Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June July Catch - Up

Sam's email from July 19:

"Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the Emails. It sounds like everyone back home is enjoying there summers very much. I am glad that Dads chemo is not as bad as last time.

As for me my week is going pretty well. It has been pretty tiring because i have had to travel to Accra twice this week.

Last Sunday one of our members brought a man named K church. We immediately started to teaching him this week. We started talking with him about reading. He said he wants to learn to read very badly. Our Branch is suppose to have a reading class that helps people to learn. So we called the branch president and he said they were going to get a class going this Sunday. So we told K about it and he was very excited. Sunday he came to church, but sadly the branch did not make a reading class. So at the end of church i was sitting there watching K, he was trying so hard to be in the lesson, but just couldn't keep up with the reading part. Now understand that here in Ghana there are a lot of people that cannot read, but as i was sitting there something just came over me and i said "this man needs to learn to read!" So i went and got a bunch of paper and went and got K. We made a book of the ABCs and drew a picture for every letter to help him remember. Any one can tell that K is a unlearned man, but as hard as he was trying to learn he will not be unlearned for very long. On Sunday he learned his complete ABCs almost perfect. The only letter he has a problem with is E, he cant seem to remember E. I think in time though he will know it very well. On Tuesday we are going to learn the sounds. I am very excited to be able to teach K to read, i hoped i don't get transferred so i can continue to do that.

On Saturday my companion and i had a baptism. It was way awesome. We baptized an older women named E (58 years) and her daughter B (15 years). I love these two people so much. Elder Ewudzie and I contacted them a long time ago and we have slowly been teaching them. When we were teaching them about Baptism, sister E just basically told us that her Baptism was done incorrectly and it needed to be done again into Jesus Christ church. So we gave her a baptismal date and continued to teach her. When we taught them the commandments, B was not listening very well. I could tell that sister E was really feeling the spirit and understanding what were teaching. In the middle of the lesson sister E said " B what these missionaries are telling you is very important, you are so lucky to have them here well you are still young, so listen very well." When sister E finished it looked as if she was going to cry. I felt so appreciated in that moment. I felt so happy to be on a mission. I felt so honored to be able to share this message with them. Sister E has a strong testimony and be able to teach her has only strengthened mine.

As for the Elders that are in jail, they are still there. For some reason the stupid government keeps pushing the case. They have been there for 6 weeks now. I haven't heard much just that there case is supposed to start tomorrow. Everyone is praying for them to get out.

I have a big week ahead of me. I get my brand new companion on Wednesday and i might be opening a new area. I hope i stay because opening a new area is hard and training on top of it will not be easy. Hopefully i am still in one piece at the end of the week. I am praying every day for Dad and the rest of the Famliy. I am glad things are going well. I love you all so much.

Sincerely Elder Beck"

Sam's email from July 12:

"Dear Family,

Thank you again for you emails. It sounds like the trip to Arizona went really well. It sounds like this Doctor really knows what he is doing, I am very happy for that.

As for me my week has been pretty good. My companion and I finally moved to an apartment closer to our Area. I think I already told you about that right. Well if i have not i guess i will tell you about it now. Everyday we used to have to take about a 20 minute bike ride going down hill to just get to our area. It was not easy coming home. So they found us an apartment that is only about a 5 minute walk from our area. It a pretty nice place. The nicest apartment i have been in thus far on my mission,the only problem is our toilet is a piece of junk. It it is taped to the ground and it doesn't even flush. If we gotta take a #2 we have to either travel to our old apartment or the church. It is not easy at all, but i guess i gotta look at the bright side because i have had worse. Hopefully we will be able to get a new one soon.

I have a pretty cool story about Elder Keeng and Elder Omale. Sister Smith told us that every night all the prisoners come together and have a devotional type thing. One night they asked Elder Keeng and Elder Omale to join them and to teach them something small. Elder Keeng told them that he would only join they could teach correct principles. They taught about prayer and the correct way to pray. All the prisoners loved it. they loved it so much that they gave them all there clothing back. (apparently they took there clothing) So elder Omale and elder Keeng are teaching people even in prison. It is really true that the Gospel will continue to spread no matter what.

I had another cool experience on Wednesday. Elder Larsen and I were going around all morning contacting and no one wanted to listen to us. We had been contacting for about 4 hours and we started to say what the heck is going on here.( In ghana you can almost always find someone to teach because there are so many people everywhere.) We said a pray and both agreed that we just need to keep going. We kept contacting for about another could find no one when all of the sudden this man sitting under a tree starts yelling for us to come over. So we went over and started talking to him. His name was P he is a old man that used to work for the ghana Air force. He was trained in the USA so he is very educated and smart. He brought two chairs and said "sit down." He is a pretty big guy and commands attention, so we did as he said. He started asking us some really deep questions about the church. I don't know exactly what happened, but that was probably the best lesson i have ever had on my mission. I had no idea where the words were coming from, but at the end of the lesson i realized it was the spirit. We answered ever concern this man brought up because the spirit was there. We have not been back to see him, but are planning to go tomorrow. I hope we can have the spirit that strong again tomorrow.

Well that's about it for me this week. I loved what the nurse said about not tieing gods hands. It is way true. Oh yeah i forgot to tell you that president called and asked me to train next transfer. I am a little nervous but i will do my best. Dad you said that i need to stay humble in your Email so i am going to try and do that a lot with my new companion. Dad i have great feeling about this treatment you are going into. I know that your heart and strong desire is what is going to take you throught this. You have a awesome attitude and are a great example to me. Family pleese have great week. I love you a ton.

Love Elder Beck"

Sam's email from July 5:

"Dear family,

I was so happy today when i read the email about Dad going down to Arizona. It sounds like a really great place. the more i hear about it the more happy i become. I also have a great feeling about it.

I guess i will try to answer your questions first. As for those Elders in prison, they are still there. There court case keeps getting pushed back. Right now they are stuck in a small room with 11 other men. It sounds like to me that the prosecution doesn't have much of a case so i think we will win. The court case should be over by the end of this week and i should know a lot more by next week.

As for Ghana i the world cup not to many Ghanaian are happy about that. Wait actually no Ghanaian are happy about that. A lot of people are mad at "asmamoh john." He is the man that missed the goal kick for Ghana. I am worried for him that when he comes back to Ghana the people might kill him. In the end i was a little sad that ghana lost, i thought they should have won.

We finally got to baptize Yon Saturday. She was a little scared when she got in the water, but decided she need to be brave and do it. Unfortunately she was not as brave on Sunday when she had to be confirmed. She would not come up to the front of the chapel with us to confirm her. So we ended up confirming her in the from where she was sitting. It was pretty cool. She had a huge smile on her face after it was all over.

We also Baptized a women named M. I am going to be honest with you i first met M the 2nd day i was in new Legon and i did not like her at all. She also did not like me. She was mean to me because i did not speak twi very well and over all we just got off to a bad start. For some reason we kept visiting M the whole time i have been here and slowly we have come good friends. Of course a little bit of candy helped me here and there, but the day we baptized her I was really thinking about how amazing it was that me and her are friends now. It made me realize that missionary work and hate don't mix at all. I can honestly say now i am very glad i have had the opportunity to be in sister M's life.

Well that's about it for my week. It has been a little slow with the world cup going on, but hopefully it will pick up now that Ghana is out. I am glad that everyone had a great time at the R-ranch. Thankyou all so much for the Emails. I loved them a ton. I wont everyone to know i have a great feeling about Dad. I love everyone so much and i want them to have a great week.
Love Elder Beck"

Sam's email from June 28:

"Dear family,

Thank you for the Emails and thank you for the packages. I got 5 of them they were awesome. I got new scriptures with a case, they are way awesome. I also got a bunch of potatoes which i am panning to eat very soon, Plus a ton of delicious power bars. I think i ate too many power bars though. I have been downing them like crazy. Elder Luster kept telling me "Elder Beck those are not candy" Then i would tell him to leave me and my power bars alone. I turns out Elder Luster was right power bars are not candy, they are power bars. This morning i woke up with pretty bad stomach ache and then some nasty diarea. I went to sleep for about 2 hours and i am pretty sure i have fully recovered. I am going to space the rest of them out so it doesn't happen again. Thank you again for the packages.

Also you asked about the Elders in Jail. At interviews president basically told us that he is going to be way more serious with the rules and that basically the elders are in a ton of trouble and if are found guilty could face 7 to 25 years in prison. He also told us he believes they were framed, but because they were sending a girl to go buy them things they set themselves up a chance for them to be framed. That night when we came home we learned that it was put on the front page of the news paper " Mormon Missionaries found in Rape Scandal!" It was a somehow private News paper so it didn't get out to much. I am not excited though about it getting out any more. I am worried it may delay that work, but i am not sure.

You also asked about the world cup and i think right now we are blessed to have the world cup because everyone is paying attention to the world cup and not the "Rape Scandal"

As for the USA/Ghana game, i wanted the USA to win more than anything. I have been talking smack to the Ghanaians all week. The whole time i have been here people always tell me that Ghana beat the USA 4 years ago and the USA sucks. President Smith told us that we needed to be in our apartments 2 hours before the game starts. We were sitting there and all of the sudden we here a crazy loud scream from all of Ghana. That was just the game starting. I will let you use your imagination on what happened when they scored. We the USA scored Me elder Luster and elder Larson went outside at started screaming like crazy besides us 3 Americans screaming the rest of Ghana was silent. I told them that we should probably go back in side now or we might get

I was way mad when America lost. It didnt help that everyone on sunday that was giving a talk said they we thankfull that ghana beat the USA and then everyone kept looking back at me and my companion. But what can you do.

As for Y's baptism it did not get to happen this week really because of lack of commitment from her family.We are going to talk to the family and have are branch president do it also and hopefully we will baptize her this Saturday but i am not sure. The reason we have to have a strong commitment from the family so she will be able to stay strong also. Y can be baptized because she knows right and wrong, but if the family doesn't keep a close eye on her as she grows. She will grow up and be breaking the commandments and not even know they are wrong.

I love you all very much. Dad thank you for being my Dad, i am very lucky to have you. And for everyone else thank you for being my family. I love you and i am with you no matter what.

Love Elder Sam Beck"

Sam's email from June 21:

"Dear Family,

The very first thing i want to do is to wish my Dad a very happy fathers day. i am sorry it is a day late. I hope very much that it was a nice one. I promised a long email this week so i will do my best do live up to that promise. Mom i am very pround of you for taking care of the boat and cleaning it, if i was there i would have helped you.

I want to try and answer all your questions. First i will try to answer the one about the Ghana game, in the end they tied Australia 1-1. I am pretty sure every single soul in Ghana knows that score and also any one with in a 20 mile radius of Ghana also knows. Ghana has the most lively streets i have ever seen, but when Ghana plays football (soccer) the streets go completely desolate. I may be exaggerating a little, but i promise you 95% of Ghana will not miss a game. You asked a question about the woman we taught named G. We were actually supposed to teach her on Saturday, but could not because she had to get ready to watch the Ghana game.We can only teach her Saturdays so we will have to wait another week to see her.

Also this week i almost died a couple of times. My first near death experience started when i saw a man walking with a monkey on a leash. Immediately i wanted to go say hello. We went over and met a monkey named "Bongo." The man that owned the monkey assured me that this was the nicest monkey in all of Ghana and would never hurt anyone. So we said hello and got a nice picture with him. Then the man asked if we wanted to hold Bongo. Elder Larsen being the smart missionary he was said " um no that's okay" Me being the stupid missionary i am said " yeah!" So the man put bongo up on a wall and gave me the leash and told me to turn my back toward bongo and tug on the leash. So i did as the man said and tugged on the leash a little bit. Bongo did not move. The man said " harder" so i tugged a little harder. Apparently Bongo did not want me to tug on his leash because i heard a loud monkey scream. When i heard that i dropped the leash and started to run. As i ran i could feel some swipes swishing air through my hair as bongo tried to swipe at me with his claws. I had to check my self very well because if i had gotten bitten i would have had to go get a Rabbies shot. After a careful inspection, i realized that i was completely unharmed, with out a scratch on me. I understand now why they tell us not to go near the monkeys. I will never go near the monkeys again.

That night it rained very badly and a lot of the streets were flooded. Elder Larsen and i were walking out to an area and in a gutter we saw a small dog. He was stuck on a small ledge trying not to be swept into the strong water flow. Now when i saw this i had no choice but to help. So I got down on my knees and reached down to pick the dog up. As I was picking him up, he started to Panic and tried to Bite me, but i moved my hand just in time. I had to let go and he was stuck again. Eventually the small dog allowed me to help him and we were able to get him out. After this i realized if i would have gotten bit, i would might have gotten rabbies and i would had to go and get a rabbies shot.These were my 2 near death experiences this week and luckily i managed to get out of them completely unharmed.

I thought the experience with the small dog kind of related to Christ. Christ hand is always there to help us out of the water, but if we reject or bite his hand he cant help us. But when we finally allow the help we end up a lot better in the end.

Do you remember that little deaf girl i told you about named Y. I finally talked president into letting us baptize her if we taught her well enough with pictures. The other day we got done talking (signing and showing pictures) to her and she made the sign she makes for Baptize and pointed to herself and put her hands out like she wanted to know when she could be baptized. She had a look on her face that would make a sad puppy look happy. She has had to watch her whole family be baptized and know it is finally her turn. We are actually going to baptize her today after i finish emailing you. I am way excited.

I really hope my email this week has been long enough. I want everyone to know that i love them very much. I am praying for Dad as hard as i can. I don't want anyone to worry about me here. I am doing great and i am completely safe. I love you very much, have a great week.

Love Elder Sam Beck"

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