27 July 2015

Amazing Prepared People

Dear Family,

I'm an uncle!!! But the cooler thing is: RIKKI'S A MOM!!!! Crazy talk! :) July 23rd.

My week has been pretty interesting, but I forgot to write down notes, so here goes!
"Yes, I washed all of those shirts. All mine. Maybe I won't have to wash many more times until I use a washing machine again! ;)"
Tuesday: Well, no district meeting. We taught a ton of great lessons. NEW AWESOME PERSON! M. She's wonderful, speaks so intelligently (with such AMAZING English, truly), and we introduced our message. We saw her again later in the week and taught fully the Restoration, and it was pretty great to see her comprehend the message we were sharing. We have high hopes for her, though she is busy for this week. We taught several other lessons, too, and it was a good day.
"Random shot of us during the day... no real point to it, and not the best looking, but that's us!"
Wednesday: We visited brother Eb. for the first time! We had contacted him on Tuesday, and we visited on Wednesday. As we were welcomed into his home, we invited his wife to join us, and we had a sweet lesson. We had a couple more lessons with them throughout the week, and we can determine that they are progressing quite well already and that the spirit is real. Normally we don't teach too deep when we are there for the first lesson, but in this case we felt prompted to immediately start testifying about eternal families and marriages and the like. Spirit wo ho! in other words, the spirit was quite present. :) And that evening the Assistants came over!

Thursday: We had our interviews with President Stevenson! It was a good day, and I enjoyed my interview. Strange to think about how it was my last normal scheduled one, but it was a good one. 
"Elder Garry! Yeah, Elder Garry ​was telling me about how Uncle Ryan was his Spanish teacher. He's up in Dunkwa. My zone!"
Praso District (from Pres. Stevenson's blog)
Elder Akudago with Elder Price
The meeting went well, too, and we went and taught a lesson afterwards while waiting for the meeting of the Dunkwa district to end so that the Assistants could come proselyte with us. Well, during that time, we went to visit an investigator named Em. She was busy, but her husband was around! So we taught him. He had some interesting concerns and preconceived notions, but we could see that he was a wonderful guy and welcomed us. More on him later: his name was To. After a while we had the assistants with us, and we split up and taught. I went with Elder Halversen and Elder Nklaahtgosi (or something of that nature... To all those from Botswana, please forgive me! He was there because he was going with the assistants that evening to Cape Coast that evening) to see Eb. and his wife again. Well, Eb. wasn't around, so we taught Su.! It was such a great lesson, again. :) After everything, we had a meal from Theresa with all five of us.

Friday: We didn't have quite as successful of a day, but we did manage to have a good weekly planning and a good lesson with Da., so it wasn't a bad day at all. :) I wasn't feeling the best, the reason for that I do not know, but we made it through.

Saturday: We were trying to have the District Coordination Meeting which, eventually, was postponed a day, so we spent quite a bit of time at the chapel. We visited To. at his work place: he does electrical work! He has gone deep and has studied many things. During our conversation he showed us some of his work, and he's making his own inverter to charge large batteries for a power bank in his home! It was a really sweet conversation, and I was reminded that I like those things. :) We visited Eb. and his wife in the evening, and we had such a great lesson! Those two are so wonderful.

Sunday: Well, we had batteries for the piano, so I played for everything. I'm getting better! I still simply do chording for the hymns, but I'm starting to do chording for the normal hymnbook with most hymns. We also had our meeting with the district, and everything went well. The afternoon was good, too, and we taught To. at his home about the Book of Mormon. Another great lesson. This week was full of those. Amazing, prepared people!

Today: We got subsistence and hung around the apartment with no water because the electricity is off. :) Don't worry, we're managing. It'll be on (hopefully) this evening.

Everything is going well here, however nothing too crazy. My companion keeps telling me how good dog tastes, but I can't agree. Okay, I can agree, but I don't feel like trying it again (since Elmina). ;) As far as miracles here, all those new people. We fasted last week for the specific progression of some people, and although those people haven't progressed much, we have some new people who miraculously fell out of the sky and are progressing. It's crazy to think that we're going into the last week of the transfer already, but I guess that's how this works. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Say hello to Adara for me. :) I love you!!!

Love,
Elder Price
"The branch made food... it was cool. "
"Meat pies! :) There's a bit of meat, onions, and other spices in it."

20 July 2015

Scripture Baby

Dear Family,

So, the week! But I should preface the email with the fact that this week wasn't the greatest, so I don't know what I have to write about. [and with that, he proceeds to write another entertaining letter.]

Tuesday was spent trying very hard to teach people, and then I went to Hemang to be with Elder Bolabasaga for the next day! That brings me to Wednesday. We had an interestingly uneventful but in its own way eventful day. We fetched water from a well for our baths, brought in SO MANY bags of sachet water, and SO MANY 5 gallon jugs of water into the apartment, and these things all because Hemang doesn't have any flowing water! I think they still don't, actually. Some problem with the local water. 
"Fetching bathing water!"
We also hung around the apartment while waiting for a repair guy to come work on something else in their apartment. When all was said and done, we finally got out and I did a baptismal interview for them. Then we went and Elder Bolabasaga went and did an interview for the other elders. Then I came home! Ahem, I went back to the Praso apartment. It's home enough for me, now. ;)

Thursday. We tried to teach more people, and we got a lesson! Same thing on Friday, except the one guy we got was a complete drunk, sooooo... we shared things to help him. It was actually pretty depressing to see how enslaved he was to alcohol. I hope he finds his way to the path of soberness. It made for a crazy lesson, however!

Saturday had an amazing lesson with K., our progressing investigator. We taught him the first bit of the Plan of Salvation, and he just stopped us during it and said, "Does that mean I can become like God?" It was really cool. :) He also took time after everything we taught, after he understood it, to explain to all of his children who were also gathered around. A unique thing for me, and it was awesome. :) We also attended the baptism for Hemang that afternoon! We actually spent part of the day trying to find some way to fill the font. And we managed to do it! Hooked up a hose to a pipe, the normal. ;) We also got free lunch when we were at the chapel trying to do that from the YSA who happened to have some devotional as we were filling the font. AND we got free banku from some people who we're trying really hard to start teaching, but they're always busy. Friendly, though! And I bought three mangos that evening. It dawned on me that I can't get fresh mangos in Utah, so I'm going to be eating a lot of those for the next weeks!

Sunday was Nuamakrom's Branch Conference; we wanted to attend, but we couldn't. So we came to Praso! Half the branch went to Nuamakrom, it seemed like. I taught Sunday School! :) That went well. We also had a really awesome guy just come to church! We had never met him before, but he's the coworker with the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency, so he visited! I hope we can see him. Unfortunately, K. couldn't come to church, but we think next week will be the week.

This morning we played football (please, just translate football to soccer. I'm tired of writing both. :P :)) on a really nice full grass field! An investigator of the other Praso elders came, and he's really good, so it made for an interesting match. He was on my team, along with Elder Etim and Elder Akudago. We faced the team of Elder Naivanawalu, and 3 members or locals. I know one is a strong member, I think another one is, and the 3rd I wasn't quite sure. But I think they all were! We had a great game, and I got 2 hattricks: 6 goals. :D Okay, admittedly, Elder Etim and Bro. Boafo or whatever his name is and however you spell it, really contributed to me getting so many goals, but, as Elder Etim put it: "The other team really did great in making you look like you're great at football!" It was a really entertaining activity, though Hemang couldn't come. We won. It was nice. :)

I'm doing well! Interviews are this week! Hopefully things go well. :) I love you all so much. It's hard not to remember how much time I have until I see you, but at the same time I'm happy that I still can do more out here.

Love,

Elder Price

"my scripture baby. ;) "
"Our nearly daily breakfast: Fresh bread (really fresh! mmmmm) and porridge/cocoa.
It's not cocoa-ey so I don't know why they call it that."
"Our apartment from really far away! The white building."

13 July 2015

Nuamakrom!

Dear Family,

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, because I'm not sure how much I'll write for this week. There aren't really as many eventful stories to tell. We'll see how it goes, though, right? :)

So, to go through the week...

Monday (last week): After emailing, we played football with the Praso district members! It was fun. That night we hosted the Dunkwa elders in our apartment. Why? Because:

Tuesday was our zone meeting! It went well, and I don't really know what to say about it. Before the meeting we went to pay a bill. Well, when we were going to grab the bill to pay it, we couldn't find it! We had no idea where it was. Elder Etim went to go look for it, and I had no idea. I said a prayer, and 10 seconds later he comes in with it in his hand. It had been put into the trash!!! He cleaned it off and everything was successful. Just like the meeting. The meeting was made more successful with the cookies that the Hanlons brought. :) That was the most meaningful part of the day. There really wasn't much else done, though we taught a lesson.

Wednesday: We had an exchange! I went with Elder Akudago into my area. That was the first time I led my area, so I knew I wasn't the most knowledgeable of it, but things went well! It was interesting to have my companion translating the lessons. We did have success in having 5 lessons! It was a good day, and several new investigators. :)  [Elder Akudago is from Ghana, having spent most of his life in Kumasi]
Elder Akudago! 
Thursday: teaching! That's what we did. We had our weekly planning, and then we taught people. Another 5 lesson day, and a couple more new investigators. :) Hopefully they can all start progressing soon.

Friday: I WENT TO NUAMAKROM! I was very happy about that. We cover that branch, but it's so far away. Elder Loader and Elder Allen were there together way back when, but now it's a closed area because of lack of progression. We went there with Elder Hanlon! It was a pretty place, but not very busy. I can understand why it's a once a week thing, but I do hope that we can at least support the members out there. That was about it for the day. We didn't have much other success. It's about a 30 minute drive on a dirt road to get there, by the way. There's a branch out there, and even one PAST that.
"We went to Nuamakrom! It was a beautiful place."


Saturday: We had a few lessons, and they were really good! It was a long day, but it was filled with talking to people and being out. Felt good. :) We had one lesson with a woman named El., who is a long time Catholic, and the spirit was so strong as we explained the restoration and tenderly but firmly testified of the things we know to be true. It was neat, and we got the Book of Mormon involved, so I'm hoping that she'll recognize the spirit that was present. That was about it for Saturday. :)

Sunday consisted of church, playing the piano a ton, and other good things. The piano stuff: I learned the name of what I'm doing! The back of the children's songbook calls it "chording". That's what I've been doing. It's the easy way out. :) It helps, especially because I don't know all the hymns at all! So it was good. I taught a member, Asante, some basic music things. He wants to learn to play the piano, so this is what I made him!
Piano Lesson
Oh, and we taught a great lesson to another new investigator, did a couple zone leader things, ate fufu, and closed the day. It was a good week.

This Monday: We played football on a really really nice field made of a puzzle piece outdoor material with really nice basketball hoops and stuff. It was at the Forever Young (member owned) school in Hemang. I had fun playing basketball, too, but we mostly played football. They had handball nets that work as football goals, so it was a good set up! I scored a couple times. :)

That's how things are going. The feelings are intensifying as the time grows shorter, and I lay awake in bed this morning thinking about those things and how much I already miss some of my areas (notably Sekondi), though I'm learning to love Praso and the people here. I just occasionally realize that I will never experience this again, even if I come back. I gotta push forward and harder until I don't have anything else to give.
I really do know that this work is true.

Have a great week. I love you all. Rikki, take the classic hospital baby pictures and send them to me. :)

Love,

Elder Price

Bonus Photos:
"We had a crazy rainstorm, and the sky looked really interesting right before it hit."

Plenty of nature shots this week. :)







 Apartment pics:
The "leaving the apartment" pictures




Apartment fun. :)
Elder Etim and Elder Price

06 July 2015

Fufu with a Seventy

Hello! :)

I'm on today, once again! I'm counting my blessings each week as I email here. I know this is only the second time [emailing from Praso], but I'm glad everything has been working well.

As for my week, there's SO much to share! So much that I think I'm only gonna share the bullets that I wrote down!

Tuesday: District meeting! It was a rather funny district meeting, we had a quiz instruction! It was a nice one, and Elder Keetch was the moderator with the questions. My team was the one on the left in the picture I sent you. Well, we won through our cunning. ;) We were losing so bad, but then the last question was a cool one where you can bet your points (up to all of yours) to receive double if you get it right or lose those if you get it wrong. Well, we had no idea of the answer. So we bet 0. The other team bet a ton, and missed the question, so we ended up winning! :D

We then had the first leg of the trip to Cape Coast. That night we traveled there and slept at the Assistants' apartment. A/C, hot water, everything. It was pretty neat! The cake they made that night was a nice addition, too. :) The ride was so long and bumpy, it was nice to have some comforts.

Wednesday: MLC-Mission Leadership Council! It was good. Elder [Von] Keetch's part was really great too, and it was a good meeting. I enjoyed it. :) 

[By way of explanation, Elder Price's letter talks about two different Elder Keetch's. The Elder Keetch whom Elder Price has been serving "in a threesome" with while waiting for parents to arrive is the son of Elder Von G. Keetch. In April 2015, Elder Von Keetch was sustained as a General Authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Having a General Authority in your midst is a pretty exciting thing.]
Mission Leadership Council, with President and Sister Stevenson and Sister and Elder Keetch in the front row.
Elder Price with Sister and Elder Keetch
After everything we traveled home. Just as long, and I was so tired. We made it back and taught Da.! It was a really great lesson about the priesthood and the Book of Mormon. We had to teach him so thoroughly, his questions are great.


Thursday: We had a good day, weekly planning, and then fufu with a Seventy. Definitely a highlight for me. :) It was sweet. We were at Th.'s house, the one with the kids and the balloons [later in the letter] (the balloons were on Sunday afternoon). 
"Eating fufu with a General Authority. So sweet. :)"
We also enjoyed a great fireside that evening in Hemang! Though the light went off in the middle of it, it was great to have another instruction from Elder Keetch. Following the fireside, I went with Elder Seaman for an exchange!
"The fireside in Hemang with Elder Keetch"
Friday: Well, it started with a problem in the pipe from the shower of the Hemang apartment, and.. We took bucket baths out in the outdoor washrooms! They're not exactly the most sanitary or private of places, but we hung a shower curtain and the only thing above the little cement outdoor stall was my head, so it wasn't bad. Don't worry, I wore slippers. :) The exchange went well, and Elder Seaman and I had a fun time talking about television shows, namely Dr. Who. It was a good day! I came across this ancient hymnbook. Okay, not too ancient. Grandma and Grandpa may have used it when they were little kids. :) It was a good day!
"View from the apartment in Hemang"
Saturday: We had a meeting with the District Presidency, the high councilors, and the branch presidents (the one who came). It was a really good meeting, though, and some important problems were addressed. That was mostly the day. We went and taught some lessons, too, so everything was good. One of the only days I really had to teach in my area, and there was STILL a meeting! Oh, and to celebrate the occasion [Fourth of July], I made hotdogs with sliced bread and some canned hotdogs that a place nearby sells. They tasted almost kinda somewhat like hotdogs back home. Enough to remind me of real hotdogs. :)
4th of July celebration
Sunday: I played the piano for the first time EVER in sacrament meeting! I came prepared with four hymns to play for sacrament meeting. It went well! None of our investigators came to church. Just one guy from a far place away who visited for the first time and had a good experience. Well, back to the piano: the other branch proceeded to ask me to play for them. Unfortunately for me, I had no idea how to  play those hymns.. But I made it through, and they didn't sound too bad. :) The day was good, and I gave some balloon animals to Th.'s kids. They had so much fun playing with them. We also had our weekly amazing and massive fufu from Maame Alice. That's about it! The week was a very busy one, but amazingly enough I don't feel too exhausted! :D
"I made balloons for Th's little boys. One boy isn't there, he went to play football. :) They loved them."
"I changed the dogs to swords. :) "
I'm feeling good. I love you all so much! I'm praying for Rikki; I can't believe it's already been that long [his sister is 38 weeks along with her pregnancy]

Have an amazing week. Do good things! :) I will admit that I'm slowly realizing how short the time is and thoughts of seeing all of you again are sweet, but I've been trying to turn those thoughts and feelings to a greater desire to serve harder for this last bit. I know He'll prepare everything.

I love you so much.

Love,

Elder Price

Answers to our questions from last week:

[what’s the story behind the girl carrying a live bird while on her mother’s back?] 
So, there was just a bird with a hurt wing at the chapel, and someone picked it up. Then it eventually was just handed to the baby and the baby just kept holding it. :) 

[The photo of the rooster?] The rooster was nothing. It was right by the monkey from a long time ago. A nice looking rooster. Yummy. I wish I had the chance to eat it.

[More fowls there than Sekondi?]
Naw... I think it's about the same amount of chickens. Maybe a little bit less. Well, there's just goats and chickens everywhere, I don't know if it's different between Sekondi and Praso. :)

[If you’re playing the piano, will you have a chance to practice much?] 
Yeah, the branch is allowing me to keep the keyboard at the apartment to practice. :) It's has a nice bag that makes it convenient! More on the playing of the piano later.

I don't have any pics yet of the outside of the [new] apartment. We live on the top floor of a house. It's nice! No massive hill to climb before reaching the apartment!

[Settling in?]
I actually feel a lot more settled than before. Elder Keetch's stuff is gone, so I'm finally unpacked. I even put the glow in the dark snakes up on the ceiling finally!
"My room!"

His companion, Elder Etim