Monday, June 23, 2014

Hi I tried to send a real email but the internet is just a joke here... Haha but I am alive and well! I am sorry I can't send more, but I don't want the internet to Crash again! We had a great baptism on Saturday for bro. Kofi Elijah so that was great! I am happy and healthy though, the work moves on! Thank you for sending the package! I LOVE YOU sooo much! You are the greatest! Tell dad happy birthday for me! LOVE YOU!!! I hope to actually email next week haha!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

YESSSSS!!!! I have internet hahaha!!!! Sorry about last week! I spent an hour on both Monday and Tuesday trying to get the net to go, but wow it was so slow it wouldn't even load a page. I felt bad, I had so much to send and I knew you guys would be sad!!! But first, I am staying here in Akonfudi for at least 6 more weeks! My new companion is Elder Assibey from Ghana so that is sweet! I am happy to have another Ghanaian companion! He is a sweet guy too, he has been out for only 4 months but he is powerful! So we are having a good time! 

Yeah so you heard about the hospital dilemma and P, that was so sad! Elder O and I went out for the day and after seeing Bro. Amuadu he said we needed to go to the hospital to get tested for malaria. We went to Foso and did that. They had to take blood to test right? Oh man, he did not like that at all! He was so scared.  Man I just thought of you and how you get blood drawn all the time like a champ.  Well, he had malaria and they hooked him up to an IV since he was dehydrated, I had to talk him into relaxing. Then they had to give him some shots which he refused. So again, had to talk him into it. The nurse just kept laughing at him as he was crying. It was a very interesting experience haha. I feel like I really learned what its like to be the parent of a 4 year old who is at the doctor for the 1st time. But it was sweet, I really learned a lot those days and honestly am very thankful. One thing I have really learned and internalized here is that trials are AWESOME. They suck at the time, but looking back you learn soooooooooooo much!!!!! So yeah, I am very thankful and happy. Elder Uchtdorf gave a great talk on gratitude in this last conference about being grateful in any circumstance. That is what I did last week haha! I learned a lot as I read the Book of Mormon last week as well! I finished it again last week and man I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!! I HOPE you are reading it each day! If not, DO IT!!!!! Man it is so amazing! Each time I read I learn something new and feel the Spirit. I need to start reading it again, I kinda dabbled through the Pearl of Great Price the past few days, but man the Book of Mormon is so amazing. But onto the P. story. Yeah so we were sitting at the hospital as Ouma layed on his gurney. It had been raining for the last 30 mins or so. In comes a boy with no shirt covered in sand and a nurse. The boy is just completely freaked out and doesn't know what is going on. He sees me standing there and reaches out his hand and calls "Elder!" I was confused. The nurse came over and told me that he was in a building that collapsed in the rain and that his mom didn't make it. I felt the Spirit so strong that I needed to go and give him a blessing, even though I didn't know who he was. I asked the nurse if I could go talk to him and she said yes. So I went in and talked to him. He told me his name was P. and that he was 14 years old and his grandfather was the stake president. Then he looked at me and said, "Elder, please, give me a blessing." I said ok as I rubbed his head then went and told the nurses I wanted to just talk to him privately for a minute. Elder Ouma got up and came and joined me as I gave him a blessing. Oh and nobody had told him is mom was dead, I don't know when they told him but it wasn't when I was there. But wow what a humbling experience. I will tell you what, the thought came to me when he asked me to give him a blessing that I was so thankful that I was worthy to do so. I can't imagine if I wasn't. It is so very important that we are always worthy to act in the name of the Lord, and also to receive those blessings as well. 

That is pretty crazy about the earthquake in Centerville! Hopefully it stops there eh! Man lots of movement in that area lately!  Yeah the US plays Ghana, its at like 10 pm here so I don't think it will disturb us too badly haha! I hope not anyway! I will try to send a pic today, we will see how that goes! I am happy transfers have come and I have a good companion. We are having a baptism on Saturday for our good friend K, so that will be sweet! He is excited! He has some kids we will have to teach and baptize as well! So I am glad the family will come into the church! The work here is moving, Its always been kinda slow in this area, but we are doing the best we can! It is the Lord's will! I honestly am so thankful for the time I have been given here and for everything that has happened! I have such a strong testimony that this is the Lords work and that He loves us! I have faith in Him and know that He always provides for us!  I love you, you are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thankful the Lord gave me such an amazing mom! I love you!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

So no email from Elder Hackmeister again this week.  I am grateful for a sweet mom who shares her son's emails with me when I don't get one!  Elder Doggett is Kyle's zone leader.  So here is a story of how Elder Hack's week went last week. They did have transfers this week. I'm guessing he stayed in Akonfudi but will have to wait until Monday to hear if that's where he is.  It sounds like it was a tough week. I am so proud of our missionaries!!

Now let me tell you about how Saturday did not go as planned. We started early in the morning with a service project moving blocks for a member, then went home to actually get ready for the day. We only taught one lesson before we got a call from the sisters, saying they needed support at their baptism. We went  round 4 PM and it turned out they didn't really need us, but we stayed anyways. Then the rain started in torrents and that delayed us further. Finally as we left the gate of the chapel, we got another  phone call. Elder Ouma had been admitted to the hospital earlier in the day for mild malaria and his comp, Elder Hackmeister called us. They were fine, but he said one of our members was just admitted to the hospital, a 14 year old boy. He and his mother had been in an accident where a tall wall collapsed on them due to rain. The mother was killed. The boy was brought into the emergency unit and he saw Elder Hack in the next room. He was in shock, but he recognized them and asked for a priesthood blessing, which was immediately given. After that is when Hack called. We were very close when he did, just at the  stake center. We got there in minutes to see the situation; the nurses were working on P., the boy. He wasn't badly injured. I walked further down the corridor and saw the mother's body lying on a gurney. Elder Nakedi was sitting with P., he knew him already from serving in Achiase formerly (one of the areas in our zone). P. asked him, "Do you know where my mom is?" He didn't know that she didn't make it. My companion said that just crushed his confidence as he tried to comfort him. Elder Nakedi then called President F and Bishop O. Both of them were speechless. The woman, Sister V, was President F's daughter-in-law, and she lived right next to Bishop. The nurse gave my comp the bill and he later passed it on when the others arrived.  Just as I picked up the phone to call and cancel our appointments, the Assistants called us with transfer news. I sat down with the phone and took the info in my planner. Elder Nakedi and I are staying together but there are some positive changes in the zone. I then had the pleasure of calling everyone and hearing the mixed reactions of sheer glee, disappointment, or apathy. Transfer calls are fun. Then we were able to leave the hospital and salvage our night. By the time we did leave, nearly the entire ward was at the hospital. We went to Paramu that night and most of the members were in mourning. Some were literally pacing around weeping and wailing. It was sad. But I stood by as a quiet observer and pondered the comfort that comes from the plan of salvation. Death isn't the end, it's only a transition; like stepping into another room. Most people in the world don't know or understand that. That's why we are here as missionaries, to bring light to those that sit in darkness. Everything that happened on Saturday was by the Lord's hand. I'm glad Elder Ouma was sick, so they were there to administer to P. in his need. And we happened to be very close by when they called us. If not for the rain, we would have been back in our area. My companion was able to comfort the boy and call those who needed to be called promptly. It went rather smoothly honestly. A friend recently told me that coincidences take a lot of planning. Oh, how true that is.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Me holding my good friend, the Grasscutter haha!!  Really just a giant rat, tastes like roast beef!  (the poor guy is not among the living anymore, he was "whats for dinner")
Hi there! I am alive!!! Sorry, last week the power was out for Monday-Wednesday, so I didn't get to email!!! I was pretty disappointed, as you were I am sure haha! But luckily the power is on this week so I get to email!!! The rain has been pretty bad the past few weeks so it has gone off a ton!! Power in Ghana is not a champ like in the good ole USA haha!  But that is really pretty cool about that Ghana article in the Tribune. Yeah the church is very young here and it often shows. I frequently think about how in 30 years things will be so much better for the church because then there will be people who have served missions and really grown up with the church in their lives.  The Lord is making me stronger and stronger, so I am enjoying the little challenges that come every now and then! Really, adversity is great! Its like having soft hands turn into tough hands. Did that make any sense? It did to me haha! 
But yes, it has been an interesting last two weeks for sure. We had our baptisms, which were awesome!!! We had Hayford Ahonjo, his son Akwesi Mensah, and the old man Brother Amuadu baptized along with an 8 year old girl! So it was a great Saturday! Our ward mission leader baptized all of them, well kinda. Ahonjo is kinda a big guy and our WML is not at all. He reminds me of David Spade honestly. But yeah, Ahonjo was afraid of the water and when Rich Boy (that is our ward mission leaders name...) tried to put him down he would do this weird twisting of his body instead of going down, so Elder Ouma had to do it. But they are baptized!!! It was awesome, especially Bro. Amuadu. This guy is sweet, he is like 72 years old and walks to church  by himself each week with a cane. It takes him about an hour since he can't move too quick. But he was sooo happy when he came out of the water. I helped him out of the font and he was just smiling the whole time. That made me happy. Trying to collect the information for his baptismal record was really fun btw. He didn't know his birthday, or any of his children, let alone his mom and dad. So basically we just had to guess. Family history work in Africa will just have to wait for the Millennium honestly haha. 

On a nice side-note last week I had the wonderful opportunity to eat some nice dog. Yeah, don't tell Tiki, but I ate his cousin and it was delicious. When I come home forget about Wendy's, I am just gonna go get that Old Dog Special!!! I got some good pics though of the dog on the fire. We just went to visit a members house and they were grilling some dog haha! The highlight of last week though was that we had ward conference on Sunday. It went really really well! Lots of people came, investigators, less actives, and a lot of people from the stake!!! It was turning out to be the best Sunday I have had in Ghana, but it got a little crazy when there was bit of a disagreement on whether Elder O's hair was acceptable.  A few people thought it was not appropriate for a missionary. I will give it to the Stake President though, he handled it EXTREMELY well.  Well, the president talked to him for about 2 hours to calm him down.  But yeah, that was really fun to deal with hahaha oh boy. But look at the bright side, we got 4 people baptized and confirmed!!! They got the priesthood yesterday too so that is awesome!!!

I had lots of fun this week though, we went on splits 2 times! Oh and last week splits with Elder Doggett were awesome, he is a cool guy and can play guitar really well. We had fun with the guitar! But yeah, I went with Elder Cowan on Wednesday and that was too much fun! We joked that no work was gonna get done that day, but we worked really hard and had a great time! Reminded me of the Elder Cardon days! Elder Cowan is awesome though, we stayed up til midnight talking, which was probably not a good idea haha. But it was sweet. Then on Friday I was with Elder Larsen, the one from Logan! He is a sweet guy too! We worked hard and had a great time as well! It was fun talking about boating and stuff with him. He told me BreAnn always drove the GMC truck to school, so that is sweet haha. He is really good at rodeo I guess. Really, this week was fun! We have a baptism coming up on the14th for a sweet guy named Kofi Elijah Amoaku. He went to church 10 years ago in Assin Foso but had some money problems and couldn't afford to travel all the way there. When he found out the church was in Bereku, he started coming again! He has a great testimony about Joseph Smith. He is kind of an interesting guy, but he has energy for the gospel! Yesterday we were teaching him about the degrees of glory and I was explaining about how the Terrestrial kingdom is for those who are good but don't accept Christ's gospel and he got so mad and couldn't comprehend the idea of anyone being good and not believing in Christ! It was funny, you had to be there. But yeah, that will be a good day for him, going to the church 10 years ago and finding it again and finally getting baptized!! 

Oh and mom, you were asking about a future package... If you can find another pair of these waterproof rockports, BUY THEM!!! These guys are really champs and have done an amazing job, but I am kind of scared about how much longer they have!  I have another pair of shoes, but I doubt they can do half the job these guys have. Oh and some new ties and socks could be great!!!! Cookies and SPAM!!!! Spam is from heaven I think haha! 

Yesterday in church they FINALLY watched conference!!!! Except it was in Twi... So they told us we could watch it in the evening, but when we came back, yep ECG decided to be a pal and turn the power off... So I pray tonight we will get to watch it!!! I LOVE conference!!! I want to see it sooooo bad!!!! I want the Liahona to come too so I can read it and really study it! I love reading the  conference talks, hope you do too!!! But I am glad I got to talk to you guys this week! I am happy and healthy!!! I love being a servant of the Lord, this is His work and I am so blessed to get to be a part of it! Truly the things I have learned out here have been much a blessing and forever will be!!! I love you so much, you are the greatest mom and dad in the world!!!! Really you are!!! I hope you have a great week, good luck with all the baseball and stuff!!! LOVE YOU!!!!