Monday, September 28, 2015

"Theres all this dough ya see, and its all under A BIG DUBAWYA!" -Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (With lots of pictures)

Dear Friends and Family,

This was a very eventful week. First of all we are currently teaching 3 people with alcohol addictions. that's why the quote about the big W. I always write the lesson next to the persons name we are teaching so restoration is L1, plan of salvation is L2, and so on until you get to commandments then its TI (tithing), CH (law of chastity), and (WW) the word of wisdom. I guess its really rare for someone to have this problem, according to other missionaries, because most people can't afford alcohol. So Francis has a family of 2 kids one girl and one boy, he is also married. (still need clarification on if he's actually married, that's a big problem here because of bride price) he came to us while we were teaching Abigail one day and asked us if we could help him overcome his addiction because he wants to send his kids to school. It was pretty cool, people will literally come up to us and ask us to teach them. We are helping him, we helped him create a plan and sat with his whole family and a friend named Sarfo and talked about ways they can help him, and ways that he can get help from them. I feel way unqualified to help someone break a habit that is so incredibly powerful, but I know that with Gods help, all things are possible. If anybody has any advice, it would be readily welcomed by my companion and I. also we had two dudes almost in a fistfight on the road, and we were walking by and one yelled, "Hey elders!" that always gets our attention because most people just call you obruni and they aren't serious so we don't mind them. They guy said, "help my friend, he wants to go drink and I'm trying to keep him, to tell him it wont do him no good!" The one wanting to apiteshi (alcohol in twi) got mad and stormed off, but we were able to sit down and talk with Stephen about how he can help his friend and taught him the restoration. I'm still not sure if he's serious because he has another church, but we will see.
Rooftop panorama of Elder Peters Area

On Thursday we went to clean out the hoarder ladies other gigantic storage room. the experience wasn't much different from the last time until we noticed some commotion at the Muslims house next door. They had a cow hog tied with its tail tucked into the knot and there were about 7 guys muscling it toward the gutter. (Oh ya its a dirt road so the gutter is just a trench that has been dug on the side of the road, its also the sewer for nearby houses.) I asked a kid what was happening. he said very simply, we are celebrating "salaam" (it is actually the beginning of Ramadan). Then they jerked the cows head around and dug its horns into the ground so that it was completely immobile, one guy started to move the fat around on its neck. A big dude dressed all in white, even his little Muslim hat was white, came walking out of the compound with a 9 inch knife. (here its called a cutlass, and its what people use to cut weeds down in front of their compound, slice chicken, peel fruit, and in the case of my companion, keep your mosquito net out of your face at night by jamming it in-between your mattress and the bedframe.) I thought to myself, wow are they really gonna do what I think they are? Yep. They did, and I have never seen so much blood! I felt like the kid in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex eats the goat and he says, "look at all that blood!" I got a good picture with the roasted cow head and my companion got a video of the whole ordeal. Its pretty cool to watch them move the cow around, but you may want to not watch the rest of the video, its kinda graphic. So we watched some Muslims saw off the head of a cow with a knife while it was still alive, turns out the dude doing the sawing is one of elder Onen's investigators so we went home with a plastic bag full of steak. They dragged the carcass onto a piece of sheet metal and started carving it up right there. He told us that the most prized part of the cow here is the intestines. We told him that in America the flanks are the best part. so he gave us one of the flanks. man it was SO good, and we didn't even get the runs from it that was a nice plus.
Elder Ferrin with some local kids sitting on top of the freshly slaughtered cow. It's a Kodak moment.
That night the missionaries enjoyed a very rare treat indeed.  Red Meat from the cow.  Thanks to the generosity of their neighbors who preferred the intestines to the Flank Steaks.
Elder Peters poses with the charred head of the cow.

I have been reading Jesus the Christ for the last 10 minutes of personal study everyday. It is a super cool book. I am learning a ton about the life of Christ right now from it. One thing that is interesting that i learned is that when Jesus Christ died it was literally an act of will. because he was born of a mortal mother he had the capacity to die, but because his father was immortal he could have lived forever. so when he gave up his life, he literally decided it was time to go, he could not be killed. Perhaps that was why it was so hard that he asked his father if he could find another way. It also helps me to even more fully recognize how much Jesus Christ cares about everyone of us, he gave up his own life for our sins and pains. Its something cool to think about.

We are teaching a lot of different people right now, most of them are still in that limbo phase where we are trying to determine if they are really serious or if they are just trying to please us. That is one thing that is hard, you can sit down with anyone. nobody will refuse to sit down and listen to what you have to say, whether or not they will actually keep commitments is an entirely different story. Sometimes I wish people would just say no I'm not interested than sit with us and listen to an hour long lesson, accept a Book of Mormon, say they will come to church and read, then not read or show up to church. But it is helping me sharpen my teaching skills and I am learning to answer questions in a way that invites the spirit and uses scriptures.

The missionaries on fishing boats after their football (soccer) game.
We went to the beach today for p-day and played football. it was really, really fun. I also took a bunch of cool pictures on some fishing boats.
Some locall fishermen and their kids play on the boats.

Looking super cool for the obruni photographer.

"That's my boat" Forest Gump a.k.a. Elder Peters ready to go fishing.  Notice the names of the boats are scriptures.  This one is Genesis 22:14 "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."  Why you'd name a boat that I have no idea...

I usually write out an outline and make notes during the week for my email home, but I forgot them at the apartment so sorry if this email is kinda flustered and out of order. this week I was especially excited because I wrote out how Ghana English is different from American English. I am most likely going to start using Ghana English in my emails because I am starting to think that way. They say you really have learned a language when you start to think in it. My twi is not as good as you think it is because I have been writing home that I am learning small, but really most of the time when someone speaks to me in twi, I have no clue what is going on, but I'm starting to figure it out "small-small". don't worry, next week I wont forget my outline.

A special thank you to aunt Kristen, Mia, Conner, Tim, and Bruce and Julie for the birthday cards, those were awesome.

Love, Elder Peters

We also got to exchange a couple of quick emails about how he's doing and here are a few cool pieces of information:

- $1 American is worth about $4 Cedis Ghanaian.  To eat three average meals a day cost's about $9 Cedis. 

- His apartment was robbed, but nothing was taken from inside.  Their stove runs on propane and the tank was on the outside of the house.  Someone came in the middle of the night, cut the hose off the tank and took it, so when they got up in the morning to cook their eggs, there was no flame on the stove. Nothing else was taken.

- They are trying to teach people how to hold Family Home Evening and he's been inventing games to play with the little kids.  Family night is hardly practiced at all among the members and they are trying to show them how to teach the gospel in their homes. He's looking for good ideas that he can teach people to do for little to no $.

- His companion is from Lindon UT and because they are both obruni they get charged extra for everything.  Nothing has a price tag on it so there is the White price and the Black price.  He's hoping his next companion will be African so that he can save some money. He tries to haggle with vendors but isn't always very successful.

- He was SUPER PROUD of his friends on the DXC teams who represented so well at Bob Firman over the weekend.  He LOVES to hear about how you all are doing so don't hesitate to write or send a photo of what you are up too. 

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