Friday, November 28, 2014


I am doing pretty good! Glad you have had some time in the sun before you head back into a Rocky Mountain winter. The ocean here is doing pretty good. Its full of garbage as usual, but looks good from afar :) No whales have been seen, but hopefully at some point they will return! I enjoyed the pictures! Haha Adam looks so thrilled to be in all of them. The pic of the bats killed me! He looks ready to run! Sounds like a good little trip though. The Chargers won, Disneyland is always a hit, Animal Park is probably pretty cool it sounds like! Did you get any clam chowder from that little place on the sea?

I have not yet received any packages, but maybe tomorrow because that is when we get supplies and such. I sent my letter to you about a week or so ago so hopefully it will be there soon! How many are on the way?! It sounds like I have Fresh Market in the mail hahaha. Thank you sooo much! Tell Grandma thanks as well, I will enjoy that money on some pizza! If you convert it, a pizza costs about 7 dollars so yeah! That $50 will go a long way :) Haha ohh why do I have to know the conversion? It justifies so much spending. Is my account doing ok btw? Hope so! Yeah transfers are coming. To be perfectly honest, I have always hated transfers. They just depress me. Getting a new companion or moving areas is always a process and adjustment. This time I get to help out getting everyone everywhere so yeah it is a bonus haha! But it will all be good. Yeah I am getting a new companion though. Elder Ntsie is going to open a new zone in Tarkwa. That will be cool for him! The zone includes Axim also so that is sweet. But my new companion is named Elder Odongo. He is from Uganda. That means I have had 2 American companions, 2 Ghanaian companions, 2 Ugandan companions, and 1 South African. I will need to get one more South African to balance this bad boy out! He goes home in February so I will probably be his last companion. I’m gonna be in Cape a long time, which is ok with me! But yeah, Saturday we went to the AP's apartment and we were given transfer news and ice cream! Then we called all in the zone and told them the news. After, we went into the office and I typed up the "logistics" in excel. It’s a sheet showing where everyone is coming from and where everyone is going. Wednesday we will be manning the two tro tro stations and getting everyone where they need to go so the paper shows where all will go. It’s the system we have used for a long time, this time I got to type it up so that is cool!

So for this week it has been good! On Monday we had the worst Family Home Evening ever haha! It was with our investigator Ben who will get baptized next month. He has a wife and 3 kids. The wife has not sat with us so we wanted to have fun with them and the kids. We tried to come up with a game we could play with them. I thought of a simple but fun game I had played with some friends one time. You fill a cup with flour and put a coin inside as well. Compact the flour and flip it over on a plate and it will make a sandcastle. You then take turns cutting into it with a knife until it falls. Whoever makes it fall has to dig the coin out with their nose. We thought it would be fun, so we bought a cup of flour, took a plastic cup and knife. Well, it didn’t go well haha. The cup was too big, the flour wouldn’t compact so when it turned over it would just collapse. Ben got some water and decided to pour it into the flour to make it stick. Let’s just say it turned into a big mess haha. The wife asked him in Fante, "what are they doing?" He responded, "Even me, I don’t know." Haha it was like we were making cakes or something! We got flour on their floor, Ben got his hands covered in dough, and no game was played. It was so embarrassing. The wife probably thought we were putting a curse on the family or something. "Why did they put a coin in the flour and make dough?" Haha oh well, they are still friendly to us and the teaching is going well so no problem! What else? Well we took a sister named Sister Okorie to get her wisdom tooth pulled out! We spent hours in a pretty nice dentist’s office. We went two mornings in a row. The reason being is because after them checking the tooth they needed an x ray. Well their x ray machine was broken so they sent us to a different office like 15 minutes away. We went there and they didn’t have one. They directed us to the hospital. We went there and they didn’t have one. They directed us to another office 30 more minutes away. We went there. They told us they had the machine, but not the x ray film. That film is bought at the hospital we just left from.... So the next morning the sisters bought the film and got the x ray. They then met us at the original office where they pulled the tooth. Oh I am thankful for medical facilities back home haha!  It was really cheap though, it only cost 70 cedis. That’s like what, $20? Wow! In other news our investigator named S. showed back up. We saw her and she tearfully told us how she was being forced out of cape coast by a neighbor because of her situation with the court case. She said they were forcing her back to Takoradi and was so sad because she would have to live with her Catholic family who would not let her join the church. She was soo sad because she says she knows the Church is true. We said goodbye. Then two days later we went to the house and in joy she told us she worked things out and wants to be baptized as soon as possible! We were thrilled and gave her a date for the 13th December! We taught her a great lesson on the Restoration. We had Stake Conference this Sunday which I will talk about in a moment, but she came and she LOVED it! She said she felt the Spirit and cried during the meeting. She asked why she had to wait all until the 13th for her baptism, couldn’t we just do it now? She said it feels like she has found something she lost. She feels complete. That was so powerful. We gave her the Book of Mormon last time and she read the introduction so we taught about the Book of Mormon and she was so excited and loves the Gospel! She has been prepared by the Lord! Very cool!

We had Stake Conference on Saturday and Sunday and they were both wonderful. Sunday the stake center was PACKED!!!! People were sitting in the halls! Wall to wall people. It was a satellite broadcast from SLC though for all African stakes. Elder Bednar, Sister Stevens, and President Uchtdorf talked. They talked a lot about gospel culture and eliminating parts of culture that are not in line with what the Savior teaches. They both specifically spoke about no more bride prices. That and no extravagant funerals and weddings. The reason being is people go into debt. That was seen this last week when a recent convert was having a family party. He can’t even feed all the members of his family each day yet he borrowed a ton of money from a relative in the US to get speakers and canopies for his party. People go way too far with these things. So it was interesting to hear about from the Brethren.

I am doing good though. I have a good quote I found again in the Bishops office. Watch your thoughts they become words. Watch your words they become actions. Watch your actions they become habits. Watch your habits they become character. Watch your character it becomes your destiny. It all starts with thoughts eh? Very true!  I hope you will have a great Thanksgiving though! I am so thankful for my wonderful family back home; you guys really are the best! I am so thankful for this wonderful time I have to serve the Lord. I am so thankful for the Church. I am so thankful for the Gospel. I am so thankful for the Savior. I love you sooo much! You really are the best!  This will be a stressful week, but it’s all good! I am thankful for the time I have to learn and grow! Have a great week!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Pizza after the YSA activity at a sweet restaurant. No, it's not common to see this in Ghana...

Happy P-day to me! Fancy 30 cedi all you can eat 
breakfast buffet!

Georgina's baptism before I left Akonfudi!

Don't mess with K-town - Me and E. Hinckley

 Elder Ntsie and me!

With some of the members after church! It's a big 
step up from the building in Akonfudi.

  I have accomplished this trick. Maybe 
soon it will be luggage and tvs!  

Thanks for the new shoes, as you can see they were needed! Yeah the shoes were dead. No holes in the bottom but they were close! I burned them in honor of their hard work. It was like burning a flag or 
something, solemn and full of respect hahaha. 

Yeah morning!!! I am doing good here in Cape Coast, it’s been a sweet week! Glad you guys are doing well, sounds like grandma's are doing good and that Grandma Tolman is doing pretty well! That is good to hear! I will try to answer all your questions really quick...forgive me if I miss one! First, yeah there is still a lot of Fante (not Twi here, they are very similar though) but luckily most everyone can speak English as well. Yep transfers will be coming next week, transfer news comes this Saturday. So for that we will go and join the APs and a few of the other ZLs and we will get the transfer news then alert our zones. We then will make a "transfer plan" on how we will coordinate transfer day and travel and whatnot. So yeah, on the day we will be at the tro stations getting everyone where they need to be and paying for the transport. It will be a crazy day I guess haha! No, liquid milk is a thing of legend in Ghana but yes, powdered milk is all over the place. If I could buy some Cream O' Weber I would be the happiest guy in the world. 

So you asked about the YSA activity, well it was actually on Saturday! We were pretty nervous to see how it turned out. Ghana runs on what Elder Hinckley called West Africa International Time (WAIT) meaning when you tell people to come at 12 they will come at 4. That is no joke or exaggeration either. It’s worse than West Family Time haha! But people came and they came for the most part on time! One problem was that around 11:45 the DJ was not there. Me and E. Ntsie went to his house and he was gone and his phone was off. Soooo yeah we had to scramble to find a replacement. But it worked out! The activity was big! We had like 200+ people there and they all had fun! We played games, did a devotional activity based on the iron rod, and had food! We got the missionaries out as soon as we could and the YSA's were able to dance to their hearts content to the music they wanted so they enjoyed the day! I was so tired after, we were running around all day, setting up and taking down and making sure all went well. We were there from 10 to 7 so yeah it was a long day. After I was ready to just take a breather so we went to this nice looking restaurant in town called Hayfords. I treated E. Ntsie to a pizza and coke and oh we enjoyed! The place was one of the nicest I have seen in Ghana. It would be pretty nice back home. The pizza was delicious as well! Sadly no calzone...It said chicken, but it was more of a combination with hotdog chunks on top haha. It was REALLY good though! Soooo good! A good way to end a great day!!  We have had a good p-day today. We had an enjoyable day for sure! We went to this fancy hotel called Elmina Beach Resort because the word was they had a 30 cedi breakfast buffet from 7 to 10. So we woke up early and got on the road! Wow that place is soooo nice! Nicest place I have seen in GH. The food was so good! Sausage, omelets, CHEESE, ham, all sorts of things!!!! Best 30 cedis spent! Sat in a nice AC dining room and enjoyed!!!

Yesterday I went to church where I always do, the Cape Coast 1st ward! It was sweet, lots of fante hahaha. It’s a good solid ward so they do the teaching.  There is a pioneer in our ward named Bro. Ewudzie. Bro Ewudzie is always teaching everything haha. If you google "James Ewudzie LDS Ghana" I’m sure you would find stuff on him. But he is going to SLC on Wednesday and said he will be going rather frequently the next few months so next time he goes if I want to send anything home he will take it! So maybe I can give the camera card to him and he can get it to you! That would be cool! But my comp is good. He goes home in February. He is from Johannesburg and is a convert. He is a good guy. All his family are members except his parents. Elder Ike and Etim are both from Nigeria and are good guys as well!

Also great news is we will be having 2 baptisms on the 29th! One will be D, I think I told you about him. He is 12 and his sister is a member. The father wouldn’t let him be baptized but we went and saw him at his house and talked to him. He told us to call him in a few days which we did and he agreed! Wooooo! So we will baptize him and a man named Ben. He was a referral from E. Hinckley and this guy is a stud! He has been prepared by the Lord. He bore his testimony to us on the 2nd lesson. He has come to church with his kids the past 3 weeks! He wants to be baptized and knows what we are teaching is true! So we are really excited for him! The 29th will be a great day for sure! We also saw that woman S. during the week and calmed more of her fears and problems. She came to church on Sunday and said she wants to be baptized as well, so now it’s just a matter of teaching her and helping her more fully grasp the gospel! As for missionary work itself, things are looking better than last week! People are coming by the grace of God, and I feel good about this coming week. We had a new guy named Ishmael come to church by himself on Sunday, so that is just sweet. We will start teaching him this week and hopefully he will progress! The work moves forward and I love it! But look at how the Lord works. He is a God of miracles. People are throwing themselves into the baptismal font haha. It truly is His work though; He brings these people into the light. 

This week I went on splits with Elder Hinckley which was sweet! It was funny to me to be with a fellow class of '13 Dart. What are the odds of two kids from Kaysville UT being sent to the other side of the world to teach the gospel together? It was cool to teach with him. He is a powerful guy and we really had a great day! I learned a lot and enjoyed the day thoroughly. They have a good area as well! Oh and this will make you happy! A by-product of me being in charge of the music for the activity was I got my music!!!!!! It was converted by the office elders so I FINALLY HAVE IT!!! Oh I love MoTab!!!!! I missed them. I was listening to them today; the classics of Homeward Bound and Come Thou Fount make me so happy! They bring the Spirit like none other. I love just sitting there and being filled with inspiration from the Spirit. The Lord speaks through music! That is why I love MoTab so much. It is a way that the Spirit can communicate so clearly.  One piece of personal revelation I received as I listened to Homeward Bound today was in the words:  Bind me not to the pasture-Chain me not to the plow-Set me free to find my calling-And I'll return to you somehow.  This is freedom. This, teaching the gospel and doing the work of the Lord. Oh how it fills me with joy to do the work of the Lord. I will do so all my days. I will return to Him somehow. I will do His work with a pure heart, a willing mind, I love the Lord. 

Thank you for sending the packages! I will let you know when they come! No problem on the duty, it’s a fact of life right now haha. Glad the Christmas tree is still sitting pretty in Axim as well! Haha and the stocking! That is hilarious! It has brought festive cheer to missionaries all year! Love you soooo much! You’re the best!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Elder Hack at MLC
Enjoying time with Elder Cardon!

Helllloooooo Kaysville!!!! It is pretty cruel to taunt me with lasagna and the fixins when I get excited over the notion of chicken backs! Haha! Leaf roundup sounds like a success! I am jealous of you guys and the fall weather though. It’s pretty warm in this little internet cafe! The snow will soon come! Pretty crazy that the winter is here again though eh? Adam is hitting the big field? That is sweet! DHS did some quality on the track and field! That kid is busy though! wow! That’s pretty crazy about the Utes....come on guy what are you thinking? You gotta be sure your butt is over that line before you start celebrating!  Glad you got to see a photo of me; yep any day a picture of me shows up it must be a good day for you! Unless it’s a mug shot or something I suppose, but that will never happen! After MLC we get fed amazing rice and chicken. So that is what we were chowing down on! It is good stuff! Perks of being a zone leader eh? Yep being a zone leader is fun and challenging....But yeah President is a stud, he leads really well and is a great example! Yes I know that missionary who got malaria. His name is Elder Loader. We came at the same time in fact! He is ok now and has joined our zone. He is going to be in the office until at least the end of transfers in two weeks. Poor guy! He is ok though so that is a relief! Don’t worry I take those pills daily! I have heard too many stories about malaria. Being on a mission is like 10 years of experience in life, the gospel, church government, family, everything crammed into 2 years. Oh how eternally grateful I am and will be for my mission. But this has really been a pretty meh week as far as actual missionary work goes sadly...The city is a lot more difficult than the bush I must say. People have lives here; they work and do other things! It has been nearly impossible to meet with our investigators this week. So that has been kind of a bummer. There is a recent convert here that has a smoking problem and he looks so old for his age. He can’t come to church some weeks because his joints seize up. Oh the Word of Wisdom is divine. We did have our MLC this week obviously. It was great! I like those meetings for a few reasons, but one of which is that the Spirit is always there and the Gospel is taught in its pureness. It’s like going to conference or something and I love it. But we talked a lot about our standards of excellence. Specifically about one in particular, GC's. That is gospel conversations. Previously we were asked to get 35 a week, but after a rather lengthy council it has been decided that quality is better than quantity. The standard is the same, 35 but we really talked about the principle of getting GC's. It’s about finding people, not a number. So I guess you could say we shifted the focus of GC's away from the number and towards the purpose. But right after that we had a planning meeting for the YSA activity and figured some things out and set further plans. There is a 2 cedi fee for all the active YSA's coming. The reps told us the deadline should be the 2nd and they would get the money. But basically nothing was collected. So we figured that one out. After that we had our Stake PEC. The rain was pouring; luckily we took umbrellas because it took forever to get a taxi to the stake center! It was a good meeting though and Pres was there so we had his insight on things. After, he gave us a ride back to town in his car so that was a bonus!

Ah here’s an interesting story; a shipfull of Liberians made landfall in Cape Coast last week! The good news? The fishermen wouldn’t let them land until the police came and then they got all of them to the hospital and quarantine. Kind of a crazy story. It happened far from us but still in Cape. Oh and also, last Monday I bought 11 yards of cool fabric, so yeah! The quilt will be a reality!  

I was thinking about flying this week. I remember when I would go flying with Al and prepare to land, he would first locate the Ogden Temple to help orient himself with the airport. It was a landmark that helped us land safely. If we could find the temple, we would be able to find the runway! I read an article by President Uchtdorf about spiritual landmarks and how they help us on our journey through life. Is there a greater landmark than the temple? If we can honestly say that yes, I am worthy of a temple recommend then we know we are on the path that leads to our heavenly home! How grateful I am to be a part of this marvelous church! It is the Lord's! How grateful I am to have an amazing family!  I love you! Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Elder Hack and Elder Ntsie

I got this picture from President Stevenson's Blog :)

Hey there USA! Things are going good here, yes I am happy and healthy, no health problems to complain of! We had interviews with President and that’s one thing he asked me. He asked if I have had any health problems at all in the field, so I had the great pleasure of telling him about the time I gorged myself on that package you sent and the ensuing events hahaha. He told me he had a sleeve of Oreos waiting for him in the nightstand and he was gonna go enjoy them! I told him that’s what put me down for the day! But I am doing good, the Rocky run up the stairs only happened that one time because my motivation to exercise in the morning is low haha...that is something I will try and fix. We have not really gone site seeing here, the castle is in our area however. The rope bridge is in another zone, rather far, so no I have not seen it and unless I get transferred there the odds of me going are low, but you never know I guess! I have not seen any orphanages here. Our area is literally the middle of Cape Coast town, so it’s a lot of stores and that’s basically it haha. I would assume the orphanages are farther away but IDK. Glad to hear that all is well on the Hackmeister front. Don’t worry about the music, I know a guy that can convert it so it will be taken care of this week! Then I will enjoy the music!

Let’s see, this week has been a bit slow honestly. Basically all our investigators left town this week! A ton were in Accra for whatever reason, so we spent a lot of time talking to new people. It was good though, we had a good time. Ran into an unexpected person, that white girl we taught in Akonfudi! She had her family and saw us walking and ran up to us. I was happy, because if forever she is that comfortable approaching missionaries we have done our job!  Like I said, we had interviews and they were good, I always enjoy talking to President Stevenson, he is a cool guy! This coming week we have our MLC meeting so we will be seeing him again, along with our Stake PEC and he will be there as well so it will be a week of meetings for sure! That is all happening on Wednesday, and on Wednesday we have a planning meeting for the YSA activity we are planning. Somehow I got put in charge of music, so I have the "fun" task of trying to find music that is missionary appropriate and at the same time music YSAs will like. Ghanaians are picky about their music, and I don’t think they will like the EFY jams going, so yeah it will be fun....We will figure it out though hahaha! Crazy that it is November though. I remember you asked about a scripture bag, if you can find one like the one I have now that would be awesome. It’s leather with a pocket on the side and a zipper pocket on the other. It’s perfect for carrying pamphlets and stuff. Also I need a new USB charger thing, the ice cube for the iphone haha. I CANT FIND MINE!!! That means I can’t charge my camera or speaker haha...other than in a computer. That reminds me, I will try to send pics today. Glad you enjoyed the one on the blog! Yep that was me and my companion; it was in the institute building! And yes, there IS a Stake Center! Cape Coast was the 1st stake in Ghana! That happened in the 90's I believe. Yep the washer came! I washed with it last week and it was glorious! The washer was a behemoth, definitely fun carrying it up 54 step... The apartment is good, especially since we have water and everyone is getting along pretty well so that is always good right haha!  Today I got a haircut and shopped now we are here emailing! I bought a big box of indo mie AKA top ramen. We will go to FHE in a few hours and so that will be good. I forgot to mention we watched some of conference yesterday and it was awesome!!! We watched the session where Elder Holland talked and he did awesome! I really loved Sister McConkie’s talk as well. Lots of talks on following the prophet! I will try now to send pictures! Oh, nevermind there is no usb port in this computer...sorry!!!  I love you though, you are the greatest! I am happy and healthy and thankful to be here doing this, the Lords work!!!