Monday, November 23, 2015

Bike crashes and Baptismal dates!

Golfing in Ghana!
Tuesday. We had district council meeting to start off the day. Instead of instruction, Elder Uzoho likes to do different things to try and help all of us in our areas. This week it was making a list of things that we could do to help each other proselyte and how we could work with the ward better to improve our teaching. We came up with some pretty awesome ideas that I will tell to you as they get put into practice so that you don't laugh at the things we are trying to do. But we did come up with some pretty good ideas. Elder Ntumba also shared his testimony with us today because he is being emergency transferred. He and Elder Asumani haven't been getting along at all so it was decided that he would be leaving to get a new companion and Asumani would get a ward missionary for now. I can't say i'm too sad to see Ntumba leave because he would always steal all of our stuff. Nothing big but things that you would definitely notice missing and want back. That kind of stuff could always be found in his room and getting mad at him for it made no difference, he would just take it again. So he left and we went out to proselyte. We were able to teach a few lessons to a couple recent converts, with a couple recent converts, and to a referral or two. All in all it was a pretty good day and we actually did a little bit of work so that was good.

Wednesday. Taylor and Uzoho went to another district council meeting in Nsawam so I was with Martineau again for the day. Basically our day got totally screwed over. We don't have bikes because Taylor took Martineau's bike leaving us on foot all day. In our area, going on foot means that you won't get anything done at all just because of how far away all of our investigators are and what not. On top of that, after teaching just one lesson in the morning we had to come back and sit at the apartment and wait for the office elders to come bring us a few things. They were late as usual and we were stuck at the apartment for a couple hours. The one office elder is from Morgan, Utah and knows Skylar since he coaches at Morgan High. We got out again late in the afternoon and were finally able to work a little bit. All of our appointments fell through though and so we just had to contact for the rest of the day. Luckily coordination came at 6:00 otherwise we would have ran out of things to do really quickly. Either way I guess it was a pretty good day. 

ThursdayThursday was interesting. We decided in district council meeting that we were going to try something new each Thursday. Basically we are going to take all 6 missionaries in the apartment and go do an open venue in one area each week. This week was in Uzoho and Martineau's area. All of us spent a couple hours just contacting a certain part of their area while a few members stood by a couple posters we had set up. I got to go contacting with Uzoho for the day which was totally cool. He can contact like none other. I learned a lot from being with him for the day. After our open venue we went to a baptism at the chapel. It was for the elders quorum president's daughter. She turned 8 so they were baptizing here on that day. It was super cool to see a baptism for a child of record here in Ghana. After the baptism they gave us refreshments which consisted of a meat pie and fanyogo or strawberry yogurt. Then it was just back to the apartment for the night to relax and get ready for bed. 

Friday. Once again I was with Martineau for the day. We decided to go out to my far area with Hayford for the day. Once out there all but one of our lessons fell through so we were stuck out there with nothing to do. We decided to go deep into the area and do a little contacting. That turned out really interesting as we contacted a few really weird people and got into a Bible bash with a Rasta man. He was super confused and it wasn't much of a bash so Martineau decided he wouldn't just roast the guy. We just left and made our way back towards the apartment. All of our appointments fell through there too. We spent the evening just contacting and following up on all of our contacts from Wednesday. We found success teaching a sister of a recent convert. She is going to be baptized this next week so we just went over a few things with her. After we saw her we went on a hunt for some food but were disappointed so it was back to the apartment to make something. 

Saturday.  We were able to take a recent convert, Stephen, to go see a lot of people. He is really helping us out with member present lessons. We ended up with 11 member present lessons this week and 8 of them were with him. We were able to set some baptismal dates with a couple of our investigators which now puts us at 5 with dates. While it was an exciting day of teaching and we had an awesome successful day, the real highlight came in the evening. While we were riding to see an investigator at 7:00, my bike broke and I ended up wrecking hard on a rocky dirt road. I didn't get too hurt but my arms did end up a little scraped up and my body was fairly battered. I was moving really fast when it happened and I slid a good 10
ft after hitting the ground. Not the funnest thing in the world but it happens to the best of us so no worries. 

Sunday. It was a very successful day for us at church. We ended up with 8 investigators that showed up. During investigators class all of them had a lot of questions and wanted to know more and more. It was so amazing to see people that i'm teaching want to know more about the church and want to progress in the church. After the meetings ended we were able to grab a few members and teach quick lessons to the investigators we had there. Martineau and I taught a group lesson to a few of them and they seemed to love the church and everything about it. Later we went out and taught one investigator and then ate dinner at a member's house. It was some awesome food and I wasn't mad because I didn't have food to cook at home. After eating there we just went home and hung out with the other missionaries for the rest of the evening.

Monday. Today we got up ridiculously early so that we could be to the temple site before anyone else. It's a good thing we got there first too because we couldn't find the things needed to lower the basketball hoops. After looking for an hour we were finally able to find them and get the hoops down. We played basketball for a couple hours and then all went to the area office cafeteria for lunch. Martineau got the most amazing beans and rice and then sat in an air conditioned building and just enjoyed for a long time. After a while we finally decided it was time to leave so we headed off back to our area. Now we are here at the internet cafe doing our emailing. 

November 16, 2015: Memorial Service

Papaya Trees
We knock down the fruit and eat it!
Thursday. Believe it or not, things actually got better for us on Thursday. It was one of the first days in a long time that we actually taught more than 3 lessons in one day! Granted we still didn't leave the apartment until 11:30 and our last appointment did include dinner so we stayed most of the night. Oh and on top of that, Taylor broke his bike while pulling into the house the night before so, in our very large area, we were on foot until a new bike is made available. It was hard to walk all over and to do it in the rain that we have been having lately but we did it all day just fine. It wasn't until our last appointment while we were waiting for them to finish cooking that I started to feel a little bad. In about 5 minutes I went from fine to wanting to die. I had a headache and a high fever. After they fed my companion, he dragged me back to the house where I popped a few pills and laid down to die. 

Friday. I woke up feeling even crappier than I had the night before. Taylor and Uzoho left early for a Book of Mormon devotional so I was left with Martineau for the day. Asumani decided to pass on our own Book of Mormon devotional and Martineau wouldn't let me go proselyte in my current state so i went and laid down around 9:00 for a quick power nap. That quick nap ended around 2:30 in the afternoon. Martineau said he had come in to check on me a few times and make sure I was still breathing but that he wouldn't wake me up. He made me some lunch and we lounged about watching church movies for the rest of the day. It was a long and painful day for me but at least I was able to spend it with someone that i've grown close to. Near the end of the day, I asked Asumani and Martineau to give me a blessing. Martineau gave me one of the most beautiful blessings i've had in a while and it really comforted me. 

Saturday. I woke up feeling a little bit better than I had the day before but still not by much. I had to suck it up and make the best of it though because we had a mission conference with President Hill and Elder Curtis of the Presidency of the Seventy at the temple site that day. I got ready and pumped myself full of drugs and we all made our way there for the program. It was a memorial service for Sister Hill. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was sit and listen to President Hill talk about his wife. He said some of the most beautiful things I have ever heard in my life. I know Sister Hill was there with us and she had probably heard them all before but she heard them again there too. Elder Curtis spoke to us as well and had nothing but great things to say about Sister Hill. She was one of the most amazing women I have ever met in my life and I personally will Miss her dearly. After the conference, no one had the energy or drive to do anything so we basically just crashed at the apartment and moped around the rest of the day. 

Sunday. I was feeling almost 100% healthy again by the morning which was such a relief. We had the pleasant surprise of showing up to church to find we were finally watching conference. It was the Sunday morning session of conference. I was overjoyed to finally be able to hear the words of our beloved prophet and apostles. After church we were visited by Elder and Sister Keele (the office couple). Elder Keele brought us a few things and checked out all of our bikes to make sure that we really did need new ones. We went later that evening to a recent converts house to eat dinner. It was some bean something with a really good stew on top. After that it was just back to the house to hang out for the night. 

Monday. The day started out slow. Just some cleaning and a lot of laying around. After a while we decided to head to the mall for a change of scenery. We went and saw Paddon and just hung out for a while, grabbed some good lunch, did a little shopping, and then headed on home. After that it was just straight back to the cafe for some emailing so here we are.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Unexpected Change....

The following is a link to an article in the Deseret News about Kaden's mission president and the unexpected passing of his wife.

Yesterday was Stake Conference which was at the Ghana Conference Center. Elder Curtis of the presidency of the seventy was in attendance and he took the 2 stakes in attendance, and split them to make 3 stakes. We are part of that new stake that they made and as a result of it, our mission picked up two new areas from the Accra mission. It was super cool to be a part of that event and to get to see Elder Curtis there. President Hill also spoke and did a wonderful job as usual. Afterwards he had a meeting with all of us missionaries that were in attendance and talked about how things were going to go with the new stake that was formed. He also informed us that Sister Hill wasn't in attendance because she was feeling a little bit under the weather that day. On Monday we woke up to the news that Sister Hill had passed away sometime during the night. We don't know how or why or anything but she did pass away. That gave a depressing mood to the day and we didn't know what to do.  We went to the new Shoprite right by our area. We went and picked up things to make french toast and have ice cream and even hung out with Elder Paddon for a little while. We then went back to the apartment and made 2 full loaves of bread into french toast and ate until we were sick. Then we pulled out the ice cream and ate that until we were sick. It was a nice change since my entire week had been difficult and tough. I hope things turn out ok and that President Hill is alright. Sorry for this being short this week but it hasn't been the best or most exciting week for me.  

Monday, November 2, 2015


Tuesday. I didn't get to give my Book of Mormon devotional last week so it was decided that I would give it this week and specifically Tuesday. I think it was a successful meeting but I'm not really sure. We got a little bit off topic and started to discuss other things but Martineau helped me to reign it all back in. Just as we got ready to go out for the day we were hit by a good rain storm. It lasted for a little while and kept us trapped in the apartment for most of the morning and afternoon. We were finally able to get out and go see a few people by the late afternoon. We were able to see a few people before it got dark and once that happened we took the time to go visit a recent convert family. While there, the mom cooked us banku and okra stew. It was almost impossible for Taylor and I to finish it but we were able to choke it all down and then tell her that we were full. The little girl in the family was sick so they asked if we would give her a blessing. I anointed and Taylor sealed the anointing and gave the blessing. It was an awesome experience for me and I could really feel the spirit there with us.
Wednesday. We woke up around 5:30 and left the apartment at 6:00. We were taking a few people down to the temple site for a program the church was putting on which gave free glasses and eye check-ups to those who needed them. We got there an hour before they opened the gates and yet we still had almost 400 people there ahead of us. We waited in line for a couple hours before they told us that we wouldn't be able to get our people in at all. At this point we decided to go to the back door and try to sweet talk our way in to get some reading glasses. We were helped by a really sweet lady and we were able to get glasses for all of the people that we had brought with us. We didn't get home until the late afternoon at which point it started to rain and so we just hung out with Uzoho and Martineau for the afternoon. Once the rain let up we went out to see one investigator and then we were needed at the church for coordination meeting. The meeting ended up not even happening and we just went home. We were discouraged to find that we hadn't had electricity for the last 36 hours. Martineau's girlfriend went into the MTC around 7:00 that evening so we celebrated with some amazing french toast and caramel syrup.
Thursday. Since everyone had a little bit of an odd day and schedule on Wednesday we held district council meeting on Thursday. We have been having problems with the ward leadership lately so that is what we chose to discuss. Lately they haven't been willing to help us in any way at all and we haven't been very nice to them about it in return. We felt really good about the meeting and hopefully some good things will come of it. After that we went out to see a few people but we didn't have much time before we were supposed to meet Uzoho and Martineau. We were meeting them so that we could travel together to the temple site for the fireside that evening. Elder Bednar was coming to speak to the members and we had been invited to attend. We got there a few hours early so that we could get a good seat and ended up sitting halfway back. The meeting was so powerful and such a great experience for me. I got to see all of my friends in the mission there and we had a good time just talking after the meeting. After that we piled 4 of us into the back of a very small taxi and took the very long and uncomfortable ride back to Amasaman. We got home and just when we did the electricity came back on. We had spent some 60 hours without electricity and everything we had that charges was completely dead. It was nice to finally have the electricity back for the evening. 

.How many missionaries can fit in one taxi?
Friday. Taylor and Uzoho had to go to MLC in the morning so Martineau and I were together for the day. We were just getting ready to go out when Ntumba and Asumani came to get us to start the Book of Mormon devotional that we didn't know was happening. We weren't prepared for it and neither were they. The whole thing was kind of pointless and we ended up just wasting over an hour of precious time that could have been spent proselyting. By the time we got out of the apartment is was just after noon. We went to run a shirt to a member so that she could tailor it for Martineau and by the time we got there and dropped it off we received a phone call from Asumani telling us we needed to go back to the apartment. Apparently someone was coming by to fix the ceiling fans and so someone needed to be there while they were working. Since Asumani's work is more important than ours we were the ones stuck at the apartment until almost 5:00 while they worked on the fans. We got back out in the evening to go fill out baptismal records with the two investigators being baptized on Saturday. We were able to see them and fill it all out but it took up our whole evening. 

Saturday. It was another really early morning as we were going to the baptism. We wanted to start it earlier than normal because one of the investigators being baptized needed to be back for work that day. We got there and started the service around 7:30. It was a complete success and we felt good about the whole thing as we made our way back home. We went out for the day and saw a few people before we met Uzoho and Martineau again for a meal at an investigators house. She prepared fufu for us with an awesome stew. We all ate as much as we could and were just barely able to finish all of it. After that we all went to the Preach My Gospel class we are supposed to teach at the church but no one showed up to unlock the building. After an hour we were forced to call it off and send everyone home. We saw a few more people and then spent the rest of the evening carving watermelons. We had a blast carving them and even more fun lighting the entire thing on fire so that they looked really cool. 
Can't find a pumpkin....A watermelon will do!!

Even missionaries love fire!!
Sunday. All of us struggled in the morning because of it being fast Sunday. It doesn't help that you don't have any food to cook even if you wanted to. It just adds to the pain. After church we had a meeting with the first and second counselor of the bishopric. They just chastised us the entire time and we left the meeting with even more feelings of animosity than when we went into the meeting. Later that afternoon we went to see a recent convert.   She fed us more fufu with light soup. She is knownfor giving us more food than we can handle and she didn't disappoint this time. We ate until we couldn't even walk out of the house. Later in the evening Martineau and I took our laundry to the wash lady we have. Last week I was missing a pair of Nike Elite socks from my laundry and it had upset me greatly, so when she came to take our stuff I brought it up. She had them and they were clean and I think I almost cried when I saw them again. Getting my socks back really made my day. 

Monday. We got up ridiculously early again so that we could make it to the temple site on time to play basketball. We got there just a little bit before everyone else and took some time to warm up and eat a little fruit for breakfast. Once everyone got there we started to ball and we didn't stop for almost 5 straight hours. I was on the court almost the entire time and once we were finished I was exhausted and sweating like crazy. It was worth it though because I hit a half dozen game winning shots today. All of my homies were there and we had a blast just hanging out and talking and playing around on the court together. It's always nice to see my friends and have that break where things seem like they are just like they were back home. Just all of the guys getting together to play some ball on a summer day. As soon as we finished we came back to Amasaman to email and what not. After we started emailing the internet went out and we had to wait an hour and change cafes before we were able to email again so here we are.