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

10 November 2014

Surprise Transfer!

Dear Family,

Yeah, the packages came! It was a great time. I'll tell you the story in a minute. :)

I'm glad your lesson went well! I like the doctrines of intelligence and learning, makes sense, 'cause I like school so much! Being aware really is a blessing. It gives greater depth of everything! [D&C 88:78-79] Right now I'm studying the lineages of Adam down. It's really interesting, and I'm actually learning so much! I can't study very many temporal things out here, but oddly those genealogies really interest me and it's like learning back home again! :) I'm glad your lesson didn't turn out like your dream! 

My health is good, too! I'm trying to make sure I'm eating at the right times and other things in order for me to have no headaches. I'm not getting consistent headaches anymore, which is a blessing! ...

It's been a busy week. So, to start it off! 

Tuesday:
It was good! We had district meeting, and Sister Aidoo gave the instruction. It was really good, and it was also really nice not to prepare an instruction for this week and to be able to focus on being personally edified. That evening we watched Ephraim's Rescue at the bishop's house with Elder Judy and Elder Moleme. That movie is really good. I enjoyed it, thoroughly. I would ask for the music to that movie, but seeing as you just sent that package, it might be a bit too late... Sorry. :)

Wednesday:
We had a really.... boring day. But I took pretty scenic pictures! We walked around in the area around Agona to some outskirting village. The funny part was that some people on this road told us that there was a village at the end of this road, so we're like, okay! Let's visit it! But.. It wasn't close. "Don't worry, it's not too far! Maybe 30 minutes." *1 hr later* "Elder 'Atu'ake, I don't think it's only 30 minutes..." but we eventually got there. And we saw a less-active on the way who gave us short sticks of Sugar cane! That was tasty. Elder 'Atu'ake taught me how to strip off the outside of it with my teeth rather than using a knife like most people do it here. Woohoo! Then we eventually got back to Agona and it started to POUR. We had PEC in Elmina, so we got a car there and.. no one was there. But the Miles were there! So they gave us a ride home. :)


 



Thursday:
A good day of teaching! We taught several people. A cool part was after we were sitting with Pa Joshua, the amazing member, we were walking and I heard up this hill some brass instruments playing, so I talked to Elder 'Atu'ake about it and.. we went up the hill! We found a group of young guys with a couple trombones, a pocket trumpet, and a real trumpet. All in very veteran conditions. They let me play the trumpet. :D It was held together with tape, no spit valve stopper on the 3rd valve slide, and.. it was a terrible mess. But I played a few scales, revelie, taps, and a couple tunes I remember. Sweet experience. :) Maybe I'll go back and get a picture for you! That was mostly it for the day. Things have been slowing down a bit in Agona.. Which.. will lead to what the title of this email is about. But that's on Sunday.

Friday!
We had a good day up in the villages of Ankaase and Saaman. We taught a few really good people, several of which came to church on Sunday. Really, it was our most fruitful day. We went to Abura in the evening, though, to do a few interviews. All were successful, and a couple of them have GREAT stories! One sister, sister Florence, started investigating the church in Kumasi, but then she moved for work to Abura (she does secretarial work for the police). While up in Kumasi, however, she met a guy in the ward up there, an RM, and started dating him. Basically, he baptized her on Sunday, and they're getting married at the end of this month. The other really cool guy was brother Philip. His WHOLE family are members. He was the first to investigate, but it always collapsed right as his baptism date came around. This time, however, he was serious. And now he's baptized. It's been YEARS that he's been the only nonmember. Cool interviews. Anyway, earlier that day we received a text from the office elders (they have those in this mission) saying that Elder 'Atu'Ake had a package! He didn't believe it (they pranked Elder Moleme this past week, too), so he called and asked who it was from. As he was on the phone, I was just walking beside him smiling to myself. He was SO grateful for the package, truly. :) He is definitely a great companion. 

Saturday:
We taught another few lessons. It was mostly another slow day.. In the evening we taught Sh., and we showed her the Restoration video. She really understood it, and we're hoping that she progresses more. We also decided to visit that one guy who is from out of Ghana. We just visited to see how they're doing. I'm really hoping that he will feel something when we're around, but I don't think that we're having too much of an effect... They treat us very well, even to give us cake and juice, as well as good fried chicken and french fries to go. Interesting experiences. He asked me about sports, and I told him I like the SD Chargers, so he looked up the Chargers on his iPad and showed me a bunch of things with them. (it was a different thing to happen during a proselyting day..) 

Sunday:

We had church! Some people from Ankaase and Saaman came, so that was great. We went to the baptism afterwards! Good times there. It was great to see those people baptized, and President Stevenson was there because he heard about Philip's story. Anyway, here's the big news: so, we were talking to him about Agona, and I asked him a question about Elmina 2 being closed. He started to connect some dots in his head and then he said, "okay, transfer as of right now. You are now in Elmina." We're Elmina elders now! We will still go up to Agona once to twice a week to have a presence (and that's all we really need or could use) It's basically a whitewashed area: we don't know anything about it, really, except a few members. It'll make for much better proselyting days, and.. just a different area, really! :) It's an answer to prayers, really.. We've been "hitting [our] heads against the wall" out there (Pres. Stevenson quote). I've learned a lot from this adventure of an area, but it's time for a little change. Maybe more to come in two weeks when this transfer actually ends? Who knows.

My time here in Ghana has been different than any other time of my life, and I'm learning a lot. Even more, I'm gaining a greater desire to learn even more. There are many things that I can't wait to understand better. :) I'm doing my best to help wherever I am, and it's not always easy when there are external circumstances that just beat you down (like long car rides all the time). But I have hopes for the future! I'm looking up. :) I am so grateful for all the support you all give me, each bit counts so much. I love you all so much! Have a great week! :)

Love,
Elder Price


Oh yeah! The water was off for a while, but when it came back on it was just a slight tint of yellow... which then progressed... and progressed... until it was black. Rootbeer! Tasted pretty gross, too. (just kidding, we didn't drink it.) It cleaned up late that night, though. :)  That was Sunday. :)

[Me: I was wondering what the heck went wrong with your water, haha! Were you able to bathe that day? Speaking of bathing, what are your showers like there? Do you normally get running water for showers? Warm water?]

Yeah! One tap was clean (it's connected to a reserve tank that auto fills with the city water. Good thing I didn't wait to get it out of that tap, otherwise it would've been dirty, too) so I took a bucket bath. :)  Running water, cold showers. It's a blessing to have a shower at all! I'm good with buckets by now, though. But really, it's showers here.



Great story that I only have 1 min to type:

We were talking with Pa Joshua when I had to call the zone leaders for something. I was talking in very normal English for once in front of Pa Joshua and his wife (who doesn't know any English). After the phone call, she told her husband that my language sounds like singing. :) Pretty neat. BYE BYE!

03 November 2014

Amazingly Tasty Food

Dear Family!

Yeah, it is a bit weird that I'm at that 3 month mark [3 months since leaving Liberia]. And November. Time flies by!


Your costumes looked great! Good job, family! They definitely worked. I was actually telling Elder Judy this week that I miss that food so much :) [chili and cornbread for Halloween] Can't wait to have it next year! It sounds like a good party, as always. Thanks for all the pictures! I really enjoyed them! Special thanks to my best sister for those special highlights. ;) Yes, Mom, those costumes are incredible.. Spirited Away! And Dr. Who! :D :D


So, my week was.. Incredibly longggggg. So much happened! I'm preparing my fingers to type all the stories.. ;) Okay, here goes!


Tuesday:

Well... Not too much happened on Tuesday, to be honest. We taught some lessons. No district meeting. Pretty plain day!

Wednesday:

District meeting/interviews! Okay, so, those were good. They do it so different here.. During the meeting are the interviews. Like, after the opening part of the meeting, President went into a different meeting and conducted interviews. I gave instruction! I gave it on the Book of Mormon as the keystone of our religion. Then Sister Stevenson gave an instruction! That was super sweet, she talked about our hearts. The sweetest part of that was that it felt like a Sunday School lesson from back home. Really different. Then the Assistants gave their instruction, and I had my interview during that. The interview was good! ... I get the feeling that I'm staying in Agona, but we'll see!
District Meeting in Elmina (photo from Pres. Stevenson's blog)
After the district meeting, President Stevenson drove Elder 'Atu'ake and me to Agona! He had never seen it before, so it was his chance to analyze it. We showed him all the places, and that was a pretty good time! (dang, my verb choices are so plain... I need to work on using better verbs and less linking verbs.) After the little area tour, we went back to Elmina and had PEC with the ward. That was good! Hopefully improvements can take place in the ward. It's always funny for me to be there because I'm trying to help the ward, but I'm not even really in it!

After that we had a midweek activity at the chapel.. That went well! We didn't really do too much for it.. We started to watch a movie, but that didn't work out, so we watched a small talk and discussed about Satan's influences in this world. That was the day! There was a really good quote about unity by Pres. Benson, if there is some way for you to find that.. I like the quote: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Burke

Thursday!

This day, this day.. crazy. So, it was just a normal day, taught some lessons, etc. But this time.. So, there's a junction (intersection, we call them junctions here) before Agona call Ataabadze. We were going to go teach a new investigator there, but she bounced us when we got there (no worries, we saw her later this week), and so we started walking. No reason at all to walk. The cool night air felt nice, but we would eventually have to catch a car. So it was essentially pointless for us to walk. Well, we reach a gas station and I tell Elder 'Atu'ake that I want one of the small cheap fanices that come in a satchet like water, so we go inside. We don't have any small bills, but the woman running the store said we could have them for free! :) So that was cool. And then we kept walking. Still no reason. Then we come across this HUGE house on our left, and I just say, "we need to go there." So we go there. We stand at the gate, introduce ourselves, etc. and they're from New Jersey. They don't really like the church, but they like us. So, they treated us great as guests! Though the whole idea of having a lessons was pretty shot. They gave us freshly made glasses of pinapple (with a touch of lemon) juice, mixed nuts (WITH ALMONDS), and CHOCOLATE COVERED BLUEBERRIES. Tasted amazing. He said we could come over any time for American food, naming hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. He invited us over, serious invitation, for Thanksgiving! (is Thanksgiving on the 27th?)
That was that day.

Friday:

We had a sweet service project! We painted this big house for a member who is moving in, and it was super cool! We got to paint almost all the rooms! Very fun. Had fun with the zone for that! Good activity for Halloween! That night we saw that investigator who bounced us before. She's cool! She had some sweet questions (and some doubt) about the Bible, and we're teaching her the Restoration! I got a 2 ltr container of strawberry ice cream to celebrate, too :) Too bad my stomach is so changed that I physically can't eat very much of it. It was a good night!




Saturday!
We had splits/exchanges! That was cool. I went with Elder Judy into Elmina. My first time in Elmina for proselyting! We taught 3 lessons and talked to a TON of people. It was such a sweet day. One of the lessons, this guy told us that there are people who tell lies and other things about the church, with "phds." He explained, "Pull Him Down Spirit" It was hilarious! We went to the beach resort for a goodbye for Elder Ndunduma (health issues), and it was.. Babylon. It was terrible. I mean, I guess it's not too much compared to things from back home, but it's just that.. We're so sheltered here! We ate and left, but there was a pool party outside with people who are probably from other places in Ghana. We kept the nice dinner pretty short (and it was enjoyable) and went and taught more! I'm just glad that my standards are better now. :)

Sunday!

We watched conference! That was good. Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions. Long church.. but it was good! Afterwards we had a couple FMs and we taught that girl at Ataabadze the Book of Mormon. It was good! 
This is an octopus or squid or something. It was the meal that our new investigator gave us on Sunday!
Our new investigator's younger brother drew this during the lesson. Hilarious picture. :)
That evening we had a party at our apartment with a bunch of other elders in the zone, saying goodbye to Elder Ndunduma and happy 1 years for a couple other elders. total food: 10 ltrs of ice cream, no bake cookies, and a cake. It was tasty. :)

This week was good, and had some crazy experiences. I'm learning so much, and I'm trying to grow still. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. I'm trying to grow my testimony, and I've realized that in these missions I've been in I don't receive as much persecution as many other missions in this world.. and that's a blessing that I don't want to take for granted. I learn different things here! :) I love you all. Have an awesome week!


Love,

Elder Price