See my sister's mission blog here!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween In Ghana (Kind of haha!)

Here's another dandy and exciting letter from yours truly! I can't tell you how happy these emails make me!!!

Hey Family!!!

Im glad to hear that you are all doing well and i hope you keep it
up!! so ill answer questions first, No they do not celebrate
halloween, they have witch doctors and juju and superstitions 24/7 so
that tides everybody over on that point and its really really annoying
sometimes. but we just stay away from "all appearance of evil" so were
okay. They celebrate, christmas, new years, ghanaian independance day,
mothers day, and some other obscure holidays that i dont know about.
Yes i wash my clothes in a big basin by hand, actually my favorite way
is to put my soap in with the clothes and i walk in place on them with
my feet. we call it stomp washing and it works really well haha.

A typical day would go like this. wake up at 6:30, shower, make
breakfast and get dressed and ready for the day. 8 is personal study,
scriptures, missionary library and the church magazines, 9 is
companion study, share what we learned, share what we learned, talk
about our investigators and plan who and what we will teach. i also do
a little training with my comp since he is new. we leave the apartment
at 11 to go out and teach. then we work all day teaching and
contacting and doing our best to further the work of the lord. then we
come home anywhere from 8-9 we talk about the day set goals and talk
about things we could do better, then from 9-10:30 we eat dinner,
write letters, write in our journal, shower, and go to bed. and
through out all of this we have as much fun as humanly possible. If
your on a mission and your not having fun, your not doing mission

Okay so here is my week! Tuesday was district meeting in praso and it
went well. we were instructed on the power and authority of our
calling and how we should take our calling as a missionary seriously.
after we shopped a little and then went back to our area. we taught
some good lessons and a member gave us some sugar cane, i love eating
sugar cane! haha its basically like a sugary tooth brush and its
really good! you bite and suck on the fibers and the sugar comes out
and its really nice. Also that night i spoke with president shulz and
we found out that my companions mission call came! he is going to the
Benin City mission in Nigeria and he leaves at the end of next month,
so he is actually leaving me next wednesday. So i might get another
stake missionary as a companion, or i will be in a trio for a week and
then i will get a missionary from the mission at the transfer so
we'll see about that.

Wednesday we taught some good lessons. We tried to do a service
project but when we went to do it the people never showed up so we
didnt do it. Wednesday night at midweek i taught the 6 members that
came some new hymns, haha most of the branch only knows about 5 hymns
and they are as sick of it as i am so im teaching them more so we can
have a bit more variety haha.

Thursday and friday were both about the same, we worked hard and
taught some good lessons and then we also taught seminary to the
youth. Then on Saturday after teaching a couple lessons we went with
the youth to praso where everyone in the zone brought their youth
along with their non-member friends and we played football. it was
youth vs missionaries and it was a lot of fun, we lost 3-2... also the
field had about 7 big mud puddles and anytime i slipped or fell, it
somehow always ended up sending me into the water and the mud. haha
lets just say i was dirty. we played for a while and by the time we
got back it was late so that was our day. it was good though because
we got some good referrals from the youth.

Sunday was great and church went well. we had 4 investigators come to
church so we were stoked! also a few members gave us food and it was
all good! it rained a ton after church too! and since there are no
paved roads in Nyenasi everywhere was muddy!

Monday was sweet! we woke up and did our devotional, then we did our
washing. AT noon we went to KAKUM national forest. its a sweet place
that has giant Rope Bridges from tree to tree through the canopy of
the african jungle. We were about 80-100 feet off the ground and it
was sooo cool! the bridges are made out of nothing but rope, ladders
and 1 wood slat to walk on and needless to say i loved it! i will send
pictures next time, bad network today:(

So thats my week! we have some great investigators finally and
hopefully we will be having a couple baptisms next month! keep having
fun and working hard! i love you all!

Love, Bradley

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Pictures of the Jungle!

Here they are! (I swear that these are better than Christmas!!!)

Okay first things first, this is Elder Atila and he is awesome and he works really hard!

This is also one of the millions of companions I can find in my apartment

Which way should I go?????

This is a small cocoa farm

This is the typical mud house/palm tree roof, most places don't have cars though!

Okay, this is our well and our water tank, the water gets
 pumped from our well into the tank and then into the house.

The well water isn't clean, but we have a filter and it works now!!! haha

This is the main road through town, dusty and sunny!!!

The sunsets out here are great!!

This is our kitchen! It looks nice right?

This is the message that the previous elders left for us.
 I don't even want to show you inside the cupboards! haha

So this is where we keep a lot of our food, along with the fridge, yesterday I opened my bread that was in there and it was full of ants!!! So now bread goes in the fridge!

This is our awesome study desk hahaha, it's really not bad, 
because we can still read our scriptures, plan our day, 
and write our letters on it, so I'm happy!!!

Here is the apartment from the outside, its in the same compound as the church. 

This is just outside our wall

This is the bridge that we have to drive over to get 
back into a normal size town, it was formerly a
 railroad bridge but now cars drive on it and no 
trains come, it goes over the PRA River. 

Same bridge, better view

Nyenasi Train station sign

Just a nice little bridge that we walk over a lot that isn't good. Haha!

This was our nice trail to the cocoa farm on Saturday

Walkin through the jungle

An old rail line light that you could climb, it's a bad picture
I'm really not that fat ;) I promise!!!

My sweet blister from weeding

My bathroom

Me and my comp!

Pictures and Stories from the Jungle!

We got a great email from Elder McGuire this week!!! I love his stories of the new city and I LOVE all of the pictures!! Enjoy!

Hey Family!
wow i seriously dont think that you guys could be having any more fun than you are right now but im sure you'll figure out a way hahaha. Thats sweet that you guys got to go up and see idaho falls! i remember loving goin up there to stay with grandma and grandpa. i think my favorite thing to do was to feed the ducks and to play sega hahaha there are some awesome memories back there.
I am making some pretty awesome memories here though. this week was another good one and the work is great as usual. Tuesdayafter we emailed we made our way back to nyenasi and got home around 8:30. the next morning we woke up and went on splits with the zone leaders. i stayed in my area with Elder Agyare and my companion went to praso with elder Harris. Elder Agyare and i had a good time and taught some good lessons. We were still able to talk to everyone because Elder Agyare is also ghanaian. It was fun to change up comps for a day and learn some new styles of teaching.
Thursday, Elder Agyare and i woke up and went into praso and we switched back to our companions. then elder Atila and i went bought food because we didnt have anything in the apartment. I love it here because Fruit is cheap!!! mom you thought i ate a lot of bananas at home??? haha i eat like at least 3 or 4 a day sometimes per meal. i can buy 10 bananas  here for 1 cedi (about 50 cents) i also eat oranges and pineapple a lot! its amazing! we went back to our area and had a couple good lessons to finish out the day.
Friday was a great day. i actually woke up in the morning and wasnt feelin good at all. not sick but just not happy. but that changed when we got to studying. leave it to heavenly father to send me a message through his ancient prophets to pick me back up. we actually had a great study session on friday and we did some really good planning for our investigators and what we were going to teach for the day.  then something amazing happened. we did exactly what we planned and had some amazing lessons! the lord blesses us so much, especially when we plan. "if we fail to plan, we plan to fail".
Saturday was sweet!!!! we woke up in the morning and instead of going straight to studying we went and met one of our invetigators and and went with her and her family to their cocoa farm and we helped them weed. to get there we had to walk about 30 minutes and part of it was straight through the jungle! we did the weeding with machetes and basically did the work of a string trimmer with them. it was a lot of fun but i got a massive blister. basically ive lost my edge, i havent done yardwork mcguire stile in 6 months and its taking its tole! haha also the bugs were HUGE!!!! i found a spider that was litterally bigger than my hand, and i am not exaggerating, i didnt get a picture of it cuz i freaked out and killed it really fast haha. it was also cool to be weeding while being able to have the smell of chocolate cake around you. so we weeded for about 3 hours and then we went back to the apartment and got cleaned up and went out for the rest of the day and had some good lessons.
Sunday was great simply because we had the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and attend church meetings. the savior has done something incredible for us and i love that we can experience the blessings of his sacrifice and our covenants with him every week and even every day. church was great and elder Atila and i taught gospel priniciples to the adults of the branch. after church we had some good lessons and a member made us some food and i got fufu!!!!!!! i havent had fufu since i left tarkwa and i have missed it so much!!! but i am enjoying other foods. there is one problem with fufu, it is not good for you at all, its a giant ball of starch that you dip in oil. Thats how its possible to have morbidly obease people in a third world country hahaha.  but yeah sunday was awesome.
Today has been really good too. we came into cape coast today and we played football(soccer) with the elders in 3 zones and it was a lot of fun. basically im not good at football but im getting better! now were emailing and after were gonna go shopping and go home to nyenasi later.
so thats me for the week!! im in a nice internet cafe so today im actually going to send pictures so get ready!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Short Message! (And no pictures)

Here's Bradley's tidbit for the week! It was super short, and we hope to hear more next week!!!!

Dear Family,
You already know what im gonna say hahaha. this week was once again awesome! i love that i can say that to you every week and actually mean it every time!
as far as the work goes here everything is just the same as back in tarkwa, we teach lessons and work with members as best we can and try to build the kindom stronger and stronger. Here in Nyenasi everyone is a farmer or they work in the town about 20 minutes away from us so its really hard for us to be teaching people before about 1pm because everyone is busy. we do find ways to keep ourselves busy though and we do a lot of contacting in the morning hours. Thankfully with another week under our belts we are becoming more familiar with people, members, and the area and it has helped a lot. You know once you get over the shock of everything and assimilate the work is still the same and its still of god!.
this week i was studying in Acts and in Chapter 5 it had some stuff that i loved! the apostles were going around teaching and the government officials were telling them to stop! of course they didnt and the apostles were put in jail. the lord released them from the prison and they continued on in the work. When brought before a council of officials the apostles were asked why they were still teaching. they said that they would rather obey god than men. this angered the officials and they wanted to kill them. but one of the officials stood and made the case that if they were of god then their teachings would last but if they were not then they would be scattered just as people who had come before them. but then he asks will you fight against god??? so the officials agree to release them but first they take them and beat them. Then it says as the apostles left they were rejoicing that they had the opportunity to suffer for the lord and for spreading his word!!
hahaha so i took this and i looked at myself and tried to think if everytime something hard happens, every time someone makes fun of me or laughs at me, everytime things dont go right, am i rejoicing that i get to suffer for the lord or am i just feeling sorry for myself? it has really changed my attitude and its great!! im so sorry but i dont have a whole lot more i can think of to say but i do have a bunch of pictures so ill say more in describing them okay?:)
i love you all and i hope you guys have another great week!!!! I love you!!!
love, Bradley
p.s. for my package i would love, beef jerky, cookie dough mix, brownie mix, and anything else amazing that you can think of  hahaha. also maple and ranch mix would be sweet too. really anything!! i love you!

Bradley also sent me this note:
ok sorry the computer isnt working right so no pictures:(  i promise next week i will send them...haha for reals!!! but everything is really great here and sure things are tough but then lord can help me make it through!! love you!
So, No pictures. :( Maybe next week....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's All New Again!

He's in a new area, with a new companion and a new apartment! Sounds like a crazy chance to start over!!!!!

Hey Family!!

it sounds like you guys have had another great week! i have had a
pretty crazy one myself and ill see if i can remember everything. so
here we go....:)

ok so Tuesday after we emailed, elder keetch and i went and stayed
with some elders just outside of takoradi. we had a ton of fun playing
games and talking. it was a sweet last night with keetch, im gonna
miss him, he was an awesome friend.

Wednesday morning we had to be back in takoradi by 8 so we left early
to be there on time. on our way back into takoradi our cab driver made
some police mad and they pulled us over and the driver ended up
getting arrested haha the police are so corrupt here!! so we walked
the rest of the way into town, thankfully it wasnt too far. so at 8 i
said goodbye to keetch and all of us getting transferred piled into a
tro and went to cape coast.

We got to cape coast and waited for a while so all the elders who
would be moving around were there. eventually my companion came and he
is awesome. His name is Elder Atila and he is a stake missionary from
a stake within the mission, he is 25 and is waiting for his mission
call which will be here any day now so he will only be with me for
this transfer.

While we were waiting for everyone i got to talk to my Zone Leaders
who told me a little more about my area and my assignment there. I am
basically training my companion since he has never served before.
Nobody in Nyenasi speaks english so my companion is also kinda my
translator. i need to learn the language way better. i am also kinda
the unofficial elders quorum president of the branch and i am supposed
to stress home teaching a lot. we have a bunch of less active members!

So it was a 2 hour tro ride to the main city near my area called
Praso. then from praso it was about another 20 minute tro ride to
nyenasi. For Nyenasi its a tiny little village and there is cell phone
service in about 3 places about 2foot by 2foot. hahaha yeah no cell
service, so every night before we go home we have to call the zone
leaders and let them know that we are still alive! hahaha but its
alright:) our apartment is pretty cool. we cant keep any food in the
kitchen cupboards because the rats and the bugs will get into all of
them. so we have to keep our food in our 1 clothes dresser. our study
desks is actually a small skinny table and we are on each end. Our
water comes from our own personal well that is pumped into a tank and
then pumped into the house. the water isnt clean and the water filter
is broken, so we are using a bunch of water satchets instead haha.

So Thursday was our first day of proselyting. our branch mission
leader was supposed to show us around and introduce us to members and
investigators but instead he went to praso so we went solo. we walked
around for a few hours just getting to know the place and talking to
people. we actually ended up teaching a couple lessons to people that
we just met and we just kinda started the work. Friday we worked in
the morning and then in the afternoon we came to praso because we
didnt have any food and you cant buy much in Nyenasi. We made it to
praso just in time for it to start raining harder than i have ever
seen it rain before. it rained for a long time and here taxis stop
going back to nyenasi around 6:30 so that night we ended up staying
over with the zone leaders and it was a lot of fun, but we got

Saturday morning we woke up and went back to our area. One of the
investigators the previous elders left behind was being baptized saturday so we picked him up and came back to praso, then from praso
we went to another village called Nyamakrom where the only baptismal
font is up here. the baptism went well, and one of the other elders in
the district baptized our investigator. his name is Awiah Danquah and
even though i dont really know him i was still super excited for him
to be baptized. so the baptism went well and we slowly but surely made
our way back to nyenasi. we finally got back around 3 p.m. and we taught
a couple lessons and talked to people for the rest of the night.

Sunday was a great day. we woke up in the morning and had church at 9.
the branch here is small but it is still good. My companion and i both
bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting, then we taught adult sunday
school, and finally finished off by teaching priesthood. after church
we talked to the branch president for a while about the branch and its
needs. then the Branch mission leader finally came back and he took us
around and introduced us to everything. he showed us a lot of less
active members and i realized that we have a ton of work to do!!!!

Monday was pday, we woke up and went straight to washing. then in the
afternoon we cleaned and relaxed. We didnt email or shop because the
power in praso was out, and market day is Tuesday in praso. so if
we want any good food we have to shop Tuesday
so we just kinda relaxed and wrote letter all day. then that night we
had a lesson with the man that was just baptized and met his whole
family, it was cool.

Today we woke up and came to praso for district meeting. We only have
1 district in our zone and there are 12 missionaries. we had a good
meeting and talked about how we can better help our investigators be
prepared for baptism. now we are finally emailing. i was actually
almost finished with this email and the power went out!! i was so mad!
it came back in a few minutes but i had to re write everything but i
am happy i actually get to send you guys something.

So yeah thats my week! there is a lot of crazy new stuff but guess
what?! the church and the work are still the same. the church is still
true and this work is still divine! were still workin on adjusting to
everything and getting to know people but that will come with time.

im so jealous that you all got to watch conference! i probably wont
hear it for a few weeks but its alright, im just excited!! one thing i
realize more and more out here is just how blessed our family is to be
living in the place that we do. We have so much and the lord has
blessed us abundantly! we should be greatful for what heavenly father
has given us. there are so many people in the world who have so much
less but are still happy as ever!

anyway thats me for this week. i hope i got everything. if not ill
write again next week!!! i love you all!!! keep hangnin in there!

Love, Bradley

P.S. sorry i cant send pictures here because the internet is too slow,
but i will send a bunch when we go to cape coast to email in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saying Goodbyes: PICTURESSS!!!!

Family and Friends! Thanks to my incredible brother Daniel, I've been able to get some new pictures working! I will hopefully have the rest of them up shortly! Here's this weeks pictures! (The captions were written by Bradley himself!)

So these guys are sweet!!! Raymond and Tony and Fred! they are some of my best friends out here although none have been baptized. Fred is really really close I hope he makes it!

This old man is brother Asmah. he is hilarious and only has like 6 teeth. He is the member who likes to clean our apartment. He is awesome!

This is Adubea. She is the best person in Tarkwa! She is a branch missionary and has helped us so much in our missionary work. She comes proselyting with us and makes us food and gives us a ton of referrals! She is a great friend.

Me leaving:(

This is Sam! Another favorite!! We baptized him in August and he is so incredible and has been through a lot. He is working really hard right now to prepare for a mission. He could leave before i even go home!!!! That's crazy!

Fred. He is so close to baptism!!!!

Me and all of the branch leadership!!

Me and the entire branch!

Transfers: Saying goodbyes

Hey Family!!
once again another great week has come and gone!! its crazy how the time goes out here!! saturday will be my 6 month mark!!!! 
So tuesday after we had district meeting we came back to tarkwa and did our shopping since we missed the chance on monday. then we went and emailed. after emailing we were walking to a lesson and elder keetch got a phone call from president shulz.....he is totally training!!!!! i was excited for him, he is gonna do awesome! so then the rest of the week was kindof  a blurr. we didnt know who was leaving the area because transfer news wasnt till saturday and we thought there couldve been a possibility of both of us leaving because ive only been district leader for 1 transfer. so we just worked really hard and taught a bunch of lessons the rest of the week and elder keetch also went for a training meeting in cape coast. it was all great. then finally saturday night at 9:57 (dont worry it wasnt like i was waiting or anything) the zone leaders called us to tell us what was going on. 
         They told me that i was being transferred to a new area. im going to be in the Praso zone and i will be in the Yenase area and i will have a stake missionary for a companion. how cool is that!! yenase is just a tiny little village in the middle of the jungle. so needless to say these next few months are gonna be totally different and an entirely new expereince. so needless to say the last 3 days have been full of goodbyes. im gonna miss tarkwa!! for the last 6 months its been my home and i have a lot of awesome friends there! but i guess thats how mission is. its just hard to say goodbye. im gonna miss keetch too. he has become an awesome friend. 
            So sunday all of the members wanted to make us food and say goodbye. so we had 2 meals and a bunch of visits. also i got a call from president shulz and basically he said i should buckle up!! but he said he knew i could do it! that kinda made me nervous but i am excited!
         Monday i got all of my washing done and spent the day packing up everything. we also were going around to a bunch of people and saying some final goodbyes. monday night we had Fhe with the branch president and then afterwards we went and got pizza at the hotel one last pizza in yenase.......hahaha it was sweet. then we came home and talked and just enjoyed our last night. this morning we woke up and came to takoradi for  a combined district meeting. elder keetch and i are spending the day here. then tomorrow im gonna go to my new area and elder keetch's trainee is coming out here!! i kinda feel like im just starting a whole new mission now that im going to a whole new place, its weird!!
        I wish i could watch conference here but we dont. for whatever reason. we will get it on dvds in about a month or so and then ill get to watch and listen. but im sure it will be incredible!! i heard that they are broadcasting priesthood session on tv now! i heard some "certain members were complaining" i guess its okay. but i really hope people still go to the stake centers and the conference center to watch. thats what i always loved about priesthood session!!! you will all have to tell me about it next week!
        my favorite fruit out here has been the pineapple and guava! but you know me ofcourse i love it all! and in my new area its all really really cheap so im excited for that. in tarkwa a lot of stuff is expensive because its a mining town.
        Anyway. thats my news for the week. next week i will be across the mission with a whole new world to tell you guys about! tarkwa has been awesome! i hope you all are happy and have another great week!!!! love you!
Love, Bradley