Monday, May 25, 2015

Testimony and Pics

This week I had a wonderful experience I would like to share about testimonies of the gospel. For non-members of the church, this may seem weird but bear with me.
There is a man I am teaching, Bro G, who is incredibly smart and knows his bible very well. We have taught him about the Book of Mormon, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and all the commandments. He has been meeting with SDA people and Jehovah's Witnesses so he is not easily persuaded by anything.

Yesterday after church (he did not come for the first time in 4 weeks) we took our branch president to see him and ask him what the problem was or if he had concerns. We ended up talking about baptisms for the dead and about the sacrament and how we drink water instead of wine. We had taught him before about these things, but he just could not accept it so we asked him to pray about it and we would get back to him... So when we asked him about his concerns he brought up those two things. While the branch president was teaching in Twi, I was looking at D&C 27. Brother G eventually got us into a corner and pretty much confounded us,but the only thing I thought I had left was my testimony.

I opened to D&C 27 and read to him v. 1-4 and bore my testimony about the sacrament and about our Savior's atonement. Then my companion bore testimony about baptisms for the dead while reading D&C 120 something and the whole time I was just pleading with Heavenly Father that the spirit could allow Brother G to understand and accept the facts.

Next thing I know he was just sitting in his chair and said this all makes sense now... Truly the spirit did everything and we only just bore testimony. I wish I had more time to explain this experience but my time is finished.

I know that when we bear our testimonies of the gospel and of Jesus Christ, the spirit will enlighten the investigator in ways that we cannot.  This church is true and Satan is a liar!
Love you all
~ Elder Cornelius ~

Cashew Nut Tree

My crib

Can you push your workplace around?

Cool hats!

Zone Activity - Pounding Fufu

My bed broke right at 6:30 a.m. - how convenient!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Howdy . . .I guess it's Monday again!

Well I do not have much to say since I did say a lot over Skype to my parents, but I hope every mom had a good mothers day.
Mothers are needed so much in this world and are really what helps the world go round. Skyping was great and really felt sort of funny because nothing has really changed in the last 2 years.

Over here in Ghana - nothing has really changed. It is the rainy season but only rains maybe once a week. The weather is like the 80's - 90's and is pretty nice.
Yesterday my father asked me a question "So is what you are doing over there working?" I can say "Yes."  It is working considering I am bringing souls to Christ and helping them open the gates of their salvation. Even if I did not bring but one person into the church... I would still call it a success. Now I am thankful that I have brought more than one into the church and to the knowledge of the truth. I am happy that I have been given this opportunity to teach these people the gospel or the "good news" about Christ and his atonement and how Christ came to die for us so that we can be saved. I am happy that I have a sense of direction in my life and I can help others gain a sense of direction also through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This work is great.
I love you all and next time there will be some pictures and more information. Keep it real and rely on your savior.

~ Elder Cornelius ~

Monday, April 20, 2015

Techiman . . .good call Prez!

Hey there everybody,
I am happy to report to you that the mission president was inspired to send me here to Techiman. The area is productive (teaching wise) and the people are receptive. Even next week we will be having a baptism. I will send pics.
My companion (Elder Wilson) is a cool guy. Turns out that we were at BYU-I together the same time and have the same friends yet we never ran into each other haha. He is from Missouri and is 19. He is 5 transfers on mission or 7 months so far. So he definitely has the spirit really strong still and will help me with that aspect of my mission while I help him with his teaching skills. We will be a great companionship and seems like friends too.
In the apartment there are 6 elders. My companion is the District Leader and in the apartment are the Zone Leader as well. Their are 5 Americans and 1 from ivory coast (speaks barely any English) The apartment use to be the chapel for their group so it is pretty big... and definitely took long to sweep and mop this morning.  But, I could not be happier with the transfer. I am looking forward to the new area and new people to get to know and influence them with the gospel. Hopefully I will feel the joy that comes from obedience and i will enjoy the companionship of the holy spirit in my life. (and also being around Americans) God bless you all and I hope you are all doing great. 

~ Elder Cornelius ~

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yes I am alive . . .and being transferred!

Hello family and friends,
It has been some time since I last emailed you. It has been due to the light situation and also traveling too much this past month. But I will report that I am alive and doing just fine.
I received some news last Saturday that I will be transferred from Nkawkaw to Techiman. It is about 6 hours away from here by bus. It is only 2 hours away from Tamale where I started my mission. Also two weeks ago my recent convert who I have mentioned in previous letters received the priesthood and just last Sunday gave his first talk in sacrament meeting. He sounded like he had been in the church for years!! He really is doing great and has started bringing his wife and 3 kids along for the past 3 Sundays as well. I am sad to leave this place when the success is starting to come but there are people who need me in Techiman as well. I also have been teaching a woman who I thought was not very serious, but last Sunday she showed up to church on time with her 2 kids. It was very nice to see them at church but the only down side is that the church is under renovation and looked like a swimming pool last Sunday. It was somehow embarrassing, but I just hope that they were able to feel the spirit.
I am very excited to go to Techiman where my companion is just a greenie. I think he just finished his training recently but his name is Elder Wilson if i am not mistaken. Next time you hear from me... I will be in Techiman where the light actually stays on 90% of the time.

I love you all and I love this work that I am doing. It has touched many peoples' lives and has greatly touched mine in a way that I cannot express.
Till Next Time,
Elder Cornelius

Monday, March 30, 2015

Jesus and I . . .ya pretty much best friends! haha

Another week of being in the service of our Master has its effects both negative and positive. The positive side is that Heavenly Father has put some nice prepared people in our path to teach and discuss the gospel. The negative side of doing the work so much is that I am very tired physically. You know that the spirit is willing but the flesh is week.
This week was actually really nice. We met some serious people who we are now going to teach and also I have been studying a ton of scriptures and getting a new light on them. So you can say this week was a success.
Yesterday at church, the attendance of the branch was 35 people total including children. The total membership is 110 people. This 35 was counted at the end of the first hour of church. Ya it was pretty embarrassing.
My companion and I are doing well. My companion and I are working our best to help this branch in Nkawkaw to grow and thrive on its own. We have seen that as we seek help from the lord to do his work, we are guided by his spirit to those that he has prepared to receive this message. Praying does work... try it!
Just thought about it but after this week and the next I only have 5 transfers left. During a mission there are 17 transfers, but to think that I am down to 5 left... ya time is flying. But I do love every minute of it whether it is spent under the sun or in the dark during dumso, all of the experiences are helping to grow and improve. I love you all very much and I am excited for Easter. During Easter, people all around the world travel to come and do paragliding up on the mountains. They also love to party and somehow forget all about the real meaning of Easter. These people are really crazy yet I love them and it is now time for me to let them know that our Savior lives.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week and ponder upon the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. What does Easter mean to you?
Elder Cornelius

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happiness . . .deserved or earned? Week 65 on mission.

Greeting from the motherland of Africa to all!!!!

Yes, there is a point in time when you reflect how long you have been on mission and realize that you are old on mission and your time is running out. I think I have had this experience this last week. I cannot believe that I have been in Ghana for 15 months now. It just seems surreal.

This week was pretty good. My companion and I actually talked to each other and had real discussions about life and the missionary work... which is unusual for my companion to talk. So that was a big improvement. Also we found some pretty cool new people to teach but one of the biggest problems in a village is that people travel into town or the bush during the day to work and then they return late at night to eat and then sleep. So it is hard for them to fit God into their lives as they say. But when we do meet with them, the spirit is strong and they do realize the difference when we are present and when we are not.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Just another week in the bush . . .plus a field trip.

Hey fam and friends!

This week was pretty cool. This morning we did take a small hiking trip up the mountain. Also,after 4 months, I am planning on a baptisms for this father who use to be a Seventh Day Adventist. He has also been bringing his family to Church so we are thinking after his baptisms the rest of the family will hopefully join. The man and his wife are already looking at the temple as their goal.  The branch on the other hand is still something else. If there were no missionaries in Nkawkaw the branch would probably collapse. There is just too much laziness in this branch and the leadership is somehow.. not 100%. So this week we will be visiting the members with the church handbook and all the duties for all the callings and we will let all the members with a calling know of their duties. Hopefully, if they know their duties and do them... everything else will fall in to place.

Other than that, all is well in Africa at this time. The work is progressing but slowly. Hope you all have a great week and continue to call upon your Savior at all times and not only in times of need.

Love you all,
Elder Cornelius 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Transfer News . . .

Hey Family and Friends
This week was nothing special except that we received transfer news on Saturday night. But before I talk about the big news, let me review the days preceding Saturday. 

Monday I went to Kumasi and saw tons of missionaries around and it was nice to be able to greet them and know they are doing fine. It reminded me of civilization again haha, but I do enjoy being in the bush/village.

Tuesday - was district meeting. I instructed the District on working with members and branch leaders to progress the work. It seems that is the biggest challenge in the Ghana branches. The members do not want to go out with the missionaries and be fellow shippers to the investigators and new members. The goal is to become more effective and efficient missionaries even if we teach a lower amount of lessons. This upcoming Sunday we will be having a meeting with the branch presidency and will discuss these matters and we will see what they say.

Wed - Friday . . .just normal proselyting days. Nothing much.

Saturday - In the evening I got a call from the Zone leaders giving me the district's transfer news. So it turns out that only one of the elders in the district is being transferred and he is going to Tamale haha. So I will be in Nkawkaw another transfer with my companion. The apartment is still the same 4 elders.. so nothing really changed for us. But it will be another transfer with new beginnings and new goals.
Today two of the missionaries in our apartment traveled to Kumasi to buy some things so the apartment was nice and quite and I was actually able to relax small and take a nap. You know me and my naps... it is a must every now and then haha. 
Things are going pretty well in Nkawkaw. Their are challenges but nothing that cannot be overcome. It is a good learning experience and I am looking forward to coming out on top because of these experiences here. I love the gospel and know that it is as true as me breathing right now. As long as I live I will know and testify that this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living church of the Father. Jesus Christ is my savior and friend. I am grateful for what he has done for all of us and for the real redeeming power that can be felt from day to day. I love all of you and am thankful for those who support me in this decision to serve the people of Ghana by giving them the gospel for their salvation sake. God bless you all and have a wonderful week. Look for the blessings that are given to you whether big or small... but trust me they are there
~ Elder Cornelius ~

Monday, February 2, 2015

Greetings from Africa! God Loves Us.

Well this week was like a roller coaster. There were some very great moments and days, yet also the other end as well. I am telling myself almost every day that trials are making me a better man. Let's just say that these days the trials are plenty. This week, we have had power the total of 20-30 hours and none of those hours are during the night when we need a fan. The next thing during the week was that our water ran out twice and the well where we fetch water has dried up.. so we were using drinking water to bathe and do our wash... and on top of that the apartment refrigerator died. This is almost at the point of being too much to handle. So, those are the down/dips in the roller coaster week.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Greetings from Ghana

Hey there Family and Friends!
This week I was able to receive my new companion and the new district members. In our apartment currently there is My companion (Elder Lekoko from Botswana) and I, and also the other companionship; Elder Maribana (South Africa) and Elder Nielson (South Utah). So, there are four of us in the apartment. The other apartment of missionaries is right next to the chapel about ten minutes away in a taxi and there are also four elders in that apartment as well. My companion is a cool guy. The only thing is that he is quite and for me that is wahala (problem) because I need someone that I can talk to and communicate. Maybe Heavenly Father wants me to close my yap and just listen more.. maybe I will that a try.

This week was slow none the less. Most of my time was spent contacting new people and "trying" to teach them the gospel. I say try because now a days people are not wanting us to discuss with them. The other part of my time was spent traveling to give Baptismal Interviews. On Friday, I went up to the Mountains to give one companionship two people. And on Saturday I went to Domeabra to interview the Zone Leaders investigators for their baptisms as well. Domeabra is about 2 hours away just for the info. So this week was a bit tiring as you could imagine but I am just trying to "Put my Shoulder to the Wheel" and endure these hard times and embrace the sweet times when they come.
I love you all so much and I do know that what I am doing out here in Africa can only help me and others that I come in contact with. These experiences that I am having here in Ghana are... priceless Even if the experiences are not spiritual like chickens riding on the backs of goats or using a 19 century computer to email home. The time that I am having is bittersweet.
God Bless you all and talk to you next week,
Elder Cornelius

Monday, January 19, 2015

Service is my way to express love to all! Pics included.

Well this email might be short but this last week was nothing special. We did receive transfer news late Saturday night. Turns out that my companion is leaving to Kumasi on Wednesday and my MTC mate Richardson is leaving to the northern half of Ghana. In the District we are getting 3 new people. My new companion is from Botswana and we are getting one American and one Nigerian as well.  This week we did a ton of service for our investigators. We came up with this idea of making a shower for one of them because usually they just shower outside and let people walk by and look because they have nothing to cover their bodies with as they bathe.

We also did some weed cutting for another family, but we forgot to bring the camera for that one. We used a machete to cut down weeds that are taller than us and we helped the family prepare a piece of their land for farming.  This morning I was reflecting on how old on mission I am and reflecting on how much I have learned and grown. It truly is amazing what the Lord can do to me when I remove myself from the worldly things and make time for him in my life. It is really awesome that now I can tell when the spirit is coming and going because I have developed that spiritual sensitivity allowing me to know when the spirit is talking to me and when the spirit is not pleased as well. Everyday as I work in the Lord's vineyard, I cannot describe the joy that comes from seeing others come to the light and truth of the gospel. This mission is sweet, tough, tiring, yet rewarding in many ways. The Church is true and is guided by our Resurrected Lord through the Prophet Thomas S. Monson. This is the small testimony that I can give at this time.
I love you all very much and miss you. I continue to pray for each of you day and night.
Elder Cornelius

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pics - Small Small

This is a rope swing that we built for some kids of our investigator.... ya we might have had just as much fun as those kids did :)

Pounding fufuo.... for our Christmas dinner

This is fufuo with chicken and groundnut soup. tastes better than it looks...

We teach a gold miner... ya i am holding about a few thousand dollars worth of gold... it was pretty heavy.

The chickens are plucked and are now chilling and calling people.. haha. they tasted pretty sweet too

Where Is Your Heart? Mine Was Sick. haha

Hey there family and friends!
This week was a nice one but also one of learning too. The week started off by me gathering my district members and traveling 2 hours to Kumasi for Zone Conference. Zone Conference is when multiple Zones come together to hear some instruction from our Mission President. So our Zone Conference was on Tuesday from 10-4 pm. We did take a 45 min break for lunch in between but it was a very long meeting none the less. The mission president gave some great council on missionaries working with members and the difference between when we do work with them and when we don't. Lets just say that it is very effective and essential that missionaries involve the members in the work always. He also congratulated us on having reached the mile stone of 1000 baptisms in the year of 2014 as a mission.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Pics

Well this is another blessed P-day but the first one for me in 2015! Thanks mom for your detailed email and Gary for your email as well.

Well this last week was really nice enjoyment wise but not teaching wise. On the 31st, after we were done proselyting, one of the shop owners right out side our apartment let me use her shop for the night. So I went and cleaned her shop out and put some chairs inside and hung some lights up and we put one of the missionaries music players inside and we just chilled and listened to some music and danced until midnight or 7 your time and then I lit off a huge roman candle to celebrate our New Year in Ghana. On Thursday at 4 our branch threw a new years party and we combined with the other branch. The turn out was probably about 150 people or so. The church rented a sound system and had a DJ there. There also was a food eating competition and musical chairs and some performances by certain people. The Primary did a little song thing and the young men did their own skit and the young women did a nice song. We missionaries sung "Come thou Fount of Every Blessing." Also there was some dancing and food for everyone to enjoy like a potluck.  As you could imagine I did some dancing and was nominated for the food eating contest and yes I did win the contest haha.
Well all is going well here and there is definitely new hopes for this next year. I love you all and will talk to you next week..... With some pictures attached....

~ Elder Cornelius ~

 The branch Christmas party... we sang a little somethin somethin

 Christmas Fireworks . . .