I landed in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday night July 22. Two other elders and I slept at a members house. We got in late 9:00, so we didn’t get to bed until 11:00pm. Our Mission President Heid wanted to meet with everyone in the morning so we still woke up at 6:30. It was exhausting. Jet lag is real! Anyway we got to meet with him and learned about what we were doing that day. I got paired up with Elder Levi Effiong. He is from Nigeria and is 23 years old. He is really quiet and is big. He has 3 siblings and his dad died in the military. His mom is also in the military as well as his sister. He joined the church 4 years ago. He told me we are serving in the Klagon Area. It was about an hour drive out of Accra but it is considered Accra. That first day we got our green cards so we don’t need our passports on us. We also got a physical by a doctor there. That took most of the day.
I'm in Klagon and the specific area is called Monkey Forest, right next to me is the "water works" and those are the people who live in sheds. Its sad. When we got to the apartment it was a light out and all the power was off. All the power that powers most the countries around Ghana is from Lake Volta and the country doesn't own it. It is owned by an independent company and the power is very inconsistent. It is always going out. It was very hot that night and in the morning I had to take a bucket shower. It was pretty cold but whatever. The area isn’t considered the bush (ghetto) but it sure seems like it. Most of the houses around are smaller then my room at home and people are very poor. Every Missionary apartment has a filter on the water faucet so that’s where we get our drinking water and we have a fridge and freezer. When we are out of the house, people will always offer us plastic bags of water. Somehow they are always cold too! So the water situation is fine. People are very poor though. None of our meetings have been inside a house yet. They are all outside and we sit on stools. We taught a lady named Rose and she was living in an unfinished cement building. She was using a jug of water as her seat and all her clothes were everywhere and she was pregnant out of wedlock. It is really sad and I wish i could help more.
Most everyone speaks Twi here (a tribal language) and then there is also Awey and Ga. People don’t like speaking English, so it is really hard understanding them. I try to change the way I speak so people can understand what I say as well, but its hard. Everyone calls me Abroni, which means white boy. I learned not to take offense because the people don’t mean to be mean thats just the way they are. We have been teaching a bunch of investigators and a couple of new converts. The situations some of these people are in is just crazy.
Our church building is just a big house. It's not a branch, though it's a ward! The main meeting room is pretty small so there are people throughout the house during meetings. I got to bear my testimony but a lot of the members don’t speak English, only Twi and Aywe. I was super tired this Sunday and had a real problem staying awake, so hopefully I can adjust better. The ward has a goal of 200 baptisms in the next year just in Klagon! Crazy! There are only 4 missionaries here so that is a hefty goal. We are planning on 6 baptisms in August and hopefully can get more these next couple of weeks. Later that day we went on splits for home teaching with members. I got to meet with a couple of guys who are 18 and 19 who are planning on serving missions and one of them already has this papers in! It was pretty cool. Today is P-day and to start it off I got to hand wash all my clothes. I basically rubbed my knuckles raw!
Anyway that was basically my week. It's been long but had some good experiences!
Love You all
One thing I would extremely encourage you to do is go to BYU-Idaho website and try and find Elder David Bednar's talk called "the Character of Christ". He gave this talk to the MTC a couple years ago and you can only watch it at the MTC (the BYU-I version is online and very similar. He just doesn't say a couple of things.) but it is the best talk I've ever heard. Read it, listen to it, and apply it, because that talk helped me more then anything. I've never felt the spirit so strongly in my entire life then when we watched it and we plan on watching it again this Sunday. (Every Sunday evening your district can choose a movie/talk to watch out of a small category, like Meet the Mormons, the Character of Christ, and other church movies). I've already given 3 blessings while I've been here and went to the temple today! Provo temple was cool but did not compare to the one in Bountiful!
So I know its only been like 2 days, but it feels like i've been out here forever already. I've never been in a situation where you literally have every minute of the day planned out and it is exhausting. I am really trying not to fall asleep but it's real hard. Today for example we watched Elder Packer's funeral and I could not stay awake for the life of me. Lessons are okay so far, but I guess but i don't feel like i get it yet. [After 2 days?] They have a huge emphasis on going by the spirit and when you first meet an investigator you need to stop and think about what they need. This will take some getting used to, because I normally plan the lesson on what I think they need to learn. I had my first real lesson today with my companion Elder Joseph Whiting. He is the one I was talking to through Instagram before this because we were both going to Ghana. He is a really spiritual guy and has carried me through a couple of lessons. The way it works is we have two teachers and they act as investigators they taught once and we teach them. They go all out. My teacher played the role of someone who is a heroin addict who's girlfriend died recently and is in a deep depression.The lesson was definitely difficult. We had our first branch meeting yesterday and I was chosen to be the District leader, so basically I get everyone's mail. Besides that I approve splits and get to teach a lesson once a week. My P-days are on Friday at the MTC and I'm not sure when it is in Ghana [Mondays], yet but I just have one more p-day before I head out so you and mom should write me back. So yeah hopefully my weeks can get better and better!