Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hi!!!! Morning from a small internet cafe in Assin Foso,I hope everyone is doing great! I am doing good here, we had a zone activity just now where we watched Ephraim’s Rescue in the stake center. It was sweet; it’s been a while since I have seen it! It’s such a great movie with so many great messages in it! It makes me really want to just always do my very best wherever I am and whatever I am doing!  A great way to start the week I would say!  It should be a good week I hope.  Tomorrow I am instructing for our district meeting which would be normally noteworthy, but President Stevenson  is coming to our meeting so that is extra noteworthy I suppose haha.  That’s gonna be fun, instructing in front of the mission president.  I have a good instruction planned on the Book of Mormon though. It’s about how important it is in the gathering of Israel and why it is so important to use it as missionaries.  So it should go pretty well is my prayer!  I need to make some photocopies of a handout I am giving to everyone so that is on the to-do list.

The week’s been good though, very VERY rainy all week. It’s funny, you would think Ghanaians would be used to all the rain and not mind, but that is not the case. The whole nation shuts down in a drizzle haha. But it’s been good. We are preparing our people for baptism, it should be on the 16th which is also the Africa Service project day so I don't know what we will be doing that day, should be fun though. The All African Service day is a thing the church does. It’s for Mormon Helping Hands so all the members and missionaries do local service under the stake I think.  I missed it last year just barely so we will see what we do! We have been working effectively and have found some new people to teach this week as well so that is exciting. There is an older man named Asiedu that we started teaching. He is an elder in his church, but is having problems with it. We taught him the Restoration on Friday and it was a wonderful lesson, the Spirit was strong and I know he felt it, so that made me happy :) I love feeling the Spirit like that, it is just awesome! Oh and I had a warm up for my instruction yesterday when I taught the youth class in the ward. It was on how we can always remember the Savior. It went well! The Spirit was there as well so again I was happy!

Here is an interesting thing that happened on Saturday. Every night there are drums playing because there is a shrine near our house where people worship this idol. We never knew where it was, but we can always hear them. Well we were walking around on Saturday proselyting near our apartment when we stumbled upon it. Against this wall was a stone idol, it looked like that slug guy from Star Wars. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about but you should because I have never seen Star Wars but I still can picture the thing. Anyway that was sitting with a red sheet behind it and there was an altar near it for sacrifices and so yeah, it was really interesting to see. I wanted to take a pic, but I didn't think that would be a good idea since there was a woman sitting by it. Yeah E. Assibey said they use the idols for juju to ask the "god" for things. They kill a goat and sprinkle the blood on the idol. There is a lot of juju stuff here, really interesting. They don’t  go to farm on Fridays because the god of Akonfudi said not to and if you do you will be cursed. So it’s interesting to see how the society is shaped by juju. A famous singer drowned in Lake Volta a few weeks ago and I guess a juju woman reported that he was really stolen by mermaids so people should not worry.

I am glad you guys are having fun in Texas, sounds like a good time! Man it sounds like I need to go look at the pics you sent haha!  I am thankful for the package you sent! Thank you so much, I will be sure to continue taking good pics and finding fabric. I have not bought any but that’s a good idea to get scraps. The bishop’s wife is a seamstress so I will ask her!!! But the internet is terrible and the keyboard is broken, so this is the end haha! I LOVE YOU thanks for being the best!!! I’ll talk to you next week!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Since we aren't able to get pictures from Elder Hack in this area, here are a few that I "borrowed" from some other mission blogs.  

Throw Back Photo of the Day
Elder Hack and Elder Cavaness cleaning the font in Axim

Assin Foso Zone - right before President and Sister Shulz went home

Assin Foso Zone -  meeting President and Sister Stevenson

Good morning, good morning! What did the cruise ship captain say each morning? Whatever it was, insert it here! Glad you checked the weather, that is exactly how it is, overcast and drizzling! I am glad you guys are doing well though, congrats on that haha! Wow people in the ward are coming home from their missions and people are going, CRAZY!!! Glad that Blake is doing well though, along with all the rest! Bear sent me the email he sent his family, sounds like he is doing really well and really enjoying the MTC. The Ghana MTC was a bit different hahaha! Good times, good times...Man it’s crazy, people keep emailing me saying I have been out a year. That’s not true, it’s only July 21, I still have a few weeks there people! Haha but it’s insane how quick time flies by! 

Well on to the big news, transfer news. Drum roll please....I’m staying! Nothing is changing; me and Elder Assibey are staying in Akonfudi. I’m spending 6 months in Akonfudi at the very least!  Wow, 1/4 of my mission in Axim, 1/4 in Akonfudi. But honestly, things really are going well in our area, it has always been a slow area, sometimes we have to really work to find people to teach, but we are really working hard! Being in the bush where English is not common has been quite an experience for me, sometimes it can be a bit difficult, but honestly, I was happy to hear I will be spending another transfer here. I have learned so much personally here and have really given a lot of effort to get the area going. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for putting me here. He knows me, that I am sure of. He has taught me a great deal here and has really refined me in a lot of ways! I know I can do all things through Christ, for He strengthens me! I have really enjoyed this place even with its problems. I can say that the things I have personally learned here will never leave me. I have had deep conversion here, not by any big giant miracles or profound spiritual experiences, but simply by doing what I should be doing and studying the words of ancient and living prophets. By prayer and pondering. I am so thankful I have this wonderful Gospel in my life. I am so blessed to get to share it with those around me!

We had the baptisms and they went well! Right before there was a primary activity so we had lots of fun with them playing games and they danced and stuff, so I got some nice pics and videos, they are funny haha! Right after we had the baptisms so we had lots of people to witness! I was so happy! Bro Kofi wasn’t able to baptize them, so Rich Boy did it(the ward mission leader, that’s his name). The next day in Bereku they neglected to confirm them....We were in Akonfudi and we couldn’t do much about that, so next week we will be sure to go and make sure they do it. That's cool you are reading that book! (My Name Used To Be Muhammad)  It reminds me of the twin brothers in Axim we baptized, the Moro Bro's. They were Muslims before. Oh and yeah the cola nut. They are here as well. E Assibey was explaining that they are just nuts loaded with caffeine as the name suggests. They are highly addictive so therefore against the Word of Wisdom. We taught a woman and she was addicted to them. We told her and she threw them in the bushes! So yeah, that’s a real thing.

What else...I forgot my planner again... I don’t know why I keep doing that haha! Thank you for getting those shoes, they are needed! And the music!!!!! Man I am craving my Motab and Paul Cardall!!! I love that music so much and have really missed having it!!! If you wanted to throw more BACON jerky in there I would be just thrilled!  I went on splits this week with Elder Brown from New Orleans. He is sweet!  We had a great time. He loves movies and so we had fun talking about movies and stuff. Taught some nice people as well so it was sweet! It was nice, I went to Foso so I got out of the bush for a day!!! Haha but yeah, good times. We have been teaching Kogo still. He hasn't come to church, but man it’s great to  teach him. He READS the Book of Mormon and MARKS it!!! Wow!!! He always asks really great questions and understands when we explain, so I just love when we go see him!!! We have been really working hard! Oh fun fact... I have like a wart thing on my thumb, on my actual like touching part of my thumb. Wow my English is getting terrible haha. But yeah the bottom part of my thumb where you touch things with there is a bump. I have had it for like 7 months now, hasn't really bothered me or anything, it’s just kind of sitting there. I hope you guys have fun in Texas though, send me some pics. Dad says you’re going to six flags. I think there they have one of the tallest roller coasters in the world, so go on it in honor of me and try not to die! Love you guys have fun!!! 

PS - On August 9th, please listen to Livin' On A Prayer for me! (Woah we're half way theeere, WOOOOOAAAAH livin on a prayer!!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Good morning good morning! I am doing just fine here in Assin Foso, how are you! Wow it sounds hot there, it’s nice and breezy here today, so I feel bad for you hahaha! Thanks for sending that pic of you with the Shulz', that is SWEET!  I’m glad they had nice things to say about me, that’s always a plus eh? I think it’s funny President said he is happy I am with a Twi speaker haha. I loved them, they were awesome and worked so hard for us! I hope they will enjoy their time with family now! That is sweet they sang the GCCM Called To Serve!  Man that would have been awesome to be there I bet! You are lucky!!! We met the Stevensons and they are AWESOME!!! Wow I am really impressed and excited to see what happens with them. I got to have my interview with President and man I really enjoyed talking to him! He is very nice and calm and just seems like a great man! Sister Stevenson was incredibly quiet, she must still be dealing with the shock of Ghana haha! But she will warm up I am sure! No news on a motto or anything, we will have to wait and see I suppose but I would bet they will do a new one. We had a great meeting though, the Assistants gave a great instruction about setting goals to become all you can be. Elder Cavaness is the assistant so it was awesome getting to see him again! Man he is a great guy so that was fun to see him. But yeah, President Stevenson is awesome so I am really happy and excited to serve with him! But I’m sorry the dog story made you sad hahaha, made me sad to witness it as well. We are gonna make fufu again today. No, Elder Assibey doesn’t know how to do it. In fact, back home he didn’t eat fufu, only out here in the field. But our ward mission leader can, he did home economics in school hahaha so he knows how and made really good soup! No, I really can’t cook anything except for mackerel stew haha. It’s good though, so I am happy with it! Nothing like a big plate of rice covered with mackerel stew eh? Mmmmm. Haha but maybe by the time I come home I will learn how to make something really good! It is really crazy I have almost been out here a year now though, I was thinking about that the other day. Man time goes so quick! Feels like I just got here in some ways, other ways it feels like I have been here forever!  It goes to show though how important it is to live each day as we should, cuz soon the day will come where I will be laying in my bed back home wondering where the time went. I’m glad I am working my hardest! That is one thing I can say, I truly work hard. Don’t want to boast, but I am thankful I am doing that because it really would be terrible to be going home and knowing you didn’t work as you should have. We have two baptisms this Saturday for Bro. Kofi Elijah's kids so that is exciting!!! We are hoping he will be able to baptize them, but his record number isn’t here yet so hopefully it comes by Saturday or else someone else will have to do it. He is sweet. There is a funny story I never got to tell you about him because of no internet. When we were reviewing with him before his baptism we were going through the interview questions. One of them is "have you ever participated in a homosexual relationship?" Bro Kofi is full of conviction, so I was really excited to ask him this question because I thought he would just freak out with righteous indignation at the very thought of it. So I asked it and covered my face so I wouldn’t laugh, after I asked it he kind of just smiled and laughed and said, "No no, I don’t believe it even exists." Hahaha oh man I was dying, just the way he said it was so funny. I guess you had to be there...But yeah, his kids are good to go for Saturday! We also have two more scheduled for the 2nd, though I don’t know if I will be there for those. I’m thinking I will probably get transferred next week, the news comes on Saturday so we will see! But they are great, one from Akonfudi and one from Bereku. One is a 63 year old woman named Affia and the other is the wife of the ward clerk. So that is great! The work is really moving forward here! I am happy to see that because when I came there was not a lot of work here at all. So it has come a long way!

I got the package last week....THANK YOU!!!  Man there are so many great things in there! I almost had a heart attack when I saw the bacon!!! I ate all of it in like a day so the possibilities of a real heart attack are high. You guys are the best! Thanks! Oh thanks for getting those shoes as well! They will be needed when they come. Those Rockports are champs for sure! I do have a request. This request will probably need to be fulfilled by Brady since he is technologically inclined unlike others haha. But if I could get a USB with my MOTAB from my iTunes account or from my Amazon Cloud Drive, that would be BOKO(sweet). Also, I have some piano hymns on my account as well, but I can’t remember the guys name, but if those could be put on as well I would literally be the happiest person in the world!!! That’s basically all I listened to back home, not having it out here is a bummer! It is so uplifting! Thanks in advance!!! Honestly, I forgot my planner with my email list, so I can’t remember what else I wanted to email haha.  Me and Elder Assibey are doing good though! I have enjoyed my time with my Ghanaian companions, my Ugandan companion was a bit difficult, but no problem. I will say that living in a two man apartment is kind of boring, regardless of who you are with. But we have fun and get along and work hard, so no complaints at all! Things are going good here though, hope everyone is doing good back home!!! I am always praying for everyone! I hope you have fun in San Antonio, sounds like a good place to go (I don’t know). I love you though and I am so thankful you are my mom! Keep up the good work! LOVE YOU!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Elder Hack did write the last two weeks, but we have been traveling and couldn't get them transferred to the blog.  Sorry!! Here are the last two emails:

Ahoy there traveling pack! How is it going?! Wow those pictures are awesome!! I miss good old NYNY! That is amazing that the Edge did so well! Give Adam a big pat on the back for me!

I think today I have good internet, so YESSSS!!! It’s been a LONG time since that happened haha! We have had a wonderful week here though, it really has been good. We have been busy working hard and TEACHING a lot. We especially have been focusing on finding and reactivating the less active members. Yesterday we had a number come to church so that was rewarding! Missionary work a lot of times has no reward visible, but it is so sweet when you can see the results of your labors. Oh and I know the Lord blesses us even when we can’t see those blessings!!! But yeah it really has been a great week! I was looking through my first planner from my time here, compared to now this place is on fire! Granted it is still a slow area, but I am so happy to see the progress it has made since I came! Can’t take any of the credit for that, it is the Lord's work. But one thing that I can say is that I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! I know I say that a lot, but when I am making my email list each week that is always something I put on there! Each time I read it it just fills me with love for God! I learn so much each time I read it! It testifies of Christ and the divinity of this His Church! I am in the book of Omni right now, I just finished Enos. Enos is a short book but WOW we can learn so much from it! Enos had a true desire to know and also to repent from his sins and the Lord heard him. After he felt the peace the Atonement brings he desired it for his friends and family the Nephites, then his enemies the Lamanites as well! Such a great example!

In other news, we did kill the dog. Oh man that was the most violent thing I have ever witnessed. The elders quorum president did it. He brought the dog to our house Wednesday morning and man the dog was beautiful. I felt so bad. We went to his house where he slaughtered it with a machete. I have some pictures that you will never want to see haha! But the meat was amazing! We have a freezer full of dog meat now. On that note, don’t kill Tiki ok? Today we are going to go shopping then go back and we are gonna pound some fufu and make some soup with our dog meat haha!  We will be meeting the new mission president on Thursday! Should be good! How was the 4th in NY? Was it sweet? I got a call from Elder Cavaness on the 4th, that was my highlight haha!

Oh I was thinking, here there is so much fabric, I want to bring some home so that maybe you can make a quilt with it! How many yards of fabric would I need for a quilt? If you can tell me I can buy a couple different types at some point and get a nice "Ghana quilt!" Thanks! We are doing great here though, we have been visiting our recent convert Bro Amuadu, the old man and haha I love that guy! He is so funny! He loves telling us stories about his life and talking about politics and stuff! Every time we go over he just talks the whole time! It’s good for him I think to have some people just to talk to. We have been teaching some new people that I am excited about. One guy is named K. and he is a really smart, educated guy. We have taught him all about the restoration and Book of Mormon and he really understands and has a desire to know if it is true! Hopefully he will really seek and get his answer! He asks great questions! That is my favorite part, is when people ask good questions! Another is a guy named D, he is also really smart and educated, but he isn't as committed right now. We will keep teaching him and help him to understand though! Hope we can get these guys to find out for themselves that it is true!

Me and Elder Assibey are doing good though. Yeah he speaks Twi, which is a must here haha. A lot of the time he just teaches and I kinda sit there and add my comments haha! But he is a sweet guy!  We have lately had the opportunity to testify to a lot of people about the Atonement and its power in our lives. People are having problems! But we have been able to help them as much as we can by testifying of the Atonement and if we will just rely on Christ He will give us the strength we need to press forward! I know that is true!  I love you sooooo much though! Glad you had a great time in NY!! I loved being there with you guys! I was thinking last night about what an amazing family I have! You guys are my best friends! I am so glad we can be together for eternity!!!! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! 

This letter is from July 1, 2014:

Hi!!!! I HAVE INTERNET!!!! YES!!! The internet in Foso is not good at all haha, I am sure you have noticed that. But I am doing great here, we are working hard in Akonfudi and Bereku! Last week we had Kofi Elijah's baptism and we are now preparing two of his children for baptism as well so that is exciting!!! We have set a goal for 3 baptisms in July so we are gonna be working hard to accomplish our goal! Sister G, the woman we caught smoking, is still having problems and is so sick and she just won’t let go of smoking, so that has been sad to watch her struggle, but we are praying for her! There is a woman who we are hoping we will baptize this month. She is older and really understands the teachings very well so that is sweet! We have been working on reactivating the less actives here since over half the ward is less active, so that is what we spend our time in Akonfudi doing. Bereku is fruitful so we go there most of the time! I feel so bad for the less active members, hopefully we can get them coming again! Thank you for sending the pics, I love seeing them. Yeah they show up, sorry I can’t send any to you haha! I didn't really get to know President Shulz all that well since we didn't see him all that  much, but he was awesome and I loved getting to talk to him each time! Next Thursday we are having interviews with President Stevenson, so that will be sweet I am sure! Sorry, this is gonna be another bit of a short email, but I don’t have much time today, we need to get back to our area. I have a confession, we bought a dog for 30 cedis and are going to go "prepare" it with the elders quorum president hahaha. Oh man I feel bad, but dogs are not pets here so I guess its ok! I LOVE YOU SOOO much though!!! I am happy, healthy, and love being able to serve the Lord! I am so blessed I can’t even believe it! I know this is His work! LOVE YOU!!!