Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 40: Pregnancy Over

I've officially been out long enough that if someone was pregnant right when I left, the baby would have been born by now... 9 months is a long tI'me.

This week was really good. Haha, we found 8 new people to teach. Haha, we went to town on it man! Finding. Finding. Finding. Man. So we found some pretty great people. I’m actually in awe at it.

First one was this guy J., and his wife O.. Man, they were so nice. We just walked up and contacted them as they were sitting outside their house. We started talking and they let us share our message with them. We sat down on the classic wooden stools and shared the restoration with them. They got all excited and were talking about how it was a fulfillment of scripture and stuff like that. Man, it was really cool. So we are excited to talk to them again.

Next was even more unbelievable. We are walking from an appointment out in the middle of nowhere in our area and we see this monkey tied up to a guys banister in front of his house. And I’m like, “Woah! that’s a monkey!” (We never see stuff like that...just goats and chickens man.) So obviously we go and are taking pics of it and stuff and the owner comes out and starts talking to us. He was a cool guy who looks like a young Apollo Creed. stash and all haha. so I'm like ok, well, might as well talk to this guy. So I start talking about what we do as missionaries and he then starts talking about how he, for the past few years, has been searching endlessly for the truth. He had been going to all the churches and seeing what they teach and comparing it to the Bible and found that many of the churches were just searching for money and didn’t really care so much for doctrine. That they were performing "miracles" but really just scamming the members. He was telling us about it for like 30 mins haha. So we set up an appointment and met him the next day. He is very excited to pray and to read the Book of Mormon. So cool of an experience. I'm still in awe at this. This kind of thing is a complete miracle and he has a monkey, so that’s sweet also.

So we had transfers. Elder Clauson is gone... sad. But the new 2 guys in our apartment are way cool so it’s great and obedient to which I am so grateful. The feeling in the apartment has really changed a ton. It’s really nice. It has been a good change. Elder Manuel, the new District Leader is great. He is from Angola so he speaks Portugese and he also hears Spanish, so I was like sweet! It’s been a while since I've spoken any Spanish, so I go to speak Spanish and only Twi comes to my head. I cant speak any Spanish again man! Twi pe. Haha I go to say como estas and et te sen comes, I go to say  'y' for 'and' and just 'na' comes and then I try to speak French with Elder Essis and I'm all messed up now... plus my English is failing me... I'm going to sound like idiot when I come home... haha so yeah that is funny.

So all in all, my take away from this week is that the Lord is putting his elect in our path. It takes diligence and patience to earn the chance to meet them. (12 weeks of trying to earn it in this area.) So I'm grateful for the success finally. Very grateful.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 39: in french:nous mangous, or in twi: yen didi or in enlgish: lets eat!

So today, we were walking to come to the cafe and we were walking to the road side. A taxi flew by noticed that us white men (Obrunis) were walking toward the road so he slammed on the brakes and the car came this screeching halt and then reversed back down the road to us. Haha, we all started laughing haha cuz this taxi guy did not see white people walking to the road… he saw big money signs walking to the road. Haha white man=$$$$ to these people hahaha so funny.

Transfer news: Elder Clauson is leaving... sad. It’ll be sad to not have him around anymore. But it’s been a good 3 months ha so it's ok. Elder Essis has been cooking for me this past week. So nice. Like having a personal chef in the apartment. So nice man. Elder Essis is training also so that'll be interesting to have two trainees in the apartment. Also, Elder Campbell is improving and getting the hang of things a little more I think. So that’s good.

My Twi/Fanti is getting pretty good. I'm able to hold conversations with people and I can say most things now. So now it is just a matter of memorizing vocabulary. I’ve gotten really lazy with it all recently, but I think I'm gonna start up again so I can can be proficient in yelling at Eric and Caden in Twi. Also French. Planning on having like  a 45 min lesson with Elder Essis every night to learn French. So that’ll be cool. Excited for that. I love French. It’s so fun to speak.


Yeah I think that’s good for this week. Didn’t eat anything crazy... Winneba is not crazy food wise. Oh haha I’ve had more girls throw themselves at me the past two weeks than I have my whole life which is not saying much, but still :-). They are crazy here. One woman told me she wanted to marry me, this other girl was being all flirty to me... and this girl at a restaurant was trying to get me to dance with her. But to all of them I was like, woah girl, what you want? Pretty harsh but when the girl said, "lets dance" and started going crazy towards me I was like, "lets not." Haha made me think of Dumb and Dumber. “Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie. Let’s not.” Hahahaha. So yeah that was really funny. Don’t worry Mom, I’m safe. Even from these crazy women who want white husband. Ha. I'm waiting for my 10 cow woman when I get home. Hahaha.

Ok, that’s enough for this week. Do what you will with this email ha. That’s how it is.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 38: Dove for Dinner

Baako pe abeum... Charlie... je suis fatigue... enye shre.

This week was a lot of walking. Friday and Saturday and Sunday especially. I'm exhausted. Plus today we had this crazy beach party thing on the beach and played all this stuff so I'm very tired still... gonna chill plenty tonight.

We have been teaching this girl named G. We were just walking one day and I felt a prompting to go over and talk to these people. We sat down and taught a lesson to her. We have been meeting her a few times last week. She is cool. Really smart and literate so thats always so nice. Sometimes I feel like I'm out there trying to prove it all to people, but really, no matter how hard and how well I do prove it to them doesn't matter cuz they won’t be converted by facts. They just need to feel the spirit answer their prayers. I really focus on that when I teach. You have to pray and get an answer. You have to continually feel the spirit and keep your testimony alive.

If I had a 1 cedi for every time I have to tell people that my comp doesn't speak fanti in fanti I’d be rich. Man. It’s nice to have a comp that can’t speak anything though cuz my skills are improving plenty so thats sweet. So many skills, walking skills, fanti / twi skills, scripture skills. Haha.

Elder Essis (in my apartment and one of my favorite missionaries) is going to be cooking for me this week. Haha. So stoked abut that. Just gonna give him 40 cedis and he will cook me lunch and dinner all week! So stoked man. One morning I wake up and come into the kitchen and there is this dead dove sitting on the counter with a slingshot next to it. Haha. I'm like what the heck... and then Essis walks in and starts laughing in his hilarious laugh. I sent a black and white picture of him last week or so. Haha. He is so funny. He is a french man so just imagining him as a french strong man at the circus. You now like the ones with those curly mustaches is so funny hahaha, with his broken English. Haha. Oh man I love the guy. Anyway, he cooked this dove and oh man, it was so nice. I'm thinking I’ll start a restaurant and hire him to be the chef. Ha, yeah, he is funny. Great guy, I’ll miss him when he leaves.

Gn. is still my best friend that I've had on mission. He is so great. I love the guy so much. We see him almost every day and go out and teach with him a ton too. He is so great. I’ll get a recording with him or something this week. Maybe a small video or something.

So yeah that’s it for today. Peace out from Ghana the land of fufu and crazy tro tro mates.


Elder Janda

Friday, June 23, 2017

Week 37: Another Week, Another Cedi

Another week, another cedi.

This week was pretty good. We found three new people to teach. Two of them came to church, so that is great. All 3 were referrals. Man, I love referrals.

Our old woman investigator is awesome. We went on Wednesday and her grandchild was really sick. So I told her (through a translator) that we give him a blessing. It was really powerful. We came back on Sunday and saw her again, she said that the little boy we blessed got better and that he is doing well now. I think it was a great faith builder for her. I'm grateful I hold the priesthood.

We had a really rainy day Thursday night and all of Friday. It made it so that we couldn't even go out. Haha... whenever it rains it gets freezing here at night. Holy cow. Like I was in a ball under my sheet. No fan. Shivering. So freaking cold. Haha it is so nice. But man it makes our shower frigid. I didn’t even shower on Friday. I knew it would be too cold. Oh I miss hot showers. 

Elder Clauson and I made scones this week. Ha it was nice. We chopped and enjoyed plenty.  

[DAD] What was the craziest experience you had last week? 

[ELDER JANDA] It rained all day. Haha. haven’t had anything too crazy... 

[DAD] What is your favorite thing about the culture in Ghana? 

[ELDER JANDA] I love that when they shake hands they snap at the end. Like you use each other’s middle fingers to snap off with each other. It’s awesome. Leaves a good satisfied feeling at the end of the shake. I’ll miss that. 

[DAD] What is the strangest thing about the culture in Ghana...compared to USA? 

[ELDER JANDA] They eat with their hands. Everything. And they drink the soup after you finish eating the fufu. Haha. That one... just drinking straight pepe soup haha oh man... 

[DAD] What is a weird thing you miss from home, that you didn't think you would miss? 

[ELDER JANDA] I really miss grass... like they do not have grass here... just weeds everywhere. I really miss grass. 

[DAD] What is something you admire about your companion? 

[ELDER JANDA] My comp is always trying to think of something different we can try or do. Haha. It’s that greenie spirit. So, that’s “good job bro.” 

[DAD] Who do you miss the most? Dad? or Mom? Haha. Jk. 

[ELDER JANDA] I miss you all equally. Haha. But, so much. So much 

Love you all. Bonsoir! 

Elder Janda 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 36: Q&A with Mom

Week was rough to be honest. The work is really struggling here in Winneba. Like no matter what we try, finding people to teach doesn’t seem to want to get rolling. Grrrrrrr.... it's discouraging, I’ll be honest.

[MOM] MOST IMP: What has the Lord spoken to your heart lately? Impressions...When have you seen His hand in your day? How has He helped others?

[ELDER JANDA] The First Counselor in the Bishopric had a referrals for us, so we go to meet the First Counselor for him to take us to the guy’s house but we ended up walking into his house at the same time the referral guy did. Haha it was cool. Perfect timing. That was nice.

Met with this less active woman and I really feel like the Spirit takes over in those lessons with her. She is really smart to so its fun to be with her cuz she understands how to think deeply. It’s nice.

[MOM] CHURCH: How was church yesterday?

[ELDER JANDA] Yeah church was fine. None of the people we are teaching came... all busy with various things. Luckily they were speaking English in gospel doctrine class, usually they speak Fanti, which I cant understand very well. But it’s ok.

[MOM] CHURCH: What do you do there normally? Do you have meetings with the bishop/ward council?

[ELDER JANDA] Well since we don't have investigators very much here we just go to church and just like...normal... They always speak Fanti so it's a challenge.

[MOM] CHURCH: Who do you sit with? Do you help with the sacrament or anything else? How many young deacons are there?

I sit with my comp, or the people we are teaching if they come. No they have 3-4 Priests. Deacons there are maybe 6-ish.

[MOM] CHURCH: Do you ever sit and play the piano? Do they even have a piano? Are there any members you have been able to connect with and be strengthened by?

[ELDER JANDA] Ha. They have a Yamaha keyboard. It's really funny actually. The usual guy who can play (the only one who can play) always puts like this starry twinkly effect so all the hymns are awesome. Hahaha. It’s fun and he just sits there and plays with this little smile on his face. Haha. So funny. Sometimes I teach Gideon (my best friend in the ward) the piano at nights. See, I "can" play the piano. But I can’t read music fast enough to play all the parts. Also if you mess up at all, Ghanaians don't like it (especially if you are Obruni). So I don't want to play in Sacrament Meeting. Plus, the only thing I can really play is Love Walks In by Van Halen. Haha. But I can rock out with that one. Hahaha.

[MOM] INVESTIGATORS: How did finding go this week? Were you able to find anyone to teach? Explain who they are and what their circumstances are…

[ELDER JANDA] This place is pretty empty of people. Really feels like a ghost town. But we found 4 new people. One is a Rastafarian dude. Yeah we'll see if he will make some drastic changes in his life. One is a girl who is so solid but here parents won’t let here come to church. Two are some unserious women we contacted who said they would come to church, but didn't. Yeah... not great prospects yet.

[MOM] WOW: What was the most interesting thing that happened this week?

[ELDER JANDA] Woke up in the middle of the night (haven't been sleeping too well the past few weeks... past like 8 weeks). Saw that the moon was like blood read. Haha. It was cool.

[MOM] COMP: How was working with your companion this week? What did you learn about him? What do you love about him?

[ELDER JANDA] Ha. He is a good guy. He is really trying hard. He is trying to learn the scriptures really well. It is funny. I’ll say off hand sometime that a certain chapter is really good or something and then I’ll notice that later, he will be reading it. Haha. It’s cool. He is really trying.

[MOM] HEALTH: How are you feeling? I saw that you have a bottle of TUMS on your desk. How goes the gut health?

[ELDER JANDA] Yeah man, well to be honest I love the taste of Tums. They are like candy. But yeah I’m fine. I haven't had diarrhea in a long time or barfed in a while. So that’s good. Yeah, I feel fine. Just like feel like survival sometimes.

[MOM] COOKING:  What have you learned to cook? Are you still using a camping stove basically?

[ELDER JANDA] Ha. It was raining the other day so we couldn't go out so I went outside and picked a bunch of snails from around our house. Got like 10 of them and made Elder Clauson my helper. I smashed all of them. Pulled out the guts and stuff. Cleaned them up. Boiled them. Made a batter out of lime juice, pepe, and flour. Rubbed the boiled sails in the batter then fried them in oil. Bon appetite. Man alive, they were freaking awesome!!!!!! Took like an hour or so total, but man, it was worth it. Yeah, so call me a freaking boss cook cuz I prepared a legit escargot dish, by myself (with Clauson as my help), first time, nailed it. Oh yeah.

Yeah, so thats it! Peace.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 35: No Bleach Can Whiten This Shirt

This week was like the blink of an eye... serious... I think it was one of the fastest on mission.

Training is cool.

It took the whole morning today to wash my clothes... yeah... my shirts are getting more and more “less white.” Ha! No amount of bleach and soap can make them crisp. Hahaha... had been scrubbing for days, my hands are just raw right now.... one day I will cry when I hug my washing machine at home in Abroche (USA)

I’m getting pretty good at cooking. That is something I want to continue when I'm home. It’s fun, just eyeballing things haha haven't had too bad of a fail yet. I made a pasta that was so hot you'd pee your pants. Yeah, put too much pepe in that one.

I'm alive. Healthy as you can be in Ghana. Pretty good.

Ye beshia

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 34: Training Elder Campbell

FROM DAD: We received an email from one of the Senior Missionaries who serves in the mission office in Accra. She notified us that Max had traveled to Accra that week to pick up Elder Campbell who just arrived to the mission. Max will be his trainer for the next 6 to 18 weeks (likely). Elder Campbell is from Mapleton, Utah. 


Dear Family,

Training!!! My trainee is Elder Campbell from Mapleton, Utah. I will almost turn one year without having had an African companion... that is crazy... the chances of that are so small hahaha but it’s cool! I am sure I will serve with an African companion soon enough.

We found a member woman named Sister M.. She was born in the church, raised strong in membership, but... she married a non member and now must (out of tradition) go to the husband’s church. When we met her she seemed visibly, saddened as we discussed her issue. You could tell she really missed the church. So we are not really sure what we will do with this situation but... yeah that’s a challenge.

We had another crazy rain storm and had to run through the streets again to the chapel for refuge haha. Yeah. Ghana. 


Elder Janda

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 33: Elder Roberts Completes His Mission

Dear Family,

After two years of service, Elder Roberts left for Abroche (America) this morning at 5 AM! Wow... felt a little bit of jealousy... but I was happy for him.

One crazy experience. We were teaching a lesson and we started to see nsuba (rain) small small. So we quickly closed the lesson ad started running to the chapel. As we were running the rain started to hit. Pssshshshshshshshhshs so I yelled as we were running, come on Jones (small boy translator that was with us) run!!! We gotta go we gotta go! I started yelling at the people, "nsuba nsuba! it’s gonna rain (already raining hahahahahhahahahah)"  it was hilarious. So we get to the chapel and it is just coming down and then something crazy happened, the sky turned orange. Like completely... sign of the second coming? Maybe. But it was crazy. I took pics and I’ll send them next week. So, yeah, that was crazy.

Theres is this food called kenke. its way good. Its is like a corn stalk wrap when you buy it and you open it up and its like baanku kinda. Like it’s hard to describe. But you grab like a ball and mold it in your hand like Playdough. Then dip in pepper salsa kinda of stuff (called pepe). Then you swallow whole the ball. It’s so yummy haha. Then you get a big smoked fish wth it. It’s awesome. So good haha probably because I’ve been n Ghana for too long.... cant’ remember normal food.

We went out contacting (looking for people to teach) and we met this woman named R. We told her about Joseph Smith. Then she opened up to us about how here husband struggles with some addictions and that she had stopped praying because she hadn’t seen him change after many prayers. We talked to her about faith and what it can and can’t do (thanks President Uchtdorf) and encouraged her to begin praying again and pressing forward with a hope that one day he would change. She was all of the sudden very happy but before looking very sad. We saw her again and gave her a Book of Mormon and told her if she read this book she would find peace in her life and help with her problems. It was really cool. She is leaving back to Mamobi (in Accra) but she will be back in a month. That is the AP's area so I feel confident in giving them the referral. So yeah that was cool. We are lead to those who need us if we listen and there are always those who need us.


Elder Janda


FROM DAD: The son of some of our close friends went to Ghana for a study abroad humanitarian expedition this summer. We were able to send a fairly large package with him to give to Max. He was able to drop the package off at the mission office. This is a picture of our friend Cody with a few of the office missionaries.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 32: Mother's Day Skype

FROM DAD: We were able to Skype with Max yesterday for Mother's Day. What an incredible joy!!!! He was happy and confident...doing so well. I had set my computer to record the screen...ran all the proper tests and everything worked great. Then he called and we turned it on to record, but in our excitement to talk with him, I seemed to have forgotten to adjust the setting that recorded the audio. So...we have over an hour of his cute face, but no audio. Such a heartbreak! Oh well, the call was wonderful. We love that boy!

Here is his letter from the day after our Mother's Day call...


Dear Family,

So I heard that there is a song by Ed Sheeran that is in Twi... is it true??!!!! Cuz that is dope! When I get home I’ll translate it for you all haha.

So Skyping was great yesterday!!! I’m so glad to have been able to do that!

We had a baptism yesterday too that was cool. Her name is N. she had been coming to church for like a year but never got baptized. It was wonderful.

We have a great investigator. She is an old woman named M.A. Like I’m talking old old woman. She only speaks Effutu (local dialect) and Fanti (another local language similar to Twi). She has no Christian background so it’s really weird to be able to teach her like about God and Christ. Pretty cool unique experience you don’t get too often here in Ghana where people are very religious.

Can’t email pics cuz this computer isn’t safe but I hope that I will be able to next week!!!

Love you all,

Elder Janda (pronounced Elda Janda)

bibia be ye ye

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 31: Another Week, No Full Letter

FROM DAD: No letter this week. Max sent a few messages through while he was online. He only had a few minutes to reach out. It had been a “bad day, but decent week.” They woke up at 5AM to go to take a tro tro to Accra to visit some of the people Elder Roberts had taught and baptized earlier in his mission. Apparently they can get permission from the Mission President to return to their old areas to visit people before they finish their mission. (Elder Roberts finishes his mission in a couple weeks.) We will be speaking with him on Sunday for Mother's Day. We can't wait!!!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 30: Bad Internet, No Letter

FROM DAD: No letter this week. The Internet cafe he was at had terrible connection. He was able to send us a few short messages letting us know he was alive and doing “ok” – “not great but not terrible.” This change to Winneba has been very challenging for him. He was able to forward and email from another missionary with a picture of his Zone from their last Zone Conference.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 29: Adapting to Winneba

I don’t have much to write about this week... this area is really slow so haven’t had any interesting things.

I’m learning French from another Elder in the apartment and so that’s pretty cool.  So far on mission I’ve learned a lot of Twi, some sign language, and now French. along with all the other languages that I’ve learned small phrases in. Haha

A spiritual experience was with A.G. He has been going through a hard time, so I shared Joseph Smith’s experience and we read DC 122... Ghanaians don’t get emotional at all and he almost started crying as he read that... it was pretty powerful. That is my go to Scripture whenever I think about or experience trials. Man, such power in those words.

So we’ve gotten some referrals and they looked super serious and totally good investigators but we found out after we taught them that they all stay in the other guys area!!!! So we gave them 3 solid referrals this week..... yeah that was a bummer... but its okay.

Cool quote:

“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want is what you sacrifice.”
– Unknown

Love you all!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 28: Welcome to Winneba and No Letter this Week

Max wasn't able to write a full letter this week due to bad connection at the internet cafe, but we were able to correspond with him a little on Monday afternoon while we were online at the same time. The transition to Winneba was tough on him. He likes his new companion, Elder Roberts, and expressed that it was fun to be in an apartment with 2 other missionary companionships (6 Elders sharing one apartment). However, adjusting to the new area and continuing to adjust to life in Ghana and missionary living has been weighing on him lately. We welcome and thank you for your prayers on his behalf as he sacrifices two years of his life to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In lieu of a letter, here is some information and photos about Winneba pulled from the internet.


Winneba, is a town and the capital of Effutu Municipal District in Central Region of South Ghana. Winneba has a population of 55,331. Winneba, traditionally known as Simpa, is a historic fishing port in south Ghana, lying on the south coast, 140 kilometres (90 mi) east of Cape Coast. The current member of parliament is Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin.

From pre-colonial times through the establishment of the British colony the Gold Coast, (Effutu) Winneba served as a port town between Europe and the-then. Fort Winneba was built here.

The main industries of Winneba are fishing and services. It is known for the Aboakyer deer-hunting festival in Winneba and its New Year fancy dress carnival/mascarading festival.The town has a rich musical tradition and currently boasts of several renowned musical groups in the country, including the Winneba Youth Choir, the Osimpam Ompeh group,and the Akoo show Choir. The University of Education, Winneba is one of the educational institutions in Ghana.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 27: Getting Transferred to Winneba

Ok, I’ll write something small for this week.

I am getting transferred to a place called Winneba. It is a beach town on the complete other end of my mission. Looks like a long day of traveling for Elder Janda. I will be going from a two man shack of an apartment, to a 6 man apartment. Hahaha.

Last week it was really really rainy. One day we finished a lesson really fast as it was staring to rain. So we went running through the streets of a little town called Doboro as the rain started dumping. Man, it was seriously torrential rain. So much that I could barely breathe. Like standing under a shower head but the shower head was the sky. Haha. So we ducked under a tin roof and put all our valuables into our scrip cases and took off in the rain again leaning over our cases protecting them (to no avail). We were walking through like ankle deep streams that turned into knee deep rivers trying to get back to the station to pick a tro tro. Hahaha. It was so cool. Really a fun experience. We got back home and we were so wet. I’m pretty sure we broke the rule of no swimming because of how wet we were. Literally nothing was dry except a couple things in my bag miraculously. My New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants were dry, but my Old Testament was pretty wet. It was fun. Adds to the experience. Haha

C——- and D——- will be baptized this week but I won’t be here... sad. They were pretty bummed when I told them... weird to think that I probably won’t see any of these people again until Spirit World. Haha. I told D——- that if I die first, I will be there to welcome him into the Spirit World when he dies, but if he dies, he better be there when I die, hahahahah, it was cool. First promise I’ve made to somebody that I can’t fulfill in this life haha :-)

So yeah, next time I see ya’ll I’ll be in Winneba!