Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Power Time!

In honesty, it's titled power time because I have no idea what else to put. I'll run over a quick summary of this last week since the network went out last week while I was writing my email. Totally sorry guys! And I can send pictures easy now since I have found a new internet cafe that is less uptight! Anyways, there should already be some pictures since the B's saved the pictures from my one broken SD card.

Anyways, I'm not gonna lie to any of you. That first week was a hammer to the face. God taught me a lot about what my mission is going to look like and how I need to value my companions and the Gospel at its most basic level. There are so many people here who have had their lives simply made so much better by the gospel in so many ways! Our branch is small, but I feel that it will grow so quickly, and that God will prepare the way for us.

I honestly don't remember a lot about last week aside from the fact that we were running around teaching lessons, I washed my clothes by hand for the first time and I felt less stressed each day. I do remember though, there was one day, when the first half of the day, everything fell through. All of our appointments for a few hours, and then our attempts to find other people to teach, and spontaneously visit other investigators (which works 90% of the time) totally failed. Afterward, we decided that God wanted us in another part of the city, so we took off and went to a part of town that we spend less time in. We contacted a few people and taught a lesson to a couple people about the prophets and the great apostasy, and they knew the bible so well! Elder Ojaide has great hopes for these people in the future! Later in the same day this kid named M, randomly shows up to Gospel Doctrine class, likes it, and wants to come attend our church! Not a super productive numerical day, but I think these people will be good for the long run.

I bought oatmeal! Like the best idea I've had in my life. More specifically oats and brown sugar, but it's the quickest thing I can make in the mornings. Most mornings I'll either make that, or pancakes from raw ingredients, and lemme tell you, they're good pancakes. MMMM! So good. Not quite Bisquick, but hey, it's Africa, and I make them from SCRATCH! And they're good enough that they don't need syrup! Ha! Take that pre-made food that I won't see again for two very long years! Aha, ha...ha...sigh.

Monday June 22
I learned that Elder Ojaide and I have no similar popular media shared opinions. We both like super movies, but which ones were good and which ones were shallow we totally have opposite opinions on. Also, he says Eminem isn't even a big deal rapper! He wrote Rap God and nobody opposed him with it! 

Tuesday June 23
Went on an exchange with Elder C, my zone leader. It was literally a blast. I love this guy, and he taught me a lot about making sure I don't get ridiculously stressed out. Mosiah 4:27 people:

 4:27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

I had successful rice water for the first time when Elder A made it for me and shared it, and I might make it in the future. Anyways, on the way back to the city, I learned we're the only ones on the mission with authorization to get on a boat (we have to take a speedboat across this river to get to most places outside of the city because the bridge is under construction). He also used an accent when he taught, and I started using one as well.[Funny story, I used it and my companion started laughing at me, but then when we were teaching later in the week and I started slipping into American again when he just looked at me and said "use your accent". People totally understand me better even though I sound like this mesh of Indian/British/African-thingamabob. The branch president's wife even told me I sounded Finnish. Huh] Then he took me around and we figured out where to buy food around the place. It was a fun and really chill exchange.

Wednesday June 24
We taught a few lessons and finalized John Jacob for baptism, and then got pulled into this super long family problem/discussion. We tried to give a spiritual thought on forgiveness, but they just straight up wanted counsel (which it says not to in the handbook) and we were there for like 2 hours cuz we couldn't pull ourselves out.  On the bright side, the family totally respects us as missionaries, and hopefully this will lead to this part member family opening their hearts to listen to us.

Thursday June 25
We confirmed a baptismal date for A! She says the 11th will be the day for her, but we are worried that she might end up going to Accra for work before this happens. Then for lunch, Elder and Sister B dropped by having made sandwitches from PEANUT BUTTER AND NUTELLA. I love them so much, they are my favorite people. They saved the pictures on my card, and brought us a pinapple and a mango, and apples and oranges and bread. God put these wonderful people in my life, and I hope he blesses them so well. I love them, if that wasn't made clear.

We also talked to this guy who was a member of this Kristo Asafo church of Ghana, and had this weird experience. He worships Jesus Christ, but places this prophet of this church above Christ!! It was totally insane, the guy was totally brainwashed. Had the unblinking stare and didn't take in anything we were teaching really. Totally trying to missionary the missionaries as well. Not sure what to think/do with him but hope and pray that God can soften his heart and make more room for Christ in his life. Then we had Doctrinal class.

Friday June 26
I accidentally messed up in a couple lessons by skipping a topic, but we'll call that the spirit because it seemed to totally be along the train of thought that these people needed. It definitely was, but more like God making a use of my shortcomings, haha. We gave out 3 baptismal dates this day though. I'm not sure any of them will keep them, but it seems like it might help these people at least to progress. On the way back I dropped my glasses in the rain without realizing it, and had to walk a path a few times getting soaked to find them again. Joy. 

After that we went to the Royal Senchi buffet! It's like this super nice hotel, and they do an expensive buffet on Fridays and Saturdays (about 20 bucks & considering I get like 80 bucks a month for food....) and it was so fantastic. We went with a bunch of other Elders and I ate four full plates of food. I was gonna get my money's worth you see. I was in so much pain, but it was so fantastic at the same time. There were these delicious potatoes, kyelewele, meats, oooh. It was not as big as Golden Corral, but the food was so fantastic.  Then when I walked out I realized that was the best food I would have for two years, and I had it at the start of my mission. I hope we come somewhere close to here at the end of my mission. 

We stayed with the Senchi Elders and had a good time with them.

Saturday June 27
Nothing crazy happened this day really. Cleaned the church, I was super exhausted, but it was awesome. We were worried there wouldn't be people to clean, but M & D showed up and tamed all of the nearby kids. (D is the Primary President). There were like 15 kids running around cleaning the chapel well, and it was just killer! The people here are so giving and willing to take time to help somebody else. This one kid was even sweeping the rocks in front of the church, making sure that all of the rocks were together and that the dirt was on one side, haha.

Sunday June 27
We had 8 investigators at church! I think we would have had more too, but it was a children's program at another church, which was a big deal, so people went to that, but promised next week. It was fantastic. I hope we can continue to pull that! We also had a baptism! And I was the baptist! For the first time, and it was pretty cool. I am out here helping people to covenant with God, just a super spiritual feeling! 

I also fried plantains! Holy cow, fried plantains are fantastic, when I come home, I'm gonna fry plantains all the time. It totally makes me feel like an unhealthy beast, but that's OK. Because it's so gooood!! Maybe put it in some rice, or ANYTHING. You guys need to do this. I am not lying please trust me.

There's the week. I also had fufu for the first time! I'm not sure what day though. It's like this ball of dough(made of plantains) and you just dip it in the stew/sauce and shove it in your face and swallow. It's not bad, and I know I'll come to love it. I had watche (wah-chay) today as well, which is like rice and beans. Pretty dang good. A lot of rice here. Anyways, I love you guys! I hope you know how much God does for you!

I think that is my spiritual thought for the week. It just keeps hitting me over and over again how much God does for us. It becomes so clear to me that I am not really the one teaching my investigators. I am a source of information sure, but nothing truly sensational or required. God is the one who prepares them, and blesses them with the spirit, and they are the ones who are choosing to act. In truth, my job could be done by anyone worthy. I am just lucky God is letting me be here to humble me and bless me with skills and memories that I will keep for my whole life.

4.52% See you in 95.48%! (Believe it or not, 4.52% is a lot, and I feel like a boss!)

Elder Harris

My first bowl of Fufu!!!!!

Me and Elder T and Elder Q when they came for the baptismal interview.

Me being super full after spending 80 cedis at the buffet at the Royal Senchi. I was in so many levels of pain. But it was worth it.

My first Banku!

This is me fanning the fire for Banku!

Me and my companion, Elder Ojaide, in front of the chapel here.

Me and Elder Ojaide at the baptism of J J!

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