Monday, December 30, 2013


Sounds like Christmas: The 2013 Experience was good! It was great talking to you guys too! It was nice talking to everyone, felt like I was with you guys! We really didn’t do anything else that day, we played Jenga though hahaha. My new companion is doing good, it’s just a little more stressful training and also showing the other new missionaries around. On top of that it’s been hard finding people to teach since we only have half the area now. I have been kinda stressed this week haha. We had the baptism yesterday though, and it was nice!! We also had the most people at church I have ever seen here. We had to bring in chairs from the other rooms during sacrament! Crazy!  Sadly most of the investigators are from the other area, sooo yeah still trying to figure out how to find people. The problem is not that there are no people, it’s that the church is so far so we have to find people within a reasonable distance from the church. Our area is hard because we are farther from the church. Most of it is a small fishing village that already has a number of less active members because it is so far. But no problem because we have 4 people from our area planning to baptize on the 18th and they are all solid! So that makes me happy! I am hopeful that the 18th will be an awesome day! Hopefully January will be a better month than December. It’s really been a stressful week though. So many changes and new challenges. Just have to breathe and push forward though. But as for my favorite experience so far, I would have to say converting Moro. He is a powerful guy and I really love looking at how the gospel has clicked with him. He is so interested to learn more and really understands everything so well. It is sad to me though that he STILL hasn’t gotten the priesthood. By no fault of his own either, just our branch president is so busy. That is one thing that adds to the stress, our branch really doesn't function independently, we have to do a lot of things.  But Moro is sweet and will be a great leader in the church as the years come! It makes me happy to see that!

I really don’t have much to report this week though, it’s just been a more difficult week. But I am so thankful to be out here serving, this is the greatest mission in the world, no offense to anyone haha. There are so many blessings every day that we see and don’t see! It’s awesome! I am so thankful for you guys and all the support and love you give! Thank you so much! That is a great quote (Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him) because it is true, that is exactly what Christ offers us! If we will turn to Him and accept Him, He will transform our weaknesses and imperfections into strengths and happiness. Love you guys so much! I will talk to you next week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

 Just a little Ghanaian Sunset!


It’s going pretty good down here! We had a sweet time at the Christmas party! We left on Thursday and spent the night in Takoradi with our whole district, which was pretty fun. Then Friday morning our whole zone took a tro to Cape Coast, which is where we had the devotional. It was at the Stake Center there. It was sweet! The whole mission was there so it was cool to see some people I hadn’t seen for a few months! We listened to some talks from missionaries, President and Sis Shultz, and sang Christmas hymns. Next we all had a big lunch of like 5 different kinds of rice and chicken, then we watched Forever Strong!!! That’s a good movie! That’s the Shultz' favorite movie. Our mission motto is Kia Kaha Forever Strong. So yeah, that was nice. Then we did the talent thing. It went ok haha, some of the other zones put a lot of effort into theirs so ours was a little flat. But yeah, not bad.

So today we are in Takoradi for Subs, so I will get to send pics!!! But also I got the two packages from Grandma and Grandpa, still awaiting the big boys though haha. I am betting they will come this week sometime, we will see! But I am excited to open them later today when we get back! The spiders in our apartment are usually small, but every now and then there will be big giant guys. They are fine though, they don’t do anything haha. Yeah, Elder Chishinji is great! I was thinking that Zambia was where Kylie went, but yeah I forgot about Pat. Sounds like Zambia is sweet though! He is a really cool guy.

Our 5 that were preparing for baptism have stalled out A LOT. So we had one guy named E, and he was doing ok, he just didn’t know for himself so we were willing to just work with him on that. But the other day we showed up to our appointment with him and he was tipsy as crap haha. So yeah, that’s gonna take some time. Another guy we've been teaching is kinda a whiny guy. He is like 28 and doesn't have a job and always complains to us but he never goes out to look for one. The other day we were teaching and we pulled out of him that the reason he wants to baptize is so that God will help him get a job, so yeah obviously that is a problem. He only thinks of material things. It’s hard to explain, but we had a whole hour long talk about what a blessing is and he only thinks of money and stuff. So we are working on that. There is a couple named Daniel and Elizabeth and they are solid, but they have not come to church in a month. So those 4 are all indefinitely postponed. There is one lady, Anna, who is solid. She will get baptized probably on the 28th. She is awesome though. This has been a stressful week though because of those guys. It’s so hard sometimes to judge whether or not somebody needs to be postponed and how to handle it. We could baptize every person we meet, but the challenge is making sure they are ready. That is what is hard about this mission. Not finding people, but getting people to understand what the Gospel means and getting them to commit to it for their lives.  But yeah, it’s been a slow week, really it feels like December has just been slow for us. Not a whole lot of lessons are being taught. We have been traveling so much and doing so many different things that we really don’t have a rhythm going right now, but hopefully after Christmas things will mellow out. The transfer is on the 23rd and it sounds like Axim will get 2 more missionaries!!! So what will probably happen is that Cardon and I will get split and get new companions but we will both stay in Axim! That would be cool. Tomorrow is when they call the trainers so if I am training I will find out tomorrow.

One thing I miss about home is the ward. The branch here is so inefficient and stuff. Our branch out here is pretty sad at times as far as leadership goes.  Our recent converts still haven’t gotten the Priesthood, which is frustrating. We have been trying to push the Branch President to do it, but he is so busy he never has time. Each week we do the tithing but we couldn’t this week because somebody took the modem from the office and nobody knows where it is soooo….. I was just thinking about how awesome of a ward we have. Give the Bishop a high five or something from me the next time you see him and tell him atta boy haha!

But even with all the stupid little things it’s still awesome out here! Our recent convert Moro is awesome!!!! He is really being a champ. We have started teaching his twin brother, also called Moro haha. That’s their last name but they go by it because their dad is Muslim so their real names are Husseni and Al Hassaan. But yeah the brother is awesome too!!! They are both really smart and humble. We taught the bro yesterday and Moro 1 was there and helped us and he was just being a boss!!! He was telling his brother how awesome the church is and helping him understand things! I really liked that lesson, it was sweet. We have this guy we teach named Samuel and he is deaf. He can talk and stuff, but his ears have some problem so he can’t hear. It is interesting. Luckily he can read though so we just have him read the pamphlets and we write out things on a note pad. But he is funny. He fed us rice against our will and we couldn’t say anything cuz the guy is deaf. Then he brings us out some hot chocolate and he used unfiltered water so there was no way we were gonna drink that. Luckily we were teaching outside so when he turned around we just threw that stuff into the bushes haha! One time he gave us a roll of toilet paper for no reason haha. Yeah Ghana is weird at times. Speaking of getting things, we have a blind man in the branch and on Fast Sunday he got up and told everyone they need to give the missionaries food and stuff so we have gotten like 8 pineapples and a bag full of bananas. Man pineapple out here is unbelievable! It isn’t acidic like home, you can eat a whole pineapple no problem. Which I often do.

We are going into the dry season but right now in December is a mini season called Homatone. It gets kinda dry and the mornings have been cold! Like low 70's. The days are hot though. Apparently the Sahara Desert blows dust down here or something too, so that’s Homatone. But yeah it sounds like January and February are the worst months. I will trade you climates haha! That’s crazy about Adam getting braces pretty soon! I guess I was like 13 or 14 though when I got mine. He is growing up fast! I am proud of him. Sounds like he is being a boss! I am so thankful to have such a great family! I am so happy to get to call home!! Yeah I’m gonna call, I don’t trust the internet out here enough to Skype. But yeah probably around 8-9 on Christmas day! Oh by the way, in Takoradi there is this hotel called Nkromah Plaza, I think I have mentioned it before. But there is a restaurant that is owned by a member in there so on Christmas Eve we are all going there as a Zone!!! We will get big discounts too. The place is like a restaurant back home apparently, so that should be a sweet Christmas Eve. But nothing compared to being with all you guys!!! But really I love you all and am so excited to get to call!!! Thank you for all you do for me!!! You are the best parents in the world! Love you!!!

 Armed and Dangerous in Ghana!  Us with our swords. The guys are named Prince and Samson! This was right after we clear cut the rainforest.

So in Axim there is an island just off the coast. In December the ocean level falls a bit and you can walk to the island!!! Look at these people walking to the island. Man I want to do that sometime.


 Elder Beck, who trained Elder Cardon, Elder Cardon, and me

Elder Cowan and my MTC companion Elder Halterman. It was nice to see them and talk for a bit!

This is at the Christmas devo! Elders Lebaron and Hinckley, all from DHS!! It was a nice little reunion. Elder Lebaron got out one transfer before me and I came out one before Hinckley.

This is what I had for lunch last p-day! Bacon BBQ burger from Ankobra Beach resort!!! I saw a pic of it on the mission blog and had to go and try it! It cost 36 cedis though...and it really wasnt anything amazing. But still!!!! Look at that bad boy! (they only get 180 cedis per month, expensive burger!!)

This is one of 2 giant balls of fufu that the man Francis gave us. This is what we threw off the cliff haha!

 Giant rat anyone?

Don't mind if I do! Haha yeah this bad boy was going on the grill!!! Sadly we had to go teach, but I'd like to try some sometime.
This is Paul who was recently baptized along with his cousin Kojo. But look at their wrists, they got some of the bracelets!! 

Some girls that we gave some of the bracelets to. The girl in red is a member and her mom is the one who feeds us fufu every sunday! The girls name is Peldina Kainya and the mom is Felecia.

This little girl got a bracelet as well. She was shy of the camera and just sat down haha. You can also see a little hand in the corner with a bracelet. I couldn't really get a pic of that girl though.

Look at the ingenuity here. This is a true MacGyver bike, I am sure dad would be proud!!! We saw this thing driving around one day and there was a little kid just chillin on the chair. I was so sad that I wasnt able to take a pic, but one day we were walking and I saw it!!!! I was way happy! That chair is just being held on by twine in case you were wondering.

My Thanksgiving dinner of Chicken and potatoes and gravy!!! It was really pretty good! Also had some Jello! Thanks for all the fixins!

Monday, December 9, 2013


So glad to hear from you as usual! It sounds like it has been quite the week! I have been missing good old Festival! When I woke up Sunday morning I thought to myself that right then you guys were driving home probably, and it looks like I was right! Sounds like it was a crazy drive home! Pretty cold winter this year eh? That’s crazy! I am glad the fam and neighbors were able to all help out though. But yeah, I am glad all went well and you were able to have a nice delivery day! I missed it for sure, but it’s been a good week down here in Wild West Africa. Oh and I just looked at the Shulz' blog and yeah, that’s a picture of our zone from a week or two back! President was doing interviews. Haha I also saw on the blog some lucky zone got Thanksgiving at the mission home and they watched the Santa Clause!!! What?!!? Lucky guys! Elder Cowen is on the other side of the mission in Winneba. That’s where the Ivie's are. We have the Bybees over here. They are from Hooper I believe, like the Shulz', and will be going home in January. They are awesome!!! It’ll be sad to see them leave. There will be a new couple coming to replace them though named the Julanders haha. Everyone laughs at their name. But yeah maybe you will get to go to the Bybee’s homecoming or something. They are great at helping us. Apparently according to the mission office I never paid for my packages and they say I owe 100 cedis, but I did pay so the Bybees are taking care of that mix up for me. Speaking of packages, thank you for sending them but I haven’t seen them yet, they will probably get here this week! I will be happy to see what lies inside! I was able to pull money from the ATM too no problem, so thank you! 

So Christmas we will be having a mission wide devotional in Cape Coast this Friday, so that should be awesome! We are doing a talent show and each zone has to participate, so our zone is doing a "Ghanafied" version of jingle bells. Should be interesting haha! We will see. But I am excited, it should be pretty fun. This will be the Shulz' last Christmas here, so it will be cool I’m sure. But yeah as for calling, I am not exactly sure but Elder Cardon said that last time they called home they went and bought a Vodafone sim card. The way phones work here is you buy a sim card and it’s like pay as you go. So you buy so much credit. So yeah I will buy a sim card for a few cedis and buy a few cedis worth of credit so I can call for a few hours! I am thinking I will call on Christmas day at around 8:30-9 home time! So that'll be good. I am excited though! But yeah, the transfers will happen on the 23rd, so if Elder Cardon goes I will have to figure out how to call home on my own!  Haha we have not really decorated our apartment. There is nothing to decorate it with! Cardons mom sent him a felt Christmas tree that he hung on the wall and then 25 envelopes. Each one has a day on it so he opens one each day and it is a pic of someone he knows back home. He then hangs them on the felt tree like ornaments. And she sent some stockings so we have stockings hanging on the wall too haha! Oh and yeah all the packages go to the mission office first and then they send them with the zone leaders to our zones!

But I have had a pretty fine week! On Wednesday we went and did some service for a man we are teaching named Samson. He has a farm and we went with him to "weed." Pretty much we chopped down the jungle with swords!!! It was awesome!!! There was land near his farm he needed to clear so we cleared it...with swords! Actually they are called cutlasses. But yeah, it’s a sword. When we got to the land it was thick bush. When we left, it was leveled. Samson is a pro, he did almost everything. He was chopping down trees with one strike. It took like 5 minutes for us to do it. It was awesome though haha! I had to buy a cutlass that morning, so I am armed and extremely dangerous now. Really though, I am dangerous. At the very beginning I was chopping some bushes and the cutlass slipped out of my hands, so yeah, I threw it on accident haha. Only once though. But it was a fun morning! I like how NOW that I’m gone you sprayed for spiders hahaha. There are spiders all over our apartment here, could you send the guy here. Oh and by the way, I finally found a giant rat! I got a nice picture with it, so stay tuned!

We went on splits on Friday with our brothers in Nkroful, Elders Mngoma and Chishinji. Chishinji came to Axim with me and we had a great day! He is from Zambia and he is sweet. He has been out for almost 6 months. He has 7 brothers and 3 of them are members. He had a hard time coming out on a mission due to his family, and he has had a somewhat hard time thus far, but he is such a happy guy and is a really good missionary. I learned a lot from him that day. He has some really powerful stories. There was a woman in his old area that was paralyzed who asked them to give her a blessing. The next morning she called, she could walk. Crazy huh? The priesthood is real. It was sweet getting to know him since he has only been in our district this past transfer.

The work in Axim is going. We have 5 people with a baptism date for the 21st, but honestly none of them are ready. I don’t think they will make it. Hopefully soon, but some of them have some serious issues they need to have worked out. It’s been stressful for me, but that’s all part it. The biggest issue is they all want to baptize, but they don’t have a testimony that it’s true. We can teach them all day, but ultimately it’s up to them to find out for themselves. We are the guides and will be there to help and support them every step, but it really is up to them. And it’s so sweet when they see how the gospel can help them. Like for instance, the man Francis that was just baptized told us how he was walking through his farm and he heard a voice telling him to watch out for the snakes, and when he looked up into the trees right in front of him, there were two snakes hanging down. He gave a powerful testimony last Sunday too apparently. It was in Nzema, but all the members have been telling us about it. That’s what I want for these 5, a testimony. We will just have to help them to develop that. We went over Alma 5 with a few of them, it is a really sweet chapter.

I am soooooo grateful to be out here! It is hard work, but it is soooo worth it! It makes me so thankful for you guys too and what a wonderful family I have. We are so blessed, I can’t even comprehend it! I am so thankful for all you do and it makes me so happy to hear everyone is doing good and that Adam is loving deacons and is such a good kid. That’s just awesome! We have a great ward too, I always think that! You really don’t know how much everyone does until you come out to one of these tiny branches where nobody does anything! We do a lot of stuff out here, hopefully they will learn and take it upon themselves soon though!
But I love you lots! I will talk to you next week!!!!! Yabaya! (bye!)

Takoradi Zone - Lookin Good!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Goooooooooooooooooood morning Kaysville!
It’s always so nice to hear from you each Monday! Sounds like it was a good Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods! As for us, we had an interesting week haha!  So on Tuesday we had our good friend Elder Moore come on splits with us. We taught the man Francis Sackey, the one who wouldn’t go all the way under on his baptism. We had to reteach him the Restoration, because he didn't remember any of it.... then he fed us some crazy tasting fufu after the lesson. The fufu was sooo nasty hahaha, there was a TON too! I got a nice picture holding it that I will send in a few weeks. But neither me or Cardon or Moore could choke down the stuff. So, we threw it all in a plastic bag and threw it off a cliff hahaha!!!!!! I got a nice video of it on my camera and will try to send it home, but videos usually are too big to send. Haha but we threw it from the doorway we were standing in and the cliff was like 20 feet away or so. Elder Moore threw it and right as he released it the handle on the bag broke and it skidded on the ground and rolled off the cliff. We were so scared it had burst on the ground! That would be hard to explain to Francis hahaha! But we made it by undetected. It reminded me of the fish at Lake Powell story with dad! But anyway, the fufu made Elder Cardon really sick Wednesday and Thursday. He was vomiting and he couldn’t even open his eyes because his head hurt so bad. We stayed in those days. So I had a Thanksgiving by myself! But it was actually really good! I bought a chicken leg/thigh for 1 USD!!!! I just boiled it and made some of the potatoes and gravy, also made some of the Jello! It was pretty dang good! Not at all like Thanksgiving of course, but I guess it was in the neighborhood. I really missed the pies though, so I am glad to hear nobody got them this year hahaha! As for the favorite Ghanaian dessert, hmmm I really don’t know. They don’t really eat desserts. They have this stuff called Fan Milk. It is basically vanilla ice cream in a sachet and guys riding bikes go around selling it from a big cooler on the front of the bike. They have little clown horns they honk so you always know when the Fan Ice guy is around haha. That’s about as good as it gets, and its only 70 pesewes. But he is feeling better now luckily. Man some of the people here really showed how awesome they are though, we had like 5 people come check on us because they hadn’t seen us! Paul’s aunt, Cecelia, came and checked on us on Wednesday at like 8 because she hadn’t seen us. She made us food, bought Cardon some medicine, everything! It was sweet! She takes care of us really well! She always makes us food and invites us to eat with them! She just needs to find out the Gospel is true. Her problem is she is too stubborn to find an answer, she told us she will never leave her church, even if she gets an answer, so she just needs to be humble. She knows it is true though, that is what’s frustrating. But we have done all we can, it’s up to her now.

I can’t believe it is already Festivus time!!!! Man I miss it sooooo much! You know the Polar Express song that Josh Groban sings? Elder Cardon has it on his music player and I stumbled across it the other night. I listened to it like 5 times. It is the very essence of Festival. Festival is the very essence of Christmas. I really miss being there with you and helping and just having the Christmas spirit everywhere. It really is one of my favorite things in the world. So I hope it all goes well! I will really miss the whole experience. Oh well, it’ll be there when I get back. Christmas isn’t really a big thing over here. I guess it used to be bigger, but they have downsized it a lot recently because it’s a white man holiday or something. This morning though as I was getting ready someone had some Frank Sinatra Christmas music playing outside and it just took me back to the snowy hills haha!

I am happy to hear Adam is loving deacons! Those were good times. It’s crazy to think he is one of the annoying little deacons now haha! Yeah we have the youth do the blessing and passing here, we luckily have some that are able to! It’s nice! That’s cool the missionaries taught in young women’s.  As for us, we teach pretty dang well together. Elder Moore said we had the best unity of any training companionship, so I guess that’s good. The hardest thing people have understanding out here is that there is only one true church. Their whole concept of religion and Christianity is a little whacked out. You would think that since everyone here believes in God it would help in teaching, but honestly it makes it a lot harder. They just have weird beliefs and stuff. I think a lot of it is because before churches came here they had juju as their religions. For example, out here the word "saints" means evil spirits. So they think Latter Day Saints means we worship evil spirits and the Book of Mormon is used for chanting and stuff. Just weird things like that. I think they think of Jesus as more of a positive energy spirit god superhero or something than the literal Redeemer of the world and our Savior and Brother.

Thank you for the bank thing, I will have to go check. I will take out a nice chunk since I apparently have Sams Club coming in the mail haha! I will look forward to it though! Thank you in advance for the packages! I just hope I don’t get transferred in the coming weeks and have to move with the packages (That won’t happen)!  Well, I have a  nice little story to tell that didn’t fit in the email anywhere, so I'll just throw it in here. The other day we were walking around in a little community and we stopped walking by this kid, like 5 years old. We didn’t even notice him until we heard him start crying. We turned around and looked at him and he started crying harder and then the best part....he peed his pants! Yep, kids are not our biggest fans at times. Lots of kids are absolutely terrified of white people. It always helps too when their parents find it hilarious and pick up their crying kids and shove them at us to scare them even more. Oh Ghana haha!

But it’s been a good week! We have 5 people with baptism dates for December 21st! None of them came to church but one this week, so that’s not good, but we will keep working with them! I am hoping it will happen though! That would be sweet! Oh and yesterday we did some clerk work. We corrected some of the members records and entered in all the tithing onto the computers. It was nice! The computer works well, there is a nice office chair, and air conditioning!!! But President Shulz said we can’t email on it because he doesn’t want missionaries abusing the computer, so we are still stuck in Essiama. But yeah, now I know how to do tithing on the computer and change peoples records haha.

The Gospel is awesome! I read a great scripture in Helaman 15 this morning. Don’t remember the verses, I think 7-8, but it talks about how the Gospel changes you. It’s always so sweet to see the Gospel change people. Moro for example, the other man we baptized, really understands the Gospel and has seen the blessings it has brought into his life. He is so eager to learn more and we even gave him a D&C. He is excited to read it and learn. He sees how the Gospel blesses lives. It’s so true, that is what makes the difference in us, the Gospel. Even if we don’t understand the timeline or how things work, just to have faith and know that everything God does is for us! Moses 1:39. That is why we have the scriptures and go to church, that is why Christ died for us, so that we could be blessed and live with Him again! It’s amazing! It’s true! Everyone needs to know it. So few do though. But that’s what keeps me going out here, is knowing that God is always with us helping us and guiding us. We can’t do this work alone, it is with His help.

I am so thankful for a wonderful family!!!! You guys are the best and I will miss you this Christmas and Festivus!!!!! But I am so happy I will get to talk to you! I am so thankful you are my family! I love you guys! Oh, I started carrying that picture of our family at my graduation in my scriptures to show to people. Thought you would enjoy that! But I love you guys!!!! Have a happy Festivus!!!!!