Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 53: Of Mice and Men and Missionaries

I ate a rat head this week, hence the subject line. It’s an animal called Akrantie, which, being interpreted Bush Cutter, which is to say massive rat that lives in the bush. I took a picture of the skull. I’ll send it with my pics this week. So far I've eaten the heads of three animals here, cow, cat, and rat. Pretty good trumps for dinner conversations, haha. I’m on the hunt for a dog head as per James' challenge. So, maybe if I go to the bush I will get one, haha.

We had a tough day on Wednesday. We sat in traffic all morning on the way to district meeting and again on the way back. We finally got back to our area and the sun was blazing hot. We had a couple of challenging teaching appointments and then as we were walking home a bird pooped on my shirt. Like it could've been in a movie, haha, classic. Some days are better than others.

I had a fun day for my one year. We went to the temple, came back and taught this guy from Togo. His name is R. Man, I wish I could speak French. Then went to the mall and got ice cream and pizza. It was a good day.

One night on our way home it started to rain small small, so we hurried home and then it started dumping. Like I thought our house was going to wash away. All of the wood bridges around were washed away from the water and apparently there was a big explosion at a gas station down the street. Whenever it rains they take the power. So it’s like a freaking adventure. No light so we walk around in darkness with a flash light and thunderous rain outside. Pretty crazy.

Teaching R. is sweet. We started teaching his sister too. Her name is O.. They both told us that they prayed and got answers that this was true. Oh man, I was so happy when I heard that. It is like such a tender mercy to me. These people do get answers to their prayers! It’s all real! So many people don't take it serious and therefore don't get answers.

All right I'm tired of typing so I'm out.

Aficia paa afi komo tu yen. (May another good year go and come.)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 52: Half Way and 13 Things I've Learned So Far

Wow, one year in. One year to go. It’s a weird thing.

13 Things I’ve Learned on Mission: (Not necessarily in order of importance, except 1 and 2.)
  1. God is there. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. The first and foremost important thing is to know this and I therefore list it first.
  2. I learned from the spirit that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he saw God and Jesus Christ. 
  3. I have learned that to be valiant is what really counts. Valiant in you heart. Not just doing what you should do. 
  4. I'm proud to be an American. I’ll leave it at that.
  5. Feeling the spirit is the best thing in the world. I just want to bask in those moments when I feel it.
  6. Jesus Christ is amazing. His character boggles me every time. Oh, I love the Lord.
  7. I’ve learned how to swallow food without chewing. 
  8. I’ve learned to speak a different language (mostly).
  9. I’ve learned it’s better to listen to the Holy Ghost than not to.
  10. Family is everything to me. 
  11. I've learned to be patient with others.
  12. I’ve learned what the Savior meant when he said, "Cast not your pearls before swine."
  13. I’ve learned the purpose of suffering: Change.
We had a nice week this week. Conference was awesome as usual. Everyone in the chapel sat up when President Nelson talked about Ghana. Haha. That was pretty funny. I don’t know why people do that but yes, some people pretend not to speak English to us. It’s funny when you catch them understanding you. Haha. Funny.

We taught a French guy from Togo. I said a sentence or two in french as we were teaching. Haha. But mostly just used a translator from the ward to teach him. It was so cool. Man, he is very prepared. The first question he asked was, "How can I teach my family about God’s love?" My ears did a double take because that was the best question I’ve ever heard an investigator ask. Haha. So I thought about it and said that if he shared this message (the restoration) with them, they would come to feel of God's love. It was a super great way to begin a lesson. Then we taught him and at the end of the lesson he told us that he had left his church because he didn’t feel like those prophets were from God and that he didn’t think any other church’s prophets were either. Pretty cool to see how the Lord prepared him. 

A guy in the ward came and said he had a referral for us (best words a missionary can hear). So we went and taught her with him. Well in code they tell us that they are getting married!!! Haha. So funny. They were all codey about it. Man, I've never seen Ghanians like that. They usually are not super romantic and stuff but man, these two. Chi. It was sweet. 

And thus it is. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 51: Ch, ch, ch, ch, ch (the beat of every single song in Ghana)

Questions and answers from my dad...

What is your favorite thing to eat in Ghana? 

Fufu, I’d say, with groundnut soup.

Describe three different things they serve for food.

Fufu is like a soft smooth ball of like Playdough in a bowl of soup that you eat with your hands.

Then there is Banku which is like dry Playdough that you dip in stew and then swallow. Oh yeah you swallow Fufu also.

There is also fried rice, basically the same that is at Panda Express.

Now, almost a year into your mission, what are a few things you think you will miss about being a missionary?

I’ll miss the privilege to wear the tag. It is an honor to have the Lord’s name and his church on my shirt each day.

What are some things you will miss about Ghana?

Things are cheap here! So I’ll miss buying cheap snacks off of people’s heads. Haha. (They sell stuff on their heads.)

Who are your closest friends from your mission? Missionaries? Members?

Elder Bawden, one of my former companions, is a great friend. Also Elder Nabrotzky and Elder Memmott. He is new and we are in the same district. But we've hit it off really well. He is sweet. From Nevada.

What are some of the best qualities in your companion?

He is down for anything. Doesn’t really have much preference on stuff. 
So that is good in that he doesn’t boss me around or make it his way or the highway.

Tell a funny experience you have had lately?

Elder Pinnock always quotes "The Testaments" movie when we are buying something at a shop. He will pick up some oil or something and say, "Is this your work?” to the seller. Haha. It’s funny to him and me cuz the seller just looks at him all confused. Haha. Pretty funny.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 50: "Hit" by a Car

I'm too tired to write a long and clever email so here you go:

I heard something hilarious this week form one of our investigators. She said, "Please, is it true that in USA there is just money on the ground and that you can just pick it up and buy stuff?" I laughed and said that it wasn't true and that we have to work for money. Haha. So funny.

We went to teach this girl named A. and we had already eaten a ton that day and when we got to her house she said she was going to feed us. Oh boy. So she brought like a 3 course meal to us. Oh man. I was so stuffed to the brim. Like I couldn't sit up straight cuz my stomach was so full. It was funny haha and then we had to teach her. So funny. But we taught her and then invited her to pray and ask God if this message was true. So two days later we went to follow up and I asked if she prayed she said she did so I asked her if she got an answer (every missionary braces his or herself at this moment). She said, “Yes.” Oh man, I was so happy! So she is totally excited about it. We invited her to baptism and she said, “Yes, and that I wouldn't say yes or be inviting you back unless I knew this was true.” Wow. What a great response. I was so happy.

This transfer is almost over. I'm starting to total up things and I counted that I've talked with over 90 people this transfer. Wow. we’ve offered the gospel to 90 people in the past 5 weeks. We've had about 45 new people to teach from that effort. Of those 45, 2 have baptismal dates, both of whom are referrals, one from a member and one from another companionship of Elders. Wow. A lot of work to receive 2 referrals. But I take my success in knowing that I warned 90 people and offered them the truth and that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe he was trying us to see if we would work hard and then rewarded us with 2 referrals. That’s how it is.

Also I got hit by a car the other day. That was crazy. Head on it dove off the road right for me so I totally parkoured off of the hood and swung myself to the side. It drove off not even stopping. Ha it was crazy. I walked away checking myself seeing if I got hurt but I was actually ok. So that was crazy. Missionaries are protected! It is the truth. Anyway, that is life. I'm okay mom, don't worry :-)

All right. I'm out. Love you all.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 49: Flied Fish

So something really sweet is that people here cant say their R's right. For example when they say fried fish, they say, "flied fish". Like they say it like an L. Yesterday an a investigator said, "I don't know how to play (pray).” So we helped her learn how to 'play'. So sweet.

One crazy rejection experience: So we have been trying this new place to be finding new investigators and me and Elder Bangura (we were on exchange) went to this one house and knocked the gate to see if we could teach someone there. So we knocked and ran into some hardcore baptists from Liberia. Man, they were really smart and even called us “Mormons” (which never happens here). They just call us Latter-day Saints. So these people were educated and kinda freaked about the Book of Mormon the whole time. So after a lesson where they completely did not accept what we taught, the husband drove up as we were leaving. He is a white man from England and an avid atheist. So he gets out and starts yelling at us from his car. Saying there is no god and science blah blah blah. So i just testified to which he reviled my testimony and then I said, all right and I tried to give him a Book of Mormon saying that he could know that there was a god. He did not accept it and so we walked away. Ss we were walking away, he yelled, "I curse your god every day and I’m still alive, and I’ll live longer than you!" Yeah, it was quite the experience. Your emotions after that are pretty everywhere. Sadness for him. Frustration that he reviled your testimony. But also grateful that we suffered for the cause of Christ like Peter and John. So it was interesting.

To conclude I've never seen scripture more fulfilled than I have out here on mission. It’s all so real. The apostasy, the hatred toward the truth, etc. it’s all so real.

Sincerely, Elder Janda

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 48: To Homilies and Hymns

So I’ll write a few cool things from this week for you.

#1- We are teaching a pastor from a different church. His name is Daniel. He is so so awesome to teach cuz man, I can go talk deep with scriptures. The guy can read like a pro! So it’s super fun. Also he knows the Bible really well so it allows me to quote scripture left and right and he knows the quotations I'm saying. So it’s super fun.

#2 I am almost at the end of the book, Jesus the Christ. I been cranking on it the past few weeks. Reading like 10-15 pages a day. Haha. I don’t know where I get that time, mostly before bed. Anyways, I love that book. so I was reading about the apostasy and he was talking about the homilies. which to my understanding are the articles of faith for the church of England, which broke off because King Henry wanted to divorce his wife to marry his maid (lol apsotasy). But there is a homily that declares that the apostasy is real haha. That the truth was lost and the doctrines were changed long before the church was created. Haha so that was funny but then I remembered a lyric from Hamilton. In the song Wait For It, Burr sings this line "but there are things that the homilies and hymns wont teach ya." As I was reading Jesus the Christ that came to my head and was like no way.... So I looked on my lyric sheet (thanks to the fam for sending me the lyrics haha) and it is the line! Man, Hamilton is legit because indirectly Lin Manuel Miranda referred to the apostasy. Haha pretty cool.

#3 We taught this guy S. who was a referral form the Elders in Adeisu and he had come to church the week before. So we go out to teach him and we sit down and teach him lesson one. After finishing Joseph Smith he goes, "Ok I want to know more about the Book of Mormon (we hadn’t even taught him about that yet)" and so we did and he was like 'sweet'. So I then bear my testimony of the things we taught and the church and ask him how he could know if its true, to which he responds and tells us how he has been going to the church for the last 5 or 6 weeks and that he loves the church. And that he already knows that it is true. I was like woah. This is sweet. Man, he is so prepared. I love meeting those people, the ones who are so prepared that you want to say, "Will you be baptized right now?" Hahaha so yeah, but we invited him for the 23 of September and he gave a very strong "YES." to our invitation.

#4 There is a family in our ward form Ivory Coast so I get to continue my half hearted attempts to learn French! Ha I’m learning small small. But he wanted me to teach him some Spanish so I was like sweet! I can speak decent Spanish! But I go to start writing down words and only Twi comes to mind. Espanol asa (Spanish is finished). So shoutout to Eric because he speaks that language and because he shouted out to me so I'm shouting out to him. Is that proper terminology?

Arevoir mon amis (idk how to spell it, only know how to say it)

WTTM (Dad, youll get that)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 47: Second Week in Kwabenya

We found 10 new people to teach this week.

I cooked a delicious soup that I ate all week. Rice and soup... yeah thats my life. I bought chicken breast form the mall too and so that was some nice enjoyment in the soup as well. It’s called ncatenkuine by the way. I don’t know if thats how to spell it our not but that is what its called.

My District Leader and I have a friendly competition in finding people to teach. Whoever can find the most wins. So far. I'm winning but this past week we tied so we will see. Haha he is known in our mission as the 'master finder' but I'm planning to dethrone him haha. He is funny. He calls every night and we talk trash to each other and then laugh and say see you tomorrow. He is funny haha. His name is Elder Bangura, by the way, from Nigeria.

One of the people we are teaching came to church this week. He is named J. We met him two weeks ago and have been teaching him and his family. He came to church so we were excited.

Like the work is coming small small. I don’t know man. Just working hard. Kinda feel like a little lost and that I'm also trying to learn this new area. Hopefully we will find someone who the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel soon.