Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

A beautiful view of Bo, Sierra Leone, where Scotty is living now. 

Today is New Years Eve, and the greatest thing to end the year of 2012 is to read these words from my precious son who has dedicated two years of his life to serve his Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have to say that I am very proud of him and know that he is filled with the spirit of the Holy Ghost.  Since he has left, my testimony of this gospel has grown, and I will continue to study and pray as I know Scotty is.  I want to be worthy of all the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me and my family.  A heart filled with gratitude just does not seem to be enough for all He has done.  

Scotty is now living and teaching in Bo, Sierra Leone, which is about a three-hour drive East of Freetown, near the Liberian border.  There is more electricity there but the area is more rural than anywhere he has been.  Below are some pictures of the chapel in Bo that he attends.  The chapel is rented, but hopefully soon, they will have their own.  

Dear Mother,

     I really enjoyed this letter. Do not feel it was too spiritual or preachy. It is a wonderful thing to hear. It was nice to talk to everyone. But I feel like I never got to say what I wanted to say. But the thing is I do not know what I want to say. This week has been an interesting one. I have been trying to grow in my spirituality and it has been driving me into deeper prayer and deeper study. At this moment the biggest thing I am trying to do is strengthen my testimony and my faith. I have been reading a lot. Especially from the teachings of the Prophets and from the History of the Church. It is a very interesting thing. I have thought about what it is that members have lost their testimony on. So that is where I am strengthening my own. On the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had some interesting lessons this week. The most spiritual pertaining to the Restoration. We met with this man we have been teaching a bit named Brother Kallon. This week we had a very good lesson. But the best part of it was when my companion and I had not spoken for around 20 minutes. We sat and listened to this man read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I could see, hear and feel the spirit testifying the truth of it into this mans heart. He was continuously exclaiming to us about how the spirit was arousing his spiritual emotions. He was all amazed at the testimony. It was a very enlightening experience. 

      The other experience has to do with a man named Henry. Henry was a man who was partially intoxicated when we contacted him last week. He overcame a life long addiction to smoking and many hard drugs including cocaine about 5 years ago. But he is still addicted to Alcohol. So we taught this man the Word of Wisdom small 8 days ago. He was partially buzzed for the lesson. I gave him an assignment to be completely sober for Wednesday when would come again. When we went again he was completely sober. So we continued to help him set goals for overcoming the addiction. But he also had a pamphlet on the Restoration. So we told him to continue to go over it and we would come again Saturday. So Saturday when we saw him we went. We asked him about his drinking and he had not partaken of any Alcohol since that first lesson we had with him the last week. I was so happy. We continued to lead into the Restoration. He particularly enjoyed the First Vision. This man has been Roman Catholic his entire life. And he almost never misses his Church on Sundays. But he asked us "When will Church be starting tomorrow?" We said 9 and he said I will be there at 8:45. He came to Church and attended every meeting. He got readily involved in the Elders Quorum as they prepared a play for the Branch end of the year party we will be having this evening. He is a heart warming experience.

      I also got to speak yesterday in Church. Right before Sacrament the Branch President asked me to be the first speaker. Any topic I want. I felt inclined to talk about the Bringing up of Children. Out here child abuse is a  very common thing. You see it everyday within most families. It is greatly lessened in the Church, but still nothing that would be tolerated back home. I guess I kind of admonished them. I read Matthew 18:1-6 and explained that no matter what will the floggings and beatings be justified. That these children need to be taught the light and truth. Just like the prophets of the Book of Mormon. How most of them were taught by their families. It is the very first message of the BoM in Nephi 1:1. But it was a nice day.

      I hope all will continue to go well. Continue to share your spiritual experiences with me. It helps me rekindle mine as you can see in this letter. But I love you with all my heart.

Have a Happy New Year.
Love yo Son
Elder McDonald

Bo Chapel.  The white area you see is outside.
President Roggia looking at it from a different perspective.  You can see the classrooms off to the right.
A classroom at the Bo Chapel

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