Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 4 in the field

 After we emailed home, on Monday, we had to rush back to the apartment so that we could shower before we had to be at bishop's house. We had FHE scheduled with him and his wife for the evening. Sister Danso fed us some wonderful stew and rice and all the elders ended up taking multiple helpings of food. Unfortunately the lesson wasn't spiritual at all and ended up turning into a debate/bash on the US by bishop. It was discouraging to have gone with such high hopes and then to experience such a nonspiritual FHE. Afterwards, Elder Kamisese and his companion, Brother Okine, stayed the night at our apartment. 

Kamisese and Okine stayed over so that McConkie and Kamisese could leave early in the morning for MLC, Mission Leadership Conference, at the temple site. That left me with Brother Okine for the day. We went to his area and taught all morning long. We took lunch around 1:00 and then went back to their apartment. We went back out and saw a few more people before going to meet McConkie and Kamisese back at our apartment. By that time is was late and so we stayed in and did some studying.  

 We have District Meeting every Wednesday morning at 10:00. President has challenged us to make these meetings more fun and interactive instead of people just talking at each other. He also asked us to shorten them because as of now they are taking up a lot of time during the day. We did both of those things fairly successfully and kept the meeting to one hour. Afterwards we spent the afternoon trying to find the house of a referral we received. Here in Ghana there are no addresses on any house so it's really hard to find where people live unless you meet them at their house. It took us a while but we found him. He doesn't live in our area so we had to refer him to the other elders in our apartment. After that we contacted the rest of the day and saw one of our investigators in the evening. 

Thursday morning we decided to take the morning and contact a portion of our area that we didn't know very well. We found some people who were home and seemed to be interested in what we had to say. It's hard to tell with some of the people here because the culture is to please as much as you can. After that we went and saw a recent convert who just got home from traveling. He went to Kumasi to see his family and had been gone for a few weeks so we felt like we needed to go see him. After that we decided it was time to chop (eat). We got some fresh mango and then went out to see more of our investigators. We got in couple good lessons before it got really late and we had to turn in for the night. 

We planned to go out teaching on Friday but it turned into a logistics day. Our apartment had gotten to be ridiculously dirty and almost unlivable. What started out as just cleaning quickly turned into a complete room renovation for us. We took everything out of the room and even dismantled the bunk bed to get it out. We then ripped up all of the old flooring and cleaned the cement underneath as best as we could. After a trip to the shop for some new flooring we were able to put all of our stuff back into the room. We made sure to rearrange everything to get the most use out of the space we have in there.  In a way it was a really relaxing day even though it was full of work.
the room remodel

Saturday was a big day for me. The other elders in the apartment have been bugging me because the shirts I came with are the American style and really large. Here in Ghana everything is fitted and tailored to the max. I finally gave in and took one of my shirts to the tailor. When he was done the results were absolutely astounding. I never realized how much of a difference it would make to have a slimmer shirt. I felt better and so much better dressed. I plan on taking the rest of my shirts back to have them tailored as well. We also got in some good time with a recent convert and a few of our better investigators. 
The slimmer shirt model!

It was a tough Sunday for us. We only had one investigator attend church and on top of that we got chastised by the bishop for things that were completely out of our control. It was hard not to fight back and defend myself because I was being wrongly accused. However I knew that the spirit of contention was not something that my companion or I needed at that moment so we just sat and took the chastisement. After church we left our bikes there at the chapel and went to see our investigators. We were able to teach one and greet another before going and contacting the whole day. President has asked that we make Sunday a full proselyting day instead of planning during the evening. It really made a difference to contact all day because we were able to meet people who would normally not be at their house during the day. We even met two guys from Bangladesh. We were surprised when the person who answered the door wasn't African. It was hard to teach them because we are now so used to teaching to the mindset of a Ghanaian person. We struggled through a lesson and despite our struggles they seemed really interested in what we had to share and wanted us to come back and discuss with them again. After teaching them we went back to the church so that Elder McConkie could practice the piano. He has been asked to play at some of the big mission meetings.  I even tried to play a few hymns and after an hour I could almost play Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy. We had a great time playing and singing and making up our own songs. We took some cool pictures off of the overpass by our chapel on our way back to the apartment and then settled in for the night. 

the city of Accra
Monday we got up early so that we could make a trip from Akweteman to Nsawam to visit another elder. Here in the field your trainer is referred to as your father. Likewise, if your trainer's trainer is still around he is known as your grandpa. The elder we went to visit is my grandpa, Elder Peterson. He goes home in 2 weeks so it was awesome to get to see him before he leaves. While we were there we visited to market and bought me a few pairs of trousers. I spent less than $30 on 3 pairs of pants. It's ridiculous how expensive everything seems to me here but how inexpensive it really is. After visiting and buying trousers we went back to our chapel for the multizone activity that was happening there. We ate some delicious fried chicken (Ghanaian people know how to fry some good chicken) and then played a little basketball with Kamisese and Okine. After that we went to the internet cafe to email and that is my week here in Ghana. 
multi-zone activity

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