See my sister's mission blog here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Apologies, Phone Calls, Fufu, and Bones!

Well everyone, I owe you all a HUGE apology! I am so sorry that I have been so slow about these last few emails! I'm so sorry! But, here they are now! It's crazy how much can change in just three weeks (which explains the title of this post). I hope you enjoy the pictures and the stories as much as I do!

Letter From May 12th ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Family,

HOly cow i loved talking to you yesterday sooo much!!!!! it was soo awesome to hear everyones voice and to hear how you are all doing. it sounds like you guys are going to have quite an amazing summer!!!! They celebrate mothers day here but its not too big of a thing but they remember it and make it known so it was alright.

For me there werent too many things that i didnt get to tell you about my week in my letter but ill try to remember some...Well to be honest the week was just one solid week of missionary work. we have actually been having trouble meeting with people lately just cuz when we come around people always say they are busy or they arent home. So needless to say we walked a lot this week. but it was good because it gave us the opportunity to really slow down and talk to people on the street and also to visit some members. its hard to balance everything but we are trying really hard to be effective. Luckily the members are enjoying our companionship so they have been offering to come and help us teach more lately which is soo nice. they are also giving us some good referrals and we are praying that we have some of them progress and keep commitments.

That is awesome that dan and krissy are studying pmg together!!! when i studied pmg before my mission i didnt do it right so it didnt have much affect on me but i know dan has it down so that will be great. Im glad to hear that grandma great is doing well, i have been thinking about her a lot lately so im happy to know she is doing alright.

For my clothes they are all doing okay and hanging in there. the belt loops in my pants are wearing out a bit but its nothing big. there are tailoring shops everywhere here so if i need something fixed its no problem my shoes are strong and dont look like they are giving up anytime soon. I absolutely loved the ties that you sent me! the nice thing is that if any of my stuff dies i can find it here so i think im alright on clothes. i sat up last night trying to think of things i need and i couldnt think of anything too big. some beef jerkey, peanut butter, and cookie mixes are always great! but anything you think might help i would love it! im just not creative!!!hahaha but you always do amazing!

ANyway i hope you all have a great week and i will report back next week!!! i love you all!

love, Bradley

Cool poster at the Elmina Castle

Easily the biggest fufu I've ever eaten!!!

The district

Ghanaian resourcefulness...those are flip flops used for gate hinges!!

Letter from May 19th~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Family,

I talked to you only a week ago and already so much stuff has happened and is happening!! for you and for me! hahaha i have the same problem with writing so before we come to email i take a few notes out of my journal so i can remember everything to write. its so crazy to think that school is going to end soon!!!! it looks like everyone is ready for a fun summer!!! thats so cool that you guys are going to oregon!!!! are you going to bend again? thatll be great!!!

So here is the week for me. On Tuesday it was District meeting as usual. everything went well and the district is great! i got 7 letters and 3 were from shar so needless to say i was a happy boy. hahaha Proselyting was great the rest of the day and we had an interesting experience. We were in a little town on a busy road just outside of Abakrampa and we were kind of lost. we were on our way up a road to meet a member when we thought we should go back to the main road. we didnt know why because we new we were going exactly where we planned. but we went anyway and just waited there for a second. and while we were standing there a car pulled over and the driver called me over in a very good american accent although he was black. i went and talked to him and he was from the states!!!! he was looking for a town that was about an hour away and he was lost. he actually stayed in accra. so we gave him some directions and chatted a lil bit. he knew we were the "Mormons" and that we were on missions and he was cool. unfortunately it wasnt until he was driving away that i hadnt talked to him much about the gospel or anything!!!! i realized he was the
reason we had to come back to the road! i felt like i blew it! after wards we went back to the trail we were previously on and found the member we were looking for. luckily the american gave me his number so i called him later that night to see if he made it. he answered and we chatted and i invited him to talk to the elders the next time he saw some in accra. I dont know if this will affect this guy at all and i probably will never find out but i know it happened for a reason. i hope i did what the lord needed me to do!

Wednesday and thursday were super busy full of lessons and working with new and old investigators. we have had a problem with some of our investigators coming to church lately and we couldnt figure out why. finally it came out this week. One of them said he didnt have black pants and a white shirt and so he didnt want to feel like the odd one out when he came. The other thought we payed collection in church(they do it a ton in the churches here!) and because he thinks the church has a lot of money he said he didnt have enough for collection. in both cases we explained the situation to both of them and they understood.....both of them were at church on sunday!!!! so we were happy hahaha kinda bumbed we didnt figure that one out sooner though. but we got it now!

Friday was like the opposite of wednesday and thursday, everything fell through and we walked a ton! we did get to have an activity at the church though and we watched the testaments. the members loved it and learned a lot from it.Saturday was nice we were able to go to farm and plant corn and weed, its been a while so we were happy about that. Then we also visited an old man who had one leg cut off just below the knee and the other leg was kinda messed up and his foot was all disfigured. we asked him about it and he told us that he had been in a car crash. then he pulled out a cup and showed us this rock looking thing inside. then he told us it was his heel bone! they had to remove it from his foot after the crash!!! it was so crazy the funny thing was that before he told us it was a bone elder adjavon had been trying to pull it out of the cup but it kept slipping(it was stuck) when he heard the word bone he dropped it and it was hilarious!!!!!

Sunday was a great sabbath and we had a nice day. we had a lot of investigators come to church and things are progressing gradually. the work is amazing!!!!

Im glad to hear everyone is still doing good and i hope you guys are ready because it sounds like you are going to have an incredible summer!!!!! dont worry i will too!!!!!!! i love you all and i hope you have a great week!

love, Bradley

Letter From May 26th ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Everyone!!!

Ya know i dont ever remember life at home sounding so crazy and all over the place as it is for you guys! but im glad you are all having fun and staying busy. weve been doing just about the same thing here and i get so tired some nights i have to get my companion to peel me off the floor because i missed the bed when i was collapsing into it. but i am loving every second of life out here.

The week was great so ill try and hit all the highlights. on tuesday for district meeting we talked about what it is to be a succesful missionary and how to serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength. i was amazing i was able to see some things i really need to work on. the lord chooses to humble us at such strange times huh??;) hahaha it was awesome. i was studying my scriptures this week and i read something interesting that i wanted to share. in Jacob chapter 4 Jacob mentions how the Jews "looked beyond the mark" in reference to the doctrines of the church. They couldnt be happy and live with the basic doctrines of the church. they wanted more! deeper stuff, more complicated stuff. So the lord did exactly what they wanted him to do.....he gave it to them! (or in someone else's words "Fed it to them" hahahah!) as a result they got lost in the letters of the doctrine and ended up not  being able to build on the "Rock of our Redeemer". as a missionary i dont want to look beyond the mark! i want to hit it in the bulls eye! i know as we all do our best to not get tangled up in the many stipulations and policies and points of doctrine that we dont miss the big picture! that Jesus Christ is our lord and savior and all he asks is that we repent and keep his commandments and we will attain salvation! so lets do it!.

We also had a awesome experience with the spirit this week. It was saturday and my companion and i were planning what we would teach in our lessons for the day. We came to an investigator and we were totally stumped. this is an investigator who has had a long complicated ride in his investigation of the church. we went to our knees and petitioned the lord for guidance. We felt impressed to read D&C 20:37 with him(the requirements to be baptized as stated in the scriptures) and planned a lesson around it. Later that day when we went to see him he showed us something he had written in his note book. it was more or less a promise to himself that he would prepare himself to be baptized by a certain date in july. We talked about it with him and shortly he received a phone call calling him in to work. so we had to wrap up the lesson so he could leave. we never got to deliver the message we had prepared. but afterwards i realized the message we had prepared wasnt for him but for us ourselves. The lord knew he had made this commitment to himself already, he just wanted us to remember how to help this man prepare himself. i was grateful for the fact that Heavenly Father had given us what we needed when we asked. not necessarily what we asked for but it was the direction we needed. Father in Heaven really does lead and guide this work!

On another note we also had some fun this week going to farm and weeding as usual. I also found coconut milk at the store a bit ago so i made ponipopo!!! it was sooooo goood! hahaha i miss food;) Also on sunday we had stake conference in cape coast with all of the branches that are under the mission. it was a roller coaster ride getting everyone to the stake center but we all made it there and back in one piece thankfully. 

sorry im low on time today we gotta go shop so we can get home for some lessons tonight! hahaha gotta love missionary work!!! i love you all and i hope you had a great memorial day!!!!!!

love, Elder James Bradley McGuire

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Never a Dull Moment in Abakrampa!

Well, it's always an adventure in Africa! We are so excited to talk  to Elder McGuire next week!!!!!!!!!

Dear Family,

Everything sounds so great at home!!! im glad you are all happy and having fun! between sprinklers shooting up into the air and toilets tipping over you guys had a ride this week! hahahaha

This week for me was pretty normal but great as ever. 1 awesome thing is that no matter how many times we do the same thing this work never gets old because its soooo special!
Tuesday was a fun day. District meeting was great and we talked about helping people keep commitments. Commitments are so important! If people keep them they progress quickly and learn a lot. Those who dont do not progress and they often are doubting what we say because they have now witness of its truthfulness. The sad thing is when people fail to keep commitments....a part of you wishes you could force them but we all know thats not right...We just care so  much for the people that it hurts when they dont progress. So we all do our best to help as much as we can with out doing it for them. So it was a great meeting and i learned a lot. After we went and got fufu together as usual. normally we each buy 1 cedi of fufu and it is plenty to fill you. Some of us got a lil adventurous though and we got 3 cedis instead! WE all finished but i thought instead of walking my comp would have to roll me the rest of the day on my fufu belly. But we managed to do okay

Wednesday we went on splits again, i needed to interview and investigator in another area so we did splits. The interview went great and the woman had a burning testimony of the book of Mormon during that day we were teaching a lesson to a guy while he butchered and cooked a dog right in front of us! it was so cool! when he started cooking it it smelled sooooo good! we wanted to try some but had to leave before it was ready. Ill try some soon...dont tell Gus!!!

Thrusday was a classic day of planning, studying, praying, teaching, walking, talking and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ the entire time. We have a lot of great investigators and they are all progressing slowly but steadily. We are praying that they can just keep their commitments and we'll be following up and definitely things will continue to move forward.

Friday morning i woke up startled because i hadnt heard  the alarm. It was pretty bright outside. I was worried we had slept through the alarm! i jumped out of bed to check the time and i got to my watch to see that it was 6:29! haha the alarm went of 30 seconds later....its good to know missionary standard time is engrained in my body! hahaha IT was a great normal day and we are having fun in the work. Ive started reading the Book of Mormon again in my study and i love it! I love that no matter how many times you read it there is always more to learn! i want to learn as much as i can! Saturday was the same as friday and we were nice and busy all day.

Sunday was a lil bit different this week. We got 2 sessions of General Conference on DVD, Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon sessions. so for church we watched conference! it was translated in Fante though so i studied scriptures for a few was nice though and i enjoyed it. I have them all on audio so ive listened to them already. The members REally enjoyed it, During PRes. Uctdorfs talk about grattitude, when he shared the story of the 9 foot long loaf of bread cut into 2 slices a member said " Wow! that guy had enough food to last a life time! he better be happy!!" he didnt really get the concept of what pres. Uctdorf was teaching so we explained it to him later and he understood. But it was just a reminder that people out here dont have much and that we should remember how blessed we are to live where we do. Never take it for Granted!

So obviously it was a great week! hahah i know you  are probably sick of hearing it but i figure its better than a bad one! haha

im super happy to hear that everything went well with krissy at the temple! its soo amazing! and i cant wait to talk to you on sunday!!!!!!!! so i cant remember but i think church is 11 in the morning now??? i was thinking of calling at 7 am at home time i hope that is okay!! so have a great week and ill talk to you on Sunday!!!! i love you all!

Love, Bradley