Moroni 7:47

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
-Moroni 7:47

Friday, October 21, 2016

Week 51 - A Drop in the Ocean

Dearest Family,

Before I forget, we had a weird experience on Saturday in our local little shop when we saw halloween costumes!!! Then we remembered this neighborhood has many embassies, one of them being the American Embassy so I guess they are trying to cater to moms who need to dress up their kids in two weeks. Oh, the memories of creative costume design and time at the sewing machine. I never could bring myself to buy a costume and with each year "the dress up box" grew to include more crazy options! Can't wait to see the spooky pictures of our next generation in a few weeks.

Last Monday at Family Home Evening we learned of the work one missionary couple does with LDS Charities. "Working with local organizations they improve the services for the physically disabled and provide manual wheelchairs or walking aids that are appropriate to individual needs and circumstances.They volunteer to train and help local organizations to assess individual needs, select and fit appropriate wheelchairs, train individuals and caregivers, provide support for repair and maintenance, and implement World Health Organization guidelinesWhere it's feasible, LDS Charities seeks to support local production of wheelchairs."  

This couple, the Finley's (?) travel between the USA and West African countries every month or so to provide wheelchair training. They have been volunteering for over 20 years... so remarkable!!! On their slide presentation they had a great quote attributed to Mother Teresa, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing one drop." 

Our contributing drop this week was to help Christiana, our reading student, prepare to give a talk in church later this month. She has been practicing it by reading and by memorization and tomorrow we will get a dress rehearsal. This is a big deal to this sweet lady.

On Tuesday evening Sister Constance Sama accompanied us to the Kaneshie stake self reliance committee meeting. Sister Sama is a SR manager from Sierra Leone/ Liberia. She is in Ghana on a managers swap. Each of the SR managers spend ten days in a different West African country learning new ideas and sharing their home country experiences. It was interesting for us to learn of the challenges in the countries she has responsibility for. Ebolla and civil war have devastated these lands but they are slowly coming back and the church has been a good influence. She told us how the Ebolla wiped out whole families and villages. Courageously she travelled through some of the hard hit areas to reach and teach members of the church, even though she was advised against it. She attributed her safety to hand washing and Heavenly Father's protection. Another drop in the ocean...

Side note: Have you seen the movie called "Freetown"? It was filmed in Ghana (we recognized many of the filming locations) and tells the story of African missionaries serving in Sierra Leone during the civil war. It portrays the situation of tribal conflict and prejudice they were faced with and how they managed to escape. It's based on a true story.

On Wednesday we were back in Kaneshie presenting a devotional to Pathway students. We introduced the evening using Steven Covey's "old woman-young women" pictures, then Elder Lambert did an awesome job getting the students to participate in a discussion on "Perception"- the way we see the world around us including people, places, right and wrong... the way we see everything in our world. 

Here is a quick summery of what we discussed...

Perceptions are highly influenced by our past experiences, and it can be difficult to change a perception because we see the world not as it is, but as we are. We used the example of football (soccer) being Ghanaians favorite sport while Americans favorite sport is also football... only the American version. Some perceptions don't matter, some have temporal consequences and some have eternal consequences. To fully accomplish our purposes in life it is important to see things as they really are, to see things as God sees them. Since He has experienced all things, His perspective is different than ours. His ways and our ways are not the same. But the closer we come to seeing all things as God sees them the happier we will be, and.... the more successful we will be in what really matters. 

How do we change our perceptions? 
To make changes in perceptions- the brain programming that causes us to think, feel or act in ways that are not best for us (anger, jealousy, dishonesty, judgements, prejudice, materialism etc...) we must:
1 Humbly recognize the need, and desire change
2 When we find our thoughts are inaccurate correct them
3 When we find our behaviors are wrong change them
4 Be patient and give change the time it deserves
5 Remember that many changes only come through the Grace of God and the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
6 Pray for awareness, reminders, and strength

"If any of us have imperfections it is our duty to pray for the gift that will correct them. If I am an angry man it is my duty to pray for patience and kindness. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity which envieth not. No man ought to say, "Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature." He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth." George Q Cannon

I love the experiences this mission is giving me to learn more about myself, my faith, my relationship with my eternal companion, my weaknesses, my need for change (repentance) and my dependance on the Lord  " And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27

Hugs to everyone,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures: Kaneshie SR Committee 
Pathway students

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