Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hello!  Oh my goodness, I just typed out an entire long email and it deleted it. Wow it didn't even draft it. I am sooo sorry. Wow, my time is almost up too, like 15 more mins. I can’t retype it all. But I am good, I am staying for at least 6 more weeks, Elder Quaisie is going to AXIM!! I will be with Elder Omah from Uganda who is very powerful I hear. He came LAST August, so he is a year ahead of me. He apparently turned down being the Assistant so I am hoping we will have a great time together and I will learn a lot. I hope and pray to learn a lot from him and become better. I will tell you, it is scary being here and not having a translator, the mission pres. called Elder Quaisie yesterday and asked him if he needed to close the area because there isn’t going to be any native elder there to speak the language. That kind of put a damper on my mood, wondering if I was doing the job the Lord expected of me here. But honestly I guess there is nothing I can do to fix that, it’s all in the Lords hands. These are the moments on a mission where you just have to have faith and put your trust in the Lord. I am excited to see what happens in the next 6 weeks, excited to see where I can grow and improve! Everything happens for a reason, that I know. The Lord is teaching me something, I always can see that when I look back on past trials. I know that this little speed bump will lead me to something good! The Lord is guiding us after all.

That subject for your lesson sounds AWESOME!!! President Monson has so many stories about following the Spirit, so you should have a great lesson! It is true how much prayer helps! The Lord really DOES hear our prayers! That is something I have come to really know! It’s amazing!!! 

The problem with the washing machine is internal I think because it just leaks out of the hose itself, so I talked to the salespeople last week and they said they would come and look at it, but I gotta cart them out to the apt if they do haha. So we will figure it out at some point! Good luck on your lesson this week! Let me know how it goes! Just follow the Spirit!!!

I got the packages, well tomorrow I will. Thank you soo Much!!! I will talk to you on the phone in two weeks though, it will be awesome!!! LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Everything was closed yesterday, that’s why I am emailing today. I am doing good and have had a really good, albeit long week.  So Monday I was feeling like I need to be a better teacher for some reason, can’t really remember why. I think I was listening to conference talks and just felt inspired or something, but I fasted that night and Tuesday asking the Lord to make me better. We had combined district meeting that day and the Assistants came also. Well, after the meeting I was informed by Elder Quaisie that the Assistants were coming on splits with us that very day, which stressed me out because, well they are the Assistants haha. But wow, it was awesome; I learned soooo much from them. As it was happening, I didn’t realize it right away, but I know that having them come was the Lord immediately answering my fast and prayers. The Lord hears us. I know that to be true, nobody could ever tell me otherwise. That is like saying water is not wet or the sun is not hot. THE LORD HEARS US. I feel soooooo sad for those out in the world who don’t believe that, for they are missing out on such blessings. But yeah, I really learned a great deal on how to teach more effectively, planning better, teaching clearer, all sorts of things. They are awesome guys too, so it was a really positive experience. The next day I went on splits with our district leader, Elder Kirumira from Uganda. He is sweet. The area we were in is in Foso town, so it was nice to be in town with him for the day. We taught some really great lessons, felt the Spirit a lot that day. It was nice. It was fun to spend the night in that apartment, Elder Cowan is in that apartment so it was nice to get to talk with him, he is a funny guy haha.

Well, we went to farm again this week. This time it was with the Osei family in Bereku. We went to their cocoa farm DEEEEEEP in the jungle haha. Like seriously, it was like a 3 mile walk TO the jungle, then a 2 mile walk THROUGH the jungle. So yeah, I feel like Indiana Jones at times. But we had fun harvesting more cocoa. Did the same thing, but this time I was pro and didn’t kill my hands. I got some sweet pics, someday you will see them. But yeah, no pics for the foreseeable future...  On Friday we had an activity with the ward where me and Elder Q split and each of us went with a group of members to visit the less actives. Nobody spoke English in the group except one boy, so that was nice haha. But we visited this 20+ year old dead drunk less active who just went off on us saying he would never come to church again. It was all in twi, but hey, I understood it! His issue? He never completed high school so he couldn’t serve a mission, so he became a drunk. Very sad. I tried talking to him, since he did speak English, but when someone is just dead drunk their listening and patience skills are quite low. We will have to go visit him again though. He has not come to church in 3 years he said. Hopefully someday he will change his mind. The work here in Akonfudi is slow. I feel sad about that sometimes, but it is hard when really I can’t do all that much. I am trying my hardest to get things going, but it’s like a fish trying to blow up a balloon or something haha. I don’t speak the  language. But we are trying.  I have picked up a little Twi, I can understand it better, but can’t speak. Most missionaries can’t speak it, but I am trying to since I have no option haha!  I am just a bobblehead at the moment. Transfers are next week and I am pretty sure the big Q is gone, so we will see what happens! Maybe both of us will go, who knows.  I guess we’ll see! The only really progressing investigators we have are a teacher named Bro. Ahodwo (A-ho-jo) and his son Akwesi Mensah. The son is 15 and he is sweet, really loves the church and gospel, he even wants to serve a mission. His dad is interesting, we are not sure what his intentions are. The group meets in his school each Sunday, we are working to get him ready for baptism though. We were hoping for this Sunday, but it isn’t going to work due to the fact he is never available to meet with us during the week so we can teach him.
Yes I got the washing machine on Tuesday, this thing is a machine. It looks just like one back home, only it’s about the size of a minifridge. All metal and everything. This thing has driven me CRAZY this
week though haha. It’s too complex! I couldn’t figure it out until Friday. The water wasn’t filling, but I got it. The problem now is the water leaks out while it is washing and the water hose doesn’t connect tightly so when the pressure changes in the hose it pops off the valve. But it works! I was so scared I’d wasted 1100 cedis on it haha. But yeah, just some minor bugs that I am working on. I am trying to be a Mcgyver like dad. On p-day, well we deep cleaned the apt. That was fun. Found out we have a mouse in the apt. Saw it running on the wall the other day. And to make things worse, I found its droppings in our dish drying rack. So yes I had to re-wash the dishes really well!!  Sooooo....yeah haha. Death will be administered swiftly….

This Easter was good!  Easter here is like a week long party. Easter Friday-Monday.  Oh and the Bishops family made us fufu with beef and mushrooms on Easter, so yeah we ate like kings! Dad, when I come home you and me will make a fufu mortar and pounding stick so we can try some legit fufu haha! But it was sweet. Great to remember that Christ is risen. He does live. I was reading in Luke about His Resurrection. It’s just like the angelic messengers said, "Why seek ye the living among the dead, He is not here, but is risen." I can testify this is true. The Savior does live. Because He does, everything not fair in life can and will be made right. If we will turn to Him, we will be exalted above all the things of the world. We will be made pure. What greater gift is there than to be made clean through the endless sacrifice of Christ? We must turn to Him. So many don’t know, or refuse to believe that those angelic messengers were speaking truth. Why should we seek the living among the dead? He IS risen. He will speak with us if we will speak with Him. Let us always speak to Him each day. He will hear us!

I am not sure how much weight I have lost, maybe 10 pounds. Really it’s only been on my face I think. Well, ok some off my body as well haha. But I am feeling good. I have started working out at night, might as well put some muscle on my little girl frame haha. But yeah I really have started the pushups though haha!  My arms are the weakest they have been since I was an infant, but they are also the most defined they have been, so it’s a tradeoff I suppose.  Love you though. You are the BEST!!!! Thanks for teaching me how to work hard!!!!

I am happy to get to talk to you guys in less than a month!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Afternoon Mom!!!
 We are doing good today! We had a zone football match today against the YSA in Foso, so that was fun...well as fun as it can be playing footba-er soccer. Wow I didn’t even notice I called it football. That’s sad haha! It was fine though, just hard to play with people who REALLY know what they are doing. It’s been a good day though. Oh I just wanted to tell you, I am buying a washing machine tomorrow for like 1000 cedis. When I found out the exchange rate I made an executive decision. There is a cool story attached with this:
Last week I decided on it and on Tuesday I was planning to buy it. I even asked Elder and Sister Shiffman to bring their truck to help us carry it from the store to our apartment. After our district meeting we went to a bank so I could withdraw the money. Sadly, the ATM had a 400 cedi limit, so I asked E. Quaisie if there was another bank nearby. There was, so we went there. I tried again to withdraw, but sadly this one also had a limit, 800 cedis. So I was trying to figure out what to do. I asked E. Quaisie if it would be ok if we went into the bank and talked to them, thinking inside I could make a larger transaction. So in we went. Inside I was looking around, enjoying the AC when E. Quaisie taps me on the shoulder and says, "I have seen my Father." He walks over to a man and taps him on the shoulder and they hug and start talking. It was his dad! Crazy!! His dad was in Foso for work. Cool eh? Even cooler, that day he had prayed to be able to find his son so he could give him some money. Elder Quaisie had been praying his family would send him money so he could fix his shoes and mend some pants. Well, the Lord heard their prayers!!! It’s amazing how the Lord works right?!! Oh and don’t be worried if you see some money missing from my savings account haha!  It’s all in my personal hands, not some random guy who found my card or something.
This week I felt bad about my email last week, it was terrible haha. So this week, throughout the week, I have been keeping an "email list" which is something I did for a long time earlier on but stopped doing for some reason. It’s crazy how much you remember when you jot it down haha! So hopefully this weeks will be better.
One good thing this week is remember last week I talked about how we downloaded some talks from conference? Well one was Elder Hollands. I LOVE Elder Holland, that man is truly inspired by the Lord. But his talk is AWESOME!!! IDK if you have listened to it, but it’s all about being a true follower of Christ and living the Gospel, kinda like what I was talking about a few weeks ago in my email. But wow, I was blown away by it. He talks about those who have been mocked or persecuted for their beliefs. He says if it hasn't happened to us already, it will.  Thank you for setting a great example of endurance and faith for me!  But yeah, that talk is AWESOME!!! Really makes you realize how important it is to stand as a witness of this Gospel! So very important!
I have really enjoyed my personal study in the Book of Mormon this week, as usual. I just finished the Book of Alma, most of which is talking about the wars between the Nephites and Lamanites. You know, sometimes it’s hard to learn from those chapters, but the Lord kept them in the Gold Plates for a reason. It’s amazing how when you really READ those chapters the things you learn. I really learned a lot personally from them! Sooo cool! The BOM is true, I hope you guys are still reading it daily with the bishop’s challenge! It’s very important to have a strong testimony of the BOM. It doesn't matter how lofty the branches of your testimony are, what matters is how deep the roots are. Those roots get deeper as you are constantly reading and pondering.
On a nice side note I have gotten some of my shirts tailored. I was getting kinda tired of looking like I was walking around in one of dad’s shirts haha, especially the past few months as I have lost some weight. But the guy did a really really good job, and it was CHEAP. He is doing all of them for 20 cedis!

This week we watched the movie Legacy with our recent convert Grace. That movie is kinda cheesy, but it’s great at the same time! I felt the Spirit a lot during it! It’s amazing what the early members of the church suffered through. Today we are enjoying their sacrifices, hopefully we can live up to their legacy, no pun intended. They are amazing. I got a bit teary I will admit. 

This week it has rained a LOT! And it has been HARD! The other day we were teaching a woman and it started RAINING. She gave us shelter in her house for the 45 mins it rained. The wind was gusty too, it ripped some roofs off of houses and trees were down and things like that. It’s funny, the wind wasn’t really that strong. I can’t even imagine if the great Farmington Canyon windstorm of 2011 happened here. Everything would go down. But that woman is named Mary. She is one of the new people we are teaching. She seems nice, but she speaks no English, just like everyone else in Akonfudi haha. I feel bad at times because Elder Quaisie does a LOT here. It can be kinda frustrating, but at the same time I love being companions with Elder Q. He is awesome, he is very kind and patient and he is just a good guy. It’s hard because of the language, but I will do whatever the Lord asks of me!!! Sadly a lot of the burden is on Elder Q.  I wish I could do more to help! But this work is from the Lord!  I can never deny that! I don’t know if I will go or stay this transfer, which will be in two weeks. If I stay, they better send someone who knows the language. Elder Q is more than likely going, he has been here for 6 months! He thinks I will stay here, so we will see what happens.

Oh the other night we were visiting a family who just had a death. They are members, and their sister just died. Apparently, she gave birth to twins and died after. The reason? Well I don’t know, but everyone else thinks it’s because the husband put a curse on her. That is something EVERYONE here believes in, juju. So I guess the way it goes is that if the curse remains untreated other family members will keep dying. So we were talking with them one night outside when a group of guys made an "anti-juju-juice." It was alcohol, coke, and other assorted things. They came chanting and threw it on the ground to break the curse. Then they washed their hands, sooooo yeah haha. IDK why anyone believes in this juju garbage though haha.

On Saturday we went to the bishops cocoa farm with his wife and kids. It was DEEP in the jungle. We walked like two miles on a little trail until we found the cocoa trees. We harvested the cocoa with knifes off the trees. You gotta cut them if they are yellow or turning yellow. We harvested a TON! Hundreds. I thought that’s all we were gonna do that day, since it took like 2 hours to do, but nope. Next was gutting them to get the actual cocoa beans out. You take a cutlass and chop it in half, the long way, holding it in your palm. Yeah I didn't do that, no way. But Elder Q and the bishops wife did. I was the gutter. They would give me the halves and I would scoop it out and put the innards in a giant pot. Google what cocoa and the interior looks like, it’s all slimy. But I did HUNDREDS. So many, and I scooped it out with my hands as you are supposed to do. But I did so much that it pulled the skin away from ALL my fingernail bottoms. On every finger. So yeah, I have battle wounds haha. But the next time you enjoy a mindy mint or a cup of chocolate milk, just remember I was on the VERY beginning point of that tasty morsel.

Sunday we were in the ward in Akonfudi for the 1st time. It was good, more like a branch than a ward however. But it was sweet. We went into the primary later and helped teach them some songs. It was awesome. Those kids are funny. Singing is not easy when english is not your primary language haha. It took an hour to teach them a song. I recorded them learning, so someday I will show it to you!  But things are going good here. I like Akonfudi for the most part, the language is just not easy. That’s one thing I miss about Axim. Everyone knew English there. But attitude is everything. That’s something I have learned. I don't know why I was sent here to Akonfudi exactly, but I know it was for a reason, just gotta be trusting in the Lord! If you are trying to be happy, you will be happy!

You are the greatest dad in the world! Thank you for teaching me how to be a hard worker and for really everything. You have helped me SO much in my life! I miss you guys! You’re my best friends!!!! How blessed you all are to have me! Wait it’s the other way around!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!  You really are the best family in the world! I miss you guys a ton of course, but I KNOW the lord will be watching over you guys so I know you are ok. You are all sooo amazing! Have a good week!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Sounds like all is going well, that is good! Things here are going well also.  I am sad I didn't get to watch conference!!! Man how I wish I got to watch it!!! That is awesome about Adams team winning, tell them congrats!!! Haha I know you love details, but sometimes everything gets so normal that it is hard to recall details. I forgot to mention that Elder Cowan is in my district, so that is cool. Thanks for sending the conference quotes, I will look forward to reading or listening or watching conference!!!! Akonfudi is good though, we are just doing the same old same old, it’s a lot slower than Axim that is for sure. Really, some days I don’t get to teach all that much because of the language barrier but that’s just the name of the game eh? I don’t know how much Twi I will learn, it’s not an easy process haha. But I guess you never know! Really not all that much to report this week though.

If you want a cool story, well I will give you a nice one that happened the other day. We were walking around Bereku, getting ready to go home after a long day, but we felt we needed to go walk around and talk to some people. So we walked around, talked to some people, and after some time we found some guys playing ping pong outside. We started talking to them and after a bit he told us he was looking for the "truth." That’s not something people usually say here EVER! He said he knew Christ started a church so he was looking for it.  So we gladly took his name and number and now we are teaching him!  He brings a friend with him when we teach him and they both want to find the "truth!" So that is sweet! Gotta love it, the Lord places people in our paths, we just gotta be looking for them!  Here’s a funny one… So each week the Stake sends someone to preside in the group and this week they sent the alcoholic high priest group leader who lives in Akonfudi. He is always drunk... But he came 1/2 hour late and presided. So that was interesting haha. Each week I teach the youth class. I took a pic with them one time, so someday when I get to a decent computer you will get to see it.

Really it’s just been a regular week of mission work though, we helped people pump water out of a borehole, saw some bats hanging on a palm tree, made japatis, which are basically East African burritos. So now I know how to make tortillas haha! Elder Quaisie showed me. I have taken some nice pictures, but yeah I honestly don’t think I will get to send pictures for a LONG time. We are in Foso and it is SLOW compared to Takoradi. We don’t really ever go into Cape Coast or anything, so yeah enjoy the pics I have already sent haha! We are just hanging out in the jungle here sharing the Gospel, it is sweet! There is just the problem of trying to find people to teach, but we are working on it. I am healthy and happy though, so that is always a plus! But I hope everyone is doing good! I love you all sooo much!  Have a great week  LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Good Afternoon!

Well it sounds like things have been pretty crazy on the home front the past week haha! That is awesome that you two get to teach the 12 y class! That will be awesome! Those are some dang lucky 12 year old kids haha! Good fun teachers make such a big difference so they are lucky! I know you will enjoy it! That is gonna be a great blessing for everyone I am sure! Hopefully everyone is happy and ready to work together! It’s all about unity as I have learned here in the good old branches and wards and groups of Ghana!

I’m doing great! I am really liking Akonfudi and Elder Quaisie is awesome, we are getting along great! So that is always a plus right? Yeah the communication with everyone is a little...difficult haha, but I am happy nonetheless. This week has been great! I am happy happy here in Akonfudi. It’s tiny, its bush, I get called Obrunni (means white man) far too much, but I am very happy here! Why? I suppose because we are doing the Lords work! I feel that I am really learning a lot personally here, which is great. The English in Akonfudi is virtually nonexistent, so Elder Quaisie has to do most of the teaching, but I cherish the times I get to teach. I have really been enjoying listening to talks on the iPod and reading through old Liahonna articles during personal study, you learn so much from Apostles and Prophets of the Lord! One thing that I have been pondering a lot this week is how incredibly important it is that we have a true testimony of the Gospel, rooted deeply deeply within us. I read something, I can’t remember who said it, but he was talking about how lately the Saints have had it pretty easy, but it’s not going to always be like that. In another article by Elder Christofferson, he said that for us in the coming generation, and really in the years to come, we are not going to be without money or materials. He said that we would not go without those things, but the problem for us is going to be if we love God more than those things. That got me thinking about how the world is going. Back home, things are pretty bad. I can only imagine how bad they will get. I am sure the day is going to come where the church and its members are openly persecuted and it’s going to be very tempting to some to deny their faith when asked if they are a member. We need to find out if the church is true. We NEED to be true to the faith we have, and we NEED to deepen that faith until it is unshakable and immovable!

But yeah, I don’t know how often you are gonna be getting pictures sent. The internet here is not like Takoradi AT ALL!!! We were in a 1st world Vodafone internet cafe, now here we are in a Ghanaian library. The computer is not all that old, but man the internet is not all that capable haha! It’s like it was in that internet cafe in Essiama. Next week we are going to Cape Coast for P day so we will see, but IDK... Welcome to Ghana haha. But it rains like every day here. It’s kinda cool really. Yesterday it rained HARD!!!! Man our bathroom just has a tin roof and I had to go to the bathroom and it sounded like the roof was just gonna give in and collapse on me! I was deaf when I came out haha! You will have to tell me the verdict on the Super Smash Bros Burger hah! Mail me one if you can!!!! But seriously, do you think some of your homemade cookies would make it in a package? That would be sweet haha!

We had our baptism for Grace on Saturday and it went well. It took forever for people to come, but the baptism happened and all was well! She was confirmed on Sunday in the Group in Bereku and Elder Quaisie and another man did it. There were two little boys sitting next to me, probably like 4 years old. During the confirmation though they were fighting over who got to touch my white arm, and in the process one bit the other, causing him to cry, which caused him to punch the other, causing him to cry. So I had two screaming kids next to me during the confirmation that I was trying to calm, all the while the mother was just staring at them as I tried to calm them down. Haha good parenting skills eh? But finally she grabbed one and held him as the other one drooled on my pant leg crying. 

That is sad you got released from YW, but I know that you were called to the 12 y class for a reason, as was dad. Look for that reason and serve hard!! It’s gonna bless lives, those kids are the future of the great nation haha! But really. Love you soo much though! You guys are awesome!!! Its crazy next month I get to call home! Wow, time really flies by!  This place is awesome and we are doing good. I am so glad to be here. I have learned so much, even though at times it’s not easy. Its soooo worth it to draw closer to Christ. Go read Ether 12:27, that’s a perfect scripture! I know this is the Lords church, there is no doubt in my heart or soul. This is His work! It moves forward because He wills it to! I am so blessed to be here! All of us have been called to serve Him, we are all so lucky!!! He calls all. I hope you have a good week!!! Love you sooo much!!!! Talk to you next week!