25 May 2015

Budgeting

Dear Family,

Hello! Greetings from Ghana! I'm emailing without a mouse! It sounds great, right? I'm glad I used to challenge myself for fun back home by seeing if I could use the computer without a mouse. ;)

[I asked him if there were no other computers. He said they were all taken, and Elder Allen was in line for one to open up, so he went ahead and used the one with a broken mouse]

This week was good! ​We worked!

We started off with an inspirational district meeting from Elder Allen! That was fun. :) It was really funny to be sitting there in the Sekondi chapel with just us six. The rest of the day was good, too! We had visit #1 with Ekua for the week! We visited her twice. That was definitely a highlight for me, 'cause she always makes the days good. After her we ended up seeing a great person: An.! He's progressing great, and it's awesome to see 'cause he was a normal street contact. It's rare for normal contacting to bring forth many results, so it's a great thing to have him. :)

We've also been teaching other people this week, one being Al. Al. is preparing for her baptism on Saturday! She's so excited, and she was so happy when we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. That makes two to be baptized on Saturday: An. and Al. We were hoping for a couple more, but it doesn't look like that will happen. It's still amazing to have these two, and the next two will still come on, eventually. :) Most of the week was really spent teaching and doing the stuff that seems so normal for me now.

Oh yeah! Something slightly kinda somehow interesting. I was really low on subsistence money, so this past week I've been working SO hard to save my money (I only had enough for basically a week. And we had two weeks until subsistence). The miracle that happened.. We just finished the week, and I even have MORE than I need to get through for a normal, solid week! I'm glad, because it means that I can budget. I was starting to lose hope for myself. ;) I can eat something now! Or maybe I'll just keep my habits of not eating as much, for skinniness sake..

On Sunday we had something incredible: all you can eat fufu. :D :D :D (okay, I just realized how that looks, seeing as it's right after I talked about being skinny..) Sister Akim, Lancelot's mother, cooked us groundnut soup with all you can eat fufu. It was so wonderful. She did it for all of the missionaries (us four); something that the former missionaries in this area were trying so hard to get to happen. We were given bowls full of fufu and soup, and then five minutes in they came and said that we could ask for more fufu as we wanted. So Elder Johnson and I both ate more. YUMMY! :D Such a great meal. Meat was normal stuff like goat and fish.

This morning we played basketball with An. (the same one preparing for baptism). He plays basketball seriously, and we went to a local court (one that we go to pretty often) and played with him and a ton of great basketball players. It happens to be some African holiday today, so they all were off work and other things and came to play. It wasn't easy to play with them, but it was fun! My legs are dead today.. Again..

The week was good. I'm doing good, and I got my desk all organized this week; it also feels really good to have a cleaner apartment. Mission is short, and I'm trying to milk every moment I have left. The closer the end of this adventure gets, the more I'm realizing how much more I want to learn while I am out here. I am so far from being who I can be, and I have so many weaknesses still. The time for improvement is short; and I'm so grateful for this bit that I have.

I think that view could be applied to life, too.

Have a great week. :) Love you all!

Love,
Elder Price


Bonus photos:

"a random looking waterfall thingy that was interesting.​"
Apartment photos. Desks are in the bedroom:


Bathroom photos may seem odd, but I asked for them. I was trying to picture what his trash can full of water looked like and how they were equipped. This request came out of a conversation we had at Mother's Day:

Water storage: Another missionary in the apartment said (in the background) that he was going to wash his face in preparation for bedtime. I asked Rain about the water situation. He said they had a very large trash can in their bathroom that they'd cleaned out and turned into their water storage. They fill up the trash can when water is available and power is on. They have a few buckets in their bathroom that they use to dip into the trash can to pull water as they need it.

 
  


18 May 2015

Egg Sandwiches

Dear Family,

Hi! It sounds like you had a busy week! Some great things to hear from back home. I'm sad that I missed that luau; I'd like to be around that culture again! Thanks for the great pictures and everything. :)

As for my week:
"Proselyting! So it's blurry. Sorry."
We started off with Monday night: We had FHE over with Vincent and his family! That was really awesome. It was the first time that the other elders had been into our area, and we had a nice time with them. They're such a strong family!

Tuesday was zone meeting. That was pretty depressing: people going home! Like Elder Judy, Sister Aidoo, and a couple more. It's strange to see good friends of mission to be going home like that. Ah! Mission isn't supposed to end!
Zone picture!
That day we had some great lessons with A. and J. They're both progressing, though at very different rates. A. will hopefully be baptized this transfer. J.. Who knows. But they were both wonderful lessons!

I thought I'd take this moment to advertise a certain product: Egg sandwiches. Have you had one? If so, then you've lived your life successfully. If not, then you need to. If they don't appeal to you, then (a) you're crazy, or (b) you've never had a good one. We're addicted to them in our apartment. There's a lady at the base of the hill that we live on who sells these incredible egg sandwiches. We're her loyal customers. What are they? White bread, a loaf that is sliced to whatever size (by the woman, forget pre-sliced) and sliced in half. Then the eggs: put into a small bowl, whisked with a fork, salt and lettuce and peppers and random little itty bitty things put inside it, stirred up, then put onto the frying pan (with oil on the pan) for it to fry, then flip the egg when one side is cooked and let the other side cook. Then fold it and put it into your bread, put the bread on the pan, wait a moment, press (like PUSH) the bread into the pan to squish it all together and toast the bread, flip it, toast the other side, and then you got a yummy egg sandwich! :D

The next day was a good day of teaching. We taught a few lessons, and we walked SO far. (my legs are screaming their complaints even now, but I'll get to that later) But it was good, 'cause we visited a less active out there. Good work! The next day was pretty similar, though we didn't walk nearly as far. We helped a recent convert, Hamida, prepare to teach Relief Society, and then we taught G.! He's still doing great. We also had a PEC meeting in the evening that went well. I love this ward.

Friday was an exchange! I went with Elder Hanson! That was a party. :) I finally got to see the other Sekondi area! I've never been inside to their place called Essikado, but I finally got the chance! We had a great day, with more walking and hills, but things were good. Elder Hanson was fun to go with!

Saturday was a messed up day. We started with the normal chapel cleaning. Nobody showed up, except one member. So us five cleaned the entire building.. Ahh. Well, it was for a good cause. So much mopping! It took forever. After that we got ready for the day and studied. Then we went and tried to see some people! A bunch of people that we weren't able to see! So we decided to go visit a member family that is slightly into the other elders' area, 'cause we needed his full name and such to put on a baptismal record. We showed up, and they sat us down and fed us fufu. Well, don't mind if I do! ;) We didn't tell the other guys. They don't really need to know.. hehe. I like the food here. After that business, we taught an investigator, and then we visited Lancelot (in attempts to teach someone at his house.. They weren't there.)! He's an AWESOME member that I don't know if I've talked about before. He's another one of my good friends as far as members go. He got his mission call!!! He's going to Nigeria Calabar Mission, so we had a nice talk about mission things. It made for a fun evening!

Sunday was exciting! Actually, we didn't do too much. But we had six people come to church! That's a high for this area. So many progressing people! It looks like most, or all, should be coming back, too. Not just a one time thing! Plus, Ekua was called to be the 2nd counselor in the Young Women Presidency. :D I was way happy about that. But.. She did chastise us for forgetting to call her on Mother's Day. I was willing to accept a caning for that, but she was too nice to do that to me. :) The rest of the day was nice and calm; the person across the hall fed us lunch (way nice of the guy), and things are going along nicely. This morning we had a zone activity at the stake center: SPORTS! I really like sports. Football (soccer), basketball, and volleyball were the main ones I played. It's fun to play sports with Tongans. :D A lot more fun than other people. The new guy in our district is named Elder Pohahau, from Tonga (Tongatapu), so now we have two Tongans in the zone. And now my legs are in so much pain. Go hard or go home, right? Hey, did I mention that Bro Kandell put a stress ball in the package? Well, he did, and I've been throwing it like crazy around the apartment. I miss throwing baseballs! Anyway, it relieves stress, right? ;)

Things are going along nicely out here. I've been really finding some things that I can improve on, and I'm learning a lot. I'm happy. It was good to hear from you this week. Do good things! Choose the right, live the commandments, and have a great week! I love you all so much.

Love,

Elder Price


"A visitor in the house! I liked this guy."
"Just another spider in the bathroom."

11 May 2015

Intestinal Fail

Hello!

Good to talk to you... Again. :) After phone call emailing is always pretty funny for me. What do I say?? Well, I guess I can formulate some sort of reply to entertain you for a few minutes. :)

This week has been good! It kicked off with some interviews with President Stevenson on Tuesday. That was great! It was possibly the longest meeting I have had so far on my mission. It ended somewhere around 5 pm. It started at 10:30 am. Ahhhhh such a long time. But they fed us! It was at the Takoradi Stake Center, and several people instructed while President Stevenson was interviewing people. The zone leaders instructed. The assistants instructed. Sister Stevenson instructed.. And we ate! That was possibly the highlight. Well, not quite, but close. After all, I did get an extra piece of chicken. YUM! But right after lunch I had my interview. That went well, and I felt comfortable! I think I have.. 1(?) more of those before I get my departing interview. Something like that. I'm not really sure. 
Takoradi Zone
One of the best parts of the meeting, however, was that we got to watch "Meet the Mormons"! :D My first time! It was done really well, and I enjoyed it. I have to admit, though, it touched me when I saw the segment with the missionary leaving and his father with one leg skiing and those things.

That evening Elder Johnson had a fever! Oh no! Was he sick again? Nope. After trying to think of what to do and cancelling the exchange that was planned, we gave him the re-hydration thing.. The mixture of salt and water and flavoring to make it taste not terrible. An hour later and he was up and running! Go figure. We drink a lot more water in the apartment than we used to, now. ;)

On Wednesday we were fed by H. while we were waiting for her to be ready for us to teach her. Unfortunately, she was too busy to meet with us, and unfortunately again, I learned the first thing that I really CANNOT eat. Intestine. It was cow or goat or something of the sort, but it was.. Different. I couldn't down it. It sat on my tongue, and it was like the meat could talk and so could my tongue and my tongue was just saying, "you know, if you swallow this thing, everything is coming OUT!" So I didn't swallow. And I apologized greatly. XP Intestines? No go.

On Thursday (MOM'S BIRTHDAY!), we had a miracle lesson. We were looking to go teach a girl named Th. that lives out in Ketan. When we arrived to Ketan, we learned that bishop wasn't around! That was a problem, a big problem, because he was the one who was gonna show us where she lived. This girl is a couple years older than a child of record, and that's why they've turned it over to us, but her mother's a member and such, though we didn't know where she lived. So we went over to Vincent's house to ask him! He was there, and as we were talking to him, lo and behold, she knocks on the door! Th. came to run an errand, and we were there at exactly the right time to meet her and teach her! So that was great. :)

The next couple days were full of the normal missionary things.. Teaching, planning, adjusting plans because of failed appointments, etc. Normal stuff! Saturday, though, was a funeral at the chapel that we attended. It was pretty cool! Nothing too crazy, though I think Elder Hanson and Elder Johnson may have a different view of it. ;) It was good! I felt like we stuck out so much (don't we always, though?) because not only were we the only white people there, we were also some of the few people wearing white shirts instead of black!

So, the funeral made for an interesting day, and on Sunday we had our General Conference Review. We finally got to watch general conference! I really loved the talk that President Uchtdorf gave about grace and such at the end of the Sunday Morning session. ["The Gift of Grace"] It was really inspiring, and I'm just hoping that this love of conference that I have right now will stick a little bit when I come home. ;)

As you well know, the week ended with a nice phone call. But what happened right before that? I received a package and a letter!!! :D :D :D It was the awesome birthday package from the Kandells. Give them a HUGE thanks for me!!! :D


The phone call was awesome. Things are going well. :) I loved seeing those pictures that you sent this week! Sorry that my mission feels so long. ;) Also a pretty touching May 10th, with all those 23 year marks and the like.

I'm doing great. Thank you for all the support you give me! I'm happy to be serving, and I'm happy to be improving. I love you all SO much! I can't believe that Elder Johnson's training is already half finished, before I know it he'll be out on his own! Time flies. Do good things. Don't make exceptions, and be happy!

Love,

Elder Price

[A few notes from our Mother's Day phone call yesterday:

No power: It was evening time there when we talked and towards the end of our call he said he'd been sitting there in the dark talking to me because it's been "Lights Out" (no power) all evening. Unremarkable to him, really. 

Water storage: Another missionary in the apartment said (in the background) that he was going to wash his face in preparation for bedtime. I asked Rain about the water situation. He said they had a very large trash can in their bathroom that they'd cleaned out and turned into their water storage. They fill up the trash can when water is available and power is on. They have a few buckets in their bathroom that they use to dip into the trash can to pull water as they need it.

Weather: He said he's quite comfortable in the heat. It's the cold that gets him now. If he's in an air conditioned building for even an hour, his feet go numb. He's a bit worried about acclimating to home. He asked if we could bring a winter coat to the airport when we pick him up (in September).

This time around we didn't have any list of questions for him. We were a bit surprised when he said that he had a list for us! He wanted to share more with us about the relationships and conversion stories of the people there that have touched his life so deeply. He feels very blessed to have been a part of these amazing people's lives. ]

Bonus photos: "Figured you'd like some nice food shots. ;)"
The shell things are called "periwinkle" (Liberia says "kissmeat") 



We don't really know what this is. It was with the intestines. Intestines are gross. 
At yesterday's General Conference viewing session 
And a fun lookin' spider. :)

04 May 2015

Cocoa Beans

Dear Family,

Hi! Looks like some nice things back home!

So, the week. It's been good! We've tried! On Tuesday we had a great district meeting... IN THE JULANDERS APARTMENT! :D A/C! :D It was so awesome. They talked about goals a lot, and it really inspired me to set more goals and to improve myself. They actually didn't finish their instruction, so we went there on Sunday night to finish it, where they talked about fear and the different types of fear, how to overcome, and how it can hold us back in ways that we don't even recognize. It was really interesting. I enjoyed it a lot!

Throughout the week we were failed a lot, but we still worked the best we could and kept going! Some of the funniest moments this week, however, were during the training videos that we're supposed to be watching. We've been watching The District, and yes, we learn and apply the principles, but sometimes it's SO HARD for us to take it seriously! We just watch them as they mention the importance of getting ready in the morning and such, with their toasters, ovens, nice stoves, blenders, nice fridges (that don't ever turn into a simple cupboard), carpets, and crazy clean homes. It's just a bit different than that for us. ;) Plus I can't imagine crying like that in a lesson.. I mean, it's not bad, but it's not what we're used to. So we've had some pretty fun training sessions. :D

We had an amazing lesson with a less-active this week! We had just been bounced for everything, but then we decided to call her. It had been a very long time, and it was totally random. She answered, and we were able to go and visit her that day! We had such an incredible lesson, and she finally opened up to why she wasn't coming to church. It was one of those really hard concerns of her family being really against her being a member, so we helped the best we could and relied on the spirit. The spirit became so strong in that room, especially as we decided to sing a couple hymns with her before we closed. I could see the experience touching her life, and it was one of those awesome things in mission that I love. :)

We also had our bishop go with us to a lesson on Tuesday! That was really incredible. He has never proselyted with us (since I've been here) (goodness, sometimes this keyboard makes me feel like I'm using a typewriter.. Goodness, hard keys to press!) before, but this appointment was really close to the church and right before a meeting there, so he was able to join us. We went to teach J., one of our investigators who asks some really deep questions and really knows his doctrine. Previously with him we had never had a lesson that really helped him progress, but this one was different. It wasn't anything that the bishop said, but for some reason, everything just went so smooth, and the presence of the bishop with us as well as some unseen forces made it such a great lesson.

Things are going well! I'm trying to feel better (I've been feeling sick each morning, and especially right now, but I think those two might be unrelated), but it might just be allergies. Who knows. I'm alright, don't worry. :) I'm doing good! I set some good goals, and I'm still working on walking the path that is not my own. It's not easy; it's much easier to sound humble in following His path than to actually get up and do it. But it's worth it. I know it is. :)

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price
 
Cocoa!


"Fresh cocoa busted open! It's really sweet, you just pop those things in your mouth and don't swallow or chew! Just suck on it, and it's really sweet and good. :)"

"Dried cocoa! It's really bitter, but it has that hint of dark chocolate."
 

"Playing trains!"
"CRAB AT THE CHURCH! :D "
"Playing with the crab. :) "
Ghana!
New shirt!