Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 60: Riding a Motorcycle Through West Africa

Jumping right in, I was out in a little village called Twepiase doing interviews for the Zone Leaders. It is a twenty minute motorcycle ride out there and twenty back and on our way back I was like "Wow, I'm riding a motorcycle through the jungle in the middle of West Africa." It was one of those moments that reminds you where you are and how crazy it is.

A chicken was stuck in our apartment compound for a few weeks so me and villa found it killed it and ate it. It didn't have much meat... honestly it wasn't that good...

We paused to rest one day and were waving to people as the passed on the road in front of us. We waved to and greeted this guy and he stopped, put his hands straight up in the air and said, " Yes sir yeja (a twi word meaning respect) good evening!" Hahaha me and villa were cracking up. Villa then said, "Ok new goal is get someone to raise the roof." Haha Ghanaians are so funny sometimes. 

Shout out to Memmott cuz I have better luck in finding jerseys than him.

Shout out to Wunderlich, the most feverish missionary I've ever met and who tried to shake my hand while holding a plucked chicken.

Random news: I will be training a new missionary and taking over a new area in Asuom for the next while. 

Also it’s likely that because of transfers I will be returning home on September 18. So that is exciting!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 59: Ayriem and Agradda

You know that scene in the Martian where he has to rebuild a mars rover and do some other crazy science stuff just to communicate with earth? Well that is how I feel right now. We just took an hour long taxi ride through the middle of a huge forest on a nasty dirt road to get to nearby city so that we can email home. That is life, I guess...

This week was pretty sweet. We are teaching a ton of kids from a nearby school. We play basketball there on Saturday mornings and so the entire school knows us. (We are two white guys who dunk on people all day... its not hard to miss us.) They call me Ayriem (lighting) and they call Elder Villa, Agradda (thunder) haha pretty cool I’d say. Then later in the day we go and teach all of them.

Out here in the deep bush there isn't much variety to what we eat. I’ve eaten the same things the whole week. Tuna sandwich, egg sandwich, and indomie (top ramen in the USA). Oh and I made french toast also.... I’m gonna get scurvy from lack of variety. Is that how you get scurvy?

Two of the people we have been teaching were baptized this week. We are so happy for them. One is named P. the other is J. They are great and so happy to be members. I’m so grateful to be in a fruitful area!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 58: Awesome Transfer and New Companion

Update from Dad: Elder Janda wasn't able to send a formal letter this week. However, we received some brief correspondence from him. He is loving Asuom and his great new companion Elder Villa from Hawaii. Elder Janda is very happy.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 57: Transferred to the Bush, Asuom

Big news of the week is that I am getting transferred to the deep bush of our mission. I am going to a place called Asuom. It is very far from everything, haha, so it will be an adventure. My new companion is Elder Vila from Hawaii. He sounds like I cool guy and he is from the best place in the world so that is cool. I'm expecting we will have a lot to talk about together, haha.

Had calamari at a Chinese restaurant this week. It was nice.

Emailing might be a challenge for the next little while as the internet in the bush is somehow. So if I don't email some weeks, know that I'm probably ok, but might be in some survival situation or something, I don’t know…the bush is crazy so we will see. Hahaha.

Here is a YouTube video about Asuom where Elder Janda will be serving for AT LEAST the next 6 weeks.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 56: Reflections on the Beginning

So this week was a [descriptive word that I can’t decide on] week.

It rained a lot and whenever it rains they take away the electricity so that is lame. I took bucket showers in the dark to the light of a flashlight all week so that was lame. I had bought a bunch of frozen chicken right before this huge storm hit so when we got home and found out it was electricity off, I was like dang, now all this frozen chicken is gonna melt... so I stuck it in the freezer. Then the light came back in the middle of the night. So the next morning I looked in the freezer and the chicken had all melted and the blood from the bones had dripped everywhere and then froze so there is a bunch of frozen chicken blood in our freezer now... nice.

We went down to Accra to renew my non-citizenship card! Wow, can’t believe its that time. It was pretty surreal for me sitting in that little office that I had sat in a year earlier. I remember sitting there a year ago and everyone was speaking some language that I couldn't understand (Twi) and I was like "What the heck... I thought this was an English country. Then I got called up to do my fingerprints and stuff and I couldn't understand what the guy was saying to me because of his accent. I felt like a small boy, haha. Then we walked outside and it was boiling hot and the guy driving us pulled over and this shop lady ran out to him with a coke and he gave her a few cedis. I was like woah that is cool that you can buy stuff without getting out of your car! Man, then now when I was sitting there, I could understand what all the people were saying. One girl spoke to me in English and I said "menti brofu" which is “I don't speak English" haha she laughed and then I went and got my card ha. Man, I’ve come a long way. It was an interesting experience for me.

Then we went to circle (the hub of all travel in Ghana) to get a tro tro to go home. As we were walking through this big crowd, a bunch of little beggar kids came running up to us and were all grabbing on to me wanting money. I'm used to that kind of thing so I just bat them off of me and kept walking but Elder Pinnock gave them money! Oh man... now every time we go there they will think that missionaries give money. Nice going Elder Pinnock. Haha. Nice.

We have been teaching this woman, MK, and she got an answer to her prayer! She even read the Book of Mormon and underlined all the words she didn't understand! I was so proud of her! I’m so happy that she read she will be baptized in a few weeks hopefully if she can change her work schedule to be able to come to church.

A quote that blew my mind "Revelation is one of the plainest books of scripture God has ever caused to be written" - Joseph Smith. So when I read that quote I decided to study revelation. I've learned some pretty cool things, haha, but I can’t say like the prophet that it is the plainest book I've ever read, haha. Beasts covered with eyes and wings. Deeply symbolic and powerful, yes, but also creates a weird picture in my head, haha.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 55: Living in a Microwave

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a microwave and that all the heat in Ghana is directed on me. It was a hot week.

I can’t write much today so sorry this will be brief.

We started teaching a guy who has decided to change his life. I don't have time to go into details but there have been a bunch of things that have happened in his life that make it seem like he is totally prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also has a bunch of ostriches so that is weird. Haha.

It is pretty funny because I can understand what people are saying in Twi and they have no idea that I understand. It’s pretty crazy how many people talk about us. Usually at a point I cut in and tell them in Twi that I understand them. It usually takes them pretty off guard and they don't know how to react to an Obruni speaking to them in Twi haha. So yeah.

Sorry that this is the most boring email ever, haha.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 54: Put a Lime in a Coconut

This week I bought a coconut from a street vender and noticed they had some limes. So I bought some limes and I did as the song says, "Put the lime in the coconut and shake em both up". Man, it was delicious!!!!

Sadly, we learned that a girl we were teaching, A., has traveled back to her home town and will no longer be living here in Kwabenya. We pray that she finds the unit near her area and continues to learn with the missionaries there.

The people we are teaching from Togo are doing great.

We also followed up with a person that was in our phone record. This was the miracle from the week. We were just calling some of the numbers in the phone seeing if we could meet any of them and we called H. Henry must have been a someone from when the sisters were here. Well, we went to meet him and turns out that he had learned all the lessons with the missionaries in Western Region and was ready to be baptized but moved here for work before he could. So we plan to baptize him after we review the lessons again with him. I was pretty happy about that.

We taught S. and he bore his testimony to us at the end of the lesson. Some highlights; "I am tired of being deceived. I’m ready to know what things I’m supposed to be doing and I’m ready to do it." "I am prepared to do what God wants me to do." "I am so grateful that you guys come here to teach me about what I am supposed to be doing." Man, the spirit was really strong when he was saying all this. S. is sweet.

So it is hot and dusty. Like I leave with black shoes and come back with brown shoes each day. The harmattan is coming which is when the Saharan winds blow sand into Ghana so everything is really dusty. Like in Interstellar. So that'll be crazy when it hits in a month or two.

At our stake conference my mission president, President Simpson, spoke. He talked about Abinadi before the wicked priests. He pointed out that "In Mosiah 14:10, Isaiah prophecies that when the Savior shall make his soul and offering for sin "HE SHALL SEE HIS SEED". In Mosiah 15:10-13, Abinadi tells us that all those who have heard the words of the prophets and hearkened unto them and have looked unto the Savior for the remission of their sins are HIS SEED. Abinadi tells us that these are they (His seed) for whom he died." I think it's really powerful that when the Savior suffered, he saw those who would benefit from his suffering. Those who would accept him and become his seed. It was pretty powerful. I felt the spirit very strongly when he spoke. I love President Simpson.

Anyway, those are the highlights of the week.

Peace out,

Elder Janda