This week had an interesting start. Tuesday after our district meeting I went to trade in some of my personal money for some Ghanaian Cedis at a place not too far from where we had our meeting. After we walked inside the exchange place a strange man came in after us who was very jittery. This man could not stay still and was constantly jerking around. He kept moving a plastic bag up and down over his head. Then he looked over at us and became more hyper and started speaking sporadically—trying to talk to us. He was saying something like, “My church people. I am a member of your church. I was baptized in Germany my daughters are in Belgium.” As he was in the middle of saying these things the security took him outside. He was fighting it as much as he could on the way out of the building. He was saying he was thirsty and needed water. Then he said, “They are my friends” and “help me” while he was twitching around and shaking his bag in the air. We didn’t know what to do and told him, “We will talk to you after we are done.” We were hoping that speaking to him would help calm him down and it did seem to help a bit.
Then I went up to the counter and gave the person at the gate the money I wanted to exchange. The lady took the money and then counted it. She typed a few things in to her system and wrote a receipt. Then she made the exchange into Cedis and gave me my money. In that amount of time (about ten minutes) I had already forgotten about the man. As we walked outside he seemed to come out of nowhere and grabbed me. Then somehow it turned into a hug and then he kissed me on the cheek. He said, “I love you.” He asked us for a bible. I was still was trying to figure out what just happened then sort of coming to a realization of what happened. I wanted to get angry at him but my companion helped me out by trying to get me to walk away so that we could leave as fast as possible.
I followed my companion around the corner. We hadn’t walked more than five steps and this same man came up right beside us. He continued to follow us for the next 20 minutes. He kept asking for a bible so we got out a pamphlet and gave it to him. He became angry and basically threw a tantrum you would expect to come from a five-year-old. He was whining and saying, “Nooooo, I want one of your bibles. The one you call the Book of Mormon.” So we replied with, “If you come to church on Sunday we will be happy to give you one at that time.” He complained more and wanted one NOW. We told him, “We gave you a great book you can learn a lot from if you just read it. It will also help you understand more about the Book of Mormon.” He started to read the pamphlet out loud, very loud, as he continued to walk by us. For the next 20 minutes he continued to follow no matter what we tried he would not leave us. We would speed up our walking and then slow down. Then we would cross the streets and we even tried jumping over a small canal. (I guess the canal is more of a very large gutter that is really deep.) As we jumped the canal he screamed, “Don’t do that!” He began another tantrum. Later, he still found a way to catch up with us.
I just decided to ask God for help seeing that there might not be any other way to get this man away from us. We needed divine intervention. I think after God had a good laugh, He decided to place with in this man’s heart a desire to go to an ”appointment” that he had just remembered. Just like that he was gone. We were finally free.
After having that rather strange experience we desired to share it with someone. We called the other elders who were at lunch. We decided that we were hungry too so we went joined them and shared this story over lunch. After this experience I guess the week was normal or at least in comparison.
Thursday my companion had to go to Accra to update his non-citizen card. The zone leaders arranged for me to go on an exchange with Elder Jensen. This allowed Elder Jorgensen to go with Elder Iymu who also needed to update his card. That day went well. We had a good lesson with one of my investigators brother Dey. Later in the day, Elder Jorgensen and Elder Iymu came back with the package you sent for me and that made my day. I had fun reading everything and eating some awesome candy and yes I did share.
The rest of the week we spent a lot of our time preparing for the baptism on Sunday. Reuben is making a quick recovery from malaria and said he felt good enough to come to church and be baptized. We continued to prepare in hopes everything would work out this time.
Saturday we filled the font and the members (mostly the youth) helped clean the church and it looked like we had everything set. Sunday morning we got up and got ready fast and went over to church early to see if everything was ready and it seemed to be good. We planned on having the baptism after church so we were kind of distracted during all of our meetings thinking about what needed done for the baptism. The last hour, the first counselor came to us and asked us to get everyone together that is being baptized and give them their baptismal cloths to change into. Then we were ready to have the baptismal service right after church.
I was so happy after church because we finally had the baptismal service that Reuben and his family have been waiting for. They have waited such a long time. It was a little stressful for us to get everything worked out this week but it was worth it and felt great.
All of the missionaries in our area had to sacrifice for the baptism. We are all hooked up to the church water tank and that was emptied to fill the font. Now we have no water and the city water is off. That is something we hope we will figure out today but I am sure something will work out :).
Have a great week. – Elder Orton