Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas...

Merry Christmas!


Missionary Christmas in Ghana
Love from Home

December 20-26


Christmas! Oh it's Christmas and it's beautiful. There's no snow here in Africa but I don't care that much because it's Christmas. Ok I do care, I miss the snow. This week was a little bit rough because of the season. Everyone we know and work with was busy or had travels tied to 
the holidays. But we didn't let that stop is! We made no bake cookies and tried caroling and taking them around. I'm really emphasizing the try part here. We delivered to a few but the majority weren't around so we are going to try again when they all get home tomorrow or Wednesday. As for our actual Christmas Day it was pretty grand. We had sacrament meeting at 9:00 and then by 2:00 we had a baby party for a member in the branch presidency. He named and blessed his baby on Sunday. So we went to support him at that party. Then we had the evening to call home and visit with our families. It was great. It's been too long since I last got to do that. But that's one more call home down and one left to go. Time just seems to be going by so fast and I can't help feeling like I'm lost in it. I'm not ready for the end to come but it's coming faster than I want. Anyways, enough of that. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I love you all. Have a wonderful week.
No bake cookies Ghana Style!

Love from Home!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Elections....

Dec 7-12

Well it hasn't been too long since you last heard from me. Things have changed though. Wednesday was voting day here in Ghana. Elections are now over and a president has been chosen. John Dramani Mahama, the current president, has lost. The new president of Ghana will be Nana Akufo Addo. Elections happened peacefully, or at least they've been peaceful so far. They announced the new president Friday evening. We weren't allowed to proselyte on Thursday. Things were a bit tense the day after voting and the mission president decided it was in our best interest to stay indoors. So to make use of our time, all missionaries weekly planned and then deep cleaned their apartments. We spent 8 hours cleaning ours but now it's spotless. As far as teaching and our investigators go, we didn't have much luck this week. We are in a tough spot right now. No one we are teaching wants to see us. They never seem happy when we come and it's tough. We are working to remedy that though. We thought we would have a good turnout at church on Sunday but we didn't. It started pouring rain around 8:00. The rain stopped around 9:00 but by then the damage had been done. None of our investigators came. In fact, we had so few people in our gospel principles class that it got combined with the Sunday school. My apologizes if this email gives off sort of a negative vibe. I didn't mean to send that message. I want you to know that I love this work, I love these people, and I love this gospel and my savior Jesus Christ. Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's Tuesday....


Nov 29-Dec 6
It's been a very long week for me. It was a good one though. We spent most of our time running around and visiting members. We are showing everyone the Light The World video in preparation for this Christmas season. We also decided to be a little adventurous. We have contacted people that stay in parts of our area we have never been before. We went to a little fishing village called Nyanyano. It was really cool and also kind of sketchy. I don't think many white people have ever been there. But we saw the ocean so that was sweet! We also found another beach with a really nice resort next to it in this remote part of our area. Like there is nothing around it except bush and then there's this sweet hotel and stuff and a nice beach. Yeah it was weird. But we got to see parts of the area. 

Oh we also had transfers yesterday. We got transfer news on Saturday and it appears as though Elder Jackson and I will be spending another 6 weeks together. I'm pretty excited about it. We'll have a great time. Transfers were yesterday and pday today, Tuesday. It's because of elections. Tomorrow is voting day and Thursday we get the results of the election. So today, tomorrow, and Thursday are going to be pretty sketchy days. Sketchy enough that we aren't allowed to go out on Thursday. Tomorrow is a tread with caution kind of day as well. Yeah well hopefully we have a peaceful election. I've heard too many horror stories from the Liberian civil war. This next week we are hoping to see a lot of the people we've contacted recently. We haven't had much time to see everyone we want so now we are trying to squeeze everyone in. Should be a good week. 

I hope you all had a great week and that you're getting into the Christmas spirit.
Love you all.





Mercy, Godwin & Elder Goodrich at Stake Conference


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving...

The Inter Faith Choral Festival
Nov 22-28

Well it's been quite the week. To kick things off we had a multi-zone conference on Tuesday morning. We were given the wrong time by our zone leaders and ended up a little late but we didn't miss much. President Simpson and the APs instructed us. They told us to study in Preach My Gospel about Christlike attributes and the Plan of Salvation but we ended up just talking about the Book of Mormon the whole time. It was really good though. We also were shown the Light the World video the church has made for this Christmas season. I don't know if you guys have seen it or not but it's really good. We were shown it and instructed to show it to all the members and pass out to them the 25 Ways in 25 Days calendar. I'm super excited for all of it. So basically that's all we've done all week is show that video to members. Wednesday was also full of meetings for us. We had District Meeting in the morning and then we went about our day. It was a pretty normal day, just biking like crazy. Then it was Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate it than by getting 5 Americans and a Nigerian together for a big dinner. We all met at the Kasoa 1 missionaries', Paulson and Evans, apartment. Jolley and Udo met us there as well. We had quite the meal. We roasted 2 chickens, had mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, stuffing, mixed fruit, apple drinks, bread, and pies for dessert. It was a masterpiece of a meal that we prepared together. The only downside to the day was I tweaked my bad knee again and almost couldn't get home. Luckily we were taking a taxi. But that meant the next day was completely shot. We ended up using it to pay off our light bill. However that quickly turned south as we found out that it had never been paid and was now a GHC3000 bill. So now we have to deal with that which sucks. Besides that we've just been going around showing everyone we can the Light the World video. If you haven't seen it you need to look it up right now. It's fantastic. Just to end I want to share something small for Thanksgiving. My favorite scripture is Alma 30:44. I read it on Thursday and it talks about how everything denotes there is a God. Not only does everything denote there is a God, but I want to take it one step further. How many people look at all of God's creations and are thankful for them all? Down to the last blade of grass or speck of dust? Nothing is too small or insignificant to be forgotten or pushed aside. All of it was created for a purpose. All of it was created for us. Don't take it for granted, revel in the beauty that is this mortal existence and recognize the hand of God in all of it and you'll find life to be much more beautiful. I make that promise to you because I've experienced it myself. Well that's all I have for this week.


Elder Jackson & Goodrich and someone's little hand!


How did you cook your Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

When a white boy needs a haircut....

Nov 15-21

Well it was another slow week but definitely better than last week. Things started to pick up and we started finding more people to teach. One person we found was Abigail. She's living with a member and we contacted her when we went to the members house. She really wants to learn and accepted a baptismal date. Unfortunately she just left to go live at spintex for a few months. We were pretty upset about that but hopefully she will get in touch with the missionaries there. Other than her not too much exciting. Oh I guess I had a huge change. I cut my hair off. It was starting to get ridiculously long so I figured it was time. The problem is the lack of people that can cut a white persons hair. I have to go to other missionaries and even then the best I get is a butch job. It's rough. We also went on an exchange this week too. I brought Elder Paulson to my area. It was super fun. Took me back to my days when I was training Beall. Paulson has been out just a transfer and a half so he's still pretty fresh. I felt bad for him. I worked him hard on Thursday. We biked a solid 10+ miles. It was good for him though. He's only experienced walking so he needed to see what it's like to bike. I know that's not a whole lot but that's about my week. I'd let you know who we're working with but we basically just dropped everyone so there isn't anyone. That'll change though and I'll give you a better report next week. Love you all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ebenezer...

Nov 8-14

It was quite a rough week for us. With my companion being a district leader he also has to be available to help those in the district. Usually that's not a problem, they rarely ever need us, but this week it was ridiculous. We seemed to be needed at the most inopportune times. Oh top of that, our bikes keep breaking and we have to get them fixed, and on top of that we had weather issues a few days this week. To sum up our week I would say it was long and exhausting. 




We did have a baptism this Sunday though which was awesome! It was for the son of one of the members. His name is Ebenezer. His dad, Brother Simpson, was a less active that has recently started coming back to church. He wanted us to teach and baptize his son too so we did. It was pretty sweet. Ebenezer was so excited for his baptism too. I had the opportunity to perform the ordinance for him too. Definitely the highlight of my week. Today we went to play basketball too which was sweet. I saw a lot of my friends there. I still can't play basketball at all but I have fun. Anyways, that was basically my week.


Ebenezer


Rudolf's haircut...

In honor of election day!  
November 1-7

Well this week was a definite improvement on last week. We actually got to teach some people which was nice. We are still having problems expanding our teaching pool but the people we do have are starting to progress. We extended 4 more baptismal dates this week. That got me excited so we'll see how things pan out. We also had a bunch of crazy and funny stuff happen this week.

First was Rudolf. We went over to Kingsford's house on Tuesday night and decided to give Rudolf a call to come over. A few minutes later we heard a knock on the door. Assuming it was Rudolf, Kingsford called for him to come in. Sure enough it was him, but he was missing something. Rudolf had cut off his dreadlocks. Just completely shaved them off. I was so surprised and excited for him. He had made a deal with one of the members, Sister Brown, that if he cut his dreads off she would teach him how to make bead ties. So now Rudolf is clean cut and learning a trade that could provide a large sum of money that he currently lacks.

Second is that Kingsford is moving. His landlord is kicking him out because Kingsford caught him trying to steal money from all of the tenants. It's pretty stupid. The guy wouldn't even give Kingsford the mandatory 3 months to find a new place to stay. He gave him a week. So today Kingsford is moving out and into the Kasoa 5th ward. I'm pretty sad about it. I'll miss him and his family. Rudolf is pretty upset too. He keeps saying how much he's going to miss Kingsford once he's gone. Basically that was really sad.

Also we finally set a baptismal date with Eunice! She's a members wife. He's a returned missionary and the ward clerk but she isn't a member. She's been learning with the missionaries for months now but keeps saying she's not ready. She says she knows it's true but isn't ready to be baptized. Well last night I tried again and she said she's ready. She asked if she could choose the date though so we let her. She said January next year! I almost fell out of my chair. But hey at least it's a step! I'm just glad she accepted a date haha.

Anyways that's about all to my week. Tonight we are going for cooking lessons from a member. Going to learn to make garden egg stew tonight! Also going to cook ampesy. Probably my favorite food in Ghana, ampesy with garden egg stew. So freaking good. Anyways that's all for me so next week.
The resident baby wall gecko



Monitor Lizard for dinner!

Monday, October 31, 2016

You know....

Elder Goodrich & Herrod
Oct 25-31

Honestly it wasn't a really exciting week. Obviously we had transfers
so that added a little spice. The rest of the week was just bike
repairs and people telling us they would be around then not being
around or telling us to come back later or just whatever. Basically we
didn't get to see too many people because of all of it. It was rough
but there were things that needed to be done that we did. We did have
5 confirmations this week though so that was a lot of fun. I'm glad we
were able to get them done too. I feel a great weight has been lifted
off of me. Even today wasn't very exciting. We didn't get to go to
ball today because my comp, Elder Jackson from Ogden, Utah, needed to
wash and stuff so I cleaned and read and slept a little. It was nice
to relax. Yeah so sorry this is so short but again it just wasn't too special of a week. 
But I still love what I'm doing and I still love
the people and most of all I love my Savior.
I love all of you too.



Home Sweet Home
Kasoa
Say Cheese!



Monday, October 24, 2016

Transfers...

Oct 18-24

Well this week was the last week of the transfer. It was a good time to reflect on what my companion and I have accomplished together. I haven't loved the whole 2 man apartment thing and even though Elder Herrod is a great guy I wouldn't say he's my favorite companion, but we did some good work together. In fact, we added up all the thingsthat we've done together. We kept track of all our numbers and found out that together we taught 297 lessons. I thought that was a large sum for 12 weeks. We also baptized 10 people together. They are Emmanuella, James, Kingsford Asante and Mary Asante, Wisdom and Beauty and Suzzie and Mary Lartey, and Nana Awuah Asare (Nana Red) andLaurencia Awuah Asare. Definitely the most productive 12 weeks I'll have on my mission. I've met so many amazing people and had some incredible experiences. I still have some time in this area though. Herrod is being transferred to Laterbiakoshie and I'm staying here to be with Elder Jackson.




New clothes!



As for enlightenment that I received this week it was from our multi-zone conference/mission tour. Elder Vincent, the area president, and his wife came and spoke to us along with President and Sister Simpson. Elder Vincent gave us some pretty incredible things to think about. I have a challenge for everyone. READ LUKE 10:30-35. Onceyou've read it and studied it I want you to tell me what it teaches us besides just the parable of the Good Samaritan. You're going to have to look super hard at it and study really deep but once you find it your mind will be blown. I feel like a door has been opened up to me and now I see it all clearly. To quote a song from Tangled, 'and at last I see the light and it's like the fog has lifted, and at last I see the light and it's like the sky is new, and it's warm and real and bright and the world has somehow shifted'. Thank you Rapunzel forthose inspired lyrics. Really though it was an eye opening experience.


Elder Herrod, Laurencia, Nana Red & Elder Goodrich
Sunday we also had a baptism for Nana and Laurencia. It was so sweet. It rained super hard all night and early into the morning. In fact we had lightning strike pretty close to our apartment and it shook us so bad. Both Herrod and I woke up in the middle of the night because of it. Anyways, it was a big storm. Usually that means no one is going to come to church yet Nana and Laurencia came early and were all ready to go. After the baptism, Nana gave a really sweet testimony. He talked about his 30 years in Germany and how while there he didn't believe in organized religion. Then he came back to Ghana and decided to be a pastor. First he went to one of the charismatic churches but realized their teachings didn't follow the bible at all so he started going to the Church of Christ. He also wanted to be a pastor for them and even went to bible school for a while, but again he found the teachings to be incorrect. It was then he moved from Kumasi with his wife and 4 children. When he got to Kasoa he couldn't find a church to go to. Then a friend from Germany called and told him about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He couldn't believe that his friend even went to church because he was someone who hadn't ever believed in God before. So with the recommendation of his friend he started looking for us. Eventually he gave his number to a barber we pass by often and so we were able to get in contact with him. That was maybe 5-7 weeks ago and just Sunday he told me he won't ever leave this church as long as he lives. He told me he had a dream where he heard a voice telling him he had found the true church and he and his family were to stay there no matter what. I was pretty touched by that. The crazy thing is his story is not an uncommon one. I see it almost daily where something crazy happens that I know will lead to something bigger in the future. There are no coincidences in missionary work at all.  I've been on my mission too long to say otherwise.


Hiking
Well to top off a great week we decided to climb a mountain. It's a mountain in Buduburam so it wasn't hard to get to but it's absolutely covered in jungle. Dad will be the only one thatknows what I'm talking about but it's like the river bottoms on Reuben's property inEnterprise. The one that's all the willows by the corrals. It's like that except twice as thick and tropical. Yeah it was sketchy. We found a trail and we followed it for a while but it just ran around the base of the mountain so we turned and hacked straight up the face with ourmachetes. It was pretty dang sweet. We hacked straight up the face and made the top and the view was so worth it. We could see all the way to the ocean. It was worth it. Then we hacked back down. We almost got lost on the return trip though. But we made it! Yeah that was the end to the week. So tomorrow starts next transfer. The end.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Baptisms...

The Lartey Family
Oct 11-17

Well it was a good week. That's it, that's all I have to say. Thank you.

Nah I'm kidding. It was a sweet week though. We were finally able to
baptize the rest of the Lartey family. I don't know if you remember
the small boy we baptized with Kingsford, his name is Wisdom. His
father was the first to join the church and he wouldn't let us baptize
his kids for a long time. Finally he let Wisdom but his two girls that
are 16 and 14 he wouldn't let. We started teaching his wife too and
once she was ready for baptism we asked again if the daughters, Beauty
and Suzzie, could join her and he said yes. So in Sunday I had the
privilege of performing that sacred ordinance for Beauty, Suzzie, and
their mom Mary. Nana Red and his wife were supposed to join them for
the baptism but we had to push it back a week. So next week they'll be
baptized. As for the rest of the week it was a lot of biking back and
forth and staying super busy. On Thursday I had an exchange with Elder
Evans. He's a super cool guy from Chicago. We had a total blast
together. Exchanges are good because they break things up a little bit. I
t's hard staying with just one person 24/7 and not having anyone else in 
the apartment with you. Transfers are next week though. We get news
 this Saturday and I find out if I'm going to stay or go and who I'll be with 
for the next 6 weeks. We played ball today too. I still have a jump shot 
too in case anyone was wondering. I lit it up today. Not sure that I ever missed.
I also had to say goodbye to Prescott today. He goes home next Tuesday
and I won't see him between now and then. Everyone I know is going
home. Soon it's going to be just me. That's basically all. It was a
normal week just busy. Everything is cool with me here in Africa.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tithing...


Oct 4-10

Oh where to start. It's been a decent week. I have now been sick for 2
straight weeks and it absolutely sucks but the work is going well
right now. Next Sunday we will baptize 5 people. 2 of them are a
husband and wife that have young kids. The other 3 will complete
another family that is a part member family. We are pretty excited
about both of them. The 3 are a recent converts wife and 2 of his
daughters. He has 10 kids but only 3 of them are over 8. We already
baptized his one son, Wisdom, but the rest of the family haven't been
ready yet. This week the entire family, parents and 10 kids, walked an
hour through the rain to get to church. It was one of the most
impressive things I've ever seen. Then after sacrament meeting, the
father, Brother Lartey, came to us wanting to pay his tithing. He paid
10ghc. Then his wife, Mary, paid 10ghc. Then Wisdom came to us wanting
to pay his 2ghc. It was one of the most humbling things I've ever

witnessed. They were all so excited to pay an amount of money that 
though small is a large sum to them. The church is true!  I'm not sure 
if you knew that, but I know that. Nothing anyone could say or do 
could ever convince me otherwise.
I also had a lady think I was Asian this week. She came up to me
asking how much some Chinese money was. I told her I didn't know but
she just started flipping out saying I should know because it's my
money. I started laughing and said I'm not Chinese, I'm American. She
was at a loss for words and ended up not saying anything and walking
away. It was pretty darn hilarious.
Also I just want to say thank heavens for no bride price in America.
One of the recent converts in the ward is coming to get married now
and his bride price is ridiculous. He has to buy expensive gifts for
everyone in the family, enough expensive alcoholic drinks to get the
whole village so drunk they wouldn't remember what country they were
in, a ram (like a sheep ram), and a ton of stuff for his bride. That's
just the engagement part too! He's got a ton more too. It's so sad how
brutal they are to each other with the bride price. I don't know if
I've ever written about it so I just thought I would.
We went to the beach today. Went to a place called Krokrobite. It was
alright but it was too touristy and covered in trash. The beach in
Buduburam was way better. But I got a cool painting there so that was
sweet. Anyways that's basically my week.


Riding to church with the Stake President's family


Monday, September 26, 2016

Mystery Meat...

Teaching them young!
Sept 20-26

Well it wasn't a boring week for me it was just kind of bland. No
special little flare or anything too crazy just a normal week. The
most exciting thing was showing up at a members house to find her
hacking a goat head to pieces. When we asked what she was doing, she
looked up at us like it was obvious and informed us she was making
goat head soup. We saw her again that night and she said it was
delicious so I'll take her word for it. It got me thinking though and
there are definitely times when I get meat that I can't identify where
on the animal it came from. Suspiciously, the pieces she had looked
similar to what I've eaten so I've probably eaten a bunch of goat head
soup. I'll just add that to my list of cat, dog, giant rat, goat,
chicken feet, and mystery meat that I don't even want to identify.
It's a wonder I'm still alive. Oh well. We also got Kingsford's wife,
Mary, baptized this Sunday. We wanted to baptize them together but she
wasn't ready yet and we didn't want to postpone Kingsford's baptism. 
But she got baptized! Kingsford baptized her too which was sweet. 
He was worried about doing it though. He was worried he would drop 
her because he is ridiculously small and she's about the same size as him. 
He was also worried because the baptismal clothes are short sleeve. 
Kingsford has tattoos covering his arms and he didn't want them to show.
It was funny that he was worried about it but the branch president told
him it was alright. Also, Rudolf, the less active with dreads we have been 
working with, came to church again this week. He even said he wants to 
shave off his dreads soon! He said that part of his life is over and he 
wants to go all in with his coming back to church. It was sweet to hear 
him talk about it. We're working with a bunch of other sweet people right
now too and a few of them should be baptized in two weeks. They would 
be next week but we have general conference so there won't be regular church.  
One of them is a big chief from Kumasi that lived in Germany for 20 years
and his wife. We also have still been working with Angela and a few others
 as well. We just dropped a few people so our pool isn't too great right now, 
we need to work on it. Anyways that's a little peek into my life right now. 
Everything is good.


The Church

Dinner