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.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 46: First Week in Kwabenya

So to start off, we had a crazy week. We found 14 new people to teach and had 2 come to church.

The following are questions from my mom that I will answer. 

1) How did the traveling go from one area to the new area? What was that like? Sights, sounds, etc.

I had zero desire to ride tro tros from Winneba to Kwabenya so I just paid a taxi to take me all the way there. It started in Winneba and we drove to Kasoa to pick up my new companion Elder Pinnock form Nigeria. As we were driving to Kasoa, I thought to myself, ‘I should probably share the gospel with this taxi driver.' Whether it was a prompting or not, every missionary knows that when a thought like that comes into your head, you feel super guilty if you don't act on it. So I did. I basically taught the guy the whole restoration and invited him to pray. But it was like a discussion haha. Really weird, wasn't like I was teaching him but it was more like I was having a conversation with him haha. It was interesting but cool cuz when I talked about the apostasy I just pointed to all the churches we were passing haha. Pretty funny, there is no shortage of evidence of the apostasy here haha.

2) Details on how and where you met your new companion?

Yeah, basically just picked him in Kasoa and the taxi guy drove us from there to Kwabenya.

3) Details about your new companion? His family, has he always been a member... etc

He is from Nigeria, Oyo state. He has an older sister who is a return missionary. His whole family joined the church like 13 years ago. He is 26 right now. So he was like 13 or so when he joined the church.

4) Your apartment. Describe it.

Man, it was the sister’s apartment so it’s nice haha. Dude, we have tile floors... woah... like I walked around without shoes for the first time in my whole mission. It was pretty weird but the one really annoying thing is that the kitchen is in a different room. So you have to go outside and walk down small then unlock the door to a separate room if you want to cook anything... annoying... but whatever.

5) Your new area...busy city!!! How is it going.

It's so dusty here man. Like my shoes are just covered in orange dust every day... man... its really dusty. Feels like I'm in the middle of the desert. 

6) Ward? Branch? Tell us about the members

Yeah the building is a rented building. It’s like a house basically. But it's ok. Its green haha. Like a greenish blue. The people are way cool. Our ward mission leader seems to be really sweet. His name is Alex. He always calls us and says, 'brethren!'. He is cool haha. also they are planning a missionary work day activity. So that’s a total tender mercy. Miracle, man. Miracle.

7) Where are you emailing from? The church...?

No. A cafe close to our apartment. It’s nice cuz there are not a bunch of college boys looking at stuff they should not be. So it feels cleaner here haha.

8) How is your health, skin, etc...

Good. No problems, ha.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 45: Getting Transferred to Kwabenya and Meeting Elder Renlund

So this week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday we got to meet Elder Renlund. It was awesome. I felt the spirit several times and even got to shake his hand. It was really cool. He is a very smart man. He shared about how he went on a safari and that it was blistering hot and that he hated it. But then they saw a whole stampede of elephants and just were in awe for a little. Then after the elephants moved on, his wife said, you forgot about the heat didn't you. He talked about how it’s hot and that we may have times where its easy to focus on the heat but if we focus on the Savior, we forget about the heat. He also shared a hilarious joke about camping which dad will get a kick our of. He said, “I don’t understand why we work 52 weeks in the year only to spend our 2 week vacation pretending like we are homeless." Oh man, it was so funny. It was hilarious cause he was like super serious when he said it hahaha oh man so funny.

So yeah. During the week we went to teach this girl who was friends with JK a youth member here and he was like all super nervous to go so and didn't want to haha. He obviously was in love with her. So we decided to go see a couple other people, but when those fell through, I knew where we should go ha. So I walked to her house and JK just followed not knowing where we were going haha. Oh man, when we went there he was outta there! Haha he stood like a mile down the road and waited for us to finish contacting her haha oh man, it was so funny. but the next day we had a really good lesson with her so it was ok haha.

Not much happened this week just because we were out for the Elder Renlund thing for like 2 days but, it was ok.

Elder Campbells training is finished. Pretty crazy. For me these past few transfers have absolutely flown by. I am really shocked. In 6 weeks I turn one year. Man, I cant believe that. It’s good. I'm getting close to the downhill as they say.

I'm getting transferred to a place called Kwabenya. It is pretty city. It's really close to Accra. So it'll be interesting. We are white washing the area with means like we are taking over from the Sisters. So that'll be interesting. It’s also going to be my first African companion. He is from Nigeria. His name is Elder Pinnock. Haha, yeah man this will be a very different experience for me.

Ok. I’ll finish with a little spiritual. This week, I’ve come to realize that the Lord is grateful for his missionaries. Elder Renlund talked a little about that and I've been pondering on his words throughout the week. I've come to know for myself that the Lord has an enormous amount of compassion and love for people. He loves us because he has felt what we feel. That is an amazing thought to me. He felt it when he suffered in the garden of Gethsemane. Every piece of what you feel. Sometimes I think the hard thing is having the faith that He is there and that He felt it. In john 3 the Lord talks about how we can feel the wind but we can’t see it or tell where it comes from. I think that is similar to how this is. We can feel and trust that the Savior is there and that he knows and understands, but we can’t see him. Although we are not physically with him, we can still be "encircled about eternally in the arms of his love" as Lehi says.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 44: Bring Me the Head of a Pig

‘Bring me the head of a pig.’ -Brian Reagan

Gonna make it short and sweet this week. So the week was all right...

Fun thing for this week was today. We all pitched in a bunch of money and bought a pig. Then we went and bought some wood and took it all to the beach and built a big fire with the help of the bush people and cooked a pig on the beach hahah. It was so fun ha. Yeah man. Making some sweet memories here. This was one of them. Next week I’ll send some video of it all... my computer isn't working today. So yeah, we will be chopping pig for the rest of the week haha.

Sundays are challenging in this area…. they all speak Fanti (which I don’t speak) during the meetings so I just read the Doctrine and Covenants, which I love doing. One thing I do that I suggest for others cuz its like one of those cool things people do. is anytime I feel the spirit while I read a verse or something, I write down 'felt the spirit" and then the date. It is cool for a lot of reasons. But one thing is like in the future if you are ever doubting you felt the spirit or anything, you have written proof. So yeah. I like doing that. Makes my scriptures feel very personal.

Someone in church asked me why I endure to the end on my mission, and this has been something I've been pondering at the back of my mind the past a few weeks or months... whatever its been. The reason I stay and work hard and am being obedient is because I want the Lord to know that I can do anything for Him. I want him to know that if he needs someone to do the hard thing, Elder Janda has got it. I want Him to be proud of me and thus it is. Amen.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 43: Happy Birthday Elder Campbell

So five seconds ago when I was at the internet cafe last week... did it feel like five seconds to you? Man... it did to me. 

So there is this kid in our ward who thinks I'm some celebrity. Like there is a Ghanaian show apparently and the main character looks like me I guess. So like my first day in Winneba this kid comes running up to me and asks me if I was the guy from the movie. So I weigh my ability to pretend I am and say yeah thats me haha. And the funny thing is that the characters name is Max hahaha. So this kid thinks that I’m a total super hero ha pretty fun little thing.

So we have been teaching D. and his wife M. (again I remind you that everyone here is named after Bible stuff. Yet I have not yet met a Shardrack or a Meshack or Abednigo...). So they are so great. I always feel really happy leaving after teaching them. 

It was Elder Campbell's birthday yesterday so happy birthday to him. We sang happy birthday to him in all of the different languages these missionaries spoke. So English, Pidgeon, French and Portuguese haha, it was fun. 

Went to another beach activity today. So that was fun. I’ll miss the beach if I leave Winneba in the coming weeks. I’ll probably get transferred after this transfer. I hope I go to the bush...I don't want to go to the city.

Um one cool thing that wasn't even us is that Elder Essis in Winneba 1 area six people be baptized on Sunday... he said it was going to be 12 but they just had to move back a few for some small small reasons. So yeah congrats to them! Trying not to feel jealous but I'm rejoicing in the success they are having.

So yeah that was pretty much what happened this week.

Oh yeah one last thing was that this little kid at the old woman's house stepped on this super sharp sea shell and it totally cut his foot up. So he came running over mid lesson with blood gushing from his foot. So I was like, heck, I've watched LOST I saw how Jack used a sea urchin needle to sew up that one guy. I can totally be the island surgeon haha. So I got up and went over and totally treated the wound hahaha. I felt pretty cool, not gonna lie. :)

So yeah man, doing good in the world is fun ha.

Elder Janda

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 42: Reflecting on the Beginning

So last night I was talking to Elder Stilson on the phone. Elder Stilson was my trainer by the way, if you all can’t remember. And you know, I didn't appreciate him enough when I was with him. You never appreciate your trainer as much as you should haha. He was a great missionary. And a great guy. Looking back, we were good friends at the end of my training and have kept in touch since then. Ha we had a really great conversation last night. Elder Stilson is a great guy and a great missionary. 

So as I am fast approaching one year out here, I've been oft reflecting on the beginning of my mission. Freak I sound like a general authority... man... I've been listening to too any conference talks hahaha 'oft reflecting' what the heck. Anyway, I've come a long way I think. Man, looking back, my training alone felt as long as my entire mission since then hahaha. The past 7 months... so fast. It's interesting. Sometimes it feels like I've been in Ghana for an eternity... and that I have an eternity to go, but other times it feels like I haven't been here that long, and that I don't have that long to go. It’s just interesting.

Yesterday we came home and there were some goats in our compound haha so we shut the gate and chased them around until we caught them. Haha goats are so fun to mess around with cuz when you catch them they freak out and start screaming and they sound like little kids hahaha it's so funny. So after we caught them we tied them together with a jump rope and then let them run around haha it was funny. So yeah, messing with goats. typical.

Man, I found some stuff its called scorpion. It's the french version of Biofreeze man! It’s awesome! Seems to work pretty good! So I've been putting it on my shoulder and stuff. 

Had interviews with president this last week. It’s always a highlight for me when I get to talk to president. He is so wise man. And if you get him talking he will just go haha. We had like and hour long interview (supposed to be 20 mins). He is really great. 

Watched Johnny Lingo last Monday haha, classic.

Love you all and I'm doing cool.