Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in the Bush . . .

Hey Fam and Friends,
This week was great. During the proselyting time, we were able to share the message of Christ being the gift given to us from our Heavenly Father. During our time off (Christmas Day) we were able to enjoy ourselves by drinking tons of soda and chopping some sweet chicken. I did some fireworks with the members and some investigators and finished the day with calling my family. Thank you family for taking the time to talk to me and truly make my week and months worth it. This mission is not an easy thing to do especially when some do not understand why I am doing it, but when I talked to you guys.... it made it worth it and made me happier than you can imagine.

I am doing well. Today all of our MTC mates gathered together in Kumasi for our 1 year mark. We played soccer and are about to go to somewhere called "Poolside." We will go to a restaurant with a pool and eat some pizza and fries and watch others swim while we enjoy ourselves.  To think that I have been in the country for 1 year now blows my mind and it still does not seem real. Many people keep telling me that it is now downhill, but in fact it is the bigger hill that I am to climb. This next one year will be when I try even harder and put forth even more effort in all that I do. I have been called to serve a two-year mission meaning that I am to work and serve for two full years and not one year and then coast the rest of the way. This work is tough at times but can be very sweet though when you see the gospel change the lives of others.

I love you all and hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

~ Elder Cornelius ~





Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Well greetings to everyone from Africa! I just want to wish everyone a happy and Merry Christmas!!!!! Enjoy your family and the gifts.  Remember to be grateful for those things that you received and for those small things you might not recognize as blessings like a roof over your head and a place to lay down at night or even the sweet food some of you are eating. Receive them all with joy and be sure to thank our Heavenly Father for them because he is the one who is doing all the giving.I love you all and Merry Christmas!!!!

Love, Elder Cornelius


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas

Hello My Wonderful Family!!!

Today is Christmas Eve and I wanted to let you know how much I love y'all and miss you this Christmas. As you well know this Christmas is much different than any one we have ever had. I am in Africa, Brett in AZ, Gary and Mom being in DC and Dad in CO. This is my first Christmas away from all of you that I love so much. But I don't think that I could be in any place better right now than in the service of my God.    

I have not heard one person say Merry Christmas until this morning and that is because they think that Christmas is today. It really feels like just another day in the harmattan season for me. But, it is no problem since I know that tonight I will be watching fireworks with my investors and some members. So I guess that will be the highlight of my Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nothing New, But a Few Pics - Sorry!

Well this week was nothing much. I was able to take all of my district members accountability report and then give the report to the Zone leaders... it is weird being in charge of a district and having to correct them at times and congratulate them at times, but I guess it is cool and it is going well.

I just want you all to know that I am doing well and I am happy and just waiting for Christmas.  haha. I have some new Christmas music now so I will be playing it around the apartment and just thinking of you guys and how much I love you and miss you. Enjoy the snow and the sweet sweet food. Here it is getting a little cooler, but the dust is getting pretty heavy in the air. Somedays I will leave my apartment and come back only to dust my table off so that I can eat. It is normal though being the "harmattan" season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Update and PICS

Well this week went really well. I am not sure what got into my companion and I but we really did try our very best to find new people to teach despite all our challenges. Every night we would come back and just collapse on the bed and fall asleep because we are so tired and drained. We really did our best to prove to the Lord that we are his missionaries and are willing to preach His gospel and with our full energy and our full self. Even when we were walking and started to tire, we would start walking faster because we knew that if we did, the spirit would lead us to those who have been prepared to listen to our message we have to share. Let me tell you that it did work. We found some people who spoke English and can read very well. (this is super uncommon in our village) We taught them about the restoration and they promised to read the Book of Mormon and they were the ones to schedule a return appointment. This week we will go back and see their progress.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas - What Is it Really About?

Hello Everyone,

I want you to ask yourself if you know the meaning of Christmas and the importance behind the holiday. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has released a short video with the answers coming from the scriptures itself. Some have already heard about this video and maybe have watched it, but it was my first time just this last week and I want to share it with those who have not seen it.

The first gift of Christmas was not wrapped. It was a gift of life, of hope—given by a loving Father to all His children: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He is the Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift.

Please take just a few minutes and watch this short video to start your December and to start your Christmas season. Go to the link below and click it if you have the desire to celebrate your Christmas the right way (centered on Jesus Christ).


~ Elder Cornelius ~

11 Months on Mission, Thanksgiving and More

Hey Family and Friends,

I hope that every one this past week enjoyed their Thanksgiving and all the wonderful food. In Ghana, there is no such holiday as Thanksgiving, but luckily my companion and I are not Ghanian haha so we celebrated a little in a different way than all of you. We went out and taught what it means to be thankful and what we should be thankful for. On that Thursday, we were able to teach new people and tell them how blessed they really are and we taught them how to be thankful for what they have whether it is much or not. As for me, I was able to enjoy a plate of fried rice and two chicken legs with a 1.5 litre of fake Coke. Yup you can say we really went the extra mile to enjoy ourselves haha.

I think that I have already told you all that I put up a Christmas tree in our apartment, but now I have attached the photos of it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A private letter to Mom (hope he doesn't mind!) AND PICS

This weekly email has been the best one that you have ever sent. I may or may not have told you that during my time as a missionary I have not teared up not even one time. If you can remember when we were at DIA and you guys came to the gate with me, I don't remember tearing up at that time either. The point is that I am one of those guys who doesn't feel those emotions easily at all. But, as I type here in this cafe at this time... I have a tear rolling down my face because of the things you have said in your email. Just those last two paragraphs somehow hit my soft spot (didn't know I had one) and really touched me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Pday in Nkawkaw

Hey there family and friends,

This week was pretty nice and busy.  Elder Hoffman and I spent every minute to every day contacting and find new people to teach.  The problem that we faced was the language barrier. To overcome that barrier we took our Branch Mission leader out with us to translate while we teach, but we have found out that even if he translates for us, the people will always need to hear the message in Twi. So, if they are serious enough to come to Church and see that it is in half English and half Twi, they will not like it and only understand half of it.  Also, these people usually can't read English or Twi so they will never be able to read the Book of Mormon which is a key ingredient to someone's conversion.  So, while Elder Hoffman and I were contacting we were trying to find people who could speak English and also read...and this was no easy task when we are located in the bush part of Ghana.

Elder Hoffman and I are getting along just fine.  It turns out he is as small town boy and loves country so you could imagine how we can connect easily.  I am happy that we also can talk openly with each other...or even talk with each other at all.  It is nice to have someone that you can talk to.

I am doing great here in Nkawkaw and I am making new friends by the minute.  I will try to upload some pictures of my area and the mountain that is nearby us.

I love you guys all and hope you all have a great week.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Nkawkaw Village Halloween

So you can call me a "villager" now.  I have been transferred to Nkawkaw and this place is .... well interesting. If I try to say something to people they can only respond Menti Brofo (I don't hear English). So I am now scrambling to learn the Twi very well so that I can speak to them in sentences and try to communicate. It is hard learning a language that most people can't read or write, but only speak. I have a Twi book that teaches me how to learn Twi, but the problem is I can't read it...or pronounce the Twi alphabet.  haha.
My new companion Elder Hoffman is pretty cool.  Our area.. is just villagers who don't speak English and many farmers who have no education. We are opening a new area in Nkawkaw and are contacting every day trying to find investigator that will progress. It is not easy, but it is good for me and my companion to work on our contacting skills and our teaching skills. We are located on one side of this cool mountain.

Monday, October 27, 2014

3rd new area (Nkawkaw) and a new companion (Elder Hoffman)

Hey sorry this email is sooo late and will not even be complete.
Saturday - I was on splits with my district leader and we ended having nice lessons in my area and had an investigator feed us a nice meal.

Sunday - The day did not go well at all. First was church in Twi and no investigators came, then we tried watching this movie The Other Side of Heaven and the power went out.. so we could not finish.

By the time we were already sleeping around 10:45.. the district leader wakes us up and tells us the Zone Leaders have news for us. Turns out it was transfer news that is 3 days late. I was informed that I am being transferred to a village in the Eastern Region called Nkawakw. I hear a rumor that they speak no English there so this should be pretty fun! They also transferred my companion out of the area and sent him with me to the same zone but different area. I don't know why president would white wash my area when I had 3 baptisms planned this upcoming month of November. So that news was really depressing and the whole ward will be upset with us, but I guess that is how mission goes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

20-10-14 P-DAY BABY!!!!

Just to say that it is P-day can make my day!
I thank all those who sent emails this week. IT is well appreciated.  Like usual this last week was just... normal haha.
My companion was sick this last week but thanks to a dedicated Elder, he was not able to rest in the apartment. When it comes to sickness, unless you are dying, you dont have my sympathy... sorry. Their are people in my area who have not heard this message of the restoration and who need it...BADLY. So he was a little upset with me that he couldnt just have a day off, but then again I had to remind him that our sacrifices are more dear and sweet to the Lord than our successes.  Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to confirm some of our investigators into the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. They were able to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost and now they have been set on the strait and narrow path... all they have to do is walk it. With the help of the scriptures.. it is not too difficult.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Because of Him




Hey There,

This week was nice and really spiritual. Our Mission President showed us this video during Zone Conference the other week and I was reflecting on it a lot this past week. It is called Because of Him. Here is how it goes...
IT WAS UNTHINKABLE, IMPOSSIBLE, UNFATHOMABLE, UNPRECEDENTED. 
A SINGLE ACT THAT CHANGED HISTORY.   POSSIBILITY.   DESTINY.
HE WAS A CARPENTER, A TEACHER, AN OUTCAST, A LEADER.
YET HE DID WHAT NO CARPENTER, TEACHER, OUTCAST, LEADER HAD EVER DONE.
LIKE ALL WHO PRECEDED HIM, HE LIVED, AND HE DIED, BUT UNLIKE ALL WHO PRECEDED HIM... HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.  HE LIVED AGAIN.  HE LIVES.
AND BECAUSE HE LIVES... YOU AND I AND ALL WILL LIVE AGAIN.
BECAUSE OF HIM.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekly Email - Week 40

Hey Everyone!
This last week was pretty chill. Nothing too much happened, but some good things did come out of it.

On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference with two other zones and it was really nice. We met at a chapel that is very close. I remember when I use to travel 4 hours to Techiman from Tamale for a Zone Conference. Now a days all I have to do is walk up the street and attend the meeting.
During the Zone Conference, we talked about how we can become better teachers of the gospel and what tools will help us so that we can be more effective. Some of the points that I got out of it were: 1. Teach the doctrine simply but clearly. 2. Teach the lessons in less than 45 minutes if you expect them to want you to come back.  I have come to know that these people’s time is very valuable and if I go and teach a lesson that is taking and hour or more... the person will most likely not want me to come back because his expectation for the next visit will be that I need that same amount of time. 3. Use the tools that God has provided like the Book of Mormon. There are a few very important points in history concerning religion as Latter-Day Saints - 1) The Church being established originally by Jesus Himself when he was on the Earth. 2) The great Apostasy that followed the death of Jesus and the apostles therefore losing that most important priesthood that God gave to man. 3) The appearance of God and Jesus Christ in this dispensation of time to the prophet Joseph Smith.  4) The coming forth of the Book of Mormon. 5) The restoration of the Priesthood.  These 5 things are very important to all of us.  I would like to take note on the order that these things happened starting with Joseph Smith.  He first prayed to God and received his answer verbally from the Son's mouth.  The very next thing that Heavenly Father does is direct Joseph to the golden plates.  During the translating process of the plates, Joseph and Oliver Cowdery prayed.  Then the priesthood was restored and given to them.  It is interesting how the Book of Mormon played/plays such an important role in the Lord's church.  So now when I am teaching people, instead of proving what I say is true with the Bible, I try to teach them through the Book Of Mormon.

Monday, September 29, 2014

My apologies for the late email!

Ya so I apologize for not emailing yesterday.. it was due to me not being responsible financially and also for Ghana not having power in the area that we email and the place's generator was being worked on... so I am now emailing today.
So for this last week, not too much happened, but I will try to recall the good and tell you about it.
Sunday - Our investigator O was confirmed a member and was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He was sooo happy at church and wanted to go and bear his testimony but it was not fast and testimony meeting so the bishop said to just wait hahaha. He is a cool guy and always loves to tell us that he wants to become one of us as missionaries.
Monday- We missionaries in the ward (6 elders) played a little 3 on 3 basketball even after the sun went down so that was pretty interesting and really fun. It was pretty funny when you saw someone pass the ball, but you could never see where the ball was... so we were just running around the court goofing off and trying to get it in the hoop since it was so dark.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dumso Dumso in Ghana and New PICS

Hey Jack! 

Last night I was thinking about Duck Dynasty and thinking about Dr. Pepper and all that good stuff. But lets be real.. all those things are just temporal in this life... but to be honest those things are also necessities for me.  haha. How are yall doin? I dont know why but this last week has felt like a full month. It was just dragging. Finally Sunday rolled around and we were able to baptize this 29 year old man.  We found him when I needed my hair cut. Happens that he lives in his barbering shop and lives off of the small money he makes cutting hair. Yesterday when we baptized him, I have never seen Him so happy and so at peace. I also was super happy and can tell that this gospel is what he was been needing his entire life. Now he finally has it and I have the opportunity to watch how it starts to change his life and see how it blesses his life. He has a girl friend in a different region of Ghana who is very ill. All the little money that he makes, he sends it to her to help her family pay for the hospital bills. He has had twins with the girl friend and is planning on marrying her but he does not have money to pay the bride price. He told me that he knows that after he is baptized and receives the Holy Ghost, that he knows that his situation will get better and that God will help his learn English so that he can get a better job. Right now he only speaks the local language Twi. I cant believe the faith of some of these recent converts. It really does strengthen my testimony as well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

15-9-14

Hey Everyone!

This week was pretty cool but just an average week. My companion and I are continually enjoying each others presence and it feels like we are not really companions but more like good friends. Everyday we go out at 11:00 and come back to the apartment by 8:00 pm and during the full day we crack jokes and talk about life and are just great friends. Being good friends with Elder Agbeko has improved our teaching unity as we are teaching the Gospel to our investigators.

Everyday that I wake up brings new challenges and each night that I go to bed I am able to take an accountability during my nightly prayer of how I faced each of the challenges/trials that Heavenly Father put in my path. Sometimes the challenges are simple and nothing much like patience but other times the challenges can be significant. One thing that I love knowing is that the Lord is bound to keep His promises as long as I am doing what he wants. Lately I have been studying about what conditions we can enter into His kingdom and I have found that it is based upon obedience. If we simply obey His commandments, we are entitled to his blessings.

As my companion and I teach the lessons to our investigators, this last week especially, we have felt the spirit so strongly. My companion have tried our very best to just take up our cross and do what the Lord expects of us and to tell you the truth, it is not too fun or easy but in the end, the blessings come and the Lord helps us immensely in this work.

This upcoming Sunday we are expecting to baptize two of our contacted investigators but I fear that one of them might not pass his interview because of the word of wisdom. I will continue fasting and praying for Him that he will have the will power to stop the addiction that he is fighting. I know that he can do it with the help of our Heavenly Father.
I love you all so very much and Hope that you all are doing well. Hopefully there will be something more next week but until then... Peace!

Love you all,

Elder Cornelius

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ghana let you know whats up time... haha (I just had to)

Well I would love to share all about church and about all the spiritual things they talk about, but Heavenly Father has not given me the gift of tongues just yet. Every meeting and word they speak is in Twi and I can not understand it yet. So therefore all the spiritual inspiration that I can get is from the scriptures that they use because they are still in the English hahaha. I will tell you that we are starting to have more and more success as a companionship considering that we had 4 investigators at church at 9:00 sharp and one more came around 9:15 which is awesome!
So that was cool to see them at church on time and looking really nice and prepared for sacrament meeting.
Mom and Gary - thanks for the reminder about Gettysburg... because I had totally forgotten everything that is in those history books haha. How was that? It seems like you guys enjoyed your little journey down there. I think that is pretty cool that you got to be in the 360 degree art thing you call a cyclorama. I didnt even know such a thing existed but sounds pretty cool. You should explain what the events are a little better or it might just be me but I dont understand the concept or the idea of what happens and why. Also, keep me updated with Faye and make sure if you extend commitments or invitations that you follow up on them.

Monday, August 25, 2014

MISSION... yup its still pretty cool to be on His side and PICS

Hey there family and friends!
Ghana is sweet. The weather is nice and I see the months just passing by like the tro tros on the road (vans/buses). Mission life is sweet!

I am doing fine and am learning so much. I am studying Jesus the Christ still along with the New Testament trying to really figure out about the life of Jesus and his apostles. Still the students are not back in the university yet, even though they should have been back 3 weeks ago, because of the ebola stuff. Most of the students are from other countries so they have to make sure that none of them bring ebola here or else that means Elder Cornelius and about 300 other missionaries are coming back to the US to finish our missions. So we are still with a ward that is only half full since most of the members are students. My companion Elder Agbeko and I are just enjoying each other’s company since we are MTs and I am the senior companion, meaning that we do the work and still have fun at the same time. Mission has taught me a lot. I cannot wait to go back home and be able to lead others by my example. These 2 years are flying by way too fast. Every day I take time to look around and try to take as much of this time in as I can because I know someday I will be wishing I was back here in Africa teaching these people the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am treasuring every moment that I have during this time, whether they be tough or sweet, all of them will be a memory that I will miss in the future.

I love every moment of having this opportunity to be in a place where the Lord needs Bobby Cornelius to preach His gospel to His children. Sometimes it is not easy doing this work but it is nice knowing that I can have peace. “In the world ye (me) shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. Jesus has already suffered these things therefore there is no need for me to fear or worry. After all I am on His side :)
I love each one of you in different ways and I pray for you guys every day. I hope you are all doing fine and are making Him proud of what you are doing... if not, then change it and do something worthwhile. Use your time wisely because time is not waiting for any one. Make the best out of every moment and remember that the best cure for anything is smiling and laughing. GO and make someone’s day through your smile or through your humor :)
God bless you,
Elder Cornelius








Monday, August 18, 2014

P-day again!

Like always time is not on my side. It never seems to be on my side on mission. Time is not waiting for anyone especially me during these 2 years. I don’t know how to express how fast these days and weeks are flying by, but let’s just say that I am now counting transfers instead of months. It might be because I am engulfed with this work that consumes all of your might mind and strength. I have little to no time to reflect on my life and back home, due to me getting caught up in the work.
This last week was nothing to brag about or anything that is too special. It was just another normal week as a missionary. Our investigator pool is not serious at all right now, so it looks like I will be doing a lot of finding and teaching these next few days.
I received some packages in the mail yesterday.... and oh my oh my are we enjoying ourselves. I can only thank those who sent them with all my heart and just know it will be gone soon :)
Love all of you and talk to you soon,
Elder Cornelius


 An Aston Martin in Ghana! I accidentally made a weird face but whatevs... its still an Aston Martin. What is this car doing driving on these crazy dirt roads??
  



Monday, August 11, 2014

Week One of the 6th Transfer

Hey there!
I would like to thank all of you for sending so many emails this week and keeping me up to date even though I am not the best at doing the same for you.
It looks like all the missionaries out in the MTC or in the mission field right now are starting to realize how powerful the spirit of the Lord is and how essential it is in our lives. I love to see how others are starting to see the impact of the gospel on people’s lives.
This last week was pretty interesting mentally, spiritually and physically. I saw my last companion, Elder Noble, leave the mission.  He received his last words of advice from the mission president and then drove with the assistants to the airport to head home.  This was an elder who served a little over 2 years and did it honorably. He really did teach me a lot about myself and how I can improve. I hope that I can apply those attributes into my missionary work and into my life so that I can shape myself to be a better man. It definitely was a weird feeling when you say good-bye for the last time in someone's life. It made me a little homesick, but you know me . . . that lasted for just a minute. So, I sent Elder Noble off in a taxi to the assistants after the mission home last Monday, after that I was in a threesome with other missionaries until Wednesday when I was able to receive my new companion Elder Agbeko. Elder Agbeko is from Boise, Idaho.  His dad was born in Ghana and then moved to the US.  His mom is from the US.  So he is a half cast and also half Ghanian. He is also one of the missionaries that entered the MTC the same day I did. So that is pretty cool that we already have something in common and know each other a little.

Monday, August 4, 2014

NEW PICS . . . FINALLY

Oh my gosh! This computer will never give me a break. I was just typing my long email to everyone and it just got erased!!!!! It had a bunch of pics as well. Ghana is really not easy right now!

 I am doing fine though and I will write more next week. I will also include some baptism pictures. Last week I had 3! So, things are going fine.   Some of the Sierra Leone and Liberian missionaries are coming to Ghana because of the ebola. Their missions were shut down for now.  As for me, I am still preaching the gospel and being Bobby!  haha





My Mom and Gary are in the MTC - Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center Bound

These are my friends that were in the MTC the same time they were:

Will Okazaki - friend from my old ward in Denver.  Headed to Japan!


Levi Rasmussen now works at the MTC, but he served his mission in Denver and was in our ward for part of the time.  


Jennifer Skaggs - friend from BYU-I - headed to Salt Lake Temple Square



Monday, July 14, 2014

Just another day in Kumasi . . .but it is a special day for me!

Hey Everyone!
This week was my third week in Kumasi and I am just loving it. The people are really great and most of them speak great English. This week went by super quick and we had a lot of success as a companionship. At church we had 4 of our investigators come and they even conducted the entire sacrament meeting in English. It seems like usually they conduct everything in Twi so you can imagine that it gets pretty tough for us missionaries since we cannot speak the language. Oh and to mention that the missionaries have been teaching these 4 investigators for over a year and have not been to church in over 6 months or so, now to see them come to church and meet the members and make friends there, I think it is pretty cool. 
My companion is trying to stay more focused on the work because his mind can get focused on going home in 2 weeks. I don't blame him though. It is good that he still cares for these people and wants to see them baptized.
I love you all very much and continue to thank those who email me. I am about to go and enjoy my p-day and celebrate a very special day for myself!!! Maybe not an American Ice-cream cake or any candles but I can celebrate with some sweet fufu or a little enjoyment by going to a fine Ghanaian restaurant ahaha. Well I hope that everyone back in the USA or those who are serving the Lord around the world are doing great and they are enjoying life. To those missionaries receiving this message.... stay strong and continue to ponder your purpose and then strive to fulfill it. The prophet said one cool quote that can apply to us all and it goes like this....
"Get on your knees and pray then get on your feet and work!"
If we give it our all in life, we can expect Heavenly Father to give his all as well and help us when we are in need.
Love ya guys and talk to you next week.
Elder Cornelius

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another week in Kumasi

Hey there Family and Friends,
I want to thank everyone who sent me an email this past week. I am not too sure what to say in this emai,l but I want to talk about the area a little and about how I’m doing I guess...
So, first I will talk about the area and how everything in Kumasi is doing. Let me just say that Kumasi IS the land of Milk and Honey.  The only downside is that everything is somewhat expensive here, but no wahala. My area is opposite to this huge university called UST (University of Science and Technology). In my area I have all kinds of religions.  I have a ton of Jehovah Witnesses in my area along with Buddhists, Methodist, atheists, and many more.  Looks like I will be crackin the books open and studying much harder than before due to the greater challenge ahead. My area is much bigger than it was in Tamale so now we are walking more than ever and sometimes we have to take tro tros around our area because it is too big.
Quick update on the Investigators:
I have been teaching someone who is muslim - he told me that he wants to switch to being a Christian and leave his entire past behind him. The only problem is that he fears his family and friends a ton. If he switches to being a Christian, his family will sack him of everything and his friends will never speak or look at him again. Also if he dies, his family would refuse to even look at the body and they would refuse to bury it somewhere. The other night when we were teaching him about the plan of salvation, I bore a powerful testimony to him.  I also invited him to come and play with us missionaries for our p-day activity, which was futbol and surprisingly he showed up. After we played and were about to leave, M told me that he was willing to forget about everyone and everything to join whatever he finds to be the truth! I gave him a baptismal date for the 27th of this month and he told me that he is eager to work for that day!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Transfer No. 5 Under Way

Hello Family and Friends!!!!!
There is soo much to update you on, but such little time. I will try to do my best to describe what is going on and all of the changes that have happened.
As you know, last Wednesday I left Tamale and came to Kumasi. I could not be any happier with how this last transfer went. My new companion is Elder Noble from Namibia (right next to South Africa).  He is really nice and genuine and is pretty funny. I could not be more appreciative to receive such a companion as him. Also, he will be going home this transfer so I will be (as they say in the mission field) killing him. I can’t wait to see what I learn and to see how much I grow in these six weeks.
The area that we are in is near the University of Science and Technology. I am in the UTS ward! I am soooo excited to be in a ward where the members can help fellowship my investigators. I am just so excited!!! When I first arrived to Kumasi, it was a strange feeling to know that many around me are Christians.  That will be nice.
I am in a new apartment with 3 other missionaries in a 3 story apartment complex. The other missionaries are my companion, and 2 other missionaries from Utah and Virginia. I am looking forward to having conversations about things that are familiar like cars, sports, and other things that are well missed.
 I hope everyone is doing so well and that life is being good to you. For those missionaries out there across the world receiving this message. . . I send my greetings and encourage you to remain strong and master the practice of obedience. I thank those of you who emailed me and for those who are now in the MTC.  Good luck and learn fast!  And to the rest of you/all of you, I love you very much! I know that the gospel blesses and changes lives. I have seen and witnessed it myself and I know that it can do the same to yours if you are but willing to align your will with God’s will. I can’t wait to send you pictures sometime, but first I will need to transfer my pics off this card that has a virus and when all that is done, you are promised some nice pictures.
God bless all of you and I will talk with you next week.
Elder Cornelius


1/4 under the belt . . . and still going strong!

Mom - I am finally emailing you from the land of milk and honey aka Kumasi!! I dont even know where to start this email. There is soo much to talk about and such little time to express this last week and how it has gone.
I am living in the city of Bomso. I am in a 3 story apartment and on the 3rd floor with 3 other missionaries. It was not fun carrying all the luggage up the stairs but not too bad haha. I have not gone to our ward yet because this last Sunday was Stake Conference. I have met some of the members and they all are really nice. I am not sure how many members there are, but I will find out this upcoming Sunday.
My departure from Tamale was nice and sad as well. I did leave Tamale with Elder Orji who is a good friend of mine but I was sad to say good bye to all of them but at least I know they will not stay in Tamale forever. The bus ride took 6.5 hours and on the way the bus's clutch burnt out so we were stuck in 2nd gear for maybe 15 miles . . . not fun.
And I will inform you about my new companion and all that in the mass email to everyone... I hope that is okay..  and the dogs... ya i miss them small but thing much.
I can not believe how busy you guys must be! It still has not set into my my mind that our house is sold and pretty much everything is packed up or sold also. That is just nuts. I am very happy that you both are happy with the new house and how it is looking.
More to follow on the details in my email to everyone! 
I love you guys soooo much!!!

Elder Cornelius

Monday, June 23, 2014

6 months and . . . I am out of here!

Akwaaba!!

Hey everyone! Thank you for your emails... some of you haha. I just want to take some small time to update you. 

Two days ago I received a phone call from the Assistants telling me where I will be transferred.  On this Wednesday, I will be getting on a bus for 6 ½ hours and heading south to Kumasi to go to the Mission Home. I will then wait there for my companion to take me to the new area where I will then be with him only 1 transfer and then he will be going home. My new companion’s name is Elder Noble and he is an Obroni (white boy).  He is from South Africa and has already served 16 out of his 17 transfers. So he is really old on mission but I am sure we will have fun together! 

I am doing great. I have grown a great love for Tamale and Ghana and I hope that when I move to Kumasi that I will learn Twi very quick and be able to develop an even greater love for the people. I have seen the Lords hand in this work and it is truly amazing. My testimony is growing each and every day that I am out here and put this name badge on stating that I am a missionary. The work is divine and I cannot express how much this work changes lives. Not only the lives of those that I teach but also the lives of the teacher aka me. One thing that my last companion used to say is "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it the present." It is kind of cheesy, but also very true at the same time. We have this gift of life and we should be using it wisely. Look at your own life and ask yourself if it is what you imagined it to be... and if it is not, then do something about it. Make it what you want while you can, but remember that there is a God above who is taking notes of what you are doing here. Just saying. haha

I love each and every one of you guys very much and hope that you are doing excellent. Stay strong and remember that the challenges that we face are never forever. You have to decide how you will tackle them and how you will shape your own future. God bless you and talk to you next week.

Love,
Elder Cornelius III


Monday, June 9, 2014

Back Again - Ghana Style

Hello Everyone...

If you are receiving this email, I want you to know you are among those that I love and appreciate most. Each and every one of you has touched my life in one way or another. I want to thank each of you for supporting me in these two years of my mission (yet to me it feels like it has only been 2 months).  Thank you and I hope and pray for you that everything in your life is going alright and that you are happy.

This last week has been just wonderful. I have felt the spirit stronger than ever and have really seen the Lord work in my proselyting area. It is amazing when you do all you can and leave the rest to the Lord.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ghana Greetings:)

Hello there!
Well, I guess it is time for me to update everybody and tell you how Africa and Ghana are doing.  May I start out by talking about the weather. . . The Lord has finally showed a little mercy on us and it has been a little cloudy here this past week.  It rained one night, but the next morning was super humid. All in all, the weather is nice compared to 2 months ago.

Next, my investigators . . . May I say that these investigators can be a little resistant.  Keeping commitments is sometimes much harder for them than we think it will be.  The culture here is very different.  My companion and I have really been praying and doing everything on our part to progress them to the waters of baptism. It can be very difficult at times , but I will endure and do my part. I know that someday these groups and branches we are in will  turn into wards and stakes and districts.  My faith is being tested very much here in Ghana only because we are doing our part, but we are not yet seeing results.

Monday, May 26, 2014

5 Months

Howdy!

It is that time of the week again where I am updated of the things back home and also where I get to update you ka kra ka kra (small small). Hopefully this is somehow interesting and assures you that I am still alive and doing well.

Can you believe that the time is flying by like this? I still remember saying goodbye to people in Rexburg, Idaho and packing my bags and saying goodbye to the land of the free like it was yesterday.  I have been in Ghana for 5 months now . . . feels unreal! In these 5 months I have learned so much, seen so much, and have become a completely different person. This last week was nothing special but helped me understand my purpose better, along with me aligning my will with God's will.

This last week started out with a fun p-day activity.  The entire zone got together and played some fun missionary games.  Then we ate a powerful dinner. We had two new sister missionaries who just arrived to Tamale so it was nice to meet them and see some new faces.  It is kind of weird though being senior to someone.  Then on Wednesday, we planned this powerful day to teach these new investigators, but as we were leaving the apartment we received a call from the Mission President saying that we were having an emergency meeting at one of the chapels. Nobody knew about it until he called!  The meeting went for 3 hours and we talked about the needs of Tamale.  We talked about so much, but it resulted in the Mission President coming up with plans to fix problems and help with some of our needs. It was nice of him to drive 7 hours to this zone just to discuss the needs of the missionaries.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday, May 12th - Mother's Day Call!!!

1:00 p.m. Chicago time (Mom and Gary were visiting Gary's daughter Rachael and her family)
6:00 p.m. Tamale time

No Skype capability:(








Monday, April 28, 2014

Email #18 (Tamale) Zone Conference in Techiman

So David was baptized...

The weather is nice... not rainy season yet. That will be in June.
Not much that is new..
I put a lot of photos on Dropbox and 1 video of someone pounding FUFU. 
Sorry for the short email, but there is just not much to talk about this week.  Sorry.

I love you and I am very proud of you in your decision to serve a mission. Dad was a little jealous that you were able to speak to me on the phone, but he understands the reason why. Keep up the studies because you will be using PMG everyday.

I'm about to enjoy our zone activity.  We are going to eat fried rice and a lot of chicken and beans and a bunch of juice..... that is what we call enjoyment here.

Love you very much,
Elder Cornelius

anyame teaseni nye e kɔpem yɛ nhyiamu biom
Just some small twi for you..
It means God be with you til we meet again.


This is Techiman.

These are the Elders and Sister who happened to wear purple at Zone Conference.  

My African exploration found me an alligator!

This is me with my father and brother!  The Nigerian is Ekpo, my trainer.  He also trained the other white guy making us family, so to speak.





Monday, April 21, 2014

Email #17 (Tamale) Easter

Dear Everybody,

As far as ME goes, I am doing okay. Not great and not toooo bad but just managing. The sun is finally decreasing and we have encountered some small rain but nothing too big yet. The humidity is starting to pick up but the weather overall is not too bad.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Email #16 (Tamale) Personal Family Letters

Gary,

Thank you for the email.
I could not be more proud of you being the leader in our home and especially for taking my mother on this wonder journey that will completely change her life. Help her along in the scriptures and the gospel and she will help you along with the love for everyone. I know that you guys will be great and that everyone there in D.C. will love you guys especially since you will probably be the youngest senior couple missionaries. Go and convert those to the truth but don't force. Show them the light and let them walk towards it. This is something that my mission president has been telling us missionaries here and may be able to apply to you as well.
Congrats!!

Elder Cornelius


Mom,

Mom, I am so proud of you! You do not realize completely what a mission means but soon you will. It means that you will be serving our master and savior Jesus Christ and his Father/Our Father. It means that you will be putting the old Sherry Lynn White in the trash and be creating a complete new person. It means that you will know and love this doctrine and gospel. That reminds me, what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Do you know? Please tell me what the "Gospel" is. It also means that you will no longer be the one in class asking the questions that are very simple. You will now be the one answering the questions and expounding the doctrine to others so that they can realize and have their eyes opened. It means that you will be receiving blessings you did not know existed.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Senior Missionaries - Busy Week

Dear Sister White,

We just want you to know what a fine son you have.  He is hardworking, polite and never complains ( not around us anyway).  Conditions are so hard here.  There are many, many Muslims that they can not teach.  It is sooooo hot.  Just seeing them go out knowing they will be walking all afternoon in the heat makes my heart melt.  He is cheerful and a joy to be around. These missionaries are courageous and good.  Thank you for raising such a fine son.  He really stands out not just because he is blonde and blue eyed:) 
 Hope you like the pictures. Sometimes I am in such a hurry they don't come out so well.  I will keep trying.



He worked so hard cleaning out their supply room.

Email #15 (Tamale) Done With Training

I am now among the brethren!  haha. I have just yesterday officially finished my 12 weeks of training. I have been given a new companion who is from Nigeria, once again, and his name is Elder Robert. I don't know anything about him other than that of what I have just shared. He is coming to Tamale this Thursday to be with me. I am staying in the same area as before but with a new companion. I will still be the junior companion, but I will act like the senior companion since I am the one who knows the area and the investigators and all that fancy stuff.
As for me I am doing wonderful. I have come to accept the heat here and it is weird for me to imagine snow back home. Seems unrealistic. I have been studying doctrine and scriptures a lot lately and my mind is just blown on how much evidence his church has proving that this is the only true church on the face of the earth. I am continuing to burn but I know that the rain season is coming soon and all that will be over with. Even today and yesterday it has been raining pretty hard. As I email right now, I would estimate the weather to be around 70 because the rain has cooled it off. It is pretty enjoyable, but tomorrow it will be super hot and humid when the clouds burn off. I think that I might be losing weight also! I'm not sure if it is the intense work or if what I am eating is way healthier than back home. I seem to eat a ton of food because there is an 8 hour gap in between my lunch and dinner but I seem not to be gaining any weight. Whatever.. its fine by me!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Email #14 (Tamale) No Letter Just Pics

The dogs that follow us throughout the day and come and sleep with us, but we don't own them. They are very friendly and quite well-mannered.  The one on the right is named Beyonce.

Where we sleep at night.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Senior Missionaries - Shopping

I have had a lot of you ask about what the shopping is like here in Ghana.  At first we thought there was very little to buy, but the longer we are here we are finding there really is a lot here to choose from-you just have to know WHERE to look.  If you want chicken you can buy one on the street and kill and cook it.  We go to a Cold Store (a place with a freezer) and buy frozen chicken.  I have seen chicken legs all frozen together without a wrapper. Pretty.




Just load it into a taxi and take it home for dinner.  Speaking of taxi's.  If you want bread just wait for the taxi to deliver it to your favorite stand where the ladies then put it in plastic bags.  By then you have no idea who has handled it.



When you do find a small store a girl follows you around with a basket.  You point to what you want and she takes it down and puts it in the basket. Everything is done in cash - no debit or credit cards are heard of.  They then carry it to your car.  Sometimes in the market women try to take things out of my hands without asking to carry it for me.  Of course they want to be paid.  I have had a literal tug of war trying to keep hold of the goods I am buying.
video



You have to know what you want and be ready to pay in cash.


We went to Kumasi this weekend for our Couples meeting with President Holmes.  Kumasi is a city of 2 million, Techiman is 100,000 and Tamale is 500,000. Kumasi is a huge sprawling city and nearly everyone is out on the streets buying and selling. 


I am still not good at bargaining. Most don't speak English that well.  Elder Olson and I  keep learning new things everyday.  If we can find a parking place we feel like it will be a good day.  The pineapples, mangos and bananas are wonderful and cheap.  A huge head of cabbage is 1 Cedis or about .45 cents.  We do eat well, but very little meat and lots of rice.  We are healthy and doing well.  Elder Olson is a most kind and loving companion.  In 2 weeks we are having a District Conference and they will be forming 2 Branches out of our 4 groups.  We will have a lot to share with you then.

Thank you for your love, prayers and emails.
 Elder and Sister Olson


Monday, March 17, 2014

Email #13 (Tamale) Surprise Visitor from the U.S.

Hey once again,
I have been doing personal emails lately and have not enough time do them anymore so I will go back to my old way of sending one email to everyone so that I can fit in more information and detail.
I want to start off by saying "thank you" for all the cool updates that you give me and for keeping me on my toes, so to speak. I cannot believe all the mission calls that are being received, both at BYU-I and at my home ward.  Wow the Lord is hastening his work!

Senior Missionaries - What a Week!

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week we have had.  We haven't had a real P-Day for several weeks.  We just have to wash clothes and clean when we can.

Sister Okrah is doing well and working up to her last day which is in about a week.  We left Tamale on Tuesday morning and had a good drive to Techiman.  Of course we had to make a few stops for cows and all the wondering goats.