Monday, November 16, 2015

"Cuz this is AFRICA!" - Shakira

Welcome to Kasoa...

As usual, we were able to exchange a few short emails with Elder Peters this morning (at 4:30 AM) again and some of the little things he shared with us in them are:


She asked him about this picture:

The lady in the picture is the lady that we buy our 3 cedi fried rice from everyday for lunch. She wanted me to take a picture of her kid and I said “ok, if I can tie him to my back” and she said “ok”. I have learned something about how they carry the babies and I have learned why only women can do it. You have to have something to kind of hook the tie on your chest around and something for the baby to sit on. If you think about the anatomy of a woman that works, but men just can’t pull that off very well. That why she is still holding the baby, the tie would just slip down because pectorals just don’t do the trick, especially mine. 

Are you getting Grandma & Grandpa's letters that they send in the mail to you?
I am getting Grandma and Grandpa's letters, they are wonderful. I wrote them an email a few weeks ago and I’m planning to do it again today.

Are we going to be able to call for Christmas?
I will definitely get to call for Christmas, but the phone networks are really really bad here. I called elder Liera the other day in Abomosu and I could barely hear him and the delay was terrible. I can’t imagine how making a call on the other end of the world will be like. I need you guys to set me up a Skype account and send me the username and password and you guys need to set one up as well so that when I get online on the p-day around Christmas we can communicate that way. President hill approves btw. 

I found a guy that can sew kente ties, so I think I will have him make me a few for a Christmas present. What colors do you guys want?
Elder Perry, Elder Mantz and Elder Peters sporting their Kente Ties...Dad can't wait to get one.  They are SO COOL!
I just thought I would tell you that I had this craving for fufu the other day. I love that stuff. African food is the best. Almost as good as your food

TO JOSH: (and by proxy the Boys XC team)
This may be a bit of a stretch, and I hope that I am not being sac religious but we know that the atonement of Jesus Christ covers our pain and sorrows. Cross Country races hurt, physically and mentally. And when you think you can’t go faster, think of Jesus Christ. Know that the exact pain that you are feeling, he felt too and provided a way for us to overcome that pain. Applying the atonement into your race will give you strength and power. Just as if you were repenting of a sin. 

Finish strong and know that on that same day, your very proud big brother will be running in little circles around his compound in Africa thinking of you. You got this.

Dear Friends and Family,

Sometimes people will do things here, and I will ask myself, “why the heck are they doing that?" or "why on earth are they doing it that way?" Living in an apartment with two Africans they ask me the same thing, why do you iron your shirt that way? Why don’t you bust up your spaghetti into little chunks before you cook it? You’re ruining your egg, why are you mixing it up like that? Aren’t you going to put in some pepper? As I find myself wondering things like: “why on earth is that dude carrying a car tire on his head?” I have found my answer in the wisdom of Shakira: "Cuz this is Africa" they just do it different, but it works doesn't it? I have to remind myself of that every now and again.  Africa rocks don't get me wrong; they just do some funny things sometimes.
This woman looks like she's carrying a basket of Churro's on her head.  In Ghana people carry EVERYTHING on their heads.

We were biking home in the dark the other day and my companion misjudged the deepness of a stanky mud puddle and plunged into it with his bike and then his front tire twisted to the side and got stuck in the mud sending him flying over the handlebars into the water. That was pretty funny, but he stunk pretty bad.

We are working with a man named Jonathan and his son Emmanuel. Jonathan is older and we are helping him to prepare to receive the Melchezidek priesthood. Emmanuel is 13 and we are hoping to baptize him in December sometime. It is a struggle for them to come to church. Pray for them.
We are working with so many investigators that I could write a book containing their hopes, dreams, goals, how they are feeling about the gospel, our friendship, but I just want you to pray for Sis. Little and her husband in the Ghana military, Eddie, Desmond, that we will be able to find Foster (he is a referral that we only have a phone number for and we can't find his house)
A big chief in Kasoa died and they had a big funeral celebration for him. I learned that when chiefs die they have to bury them with heads so everyone was telling us to go home and hide because they were looking for people to cut their heads off. I don't know if it’s true or not, but we did see a bunch of dudes shooting their AK's in the air, sitting in a truck and they were beating on drums and had traditional Africa wear on. It was pretty cool. They were followed by a giant crowd of people carrying the casket. They don't carry a casket like we do though; they carry it more like its crowd surfing at a rock concert. Everyone passes it around and they parade it down the street. Funerals are huge parties here. I just asked a Nigerian sitting next to me if they really bury them with heads and he said “ya, they just kill people in secret, not in the open”.

On Saturday we had a mission conference with President Hill. It was sort of a devotional to Sister Hill. President Hill told us a story about how early in their marriage Sister Hill and him had a child who died in infancy. He said that Sister Hill wanted to talk about it; he wanted to mow the lawn. That is what he wants to do now, he doesn't want a lot of condolence letters, and his way of coping is to just work. He said the best way for us to show him that we care for him and Sister Hill is to work. I thought that the things he said were really cool. He also announced that our mission will be expanding its boundaries and we will add 8 new branches in Winneba which used to be part of the cape coast mission.  He will be with us until January, so we will be celebrating Christmas with President Hill.  (Elder Peters also told us that some Elders in his mission will be re-assigned to Liberia and Sierra Leone in January).
The Accra West Mission at their conference.  Notice the empty chair next to Pres. Hill where his wife would have been sitting.  Elder Peters is saying his mission is "Number 1" can you find him?
I went to church at Botchasey this last Sunday and it was really cool. I sent home a picture of the little school that we had sacrament meeting in. As I sat at the small wooden table where they had some butter bread and a small bottle of water and prepared then blessed the sacrament I had a cool thought. The sacrament is the most important thing that we do all week. As I knelt down and blessed the bread I was reminded of the last time I did this in my nice chapel in Kaysville that had carpeted floors and nice benches and recognized that these people here sitting in these wooden desks were making the same covenant with God that those at home make. Its not about the location, it’s about what we are promising to do. And it is so important that God wants as many of his children that have entered into the covenant of baptism to do this that he provides places for everyone to partake of His sons atonement. Dad, what you said about preparing the sacrament, blessing the sacrament, passing the sacrament, and giving the talk all on a seconds notice ya it happened. I remember when you told me that it would but I didn't believe you; it happened. And surprisingly I found myself able to run sacrament meeting on my own, I felt like Nephi being led by the spirit "not knowing beforehand the things which I should do". I remembered something that elder Liera told me: "if you don't know what to do, just ACT like you know what you’re doing. Acting is the important part, do something. Eliminate the phrase:"I don't know what to do" from your vocabulary. ACT and the spirit will guide you.”
Chapel/school house in Botchasey, the water bottles and bread in the sack are for sacrament.
Good luck at NXR Davis XC! You guys will own AF and Timp don't worry. I don't know much about how the girls are doing but good luck as well.
I love you guys and I will talk with you again next week!
-Elder Peters

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