Monday, February 6, 2017

Greatest Week of Mission!!!

First of all, sorry there is no pictures this week, i took a LOT but the cafe right now, i dont have access to send them and haha Sorry this email is very long, but this week was another one for the books, in fact this week was historic!!  I am currently in Tamale which is a huge city in the northern region of Ghana, a city FULL of muslims and a city where there is a big mosque on basically every corner haha! Tamale is HOT! Man I thought Ghana was hot down in Kumasi.... Kumasi is very very cold compared to Tamale, wow it is toasty and soooo dry here. But Tamale is so cool at the same time, the people here are really nice and I am loving my stay (ive only been here about 20 hours)
Well to tell you what has happened this week, its a long story and its been the fastest week of my mission (AGAIN) but another great one! On Thursday, we started our round of 9 zone conferences, we had the first one on Thursday morning in the Bantama, it went really well, for the zone conferences, we have been and will continue to be discussing and reviewing the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast that we had last week, and we are talking a lot about repentance and the Book of Mormon, and how the two relate and work together. Well after the conference, we drove to Techiman because Friday we were to have their zone conference. Well going to Techiman felt like I was coming home, that is for sure! That is where i was trained, and i spent my first 6 months of mission there, and I was lucky enough to go back and go see a few people there on Thursday evening. We went and saw Sister Gifty Andoh who is one of my favorite women on this earth, she was my last convert there in Techiman and she is blind. She now has such a firm testimony of the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon. She will be 1 year in the Church in just a few weeks and so she will be eligible to go to the Temple, but she and Brother Andoh want to wait til June when their two twin daughters graduate high school, so they can go together as a family to the temple to be sealed!!! I am so happy for them! They are so amazing and they are so firm in the Gospel. The twins are planning to serve mission as soon as they graduate high school as well, they will turn 19 about the same time they graduate, and they will submit their papers soon after as well!! I am so happy for that wonderful family and for the miracles that Heavenly Father has provided for them to be together. That evening, we also went and saw my other favorite family there in Techiman, the Yeboah family!! It was so amazing to go back there and see their happy surprised faces when we showed up at their house! Sister Yeboah was like my mom there in Techiman and she was so overjoyed when she saw us!! She made us her legendary banku and we visited with her and Alexander, and their two kids, Israel and Inkunim, my favorite guys, those two are getting so big and they are so smart now! It was such a great day on Thursday!!
Friday, we had our conference in Techiman which went great, we even had the best fried rice in Ghana, Joreta's for lunch! Friday was pretty hectic getting a bunch of stuff done there in Techiman and waiting for people to finish their interviews, well we slept there in Techiman Friday night as well and then the real journey began Saturday morning.
Let me just tell you a little bit about a place called Wa. it is in the Upper West Region of Ghana, it is a really big town full of a lot of really great university students who go there for great education, In Wa, almost everyone speaks English, the people there are very smart and educated. Well I can say that there have been members of the Church coming through there for a while in the school system up there, but there has been no branch there so they have not had the chance to go to partake of the Sacrament while they are up there. There are worthy members there who have partaken of the Sacrament only ONCE in  the last 5 years!!! To top it off, Heavenly Father really is ready to hasten His work there because just a few months ago, Brother Kaleo, who was a Bishop in Assin-Foso (here in Ghana) was posted to work in Wa and he and his family moved there and have been working to try everything they can to get the Church to come to them.

Well Elder Hill and I had the opportunity to journey up there with President and Sister Cosgrave, and Elder and Sister Renfroe, to hold the first Sacrament Meeting ever in Wa, and we were the first missionaries to step foot on the grounds of Wa. Well Saturday, we were hoping to get some time to go out and proselyte for a while to introduce ourselves to a lot of people and contact a bunch. Well things didnt work out the way we planned for the afternoon, but we were lucky to go and have a nice dinner with President and Sister Cosgrave, and the Renfroe's, then Elder Hill and I loaded a few shoulder bags with copies of the Book of Mormon, and went out on a mass contacting walk back to the hotel.  That was one of the greatest experiences that i have had in my entire life. We gave out around 25 copies of the Book of Mormon and more than 30 pamphlets in two hours of walking and talking, but what happened out of all of that was the most rewarding on Sunday morning when we showed up to a conference room in the Ghana Health Service building in Wa where we held the Sacrament meeting. There was 19 people in attendance at the meeting, 6 of us missionaries, 10 other members (3 of whom are returned missionaries), then we had one guy, Al, and also an investigator who is Mt who showed up.
These people are amazing, but i really just want to tell you about Al and Mt. Well Mt is a security guard who we met at the restaurant we went and ate dinner at on Saturday night, we gave him a Joseph Smith pamphlet and invited him to Church and bore testimony, Well he called us Sunday morning for directions to the place where we were meeting and he actually came!! It was amazing! He loved the service, and took a couple copies of the Book of Mormon home with him for him and his sister, He was so excited to be at the Church and he told us that he is going to bring his whole family to the Church!! For him there is really some promise,
The other amazing story for the week is brother Al. Al was baptized in 2002 in Obuasi. He received the Melchizedek Priesthood and was there going to Church for some time, well he got moved to Wa and the church hasn't been here, so he eventually fell away from the Church and fell into some bad places, he even lost contact with the Book of Mormon. Well as Elder Hill and I were out Saturday night, we were talking to a guy on the side of the road and Ali came up and parked right by us on his moto and waited for about 5 minutes for us to walk away from that other guy, then he approached us and told us that he was baptized a long time ago but fell away from the Church, but he had seen us while he was riding, and he felt like he had to come and talk to us and see if the Church had come to Wa! Well we told him about the meeting that we were having and we gave him a new copy of the Book Of Mormon and well, he was the first one to show up to the meeting on Sunday morning, he was there at about 7:30 am ready. We were so glad to see him, but the real Spirit came from him during the testimony meeting. He stood and bore such an overwhelming and powerful testimony, that it brought tears to many people's eyes.  His first words were a very slow and quiet "I am a perfect example of a lost soul" You could really feel how sincere he was when he started with that, he then went on to relate how he met us and how he was guided by the Spirit to see us the night before. He said that he went home and read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith again, and he said that it hit him so hard that it really happened and for the first time, he could say that he truly believed that the Book of Mormon was really true!  The Spirit was so strong during his testimony and during the testimony of all the pioneers of Wa.
Although we were the first missionaries in Wa, and we were a part of the historic first Sacrament meeting in Wa, there is still not a branch or missionaries there... yet! The report of the meeting will reach the Area Presidency this week and then will go out the decisions of making a Branch in Wa, and when the missionaries will be sent there.  I am basically just praying that i get to go there when I leave the office here. That would be the most amazing experience! But I know that the Lord is helping His Saints all over the world to receive this Gospel.  
I know that the Holy Ghost leads and guides us each day as missionaries. I love feeling of the Spirit each day as i go out to teach and testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord's Kingdom here in the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon has brought and will bring millions of people to find peace and joy and love in their lives. This week, Ali found it again, and I continue to find it each day as I study its pages. I love the Book of Mormon, I know it is true.  I have such a firm testimony of this Gospel and I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ which has made this possible for me to come here and serve my Heavenly King.
I love you all and hope you will have a great week reading from the pages of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Love Elder Porritt

Very First Missionaries - Ever in Wa, Ghana
Sweetest experience of my mission going out and spreading the Book of Mormon

Getting Ready for the First Ever Sacrament Meeting in Wa

Getting the Camera set for the Group Picture -Elder Porritt (just like his Dad)

All the members in WA! plus three white guys hah... Ali is the one crouching right in front of me, and Martin (the security guard who came) is the guy in the yellow next to me.  3 of these are returned missionaries, and there is like 6 or 7 with the Melchizedek Priesthood.

This is how Babies are carried in Ghana

The school where the Saints were worshiping before we came

The conference room where the Saints were worshiping after we came

Elders Porritt and Hill in Wa

Group Picture of the first sacrament meeting in Wa

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