Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Me pa wo kyo, maayke Madame. Be biaa boko-" Please, good morning Madame. Everything is going great!" There is the translation for you haha! Take that Google! But that same greeting works for this week as well so there ya go! I am indeed doing great! Things here in Swedru are on fire! We had 5 baptisms on Saturday and it was great! We were able to help some families be united and so that was awesome! 3 of the 5 were referrals from members and two were part member families so it was great! We baptized a girl named Faustina Donkor, Selina Korankye, Mabel Korankye, George Williams, and George Williams. No seriously, they both have the same name. They are brothers, 4 months separate. They have the same father but different moms and they live with their grandma who is a member and their sister who is a member. We call them by their Fante names which are Kojo and Kweku, so that makes it a lot easier haha. Oh and FYI my Fante name is Kwame Mensah. Names in Fante are determined by your birth. Kwame is for those born on Saturday and Mensah means the 3rd born of boys. So there ya go! But yeah the baptism was awesome. They all were there on time and it was a great experience. The next day they were all at church early which is rather remarkable and they were confirmed! So what a successful week! We are hoping to have 4 baptisms at least in May, we have lots of promising people we need to work with, the only problem is we have been SO BUSY!!!!!! I swear we don’t ever have a regular day to proselyte. It would be so nice to just have a week of regular proselyting. But that’s ok; we are doing other things that are important also.

We had to go do baptismal interviews on Wednesday all over the zone. First we went to Winneba to do some and well, I made a 10 year old boy cry...yeah I interviewed him and he literally did not know anything at
all that the missionaries taught him. So as much as I wanted to say it’s ok and he will learn later, I just couldn’t pass him. I very tenderly told him that the missionaries were gonna come back and teach him some things and then in a few weeks he would get baptized, but after we closed he started crying a bit. So I felt like a bad man for that...Then we rode the 30 mins back to Swedru to get in a car to go 1 hr to Odoben to do an interview. I interviewed another 10 year old which made me nervous haha, but this girl actually knew everything dang well! So that was nice! When we finished it was dark and we were scared we wouldn’t be able to get a car back to Swedru but we were blessed to get the last chopper out of Nam. I went on exchanges this week to the town of Winneba. Fun fact for you, Winneba was originally called Windy Bay by the British but the Ghanaians back then couldn’t pronounce that so it just became Winneba. But it’s a nice place. I went with an elder named E. Obia who is actually from the same branch as E. Odongo oddly enough. But it was a rather interesting day haha. Firstly, I had to do another interview for ANOTHER kid and we went to his house and he was not there. Then we walked to his friend’s house and he was not there. So we walked back to his house and found him! But there was a pastor there who tried to argue with us for 20 minutes so we had to get away from him and then I was able to sit down and interview him. E. Obia assured me he spoke English. But I started the interview and quickly discovered he in fact did not haha....So then we had to walk BACK to his friend’s house where an RM also lives and have him translate. The boy did good though and passed the interview. As you can see, I walked the same path about 10 times that day hahaha. Also, we started teaching this really awesome lady from Nigeria this week. She came to Ghana to live with a friend, but when she got to Accra she lost all contact with the friend and had nowhere to go. She was found by one of the High Councilors who lives in our ward and he brought her to his house so now she is living with his family. She has a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old daughter. Her name is Grace and it would appear the Lord has brought her here to learn the Gospel. She has been prepared. We taught her L.1 about the Apostasy and Restoration yesterday and it went GREAT! She came to church yesterday too and really enjoyed it and she committed to be baptized. So that is exciting! Always so interesting to see how the Lord does His work! Happy to be here in Swedru! 
Yesterday Bishop Acheampong proselyted with us and we visited some less active members and he helped sort out some disagreements between some of the members. He is such an awesome guy though. He is finishing his PhD right now; he is a really smart guy! We had fun going with him because he is just a cool guy. He was comparing the village we were in to Price and Kumasi to Provo because one of the guys we visited moved from Kumasi to that village. He was like, “Why would he do that? That’s like leaving Provo to go to Price! That place is a joke! If you are not a miner or a janitor your life is gonna be terrible!" It was pretty funny. Did I mention he graduated from USU and Weber?

As for music, I have not really been listening to any lately from the pen drive because others in the apt. usually have something playing so there has been no need really. Sounds like your girls camp thing is coming along nicely! Sounds like a good idea and it will go great I am sure! As for the snail video, [I told him I was watching a video I had taken of him at girls camp before he left on his mission, when he ate a snail as a dare.  He was there as a Priesthood leader] yes I have eaten a lot of worse things such as giant snail, goat ear, goat eye, cat liver, cat intestine, cat heart, dog intestine etc...Sooooo...yeah haha.
That is just nuts that Hadyn went to prom...what the heck. And what’s up with Adam driving?! He is 13! That is just wrong! Well, just wait til dad gives him a little bit of fire for something and he won’t want to drive for a while hahaha!
[Hadyn is his cousin who is a sophomore, time flies! I told him we let Adam drive around the church parking lot :) ] Tomorrow is when we will watch Meet the Mormons again, I am excited it will be cool! This week should be pretty good though, probably busy as usual! But I am trying to take more pics, I will try and send them tomorrow maybe if I get a chance! Thanks for everything you do for me and thanks for breaking through UVU security to get me registered! Make sure I get a sweet schedule k? If not I will just not come back home. Haha but seriously...

This work is true, it is God’s work and how great it is to know where His truth lies. He has a prophet, He has apostles. He has given us the way that leads to Eternal Life. The simplicity of the road depends on our willingness to follow. Thanks again, LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Picture from the mission blog :)
Winneba Zone - Half of it anyway

Me pa wo kyo, maayke Madame. Be biaa boko! Haha yep so good luck with that one ;) I am doing great! Sounds like you are doing great as well! That is cool you got to go to E. Larsen’s homecoming and that you were able to meet those guys! They are great guys for sure, miss them! That’s awesome Lelea and Cavvy did that song, I remember they sang it once for a mission meeting and it was awesome! Those two can really sing. Wow you are pretty far in the BoM now! You have passed me actually haha! I am in Helaman 4 right now I do believe. That is awesome though that you have noticed the blessings that have come! Good job!

Man this has been a pretty busy week to be perfectly honest haha! Where to start!? Well I guess on Tuesday we had a combined district meeting. That was the first time I have seen the whole zone together actually so that was nice. There really are not too many elders from Utah actually but there are a number from the US. But yeah we instructed and reported on our MLC visit from the previous week. It was good! I really enjoyed the meeting and getting to chat with everyone a bit. It was nice! And the rainy season is on its way for sure because afterwards we went and got food at a chop bar and got stuck in there because of the rain for like 30 minutes! But no problem! We were actually supposed to go on exchanges that day but the elder we were gonna exchange with had a fever so that had to get axed. So hopefully in the coming weeks we will. Wednesday was the day we put on our family counselor hats (or socks or whatever article of clothing it may be) and took care of problems. There is a recent convert who promised two girls he would marry them and obviously that is causing some problems haha. Who would have thought! So we went to visit him and one of those girls was at his house and took that opportunity to complain to us. So we had to tell her not everyone is perfect, that what he did wasn't right, but we can’t force him to do anything and he needs to take care of it. We also met a less active woman who hasn't come to church since she was baptized. She wouldn't open up to us but after a few minutes of talking she opened up and told us exactly her problem. Apparently she is offended by a girl who is a member who is not keeping the commandments but still goes to church. So I guess in her mind that is a good reason for her not to keep the commandments. That one I don’t understand. Somebody else has a problem so you’re gonna let that create a problem for you? Ok! But Thursday we had to travel to deliver some supplies to the elders who we couldn't go on exchanges with and it is FAR. We took an hour and a half tro tro ride to their area. It was a lot like the Indiana Jones ride! Good old roads in the bush! Yeah it’s a place called Odoben and it’s pretty remote. But we made it there alive! They took us to a chop bar then we came back and met POURING rain again. We got there just as it finished actually and all the 5 foot deep 3 foot wide gutters were just full. The streets were flooded in some places. Further evidence that rainy season is knocking on the door. Or here haha. And then we have Friday! Friday we had about 5 different things going on. We of course had Presidents interviews, we had to give an instruction, we had to have our people interviewed for baptism and we had to teach institute. So that was a fun day to prepare for haha. But the interviews were just awesome. The assistants gave a great instruction on working with members then we gave a nice instruction on working with recent converts and less active members. It went well! We were able to tie it in nicely to the AP's instruction so it was interesting for people. Sis. Stevenson instructed on adjusting to the challenges of missionary life and then we ate lunch and watched Meet the Mormons! It was awesome! I missed the beginning because I was being interviewed, but I came in during the US Naval coaches part and saw the rest! Man that is a POWERFUL movie! I really enjoyed it! We get to see it again next week because, as you pointed out, our zone was not complete! Only one district got interviewed then, the other two are next Tuesday. So that will be good! I am excited to see the whole thing! I had a nice interview with President though. We were supposed to share with him things we  learned from personal study so it was nice to talk to him about what I have been studying. I am of course studying in Helaman right now but also I have been going through Preach My Gospel as well. I just went through all the commitments we are to extend to people and thought of the blessings that come from keeping those commitments and now I am finding those blessings in the scriptures. So that is nice! This weekend has been stake conference as well so the past two days that’s what we have been doing. The power was out Friday night and our battery died as well! The apartment is not in a breezy place so it was about 500000000000000000000 degrees during the night. I woke up just sweating like crazy. I ended up using a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to fan myself. Oh man everyone slept for a cumulative of 1.5 hours that night. So Saturday stake conference was a bit hard to pay attention to haha. But it was actually really good. President was there and spoke and he did awesome. I always like listening to him speak. So on the agenda for today is we are going to Takoradi actually....E. Kaiser needs Sis. Julander to cut his hair as he is balding and only she can cut it well. So we are going from one corner of the mission to the other! Haha that will be sweet though! Oh and as for Mothers Day which is quickly  approaching I am 90% sure Skyping will happen! The church has WiFi and a computer then Bishop has a laptop so we will more than likely do that! So prepare! Prepare accordingly for the day is not far removed! As for the pic of me in the suit, when I was packing for transfers in Cape I put it on. The whole story about it sitting in the mission home is the biggest hoax in the world. I have had it at the bottom of my bag for the past 20 months. So I took it out, ironed it, and decided to put it on haha. I do look good don’t I! Um no I have not yet handed any of the bracelets out yet. I will get on that one....sorry. I have not yet videoed myself either to be perfectly honest. I moved around more than Obama this past week so hopefully this week will be less hectic and I will be able to! The work moves forward. 5 baptisms this week, referrals are coming in steadily, Swedru is awesome. This is God’s work to save His children. He is in control of everything. I am so thankful to be able to witness His hand in all things here at this time. I know He lives. I know it is true. Nobody is exempt from being able to know that. He invites all to "come and see." If we seek we shall truly find. That I know is true. You are the BEST mom in the whole world! Thank you for everything you do for me! I love you so much! Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pictures - Always A Happy Surprise!

Hello and greetings from Winneba zone! Yep that’s the name of the zone FYI haha! We did not get the chance to watch Meet the Mormons yet, but this Friday we will! I am pretty excited about that! I am glad you enjoyed the pics! A lot of them are old pics, I have not yet been able to take too many pictures here sadly...I will work on that though haha! Glad you enjoyed the one with the African shirt! Man there is a shop called Woodin which is just super classy and there was one in Cape. Usually all their stuff is crazy expensive but they were doing a buy one get one free so I got two shirts for 80 cedis! So I have two! They are really comfortable though. But glad to hear about the week, sounds like good things are going on back home! Sorry you missed E. Lelea's homecoming, he was a zone leader close by so I got to know him. He is a good guy! But that is cool about the kid from Kaysville coming here! He will LOVE IT!!! Ghana is such a wonderful place! Oh and the district leaders are 3 here. There is E. Collins from Northern California, E. Richards from I think Arizona and E. Andrews and I can’t remember where he is from...but they are all good guys. I received the package with the kitkats in it! Thanks a million for that deliciousness! I can’t even remember what else was in there haha! But I will keep my eye out for the other! My shirts are getting worse and worse each day so it’s a good thing they are coming haha! Oh and the shoes! Some dress shoes are the ones in need at the moment. I am wearing the Rockports, they are nice! I will work on handing out the bracelets as well.

Well the week was good, kind of weird haha but not really. On Tuesday we had district meeting and it went very well, then we went and taught a nice lesson. After that we packed some things and headed for CAPE! Because the AP's invited us to spend the night with them since MLC was the next morning. Usually the ride to Cape is about 2 hours, but we were in the space shuttle [crazy tro tro] and got there in like less than an hour and a half. So we had some time to kill in Cape. We went and bought some nice things like pens and food from the European store Cape has. It was nice! Man I only had been gone for like a week, but oh how I missed Cape. It was nice to walk those streets. Haha I sound so nostalgic, but it was nice. It was hard not to go and visit people, but that would probably have not been the best idea. But yeah we and some of the other zone leaders from afar went to the AP's apartment. We decided to go get pizza and so we went into town to this place, sat down and looked at the menu then the lady told us they were out of cheese. She wasn't going to tell us, somebody asked a question and that just came up. So we left haha. Then we went to Hayfords and it took FOREVER so we ended up taking the pizzas back to their place and ate and played cards for a while. The next morning we got up, took a HOT SHOWER!!!! And went to MLC. It was a good meeting! We talked about how we can better teach investigators about tithing because that is something the wards are having a hard time with. We talked about that and working with recent converts and getting referrals. So it was a successful meeting! We got back on a tro and took the voyage back to Fort Knox. We were able to go and teach some good lessons though. We are preparing 5 people for baptism on the 25th so we have just been kind of working with them. It’s been good! We taught a man named K and he was unique because he is the only Ghanaian I have taught who does not believe in God. He is the twin brother of a member. He was really stubborn saying we can’t prove to him God exists and he wants a sign. He is like Korihor or something. Very interesting though. But we taught him faith is believing in things you cannot see, so we left it at that and hopefully this week we will be able to go see him again. But lots of people are doing great here; the members are great here and help us a lot. But Sunday was interesting. It rained HARD in the morning so we knew what that meant-nobody will come to church. Lo and behold when we got there it was just us and the 2nd counselor haha! After about 20 mins or so we had about 10 people so we started and by the end of church it doubled haha, but none of our investigators came! Oh well, gotta kind of smile about that one hahaha! But yeah, that’s been about it this week! Kind of slow, but it’s been fun. I am getting along great with E. Kaiser, he is a cool guy. We have fun together so that’s good. I am happy and healthy again! But glad everyone is doing good and all is well! You are the BEST!!!!!! I love you so much. Thank you for working so hard and doing all you can for me! You are a saint! Love you so much!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Gooood Morning from Swedru! Thanks for the wonderful email, glad to hear everyone is doing great and you had a great conference/Easter weekend! I am doing good, it’s been a bit of a long week as transfer weeks usually are, but I am happy and healthy! Saying goodbyes were definitely not too fun, but as I said I am sure one day I will see those people again whether here as a missionary or after! Basically Monday and Tuesday that’s all we did was say goodbye to people. Oh and pack. But yeah Wednesday transfers came and they went quite smoothly I must say! Luckily it was not a very big transfer, other than Cape Zone which lost like everyone. But yeah it was good. I met E. Johnson at the station and he looked good, ready to go! He is on the opposite side of the mission from me, but it was nice to talk to him for a bit. Yep I am here now though and have made the transition. It was pretty nice and easy I must say (minus the goodbyes). But yeah, Swedru is a cool place! Our apartment is REALLY nice! It has a battery that powers the house when the power goes out, we have a really nice washing machine, we have warm water if you leave the water pump on for a bit, nice tiled floor, it’s sweet! The area is absolutely massive because they pulled a companionship out of here so we now have their area! Haha so it’s pretty massive. We have a really diverse area though. There is city like Cape, small town, and village bush so it’s pretty cool I must say. The really nice chapel pic I sent is our chapel! It’s cool! The bishop here is just awesome; he actually lived in Utah for 8 years. He graduated from USU and Weber, he has two daughters who are like 12 and 9 who both were born in Utah and they can’t speak Twi or Fante haha! But he is a cool guy and really has a handle on the place. We are planning for 11 baptisms for the end of the month here so that is pretty cool eh?! I am still figuring this place and all the people out, but it shall come in time! So far it’s been just great though. E. Kaiser is a cool guy, we are getting along great. We will have a good time together I’m sure. We also have E. Collette from New Mexico and E. Tu Akoi from Tonga in the apt and they are both awesome so it’s all good! Oh and our apartment is tighter than Fort Knox. There is a 7 foot cement wall with razor wire surrounding the apartment and bars ALL OVER the windows and doors hahaha! I feel like Obama! I guess a while ago people kept breaking into the apartment so that is the safeguards they made! Makes me laugh because in Akonfudi we didn't have any security features at all. But the area is safe I promise, I just thought it was kind of funny. That’s the wonderful thing about Ghana, I would feel perfectly safe sleeping outside. Nobody does anything here. Well, usually I guess according to the military grade installations. But yeah, I sold my guitar to the WML in Cape right before I left and used the money to buy some of the souvenirs. I was only able to buy one nativity set right then because that’s all they had, but they are gonna make more and E. Mckeon will get one for me! No wahala (problem)! Oh and E. Larsen told me this crazy cool washer in the apt here is mine now so E. Assibey gets mine. So that’s what’s going on in my finances here haha! 

We had a pretty good Easter Sunday though. Sadly pretty low key, not a lot of things talked about in church or anything, but we had a FHE with some people after Church and talked about the power of the Atonement. Without it there would be no resurrection, there would be no way we could ever dwell in God's presence. We could never overcome anything. There would be no hope. But because of Christ there is hope. He is the resurrection, He is the Life. He is everything! How great a gift God has given us. We must now use it by following Christ and obeying Him in all things that He has commanded us. That is where joy and peace are found. Literally. 

After the FHE we got fed more fufu than can be healthy. Oh man when we saw it we were scared haha. It was about 4 lbs of fufu I would say. But we are men so we hunkered down in front of it, dug our heels into the ground and ate. We finished. Then they put more in. So we ate. We finished. Then another ball was placed. We cried. We ate. We finished. Then we had to eat the fish. We did so and felt pretty accomplished. And tired. But it was delicious so it was ok haha! Fufu is so good! Especially with palmnut soup! Oh it is delicious! So cool that conference was awesome! I heard they announced a temple for Ivory Coast! That is so awesome! Those people don’t mess around at all when it comes to temple work! Man they come in their numbers and perform soooooo many baptisms! More than any other country I have heard! And they don’t even have a temple yet! So I am pretty dang happy for them! West Africa is just racking up the temple count! Good job! But yeah we probably won’t get to see conference until next month. Or read it. Maybe I can read some from but that’s never as nice as reading it in a Liahona or watching it.

Oh glad you enjoyed the pics! We went into the bishop’s office for Ward Council and I saw a modem on the wall so I whipped out the camera and sent some! Then I felt bad about not paying attention to the meeting so I put it away after sending some...haha next week I will send more! That was a really powerful Ward Council in case you were wondering (probably not). But yeah, that is a pretty nice pic of me in a wig eh? I look like a biker or something. That is Jennifer's wig, I have some other nice pics in it but those will wait until next week I guess! That’s pretty cool Obama finally decided to come to Utah. Hey it only took like 8 years eh? Man they call Cape Obama City because he and his wife visited a while back and only went to Cape, not Accra or anything. So they like Obama there! Fun fact I guess.

OH did you know ELDER CAVANESS is going to be my roommate at UVU?!? E. Larsen told me and then Cavaness emailed me! That will be pretty sweet! I really like him. It will be fun. But one perk of being in Swedru is that it’s on the way to Accra and so the ZLs here (yes, I am still a zone leader) always see the missionaries leaving off since they land at the stake center for a bathroom break. So we went to see them all off and I got to see E. Cardon one last time! That was pretty cool. They were all really nervous about going home! So weird to see those guys leaving! Crazy crazy!

Yeah it is cool here! Best apartment I have been in! We don’t even wear shoes in our room because it’s so nice! The church is nice but it’s actually pretty old. Still cool though! The internet cafĂ© here is good actually, quite fast. We cleaned a new church building today for the other elders in our apt, so that was fun. I got a haircut from E. Kaiser and it looks good! I really don’t know yet how the shopping is here as we are a bit out of Swedru itself. But we will see today! Right after emailing we will go shopping. I think it’s probably pretty good, not as good as Cape I’m sure though. But that’s what’s going on here! This week we will have MLC and so that will be cool! I will be working to get to know the area and people this week so it will be good! Thanks for everything you do, you are the absolute BEST! LOVE YOU!!!