Monday, November 28, 2016

Axim, Ghana (November 28, 2016)

This week has been really great. Of course my anticipation for the baptism on Sunday was really strong, but we were able to reach out and contact a bunch of new people.

Apparently, there was a small path at the back of our area that led into the thick jungle, which led to a small village. We had seen it before but thought it just led to a place where the people go to the bathroom. So, we never took it. We asked someone where it led, and he said to a village that was far back in the jungle. So, we decided to go. The village was actually a really cool place with lots of people and a lot of ground had been cleared for farming. We talked to everyone there and got the okay from a lot of them to be able to go back and to meet with them. So, we will see if any of them will be serious. Hopefully… it’s really fun to walk there!

Last week was my first baptism. We have been working so hard with preparing her, and I'm so happy that she decided to be baptized. It was such an awesome feeling being able to baptize Naomi. I know she will be a really strong convert. It was even cooler because the entire ward showed up to support her. Her smile, though, was the best. It made me feel really good to see her so happy because of the decision she made! I can’t wait to have another investigator like her. This past couple months has been great so far. I can’t wait to continue to keep working and to see who else I will be able to help on the way.

-- Elder Knecht


Monday, November 21, 2016

Axim, Ghana (November 21,2016)

Axim, Ghana (November 21, 2016)

This past week has been crazy with all the traveling we had to do. Last Monday we had a zone activity which was super fun! We played soccer, and I realized that my body is already messed up, because when I started to sprint my legs were way behind my body, and I just fell straight into the dirt. I've never felt slow before; so, I've decided to work out a bit when I have time. On Thursday, we had Zone Conference in Tarkwa. Tarkwa is a cool city that is growing because of the gold mines. We got the chance to proselyte a bit here, and I was surprised by how well the people spoke English. I thought I was back home for a bit. This past Sunday, the entire branch traveled two hours to Tokarodi for a broadcast called the West African Conference. This was a live broadcast to all of West Africa. It was super cool to hear what the speakers had to say to these people. The church is growing in Africa, and I’m happy my small branch was able to see this. They are very secluded from the rest of the church in Ghana. Axim Branch is in a village! I won’t say that out loud here, though, because living in a village is an insult in Africa…but Axim is a village.

This coming Sunday is our first baptism! Naomi is the sweetest girl, and she has done so well humbling herself unto the lord. I am so proud of her for deciding to be baptized, and I cannot wait for Sunday after church! The best part is that I get to do the baptism! My first one! I'm so excited! What I am most happy about, though, is the fact that I know my first convert will be strong in the church! I am just so blessed to be here in Ghana and for the experiences I am having. I can't wait to tell you guys all about it next week. Miss you all!

-- Elder Knecht

Tarkwa Zone Conference

Tokarodi- West African Conference

Monday, November 14, 2016

Axim, Ghana (November 14, 2016)

Axim, Ghana (November 14, 2016)

I had a wonderful past couple weeks here in this amazing country. I'm having lots of new amazing experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. One of the biggest things that was going around, though, was the American presidential election. Ghana tries so hard to be like America it’s funny. It’s cool to see how big of a role my home country plays in this world to smaller countries like Ghana. It makes me feel so blessed to live in America. But, especially last week was hectic because of the elections. Here they have CNN only for some reason. So Ghana thinks all we do is kill blacks and kick them out of our country. I've never been asked before "how many black people I've killed," but it happened a couple of times lately. They would also ask, "Why does your country want to sack all the blacks," which means kick them out of America. My companion and I would have to calmly answer that it is not true and that we are in Ghana because we love black people. Then, we would share a nice, short message and give them a pamphlet. But I’m happy to hear that Trump got elected! God bless America!

It's hard work here. The branch I’m in has a bunch of great people. It’s just hard to make it grow. All across the church in Ghana there is corruption. It’s sad to say, and I never thought I would ever witness something like this in the church… but it’s bad. The people are so poor that when they see a lot of money or know the church has money they want it. The ward bishoprics, Branch presidency, and stake counsels especially. I've heard a lot about it from missionaries but this past week in the Axim branch we discovered the same thing. Members leave and investigators don't want to come because they know about it. Everyone in Ghana knows everything. That's just how the people are. It just makes the work so hard. But my companion and I will continue to work hard, and we will let the district branch president figure it out.

But, now for a good story. I got a bunch of glow sticks from home for Halloween, and I decided to use them to have some fun with the children. They have never seen glow sticks before, and when I cracked them they were scared of them. It was super funny. It was cute to see them running around with them and having fun. One of the many reasons why I love it here!

We have a solid baptism date coming up in 2 weeks on the 27. Her name is Naomi and she is so sweet. It has been so fun being able to teach her and to watch her progress! I know the feelings I will have when she is baptized will never be beat. I'm so grateful to be here, and I can't wait to keep working! Love you all back home and I miss you guys every day!!!

-- Elder Knecht