Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Birthday Elder Porritt!!

Well this week was a SWEET one!! Time is flying by so fast i cant believe it, it seems like just yesterday i was emailing you all telling you how the last week went.Time is going by so fast, that I can't even remember whether things happened this week or last week, it is really just a blur right now. 

I guess I haven't really told much about the area or anything since i have come, I am currently in the City of Kumasi, which is quite a large city, there is close to 100 missionaries in Kumasi, but I am serving in the Daban (don't even try and pronounce that, cause you will probably fail) Branch, and it is in the Dichemso Zone, so a completely different look for me, this is the first time I have been in an area inside Kumasi, and really it's quite different to me, but it is really awesome at the same time. Elder Hill and I are in an apartment with the Office Elders (the Elders who do a bunch of office work and all that kind of stuff) and those three are Elder Anderson (Ghana), Elder Ayim (Ghana) and Elder Motloung (South Africa, my former companion in Agona) and we are really enjoying each day with those three, the apartment is always funny yet serious, which is an awesome combination.

Our area is really great and has a lot of very wealthy people, but still a lot of people who are struggling day to day. I really love the area though, we have a lot of very well educated people and that is the best to work with, just sometimes the problem is these people who have a lot of money are quite prideful and most of the time its nearly impossible for us to even enter into their compound let alone get a seat to have a discussion.

Well I guess some of the highlights this week was on Tuesday, we drove to Obuasi and went on exchanges with Elders there, I went with Elder Lesh (washington) and Elder Gbettie (ghana), and we had a really great day teaching, although most of the people we saw weren't speaking English, so Elder Gbettie did a lot of translating. I really had a lot of fun on that exchange and I learned a lot from those two that I was with, they are awesome Elders!

Wednesday morning, we drove back to Kumasi and went to the mission home. We walked into President Cosgrave's office and we were greeted by a nice warm round 1 of Happy Birthday! haha that was really nice! Then we met the Cosgrave's daughter and her husband, they were here visiting and going out to see some of the sweetest things you would ever see in the whole world, what everyone thinks of when they hear 'Africa' that is the wildlife, they really got to enjoy a lot of that awesome stuff that is here in Ghana.  Well they were very nice to us, and they even delivered my new driver's license so now I am street legal in Ghana!! Pretty excited to drive again, but still got a few weeks on the right side til I can drive. We had a short meeting with President on Wednesday morning, then also I got a sweet phone call from Elder and Sister Wardle, a senior couple here, and they sang happy birthday to me and they left a plate of cookies in the office for Elder Hill and I, then we went out to get some lunch. Well since it was the 20th anniversary of the day I was born, we decided that we would try to enjoy, so we went to KFC and enjoyed there. I remember back home, KFC wasn't really somewhere I would choose to go, but here it is one of the best places you can go for a somewhat decent priced meal. So we ate lunch there, then in the Afternoon, we had a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast that we were fortunate enough to watch, though some technical problems only made it possible that we were able to watch the last half of the broadcast. Anyway, it was really a great learning experience, we were taught by some of the very best, including 3 from the Quorum of the 12, Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, and Elder Anderson. It was so great to hear counsel from them and other general authorities and officers of the Church on missionary work. After the broadcast, we went home, but on the way home, we decided that we would go for enjoyment #2 for the B-day, and we got pizza from Piri-Piri's which in my opinion is the best pizza places in Kumasi, but its still nothing like pizza back home. All of the Elders in the apartment contributed and we got pizza and had a nice dinner!!  #20 was definitely one to remember, my last birthday on mission was nothing short of amazing thanks to some really amazing people in my life!! 

The remainder of the week has been a crazy one, we took a ton of time working on changing some report sheets on excel that we use here in the office, and we also got to conduct a small transfer that had to take place in the middle of the week.. But through all the busy stuff, I was glad that we did get a little time to go and teach. On Saturday, we went and saw a guy, Oscar who we had met before and gave a copy of the Book of Mormon, well we went back and had a very great lesson on the reason why the Book of Mormon is on the Earth today, and even we were able to share the First Vision and the Restoration of the Church onto the earth, and when I was relating the story of the First Vision, man I just felt such a calm but very powerful force in my mind and heart testifying to me and through me that it really happened. 

I am so very thankful that I came to Ghana to testify to these amazing people that a young boy named Joseph decided that he should pray and ask God a simple question. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call faith. Faith that God would answer his prayer is what led Joseph to pray and ask, he knew that James was telling the truth that if anyone lacked wisdom and asked, he would be given the wisdom. I know I share my thoughts about the Prophet Joseph Smith often but I do so with great respect for him and the sacrifice he made for you and for me. After all that can be said, I love the great testimony of Him given in the 135th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood;

I love this work, I know it is divine. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!
Love Elder Porritt


Piri's Pizza!

The Apartment Crew

Sister Wardle is the best, she delivered Birthday Cookies

Cookies from Sister Wardle and Momma...YUM

Enjoying my Birthday

The Birthday Boy and his PORRITT letters from Home

Monday, January 23, 2017

Time Just Flys By!

Well its been another CRAZY week! and it really has flown by so fast I don't know what even happened. 

Well this Tuesday, we sent off the missionaries who had completed their missionary service, which was a crazy event in itself, we took them to the Kumasi Airport in the morning, and it ended up that their flight got cancelled due to the Harmatten (crazy dust season) and the airplanes won't fly in that weather cause in the mornings, the dust and fog is so crazy that the air is just so thick you can hardly see in front of you.. So we took them to a bus station, then we rushed back to the mission home and had a short training meeting with all the Elders who had been called as new district leaders, and then we rushed again back to the airport to pick up the new missionaries coming right from the MTC. This flight was okay cause by the day time the air clears up small small.. But man it was awesome to spend the rest of the day Tuesday with the new missionaries. The Spirit they brought was powerful, and man, they are all ready to go and serve, we were really impressed by them. 

Well Wednesday was the big transfers, and we were all over the place. In the morning, we finished a small training with the new missionaries, and got them paired with their trainers, then we had another training for the trainers, then another training for the newly called zone leaders, then we drove a bunch of the companionships back to their apartments so that was another long crazy day. 

Thursday was one of the weirdest days of my whole mission so far. A few weeks ago the Queen Mother of the Ashante Kingdom died. The Ashante Kingdom is like the 2nd biggest kingdom in Africa, and it was a HUGE deal here in Kumasi cause Kumasi is the capitol of the Ashante region and the King's Palace is right in the middle of town here. So the funeral was this week, and the final burial took place Thursday night. Well in the middle of all this craziness, there is actually a lot of danger that is present with the funeral. Some say that its myth, but we know a few people who have been big in the kingdom before, but who are now members of the church, and they say It is tradition that when big royalty (a king or queen) dies, they sacrifice 6 people to serve as their servants in the spirit world, and so the day of the burial, nobody goes out for the fear that they will be taken as one of the sacrifice, and that day, there is A LOT of bad things with juju (voodoo stuff) that go on because of the sacrificing and all that. It is so sketchy all the stuff that they talk about what happens.. So all the missionaries were to stay in their apartments all day on Thursday just to stay away from all that stuff. We had to run a few companionships to the bus station to catch buses to their areas, and while we were driving in town, all the shops were closed, and there were hardly any cars on the road... if you have been in Kumasi around Kejetia Market, and you have seen the insane traffic there, and then you see no cars on those roads, its eery. We were scared just riding in the car in town. It was a crazy day, and that night while the burial and a bunch of rituals were going on, it was complete silence outside our apartment, it was just weird, but thankfully all was well with all the missionaries.  

Well the rest of the week we got to go out and do quite a bit of proselyting, and we really found some awesome people to teach. This area i'm in now has a lot of really wealthy people who live here. And its really been sweet to teach people who have a great education and knowledge about the Gospel. I love teaching about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Friday while we were teaching a guy, Smith, I taught about the First Vision, and man, the Spirit testified so strongly in that lesson that it was true, I felt like the Spirit was just talking, I didn't feel like i was even thinking about what to say, I love that feeling that I am guided in the things that I do and say. I love being a full time missionary and I know that the work that I am doing is divine. I am acting as the Lord's hands, and I love the joy it brings me each and every day. I know that the Church is true and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is there through everything.  He is with us. He knows us. I love Him. I know that through faith in Him and repentance, we will be able to be forgiven of our sins as we do all we can to strive daily to be better. 

I love you all and hope and pray that you have a great week!! 

Us and the new missionaries and their trainers on Wednesday

Just Enjoying

Our sweet kitchen when all 5 of us in the apartment are trying to cook... 

Washing the car this morning. we got a sweet ride

Me and Elder Hill and the BOM

Keep your Eyes on the Road

Monday, January 16, 2017

A New Calling, Assistant to the President

Well this week has been INSANE. Probably the craziest weeks of my mission by far.

It all started on Tuesday.  We had a wonderful day on Tuesday teaching. The first person we ran into was quite an awesome experience for me. Last week on Friday, when we were coming back to the apartment in the evening, we ran into a pretty cool young lady, Cecelia, who we talked to for a few minutes, and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. Well Saturday morning, we called her to set up an appointment, and she told us that she wouldn't meet with us cause her pastor told her that the Book of Mormon is a devilish book and that we were trying to curse her. Well we ended up seeing her last Saturday on the side of the road and talked to her for a few more minutes but nothing big came from it. Well Tuesday came and Elder Nuamah and I were down in that area around the lady's house, and we walked by a small shop that is right outside their house, and she was sitting there with a few nice looking guys who we quickly identified as her pastors haha. Elder Nuamah asked her if she had been reading, and the head pastor, St, he picked up the copy of the Book of Mormon that was still sitting there on a small shelf, and he asked us if we were the ones who gave her the Book? we replied yes and he told us that he would never read it, and we asked him why not, well this was just the beginning of a nice long time that we had with Pastor St.  We ended up sitting down with them, and having a full lesson. The problem was, this pastor was just bringing up crappy lies about the church and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon that he has found on the internet. At one point of the lesson, he was yelling so loud and trying to just make everyone there know that he was totally overpowering us. At this point there was about 15 or so people gathered around us listening, and when the pastor was yelling and screaming his points right in our faces, the people around him were laughing at us, even some cheered for the pastor. some of the things that he said during that time were so offensive to the Church, and to the Prophet Joseph Smith and even the Book of Mormon, that I wanted to stand up and just blow this guy's head off with what i knew was the truth, but the whole time, Elder Nuamah kept me calm, and after the last of his rage, Elder Nuamah bore a POWERFUL and HUMBLE testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, the First Vision, and the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith. I felt the Spirit so strongly that I was just silent and calm after all the pain and anger and humiliation that we had felt during his rage and the laughter of all the people. I added a short and also humble testimony of the reality of the Restoration and we prayed and went our way. 

Also while studying on Wednesday, i just coincidentally came across 3 Nephi chapter 12:10-12 which says
10 And blessed are all they whare persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile yoand persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against yofalsely, for my sake; 12 For ye shall have great joy and bexceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heavenfor so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

Reading this and thinking back on that lesson, ya know, that is one experience that I will never forget my whole life. In that moment, I felt some token of what the Savior felt during His mortal ministry, being mocked, laughed at, spit upon, and rejected. Elder Jeffery R. Holland said that a missionary will have to go through some of this feelings to be able to really understand missionary work and come to know what Jesus Christ really felt during the Atonement, and really during His whole life.  I know that we are standing for the truth. I know that Joseph Smith really saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of the Lord Jesus Christ and I cannot deny that I know those things are true.  I love putting His name on my chest each day and going out, whether people reject us or laugh at us, or accept us, it is all part of the experience of representing the Savior.  

Well to make Tuesday even more crazy, at around 8:00 pm, we were just finishing eating a meal at the Owusu family's house when we got a call from President Cosgrave, and haha the first thing he asked me was ''Elder Porritt, how fast can you pack your bags?'' i didn't know what to say cause i knew why he was calling when he asked that question. Transfers happen on this coming Wednesday, but the new Assistant was to be assigned this week, and well I guess for some reason President and even the Lord think I should be the new Assistant, so I am now no longer in Nkawkaw, but i have arrived in Daban and Well this is awesome news and crazy at the same time. I know that it is going to be awesome cause my new companion is my best friend here, Elder Hill!!! Ha we have been through a LOT on mission and now we are companions, I am so excited for that, and I am excited for the opportunity that I have now to continue learning so much from instructing missionaries and being around President Cosgrave so often.

So Tuesday night, we went back and I packed quick and Wednesday morning, said goodbye to Elder Nuamah and called some people in the branch, and we rode down to Kumasi and met the Assistants, Elder Hill and Elder Asabere (who goes home tomorrow), and we went and dropped my stuff at our apartment, and we headed off for Sunyani (a nice 2 hour bumpy drive ha) for exchanges with Elders up there. So we spent Wednesday there, came back and have been doing a ton of stuff around the mission home the last few days trying to prepare everything for the coming transfer.  

So this week I have been with Elder Hill, and Elder Asabere, who is from Ghana. We have really had a great time together. Elder Asabere is one of the funniest guys i have met here, and he loves to joke, but he is always ready to get down to business and work hard which is a great thing about him.

Just a few minutes ago, we finished the final devotional for 9 missionaries who we will send off tomorrow. The Spirit was thick and strong, it was quite an emotional meeting, and it made me really scared cause the people who were leaving were just coming before me it feels... time is really flying but I love the work.

Tomorrow we send off 9 missionaries, and we pick up 11 new ones, then Wednesday will also be a crazy hectic day helping with all the transfer stuff, and training new missionaries, and newly called leaders. I just feel so lost right now in the middle of a thousand things that i have no clue what to do with. I don't feel like i am adequate for this but i know that the Lord will help me to learn and grow and become the leader that He wants me to be. I am really going to enjoy being here a lot, being able to interact with all the missionaries and the mission leaders!

I love life, I love mission, and I love you all,
Elder Hunter Kenneth Porritt

Me and Elder Hill, GKM, APs

Saying goodbye to the Nkawkaw crew...

Hello to Elder Hill and Elder Asabere and the car:)

We went out to dinner with President and Sister Cosgrave at a sweet chinese place the other night!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Setting High Goals...

Happy Monday to you all, this week was another crazy one, that is for sure. This week was full of travelling... a LOT of travelling. 

Well to just blow through all of it, Wednesday, we went to Kumasi in the morning, and fought through the insanity of Kejetia Market... then we made it to the mission home Wednesday afternoon, we stayed there that night, then Thursday morning, we had Mission Leadership Council, which was AWESOME! and ill tell more in a minute about MLC... But After the council on Thursday, we rode back here to Nkawkaw, and then the next day, Friday, we went for baptismal interviews in a little village called Domeabra which is an hour and a half each way.  Then Saturday again we had interviews in Mpraeso, which is only a half hour each way, but man i am so sick of sitting in tro-tros hahah

Well back to Leadership Council, I love being a part of the Leadership Council. I love being able to learn so much and feel the Spirit tell me things that i need to work on more, and even things that  I can help others work on too as we look at the things that our individual zones need. It is such a great meeting every time we go. Well this Council, we went through some of the goals for the Ghana Kumasi Mission, and wow, there are some amazing goals. Our mission baptized around 1,100 people in 2016, but that is something that the mission, and President Cosgrave, we really think it can be a LOT higher if everyone here will put everything into the work. The mission has set a goal that every companionship should baptize one person every week and i was doing some quick calculations during the council and estimated that the goal would then be around 4000 or so for 2017. I personally think its possible with how receptive the people here are, but there are just still some problems with individual areas where the people are not as receptive or where they don't have a lot of people who can speak or read English. So yeah there are struggles but we can really reach higher with the goals that the mission is setting. 

One thing that i have learned from my experience of being a missionary, and especially the time that i have been here as a Zone Leader, is that setting high goals is such a great thing if we really work our hardest to achieve them. Those goals in our lives can be so many different things, but when we set goals that are easy to achieve, we sometimes become lazy and don't work as hard towards achieving them.  Setting goals and working towards the results is something that is a lifelong process, for us I feel that the Celestial Kingdom should be our ultimate goal during this mortal life, but yeah that is a BIG goal. We have to work hard, develop Christ-like attributes, and really gain a strong knowledge in this Gospel to achieve that goal, not to mention the one thing that can lift us to that point, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We can only reach our goals in life if we rely on our Savior. Only if we come unto Him and let our burdens be made light through His Atoning Blood. 

This week I also had a really amazing experience with Fasting. We have been teaching a certain guy, Daniel, for maybe 3-4 weeks, and he really loves it when we come, he loves reading from the Book of Mormon, and he constantly says that he wants to come to Church, but he has really been struggling on Sunday mornings to get up and come to the chapel. Well I decided Tuesday night that I would have a special fast for him. So Wednesday I fasted throughout the day, and then also Sunday was our Fast Sunday here in Nkawkaw, so I again fasted, all the time praying that the Lord would provide a way for Brother Daniel to make it to Sacrament meeting and the other meetings on Sunday. Well you have no idea how happy i was to see him in the back of the sacrament hall when i was bearing my testimony. I was filled with joy to see him and a confirming feeling that FASTING REALLY WORKS!!! He loved Sacrament meeting, Investigators Class, and even Elder's Quorum class! He really felt the Spirit and he told us that he really really wants to be baptized. Now the next challenge comes in, he left for Kumasi this morning to go and work (he is a teacher) and we don't really know when he will come back. We are hoping and praying that he gets the job in Kumasi and then we can give him to the missionaries down there in that area where he will be teaching. We really want him to get baptized, and really I feel that he has received the answer that he has been looking for for so long. I love to see people find their answers to their questions and to find the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as the answer to their question. 

I testify that fasting works. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it answers questions that we have when our many challenges in life come. And I testify that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, He allowed Himself to be drove to the cross, suffering the pain of having nails big enough to HOLD his body up, those nails being driven into some of the most sensitive parts of the body. We cannot imagine what pain He bore, but I know He bore it for us, He took it on himself for you and for me!!!  Please remember His great sacrifice when you are in your own trials and afflictions. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.
Love Elder Porritt

GKM Mission Home

Fried Yam and Fish with Shito. What a nice meal.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Testimony to Remember

Wow, its 2017, if nobody told you by now, its the new year. And i still cant believe where the time has flown to. It is insane that 2016 has come and gone just like that. 

This week was another really slow one here in Nkawkaw. People really really like to party and enjoy food on the whole week from Christmas to New Years, so this week, most of our investigators have been travelling to different places, and going up and down to town and wont give us their time to come and teach, so that was a little discouraging. As well as none of our investigators coming to church either, that didn't help the cause. 

We didn't have any crazy things that happened this week, but we did offer quite a bit of service, including a lot of fetching water, there is a picture of how that happens here, basically we take a bucket to a little tiny stream, and bring the water up a big hill back to the people's house and they use it for drinking water, cooking water, bathing water, and whatever else they need water for, and then every day or every other day, they go and fill up a bunch of buckets so that they have water to live, and its honestly a pretty hard task walking the distances that these people walk carrying buckets either in your hand or on your head so that you can live, i have a LOT of respect for people for the things that i have seen here. 

Well since there isn't much for this week, I just want to take today's letter and let you know or remember the most amazing thing that happened to me in this last year of 2016. It happened on April 12, and it was while i was serving in Agona. We had come down to Kumasi for a Zone Council and we were spending the night in another apartment for elders in our Zone, and that night, Elder Hill and I were up talking for a LONG time about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, how it applied to us in mission, how the Atonement could literally erase our sins from us, though not from our memory. That was something that we both had said that we had struggled with was things that we had repented of and felt almost as if it was still there, just cause we could still remember it, but one scripture has always been in my head, that is D&C 58:42 "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." and it kinda came into my mind that maybe the Lord forgets the sin but lets me remember to learn and so I don't go back, so that I remember how i feel. Also that night, we talked about a talk that was given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in a BYU devotional, "Remember Lot's Wife" and he talks about remembering the past and dwelling on it, and he talked exactly to us that night, when in his talk, he said that we need to remember enough so that we don't go back, but when we think about those sins, he said we should try and forget it. Well those things were really bringing the spirit into that room that night. It got to a point where we were feeling the spirit so strongly, that we were both feeling the exact same thing, that we needed to get down on our knees and pray and ask Heavenly Father to forgive us of our sins, but not only that, but to give us the power and strength to put those regretful thoughts out of our heads, so i knelt down and prayed more fervently than i ever have in my life, asking my Father to forgive me, to comfort me, and to heal me. Today, I testify that I KNOW Jesus Christ is the master Healer, He is REAL and that night, I felt something, more real than anything that i have ever felt, I felt an arm around my shoulder, as if He were really present, kneeling next to me, with His arm around me, holding on to me. I wept that night like i never have, and I felt more love from the Savior than I ever have. I know that the Lord will forgive us if only we go to Him in fervent prayer, with a true desire and work to change our lives. I know Jesus Christ lives, and He loves us more than we know how to even love. I love you all and hope that you will remember my experience when you have times where you cant forget and move on from sin, or when you are struggling to forgive someone, or even yourself. I promise you that He will hold you tight by your side, and he will never forget you. Let us always remember the greatest thing the Savior ever did, found in Isaiah 49 and 1 Nephi 21.

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
I love you all, i hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Porritt

Fetching Water

Branch Party Dinner

Our recent convert, Stella

New Years Dinner @ Brother Maxwell's