Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016 OVER AND OUT!!!

Hey Everyone!
Well, these words come to my mind as I write you. "I'm coming home... I'm coming home..." How true those words ring. This last week has been quite an emotional rollercoaster. The extremes of many emotions were felt as the time was coming to a close. But yet, it ended rather well. We ended with the baptisms of Alfred, Kalvin, Matu, and Ezekiel. It was great to see their willingness to follow their Savior, Jesus Christ. My strength was tested and tried throughout this week. Saturday, I started to come down with a cold and Saturday evening, I experienced my first ever migraine. I don't wish to experience that again. I had no idea what was going on and it scared the HECK out of me. I started losing my vision in my right eye. Then I started feeling a strange sensation in my right arm. Then, I couldn't speak normal. My memory evaporated and my speech turned to some sort of elven tongue. I couldn't say baptism for the life of me. I thought that this is how it was ending. I was going to go home mentally incapacitated. But it passed and now I'm good.
But, I do want to share my personal thoughts and feelings real quickly. I'm so grateful for this privilege that I have had to serve here in West Africa. I personally do not feel that there is a better place to serve the Lord then amongst the Ghanaian and Liberian people. Their susceptibility to the spirit is uncanny. Their willingness to leave all for the Lord is a great strength for me. The greatest testimony I have is of Finda, who upon losing her husband a week before her baptism continued the course saying, "All I know is that if I give myself to God, all will turn out well." How those words have echoed through these years of service. As I have strived to give myself to God, I have found that all has turned out well. In fact, better than I could have imagined it myself. Truly the Lord has more in store for us as we let him guide us. Trust him. Have faith in Him. He will direct you for good. Of that I am a living testimony. I love you all! Thank you for all of your support, prayers, love, thoughts, and encouragements. They have been a blessing and most of them have been timely. God bless you. God bless this work.
Elder Treadway

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 21, 2016 From Mormon Newsroom to Liahona

Hey Everyone!

Hope all is doing well. I'm doing mighty fine on this side. Things have been going to quite swell and we are looking for things to be the same for this upcoming week. On Saturday, we are planning for the baptisms of Matu, Alfred, Kalvin, and Ezekiel. All of these people were carefully looked at and made sure that they were ready. The mission has tried to make a push for baptizing converted people to the gospel, and I, in my interviews, have prayed for the spirit of discernment. Alfred and Ezekiel have been coming to church for a little over a month but have shown great spiritual maturity as we have taught them. They come early to church every Sunday and show that they are ready and willing.
Elder Takouo is coming along great...He is excited to work and we have enjoyed being around each other. It's a little bit more quiet around but it provides some reflective time for myself.
Well, I don't really know what else to say... sorry. Super excited to come home next week. A lot of things are going to be different... but it'll be dope. 

Love you all
Treadway Out

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016 2 Weeks Till Touchdown!!

Hey Everyone,
So, I can't believe at this point how quickly time is going by. I feel that this week went incredibly fast. I had a lot on my plate for this week, and these next two that they just seem to zoom. On Wednesday, I had scheduled 10 Baptismal Interviews in an area relatively far. I didn't want to leave on exchanges, while leaving my son in an area that he is not accustomed to yet. Nor did I want to bring him to just sit around. I thought about what to do and decided that I'd snag my Zone Leader and we both would do  the interviews together while my son proselyted with the Zone Leaders son for the day. (Our Zone Leaders are training as well.) It went incredibly well and were able to bust it out.
This past week, we have been able to see a lot of progress in our areas. We have put a special focus on the Part Member Families and Less Actives. We came across one man named Kennedy. We started teaching him and he was progressing so well. He got the Restoration so well and was even using Church language like "the Plan of Salvation" and "the Priesthood". I thought to myself, "This guy is prepared!" The next lesson we come to teach him the Book of Mormon. I go to have him read the first paragraph of the introduction when he stops me and tells me, "You don't understand." I was confused and nervous. He then explained that he was a baptized member in Nigeria and that he never knew where the church was for one year. We laughed about it, read from the Book of Mormon with him, and invited him to church. He came yesterday. That was good.
We are having a lot of people we are teaching who are showing a lot of progress. Most of them won't be baptized while I'm here but that's alright. They are showing signs of great progress which makes me happy. One woman brought her husband to church. Another one CAME to church. We are seeing a great improvement in the branch as well. Our member support was down this week, so the Branch Mission Leader and I called a meeting with the members and expressed our concern. We should have that problem solved this week. I'm happy for the work we are doing and the progress we see. This week will be no shortage of working which I'm excited for. I'm continually reminded that I need to "act [in this branch] as for years." I love you all and pray for your well being. May God bless you.
Elder Treadway

February 8, 2016 Enter Elder Takouo

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. This week was a rather crazy week. So, Elder Hawkins left Tuesday morning, leaving me in a threesome for the day. I didn't like that. So I called up a Branch Missionary and I went with him throughout the day visiting people. Tuesday night, my companion came. Elder Takouo from Ivory Coast. French Speaker. I only have three weeks left to train him. But his English is good. Not perfect but we can communicate. He is an obedient missionary and wants to work hard. I'm excited for the work that we are going to do. Lessons were a bit down this week because it was a little difficult for him to get out the words of what he wanted to say but I know in time things will pick up. I'm happy to be with him.
We were able to have three baptisms this week. We had Phebe, Tomnet, and Francois get baptized. Elder Takouo performed the baptisms for those three. Something strange happens when someone is baptized. I've seen it more than once. They sometimes shy and hesitant about certain things before baptism. But afterwards, something is alive in them. They begin to talk, be lively, laugh and smile. I've seen it more than once and it's something to just think back and smile about. 
Well, the travel plans have finally come. Crazy to think about it. I try not to but it's like right in my face! No amount of hiding it or something is going to get it out of my head. I'll I have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to me. (Yes. That was a paraphrase of Gandalf. I haven't lost that.) But I can sit around and just wait for it. Or I can work till the day comes. I'll choose the latter. 
Well, I'm going to be honest. I'm not super enthusiastic about emailing right now. I'm actually sorta suffering. This cafe we found is in the middle of an alley, no fan, no airflow, and it's noon. I'm like in a sweat shop for heavens sake. Oh L.I.B.
Love you all!
Elder Treadway

February 1, 2016 The Lapa Legends

Good Evening Everyone!
This week has been rather hectic for the work. The referrals have not ceased to come in as we have continued to try and meet with people who are prepared. We are currently planning for a baptism of three people for this Saturday. But for the 27th, we are looking at around 18 to 20 right now. It's amazing to see the preparation in the people. They are so ready and so willing. We don't even have enough time to teach everyone so I got permission from President Carlson to stay after 7 to teach more people. Yes. It's safe Mom. I think... I never stayed out past seven. But I'm just going to stay at the chapel and teach there till 8. A lot of work. 

This game you see here is a game called Lapa. All of the children play it. You have about 12 to 14 shoes all scattered in the middle of the field of play. The goal is to get all 12 shoes into a line and count them. After counting, you need to pick them all up and drop them. But you have to dodge a ball being throw back and forth by two individuals. If you can catch the ball, you can kick it and start collecting the shoes. Elder Hawkins and I are champs at this. Often we jump in when we see some kid getting pretty cocky. One time I went in to throw and this kid looked at me and signaled to me to bring it on. So... I brought it on. He had no idea what hit him. It was too fast for him. Not going to lie, I impressed myself. But now, the kids love us and are names are legends here. We were walking through this one remote place in Doe Community and you hear "The white guys that play Lapa are here." Legends. No one was hurt though. Just scared.
Well, I love you all and hope you are doing well!
Elder Treadway

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25, 2016 DOpE COMMUNITY

Good Afternoon Family and Friends,
I'm grateful for the internet I have. I'll start with that little piece of gratitude. You all may be wondering how my first week as a full proselyting missionary was this week. I LOVED IT!!! It was the most satisfying thing I've done since I've gotten here. It was so great and I'm so excited for what the next five weeks hold. There is so much to be grateful for so let's start with the temporal things and move to spiritual.  

 This is the nicest apartment I've ever been in. Hands Down. It's almost an apartment you would rent back home. Electricity 24 hours. Never runs out of water... Yeah. That's pretty much it. And it's amazing. Still no hot water but eh.. who needs that. Elder Hawkins and I have our own apartment and there is another two Elders right next door that live there. So we spend a bit of time together. They are struggling small but the Hawk and I are flying mighty high here.

The work here is so overwhelming. How can that be? Let's just say that yesterday we received 34 referrals at church. During the whole of the week, we tallied 59 referrals. That's a lot of people to teach. And almost all of them came to church yesterday. It's exciting yet intimidating. These are people that are expecting so much from you. And you need to just do your best to give them the blessing that they have been waiting for for months. The primary class has 42 children that haven't been baptized and she is pressuring me to teach them. Now, I'm not about to baptize a kid without the parents in the church or anything, especially if they are nine. I told the Branch President that and he understood. But I came to an agreement with them. I told them to give me a list of the primary kids and put next to their names if their parents are members or not. So now I can see which of the kids are part members. Some of the parents are less active so we have visited with them. If we visit a kid whose parents don't come to church, we use that to meet the parents and teach the parents. We have one mother who is now interested in the church and promised to come this week.

It's all a bit of strategy here. We have lists on lists of people to teach but we are really listening to the Branch Mission Leader. He is a guy that really magnifies his calling. He knows them each personally and where they live. What help he has offered this past week has been so valuable. So we know which of the investigators are most serious so we know where to start. We already have all of our days planed to Friday. We are planing to go on splits this week with the Elders Quorum President and the Branch Mission Leader because there is so many people to teach. What a wonderful problem to have, right? By the way, we have one investigator who has completely blown me out of the water. Francis. We teach him and he usually teaches us. I asked him to teach us the law of Chastity and he just went off for ten minutes talking about this and that. He even started quoting scriptures from the Book of Mormon off the top of his head. It was impressive until he referenced the articles of faith for one thing. 
Elder Hawkins is great. His trainer for the first six weeks didn't do anything the whole time so we are doing a crash course in 6 weeks. We are going through all twelve weeks double time. He is really smart and catching everything. But it's continuing to teach me and I'm still trying to apply the things I'm learning from Preach My Gospel to better myself as a missionary. I'm grateful for this opportunity to remind myself I still need to learn and act. We are really enjoying ourselves and the time spent here in DOpE COMMUNITY.
Love You All
Elder Treadway

Saturday, January 23, 2016

January 18, 2016 Back in the Trenches!

Good Afternoon Everyone!

So, as you all know, Transfer's came up and I got transfered! I am officially released as the AP and now am opening up Doe Community. On top of that, President is having me be the District Leader of the twelve man District I'm in as well as finish the training of a missionary from Utah named Elder Hawkins. He is a great kid who was having a tough time with his trainer so we took action. I'm excited for the new opportunities that have been presented to me. However, because I'm now back in the trenches, I'm now back to using the crappy African computers in a cafe so, let's see how this goes huh?
This week was a wonderful week for Elder Verdoni and I as we wrapped up our companionship with each other. We finished with a baptism of three of our investigators on Saturday. We had Muhammad, Jartu, and Noel baptized. They are doing so well. Muhammad is learning the importance of church, Jartu had to learn the importance of modesty, and Noel, well... Noel was just an angel. She has not done anything wrong her entire life I'm pretty sure. But they all have been taught, they are all acting upon what they have been taught and are truly growing.
I'm sad to be leaving Elder Verdoni but grateful for this opportunity to just finish out strong. We got a nice new apartment that we are opening up which is the nicest I've been in. We have a steady current from 7 in the evening to 7 in the morning which we are all grateful for. We have a nice view of the harbor which is also right next to West Point, the most dangerous slums in West Africa. Awesome, right? Well, I love you all and pray for your well being and happiness. 
Elder Treadway