Monday, September 21, 2015

"We should hang out...BUT HANGING OUT WOULD HAVE TO WAIT" -Kung Fu Panda

We got two pretty good emails from Elder Peters EARLY this morning.  (he was online at 3 AM!!!)

The first one is to answer some of Kaylin's questions.  The second is the general email that he sends to all of us.

We were also lucky to get this photo from his Mission President's Blog.  This was taken the day
Elder Peters arrived at the Accra West Mission home. He is on the left, Elder Conner Mantz is next to him
and on the right next to President Hill is Elder Mitch Perry.

Dear Mom, 

I really haven’t been to homesick because I know that this is where I am supposed to be, and you are all doing very well at home. That is not to say that I don't think about you very often, I think about you guys all the time, how you’re doing, are you happy, what you’re doing at this time of day. But it hasn't made me depressed. if anything when I think about you guys it makes me happy that I have such a wonderful family, even though I am separated from them, and I miss you, it doesn't get me down or keep me from working. I hope that makes sense...

I am very healthy. My six pack is slowly wasting away though. But I’m doing my best to keep it

I got my birthday package, I won’t be able to receive packages until transfers usually. So every six weeks I could receive a package from you. A few things about packages though:
- Thank you for sending me the Nutella, In Ghana sugar and cocoa are some of the staple food crops. I can buy Nutella here for much much cheaper than you can send it to me. I would rather have peanut butter if you can send that.
- The pictures were awesome. I love having letters and pictures to look at and read all the time. Could you send me a wallet sized photo of our family? I want to carry it in my white handbook with my picture of Thomas S Monson and the temple. It’s a good teaching tool. 
- Could you send juice flavoring packets for water? I learned how to make sobolo and horchata from elder Liera but I want to store them for use later.
- I love getting American candy. They don't like sugar here for some reason. One of our sisters from Ghana was eating a nature valley oats granola bar and she gave it to me to finish because "it doesn't taste good because it has too much sugar." and we all know that those are almost like eating cardboard. I’m serious they have hot chocolate mix that has everything but sugar in it. It’s called milo tea and it’s disgusting without sugar.
- Chocolate melts but it’s still really good. Pop tarts are amazing. Any American candy is really good. My companion got a bag of tootsie rolls in his package and at home I wasn't a huge fan of tootsie rolls but they tasted awesome here
- Please send me pasta flavoring packets. I can buy a heaping plate of fried rice with a piece of chicken for the equivalent of 25 cents.
-I’d like the Book of Mormon battles card game, or maybe Uno or both. I need a game to play for FHE's. It would also be nice to have a small book of Mormon and bible with a snap thing. Ya know the ones I’m talking about? It’s easier to carry around for proselyting. Also could you send John Bytheways how to be an extra ordinary missionary?
- I think I may be transferred after the 4 weeks but I am not sure, and I am not sure where. This is a 4 week transfer so it’s really short. The next one is an 8 week transfer so I feel like I might move, but really I have no idea. I will call elder graves and ask him what he thinks. 
- I can open your emailed pictures but his cafe is really nice so I may not be able to in the future. We will see, keep sending them though because they will open eventually.
- I can print things from emails. 
- I love you a ton. I have not been able to do grandmas name at the temple yet. I still have it, don't worry it will get done someday while I am here in Ghana. I was going to do it in the MTC but things were so hectic there, that we rushed out the door to go and I forgot it. 

Keep up the good work being an awesome mom! I love hearing from you, even the little details like our neighbors got a dog and things like that, and it gives me strength to think of you and the rest of our family at home. I Love you and think about you often. 

-Love, Elder Peters

Dear Family and Friends,

We had transfers this past week and my new companion is elder Ferrin. He is a really cool guy and apparently his parents are moving to Kaysville so I may see him when I get home. He is about 1 year on mission and he will complete my training. Elder Liera was an awesome companion and I learned a ton from him. I will miss him a ton. 

This past week was really hard. We contacted a lot and have been trying to build up our teaching pool again. That’s usually how it works I guess you work to find people, progress the serious ones to baptism, focus on them and help them. Now we are teaching a lot of recent converts and trying to find new people. We haven't been having a lot of success in fact we had 0 investigators come to church. OUCH that one really hurt. Especially when you spent your last appointments on Saturday reminding them to come the next day.

Elder Ferrin is from Lindon. He is a really chill guy, but he likes to work hard so we are doing well. We have been trying to find ward members and contact around the church building because then our investigators will have people to connect with and know where the church is. There are no addresses in this area, probably not in most of Ghana. So I have been trying to remember all the corners and places to go to so that elder Ferrin will be able to know the area. I get lost a lot. 
One time I was trying to find this members house to see if she could come proselyte with us. I asked the kids standing outside and few others around "sista nyanko wo ho?" a lady said "eye" and started banging on the door to the house I thought was sister nyanko. Then she gave us a chair and we waited. After some time another man went inside the house and told her to come out cause some obruni's had come to see her. We waited a little longer. I started to doubt that this was the right place. "The lady went in again and very impatiently in gha told her to come out now." I was really starting to doubt myself because I knew that sis nyanko was a really young lady who is very quick and bright. Finally an older very very pregnant lady, who was very dazed came stumbling out of the door. I felt SO bad, I greeted her and said "don't worry sista, we will go come ok? But you need to rest alright? I’m very sorry we woke you go back and rest now" and she slowly shuffled back in her door. I felt so stupid. Elder Ferrin said, "sister nyanko?" I told him once again I had got very lost, “he said ya I didn't think so, there’s no way she could proselyte with us. He then commended me for trying so hard. Usually a trainer will stay with you for all 12 weeks and if someone from the companionship is transferred it’s usually the trainee. So here I am at 6 weeks trying to show my companion around. We are doing better and will continue to improve.

This week was a lot of walking and getting lost and contacting whoever we can. I have learned to smell if someone is drunk, something I didn't know how to do before. As soon as you put on that tag that says you’re from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints all the crazies and drunks in the whole town want to talk to you for some reason. We have this guy who we will occasionally see but I have no clue what language he is speaking, and I don't think anybody around us understands either. He is nice but he sounds like one of those weird aliens in star wars and we always leave with a: cool man, we da go come ok? Also there is a guy who is deaf that picks up trash in his wheel borrow that can only speak sign language but he will come up to us and try to sign. I guess one of the missionaries here a while back new how to sign but he is always fascinated with us and we are always kind to him but it’s always a really awkward conversation because I have no clue what he's saying other than it makes him happy to see us. With drunks they always want you to teach them the gospel, so I carry around word of wisdom pamphlets with our phone number on them and give them to them and tell them, "you see this picture on the front, who is it?" JESUS! Very good, read it ok? OK. So we will see you ok? OK!!" I have yet to have a drunk call me or see one ever again. On our way here to cafe a guy stopped his car on the highway and stuck is head out the window to say OBRUNI!! Ete Sen? He almost got slammed by the trotro right behind him but luckily traffic in Ghana is prepared for such events. People are always so fascinated to see us. Sometimes it feels cool like when there were some people shooting a movie in our area one time and we walked by and everyone stopped, even the camera man to watch us pass. At the same time sometimes you feel like an animal in the zoo. Like you’re the feature exhibit. Then it doesn't feel so nice. 

I found a lady that sells jam so I will have my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a long time today, thank you for the peanut butter mom. Elder Onen, who lives in my apartment and has since I got here, also got a new companion from the DR Congo. His name is Elder Kayembe he is really cool and really good at football. I got a haircut to even out my hair this past week and it looks a lot better, actually I really like it a lot luckily my hair grows very fast. I found a better barber and he is a member in our ward so that’s cool. 

In my study this week I read the story of Ammon and King Lamoni. I never realized how good of a missionary Ammon really was, and how effective of a teacher he is until I read this with a missionary perspective. He does so many things right that we are taught to do as missionaries today. He invites the king and all his family to join. We are supposed to invite everyone in the house to join, usually this is a struggle because we sit outside. We taught somebody in their house for the first time the other day. It was nice because we got out of the noise. Ammon invites the king to read all the writings of his fathers since the time Lehi left Jerusalem. Basically he invited king Lamoni to read as much of the book of Mormon that they had at the time. Then at the end he invites him to pray, he doesn't say the prayer himself, he invites his investigator to pray. Read through Alma 18 sometime it’s really cool. 

Next week the email will be better and longer, I think I will try to explain Ghana English sayings and phrases next time, they are different from home but they are cool. When I get home and people ask me why I talk so cool, I will just say that I got my spiritual swag on in Ghana bro.

Oh my plan of salvation wooden thing that I got for my birthday was in Spanish, it’s really cool and I’m holding on to it, but it’s in Spanish just thought you’d like to know.

Alexa your dance sounds really cool. I love hearing about junior high and your friends that you are making. Have you learned any songs on my guitar yet?

Josh keep working hard, those varsity run pictures are awesome. Also the t-shirts this year are way cool looking, maybe they make a cool Christmas gift to a missionary in Ghana (hint hint)

James make friends with our neighbor’s dog ok? I love hearing about your Lego creations and I have been looking for new animals, but so far it’s just goats and chickens. I am sorry but I didn't get a picture of the octopus, I didn't want to offend the lady. But don't worry, I will keep looking for cool animals.

I love hearing from you guys, sorry my cafe time is so early this morning I will talk to you guys next week. I am trying to find things to send home with Thomas with you.


-Elder Peters

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