29 December 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear Family,

This week I get to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! Holiday season rocks. Holidays every week!

You cruel parents.. I thought you were serious about the car. I was so excited. >.< That would've been SWEET. At least you got to enjoy it while you were there! [we pranked him and sent him photos of our "new car!" (the cars we drive these days are quite old, but Dale keeps fixing them). This was a 2014 Cadillac SUV that we got a deal on as a rental for our trip to San Diego. We had him convinced--and didn't break the news until the very end of a long email.]

Christmas down in San Diego looks like it was fun! It's nice to see so many photos. :) So... When are we doing our first SD trip after I get home? Soon, right?

Next Christmas Rikki and I will be back! That'll be fun! It's a bummer that the Chargers lost. Lame. :(

This week was interesting! Some unique stuffs, but that's to be expected when it's Christmas! So, week 5 of 6 of the transfer went like this:

Tuesday: District meeting! Elder Kallon gave the instruction, and he did a good job. Then after the district meeting I had an exchange! I went with Elder Uata, from Provo, in his area, while Elder Lee went with my companion. It was a good exchange! I did a baptismal interview while I was up there, and it felt really good to be with Elder Uata; he was companions with Elder Kaiser, so we had some good things to talk about! The day started off with some failed appointments, but a member needed some help so we helped her! She needed help baking bread, so we spent some time helping her do that, mostly preliminary preparation stuff because of the massive quantity she was preparing. We also returned back after teaching a couple people and the interview, and we helped her with dividing the dough mound into 1 lb balls and putting them into the trays so they could rise overnight! Elder Uata stopped by this morning (Monday) with one of the loaves for me. :D I slept over there, and I had a good time!

Wednesday: We finished the exchange after studies and met back up with our companions. That day was lame as far as teaching goes, but we had a nice Christmas (eve) meal from Bishop Dadzie's family before we went to the carols night in Abura! :) The carols night was really cool, and if I could send you longer videos I would. Each ward took a turn singing with scripture reading in between, and at one point the stake president said it was okay to clap. What?!?! Yeah. So, I clapped! I didn't feel bad about it too much because Pres. Stevenson was there and clapped too. :) One ward had a uniquely African Christmas song that they sang with a drum and other noises! Awesome experience. I am in Africa! ;) That night I prepared some things for Christmas morning. Elder 'Atu'ake's really good about getting to sleep earlier, so right after he fell asleep I went and prepared gifts for him and gathered the ones you had already sent and put them under the tree! So I went to bed too late.

Thursday: CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) Well, I woke up and the door was locked. Sooo I figured Elder Judy was up to something, and I patiently waited. He set up a barrier at the end of the hall which allowed us access to the bathrooms and everything, and we waited for his go-ahead. We all came out and he had set up the sweetest arrangement around the mini Christmas tree. He arranged all the presents according to who they were for and added cans of soda and a bunch of other nice things to them with hash browns on a plate and a ton of pancakes in a pot waiting for us all. It really was a wonderful Christmas morning, and we took turns opening presents and then we ate our breakfast. It was a great Christmas morning. :) We topped it all off, after we got ready for the day, with a small apartment devotional where we talked about Christmas!
At our house we have a "stick of death" on Christmas morning (the line not to cross). This was their stick of death.
Christmas Morning  
Then we went out to proselyte... Well, we went up to Agona, but nobody was really around. So we came back to Elmina. And visited with a couple people, but we were hungry, so I bought Elder 'Atu'ake a nice lunch at a certain place we really like.. Good sandwiches! Then we came back home and I called you!!!! That was an awesome time. :)

Christmas Sandwiches
Friday: We went and taught people in Ankaase and Saaman! Not too many people were available there, either, but we did our best. We taught a newer investigator named Lydia who came to church a couple weeks ago, though she lives in a town in between Agona and Elmina called Bronybima. She was sweet, and we finished our day up in Elmina.

Saturday: Another exchange! This time I went with Elder Cardon to teach their people. It was a GREAT day, and we taught a ton of people. Lots of success. It felt really good to be teaching serious investigators again, and I had a good time during that day.

Sunday: What a miracle for us. So, we went to church. Barely anybody was there at the start, the worst I had ever seen at the beginning. By the end of Sacrament meeting the chapel was way fuller and we had 6 investigators there!!!! The best part is that now we have some serious investigators to teach!!! So it was a good day at church, and afterwards we taught a lesson and then had a Christmas Jollof rice prepared by Charlotte. Where I ate WAY too much, and my body is still suffering from it right now. We managed to teach another lesson and talk with some members for a while. Woohoo! At this point in our area, we've been trying to improve our teaching pool the whole time, and it's starting to become a normal area. Not yet, but a lot better than the beginning of this transfer. Just in time for me to go!

Transfer news is this Saturday so you'll be finding out where I'm going next week! We all think I'm gonna be going simply because of how long I've been with Elder 'Atua'ke. It's possible that something crazy might happen, but I'm probably on to other things. Things are getting a small bit better for our area, but we're doing our best. I need more sleep though. XD It was a good Christmas, and New Years will have some parties going on in Ghana! Maybe there will be some fun experiences to write next week! It was wonderful to talk to you on Thursday. Have a wonderful New Years and a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Price

30 second clip of their Christmas Eve caroling practice:




A few photos from Christmas Eve (from President Stevenson's blog):



Christmas Eve well wishes:


22 December 2014

Merry Christmas from Ghana

Dear Family,

Merry Christmas!!!!!!
I loved opening your email with a bunch of little notes from everyone! Many of them made me laugh (Dad, yours was possibly the funniest)! That's sweet that you all went running together. I have a feeling that Ryatt will be a better runner than me when I return home. >.< :D
As for that scripture. Hahaha, I feel like there could be a couple things that could remind you of me in that one! Which one in particular was it? Sounds like Ryatt had an awesome birthday. It's so weird for me to think of him as being so old, but I guess I'll accept it! I'll be happy to be there for when he receives the preisthood. That food looks so gooooood!
The Charger game: What a miracle! Hey! That's awesome!!!! Not pretty, but a great win! :D Sounds crazy. Just a bit more left of the season.
... It's going to be a good Christmas!
I'm happy that you got all the blog posts printed for grandpa. I miss them! I miss all my grandparents! Wish them Merry Christmas for me. And to all the cousins and aunts and uncles, too. :) I'm glad Grandma Ofa still knows me. :) It'll be interesting when I get home.
So strange to hear of all those elders going home so soon! I'm hoping I get to see Elder Pearmain and Elder Guymon before they go home, but this mission is big, and we already know I won't see any of those others until I get home. Crazy!
Plan on something like 6 pm my time [for our Christmas Day phone call]. It's not so stressful this time for me, I don't know why. It'll work out smoothly. I already got my SIM card! the call will be coming from +23350xxxxxxx okay? :D
My week felt pretty slow and lame during the week, but at the end when we totaled everything up it wasn't so bad. :)
Tuesday: No district meeting! We went to Agona for this day. It was a bit slow, but we managed to have some success. We didn't have a member to show us to new people, but started teaching a new guy, Daniel! He's a taxi driver, and he seemed interested when we were in the car with him once (he asked us first about stuff, and wanted us to come). We have our next appointment with him on Christmas. Strange, right? Yeah, they don't do much for Christmas here.
Wednesday: an exchange with Elder Iwuji into his area, Kissi! What a crazy time. We went over there early in the morning, and they met us on bikes. Yep. This was my first time riding a bike on my mission. Let's just say... It wasn't nice. The seat, the bike itself... It all needs some work done on it. My bum hurt for 2 days after! Also, my legs were way weak, so I have now recommitted myself to strengthening important muscle groups: Squat time! Every day. Let's see how many I'll be doing before I come home! The exchange was good; I went and did an interview for a good lady.
Thursday: the Christmas Devotional!!! Wohoooooo! Soooo it was good. We had some instruction from Pres. Stevenson, followed by some "team-building activities" led by Elder Julander. Honestly, it reminded me of scouts. Timberline was a long time ago, but still. ;) After those things we had lunch, which wasn't as much rice as I could eat, but I went and had seconds. hehe. We had some spiritualish musical showcases afterwards from different zones. My district all got up and sang "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" while I played guitar. Yep. I played guitar! I can't say I sounded amazing on it, and I definitely would not say that we sounded amazing, but we did okay. It was fun! I figured out the chords by ear and looking at a hymnbook, so that was fun to prepare!
Friday: We went to Ankaase and Saaman! Unfortunately, Abeku isn't progressing very much.. He was somehow sitting with us so well because he thought we could help him go to school, so we had to explain otherwise... But he still came to church on Sunday! Surprised us, actually. He's not ready, but maybe with time and more experience he will be. I feel like I've just been called to prepare people since I've been in this area... Also, I have a random note, there was something in the Liahona from an "Elaine Vickers." The name looks familiar, is it the Vickers from our ward? Just curious. That evening Elder 'Atu'ake was taking a shower and I had the bright idea of turning off the light to the bathroom (the switch is on the outside). So, it was pitch black in there, and Elder 'Atu'ake starts to make funny noises, first sounding like mario "is that mario kart inside there?" --Elder Judy. Then he proceeded to do the haka. In the shower. He was yelling and the rest of us, Elder Cardon, Judy, and me were rolling on the floor laughing SO hard! Ahh funny stuff.
Saturday: Chargers day, Ryatt's birthday, and my 15 month mark! Party! :) The day started off with the baptism of the Kissi Elders' candidate (which Elder Judy performed because the woman was HUGE). After that we went and proselyted! All of our appointments failed. All of them. Soooo we prayed for the best! We came across a guy sitting behind some structure, and I noticed he was doing something. We went up to him, and he had a burning joint sitting right next to him. I asked him what he was doing, "are you smoking a joint?" "yeah, Marijuana!" "why?" "I like it!" goodness. Elder 'Atu'Ake asked how much it was. Way cheap. Sad. But we gave him a pamphlet about the Word of Wisdom. :) That was mostly the day. We managed to teach some people, but it was a pretty slow day.
Sunday: Church! Only one investigator at church. I guess it's okay, we're working hard! We had a meal at Charlotte's house after church, and she had the tv on. Then came Pentatonix! The station played a few of their songs and then. David Archuleta with Motab!!!!! That was SO cool to see on Ghanaian television. Sweet Christmas music. :) We tried to talk to a bunch of people during the evening, and we managed to meet some really good people. Hopefully things pan out!
Monday: Nothing much so far today. Just an emergency trip to the nearest toilet that was really far away during the middle of emailing! :) We're in Cape Coast today running some errands.
So, during this Christmas season. I forgot to send ya'll a Christmas letter. Sorry, yeah? So I'll add a thought or something like it. This season is really about Jesus Christ. It's so unique to be here in Ghana for this time for the year because they don't really celebrate Christmas very much. I feel like I can relate it to the way we celebrate the 4th of July, except with a touch of Jesus here. They don't really stay in their homes or have trees or lights hung up or have those familial traditions that we have so much of. But this is still a season to celebrate the birth of Christ and the amazing life He lived. We have been blessed with so much, and it really doesn't take much to remember Him. Of course, the sacramental prayers talk about how we remember him all the time, but a special day for his birth, I feel, is a more special way to show our love for Him. Our family traditions bring the spirit, and the spirit is what Christ has given us in his absence. I know He loves each one of us. Thank you for all the support you all give me, and have a wonderful Christmas! :) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Talk to you soon!

Love,
 

Elder Price

15 December 2014

Trumpet Hymns

Dear Family,

Hi!! Happy Monday! :)

Wow, great stories in your email this week! I loved reading it. :) It's really cool that you went to Elder Conners' homecoming! That guy is a good friend. And maybe Pres. Kirkham will come to my homecoming? ;) Crazy to see Elder Widdison and Elder Conners standing together like that.. Whoah.

Those gifts to Ryatt sound awesome! [we celebrated Ryatt's 11th birthday a little early] What is Destiny about? What's it like? To be completely honest, I miss video games. >.< But hey, it's okay. Don't worry, I won't turn into a video game addict when I get home. Just a bit of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. hehe. Nice costume for Dad! That's cool that Bro Adam's borrowed those pictures. I still recount things about my home teaching experience to various people here in Ghana! [Brother Adams was Rain's home teaching companion for years--a great mentor.]

I'll let you know if I think of anything I need (besides pens).

This week was decent, though it wasn't quite as great as last week. It's funny to see my morale depending on how good of a week we had.. I really am a missionary! ;)

Tuesday!
Well, it was a day that had some good plans. That's gotta count for something, right? ;) We had our district meeting, combined. It was good! After the meeting we had a coordination meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, Eddie. He's ripped and huge. And he's a rapper. "when it comes to rap, I'm sick" and "when it comes to bodybuilding, I'm sick" has been flying around our apartment ever since. :D He's a great guy. It was great to get to know him, even if the meeting took 3x as long as we expected it to. After the meeting we received a call that something in the apartment was going to be repaired, so we had to return to the apartment and be there while people were doing various things. Woo hoo! So we got out pretty late. I taught Elder 'Atu'ake how to play a couple games during that time, though. :) We got out and ended up teaching a less-active's brother, who spent most of his life in Liberia. Though he was somewhat stubborn, I was reminded why I learned so many scriptures in Liberia. :) It felt good to have a more Liberian lesson again. :D

Wednesday:
Not too much, we had a ton of failed appointments. We did our best... I didn't really write any notes of the day, but we had PEC and set a ton of appointments. [and apparently he ran across some musicians that let him play their instruments:]


Playing hymns on the trumpet

Thursday:
We went up to Agona! We haven't been able to find the people on that list yet because we haven't had a chance to have our members take us around and show us who they are. But we taught a lesson! Honestly, Elder 'Atu'ake and I were both exhausted after the taxi ride. Sometimes that happens, y'know? Headaches and stuff simply from the ride. In the evening we visited the bishop's family! They're good, and Elder Cardon taught them how to play Uno, though they say it in Fante: Baako. :)

(hey! Right here I made a note of some good foods to send me: cookies and cream hersheys, redvines, and cranberries. I love cranberries.)

Friday!
Well, we went up to Ankaase and Saaman. Elder 'Atu'ake wasn't with me because he was supposed to be going to Takoradi to have his non-citizen card renewed. So I went up there with the zone leaders! 3 missionaries! Right as we walked into Saaman (with our member, Eric) we managed to have every single, and I mean every single appointment that we had planned fail. Every single one. In like, 30 seconds. We walked to the first house, asked if the man was there; he wasn't. We turned around and a less active was passing there and he told us that he was going. Then we checked Abeku, the investigator with a baptismal date, and he was gone too. So.. There I was, with 2 other missionaries and a member, and we didn't have any plans. So I took a second and prayed, and then I suddenly remembered one less active, felicia! So we went and found her, and taught her! I wasn't sure exactly what we'd do after her, but I held strong and we taught her. Right as we were walking away from her house, Abeku was passing by. So we went and had a lesson with him! A really long lesson. By the time we were finished we had to go back to Elmina to meet with Elder 'Atu'ake (and he didn't actually get it renewed. Next week?). We tried to get some stuff done. And then we went to the Elmina Beach Resort to enjoy Elder 'Atu'ake's one year mark. :D I bought him a pizza. We were both broke because it's the end of our sub, so I used personal. We had a great time! :D
Happy One Year of Service, Elder 'Atu'Ake!!
Looks like Elder Price is eating pizza with fufu-style fingers
Saturday:
Started with a weird baptism! A couple of child-of-records in our ward. One of the girls, G., was too scared of the water and the water was too low, so hers will be postponed until January. We ended up finding Christian (after a REALLY hard time to find him) and he helped us for the day. Not too much of note for this day.

Sunday:
We didn't really have a ton of people at church. Elder 'Atu'ake and I blessed the sacrament. We had one investigator at church! L, the sister of a return missionary. I'm excited to start teaching her! We had a good day of talking to people, and we did our best.

Monday (today):
We had a zone activity! We all played football (soccer) and frisbee on the beach on the coast side of the Elmina castle! It was a cool activity, and it felt good to run like that again. :)


The missionaries I recognize: Elder 'Atu'Ake on the far left, Elder Price in red, Elder Cardon representing Washington in his Seahawks shirt, Elder Judy in black, and Elder Lee representing California with his In N Out shirt.

So, that's pretty much it for this week! We're really busy, but that's not a bad thing. I'm doing my best to improve and work and all that stuff. :) We have a Christmas devotional coming up, so that's going to be great! Thank you so much for your support and everything. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Price

08 December 2014

A Funny Week

Dear Family,

Hi! Happy Monday, everyone!

Soooo my week!

Tuesday was pretty simple, and you were right, we did have our district meeting at the nicer chapel! Even though that chapel isn't in any of our areas… It’s just better there. :-) District meeting went well, and I gave the instruction on fear, using some various quotes from different talks. It went really well, and the other guys in the district participated a ton which always adds to the meeting. I gave one of the sisters some money to make me some Nigerian food, and I'm going to type it, but I know I'm going to ruin the spelling.. It's pronounced something like this: Egushi or Egusi. It's eaten with Eba (again, the spelling is probably wrong), which is garry soaked in boiling water so it becomes a stronger texture that holds together. I'm excited! She's going to bring it to the combined district meeting tomorrow. After the district meeting we went and ate lunch with Elder Iwuji and Elder Kallon at a chop bar, just the normal fufu stuff, and we went proselyting. Some slow proselyting, but we got a little bit done. We finished the day with a meal from Auntie Vick, the place with the little kids and we have had FHE there before. Sweet meal, some banku. Yum!

Wednesday turned out to be pretty productive. Christian came with us for the day. He took us to a BUNCH of people, and it's blessed our proselyting so much. It was seriously a miracle. We saw a few people, and then we had just some small time before PEC, so Christian, who is a huge history buff, took us to the fort on the hill (not the castle, it came from a different country) and gave us a tour with history facts. I got some sweet videos and pictures from it, including the panoramic that I'm sending today. :)

Those will be memories that I'll always love! Though you can't hear the talking very well in one video because we were standing at the top of the fort. The top of the fort. Highest place. CRAZY to look out on all of Elmina and more! That was mostly the day, PEC was pretty plain, though I did find a new scripture that I like: Exodus 18:18. If you don't get it, read the rest of the chapter around it. It's a cool story, and a great example of leadership. I know that Jethro isn't exactly the prophet, but he gave some pretty wise counsel! Oh yeah, another thing that happened this day was basketball! I saw a member playing some street three on three with some other guys, and I switched in for him. I didn't play for very long, but it was GREAT to play again! Ah, I like basketball. Too bad I was never very good. :) It was funny to have a white guy in a white shirt and slacks playing basketball with some Ghanaians on the street!

Thursday was our Agona day! We actually decided to go all the way to Ekutuase this day because we hadn't seen our recent convert out there in a long time. We visited her, and she was really grateful to see us. We got to see her school in action! All the kids with their desks. They did a sweet closing exercise! They all lined up and prayed, recited psalm 23, sang a hymn, and then listened to Sister Agnes since she's the boss. It was really cool! Funny story: so I needed to use the restroom, but just to go #1 (haha, I feel like a child in my awkwardness to tell this story). Not thinking of my word choice, I said I needed to use "the toilet", not remembering that here in Ghana it works better for me to say "urinate" (yep, Ghanaism. In Liberia you'd say "peepee" to be more understood and polite). We were then guided halfway across town to her sister's house which had a toilet, which is kinda like a really deep hole with a cement top on it with cement shaped for you to stand/squat on, and they gave me some toilet paper. Don't worry, the thing had a door, but the funny part was that they took us all the way there. I had tried to correct it, but I wasn't able to, so I decided just to roll with it. I just stood in the little room, watching my watch, waiting until it would seem like a rational amount of time, when in actuality I was just standing there, doing nothing! I walked out eventually and just rolled with it, laughing inside because of the misunderstanding. :) The rest of the day was pretty slow, though we saw a few people in Agona and then later a village on the way back to Elmina called Bronybima.

Friday was slowwww but that's okay. Ankaase and Saaman day! But Abeku wasn't around, so we tried to see as many people as we could up there, though most of them were gone. ... We went in to Elmina afterwards, grateful for the little miracle. :)

Saturday was fun! We saw a bunch of people. We were trying to have Christian come with us, but we couldn't find him, so we ended up walking alone for most of the day. We managed to get a couple lessons, including one with a lady for the first time. This one is of note because we were sitting there talking to her when she started telling us her concern about not being able to read. We understood fine, and I asked her how she learned so much English without going to school. She replied with, "oh, I lived in Liberia for 18 years." What?! Boo yah! We then proceeded to talk a bunch about where in Liberia she lived. She lived in West Point for a while, but then she moved to Point Four, Popo beach, my first area!!!! She came back to Ghana in 2010; she's Ghanaian. It was great to talk to her, and I miss that accent so much. :) That afternoon we came across some kids playing two on two football/soccer. Elder 'Atu'ake and I decided to join in for a few minutes, and we had tons of fun! Playing football with kids is the best. :)

Sunday was a pretty small day for the Elmina ward. Not too many people actually came to church, which was a bummer. Christian came with us this day, so he took us to a bunch more people that we can teach! Woo hoo! More and more investigators! :D Plus some really great contacts. At the end of the evening we were by the church talking to Monica's family (we've gone there for FHE before) on the main street (they were sitting on a bench there). There was a woman selling more toy-like things, including yo-yos, so I proceeded to use a yo-yo and do a bunch of tricks. It was a plastic not great quality yo-yo (what would you expect?) but it lit up when it was spinning and could sleep so I could do more than just up and down with it! All the people were amazed by it. :) I'm sending a couple photos of that today, one of them you can obviously see it, the other one has the red swirly squiggly line from the yo-yo spinning and moving at the same time with the light! It was really fun! The woman selling gave one to me as a gift because of the whole scene. There was a small crowd gathered to see it, and they were all trying to do it after they saw me... At least that talent came in handy sometime in my life, right? ;)



Other notes... I ate orange rolls! MMMmmmmmMMMMmmm... See included photo of me "microwaving" them. ;) Also, random note: I'm almost out of lavender, peppermint, and pasttense.
He said he was heating up water for "ramen" noodles (indomie), and warmed his rolls over the steam.
It was great to see how much this area improved in one week, and I know that the Lord is helping us. We've been pushing really hard, and finally we had some numbers that I am not ashamed of. I'm praying that things will continue to be strong, but in any case this has helped my morale. :) Thank you for your support! I pray for each of youuuuuu! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Price

PS okay, so the bus was just this beaten up bus that Elder 'Atu'ake and I came across and decided that we needed pictures on. :)


[On another note, I asked him if the hand in the "Foreign" postage photo from last week was his or his companion's, because it was so dark]. Yeah, so... That hand in the postage picture is mine. I'm getting dark, right? :D I even noticed how dark I looked after I took that picture. It gives me a little bit of hope since being around darker people all day makes me feel really white.

01 December 2014

Thanksgiving Pie

Dear Family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Haha, I loved this email. "Happy Thanksgiving! . . . Chargers update" The best. [I wrote his email during the last quarter of the football game yesterday, so the letter was interspersed with game updates.]

The pigs tasted great! Christian basted it with some stuff. [see photos in last week's blog post].

I did get the DHL box! :D I also received... Everything else. All the packages. All at once. More on that in a lil' bit. :)
Sweet costume! Ryatt's awesome for being willing to do all these fun things! All that sounds really cool. I'm glad you enjoyed your Thanksgiving! It looks really nice! ...Thanks for the pictures of you and cousins!!!

The game: Thank you for the great update!!! WE WON! It sounds like an intense game!!!!

Soooooo here goes the week!

Tuesday! We had our last district meeting as Abura district. :( That was a really sad day. The meeting started really late because nobody had a key to the building, so we were just sitting outside waiting for the bishop to drop the key off. We were waiting for quite a while, and one of the sisters had the idea to start singing Christmas hymns! So we opened up our hymnbooks and just started singing the Christmas songs in the hymnbook. :D It was really nice.
Abura District, 25 Nov 2014
We got in the building, and it was time for the meeting! Things of note in the meeting: Everybody bore their testimony because the district was being abolished, dissolved, eradicated, demolished, destroyed, pulverized by authority, extinguished (you get the picture). It was really sweet. Our district has grown really close, and we're great friends. The testimonies were sweet, and then we sang an intermediate hymn. Next, I gave instruction! It was a really good one on improvement. I feel like it may have been the best one I have given, and we talked about what it takes to improve. We talked about the fact that people justify themselves, but that holds them back. I used quotes from several recent talks, "Lord, is it I?", "approaching the throne of God with confidence," and one other that I now forgot. We addressed things that we struggle with as missionaries, and we discussed how we can improve them and what it takes. Many missionaries get defensive when we talk about improvement, but the great thing about that was that I started with why we don't self-evaluate ourselves, and people gave two main reasons: Pride and Fear. We talked about those for a while, and I had written them on the board. Then I erased those and said that we were going to not have those two things right now. Then we proceeded to name things that we can improve on. It was just a really good, truly edifying meeting. :) The rest of the day was mostly a waste. We spent time with Elder Moleme as he died. [metaphorically--it was Moleme's last day on his mission.]

Wednesday: Transfers! That didn't change anything for me and my companion, but it changed our apartment! Elder Moleme is home, and Elder Cardon is now with us! Woo hoo! He's cool, and our apartment will work hard. The day as a whole was pretty tiring, we knew a few people to see, though when we tried to see them they weren't there.

Thursday: THANKSGIVING!!!! Though we didn't do too much. We tried to see people in Agona, but it was pouring, so we weren't able to see many people. That evening we went to the Elmina Beach Resort and ate some apple (though I think there were raisins in it?) pie and ice cream. It was nice :)

Friday: Soooo we went to Ankaase and Saaman! Great day! :) We taught one of our investigators that has been coming to church the past month from Saaman, ever since we started going there. The coolest part is that we gave a baptismal date to him. But we had to write it down because he can't hear. He reads lips!!! We didn't really know it until he explained one day. I just thought he didn't know English and maybe didn't understand our teaching completely! No, he's great, but he can't hear! He lost his hearing as a boy, in 4th grade or so, so he knows English, though the intonation is a bit off. Baptism set for two weeks from now. Now we just need to finish teaching him! :)

That night we returned home and were preparing to go out again, because we still had a couple hours. When we were about to go out the APs drove up with the zone leaders (Judy and Cardon). Those two quickly packed their things and they dropped off packages. all FOUR. 1 for my companion, and two padded envelopes and 1 box for me! Woo hoo!!! :D :D It was the best!!!! We truly enjoyed the packages. The zone leaders went to Winneba or something for a baptism of Elder Cardon's peoples, so it was home alone day! Nothing too exciting, except the fact that those packages were SO sweet. I LOVE the music, too. Thank you SO much, family. :D

Saturday: it was a really slow day. The members all went to the temple (why can't we?!?!?!?!?! Even the members ask us that! Blahhhhh..) so we tried. We sat on a bench on the beach for a couple minutes, and there were some kids playing with fireworks on the sand. Funniest thing, just some flowers and firecrackers. They have fireworks here!!! The handbook says not to use fireworks... okay, well, moving on. I sent you the picture of me playing pool! That's because we were just walking around when I saw these young guys playing. I decided to play a game against one of them. They wanted to play for money, but I said no (in Fante, because they didn't speak English and I'm trying so hard to learn Fante). Anyway, I played the game. And won. Boo yah! :) I told them all to come to church. They didn't.. haha..



Sunday! Church! The BEST DAY EVER! a ton of the stake people were there and... THEY ORGANIZED AGONA GROUP!!!!! So now it's completely official, and asap they will be worshipping in Agona! :D They named all the members up there. 101!!!!! One hundred and one!!!! So now we have a bunch more people to find and teach. :D :D :D anyway. Christian, that awesome recent convert, gave an AWESOME talk, too. Hilarious, but awesome. The bishop told him he had used up his time and he had to finish, it was funny! He shared some very strong and true points about the church and his testimony as well as the responsibilities we have as members. Great times. The rest of the day was pretty plain, we found some members' houses and talked to people. Still a slow area for now.

And today: Mellow day. I wrote you, Mom, a letter today! It has a bracelet in it for Ryatt, but I hope that doesn't tear the envelope.
Anyway.

This week was pretty hard, honestly. I'm so tired. We just don't have people to teach... and that's the hardest part. If we had people to teach, I would feel comfortable wherever, but the hard times step in when we don't have stuff to do. Amazing things with Agona are coming, and it's a miracle that A. is so close to baptism. I'm trying to work hard, still! :) Thank you so much for the support; I can't tell you how much those packages and letters mean to me. Have an awesome week!

Love,
Elder Price

24 November 2014

Transfer News

Out With the Old and In With The New!

Hey Family!

Just kidding about the new part, I'm stayin'. :) Hahaha, Elder 'Atu'ake and I get to spend Christmas together! I'm excited. But transfer news was much more than that. They changed the zone. No more "Abura Zone." It is now "Elmina Zone." The Abura sisters, my WHOLE district, is now in the Cape Coast Zone. Blah. And our zone is taking in the Ola sisters, but they're going to be in the other district in the zone, Bakaano district with their district leader Elder Stoddard. My district will now be having Elders Iwuji (Iwugi?) and Kallon in Kissi (Nigerian, Sierra Leonian), Uata and Lee in Ntranoa (Tongan but from Provo, Seattle native), the zone leaders Elders Judy and his new companion Cardon (Arizona, Washington (I think?)). That's us! All elders. Hm. Been a while! Hahaha, things will be different, but I'll still always do my best. Transfers take place on Wednesday. Our district meetings won't be in the Abura stake center anymore, but we're going to see if we can do our district meetings in Ola, which is a nice chapel too. That's basically it! All my friends are goneeeeeeeee. hahaha.

[Are you feeling better yet?] Somewhat! I still have a weird sinus/nose situation, but it's okay. I'm feeling stronger and my eyes aren't bothering me anymore.

I'm glad you enjoyed those pictures I sent to you!

Elder 'Atu'Ake and Elder Price
Sister Nakafeero (Uganda) took them, and I figured you'd like them! :D [the photos above]

I'll answer your other photo questions here:
Randomly in our area we have bats! So strange. Apparently they've been there for a really long time--years. 
That's a spaghetti prepared by our recent convert, Christian. I guess I didn't send the spring rolls picture.
Anyway, he's a professional chef. #truestory
1 of 5 Spider pics from a couple weeks ago
[Where did you spot this spider?] on one of our buckets. I trapped it on some water and took some pictures! It's a freaky spider... *shiver*
That boy was wearing a 3 piece suit! Funny guy, too. Knows good English!
Back to my email :):

[in response to my San Diego Chargers game report:] That's SICK! That's so great! :D Thanks for sharing the game!!! (plus the orange rolls... Danngggg I miss those. Glad I get home in time for the holiday season next year) That's an awesome play by Gilchrist! WINNERS!


Well.. Thanksgiving might be better than mine! We'll see what we can muster up here in West Africa! It won't be as good as last year's, but I can hope it's decent. Rikki and I are BOTH gone for this one, too! Ryatt really is an only child. Empty nest syndrome starting to nudge in, Mom? ;)

Okay, let's get down to my week. Ready? Ready. Here we goooooo!!

Monday: [How did the beef dinner go last Monday night? Celebrating Judy’s 18 month mark.] It went great! It tasted really good. Though I was exhausted.

Tuesday: Yeah, so that buildup to this is really anticlimactic. Sorry. Tuesday I slept. And kinda made it to district meeting. And then went back home. So much, right? I know. :D haha..

Wednesday: Another day! So, Elder Baldwin and Elder Loader (who almost died of Malaria, literally.. Did you hear about that story?) got permission from President Stevenson to come show Elder 'Atu'ake and me our area. That was sweet! Then we went to PEC. I mailed a couple of letters this day... one to Dean (yep!).

Thursday: We went up to Agona! But it wasn't a very good day up there. So many people have traveled.. Various places, but they're just gone. It's so frustrating. I took the pictures of me washing on this day!
"Yes! I was helping them wash. :) I can wash, sheesh!"
I recognized the laundry photo as the same place as this food prep photo from a couple months ago
 (one of my favorites)
It's the same place, yes, they are some members there! That girl with the palm nuts is a member, and so are a couple of the others. Yeah, they don't usually let men do it, especially not white guys. But I just told the girl to move, so she did, thinking I was going to just use her chair as a seat, but then I sat down and started to wash for her! She went to preparing the cassava and plantain for fufu. :)

They gave us a great fufu that evening at that same home. Hey, this day I figured out the name of a song that I would hear all the time in Liberia. It's called "Limpopo" by KCEE or something. Check it out! That was basically the day.

Friday: I went on a split with Elder Judy to Samaan and Ankaase. That was decent! More people have traveled. :P But anyway, we got fed a TON. Hehe.. A couple smaller things before the fufu at Pa Joshua's with the tied fish and me giving the balloon to the kid. That was this day! Then we went to Institute for some reason. Yep. Friday!
Knotted fish and fufu
[Fish heads?] Not just the heads, sheesh! ;) It's the body, wrapped in a knot. I was on splits with Elder Judy, and they fed us this. Very good food, too much pepper for Elder Judy, but I loved it (Liberia prepared me for pepper, "pepe")! Knotted fish: Odd. A pain to work around the bones. Tasted good though! I don't really eat the heads.. Some Africans do, but.. Yeah. :)
Yeah, I made Pa Joshua's kid or grandkid a little balloon dog! :)
Saturday! We had the adult session of stake conference. It was sweet! It was all about missionary work. Hopefully that touched some of the members' hearts. We really need their help, and it's not us drawing the people in. It's all of us together. That's something that's so necessary in Ghana in comparison to Liberia. Liberia relied on the missionaries much more, and it wasn't as much of a group effort, and it didn't need to be for baptisms to come, new investigators to be found, etc. but we need it here in Ghana.

Sunday: It was the real session of Stake conference! That was the video part. The missionaries had to sit outside because it was so full, so I didn't really get much out of it. But one of the members told me that evening what was said! I'm glad. :) That evening Elder 'Atu'ake and I had a blast walking through random paths that we had never been on and contacting some people, then we went with a member, Prince, to show us some of Elder Baldwin's people. Prince helped Elder Baldwin a ton, so he'll be helping us a lot too! That was the whole day.

Monday: We roasted pigs this morning!!!!! :D :D :D Two! I have videos of the killing and everything of them. From live and walking to in my belly. Mmmm. Good zone activity! 


 That's how things are! I've been trying to push. It's been pretty hard lately. It just feels different than the past, though I'm going to see if I can up it now that I'm in this new transfer with this solid new area. We'll see some new things these 6 weeks. I'm nervous about the new district, but I know all things will work out for my good. Right? "all things are done in the wisdom of He that knoweth all things" or something like that in 2 Ne 2:24. And the other scripture in D&C when Joseph Smith was in the jail... 122 or something? I forgot. Great section, though. I'm not good with exact quotes, you know that. ;)

Thank you for the great support you give me. I love you all SO much, and I pray for you all. Keep up the good works. Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Price

PS If I can get some other pictures of some of the other sweet gyms I've seen I'll send them. There are some sweet places, if you know what I mean.


17 November 2014

Alfredo

Y'ello, family! :)

All of that stuff sounds so great! Ry has his Arrow of Light! Much better than me. ;) [Rain earned his Eagle Scout award, but always regretted not earning his Arrow of Light when he was in Cub Scouts--although that was probably more his parents' fault than his own.] It'll take some time for me to figure out that Rikki will have a kid, but.. I guess it's okay.. Rikki: SHEESH YOU DIDN'T EVEN WAIT FOR ME TO GET HOME!!!! A two month old is going to be on your hip next time I see you?! Goodness.... Okay, okay, it's okay... :)  >.<

The Alfredo sauce turned out GREAT. I loved it. Seriously awesome.
He was missing Fettuccine Alfredo, but doesn't have access to cow butter, cream or Parmesan cheese to make the Alfredo sauce, so I sent him a mix.
Fettuccine Alfredo from his mix.
CHARGERS WON!!!! That's awesome! :D :D And I'm glad you guys watched Ephraim's Rescue. 17 Miracles definitely goes along with it; I'm glad Ryatt watched that first (in school?! That's sweet.) It's a touching movie. Thank you SO much for getting that music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Freezing November.. I miss Utah weather.

Thanks for all the news. :)

So, for my week!
Tuesday!
No district meeting this day! Because we had a service project. We cleaned up Elmina! It was great because the zone leaders talked to the chief of Elmina, and it got more recognition for this service project. It definitely made an impact in Elmina.





After the service project I had my first piece of dog! I could only muster up enough to eat one bite. Now I can say I've eaten it, cross that off the list, never need to do that again. [Me: Was it really that bad, or was it just the idea of eating dog? Rain: the idea. it actually didn't taste bad. just... dog. E. Judy loved it.]  I spent some of the evening planning some things about our new area and trying to work that out. And then a miracle occurred. We were planning to go to an appt with a guy I've mentioned in the past, and I really didn't feel like going, neither did Elder 'Atu'ake. But we prepared. I did a little personal study before we went out to teach him, and I found a great scripture that I feel was led by the spirit for me to find. It was Jacob 2:4-5,8 (I think I named those right). Very awesome scriptures. Anyway, I was feeling more prepared to go after studying that and some other things. We left the apartment and were walking on the main road when one of the women of that household happened to be driving by. She pulled over and told us that there was a problem and we couldn't come that evening. It was an answer to a prayer. The Lord really does work miracles, if we weren't walking on the road at that EXACT time, and understand that this is a short strip of road, we wouldn't have seen her, and this email would be very different. We ended up having a great lesson with a less-active member.

Wednesday!
We had a combined district meeting/zone meeting! After the meeting all I did was go on splits with Elder Judy to go do some baptismal interviews for them. They had four! Really great converts. One of special note is Christian. He's great, and he understands the gospel SO well. He speaks amazing English, has taught religious and moral education, and he's been prepared by God to hear the gospel. He's been proselyting with Elder Judy and Elder Moleme, and he loves the gospel. Too bad he's moving to Accra this week. Anyway, it was a good night of four interviews! The other three were all young people who were referrals from members. I found out this night that President Stevenson texted us and told us that the group in Agona is approved by the area! One more step for the complete organization down! Woohoo!

Thursday!
We had a pretty standard day! We've picked Thursday and Friday to go to Agona. So we went to Agona! We taught a few lessons, but first we had apartment check by Elder and Sister Miles! They took a picture of us. Maybe they have a blog? I don't know. Pretty plain day.
Time for a filter change?
Friday:
Oops, no notes in my planner from this day! But we taught a bunch of lessons. We went up to Ankaase and Saaman (two small villages past Agona). We taught several really progressing people up there, and we had a bunch of sit down and support the members lessons. It was good! It was great to share with members that the church will be there soon.

Saturday:
We had a MASSIVE YSA [Young Single Adult] activity. It was on the stake level, organized by the missionaries (the zone leaders). It was so great, seriously. We had games and activities and plenty of people. We did a sweet "come, follow me" activity that was really detailed and had us leading blindfolded YSAs around while they were holding on to a rope (that we were leading with. The rope moved). After leading them around a really difficult way for them in a very quiet way, we pulled them all off the rope and told them to wait for further instruction. After a few minutes all the missionaries (52 of us) were together and began to sing "Come, Follow Me" and we waited for the blindfolded people to understand and come to the music. It was really cool, and I have a ton of pictures and videos. :)


Sunday:
Church! We had a bunch of Agona members and people come! It was a GREAT turnout. After church we had a couple meals, one with Sister Victoria and her best friend, Sister Rita. Both of them are super sweet ladies, and it was a great (and huge) meal! There was a book in the house that had a bunch of really random stuff in it, including a play version of the Invisible Man. Elder Moleme and I had a hilarious time reading some of those scenes out loud that night, trading off on the voices and everything. Fun stuff! We have FHE [Family Home Evening] next week planned with them. Then we went to Auntie Vick's house (where we have had FHE before) and they fed us plantains with a bean stew thingy!

It was good, but this is when the sickness set in. Blah, I'm sick. [with follow-up questioning he said: really bad runny nose, headache, watery eyes, sore throat, the works. It's distracting. And gross. As I said earlier today, "it's like my body said that it needed an oil change through my nose!"]

So far today!
We came to Cape Coast! I got the new guitar strings. We're also going to celebrate Elder Judy's 18 month mark tonight with a great dinner (we bought beef). I also printed some photos, but you can print the ones I send you, so I don't think I'll be sending these home. These are for other missionaries' journals. (it's what we do. like a yearbook. #highschoolneverends)

So.. That was the week! Things have been really good and really active, but I'm sick-oooo. So.. yep! Mission is good. This is the last week of the transfer, so I'll be telling you transfer news next email. We'll see what happens! I seriously have no guesses as to where I'll go or if I'll stay. It's up in the air. I know this work is inspired, and I'm doing my best to be a good missionary. :) Love you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Price


Gari with red oil and beans! Gari is the cassava ground up and fried stuff.
Not sure what this is, but according to the date stamp, it was dinner on Sunday, Nov 9th.
One of five photos he sent of this spider