road that goes past Navrongo and leads up to the border. Guess what’s there?


Man, it was super sweet and fun. Waaaaay fun. While I was sitting on him, he started to move away. They told me to pat him on the back and he settled right down. Imagine! A croc moving underneath you! Ha ha! It was an experience of a lifetime and a looooong journey too. We started at 10 am and got back at 8 pm. Sweet!

I got a lot of videos on top of it. The pictures are mainly of me with the croc, but there is one of me and my companion with the croc. Enjoy!

2017 5 1 Crocodile 1 crop

There are about 100 Crocs in the pond and are thought of as sacred animals. They have never bitten anyone.

Here is more information on this well-known Ghanian attraction:

Amazed by Grace

On another front: I’ve just been on top of the world recently. Something amazing happened yesterday!  Seeing as it was the Sabbath, I really set out to feel the Spirit all throughout the day. I remembered that the Spirit only comes by a prayer of faith, so I prayed with my heart on this desire. What I felt yesterday was amazing. I was happy the whole day. Even when I made a mistake or had a small setback I wouldn’t mind, but put it out of my mind and moved on. The only way I can describe how happy I was feeling is to say that I felt like my true self. I felt like I had a bit of a glimpse of the person God really wants me to be. I was patient and confident, I was loving and caring, and I was feeling the Spirit of God. Later that day, I felt such an appreciation for the Gospel in my life. I don’t know how to fully explain this one, but as I was pondering all of this I just started to feel tears well up small. All of these missionary blessings, and yet I run into a brand new grace just like that that helps me to feel on top of the world. I know I’ve only been out for 18 months, but I’m already so grateful of the man that I’m becoming and will yet become with this remaining 6 months. Mom, I’m just so happy to be here and to be alive. That’s what I felt yesterday.

Weaving Service into Our Day

We met this man who is Muslim but at one point in his life attended bible school, so he’s really chill about talking about Jesus Christ and all that. His name is Oscar. He’s been weaving this cloth for about 6 years now. This type is different than the ties that I’ve sent home. Those are called Kentay. This is more of what is known as smock material. I’ve also got a couple of those, so you’ll see them later. 🙂 What the pictures show here is me doing a little bit of service in weaving.

2017 5 1 Weaving 22017 5 1 Weaving Again2017 5 1 Weaving for Oscar

No Middle Ground

Recently I’ve been sick and have had to stay home to recuperate. While resting I was reading Teachings of the Presidents of the Church and pondering some of the messages there. Gordon B. Hinckley was talking about testimony and made a statement whereby he said that either the church was true or it isn’t. Either Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in the year 1820, or he made it all up. There is no gray area, no middle ground. To continue to apply this to me, either I’m engaged in the most important work of all mankind, or I’m not. Either I’m helping men and women to come unto the Savior and unto Salvation, or I’m pushing and pulling people from one religion to another. And as I was thinking about all this, a bold thought came to me, “If not us, then who?”

To explain… if truly Joseph Smith made it up and I’m not a part of the True Gospel, then where can it be found? There is a very pleasing doctrine that is popular among Ghanaians: “Your church is true and my church is true, we’re all true, so therefore God will save us all.” I always tell my investigators, “Well, if that’s true then that means one of two things; either God is a liar, or God is divided.” So I invite everyone to truly ask the Author of Truth where the truth is.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” James 1:5

Personally I think that all men yearn to be in the right. My question is, how do we know what is right?

Generally we ask authorities or scholars in a particular subject of learning…perhaps a coach, a parent, or a teacher. God is all that and more.

God is not silent; He answers prayers.

He loves all of His children, so why wouldn’t He tell you what is truth?


Have a great week.


Elder Gilbert

Blood Tests, Russian Doctor, and Recuperation

April 24, 2017

Well, this week was kinda rough.

One More Rough Week

From last Saturday until last week Thursday we were inside. We were feeling really good on Thursday but decided that because the Mission President said that we needed to take it easy on ourselves, we should take one more day. Friday we went to the hospital because President Cosgrave set us up with a doc over there. She was young, about 26 or so, had schooled in Russia, and was super cool. They kept poking needles into me. Over the course of this sickness, I’ve received 3 different blood tests. It was kind of funny. Even though my companion and I had the same thing, I was the one getting all the tests done and going to the hospital. I really think his test results would’ve shown the same thing anyway. It wasn’t actually malaria, but it felt like it. I dunno, something terrible attacked my system. What ever it was, it was not fun.

Then the following day, Saturday, we went and helped another missionary who has a spinal problem get to the doctor and spent all day there as well. Except we didn’t forget our purpose! We taught the whole time we were at the doctor’s office on Friday. Saturday there wasn’t as many people so it was more difficult. But on Friday we handed out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon and even helped a guy get the Gospel Library app! It was super sweet.

We also have been teaching this older man named George, who has a testimony, but is struggling to act because he is a Sunday school teacher in his own church. Some of the best lessons I’ve had on my mission are with this guy. He’s awesome.

New Goals

Hey! I watched Mountain of The Lord while I was sick, and it was awesome. In honor of that and Wilford Woodruff’s journaling, I’ve decided to be more diligent in my own journal writing and have started writing everyday again, but for about a month I was shaky. Now everything is better!

I’m gonna really try to watch myself more in the way of diet. Mom, as you said with Saylor and how he was malnourished when he came home from Sierra Leone, well, I don’t want to be.  So yeah! Back to my health kicks: vitamins, fruits and vegetables, T25, the whole 9 yards.

My Companions

My current companion, Elder Leird, and I are getting along great. We kind of both have our way of doing stuff, but we compromise and ignore each other’s imperfections so we just move along with absolutely no problems. Also, I turn 18 months on Saturday, so there’s that! I’ve been Ghana long time! 😀

2017 5 22 Elder Leird and Amina
A member from the branch named Amina, Elder Leird, and me.
2017 4 17 Ben with zone companions 2
My three companions while serving as a Zone Leader, before Elder Leird.

Take care.


Elder Gilbert

Day by Day

April 17, 2017

2017 4 17 Teaching in Muslim School.JPG

We had an activity where 3 companionships and a senior couple came and taught a whole bunch of Christians at a Muslim school. We gave out 80 copies of the Book of Mormon. It was awesome!

A Peek at the Week:

Well, from the last email you know that I got sick. I’ll give the full update.


Monday was SUPER busy. Plus I was trying to dig myself out of the hole that I had dug from the day before. We were planning on cooking, but due to the many small things that popped up, such as our Internet cafe not working, circumstances didn’t allow us to cook. We still have a bunch of ingredients just sitting in the fridge.

Tuesday and Wednesday

These two were basically the same. We woke up around 4 am, got to the bus station, and sent people to their new locations. Transfers were crazy busy and being a zone leader taking care of others isn’t always a fun job. But it’s still serving people! We then proceeded to proselyte the full day without breaks or naps, which was rough on us but we tried to just pray for strength and move on.


Not much happened- just a full day of proselyting again. We’re always trying to work hard. Just go, go, go! Starting to get more and more tired.


We had an interesting day, and this is where the sickness began. We got a meal appointment and it might’ve been bad food or something because that night my companion threw up. The next morning we proselyted for 2 hours before I felt my body start to break down. We spent the rest of the day inside and everything got worse for me. It was the same as the last two times I’ve been sick:  headache, slight fever, body aches everywhere, a little deliriousness. Yeah, it seemed like slight malaria.


I promised myself that I wouldn’t skip church, so I got on Ibuprofen and we braved it. But after church we came right back to the apartment and crashed the remainder of the day. It wasn’t fun and it almost felt like it was work induced or exhaustion induced however you want to say it. I’ve seen better days.


We are better than last night, but I’m afraid that as soon as I get back to the apartment, my world will come crashing down again. That’s how it’s been going for both, me and my companion. Both of us are sick.

Hopefully next week will be better…

Take care,

-Elder Gilbert

Challenges and Changes

April 3, 2017

The Challenge of  Leadership

Well, as far as challenges… my companion is going home, so his resolve to work is weakening. Elder Antwi has been a very unique companion, and I absolutely love him. The challenge with leadership is always keeping people happy, hardworking, and obedient. It’s still a challenge balancing nurturing and correcting and all those things. I’m trying to focus on the Spirit and follow promptings immediately. We’re handling those situations with care. Oh yeah, we now have added 2 companionships of sisters in my Zone.

It will be a new change of pace after this week with my companion going home. Time doesn’t feel like it’s getting shorter for me, even though it is. I’ve still got plenty of time left and things to do. I want to work super hard to the end.

2017 4 17 My Sweet Ride
My sweet ride!

More Traveling

This past week we went to Bolgatanga, and this coming week we are going to Kumasi, Oh the joy of service! 😀 When we went to Bolga, The most interesting part was that we slept outside while we were there. It was so hot inside. Bolga is even hotter than Tamale this time of year. I was burning up! I was BURNING! So because of dust, the ventilation is kept to a minimum, and the fans blow hot air. Outside, you just go up with a blanket on top of the roof and enjoy. I have pictures, but unfortunately we are at the lower quality Internet cafe, so I can’t send those.

By the way- I found out about my pictures, I lost 350 cuz it got corrupted. Not fun but that’s just how it works.


I got to watch 3 sessions of General Conference: Saturday afternoon, priesthood, and Sunday morning.

We watched Sunday morning live and it was really, really sweet. There was definitely some great food for thought. I was thinking a lot about following the first prompting that Elder Rasband was talking about in the Sunday morning session of Conference. It’s something that I’m really gonna work on.

One Week Later…

April 10, 2017


This past week was very interesting for me. Even though transfers were supposed to be this coming week (due to a few different things), I’ve already received my new companion.

When we went to Leadership council in Kumasi, President told several people to just bring their luggage to the mission home when they came for the meeting. So right after the meeting, President told everyone their transfer news. Then I left with my new companion as my old one was to stay at the mission home, to wait his last week until he goes home.

My new companion is the second American I’ve had thus far. His name is Elder Lierd from Lehi, Utah. He’s a really cool, smart guy. He’s ahead of me by one transfer and I’m super ready to learn from him. It seems like my new companion is a very hard worker, so with both of us on the same page of desire to do the work, we’ll soar, I believe.

I Still Have A Lot to Learn

I recently had a humbling experience that makes me feel like I really need to improve my leadership and correcting skills. I was super direct with a zone member a few days ago and now they’re pretty upset with me. It gets super complicated, but you know me when someone is upset with me I have a hard time containing myself. I just want to make things okay, but I need to be patient to regain trust. All in all, time is moving fast and slow at the same time.

Sometimes it’s difficult here because I can’t just leave my companion and go for a run, which was my main source of solution back home. But I can handle it, I’ve got a handle on it, and it feels good to be able to say that.

Everything considered, Tamale is pretty cool. I’m still learning from my mistakes, still trying to be better and get out of old, bad habits. It takes time, y’know!  Just gotta keep going. I love this work, some days are better than others, but everything is okay!

That’s all for now,


Elder Gilbert

Question: How many baptisms do you have in a year where you are?  I think if you take the average zone of about 10-15 and multiply that by 9 every month (I’m not sure if that’s accurate though). It has to be close to 120 in the mission per month (120×12) which would be approximately 1400  baptisms in a year. Interestingly, Ghana Kumasi Mission has one of the lower baptism rates in West Africa. I wonder how many missionaries are currently serving in our mission? I know at one time it was about 120, but I don’t know now.  That’s the best guess I have at the moment.