Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Monday USA! Greetings to you from Cape Coast Ghana! I am doing good here, life is pretty sweet! I got an air shipment this week! The parachute got caught in a tree so I had to shimmy up there and cut it down with a BIC razor, but it’s in my hands now. Thank you SO much! [That’s his way of saying he got the box of goodies we sent him haha!] I got the package on Wednesday! I have been enjoying the BACON! Thanks haha! Oh on the subject (and sorry to be burdensome) but could you send a couple white shirts? If you could I would be SO appreciative! You da best! Maybe like 5? Just short sleeve! Mine are getting a bit seasoned; it’s probably time to retire a couple of them. I was stirring a cauldron of banku last Monday and I ripped a big hole in the armpit of one of my shirts...soo that’s too bad! Probably gonna stir some more tonight seeing as we are going for FHE to eat banku and we will no doubt help prepare it! So that will be fun! I will try not to ruin this one though haha! And maybe you could send some more of those rubber CTR rings, everyone LOVED those! 

Well it’s been a good week here in Cape! Kind of a busy one but it’s been sweet! We gave a good instruction during our combined district meeting on Tuesday. We did it on teaching and based it on what E. Dube taught us last week. We talked about the 5 steps in teaching and it went really well! Everyone enjoyed it and learned a lot. We had good discussion and did sweet role plays!  I got to go on exchanges twice this week! Yay!...The first one was on Wednesday with Elder Cooper from Atlanta GA. We came to Ghana at the same time but he was in Liberia until the Ebola hit. Now he is here! He is a funny guy, we had fun! Then on Friday I went with Elder Lagaiti from Samoa. He is pretty new, but it was sweet. He didn't really speak English when he came but now he can speak pretty well so it’s kind of cool to see how he improved. We had good times though on both days. Nothing too exciting, just some good missionary work haha! Here is kind of a cool story from the week though. So we have a member who is awesome at helping us and she is our friend, her name is J. She is like 22 and has been a member for like 4 years. Well, she showed us a photo album of hers and inside were some pics of her dressed not the most modestly. Nothing too terrible, but still. Soo we decided it would probably be a pretty good idea to teach her about modesty. Well, we did so. We were kind of afraid she would get offended or angry at us, especially because she just kind of stared at the wall the whole time we talked about it. But she ended up being really interested and asking great questions about movies, music, clothes etc. She said she was going to go through all her clothes and get rid of everything not modest which we were pretty dang impressed with! She went and changed right after the lesson too! She wasn't even dressed bad, but she dressed into a more modest shirt. She said she was going to stop watching Spanish soap operas (which are insanely popular here for some reason)! So we were pretty happy at how well she handled it! She saw it as an opportunity to become better instead of just getting angry. I guess she knew we were just trying to give her good advice and  everything. Then we committed her to teach her friend, a less active recent convert who just had an abortion, about it as well. She came to church on Sunday and talked to Bishop and felt great afterwards so we were really happy about that! So these two have been powerful examples of people willing to change this week!

We did not end up having a baptism this week. We were hoping to baptize Special K (Maame Kakraba) but due to some Ghana probs (lack of water) we didn't do it and we are gonna push it back to the 4th. But yeah it’s all cool! We have extended some more baptism dates this week so we have 6 up comings for the next few weeks! Should be pretty sweet! Oh and yeah, this Saturday transfer news will come! I really want to stay, but we will see what happens. I have really enjoyed being with E. Mckeon and yeah we have a sweet apartment. So we will see what happens. The Lord knows best! I will be sad if I have to leave Cape, I really enjoy this place. There are some great people here and the work has been nice! I will be sad! But it’s all good either way! Glad Brady got that job! That is awesome!  And as for the housing, yeah I feel pretty good about UVU!  I am pretty excited, it will be fun. 
Yeah the water has been back which has been nice. We have been CLEANING all day today haha! So we have had a blast! The apartments we visited during exchanges were a MESS so we decided to make this Monday a zone wide deep cleaning day!  Well, tomorrow we have a zone conference and we will be instructing for 30 mins after President, soooo that’s what we will be up to after our sweet FHE tonight! But yep we will see what a new week brings! Thanks for everything! You da best! LOVE YOU!!!

March 16, 2015
Morning morning morning! I am indeed doing just great, glad to hear you are happy and all is well also! Thank you so much for handling the accommodation situations! It does indeed sound like for some reason that is where I need to go. It sounds like a good place, good location, good ward etc. So thank you very much for being a champion lodging organizer. Ah I don’t really like thinking about all this home stuff...So let’s get down to what’s up here eh? Haha yes so it’s really been another interesting week and we have had the joy of handling some missionary problems again. On Tuesday I was expecting to have a really nice day of proselyting, we had great plans and everything. But around 10 we got a text from the elders in another apartment saying, "come to our apartment asap." We gave them a call and the issue was one companionship nearly got in a big fight. So, we rushed over to take care of business. Yeah this companionship has had problems in the past; they just don’t get along at all. They don’t see eye to eye. Anyway, when we got there everyone was quiet. Luckily the other elders in that apartment kept them separated, so it didn't actually turn to blows. Ah they don’t talk to each other! EVER!! They proselyte but don’t talk, whenever there are other missionaries around they won’t stay together. It’s like no duh you are not getting along, you are not even trying! But later that day we went with the assistants to Hayfords and got pizza so that was fun! And the big fun point is of course the mission tour with Elder Dube! We had a great time with him! I was expecting him to be this tall big guy but he is like 5'5, very friendly though. He gave us some really great instruction about being a focused missionary and not thinking of yourself and also a lot of help on how to teach. We did a role play and he picked on me and E. Mckeon to do it. We had to teach a senior couple about the importance of coming to church in 3 minutes and had to teach, testify, invite, promise blessings, and follow up with them in that 3 minutes in front of everyone haha. It went pretty well. So now I can say I did a role play with a General Authority haha. But we have been doing that in our teaching (minus the 3 minute time limit haha) and it is soooo powerful! Our lessons are so much better now; people really are changing as we do it this way and feel the Spirit! So I have been pretty happy about that! But yeah, it was a great meeting for sure! Learned a lot, Elder Dube is a great teacher and person!

We had a baptism this week! It was for B. President Stevenson came and interviewed him and it went well. We were also supposed to have a baptism for the 8 year old girl named M. K, but we got her into the font and she was just terrified. She was crying, holding the wall and yeah the baptist was just a 19 year old recent convert who didn't really know what he was doing, so we took her out of the water. Sadly, instead of telling her it was ok, everyone just yelled at her. We were like, "no no its ok!" but they didn't think so. So she left apparently scarred. But B. got baptized so boko (sweet)! Luckily for us, one of our awesome members who helps us named Jennifer was walking by M. K.'s house that night and went over to see them and the mom told her what happened then Jennifer told the mom to not be angry. She explained that when she was baptized there was an 8 year old girl there too and the same thing happened. The mom calmed down and everything is ok now. So Jennifer saved us there! Hopefully this Saturday we will try again and I will have to be the one to baptize her as she loves me, so hopefully that will help. Those are the highlights of the week I would say! We have been really working hard to find some new investigators because lately things have kind of slowed down here. We have found a lot of success in finding this week too! So it’s been a rather productive week I must say. This week we are going on exchanges 2 times, so that will be fun! You know, I have to tell you because it will probably motivate me to be better, but for the past few weeks I have been pretty bad at updating my journal, which is really annoying because my whole mission I have just been a boss at updating it I must say. But lately I have been forgetting for a day or two then I have to mass update it. So this is me saying I will be better I guess haha. As for pictures, I think I am doing ok! Sad thing about Cape is there are not as many cool things to take pictures with. But I will try and take more pics of me with people we are teaching and working with. So there is my little St. Patrick's day resolution. Good job on reading the BoM! How is everyone else doing? Anybody sinking down in their chair as they read this part? Let your guilt work repentance and start now! Well, let me know any details on the living situation as they come, and school in general I guess. UVU sounds pretty cool so we will see what happens! Thanks again for everything! You are the best! LOVE

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gooooooooood Afternoon to you!!! Happy Monday, glad to hear that you have had such a wonderful week and that everyone is doing great! First of all, sorry to see that the big tree at the office has been absolutely mauled hahaha! Sorry, doesn’t look too good or promising, but I guess you gotta just have faith that the lumberjack knew what he was doing. He is a credentialed professional though right? Don’t worry about sending me any running shoes, if I want I can pretty much buy them anywhere. They sell them on carts around town haha. I am doing great here though; it’s been a pretty uneventful week here actually. Kind of a contrast to last week isn’t it? So it’s been kind of nice in a way and kind of annoying in a way. The work has been a bit slow in our neck of the woods for a little bit, but we are hoping for two baptisms this week! Talking about B, M's boyfriend, we were able to pretty well resolve the situation. They are back to normal and all is well. That’s the thing, here beating your girlfriend or wife isn’t a very big deal. Women are kind of second class here still so it’s not as frowned upon. I mean, you could still go to jail, but it wouldn’t be for very long. So we taught him about why it is not right to do that and how he really shouldn’t ever do that again. He feels bad and Mary feels fine about everything. So yeah, he is preparing for baptism this week! He is very excited and it will be a great experience. The other person we are planning for is an 8 year old girl named Maame(mommy) Kakraba(ka-crah-bah). Her English name is Cadimel Aquah. But she is the granddaughter of a member and has been coming to church forever, so her mom who isn’t a member said she should be baptized. Hopefully we will start teaching the mom this week! That would be so great if we could convert her as well! She is a really cute little girl and always gives me a big hug whenever we come. We were hoping that our good friend Randy would get baptized this week too but he didn’t come to church...again. It’s too bad because whenever we go and teach him we have great lessons and he talks about how much he wants to be baptized and everything. The issue is he is working at this bank and his boss always calls him to come in on Sundays. So that is too bad, hopefully we can work through that. We had a great MLC as you saw on Pres. Stevenson's blog, they are indeed always fun! It’s always edifying and informative. And great food so no complaints at all! After we had stake PEC and it was pretty routine as well, nothing too out of the ordinary haha. But yeah, we are just trying to find new people to teach. The area is good, but it has its challenges because it’s a really small area. We are just trying to get referrals and contact people! It’s fun though, we have some nice members who help us a lot and everything. Oh and one nice experience is I had the opportunity to go on exchanges this week with our fellow 54-stepper, Elder Joseph from South Africa. We had a good time, a slow day because it was on 6 March AKA Ghana's Independence Day. The town was just kind of empty haha. But it was fun. That is cool dad hired a South African though. Is she white or black? South Africans are just awesome. I really enjoy being around them.

Let’s see...Sunday we had a pretty laid back day. Church was good, we had a good service and our two investigators getting baptized came. We went and visited an old blind member named Bro. Ayensu(Eye-in-sue) who always tells us crazy stories, and went and got fed dinner from one of our members named Jennifer. So it was a good day. Today we had a great zone activity. We all brought food to the church and had a potluck type thing. After we played games and we chugged a crate of 24 Pepsi’s. So it was fun hahaha! Good to hear that there are some things coming in the mail; I will
distribute the bracelets accordingly. It will probably be easier here than Akonfudi! Yeah the ring you sent me actually is a perfect fit, I was really impressed you pulled that off so well without me being there
haha! But yep Elder Dube is coming this Thursday! It will be really cool I’m sure! I am looking forward to it. I also hope this week we will be able to find some new investigators and get the work moving forward more! But things are really going well here, we are working hard, having fun! We made a big country stew this morning loaded with potatoes, carrots, chicken, green onions, the whole Thanksgiving spread! It tastes SOOOOOOO good hahaha!

Well, as I have considered and prayed about schooling, UVU is sounding pretty good to me. If you could apply for me and everything that would be awesome.  IDK where I will stay, guess you will worry about that hahaha!  Well, that is about it from me here in good old Cape Coast! Life is good, the work is divine. How thankful I am to get to serve the Lord here at this time. It is such an AMAZING work! Never forget that! We are all enlisted! Thank you so much, you are the best! Love you!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pictures off E. Hack's Camera Card!

Howdy there! Happy March to the Hack clan, I am indeed doing great and indeed the week was good! It was a very crazy week for sure haha, but it was good! Glad to hear you are enjoying the pictures still! They are pretty awesome I must say. Ok, I guess I need to explain the video of the guy running into the door eh? Well, that door is to the balcony in the Axim apartment. We would always have it open because there's always a nice breeze that comes through it. But one night we came home and found that the lock was broken and it wouldn't unlock. Well, we just couldn't have no balcony!!! It is a necessity after all! So, we told E. Cavaness to fireman slam it. That is basically what the video is, that's why everyone is cheering at the end, we were so happy! Haha oh the things that happen! 

The baby born on my bday is named David sadly...everyone loves naming their kids after Biblical people but not E. Hackmeister eh? Ok that's cool I guess...Haha. I don't have a picture, they forced me to hold him and I was kind of freaked out a bit. They told me to be careful with his back so I was being super careful, then he started crying and they just snatched him away like they were picking up a piece of laundry so I was kind of confused why they were so concerned about ME holding him carefully haha. But yes, the week has been pretty full of weird things hahahaha. I am glad I am with E. Mckeon though because he is a pretty awesome guy, we are having fun and definitely working hard. It's more work as zone leaders than as missionaries this week though. As far as our investigators go, well they are doing ok, but not great haha. I will explain in due time in this email hahaha.

So to start off I guess with the week, we went on exchanges Wednesday. I went with E. Brown from Louisiana. I have been with him like 5 times out here so it was kind of fun to get together with him again. We had a really successful day of proselyting, every lesson we had planned went through successfully! It was awesome, that doesn't happen often! Seven powerful lessons were taught that day! We celebrated by going to Hayfords and getting pizza after because it was a must. But yeah, E. Brown is a cool guy so we had fun. Then Thursday we traded back companions and E. Mckeon and I had a super SLOW day haha...we only taught 1 lesson because everyone was gone. But it was good because we had to go do some baptismal interviews for the sisters in our zone. I did one and E. Mckeon did one. The one I interviewed was an old lady who didn't speak english. She was pretty nice, but she had an issue. She said she wouldn't stop working on sundays, but she would come to church so God should just understand. I taught her and she understood and committed to live the law of the Sabbath so she was good to go actually. E. Mckeon interviewed a guy and he had an abortion question come up so President had to be called but in the end it was all good so yeah both of them were happily baptized this week! After the interview we went back to our chapel and found the district leader for the other district doing baptismal interviews for some of the elders. They were all good, but there was one lady who he just didn't have a good feeling about. She passed the interview and had left, but he just didn't feel right so he requested that we do a second interview. We agreed, so we said the next day we would do it. Well, the next day we went to her house and she was not happy AT ALL!!! The missionaries who taught her told her she failed the interview the 1st time so she got offended and didn't want to see us. She ran away from us and the whole house was getting frustrated with us saying we shouldn't have failed her. Well, long story short, after over an hour of coaxing we convinced her to just sit down and talk to us. I ended up being the one to do so. I had to explain to her so very politely that she did not fail and we just wanted to go over the interview again. Well, she felt ok so I did the interview and she passed with no problem. She was baptized and all was well. But oh how it was fun to get her to sit down while everyone around was getting involved and saying pointless things haha! It all happened around the place one of our recent convert works. Her boyfriend works around there as well and he was supposed to be baptized this Saturday but after the interview we got some rather sad news from her that is gonna push that baptism back a bit. He beat the heck out of her! Now, it's kind of common in Ghana for women to get beat, but she seriously got beat. He slammed her head into a wall, stepped on her head, kicked her, all sorts of things because they got into an argument. Soooooooo....yeah we need to work on that. We did a lot of marriage counseling last night with both of them together and there were a lot of different emotions involved. Sadly, forgiveness was not one of them...yet. Yeah we are still working on that one. Me and E. Mckeon were talking last night about how funny it is for us to be giving marriage advice when we are just like 20 years old haha.

Well let's move onto Saturday. We had a "fit walk" at 5 am for the ward. We woke up at 4:30 and went to the church for the walk! It was an early rise, but we felt ok. We got there and waited for people to show up. About 20 of us were there so it was alright attendance I guess. But we walked around ALL of Cape Coast. It was good, but I didn't have running shoes, just flip-flops. [puppies stole his running shoes] And it rained on us, so my feet were all muddy. But it was a lot of fun! We came back and had a nice breakfast of rice porridge, which is basically like rice pudding, and bread. E. Seaman and E. Joseph wussed out on us and didn't come until the breakfast was served haha! We earned ours however haha! But after we went back, got dressed and showered, and went out to do some shopping because it was one of the sister missionary's birthday today and we thought it would be kind of nice if we bought some small thing. We went to this place called the "Cedi Store" which basically sells everything that was rejected from Rite Aid. They had all these incredibly stupid birthday/greeting cards that we were dying reading. Anyway we bought a plastic cup and a card for her haha. African sisters are not as picky as American sisters by the way. But after that we got a nice call from the AP's that we needed to go on exchanges again. So, we got in a taxi and went to the missionary's apartment. E. Mckeon is best friends with one of them and was his companion before so it was a great blessing to have him transferred to this zone at this time! So I was with E. Brown again haha! We had a good day, and we got pizza again haha! 

Today has been a good p-day though. We had a district activity at the beach where we played games. We poured water all over the sister who was having the birthday and gave her the gift so it was nice. But we really have had fun today!  Not too much is going on tonight, we don't really have a plan haha! We have been out of water for 2 weeks and they brought a water truck today to fill it up so maybe we will go and wash our clothes or something? IDK really haha!  [I asked him how he showers if there's been no water for two weeks, and how the electrical situation has been.  This is his answer: We bathe with and drink from water sachets. Soooo fun! haha not. You bite off a corner and spray yourself down. Usually about 5 will get the job done. Good times! Yep power is usually on for 24 hrs then off for 12. That's the usual schedule.  Yes the head light is just AWESOME. I really use it a lot haha!]

Yeah though, I am really enjoying being with E. Mckeon. We have had a lot of fun times this week despite it being pretty interesting. We are able to joke and so it's nice. Right now we are just struggling a bit finding people to teach. But it happens sometimes. The Lord will open up a way for us as He always does. This is His work and He definitely knows how to do it. It's all in His own time. We are doing our best and working hard so we will be blessed! But yeah I am doing good! Had a fun crazy week! Hope that this week it will be great! Thank you sooo much for everything though!  You are the BEST though in the WHOLE WORLD!!! I love you soo much! Have a great week!