27 October 2014

Eating Eto

Hey, Family!

So, for my week!

I forgot to take very many notes, sorry... But...

Tuesday! Another district meeting! We got up to our area afterwards, but we weren't able to teach very many people. Oh yeah, next week's district meeting is on Wednesday, and it's interviews with president! They do those interviews weird here.. Anyway, I'll be instructing, then the assistants, then Sister Stevenson, all while Pres. is interviewing us all! It's just district by district, so no combining (no combinations ;) hehe...).

Wednesday! We went and taught a few lessons. We taught N., who we have now finished the lessons with. Now it's just going to be reviewing and further teaching. We're going to try to watch the restoration video with him soon. We also taught W! She's progressing still. We also saw R, who is having some personal family troubles that we have been helping her overcome with the gospel. It's been pretty neat, we saw her a few times this past week.

Thursday! We saw S! We taught her, and the spirit was there. It was good, especially because she understood that when she is searching for her answer to whether or not this is true, it means that she would be leaving her current church. I explained to her about faith there, how we have to be willing to change our lives for the truth; she's a big role in her church and her brother even more so. We saw R again that day, and we received a phone call from a guy named E! He wanted to meet us, and he said he was in Elmina. So we got in the taxi coming home that night, and we went into Elmina. We met him by the castle, and we introduced ourselves. He's from Saaman! Which is the place we went and visited the less-actives! He saw our number on the back of a pamphlet and decided to call. We took him by the church and introduced him to bishop. Sweet opportunity to meet him; it's great how the Lord works. :) He's in Elmina from Thursdays to Mondays for a security job, while he's in Saaman for the rest of the time. It means we can teach him during the evenings!

Friday! We went to Saaman and Ankaase. We taught a few less actives and just had a great day! Not much to be said about that. We're trying to help the people out there, and we actually had a couple come to church on Sunday! That's thanks to the second counselor of the bishopric who paid for the transport. It was a good day teaching, and then we went to Abura for me to do a few interviews. Funny thing: I asked this girl who Joseph Smith was, and she went into a DETAILED story of Joseph of Egypt. Hilarious. She even knew the amount of years and stuff.. So great. :D

Saturday! I was actually feeling pretty crappy/sick. But we still went and taught a couple lessons. We taught E! He's so cool. He had sincere questions about the confusion and so many churches, and we were able to tie it in to the message of the Restoration so well. Great lesson!

Sunday! We had church! We had 2 investigators there, P (in Ankaase, good friends with a member) and K (in Saaman, another friend of a different member). They were awesome. President Stevenson was there! That's because Elder N. is having health issues, so he's been with them at the mission home. It was cool! He was going to have us show him where Agona was, but we had to go to the baptism right after church, so that didn't work. Then there was the baptism! It went well, five people.

Afterwards we went to the birthday party of a couple primary kids from that great family we have had those first FHEs with. Kweku and Georgette! Elder Judy made them a chocolate cake, but we also ate eto! Which is like.. Mashed yam. Not as mushy as mashed potatoes, but yeah! It was a more traditional dish with just palm oil in it. Pictures of that:

Ghana's fine! I'm doing my best to do good here, though it's still different for me. Agona is coming along... Pa Joshua said that he arrived back in Agona that night last week after walking home from church around 9 or 9:30. We have 9-12 church. It's incredible, his faith. He told us this week that he can't go to any other church because he knows so much that this is true. I love seeing that strong of a testimony, because that is why I'm a missionary, not just to bring people into an organization, but to help people have that.

They don't celebrate Halloween in any other country.. So.. Nope, they don't do anything. :) I'll go and buy a big thing of ice cream and enjoy. :D

I'm doin' my best! I love you all so much. Have a great week! Remember your name! :D

Elder Price

20 October 2014

Visiting Saaman

Hey, family!!!​

Wow, that's some really cool stuff about the Kirkham's homecoming. Thanks for sending it! I'll read it more later. I knew the Kimball's were going, But Ivory Coast? Why not CAPE COAST? And it's cool that you saw all those people! Maybe I'll be able to see Elder Pearmain one day before he goes home? And I hope Sis Hezseltine likes the blog! :)  [On Sunday we went to the "missionary homecoming" for President and Sister Kirkham (mission president for the Liberia mission). We were able to hear them speak in church and I sent Elder Price my notes from the meeting.]  

My week:

Tuesday: Combined district meeting! Which means pretty long. It was cool because Elder Baldwin and I made some sweet contributions in the meeting because we were able to share some of our missionary-specific things that we did there [when they were serving in Liberia]. And, though it was a very short day in Agona, we still got a few lessons! It was great, because I've been wanting to teach more.

Wednesday: first, my notes.. In the morning Elder Judy was playing the "yo ho yo ho" pirates ride music, and it was great. And then he played the "tiki room" song. and then "you got a friend in me" So sweet. But the day was just teaching, with PEC (the ward meeting) in the evening time. We taught W., a member's granddaughter. She's progressing great! And we taught S. and B. Hopefully both of them can be progressing.

Thursday: No notes. We had a pretty bummer day. Most people bounced us. Blah :P

Friday: We did a "less active" day! It was really cool. We went into a place called Saaman, and we found a bunch of less actives! They still recognize themselves as members, and they say the only reason they haven't been coming is the transport. Plus they gave us referrals! It was a sweet day. Pa Joshua/Bro Ewusie took us around there, and it was a great time. 

Saturday: We taught lessons! W. again, S. again, and V. We taught V. the plan of salvation, and she started asking us perfect questions about repentance and those things, which is what we planned to teach her next! So it's perfect. Woo hoo!

Sunday: well, it was a pretty normal day, really. In Elders Quorum the topic was basically missionary work, and they did a role play. it made me laugh SO hard. ;) 

Pa Joshua shared during that class that he walked to church from Agona. He said he left at 4 am to get there by 9 am. Yeah, it's far. He gave his transport money to one of the less actives in Saaman that we met. It was incredible. Such an amazing sacrifice.

Today! Not much. This morning we went to the Elmina beach resort for an entire zone activity! It was really fun, and Elder 'Atu'Ake is really good at ping-pong. :)

Sooo I've been trying to improve in so many ways, and I've been feeling this push to just be "better." I've been working on it, and I'm still working on it, and I can feel myself being more happy as I change for good. Agona is still pretty far off, though.. I'm praying for next week. Who knows if it could be there that fast, but the members are having such a hard time. That's pretty much it for this week. Oh yeah, on Friday, we stopped by a school--young kids. We had a member working there, and it's kinda different from schools back home, so don't imagine it to be like the elementary schools back home. But it was very very well done, and they had wooden slides and teetertotters and it was great. :) Well, anyway, a group surrounded me and my companion, and my companion said, "how are you?" and they all replied in this same chant, I guess to put it, of "we are fine, thank you, how about you?" and my comp said "we are very fine!" It was hilarious, because it was literally all together. I took a video. :)

I'm doing my best! I hope you enjoy all the pics I sent this week. :) Love you guys so much! :D

Elder Price
Found during a service project
They bought this fish, so she cut it up for them
All bagged up and ready to go
Elder Judy cooking
"Meat and eggs"
Cleaning the water filter - running water!!

13 October 2014

Matsi - "I Hear"

Hey, Family! :)

And nice pictures. :) Amazing mountains in the background of those football pictures! And all the pictures made me smile. :) Especially the Aerial shots!!!! Those are incredible! Just... Whoah. That's cool. I love 'em. [some of the photos he's referring to are on our family blog. He didn't send us any photos this week, so here's one with his dad, his brother and the mountains that we sent him:]

For my week!

This week was pretty good. :) First thing, Monday evening:
FHE with Sister Monica and her family! Super hilarious. Just a 16 year old daughter with two other smaller daughters and their mother. So funny, 'cause all of them love to talk. :) They want us to come over again this week, so that'll be fun tonight!

District meeting! I gave my instruction (again)! District leader requires more preparation each week, though this week's is "combined district meeting" (should be called zone meeting... *murmur murmur murmur*) so I don't need to prepare! Woohoo! We taught a few lessons, W., V., and B. All three are doing good!  [the *murmur* part is because in Liberia it would've been called a zone meeting, he's making fun of his own reluctance to adapt to the different terminology in this mission.]

Taught more lessons! M., R., and J. J's sweet 'cause her not serious sister told us that her sister wanted a Book of Mormon (after we had simply given her a pamphlet, never really taught her, so it was incredible that she knew what the Book of Mormon was)! :) We taught her. She's a teacher, so she understands everything very well, and she's more serious about the teachings than her sister. Good day! We also went to an interview that evening, an awesome sister named M. She was 14 and had the sweetest testimony, her eyes sparkled and she would smile so big when we talked about the gospel. It was sweet. :) On the way to that interview, however, the car busted.. Hahahaha, the hub of the back tire broke. The inside of the hub. It was the weirdest looking thing as we were stranded in the middle of the bush and this guy was dissecting his wheel-grease everywhere. Awesome time! We caught a trotro (big van), though, so we were fine!

Lessons! We taught S. (her brother wasn't there, so the spirit was definitely more there this time), N. (who is progressing to baptism. Awesome guy! He's actually from Accra, I found out!), J. (again! We had to come back and explain the Book of Mormon through and through), and B! Good day, too, it's nice to have more people to teach. :) While we were up in Agona, Elder 'Atu'ake and I were walking on the main road when we heard some tires screeching behind us; we looked, and we saw a guy on a motorcycle get hit by a taxi. They rushed the rider to the hospital. It had my heart pounding for a while. Ayee.. You can imagine the feelings I get with that. Anyway.. We had an FM that night with Ch! We got her talking about churchy stuff, and she shared her testimony with us. It was really sweet, because she's borderline active. Good times, good times.

More lessons! We went and taught B. again, because she called us Thursday night wanting to make us food, and we fried some garry for some members. [I asked for more info on what garry was:]  I should send you some... The base of it is cassava (like a potato), then they grind it up to a powder (but it turns wet and sticky), then they dry it a bit by compressing it, then they dry it and fry it a bit on a metal pan! It's flat. Like, it's not "fried." It's just cooked. No oil, nothing like that. Just the powder onto the hot metal, and we stir it around so it doesn't clump up. The smoke hurts my eyes BAD, but it's okay, the service is nice. :)

That night was another interview for baptism! We got over to Abura, and I interviewed this awesome 20ish year old girl named A. The sisters told me that she didn't speak very good English, so we had a translator there. The coolest things happened that interview. We were talking, and she could understand every little bit of English I was saying. She didn't always know how to respond in perfect English, so the translator helped, but it was really cool, especially when we reached the tithing question (near the end). I understood her response! She responded in Fanti, and I understood her. It was the coolest thing for me to say "matsi (I hear)", but then watch her tell the member translate, and he told her, "didn't you hear him? He said 'matsi'" :) Very cool. Both of those people I interviewed this week were baptized this weekend. More on that in a sec.

We cleaned the chapel in the morning! They had some pledge, so I went to town on the wood stuff. I never truly appreciated pledge before... But now I do. Thanks, Mom, for making me use it back home. ;) Although I still don't know how to use the liquid gold..

There was also the sisters' baptism! Sisters from Abura 2, Sister Udo and Sister Awuah. They're sweet, and that was M's baptism. Very cool to see her sister there supporting her (her sister is a member). Very nice day. :)

Church! So, in the morning Elder Judy set the phone clock for him and his companion to be 30 minutes fast, 'cause last week his companion took a long time and they missed the sacrament. So we set the clock like that, and my companion and I played along to it all morning, getting ready at seemingly normal times. According to his phone clock, we were showing up 15 minutes late to church (and Elder Moleme was frustrated a bit this time), and we walked in 10 minutes early. His surprise when he realized the time was off.. GREAT prank. And useful, too! :) We were all on time! Also, there were some really good talks, and one of them was from a fairly new member. He started off by sharing a bit about how he was before he was a member...  Good church, though still no investigators. No new progress on Agona, it seems like. We went to Elder Baldwin and his companion's baptism that afternoon (they are no longer in my district, though they're in my ward). It was nice! That was about it for the day. And the week!

So, I have a couple questions I wrote down as I was reading those conversion stories!
1: Who else served missions in my family history (those on my pedigree, not brothers or sisters of them)?
2: Grandma Norton's history with the church?
3: Grandpa Price's history with the church?
4: Grandma Ofa's island name (this one is for Elder 'Atu'ake's benefit)? [for those who are wondering, Dale's step-mother is Tongan, from the island of Vava Ľu]

Those are my questions. :) The light has been on and off for this entire evening, but it was just enough for us to go to FHE with Sister Monica's family and come back to email! [making this "part two" of his email, he lost power before he could hit send, then came back to finish.] FHE tonight was AWESOME. We were belting hymns at the end! It was incredible; there was a strong spiritual thought that was shared, everybody was having a good time, Elders Baldwin and Ndunduma had an investigator there. At the end we were all singing hymns, mostly Christmas, until the end! As we were walking out the door and down the cement stairs, we were all belting "The Spirit of God." So loud, and so awesome.

This past week has been pretty good, and I've been noticing the nice spiritual experiences lately. Elder Judy has had some talks by John Bytheway and other inspirational church speakers that he's been playing, and I've really liked it. I'm trying to improve as much as I can, still, and I'm trying to remove all things that will hinder me from that progression. I know I'm not perfect, but I'm striving. ;) Thank you so much for your support, I don't know where I'd be without my wonderful family behind me. Remember to do good things, keep the Sabbath day holy (ahem, seriously, when the Lord promises a blessing, He means it.), be awesome, I love the fact that you guys are doing morning prayers now! I pray for you guys every night. Have an awesome week! :)


Elder Price

06 October 2014

Funeral Weekend

Hey, Family!!!

The expo is HILARIOUS. It's just funny to see me on a giant cutout! And I thought I smiled better in that picture... Oops!  [we went to the LDS Missionary Expo last week where Rain and Dean's likenesses appeared in the MissionaryAprons.com booth]

Nice Jersey for Ry. :)   [I bought Ryatt a "Missionary Brother" jersey from the Missionary Mommas booth:] 

I'm happy to hear that you guys watched conference! Conference is done here like they do it in Liberia, so in a month or so I'll know it [when he gets the printed version]. That's so cool that they talked in their languages! It's kinda like what I get to hear every Sunday! [in the LDS General Conference this last weekend, some of the speakers delivered their talks in their native languages, such as Cantonese, Spanish, and Portuguese. You can view or listen to recordings of this semi-annual conference here That talk you shared is really interesting, too... And yeah, if we interpret 1 Cor. 6 not just in regards to chastity, but in regards to the general health we have, it makes sense, our bodies are temples of God!

Thanks so much for the conversion stories! :D I love 'em! If you can get more, I'd appreciate it so much! [A few weeks ago he asked for stories about how his ancestors were converted to the gospel. My father shared two from my ancestry: Alanson Norton, who joined the church in New York in 1843 and Marriner W. Merrill who joined in New Brunswick, Canada in 1852. We're gathering more.]

So, this week!

I gave instruction at district meeting! I gave it on Faith. President Stevenson happened to be around for the first 15 minutes of my instruction, so that was kinda cool. It was a decent day, overall, though it was too rainy in Agona for us to proselyte very effectively. Sheesh, they need mission-issued umbrellas! ;) Just kidding, they don't really need umbrellas. It hardly rains here in Ghana. But this was a day that I found myself missing Liberia quite a bit.

Wednesday was fine! My watch got water inside it in the morning, but it eventually got out. I told you how the little dial adjuster thingy is broken, right? It just comes out! Anyway, it's still functioning. :) We taught a couple good lessons; one was really interesting. It was with an investigator named H. We got there, and with a hoarse/lost voice she said, "Thank God you're here." She explained something about the holy spirit coming over her and she was just crying and singing and stuff. She randomly fell to her knees in the middle of our lesson and started singing in Fante. I understood the parts where she was saying, "God, I thank you . . ." and stuff. Very interesting lesson. We gave her a blessing. I wrote a really detailed version in my journal, but this is probably as detailed as I can get in the email. :) We went to PEC, and I learned that the Miles' are now over the Elmina ward! Woohoo! So they come to church with us now! :) I went to Abura after PEC and did an interview: it was an AWESOME interview. It was just a sweet one where we talked so deeply and great about each gospel principle that we discussed. Very cool. :) We ran into President Stevenson at the Abura chapel, and he told us that the paperwork for the group in Agona is in. It's gonna be soon! :D

Uh... Comparing my Wednesday notes to my Thursday notes is funny... Uh... Not much. We had a few good lessons! President Stevenson called and asked me the directions to Agona. He didn't really know where it was. :) He also asked if there are living quarters for missionaries out there. I told him that there's a few potential places! Hopefully we can get out there!

Hm... We just taught some more lessons! We're getting more people. We started teaching a 24 year old named B., she's a decorator/caterer and stuff like that. She's cool! We also taught H. again. She's doing a tad better, but she's still pretty reliant on the church she's going to right now. So I hit hard about how it is basically LDS or bust. Hopefully she got the point that she needs to know what the truth is. We went to a funeral that night! The "well-keeping" or somethin' like that. We went and sang hymns and.. They had the body out. They ACTUALLY had the body on display. Like.. Like what the Nielson's grandpa has in his house [um, his are mounted exotic animals, not humans, just to be clear ;-) ].. Same smelling chemicals. The guy was sitting in the middle of this room, and light was off, so we (Elders Judy, Atu'Ake, and me (Moleme had seen it before)) just saw this silhouette of a guy in a chair. And we waited for him to move. And we waited. and waited. AND HE NEVER MOVED. They had him propped up! In a tux! I have a picture! (They were fine with pictures.. what? Yeah.) They put a freakin' laptop in his hands! It was basically one of the most.. different.. things I have seen. Yeah. Anyway, we sang hymns, it was cool, we went home.

Funeral in the morning! Which was really.. lame. Many of the nonmembers really disrespected the funeral. It was really bothersome. I don't want to go into detail about that. But, all the chop bars (food places) were closed, too, 'cause there were like 50 funerals in Elmina at one time. Agh! So the group of us 6, Elders Moleme, Judy, me, my comp, Baldwin, his son (Ndunduma), went to Elmina beach resort for food. This was after some money calculation and such... And we each got a pizza. :D :D :D hehehehehe it was tasty. I'm gonna budget differently next month and instead of using my money at the resort I'm gonna make chocolate cake a bunch.... I think. It was a party! That was basically it for that day. :)

Nothing much... We had church! Good time. No investigators at church. :(  My companion and I visited a member's house that's in the same apartment complex as us (different building, though). He's the Elder's Quorum pres. It was a good time! We're going to visit him more often. Not much for this day, either. Oh, I wrote down that a little stapler would be GREAT to have! Though I might be able to just find one here, so don't stress sending it.

That's about it for the week! Agona is getting closer, and things are on the way up! This past week I've been thinking about Christianity as a whole quite a bit. It's interesting to me how I'm Christian, and I've really been pondering in depth about faith and those things. Seeing so much falsity makes me think about Christ and faith in a different light, it's kinda hard to describe. Anyway, things are good here in Ghana. :) Choose the right (teams to root for)! :)

Have a great week, all of you! I love you all so much!

Do good things!

Elder Price