Hello! Happy 5th of August and whatever holiday it may be!
The email was great. :) I like the deck. And I can't believe that Uncle Terry is going to be on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. O.O
I'll start with answering your questions: Transfer news, yep! There were some changes, yes. We have THREE new elders coming to the zone! Here's the whole rundown:
Praso 1 ... E. Akudago is training! That means I get a new missionary in my apartment for my last transfer. :D This will be fun!!!
Hemang 1 ... Elder Seaman is training, too! So another new guy. :)
Hemang 2 ... E. Barrett is receiving E. Hanneman or something like that.
Dunkwa: All the same, but E. Loader is going home while E. Hardy is receiving a new missionary!
Praso 2 (ME!): sooooo.... Elder Etim is going!!!! He's going to be the zone leader in Kojokrom (over by Takoradi). I am receiving Elder Malatji, from South Africa. 11th companion in the field. He should be my last one, too.
Also, it's interesting to note that Elder 'Atu'ake is now companions with Elder Pohahau in Kweikuma, Elder Hanson is now training, and Elder Johnson is still there [in Sekondi]. Oh how I wish I could visit that district!!!
So, this week, if I can get through it:
Tuesday: First was our district meeting. Elder Etim gave an impromptu instruction because Elder Bolabasaga and Elder Barrett were both sent down to Cape Coast to undergo some tests to see if their Malaria was finally gone. The meeting went well, but the tests didn't! They're still sick. After that we taught a recent convert lesson and gave a blessing to one of our investigators before getting in a trotro and going to Dunkwa. My first time! The ride was exhausting. VERY bumpy. It did, however, make me miss camping a LOT. We didn't even wear white shirts for the ride because of how dusty it gets. Well, we eventually made it to Dunkwa, and light went off right as we drove in. Don't worry, though, light never stays off for a long time there, so we even had electricity when we went to bed! My companion and I split and he went to one apartment while I went to the other.
"Elder Garry pounding some rice or something for some animal to eat. I think. It was dark. I couldn't see what we were pounding."
Wednesday! We had our exchange. We taught a lot, and I saw Dunkwa. It's really close to Kumasi. It's not bush. It's just far away, and in our mission because of demarcations, not because of convenience, if you understand that. ;) We had a great day, and I was happy to talk to everyone there and do what I do. They fed me well. They also inspired me to work out, but I'll come to that in a second (or a minute, depending on your reading speed). I had another really bad night of sleep; I guess something about no pillow and no earplugs does not help me sleep!
"What they fed me on Wednesday morning in Dunkwa. PANCAKES! :D "
"Random picture of Elder Garry and Elder Okwii conversing with some kids."
Thursday: we went back to Praso. In the process I found the Dunkwa elders skinning a goat. Crazy, right? It was surprising for me to see. [He sent a couple photos. I chose to leave them off the blog. ;-) ] But we eventually made it back to Praso! The ride was much worse than the way there, mainly because I was so exhausted but I couldn't fall asleep in the conditions we were traveling in (something about trotros). We got home, cleaned up, and I took a nap. Then we got going again and went to Hemang to do a baptismal interview! The interview went well, apparently. Elder Etim spared me and did it. :) I also started my first night of working out! We happen to have a bench press here that I never use, so I decided to start doing stuff each evening. I managed to do it every evening so far (excluding Sunday)! When I was in Dunkwa the elders at the apartment I was staying in go to a real gym every morning and work out. Very different from how Praso apartment goes. haha :)
"The Prah river that we crossed coming back."
Friday: Started off with normal studies, we did our weekly planning session, and I picked up some shampoo that I asked the Hanlon's to buy for me. We spent most of the day trying to figure out a way to fill up the baptism font and having some failed appointments. We also helped some elders who were coming back from Cape Coast for their "Trainer's Meeting", and I received my package!!! :D I loved it.
Saturday: We had a service project!!! The Praso elders. We all went and moved a pile of bricks from one place to another. Big bricks, not the small kind we use back home. I think you've seen pictures of the ones I'm talking about. Well, after carrying about 3 or 4 on my head (an arranged dead palm leaf to protect my skull), my head started to hurt so I carried some with my arms. Then we used a wheelbarrow. Those bricks were old and nasty. So many creatures. Well, on the way home from that our branch president called us and we went to the chapel to show a plumber from Cape Coast the problems our building was having. We had to go to another place to get the key, too, but finally we sorted everything out. Then we went home! And we prepared for the day. We got out, attended the baptism for Hemang, and taught Eb.! He's still sweet. Unfortunately he didn't come to church, but we're hoping for next week now. We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon, prayer, and the spirit. It was nice! We also received transfer news that night, so that was exciting. :)
|"Elder Etim and me on our stairs before going to church."|
|"The branch president's son. He's adorable. You can even see my reflection in those giant eyes of his!"|
Sunday: We had a lady referred to us; she came with a member to church! So that's amazing. We'll start teaching her. :) I played the piano, of course, and I'm still improving! It's pretty fun, though two sacrament meetings gets to be a bit long. After church we went and visited some people and ate. The end! Elder Etim is starting to say goodbye to everyone, so that's always interesting to see. He's been here for 6 months.
Today we're going to go play some sports with Hemang branch, so that will be fun! It's also kind of an interesting day: Monday of week 1 of my last transfer. So that's pretty weird for me to think about. I am now using my last planner. I want to finish stronger than I have been so far on mission. The feelings about the end drawing nigh fluctuate; sometimes I'm excited to go home, and other times I'm really sad. It just depends on the day/hour. One year in Ghana, too, I almost forgot about that. Technically that's on Wednesday, I think. Anyway, the work is moving along, and I'm happy to be a part of it. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Do good things!
"Elder Bolabasaga playing with one of the normal kids toys that they have here. :) "
"A random butterfly! It's not too common for them to hold still long enough for pictures."