Monday, November 7, 2016

"MAWHAGE!! MAWHAGE is what brings us here today!!" - The Princess Bride

Families are forever! At the temple with the Eluwa family for their sealing. Elder Tohouri is on the far left, then Elder Peters, the Eluwa Family then Elder Dy and Elder Okechukwu
First off...a couple of things we learned from his other emails this morning:
He asked about voting.  He told us that he hears a lot about the election there and that: “I’m sorry that it’s so bad there. I hear about it here. Everyone is kinda laughing at us (Americans). The world thinks we are all so stupid for raising Trump and Hillary.”

His companion Elder Tohouri is “really cool. He’s a great footballer and cooking stuff with Plantain in it. We have been eating plantain like crazy! It’s really good.”

His area Gbawe “is really hilly and we are teaching a lot of people. Missionary work here is slower because it’s a richer area and most people are at work all day, but we are working small small.”
He ran two miles in the 30 X 30 foot compound area. “My first mile was around 8 min, my second was 7.  I ran like 15:03! I was pretty happy with it considering that I was turning 180 degrees every 8 seconds or so.”
He sent us this link: to a video that shows some clips of what it’s like to proselyte in Africa.

So here is his big letter:

Dear Family & Friends
Some weeks I really have to think hard to come up with something to fill an email with, others SO much happens that it is hard to contain in one email. This week was one of those weeks. 
Learning to take care of a Chicken farm.
It started with an experience of trying to feed chickens. We have a recent convert family that we went to help feed their chickens and collect the eggs. As I stepped into the chicken barn (is that what you call it? it wasn't a coup, coups aren't the size of basketball courts...) I had all these movie scenes flash through my mind, namely parts from chicken run and when Mr. bean looses his train ticket in a sea of chickens like the one that stood before me. My job was to yield the beating stick (a broken palm branch) to shoo the chickens away from their eggs and to hold off the hoard from the little bins that we dumped their food into. 
The next morning I got up, did my personal study and hopped in a trotro to Odorkor to go on an exchange. I would be going with a young missionary (7 weeks old on mission) named Elder Uko from Nigeria. As I met with him to finish up companion study I wanted to talk with him to get to know him. I usually do this on exchanges for the first time so we can function as companions as best as possible for the day. At some point in our conversation he asked me a question that required me to explain that EVERYONE in Utah is a member of the church. I told him to imagine that everyone in this compound is a member and everyone in the next compound, everyone you talk to on the street, everyone in that shop over there. They are ALL members. I told him we have 2 missionaries in our stake of 8 wards, 200+active members in each ward. I have only had the missionaries physically in my house twice. His eyes filled with wonder and awe at such an idea. I went on to tell him that it's not as good as it sounds. I explained to him that people take the church for granted, especially the youth. Because they haven't seen whit its like to not have the church, they fail to see why it is so special. Many members ACT like they aren't members until Sunday rolls around. I told him I’ve never seen or had an interaction with a Baptist, Pentecost, Presbyterian, catholic, or Muslim until I came here to Ghana. He was shocked. What he told me next shocked me though. He told me that where he's from the Muslims aren't like they are here in Ghana; Muslims in Ghana are "nice". He told me about how, in his hometown in northern Nigeria, he has SEEN fathers conceal explosives to their kids and send them into Christian churches and detonate and kill everyone inside. He said, "Every week, before we walk to church, my family prays that we will be safe at church." He told me about how there are bands of thieves that will lay houses hostage and that do all sorts of brutal things to people. Kinda makes you feel sick the last time you made some excuse for sleeping through sacrament meeting huh? After talking to him about what the church is like in parts of Nigeria, how it is such a beacon of hope and light among darkness, I’m so grateful to have the gospel in my life

Baptism Day for Christina and Emmanuella

Saturday morning I got up at 5 am to go to the temple to see the Eluwa family sealed! It was so cool! It was the first time I have ever seen a sealing before and it was so cool! Made me think a little bit about what it will be like to one day be sealed to my wife. The man officiating the sealing was really really old and was kinda going a bit over the top with some stuff that he was saying before the family when to the altar and it reminded me of the marriage in Princess Bride. Hannah and Darlington's youngest daughter Jackie (2 years) was really frightened because she was the last one to go to the altar and everyone was looking at her so she started crying A LOT and so I got up and moved to the other seats behind her so she couldn't see us (it was just me, my companion, elder Dy, and his companion at the sealing) and the others followed so Jackie calmed down. Their two little girls will have their birthdays this week and so my companion and I are trying to figure out a little present that we can get them. 

Beautiful view of Elder Peters Area
Ok so I thought I had a lot to write about but I really am scraping the bottom of the barrel now. I bought Pricilla (a recent convert) a hymnbook at the temple. Also Christina and Emmanuella were baptized so that was awesome! 
Being a missionary rocks! 
Love, Elder Peters

The "Coolest Gingers" in Ghana...according to Elder Ngoy

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