Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday Dinner

 Elder Goodrich was unable to get his email to send this week.  He sent us some fun pictures receiving his birthday packages, apartment pictures and sunday dinner this week.  He sounds happy and healthy (at least this week)!

Elder Goodrich getting packages for his Birthday!!

Apartment tour:  the bathroom

The kitchen
Bedroom: multiple fans!

Elder Nyampong and Kochevar making fufu:  You take cassava and plantain and pound it together

Elder Liera: Is it done yet?

Elder Beall observing the dinner preparations

Sunday Dinner:  Fufu and a chicken stew

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sick Week...

Feb 16-22

Elder Goodrich emailing home!
Tuesday. Transfer day. Kochevar and Liera had to go around and help a few people get from one area to the next. Our zone got really mixed up. They whitewashed a couple of areas and moved a lot of people. While Kochevar and Liera were gone, Beall and I did our studies and straightened things up around the apartment a little. Right as we were going to go out, Ben came by to drop of a few sleeping pads. Those pads will be Kochevar's bed for the next 3 weeks. We went out for a really short amount of time and just saw a few recent converts. I wanted Beall to meet Nyampong and hear all 3 of them swap stories and whatnot. I remember I loved hearing mission stories when I was in my training. We spent the night just talking and having fun. We took my putter and played mini golf in the apartment. I didn't know miniature golf could get so intense but clearly it can. All in all it was a really fun evening. 

Wednesday. Kind of a rough day. We went out and we taught a few people but I didn't feel good all day. I've had a little bit of a stomach ache lately and it started to get worse today. So while going out and teaching and seeing people was great, I felt ineffective because of my state. We ended up coming home in the early evening because I felt sick. 

Thursday. Sick day. We stayed in the apartment all day today. Well Beall stayed in the apartment, I stayed in the bathroom. We tried to go out at one point and made it 10 minutes away from the apartment before I needed to turn back to use the bathroom again. People might think that you can just knock on someone's door and ask to use their toilet, that doesn't work. Most people don't have toilets, they have holes in the ground and no toilet paper because they use their hand. It's messed up. I've used a hole once and I won't go back. 

Friday. I felt better so Beall and I went out to see as many people as we could. I think we might have had some bad food for lunch though. We ate rice and stew with an egg. I don't think it agreed with Beall because just a few hours later he felt a sudden urge to throw up in the nearest gutter. I worked on getting him home fast enough that he wouldn't throw up and yet slow enough that he wouldn't throw up. I don't know if that made any sense. Thinking isn't a strong point of mine now that I've been here for 7 months. Anyways, we got Beall home and he went to sleep around 7:00. I felt bad for him. This is his first time getting sick here in Ghana. I remember how homesick I got when I first got sick. It really sucks. Hopefully he's feeling better tomorrow

Saturday. He wasn't feeling better. Ok he was feeling a little bit better but he still had some bad nausea. Bad enough that he didn't eat anything all day. Nyampong or Liera, one of them, wasn't feeling so hot either so they stayed in too. Finally we all got so dang hungry that Kochevar, Liera, and Nyampong went to get food from Chicken Inn. They brought us back food and Beall finally ate. I still feel so bad for him. He hasn't really gotten better today. Still just walking around looking like death. We played a little soccer tonight in the compound and I ended up messing up my big toe. Long story short I lost my toenail which really stinks. 

Sunday. We got a new bishop today.  He works at the MTC and we know him really well.  He will do an awesome job.  It was our ward conference. Other than that it was just a normal Sunday. However we finally had an investigator and less active come to church. Her son is a member and our deacons quorum president. That was cool. We've been waiting for so long for that to happen. It's been such a long time for me. We have plans to go teach her this week and learn more about their family.  After church we just sat around and slept. Beall still wasn't feeling 100% so we took a little break again. It was nice to rest. I still haven't been feeling great since I got sick too. 

Monday. We had a good day. We went to play basketball again. Kochevar, Beall and I went to the temple site to play. We had some pretty good games and a fun time. Wallin came again which made me pretty happy. I miss that kid. I see him almost every week but I miss him. We have a good time when we get together. After ball we went home, showered, and took off to the mall for lunch. After the mall we came here to the cafe. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

This week...

Feb 9-15

Tuesday. We had a normal day but a really fun evening tonight. The day wasn't anything too special. We got up. I exercised a little bit because I'm getting really fat. We studied and what not. We taught. Our teaching wasn't anything great today. Things were looking good about 2 weeks ago but now everything is falling apart again. We can't seem to find any investigators that are serious. It's been a real struggle for me. Once it gets dark we can't teach. You have to have an appointment set up in order to do anything after dark but our lack of people to teach prevents us from having that. We are advised not to contact after dark and for good reason. I tried it once and it wasn't a good experience. So we took a break to meet Paddon and Lambson for pizza. The mall has a deal on Tuesday nights where you get 2 large pizzas for the price of 1. We took advantage and enjoyed. It was nice to have a little break. 

Wednesday. We had a good long study today. I don't know if I'm leaving this transfer (I find out on Saturday) so I'm trying to do as much of the training as I can before then. Again things just went to pot on us today. Appointments fell through and investigators didn't keep commitments, as usual. I'm starting to get really frustrated with the people in my area. All I want is for them to accept the gospel and see the truth. Unfortunately they're all too stubborn or blind or lazy. The lack of things today made us turn in a little early again tonight so I took advantage and exercised again. I really need to lose weight. I have to be pushing 165lbs right now. I was 150lbs when I came out. That's almost as frustrating as the people not listening. Maybe they won't listen to me because I'm fat! We'll see what happens when I slim down again. 

Thursday. I don't know about Beall, but I had a horrible day today. Unfortunately we were unable to go out and proselyte because I got a little sick. I wasn't laid up on my bed or dying or anything, I just had some horrible runny tummy. I spent more than half the day in the bathroom. We could have gone out and tried but due to a lack of bathrooms and a need to use one every 15 minutes I felt it best that we not. I hope it was just something I ate and not anything worse. It's common for missionaries to eat something really hot here and then run for a day or two. Hopefully that's all it is and I'll be back at it tomorrow. Other than spending most of my day in a dead sprint to the bathroom it was uneventful. 

Friday. It was a pretty fun day. We did our studies in the morning and then prepared to go out. On our way out the door we started throwing plastic bottles at each other. That escalated to us using lacrosse sticks to throw the bottles. That quickly became us throwing the lacrosse ball with the sticks. We would fight over the ball and try to get enough space to drill the other person. It was so much fun. It set a fun mood to the day and so we had a good time. We were very friendly and able to joke with most everyone. I believe that helped us to get certain people to talk to us. Our lessons were upbeat and positive as well. I don't know about my companion but I had a good day and I think we taught well. 

Saturday. What a crazy day today. We went out to Sapeiman today. It's a ridiculously long bike ride to get there. We got there tired and hungry so we took a quick break for lunch. After lunch we hit the area hard. We taught and visited members and generally just enjoyed our time with the people. We spent a good amount of time with Brother Appiah Kubi. They own a bakery so we talked while eating fresh bread and yogurt. He has such an awesome family and we love spending time with them. They were our last stop of the day. Brother Appiah Kubi reminded us of choir practice so we biked hard to beat him to the church so we would be ready for it. After choir we went to the cafe to check for transfer news. Nothing is changing for Beall and I right now. We will stay together for 6 more weeks. However there are big changes for Kochevar. He got a phone call from President Snow tonight. He has been reassigned to go serve in Sierra Leone. He'll be leaving on March 8th. Until then, he and Liera will be in a threesome with Elder Nyampong. Nyampong is going to be the new zone leader and replace Kochevar. I'll miss Kochevar when he leaves. So far he's my favorite companion. 

Sunday. We all got up and got ready, nothing special. We are all still freaking out about Kochevar leaving for Sierra Leone though. None of us saw it coming. I'm honestly quite jealous. I think that would be the coolest experience ever but my parents would die with worry. It's a good thing I'm not going yet. Tonight we celebrated a member's birthday. Sister Matilda turned 39 today. We ate food, had some drinks, ate dessert, sang happy birthday, and just had an awesome time. After that we did first aid on Liera's infected finger. That was fun for us and scary for him. After that Kochevar gave us haircuts. Mine looks great as always so that's cool. Yeah it was an eventful Sunday

Monday. We finally played basketball again. I was starting to think we never would. I got to chill with Barr and Wallin again. I miss those guys. Wallin brought me some real Dr. Pepper today. I was so excited! I haven't had any for almost 7 months now. He gave me 4 cans. After ball we all went to the mall together to eat. We spent a good 4 hours just talking at the mall. It was awesome. I think Beall enjoyed hearing some mission stories and talking to missionaries more like he and myself. So far the ones he's interacted with have been a little more on the odd side of the spectrum. After lunch we just went to the cafe to do some emailing. It's been an awesome pday. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Waiting for water trucks

February 2-8

Tuesday. Today was the stupidest day ever. We have to be present when the water truck comes to fill our polytanks. If we aren't there then they will cheat us and give us half the water that we pay for. They were supposed to come in the morning. They didn't so I called them. They said they were on the way and it wouldn't be too long. I called them 3 or 4 more times throughout the day and they kept saying 30 minutes each time. They didn't come until 5:00. It takes a while to fill too so we couldn't go out in the evening. There just wasn't any time left. It just made me mad. Because of some stupid water truck guys we wasted an entire day we could have been proselyting. It was hard for me to deal with that. 

Elder Beall (Montana) and our water tank
Wednesday. We started off the day with zone training. Our zone gathered at our chapel to watch the 2 hour missionary broadcast that the rest of the world watched like 2 weeks ago. The APs came too and we all just watched and took notes. Tomorrow we'll go to meet with half of the zone to discuss the video and then Friday the other half will meet to discuss. The APs also brought with them some packages. I wasn't expecting to get anything but I got an large envelope as well as 2 letters. They were a conference ensign and the snow canyon missionary newsletter thing that is being sent out. It was sweet to read about all of my friends and the great things they're doing on their missions around the world. I know that we are doing what is right. I know this is what we are supposed to be doing. Seeing my friends do the same thing and grow just as I have really strengthens my testimony about missionary work. I love this work and I can honestly say that serving a mission has been better for me than it has for the people in Ghana. 

Thursday. Zone training part 2. We traveled to Nsawam today to meet with the 2 districts there. We basically just spent an hour or so talking about the video that we watched yesterday and what it means for us as a mission. The zone leaders also announced that everyone will be going into 2 man apartments by March. That means that if Beall and I stay together, we will be moved into an apartment in our area and our area boundaries would change drastically. I'm honestly hoping that I don't stay for this change. I need to move somewhere else and have a fresh start otherwise I'm going to go insane. I've been in this area for too long now. We'll see what happens though. There are some other changes as well. We are no longer supposed to find people ourselves but to rely more on contacts. We are also supposed to teach the members of the ward the missionary lessons again. I think this could work well but it's definitely new. Oh I also broke my pinky toe today. Don't know how but when I was walking around the apartment tonight it was hurting pretty bad. When I checked it out, it was swollen, purple in one spot, and tender. Never broken a toe before so that's cool. 

Friday. Kochevar and Liera went to talk with the other half of the zone about the video. Beall and I just studied all morning and did our thing like it was a regular day. For some reason everyone thought we were business men today. We had 4 people stop us wanting a job. When we told them that we can't give them a job they then wanted money. We had to tell them that we aren't employed and don't have money. They always say that because we are white we have plenty of money and should give them some and take them to America. It really makes me mad when people here do that. In America you are raised being taught not to be racist. I came here and everyone is racist against whites. It bugs me so much. I don't know why but today got under my skin more than usual so I needed to vent about it a little. 

Saturday. Quite a busy day today. We started off the day with everyone feeling a little under the weather. I personally had a small headache and my toe I broke hurt like crazy. Kochevar and Liera had a baptism though so it was a bad day to feel bad. The baptism was a success and so we all went back to the apartment for lunch. 30 minutes later all of us were asleep. It's a good thing too because none of us were in proselyting shape. None of us planned on falling asleep so no alarm was set. We had a meeting at 3:00 about 45 minutes away and we almost slept through it. I got lucky and received a phone call from Paddon asking if Beall and I would join he and Lambson for a snack at the mall on the way there. We went and got snacks and then had the meeting.  Then we all got dinner at the mall. Half of us wanted Chicken Inn and the other half wanted something else. We all desired to eat together though so we decided to meet back up at Chicken Inn to eat. Those who didn't get their food at Chicken Inn weren't allowed to eat there. They wouldn't let them in the door with their other food. It ticked us off. So we ate separately and then went on home. 

Sunday. Fast Sunday. Not only that, but the ward choir performed today. Beall and I are part of that ward choir. We have been trying to attend practices to get to know ward members better and we got roped into performing. Thankfully we actually did well. We were horrible during practices but when we performed we sounded really good. After church we had another fireside like thing where the ward said goodbye to Elder and Sister Hill. Elder Hill is the area doctor and they have been in the ward the entire time they've been in Ghana. It was sad to see them go and see the people of the ward say bye to them. Tonight we ate at a members house. I honestly don't know what we ate. We did wash it down with the worst sobolo ever though. They added too much ginger too it. Kochevar got 3 large box packages today and one of them had a little hackie sack in it. We played hackie sack for hours tonight.  It was fun but now my broken toe hurts even more, as does the rest of my foot. 
Our dinner companion

Monday. We got up and cleaned just like every other Monday. When we finished we went to Pokuase to meet Paddon and Lambson. We all ride together to Kasoa to go to the mall and meet up with all the other missionaries. We met with Reeves and his companion, Mantz. It was so awesome to see Reeves again. We also met up with Wallin. He had to buy my lunch for me because the Broncos won the Super Bowl. He's a huge Panthers fan so he wanted to make a bet with me. We had an awesome time hanging out with everyone and Beall finally got to meet some other missionaries. Now we are just at the cafe back in our area doing some emailing. We have a family home evening later tonight with the ward mission leader. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ward Choir, Wrecks & Malt

Jan 26-Feb 1

Tuesday. We had a sweet day today. Things started out slow though. We went to find a recent converts new shop and taught her after we did. It was tough to find, but after we passed it for the 3rd time she saw us and flagged us down. After we left her we had to make our way back to the other missionaries area. The ECG (Electric Company of Ghana) has an office that is almost on the border of our areas so that is where we went. We had to go pay the bill for our light (power). We had to wait at the office for some time due to a line of people. We got in, paid, and then went to find lunch. After we ate we went to teach David and his sister, Bell. Much to my surprise, David accepted our invitation to be baptized and seems eager to become a member of the church. He's 15 so it might be a little tricky getting it to happen soon but we'll work our best on it. His sister is also very interested so hopefully she'll get baptized with him. A short while after dark we were forced to turn in for the night. We went home and got dinner fixed and settled in for the night. 

Wednesday. We didn't have district council meeting today. Mostly because Kochevar and Liera went to one in Nsawam. But another factor was that we still don't have a district leader. So Beall and I just chilled and studied instead of having district council meeting. We did a lot of running back and forth today. We has appointments in Mayera and Kpobikorpe but they were mixed together. We didn't have a whole lot of time to stop and breathe. We were able to meet with Pius. He is a recent convert who has been bringing his brother to the church. The brother, Isaac, has expressed his desire to be baptized so we are now trying to work with him and set up a date. He's ready so we hope it will be sometime soon. We also went to PEC tonight. One thing we want to work on as a ward is knowing where every single member stays. That will be my new project for the next week or so. They want us to teach the missionary lessons to the members and then get referrals from them. It seems like a good idea and I want to give if a try. 

Thursday. We spent the day in Sapeiman with one of the young single adults in the ward. His name is Raymond. We don't know that area at all so we asked him to take us around and show us where members live and where old investigators stay. We had only planned for a few hours with him but we ended up spending all day in Sapeiman. We found multiple less active members and saw some people that the missionaries were teaching before that we didn't know. It looks like Sapeiman, which Asumani hated, could easily become our best area. While we were out there we went to visit Brother Appiah Kubi. He is the ward choir director and so he roped us into going to choir practice and joining the choir. When we went to choir, we were forced to sing bass. With my wonderful singing voice I quickly became the star of the choir. By that I mean they tolerated me and didn't ask me to leave, I think that means my voice is improving. We had a fun time at the choir and afterwards we made our way home. I bought some Magic Malt on the way home. This is a brand if malt that I've never had but heard that its the best. I am now an addict. A few days ago I tolerated malt but now I crave it. 

Friday. We had a rough day. I woke up to find my tire flat. When I pumped it up it held though so that was good. We went out to teach in spite of my bike but we had a tough time getting anyone to listen. We had a lot of different people to see and they were all spread out. We biked from one place to the next just for everyone we saw to tell us they were busy and that we should come another day. Finally, very frustrated, we broke for a late lunch. It was there while we were eating that we were approached by a few different people wanting to know about us and what we do. We asked them if they were willing to wait while we finished eating so that we could teach them. They agreed and very shortly thereafter we were engaged in a very sweet lesson. These men that we were teaching were interested and seemed to grasp all concepts that we brought forth. That was really the only high point of the day because the rest of the day went much like the beginning and we went home frustrated and angry. Days like that are rough and really take a toll on me. 

Saturday. Today was another day of finding members houses but today it was done in Pobiman and Satellite. Both places are about as far as you can go in our area. They're right on the edges but they're full of members. We spent a good portion of the day wandering around until I recognized something familiar and could find the members house. I have to admit that I was just a little too proud to admit that I couldn't remember where they stayed. That pride caused me to say I knew and the caused me to wander around looking for it. We did find all of the members without help so I felt justified. One member, Brother Letsu, took us around to show us some people the missionaries were teaching before. Our teaching pool has quadrupled over the last few days just because of members showing us old investigators that want to learn again. We had choir practice again today and once again I got a malt on the way home. 

Sunday. We were almost late for church today because I forgot to polish my shoes and iron my shirt last night. It made for a rough morning. I was trying to do more than one thing at a time. I was cooking and ironing at the same time as well as polishing and eating at the same time. I certainly hope I didn't eat any polish otherwise I'm going to be hurting. We did make it on time and were there to greet most of the members as they came in. Unfortunately, for the second week in a row, we didn't have any investigators at sacrament meeting. Since Asumani didn't leave us with anyone serious, we've had a tough time finding anyone that wants to come to church. On the way home from church I wrecked on my bike and tore up my shirt, name tag, part of my leg, and most of my arm. It hurt pretty dang bad and since I was bleeding fairly heavily we just went on home. We didn't go out again, I was a little too banged up for that. I ended up shredding my left arm and my shirt. 

Monday. Today sucked, we had to go in to the mission office so that Elder Beall could get his non-citizen ID card. We spent the whole day in our priesthood and were stuck at the office for hours. On top of that we got lost today. We were trying to take a tro to the Achimota Mall but the guy thought we wanted to go to the Accra Mall. We ended up on a tro tro going deep into the heart of the Accra Mission. It was a little scary for a moment but we found our way back alright. We got to the cafe really late tonight though which is lame.