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!!!!

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