Dear Friends & Family,
I remember the first time I ate fufu and you really do just kinda swallow it. I’ve been trying to get Elder Christopherson some fufu. I guess that he had some of the powder mix fufu stuff in the MTC, that’s not really fufu though. we gotta get him some REAL fufu.(which is gotta be my favorite food in Ghana now) I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get a motor and piston home because I am having a lady in our ward teach me how to make it sometime this week.
Throughout this week we have gone to teach Pascaline. On Wednesday we went to her house and she excitedly ushered us inside. Where we met Samuel Offori! Her husband. We have been waiting to finally get to this dude forever! He was so pumped to see us. We were in a bit of a rush because we were trying to get to a meeting with the stake leaders so we didn't have a lot of time to teach him, but we see him more this week. Brother Alex Koffi and his wife Johanna are awesome and are fellow shipping them really well. Pascaline has learned a lot of English since I first met her, she is doing really well with that. Unfortunately her daughter Eva went to boarding school in Asamankase and so she won’t be back until around august I think. Sister Pascaline also has completely given up her tea and her husband will be working on the word of wisdom as well. We use the Book of Mormon story book a lot to teach their family. It’s so cool because it’s about as close as it gets to a comic book of the Book of Mormon. Every time we go we bring Leslie (a deacon in our ward who I carry on the back of my bike) if Ferrin or I can't explain something well enough, he helps us with the Twi. He will be an incredible missionary someday.
This past week we went on an exchange with the AP's Elder Vandehei and Elder Taylor. We took BANG! The Wild West card game (which is super fun) and Eddy's Pizza. It was a great night. Those poor guys are in a lonely 2 man apartment so we decided to liven it up a little! The next day Elder Taylor took me and Elder Christopherson and Elder Vandehei took Elder Ferrin and the truck (I don't know why Ferrin always gets lucky with these things). It was cool to see how they worked with the members in their area and the relationship they had with their branch president. It was also cool to see that at about 5 in the afternoon, they were struggling finding something to do to fill this 40 min hole that was left. it was nice to see that even the AP's struggle every now and again and just like the rest of us they have these thoughts, "I’m not sure what to do right now, I guess I will have to figure something out.." I think that a lot of missionaries think that they just have this awesome perfect area where they have an army of ward missionaries teaching lessons for them and with them all day every day. It’s not like that at all. It was cool to spend that day with them.
Elder Ferrin and I have been trying to come up with a cool zone activity for our zone. We have come up with the idea to have a bi-zone activity with Kaneshie zone and play pure water dodgeball and order pizza. We did the math and the pizza should actually be pretty cheap if everybody pitches in for it. More news to come on that one.
Elder Christopherson had his birthday this past Monday after I emailed home and I bought him a chocolate bread and cut it up and squeezed a bunch of fan-ice onto it and froze it small then stuck a match in it and we sang happy birthday to him and then soaked him with a bunch of pure waters on his way up the stairs to bed. I hope he had an OK birthday. I can't really tell if he is homesick, I think he is small. Either way, he's not letting it effect his work. He is a great tri-panion.
I had a couple of cool spiritual thoughts this week that I thought I would share with you guys. On Tuesday morning this past week my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed and said my prayers. I had this thought, "I don't wanna exercise today, I know I will just read my scriptures for a little bit instead...” I was answered with this scripture in 1 Cor. 6:19 "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" basically Paul was telling me to stop being lazy, your body and your spirit are connected. It you don't take care of them BOTH you’re not taking care of the gift that God gave you. Can you picture the Salt Lake Temple with belly fat? It would just be ugly. You see the awesome Moroni statue at the top, pan down the stunning strait architecture and as your eyes get down to where the doors are and the temple like bulges out on the sides with some belly fat. That would be stupid! It would ruin the temple. So I can't ruin my temple. So I whipped out my Muslim mat and jump rope and got to work.
I also listened to a talk by Hank Smith about being nice to people. I realized that I need to be a lot nicer to people, especially other missionaries in my apartment. I also realized that I need to have a way better attitude. He says something in the talk that I really liked. He mentioned how a really small thing was considered a miracle to his friend, and though the same thing happened to him he only has bad memories about it. It made him ask himself are their cut-offs for spiritual experiences? Can you picture Mormon assembling the Golden Plates: ok that story is lame, let’s take that one out, Aha! Ammon, this parts great lets through that in. (no I’m sure that he didn't do that) but I’m sure that there were a lot of other cool things that happened in the scriptures that we just don't know about. Perhaps the same thing happens to us sometimes. Maybe we miss out on spiritual experiences because we chose to have such a bad attitude that we didn't see it cuz we chose not to. With that in mind I have determined to try to write more in my journal about cool stuff that happened during the day and where I can recognize that help from on high was there, cuz I know it is. It's just way cooler when I notice it.
Alexa I have an idea for your summer bucket list: find a way to smash a cake, maple bar, or some sort of other pastry into dads head without him knowing you are coming! That’s my suggestion. Get josh and James in on it too. Dad you've been warned! We’re coming for you!
That’s cool that you guys are going to hiking. I long to go on a hike SOOOOO BAD! Unfortunately our leaders don't want us to travel far enough to get to any mountains right now. Maybe if I get transferred to the bush I will be closer. Oh ya on exchange with the AP's they basically told me I’m gonna be here for a while. In response to Josh's question about the family history, it’s not so much that people don't have access to the technology as people and their families haven't kept adequate records of birth and death dates. I interviewed a boy for baptism the other day whose mother gave birth to him while she was so drunk that she didn't remember where she was, what day it was, or who his father was. Filling out his baptismal record we guessed that he was 10 because that’s about his size. It’s difficult to go back very far in your family tree (most of the time, there are exceptions -mostly chiefs) here in Ghana.
Mom - I wanted to tell you about Primary here. The other day after a ward council meeting the primary pres. came and asked me to teach the primary some songs that I remember from primary. I taught the Book of Mormon stories with the actions and they LOVED it! They had never heard that one before. Ghanaians love dancing and the young kids love to play games with their hands. I will take a video of this little girl named angel and I playing this cool hand slapping game and send it to you. But because of this they really loved the Book of Mormon stories song. Can you think of any other songs that have cool hand signs and stuff like that? I thought of scripture power. Once there was a snowman wouldn't make sense here, neither would popcorn popping on the apricot tree (what the heck is an apricot tree?) if you could send me the lyrics that would be awesome
Dad - I went on exchange with the AP's. I learned a lot from that exchange. I also learned a little bit about my belief in God. I think there is a reason he wants us to call him Father, cuz his example is seen in our fathers. I look at you and my grandpas. I think about going to Grandpa Peters house and finding him under his truck with his overalls on covered in grease and dirt. When he finds out we are around he slides out from under the hood and breaks into his big grin. Gives us a nice bear hug and we laugh. Our conversations are usually not very serious, but I always learn a ton from him. It’s the same for you. I remember walking outside in the morning while you are lifting weights before school and we smile, crack some jokes, and I head off to school feeling great. And hoping in the car to go get something from Home Depot to fix our house together and just talking in the car. I firmly believe that God is the same way. I don't see him sitting on his golden throne making witty comments to anybody who comes to ask him a question, but I’ll bet he is usually working on something, building something, fixing something maybe he is even covered in celestial dirt and grease, and I bet he tells the best jokes. I'll bet he has a grin that just makes you SO happy, and gives the best bear hugs.
Shout out to Jaron Erickson, congrats on winning state! Also Congrats to The Darts both boys and girls for their state titles!
Love, Elder Peters