Monday, January 25, 2016

Seeing life through different eyes

Dear Mom, 

I'm so happy about the Broncos!  What a way for Peyton Manning to go out of his career.  Hopefully they can win. 

This week it's been kind of slow we're progressing small with some of our investigators. Most notably Kojo's friend, William, who is already committed to a baptismal date.  So, woohoo for that!  I'm sending you a picture this time of a man who we went to see.  He is mentally challenged and lives by himself.  He spends the day teaching the gospel, preaching style, and can't even afford shoes.  The stuff you see on his walls are old magazine clippings that he uses for wallpaper. This was as he told us his life story.  It was extremely humbling.  His entire house is smaller than Connor's room.

The mission ended up losing my Christmas package.  They looked everywhere but couldn't find it.  The new Mission President, President Snow, is changing a lot of things around here. For example during transfers we used to go to the chapel in Accra, but now we go straight to the area we've been transferred to and we go by ourselves.  Elder Kaelin doesn't like the idea at all and because I don't know any other area, I feel like I might get lost a couple times. That would be a disaster!  

Tell Kinslee Happy Birthday!  I've gotten just as emotional as she has out here.  I look at the picture of you guys everyday and I can't believe how much I miss you guys, but thinking optimistically, I've almost been out here for almost 6 months that's one fourth of my mission!  It feels like I've been here all my life though. 
I'm sorry I don't have more to report about the work out here, but like I said it's been kind of a slow week.  I'll send you some pictures.  Another week down.
 With all the love in the world,
Elder Seanshine Keddington

Ok - Yes!  It was me!  I'm the one who started out my letter to him this week filling him in on all the wonderful news concerning the NFL.  Not missionary related, but oh well.  I'm sad about his Christmas package.  It wasn't much, just the stuff from his stocking (the kids insisted that Santa fill his stocking), but I guess I better get another one sent right away.  He's requested instant potatoes and Rips.  He's pretty easy to please.

I'm kind of not okay about the new transfer procedure.  I thought missionaries weren't supposed to be alone.  Especially while traveling in Africa.  I'm thinking an email to the Mission President to get some clarification is probably in order.  I'm sure he has it handled, but I need my worried parent mind eased.

I love that he is getting an opportunity to see such a different life than the one he has grown up knowing.  I love that he cared enough about this sweet man that he wanted to share him with us.

I love this guy and miss him, but couldn't be more proud of his service and example!

Monday, January 18, 2016

More to do in Kwabeng

Hi mom, 

Well, we just got transfer news I'm staying here in Kwabeng.  This is a four-week transfer and I feel like I'm going to die here.  Elder Kaelin is staying as well.  He's been here for 7 months we're both starting to go a little crazy.  The teaching is going well.  We're starting to teach Kojo's friend,  William.  He is very accepting of the gospel.  

There is another temple trip coming up and I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to take Kojo to the temple for the first time.  He is really grown with his testimony.  He used to be addicted to alcohol, but he gave it up to follow the path of the Savior.

 I heard about Alan Rickman and David Bowie. They will both be missed, although I didn't know  David Bowie that well.

 So, we were in the taxi coming home from Anyinem when the taxi drivers USB played "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago.  I remembered when me and Connor sang that at Holli's wedding and in the future I feel like I want that song in my wedding too.  (Hold on there, partner!)

I love the people out here, but some of them can really get on your nerves.  First of all, they believe out here that the strongest loudest churches are right.  It is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Matthew Chapter 6.  They will stand on the street corners and blast prayers and preach through giant speakers. It can get really annoying.  If you call a certain number out here you can have a minister bless you over the phone for the equivalent of 55 US dollars. They sell holy water in plastic water bottles.  It's a foretelling of the end of days.  It just makes me think and wonder what it was like be the Prophet Joseph Smith as a boy growing up in similar conditions.  I've come to the conclusion to always turn to God, just as Joseph Smith.

Happy birthday, twins. I wish I was there to see you guys get your cool stuff.  I'll be sure to pick you guys up some nice daggers out here and maybe some swords but only if you're good (Ummm, WHAT??)  Mom will tell me if you guys aren't being good.  I'm so proud of you guys for playing basketball!  Continue to practice and I'll be home soon.  I will be home when you guys are 10.

Well, mom, nothing else to report this week.  This email was kind of me thinking out loud, but that's alright I guess.  I love you so much
Elder Seanshine Keddington
P.S.  Just to keep you updated on how I look, I weighed in today and have lost 35lbs!
Well, I guess life isn't always exciting - even in Africa!  Sounds like he is hanging in there doing the Lord's work.  Yep - we're going to have a little talk about what he brings home!  Yikes!  I'm proud of this boy and his dedication!  On we go!

Monday, January 11, 2016

I think January feels the same everywhere!

Hi Mom, 

This week was better than the last one.  I have finally gotten over my sickness.  I'm losing a lot of weight, I'm watching my diet and I'm really really well.  We finally confirmed Kojo as a member of the Church. After the baptism, I learned that Elder Barfuss and his companion started teaching him back in June.  This was a very long awaited baptism, but I'm glad it happened.  He started bringing his friend William to church, so we are going to start teaching him the gospel

It's kind of slow right now.  We're not having as many lessons as we would like, but that's how it is sometimes.  The Gospel happens out here in the Lord's time.  Kaelin and I are getting along great.  We are good friends.  He may get transferred this week, so I will be the last one left in this apartment that started out as me, Barfuss, Lords and Kaelin.  I feel like I'm ready and I want to go to the city, but the Lord will do what needs to be done.

Tell Connor to read his patriarchal blessing a ton. (He just received it yesterday)  I've studied mine back and forth out here and I found so many blessings.  The Lord has promised me that if I will keep His commandments that he will pour out His Spirit upon me.  When the time comes, I know Connor will make an excellent missionary.  I will try to set the good example for him.  President Snow arrived in Ghana and the zone leaders say that he is a very chill guy.  I'm looking forward to serving with him.

Can you believe its been 4 months since I've been out on mission?  It feels like such a long time ago that I left you guys at the airport.  I can barely remember my old life, but I'm growing in my new life out here.

Nothing else to report this week.  I'll keep you guys updated and I'll tell you if  anything interesting happens this week.  I love you guys so very much and I know that this gospel is true.  Get Connor to the temples much you guys can.
Love,  Elder Sean Matthew Keddington

We found out this week that the new Mission President, who will begin in July, is Robert H. Simpson.  He is from Australia.  President Snow is the interim Mission President called to fill the gap because of the passing of President Hill's wife.  We are so grateful for these wonderful couples who dedicate all their time to helping these missionaries do the work of the Lord! 

It sounds like he is ready for a shake up, but, as he says, all in the Lord's time.  I love hearing those words come from him.  We are blessed!! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

A full year of nothing but missionary work!

Hi Mom! 

I loved talking to you guys on Christmas. I actually had a bad bit of homesickness after the call, but I'm where I need to be.  For New Years, Elder Kaelin and I went and bought huge roman candles and shot them off at midnight.

The Baptism happened! Yesterday I baptized Kojo and it was a very spiritual experience for both of us. He was welcomed into the ward with open arms.  He brought his friend William, so we're going to start teaching him the gospel too.  I gave my talk in church and it was short and sweet.  We get our new mission president now. His name is President Snow and we're going to meet him.

This last week I was very sick.  I had stomach worms and it was not very fun. I called the mission nurse and she prescribed me some medication and it knocked it right out.

I recently got to watch the Saturday afternoon session of conference. Elder Holland's talk about mothers made me realize how much I miss and love you, Mom.  Thank you so much for getting me out here and for raising me so that I may be able to teach these people the gospel.  I love you and Dad so much and I want to thank you with all The love in my heart

This is my full year in Ghana and I'm going to make the most of it.  I'm going to lose all the weight that I gained back home and I'm going to teach as many people as I can.

I'm proud of Connor for going out and trying ice fishing.  It's not for everyone, as it sounds, but I'm proud of him for doing it.

Today me and Elder Kaelin got to go to a restaurant in Anyinem.  It was very good and I tried custard and mutton

I love you all so much and I will continue to teach the gospel and make you proud.  Love you guys so much!
Elder Seanshine Keddington

PS: When Connor goes out on mission - PS4 becomes mine ;)

PPS:  One more thing.  Packages are great thing to look forward to, I hear, and they make the time go by really quickly.  I know you send a ton but could you see if the rest of the family would send them. I love getting stuff here.  It's a great motivator.  Thank you so much

This letter makes me laugh a little.  It's kind of like talking to Sean in person.  He tends to jump around on the topics you are discussing and can give you a bit of whiplash!  He sounds great, though!  Talking with him on Christmas actually made me feel a lot better.  Because we were able to see his smile and hear him talk about how much he is loving his mission, it made me worry less about him.  I'm glad his homesickness didn't seem to last too long.  And, Yay!  Stomach worms!  ewwwww.  Very grateful for good medicines!  It sounds like the work continues to progress and we will keep praying for these great missionaries and that people will be ready for them.  

BTW - I probably need to step up the packages.  Need to keep him motivated and all!  ;)

I sure love this guy!