Monday, September 23, 2013


Thats cool Elder Cardan's mom found you on FB! Haha he told me that would probably happen!  But thats sweet you got the picture and the letter! I hope the packages arrive ok!!! Yeah its always going to be the PMBCC address or whatever, but hopefully they get here! Thanks for the pictures of Tiki.  Those made my day! Thats good Tiki is still alive, keep it that way haha!  Thats good somebody is watching out for Tiki! I miss him quite a bit sometimes, but I am glad he is being watched out for by Adam! Tell Adam congrats on the win! I hear the Utes won too so good! 
Its been kind of rainy here as well, especially today! The rashes on my hands are gone, and I figured out what it was. The detergent I was using to wash my clothes was too strong so when I washed it would burn my hands. But I switched to a different one and now the rashes have stopped! The skin peeled off and now its back to normal! Luckily it wasnt some weird tropical disease or something haha! But yes I do eat pretty healthy! Its mostly the same thing everyday, stew and egg sandwiches, but when we move to Axim next week I want to start making burritos and maybe pizza! So if you could tell me, how do you make dough? Is it just flour, water, eggs, sugar and salt? If I can figure out how to make dough and batter then some good things could be made!  As for unusual food, we eat quite a bit of fufu! Thats what I had for dinner last night at a members house and we had it for lunch at a chop bar(small restaurant) today. Its starting to be really good! You get ALOT and its only $1 american or $2 cedis. But I used to not be able to eat it all and Cardon had to help me but now I can finish it easy! The other day we had Banku, which is made out of cassava and plantain like fufu but the consistency is like mashed potatoes. You eat it with soup just like fufu and swallow it whole just like fufu. Its kind of sour though. I liked it a lot at first, but about half way through it got nasty. You have to finish though so I pounded it down haha! Last week these people gave us some fried fish. When I say fish I mean literally the whole fish. They were about the size of my hand and you eat the whole thing! They were actually pretty good too haha! Crazy how things start to taste good!
This week was really really slow as far as teaching goes, and it was kind of frustrating at times. Cardon was also really sick all week, so I had to kind of step it up more teaching which I liked. It is so nice to teach! The other day we were teaching this guy for the first time about the Restoration, and I was talking about Joseph Smith's First Vision. While I was describing it, the Spirit hit me really hard and my eyes teared up. It was powerful. Experiences like that make all the stupid stuff and slow days worth it. The language is getting easier, and by language I mean english haha. The english is coming more and more, sometimes though it gets frustrating when you know people dont understand you and they dont admit it. But yeah I am adjusting. Crazy to think it has been almost two months! I am getting more comfortable talking to people, that part was hard at first. That was really my big problem. Because you dont want to say anything when they are going to respond in a way you dont understand haha! But I am getting used to it more and more each day. 
The only thing I can carry on my head are the big bags of water sachets! They are easy haha, but some of the things people carry on their heads are just insane. There will be people carrying big giant TV's or other ridiculous things. No way I will EVER be able to do that haha! For pday we were in Takoradi to pick up our money. We met at the Stake Center with the other 30+ missionaries from the surrounding zones and everyone played football. I have had a cold oddly enough the past two days so I didnt play because I felt like crap, but it is getting better. We usually go email at the nice Vodafone internet cafe, but I guess today is the first presidents of Ghana's b-day so a bunch of things are closed. Stupid. So no pictures for 28 more days I guess! Sorry! 
I read a great talk called the 4th Missionary, which really opened my eyes to how I want and need to be. It scares me to think that one day in the field I wont appreciate the time I have out here, because a lot of people dont and just want to leave. I dont want to be like that, but it is very easy to fall into that attitude that in 23 months everything will be nice. The time I have out here is a gift and I want to use it to help other people and to grow and learn. There is no way I will let anything keep me from doing my best. I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve. I miss and love you and everyone else, but I know this is where I am needed. I can truly say I am happy out here. Oh and the talk I gave was pretty short, but it was on the Atonement and that we should always use it in any situation. But yeah it went alright haha!
I love you sooo much! I will talk to you soon! I hope those packages will be ok! OH AND I FOUND MY SHIRTS!!!! THEY WERE IN MY BAG ALL ALONG! Haha sorry for saying they werent! But they are! Oh and also, I kinda want a Taco Time package but I dont want to demand one.  Some hot sauce and freeze dried pinto beans would be sweet haha! And letters from anyone there as well!
Love you!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

I got this picture from Elder Cardon's mom's facebook page.  She found me on facebook, how awesome!  He is loving his companion!

President and Mrs. Shultz

Monday, September 16, 2013


Thank you for sending the packages! I dont have  them yet, but maybe(probably not) I will get them tomorrow at our meeting. We will see! That sounds like a crazy game!! Man I was thinking about Adams football on Saturday, about 7 so you would have been right in the game! And El Matador sounds pretty dang good! Thats nice everyone was able to go! So far I havent had rain like that, but maybe I will! The rain can be a problem because we have our scriptures and camera, so we dont want to get them wet, but when it just mists it feels kind of good! Yeah that day you were looking at the humidity here it sucked haha! It was cool but you just sweat like crazy. Once in a while the breeze hits you though and that feels like heaven. By nighttime though its really not too bad and yeah the sweet sweet fan makes everything ok haha!

How is Festival of Trees coming? I have been thinking about it and that really will be something I will miss while Im out here! Everything about it is good! Its like Christmas all crammed into one building! Its funny what I miss here, its mostly the small things, like glass windows. There are no glass windows here, its just mosquito netting! Also I miss going to Sams and Home Depot for whatever reason. I miss driving in the truck with you and dad. Also McDonalds haha! But yes there are lots and lots of palm trees! Everywhere there are palm trees! When they die the leaves all fall off and nobody cuts them down so there are lots of big sticks just poking into the sky haha!

Yeah we take all the money out and then we take it home. I have an envelope for personal money and one for the sub money. I just take as much as I will need that day and carry it in my wallet. I have really no fear of being robbed, the people here dont even think of that i dont think. Its crazy how open people are here. And if word got out that someone stole, the town would beat them and drive them out of town haha.  As far as language, it is getting easier. When they speak in Nzima  they always say the same things so you can tell how to respond. Usually they are just asking how you are doing or are asking if you can speak Nzima. But the english is getting clearer, its just an adjustment to learn how to talk haha! It is very very basic and the accent is unique. But I am learning slowly but surely. Thats crazy Josh got moved! Sadly I hear that Johannesburg is one of the most dangerous missions, so that should be...interesting. But he will enjoy it! Except that lucky guy wont have to deal too bad with the language crap because South Africa is pretty much like another state in the US. They talk the same and use the same slang, they just have an accent. One of the other elders in the house is from South Africa, he is cool. His name is Mngoma(Em-goma) and he was in the MTC with me. The other is a nigerian and his name is Obot. Not a huge fan of that guy, nobody really is hah. He has been out like 17 months and LOVES to talk about how he is the experienced missionary and how nobody is as good as he is. He told one elder in  our district that he couldnt understand doctrine because he wasnt black. What? Oh well I have been nice to him and he has been nice to me so I cant complain too much haha! Just gotta worry about yourself. But yeah we dont eat together or anything, me and Cardon just eat in our study room and they lock their door and eat in their room.

I really miss having a ward! I spoke in our church in Axim yesterday. They told me about 5 minutes before so that was fun. But thats all part of the mission life so it was nice. I had a guy standing next to me translating what I said into Nzima so I felt like the president or the pope or something! haha That was funny. The coolest animal I have seen has been....GOATS!!! Haha there are no cool animals around here so.... But actually there is a guy in Bokazo that has a monkey. Its like the size of Tipsy! We got some good pictures of it so i will send them! But yeah it cost 15 american dollars to buy it! Haha that thing was crazy! Ill write more about that when I send some pictures because the majesty and glory of the monkey can only be understood with the proper photography. And bugs, there are lots of ants in the apartment, but they just chill in the walls until some food is on the ground then they pounce. Really it hasnt been too bad. No mosquitos or anything to complain of!

I got a haircut last p-day! I was scared but it turned out pretty good! They just used the clippers on my head so its nice and short, but not too short! We did that after volleyball, which was way fun! For a net they used two sticks put in the ground with a stick going across! Pretty impressive! But the dang thing kept falling over! Also, our baptism this week fell through. Sadly he had some chastity issues so we will have to work with him for a few weeks. Not good, but we will see. I went on splits the day he was interviewed, to Tarkwa. I did that two weeks ago too, cant remember if i told you that. But Tarkwa is nice! Its kinda like half as nice as Rose Park, but around here thats nice! But there is a hotel there with a restaurant so we got....PIZZA!! It was way good! But there were a bunch of snooty british guys in there so I dont like white people in Ghana anymore haha! AND we have water in our apartment again so thats way nice! We can shower now!

The week was kinda crappy, we had lots of days in Bokazo and I dont like Bokazo. There is nobody to teach there and we had lots of appointments fall through. So we walked over every square inch of that town. We taught one recent convert named Francis Cudjoe one night because he hasnt come to church in 2 months and we kind of gave him the heat. He started crying when we were done. Ghanaians dont cry, so we were feeling way bad, like we had laid into him too hard. So we gave him a blessing and talked with him. He is better now, he just felt bad about not coming to church. Hopefully thats what he needed though to get him back to church. He is going to school and doesnt have enough money to pay it full, so the next night we bought Banku for him. Banku is like fufu kind of, I havent had it yet. But he was happy.

Eating eh? Well in the morning I usually have half a loaf of fresh bread with peanut butter. The bread here is dang good! Its like subway bread. The previous missionary left half a thing of Skippy so I have been enjoying that. Its almost gone though so I will have to buy some more tomorrow in Takoradi. But for lunch I usually have an egg sandwich, but the other day I was sick of that so I MacGyvered a BLT! I bought some mayo the day before for that very reason! But yeah I toasted the bread, used lettuce and tomato, and hot dogs! It was pretty good, not quite like Dylans or Crown Burger though! For dinner I usually have noodles and stew. Not like beef stew haha. You guys could easily make it at home if you want to live large like I do:) Just cut up a whole carrot, an onion, a green pepper, a tomato, a can of tomato paste, a can of beans in tomato sauce, 5 hot dogs, a can full of water, and cook it on the stove! We put in seasoning as well, like stew seasoning and a shrimp bullion cube.  But thats dinner! I need to make more tonight! It usually lasts a week, we just put it in tupperware and throw it in the fridge.

We go to the high speed cafe about once a month, I have some good pictures I want to send so stay tuned!  Some days out here are hard just because of the culture, I can now say I have been a victim of racism haha! They are pretty funny with white people and some just yell white man!  But I am enjoying this place and enjoying learning and growing, even though its not easy. Love you and I will talk to you soon Dad! And mom, I love you soooo much! You're the best mom in the world and I miss you and think of you guys every day! Send everyone my love!!!! I will talk to you soon! Love you!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Yes the glorious 81 degrees is treating me well, but the humidity is kind of a pain at times. It really hasnt been raining too much, but it has today. The rain here is probably like the rain in Hawaii where it is just like mist. Its pretty cool! But yeah not too bad! What was the trek video like, just mashups of footage? Sounds nice and yes it is always good to see my face hahaha! That is the right address, and yeah they just bring it out to us! Thank you SO much for sending those! I will be soooo happy to get them! Those things can be life savers out here! My comp had some brownie mix in one he got so we mixed it up and froze it. Ice cream!!! Haha well almost ice cream. It was good though. I already know that for Christmas I will need more white shirts sent! I took 10, but at the MTC some got lost in the laundry so I only have 7 now. No big deal right now but yeah it will be soon!

Yeah the zone interviews was fun! We went to the big city Takoradi and did it. Yeah she took some pictures and I was in a few so i was in there somewhere! In the group picture I was on the end. We listened to the AP's and Sis Shulz talk while we waited for our interviews. It went well, he didnt grill me too bad haha! Just asked how I was doing and stuff. Yeah Pres Shulz is the man. He is a pretty good guy and is funny, so it will be cool to be here!  I haven't gotten sick at all so I guess I am lucky! Elder Cardon was saying how his first month here he was on the toilet more than he was off so I am feeling thankful I have been ok! Especially since we still have no water! We fetched more today. Being here is kind of like a big camping trip. You shower rarely and dont wash dishes hahaha! No it actually is fine, and I do bathe regularly, and we do wash our dishes, just not as well as we should:)  I miss Tiki more than running water I would say haha! There are dogs everywhere but they are just kinda wild so its no fun. But yeah I miss dogs.  We ran into a guy last night who lives in New Jersey but is from here and he shipped his Mazda3 to Ghana! What?! So he was standing by it and he took pictures with us standing by him hahaha. Weird.

Tell those guys hi from me and tell them that I am thankful for their leadership and examples. Church here is very different. We have the two cities we go to so we also have two branches. Yesterday we had sacrament in Nkroful because we were expecting a few investigators, so we wanted to see if they came. We had one show up before we left, and apparently the rest came later. But after sacrament we took a taxi to Axim and taught the investigators class and stuff. We had 5 people in the class which was awesome! But as far as how the church goes, about 10% is english so you can imagine how interesting that is! It is basically the same though, just smaller and less professional I guess. Yes there are lots and lots of dirt roads! Actually they all are paved but there are so many potholes and chunks missing that they just throw dirt over. But I guess our area and zone are known as the jackpot so thats a plus haha! Takoradi is one of the bigger cities and has lots of good shops and stuff so thats why its called that. We have had two baptisms since I have been here and we will have one next week. We were going to have two next week, but the girl Edith is leaving for Accra this week so she will get baptized there. That girl is so smart though! We taught her yesterday and we somehow got into baptisms for the dead, temples, family history, and missionary work! She thinks deep! She wants to serve a mission too so that is crazy!!  We taught a less active man yesterday that found us on the street. He told us Ammon came to him in the morning and told him to go to church. Who am I to judge, maybe Ammon really did. But yeah the people here like to talk about having visions and dreams and stuff. 

Oh on P-days we have a devotional for like 3 minutes with the other companionship in our apartment and then we come email, do our laundry, and then whatever we want! We are going to play volleyball with this lady in the apartment next to us today so that should be fun! This week we taught a lot of lessons though and did pretty good! At the time though the days kind of sucked. Lots of days we had appointments fall through and would spend hours trying to find people to teach. But all in all it really has been a good week.
The other day we were driving back from Axim at 6 and the sun was just setting. As I was looking out the window at the palm trees and the red sky, I realized how good life really is. It doesnt matter that I am in a 3rd world country without Mcdonalds, because the gospel really is true and is the only thing that makes us happy. It isnt nice clothes or big tvs or good food that makes us happy, it is living the gospel.
That reminds me, Adam turns 12 in November and conference is in October. Dad should take him to priesthood meeting next month so he can get the opportunity to see it! I think its a good idea and would help him. IDK. Also, a good calzone is worth it!
So before I forget let me just write that in Ghana they believe that Michael Jackson started a Satan worshiping cult and all the big music stars are in it. Nikki Minaj, Chris Brown, Rhianna, Justin Bieber, all those guys and Jay-Z and Beyonce are in charge now that Michael Jackson is dead. I thought that was awesome because they really believe it. There have even been a few people asking about it in lessons. Asking if it is a sin to listen to their music haha!
Thats Ghana for you, there is no explanation for anything here! I love you guys! It is always a highlight of my week to read your emails! Love you sooooooooo much and I will talk to you soon!

Love your favorite son,
Elder Hackmeister

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Click on the link below to watch a great missionary video!  Elder Mortensen recently returned from the Ghana Cape Coast mission.  I thought this was so amazing to see the areas Elder Hackmeister is in!  Can't you just picture him there?! Enjoy!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

HI!!!! It is so nice to hear from you guys! Yeah I have no idea whats going on with the emails, but i didnt get any of yours that you forwarded me and have not gotten one from Adam, weird! But hopefully they will pop up eventually! I love hearing from everyone though, it really is a luxury haha! So as far as packages go, those flat rate envelopes are like 20 bucks to send and no duty gets paid on those. The other boxes or whatever are a little more to send and there is like a ten buck duty, so nothing bad. They take 3 weeks to a month to arrive I guess so if you send anything, make sure it wont rot:) But I have been craving american food pretty bad haha! You know those instant soups from Zupas and stuff? Those would be SWEET here! As long as they just require water, i could do it! No milk here though so only the water ones would work. But yeah instant potatos and things like granola bars and stuff would be awesome! Youre smart and know what I like:) Maybe for mutual the YW/YM could make little bracelets for the kids or something? If we gave them candy they would probably never leave us alone haha! They are bad enough as is haha! No they are funny! But they get beat ALOT! I see kids getting beat in the street everyday, but its just how things are here. Thats how they get disciplined. I was playing with this little girl last night, then her dad came over and just SMACKED her, i guess she was laughing too loud or something. I felt bad!
We still have no water, but we are making it fine haha. We have a big water tank in the back that fills up so we have just been filling buckets from it and using that. But it ran out yesterday so this morning we had to fetch water from a well. Crazy!!! But yes we have a toilet and sink and even a "stove!" It is a propane burning stove like the one from the girls camp. But the worst thing about no water is we cant just flush the toilet. We have to fill the back with the water buckets. So usually we flush it 1-2 times per day haha... Also always remember how toilet paper is a luxury. We just have paper haha! But enough on that hahaha.
I actually can use my card here because there are ATMs around. The mission gave us a card and every 28 days we withdraw 180 cedis, or 90 USD, and use that to live on. I will probably withdraw some money from my account soon, just to have in case I run out of my 180. So just be sure there is always about 150 in my account! Thanks:) Money shouldnt be a problem though. We can buy breakfast for 25 cents here! But not like bacon and eggs, its more like a roll filled with spaghetti! They are pretty good! Most mornings I just make scrambled eggs and toast though. I am really missing good old mexican food though haha! I wish there was an El Matador here or something! But i will adjust.
So this week we had another baptism. This time the font filled! It was a lovely brownish green! The baptism was is Bokazo and E. Cardon did the baptism. The boy was Clever, and he is 18. He was definitely ready. That Saturday and Sunday kinda sucked though because we had a hard time finding people to teach. But hopefully this week will be better! We wont have any baptisms this week, but we will have two next! One is a 19 yo boy named Aaron and the other is a 17 yo girl named Edith. We met Edith last Sunday when she came to church with her uncle. We taught her the Restoration during the 2nd hour of church and she really understood well. Then on Tuesday we taught her at the shop she works at and she committed to baptism! We were shocked! Two lessons and she was committed! At the beginning of the lesson she said she wanted to be baptized so really one lesson! We taught her on Thursday about the Plan of Salvation and she understood it so well that me and Elder Cardon legitimately had an hour long conversation on whether or not she was a member messing with us! It was crazy! She has really been prepared by God and was waiting to meet us! Aaron is a friend of Tony, the boy we baptized last week, and i guess he would always meet the Elders with Tony, but the same Tuesday we committed Edith he committed! So you can imagine that that was a good day! To top the day off, we had bought some Dr. Pepper in Takoradi the day before on P-day so we feasted on noodles and Dr. Pepper! There is an american-like grocery store in Takoradi called Garden Mart and they have EVERYTHING! Well, a lot. But it is super expensive. They have kool-aid for 35 cedis. So yeah. But the dr. peppers were like 2 cedis each so we enjoyed those. I am hoping I will get to baptize Edith and Tony, but we will see!
On Thursday i went on splits because the District Leader, Elder Mcguire had to interview Clever for his baptism. So I went to a city called Tarkwa and was with Elder Keetch. He is from Lone Peak. Tarkwa was fun! We taught some really cool people and had lunch there. I had this stuff called red red, it is beans with plantain. It was pretty good. We then got some stuff called Fan Ice, which is basically ice cream you eat out of a bag. Like the water sachets only ice cream. Not quite as tasty as back home, but it got the job done. But right after that we went and taught this lady and she gave us a HUGE plate of rice and stew! We had to force it down haha! After that day my stomach has been a little wacked, but it is fine. The Pepto really helps! I do have a weird rash thing on my hands and arms that kind of flares up every now and then, but im sure its just my body getting used to the climate. It doesnt itch or anything. We are having interviews with the Shultz' on Wednesday so maybe I will ask about it. That is sad someone went home! Its not the kid i told you about because he is in my district! I have no idea who it is but that is sad! I think i have done pretty good adjusting, but I can totally see how it could be a struggle. I know I am watched over though so it is easy to push forward. Teaching here is still kinda weird. The whole culture and stuff is just SO different that it is hard to figure out how to talk and explain things. I have gotten better though. E. Cardon helps me a lot and he is a cool guy. We will get along well. The teaching skillz will come in time.
I will just email dad in this email, so let him know. Yes it is good not to give Tiki Ice cream! I bet he is huge already! I miss that little guy! There are lots of dogs here, but they are just like the goats or chickens that run around. They are just animals. They arent like dogs back home. I miss those types of dogs whenever I see these ones. They are just feral and run free. But yeah Im sick of roosters. Every morning about 900000 start doing their thing and wake me up! As I am typing this there is one right outside the door screeching haha! I think of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park each time I see them!
Its weird to think I have almost been gone a month! Time has really flown! It is weird to think that I will be 6 months out on my birthday! I am excited to be here and learn, teach, and grow! Oh and as for pictures, we are in  Nkroful emailing every p-day other than the one every 28 days. So we call that one Sub P-day because we collect our money in Takoradi. We email at the nice cafe there where the computers are fast so I will only send pics then! Sorry! But it would take forever here.
I love you guys more than anything! Miss you all! Give everyone a hug for me!  Also, I would love you a little more if you guys got me a package in the mail;) But no you are an amazing mom and I am excited to talk to you in December and see you in 23 months! Love you!

Your favorite son,
-Elder Hackmeister