Monday, August 24, 2015

"Don't need reason, don't need rhyme, ain't nothin I'd rather do." - AC/DC

So I was able to have a couple of email exchanges with Brandon this morning and got a couple of questions answered about food, health and such…here are a couple of his replies that I wanted to send along:

Fist of all HE’S HEALTHY: “ I am doing pretty good with the food, I haven’t gotten sick yet, but I have heard about guys in my MTC group that have so I consider myself lucky. Ghana is da best”

I asked him if he needs anything specific sent to him and I got this: “I would like the rest of my contacts. I have a year’s worth but the sooner you can get them too me the better I think. I have been using them everyday pretty much. Also could you send some beef jerky? And those juice flavoring packets we take backpacking. Most food consists simply of cassava, beans, plantain and a lot of pepper. Sometimes I wonder if Ghanaians use anything to flavor their food other than pepper. We went to the mall to me it’s the equivalent of Albertsons but everyone here thinks it’s the nicest place on earth. And we bought a pizza for the African sisters and they were complaining about how it didn't have any pepper, and I said, ya but it has FLAVOR, isn't it nice? No wes da peppa? Uhg”

He could not get his Camera to connect to the computers in the cafĂ© where we was this morning so I don't think we'll get any photos this week :(  Hopefully next week!

So he sounds great and he’s loving the work as evidenced in the attached letter for this week:


Hey everyone how is it going? It’s been great to get so many emails from you all; I have been trying to respond to as many as I can but sometimes I run out of time. also I wanted to let everyone know that I went to market today and saw and talked with a lot of missionaries that are much more experienced than I, and it sounds like everyone went through a period in their mission where they didn't have contact with their families for anywhere from 3 to 5 months. This mostly happens when you are sent to the bush. So I will let you know when you won’t hear from me but I thought I would just give you a heads up. Don’t worry I will most likely be here until at least October, probably longer. So you will hear from me at least until then

So a few days ago we went on exchanges with the APs. Elder Jones and Elder Santho. If any of you know Ashley Jones she graduated in my class and was on the girl’s basketball team, it’s her older brother, he went to Davis high and I kind of remember him. He is really really cool and is an awesome example of a great missionary. My exchange was with elder Santho who is from South Africa, he is also very cool. I went with Santho to this mans house named Kwasi Gibbs. I contacted him about 5 days ago, he told us that he was Roman Catholic and didn't seem that interested but we gave him a restoration pamphlet and didn't think much more of it. But then we went back on exchanges and he has READ the pamphlet everyday since we left him, and was very very interested in the church. When someone reads something on their own it is a huge indicator that they are very interested because that never happens. It was really cool we then taught him about the restoration and he was listening very well. It will be cool to see his progress.

This week we will baptize 5 people on Sunday. Robert, Blessing, Emmanuel, Dorothy, and Isaac. We will also achieve 2-fers for the month. I will take pictures and try to send them next week but it will be really cool. Sister blessing was kind of a surprise investigator. She has been investigating and attending church for the past 4 years but she has been living with a man that won’t marry her and she doesn’t want to marry him, she has been saving her money to take her children and leave the house and she has finally saved enough. So after we baptize her this Sunday, she will run away from that dude. Pretty crazy story huh? Hope all goes well for her. These people truly are pioneers of the church here in West Africa.

I am learning more and more Twi. Still struggling with gha and ewe. I will walk by a big group of people and say mo ho te sen? And they will all freak out; did that white dude just speak Twi? What is this world coming too? It makes them laugh and they getised sometimes that they fall out of their chairs. Then they will doubt that they heard me and ask me if I speak Twi and I will say "debi" no. but I can introduce myself. Teach the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson, and tell people where I am from and that I was born on Thursday so my Ghana name is yow.

Some kids are afraid of me and it scares them to see me they cry and run away. Others are amazed and come up to me and touch my hands and elbows for some reason they think obruni elbows are really soft. I don't get it but hey whatever makes them happy!

Pretty funny thing happened the other day. Elder Leira and I were walking down the street were coming to a corner when a dog bolted around the corner and was then followed by about 30 goats and a cow. It was the weirdest heard of animals I’ve ever seen. I was fumbling for my camera to try to send a video but didn't get it out in time. You had to be there though. That kind of thing happens all the time. Roads here are all made of dirt. And they get these big pits in them that span the whole length of the road. They are pretty much whoopdy doos on a cross country course to be honest. It’s funny to watch trotros full of people on the road, they heads bouncing all over and the trotro honking at everyone. And the goats makes their weird little goat noises and scramble out of the way.

So we don't teach any lessons in houses. I have not been in a house other than my own apartment and president hills house since I have come to Ghana. I asked Elder Liera about it and he said it’s because everyone’s houses are so small they are embarrassed to let you in. I don't know why I didn't realize that before, but it makes sense because everyone lives in these little tiny shacks or their houses are stacked together in very tight spaces. Most of the homes I have visited in front of could probably fit into our living room. People here are incredibly humble and are ready to hear the message of the gospel. it reminds me of the story in the Book of Mormon when Alma and Amulek go to the Zoramites and they teach the poor people because they are humble and prepared to hear the word. One of the things that really attracts people to our church is the fact that we don’t pay our leaders and tithing is paid in private. Almost all the other churches here in Ghana pass that bowl around and the more you put in the more righteous you are.

A lady in our apartment got in a fight with our landlord and it went on for an hour. Man it was FUNNY! We gathered our apartment together and sang love at home the whole time so that everyone in the complex could hear. And dogs were barking, chickens were freaking out, the goats were just living their strange little lives. It was great. I thought to myself ha-ha its great to be in Ghana. And usually it is. But sometimes it’s hard. When you look at the mug in the bucket of cold water every morning and get ready to dump it on you head for a shower sometimes you will just stare into the bucket for a couple minutes because you don't want to do it and you think to yourself, wow this really sucks. I wish I was home. But the lowest lows always seem to be followed by the highest highs if you stay positive and keep working.

I went for a run the other day and it felt sooo good. I’m pretty sure it was really slow but it felt so cool! The whole time I was thinking, I’m running in AFRICA this is where the pros are, this is what its like for them. And there were woopdee doos, ahh and man it just felt COOL. Its weird to not run in short shorts though, those make such a big difference let me tell you. It was cool to hear about the highland invite, keep up the good work TEAM.

Alexa that backpacking trip sounds way fun. Cliff jumping takes some guts that is super cool. I love hearing from you. Rylee and Courtney are good friends be sure to try to keep and find good friends. Also realize that in junior high people change the most, try to change for the better.

James how is cub scouts? I loved hearing about you Lego creations it is one of the best parts of the things that I read during the week. Do you want a soccer jersey? Because I can find you any soccer jersey from just about any team on earth with any players name on the back of it for dirt cheap here so just let me know ok? It’s really cool that you picked my number let me know how you do ok? Be fearless my little bro!

Josh you ran a really really good time at Highland. I never ran that fast in a race. Keep focusing on the positive. That really cool that Coach Brad took some time to talk with you. Stay focused and happy, enjoy running. Do you have anyone you know in your classes? Are lawns taking a lot out of you or are you doing ok? That’s sad to hear about Coleman (Treadwell).  He's in my prayers for sure. Josh be sure to be a good friend to McKay during this hard time for him. If you focus on others good things will always come from it that is something I have learned about being on a mission. When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. And he loves to bless his children. So keep up the good work. Keep your chin up. Continue to learn.

Dad how’s work? That’s cool that Nater was at the Highland Invite, I bet it was fun to hang out with him. He sounds like a really cool guy I wish I would have got to spend more time with him before I left. I hope his son continues to improve. What home projects are you working on? I miss painting the tree house and building things with you on Saturdays. It’s funny what you miss that you didn't think you would.

Mom how are you? Is your preschool class going well? How many kids do you have? Are they all good? I think of you often. It mostly goes like this: man, I never thought that I would be grateful that I did all those dishes, but guess what? I am because I know how to get the dishes really clean, something other missionaries don’t. I am also grateful you taught me how to cook small meals and took me shopping in the grocery store all those times. I know I probably whined about it then but I can cook good stuff now and it makes a huge difference. Especially when you ask what are we having for breakfast today? Ahh fufu. What about lunch? Probably fufu or bankuu (warm fufu basically) and dinner? Fufu. Sometimes I get soooooo tired of fufu so I’m grateful I know how to mix it up a little bit.

Washing your clothes in a bucket takes forever! I was seriously considering buying a little washing machine today. I guess there are some missionaries that do that. But then I said to myself, I want gigantic calluses on my knuckles right? Ya who needs a washing machine Ghanains don't have washing machines, what weenie of a missionary buys a washing machine? It took a little convincing to not to but I did it, they only cost about 40 us$ so it was really tempting.

I blew my hair trimmer right out of the wall they other day. Ya so that’s shot. Sorry dad, guess those lessons on how to cut hair wont come in handy for now, but later I will buy one.

The work here in Ghana is amazing. I have had so many very spiritual experiences that have helped my testimony to grow a lot. Teaching the lessons you sometimes don't know what you will say, but then you will find yourself thinking of things and it’s really really cool to experience. I’m not really magic with words but I know that the spirit is. Man has good; he can convince you of anything! I love you guys and you are in my thoughts and prayers




Elder Peters

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