Monday, December 26, 2016

"I'm gonna throw up...then I'm gonna die!" - the Grinch (or "Blowin' Chunks in Ghana")

Dear Family, 
I’m running out of ideas for good quote lines.
Last night after stumbling home in the dark for miles, after stepping into our apartment I took a drink of water cuz my mouth was so dry that was enough for my stomach to say, "I’ve had ENOUGH!!!!!"  and I booked it to the toilet and barfed for the very first time on my mission. I wasn't sick, it was just TOO much food! 

Earlier that day we ended church and went home to drop of Elder Condie (we had a weird situation where his companion left him and went back to the apartment with a priest in our ward) anyway as we walked into the compound this lady who lives in our compound came out of her front door and said, "It's my kid's birthday come take some cake!!" so we went in a chatted with their family for about 15 min and ate her cake then took Elder Condie back to the apartment and took off to the Quardoos house. their house is about 2 miles and a tro tro ride away from our apartment. they are from Ivory Coast and they made us Attekie (pronounced Achey-kay) while we were waiting I taught the group of people gathered in their small apartment how to play Uno. It was really funny because they got WAY competitive with it so if someone had to draw two they would really hear it from the person who threw down the card. 
Attike with the Quardoos

After the Quardoo's we went to the Anno family. The Anno family assembled themselves here in Ghana for the holidays from all over the world, mostly the United Kingdom and different places in the states. When we walked into their giant house at the top of MaCarthy Hill we found a fancy dinner table set with a roast Turkey and ham and stuffing and cranberry sauce. my eyes popped out of my skull, I haven't seen a dinner like that for a LONG time. They are a really nice family and invited us back with the entire zone tonight for dinner again. 
After the Anno's we literally ran (I’m not joking we ran!) down the hill to the Stake President's house. Elder Tohouri was done, he couldn't take another bite. I told the Stake president’s wife "bring it on!" no I politely thanked her for the food and I painfully enjoyed her very nice fried rice and salad with chicken. It was really good. But it was A LOT. Their family is really nice and I teach some of their kids in primary so it was fun to talk with them by this time we were running late and it was about 8:30 at night and the next person who invited us lived about 4 miles away up and down really big hills so we started our journey. It was getting later and later and the person ended up calling us and told us to come sometime next week. We apologized, and turned for home. On the way home we ran into Christiana Momoh's family and I gave them some of the snickers and milky way's that you guys sent. They LOVED them! 
Making the walk home my stomach was having a boxing match with the cassava, rice, meat and vegetables inside of it. After walking in the door I felt so relieved to be home.
Oh ya, I bought a giant box of these cookies at Melcom (like the Ghana version of Smiths, but not nearly as big or common) and I made a poster that said, "MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Missionaries" (photo at the top) and after church I stood next to the door and handed out 72 of these packets of cookies to members of our ward. They were all really really excited about it and I felt pretty awesome making so many people smile.
On Tuesday we had our Multi-zone conference that included Winneba, Lartebiokorshie, Kasoa, and Kaneshie (our zone) so about half the mission. we left to get to where it would be hosted in Kasoa early in the morning. We started out by having a program similar to what we would usually do in sacrament meeting around Christmas time. we read through Luke 2 and different missionary's and groups sang songs. At the end President Simpson gave us a small talk about Christmas and gave some cool history about where many Christmas traditions came from and explained why most of the Christian world celebrates Christmas in December. Following his talk, we were excused to eat a miraculous meal, it was mostly rice and chicken, but it was SO NICE. We also got some cake and after the meal we got to watch Despicable Me 2. It was really fun! 
Caroling at the West Hills Mall

Tro-tro full of missionaries headed to the West Hills Mall. Elder Peters is WAY in the back of the bus. 

On Friday I gathered the zone at the Weija chapel at 2 to practice the songs we had agreed upon to sing together at the West Hills Mall. After running through little drummer boy, and Afehyipa we walked to the mall together as a zone with our Santa hats. the first carol session wasn't that good, but it was ok. After the first one we had a little break and we found this guy with HUGE organ in the mall. We asked him if he could play Angels we have heard on high, he said, ya! and got right to it so we sang a long, pretty soon a crowd started to gather. this dude at the organ was GOOD, we would tell him the next song and he would just start playing it. he even knew Afehyipa! I bet there’s like 100 or more videos on Ghanaian’s Instagram and Facebook pages of us singing at the mall now. After we were done having our jam session with the Organ elder Tohouri bought donuts for all of the missionaries in our zone and we piled into a tro-tro to Kaneshie to go to the Accra West Carols night. All the stakes in our whole mission put together this carols night and it was really cool because elder Tohouri was able to see some of his member friends from Ofankor and I was able to see some people from Lartebiokorshie! The best part of the whole thing was that I got to sit with Elder Perry and just talk with him about different things we have learned as time has gone on and all kinds of different stories from our mission lives. It was cool to listen to the different experiences that he has had and how even though we haven't been together for a lot of our missions, that I was having very similar experiences. One thing that we talked about a lot was how nice it is to have a companion that doesn't make you feel like you have to choose to either make him happy or make the Lord happy. We talked about different times when we have had to really struggle and other times when we've been able to really rejoice. How things changed when President Hill left, when Pres. Snow left, and what mission is like now. It was funny because there were some stories that involved other people and we would just say, I've got a story, but I’m gonna have to save it for the plane! To me, that and talking with you guys was the best part of Christmas.
District Pizza dinner for Christmas Eve. Left to Right: Elders Navales, Perry, Makambo, Tohouri, Lundquist, Condie, Nyampong and Peters
On Saturday we had a little Christmas Eve party as a District and we pooled some of our money together and also a donation from Elder Lundquists grandpa and got 3 pizzas’, 2 cakes, 2 boxes of ice cream, and 16 sodas, and a giant bowl of fruit and told stories and ate together as a district.
I love you guys! and I loved Christmas here in Ghana! the fireworks were awesome and they aren't done yet! 
Love, Elder Peters

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