Monday, October 28, 2013

Sounds like everyone is doing good!  Cooperstown sounds fun, when is it? And going into NYC after sounds fun! That was a great trip we had!  I was thinking about that the other day.  It is hard to say what my favorite part was. The whole thing was awesome! Seeing Ground Zero and the new Tower was fun though, and the Pageant was great too! I was thinking about the trip me and dad took to Cali almost a year ago too! Crazy how time flies! That was an awesome trip as well! Good times!

Amanda emailed me about grandma too, crazy! I am glad she is doing ok though. Sounds like she will recover well!  Send her my love! This week has not been a particularly bright one for me. I haven’t been feeling all that good this week. My stomach is moving like a blender in a hurricane or something haha. It all started when I had a lunch of coke, cookies, and ice cream. Man I should have learned the first time that indulging in Ghana is a no no. But we had some good lessons and met some good people this week.  Its true, every experience can be learned from. I can only do my best. 
The fufu video you watched was spot on, those ladies always look like they are going to lose their fingers. I dont know how they do it. They call the stick a pistol and the bowl the mortar. The person holding the stick "pounds" the plantains and cassava and the person almost losing the ability to play the guitar "drives." I have pounded one time, it is hard! But I dont think I have had the jaw and testicle soup yet, and hope I never do. Fufu is getting kinda nasty to me, I will not miss it. We got fed twice yesterday. I was able to eat the first one, but the second one was not happening. My stomach was killing me and there was way too much. The lady was fine though  because she knew I was sick. The people here are so nice and friendly.  We will have 3 baptisms in 3 weeks for sure, and we are hoping to get one more guy. He has been gone for like a month. He was supposed to be baptized on the 19th, but yeah he is in Takoradi haha. Hopefully he comes back.
I am missing the cold for sure! That sounds so nice! It is getting hotter here every day. It is almost dry season. That will be interesting haha! We have no water again, so I dont know how we will wash our clothes haha. Hopefully it comes back on at some point. We were able to get our money on Wednesday no problem, which is nice. I have spent some of my personal money. I cant remember how much I withdrew, but I spend most of it on travel. The church reimburses us for travel money which is nice. I spent $20 or whatever on those last packages. I will probably withdraw some more this month or next just to have it. It is good to have it just in case. But life is moving along, it is tough at times but sweet at times. I know that the best is yet to come and that there is a reason I am here, as long as I am working hard and doing my best it will all be ok. I love you guys so much! I am so thankful for such a great and amazing family!  I pray for you all each day! Oh and yes we have been meeting with that lady, her son is doing good! She will probably be baptized next month or December!

Love you all! I will talk to you soon!

Monday, October 21, 2013

 I have internet!!!! Haha hi!

We are in Takoradi today so we are in the nice internet cafe again! I dont understand why there is no internet in Axim, but its true! Pretty crazy, and we will have to ask Pres. Shulz if we can use a members computer or something. Bummer. So i forgot my camera cord!!!!!  Sorry, I guess in a few weeks I will be sending pictures haha! The apartment is sweet! We do have windows and my bed sits right next to the window facing the ocean! So every morning I wake up and look out at the ocean haha! But no I cant hear the waves, Ghana is like a nightclub. There is always music blaring somewhere. I'm sure if it was quiet like back home you could! You can see the waves rolling into the beach which is sweet! Yeah halloween is NOT a thing here, but they have giant parties like every week so they arent missing out or anything. Whenever someone dies its like Christmas morning. There is music blaring, tents set up with chairs, alcohol and food everywhere. They say they don’t enjoy funerals though haha.

I read some of the emails but I will be finishing today! It has sucked not being able to email for like a month! But things in Axim have been sweet! We have met lots of people and now we are just figuring out who is serious and who isn't. We have been planting seeds and next month should be the harvest! We are hopeful for 5-8 baptisms! That would be sweet! The people in Axim are awesome, but a little more stubborn in the gospel than in Bokazo. They have a hard time accepting the need for a restoration. But thats ok, we still work with them.  I was able to go on splits the other day with a new Elder and we stayed in Axim so I was the leader. The day was so smooth and I really felt the Spirit. I talked WAY more in the lessons and was really happy.

This Sunday I was able to give a boy the priesthood. It was Tony, the boy that got baptized right when I arrived! That was a neat experience! I enjoyed it! Remember the boy Aaron who failed his interview? We were hoping to get him ready for baptism but he is being difficult. He avoids us and won’t come to church. When we meet with him and ask if he wants to be baptized, he says yes so we tell him to show he means it by following through, but he never does! Kind of frustrating. But we will keep working with him, even though we have tried everything. Its sad to see someone not accept the gospel, but you can’t force it on anyone. Everyone has the right to choose. 

The lady that feeds us fufu on Sundays has been making MUCH better fufu lately! It has been nice! No smoked fish haha! We had some yesterday and it was good and then another lady gave us half a watermelon and some peanuts! It was sweet! 

Today we played football with the other missionaries which was fun, and then got fufu.  The Ghanaians are funny and always say things like "white man, do you know how to eat fufu?" We played at the stake center in Takoradi. Remember last conference when Pres. Uchdorf talked about being in the stake center in Africa when the power went off and the people began to sing? That’s the stake center! Kinda cool!  We usually get our money while we’re here but the church's account is messed up and there is no money in it, so we have to wait til Wednesday haha! Good thing I have money from home! We are emailing at the cafe now and then we will probably go home and wash our clothes and stuff.  So you asked how we do laundry, we just fill up a big tub with water and mix in detergent packets. We throw the lights in first and let them soak for like an hour. After we sit on a little stool and scrub! We have a bar of soap and rub it into the stains and then scrub the clothes together. After they are clean we wring it out and stick them in a bucket of clean water to soak. We wash all and stick them in the bucket and then throw the darks in and let them soak as we go and hang up the lights. Then we repeat!

Church has been nice! We had a few good meeting lately, the branch is still learning how to do things so sometimes it is funny! But last week we had 9 investigators in church and 10 this week!!!!  It’s been nice! I taught the investigators class this week by myself. Kinda cool. That is a great quote you sent me and it motivate me to improve myself (Marion D. Hanks, "The Lord said, speaking of His servants, 'Their arm shall be my arm.' (D&C 35:14) Have you thought about this? To me this is one of the most sacred and significant and personal commissions I can read about in the holy records or elsewere.  The Lord says this arm of mine is His arm.  This mind, this tongue, these hands, these feet, this purse - these are the only tools He has to work with so far as I am concerned....So far as you are concerned, your arm, your resources, your intelligence, your tongue, your energy, are the only tools the Lord has to work with."). I have been reading the Book of Mormon again and its amazing how awesome it is! Its great reading it with a missionary mindset. It really testifies of Christ and what the Gospel really is. Lots of people think it’s just yelling JESUS here. But really the gospel is all about His love for us and our potential in His plan and His eyes. I am sooo thankful to be here sharing that, even if it isnt easy at times. I will do my best always!

Have a good week, I love you and miss you tons!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Sorry about Monday, there is no internet cafe in Axim so we are still trying to figure everything out!!! We had a meeting in Sekondi today and now we are at the nice cafe in Takoradi, but they close in 20 minutes!!! So sorry but this will be a short email i guess! I am doing great though!!! Haha I am glad everyone enjoyed the fufu story! I really like fufu but that lady just makes it nasty! And she feeds us every Sunday haha! When we came into the mission they gave us all NICE filtered water bottles, so sadly thats the bottle the fufu went into haha. I had to trash it. Oh well.If there are any questions you wanted to know, just ask them in next weeks email and I will answer them on Monday. But Axim is doing great and we are having lots of success in finding people! We should have lots and lots of baptisms in November so that will be awesome!!! I hope you will have a GREAT birthday too! I am sad I wont be there but I love you soo much and I am soooo thankful for you and all you do for me, you are the BEST mom in the world!!!!! 
I love you and I promise i will write a nice email next week haha, we will be in Takoradi again so I can send pictures!!! LOVE YOU!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I am glad you got to read E. Cardons letter! I was so mad at the internet last week. There really isnt a place to email in Axim so we are having a hard time figuring that out. Today we went to Axim Beach again and got pizza for lunch though, which was awesome!! We are at Ankobra Beach now using a laptop to email and the keys are all out of order so it is hard to type haha! We will probably go to another cafe in Sekondi this wednesday to send big emails so this one will be small. But I am doing great! Axim is awesome and yeah the members here have really been a great help so far! We have met a lot of great people and there are some that are really promising! We are working hard, but its hard haha! Missionary work is so sweet but it is also so hard. But I love it. We had 9 investigators in church this week! Things are looking promising here! I will write more on Wednesday, but I love you so much!

Elder Hack

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I got a great surprise in my email today, Elder Cardon's mom forwarded me her son's letter from this week.  I was so excited since Elder Hack's didn't make it over due to internet issues.  Here are some funny and exciting excerpts from his letter.  They sound like amazing missionaries and are having fun together! What a blessing!!

Church yesterday was my favorite sunday so far of my mission, by far. It was fast and testimony meeting (no conference haha, maybe in a few months we'll watch 1 session voiced over in Fante again...).But then, they asked us missionaries to bare our testimonies first, and we talked about how we're going to need members to help us, now that we're here full time, and i bore my testimony about every member being a missionary. But then, the rest of testimony meeting had a sweet missionary theme.The members here are SO excited to have us here. Elder Hack and i have some great ideas about getting the members involved, and if it all works out, things are going to explode. Like, big time. I'm hoping to spend 2 or 3 transfers here, at least. We had a random member of the Accra temple presidency attending too, and he got up and did a really good job motivating the people to help us. I think we can start getting 10 or more referrals a week and 20 or so member present lessons a week. It's gonna be sweet. Our new branch president has a goal to have a church building here in Axim by the time he's released. I hope it all happens and it gives me goosebumps to think about haha. Then we went to sunday school where we had an investigator, Moro, commit to baptism on Nov. 10! We have 2 more people we're trying to prepare and give a date to for that day, so we're hoping for 1 on the 19th of Oct, and 3 on Nov. 10! Finally, a funny story from this week. So part of the members being so excited about us being here, is that they've started feeding us more! I love it usually because i can put down just about anything, but yesterday Hack SUFFERED. Hahahaha. Oh man. She made us a HUGE ball of fufu, with soup and smoked fish. Hack hates the smoked fish, and it makes the whole soup taste like smoked fish. So like 3 bites in he said he was done, and there was absolutely no way i could eat the whole thing, the ball was huge. Luckily Hackmeister had a water bottle in his backpack. Hahaha he stood it up in his bag, and whenever Sister Felicia and family wasnt looking or got up, he took a big chunk of fufu and put it in his water bottle inside his backpack haha. We survived but i was stuffed. Oh my gosh. Hahaha it was funny. But things are going great right now! We're working hard and doing our best for everything to explode in Axim. We know that the Lord can do more with us than we can do with ourselves, so we are just doing all that we can. It's an exciting time right now.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sounds like you guys had a great time at Priesthood! I was so bummed not to be able to watch!!! And no calzone for me here, so if you could send one that would be great haha! Too bad Gabors was packed though. 

The new apartment in Axim is seriously VERY NICE! Its 10x better than the other one we were in! It smells like a new apartment too! The water was actually down the first day, but its going now. The main pipe outside burst and was gushing, but they got it taken care of.

I wrote a giant email to mom but the internet stinks and is super slow so it didn't save or send, just deleted, so I will email you a big update next week. But I am doing great and Axim is sweet!!  Google Axim Beach and Axim Beach Hotel, that's where we went for pday today. Love you so much, you're the best and I miss you! Nobody gets my jokes anymore now that you (dad) and Cody are gone!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FX35 in Ghana - Made me think of home!!

Playing Soccer on the Beach

Cute little kid making dinner

Noodles and Stew

Love the name of the water tank!

This guy is a taxi driver. We were sitting in another taxi at the station waiting for more passengers and I saw him. I tried to stealthily take a photo of him but he saw and came over and said "White man why did you snap me?" I told him that was my home and asked if I could get a pic with him. So here it is! 

Dr. Seuss plant

Giant millipede

  and GIANT tree!! Look how tall it is!!



This guy has a "nice" monkey for a pet - notice the guy only has 1/2 an ear.  Wonder if the "nice" monkey had anything to do with that?
Clever and his family - Baptism Day!

Clever's Baptism Attendees

Nice clear water for the baptism :)

Clever's Baptism Day!
The font was dirty so the kids jumped in to clean it!

Clever and Ernest with me and Elder Cardon
This is Bokazo or Tarkwa (can't remember which)
View from our new apartment in Axim!

Sorry I didn’t email yesterday, I was busy vomiting all day. I got the packages though!!!! Thank you sooooooooooo much!!!! We got them on Sunday and I opened them that night and ate almost a whole thing of oreos and two slim jims and that night at about 4 am it decided to journey on back! Luckily I made it to the bathroom but I think I puked 6 times yesterday haha! Even water wouldn’t stay down, But Elder Cardon went out and bought me a couple Sprites and those helped a TON. So today I am feeling better and had some oatmeal for breakfast. I guess I shouldn’t gorge myself on oreos and beef jerky haha. But yeah it’s funny how I didn’t get sick from the Ghanaian food but when I try the American food I got destroyed!  The letters were fun to read!  Tell everyone thank you!!!  I’m sure the kids here will love the CTR rings and I am excited to get to hand them out!  They love anything we give them!!  They sell ice cream on the street called Fan Ice. It comes in a bag like the water and you just bite off a corner and squeeze it into your mouth, I bought one the other week and there were some kids standing by us and there was about a 4th left of the fan ice, so I gave it to one. His mom saw and called him over and smacked him because he was begging.  It is just a part of life here, but it’s sad.

Thank you for the bread recipes too! We don’t have an oven, so I don’t think I can make those. I just need to know how to make dough for like tortillas and batter for chicken strips. Those should work pretty fine though. And there is a way we can Macgyver an oven so we will see!  

As for conference. They don’t show conference out here for like 3 more months because they translate it into Fante or Twi. So when it does come out we can’t understand it and they only show 1 session during church. So the only time I will get it is when the Liahona comes in who knows when. I was bummed to find that out because I was excited!  But oh well I suppose.  I will miss conference at home SOOOOO much!!! Those are some great memories going to Priesthood and Adam will be sooooooo happy if he goes!!!  What a great experience it is! Yeah I will miss conference and calzones too much! Man those are awesome, those are some of my favorite memories!!!

This last week was a pretty good week, but i will be excited to move to Axim on Friday. Elder Cardon is coming with me, I am still training until next transfer (6 weeks). Then it is all up in the air. Elder Cardon is the new District Leader so we will do splits a lot more, which I think will be good for me so I can learn to lead more!  Axim has lots of work to do and we should really have every day filled, which I am excited about. There is nothing worse than walking around with nothing to do, you feel useless. That’s how most of our days in Bokazo are, so it will be good to go to Axim. On Thursday the Zone Leaders came on splits with us, One went with the other elders in our apartment and the other came with us to Axim. His name is Elder Bush and he is from Kaysville! He goes home next transfer! Actually his cousin was in my trek family too, so that’s crazy. But he is cool and we had a good time with him and learned a lot. Its cool to see how good he is at talking the language with people and how he gets what they mean. Me and Cardon are less experienced than him so it was good to have him there for the day. But we taught some good lessons.  We taught this less active guy named Ebekai. He is probably 50, and he was telling us how he drinks alcohol because his doctor gives it to him for his hernia. He apparently didn't think we believed that he had a hernia, because mid lesson he just stood up and dropped his pants to show us. That was pretty dang awkward. The three of us were just saying "no! no!" and he just stood up and pulled his pants down. But he came to church on Sunday so I guess it was worth it? 

Most everyone here likes the white man. But the other day we were talking to a lady and some guy came over and was giving us crap. He said something like "If I ever hear you speaking my language I will kill you." So I said, "Oh but you are speaking my language." He got a really embarrassed look on his face and walked away. Then I said "Yabayah," which is goodbye and he got mad until someone yelled at him to leave. It was pretty funny haha!

That same day we went to see the apartment we will be moving into and it is amazing!!! The mission just bought it so when we went in they were still working on it, but it is HUGE! And nice!!! It has two balconies that overlook the ocean!  It is gonna be sweet living there!!!!  Oh and also, I have had fufu 8 days in a row, but it stopped yesterday when I puked my guts out. Fufu gets better and better each time. I hear there is an African market in SLC, so maybe they have fufu there!  And….I have some pictures and we are at the nice internet cafe so I will send them!  Today we will probably not do too much. Yesterday was our pday but since I was puking up every hour we couldn’t do much. So we might get haircuts. The ride back home is two hours so when we go to Takoradi our day is usually shot.  It’s pretty easy to live on the money we get. But I have used some of my own on things I don’t want to spend church money on, like coke or snacks.

I am having a great time out here, sometimes it gets discouraging but I just keep going forward. Yesterday was the worst day I have had in a LONG time and it was hard not to think about home. If I was sick at home I could just watch TV with a blanket and Tiki but out here you just press forward. But I know that God blesses those who sacrifice for Him. I know my teaching will improve and I will get better if I am exactly obedient and doing my best. I love you soooo much and miss you, but I am beginning to really love the people here as well. I am sooo thankful to have such a great family and such a great mom! You are the best!!!! I love you sooo much!!!! And the Best Dad!!!  Oh and I will send some pictures too!!! Love you!!!