Monday, July 27, 2015

A New Adventure!

 Hello everybody! I hope you are all fantastic! It sounds like baby Mazie is doing really well. She is so cute! Congratulations to Christie, Brandon, and Addie. Mom, I'm glad you made it safely to Colorado, and even in time to see Mazie come. Dad, I'm glad you made it home safely. Aaron, I hope your eye continues to heal and feel better so that you and your family can get back on those trampolines. Kelli, I hope all is going well with the pregnancy. And the Trevenen's got a week at Lake Powell! How lucky! Seth, I hope you get that your promotion at work. And a late happy birthday to Peyton and Henry! It looks like you have all had a pretty packed week. Much more exciting than mine. I just walked on roads all week. But I am really so glad to hear that everyone is doing so well.
          Here is a little bit about my week. I'll start where I left off in my last email. Elder Grissignon, my companion/trainer, is amazing. He is seriously the best companion you could ask for. He is so hardworking and committed to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is an amazing teacher and I love seeing him help others to understand our message. I will love working with him for the first three months of my mission. All of the guys in our district and zone are awesome. It's a fun place to be.
          On Thursday night we rode a trojo (big van that they stuff people in) to Koforidua. There were a lot of interesting smells in that trojo and I just about barfed on my new companion because of how car sick I was. When we reached Koforidua it was dark outside. My first time walking through this place in the dark really freaked me out actually. Cats, dogs, and goats running all over the place. Crazy people trying to sell me all sorts of weird foods. Weird sounds coming from the trees. It was really creepy. Then we got to the apartment with peeled paint, nasty looking floors, an interesting smell, lots of humidity and heat, and no power. Oh, and it's surrounded by jungle trees. Yikes. At that point I wasn't so sure if this whole mission thing was going to work out. So I went to bed, wondering why a white kid from Utah who has never lived on his own, has always had air conditioning and clean tap water, has always loved spending time alone or with family, and has been dependent on others his whole life is living in Africa for two years. I mean it's really pretty funny when you think about it! 
          But don't worry. It got a lot better. The next day I woke up feeling a lot better. We got all ready and went to zone training. After zone training we went to the supposedly best restaurant in Koforidua and they served pizza. It was ridiculously expensive, but soo good. Finally, my companion and I headed out to our area. We taught some great people. We drove up to a little village in our area called Huhunya. The people there live mostly in houses made of mud and they are literally dirt poor, but they are so kind and hospitable. Everyone we stopped to talk to let us sit down and teach them. Most of the people in Huhunya speak Tri (maybe tree), so we took a branch missionary with us to translate. I look forward to going back there tomorrow. We headed back to the city and contacted a few people and then headed home for the day. 
          On Saturday we got ready and jumped on our bikes for the first time (don't worry mom I wore a helmet and sunscreen just for you). We started down the road and finally got on a little dirt path. About half way down the path I heard a weird sound and my bike stopped working. I broke it the first time riding it. The first time!! So we went by foot the rest of the way. We spent the day working in the city and once again met a lot of very kind and welcoming people. That night we stopped by a member's house on the way home where we had dinner. It was a weird dish that I can't pronounce, but it was alright. It had the consistency of mashed potatoes, but it tasted worse. Then you dip that in some chicken soup. One of the guys eating dinner with us had to eat my chicken bone for me. Haha! 
          Yesterday was my first Sunday in Ghana! It was great. Our branch is fantastic and full of great people. After church the sisters in our district made us some delicious chicken and rice. Then we went to the zone leader's apartment where we spent the remainder of the day playing games. We slept over at their apartment so we could spend our P-day together.
          Today is my first P-day. We've played volleyball, soccer, basketball, and some other games. P-day isn't my favorite so far. I honestly enjoy being out talking to people more than just relaxing. Maybe that will change over time. But I do get to write home, which is by far one of my favorite things to do in the week! 
          Now for some random information about Ghana. The people here are wonderful. I love them already. And they ALL go to church, so we just need to show them the right church to go to. I have not had any disgusting food yet. I have eaten fruits, rice, meat, and bread. We even made french toast with peanut butter (thanks mom) on Sunday. The driving in Koforidua is just as crazy as it was in Ghana, but I'm getting used to it. It is really pretty and green once you get out of the city. I love it! There are big lizards all over the place, so that makes me happy. I have been drinking lots of purified water packaged in plastic bags. It tastes a little funny, but it's cheap! I haven't seen any good storms yet, but I'm hoping that will happen soon. Oh yeah, I washed my clothes by hand for the first time, and that was fun... okay not really. I have come to learn that our apartment is actually one of the nicer residences in Koforidua. The children here all call me bruhni, which means white man in Tri. They shout it to me as I walk by. I think it's pretty funny, but my companion always scares them away. Almost everyone in Ghana has a cell phone, no matter how poor they are. 
          Mom, don't worry about my scriptures. I have a Book of Mormon and hopefully I get a Bible soon. I just feel bad because those scriptures were a birthday present. I was going to send you a bunch of pictures, but I left my stinking camera at home! So I will attach a few from my companions phone if I can make it work.
          Things in Ghana are going really well. I still get homesick now and again, but it leaves as soon as I start working again. I am so grateful for all of you and the good people that you are. I continue to pray daily for my family and friends. I hope that all of you have a super good week! Keep telling about how things are going. I love you all so much more than I can say.
          -Love Elder Radmall

Friday, July 24, 2015

They're Starting Me Out In The Bush!

  They have given me some more time to email you while I wait for the doctor to do a physical. I'll be honest, the first night was a little bit rough. I was absolutely exhausted when I got off of the plane. And then I couldn't find my yellow fever vaccination record. Luckily they let me through without it. Don't worry, I found where it was. Then the lady who checked my passport was yelling at me for filling out some form wrong, and I couldn't understand her. Haha and then I realized that I had left my scripture case on the plane, with my scriptures in it. I still don't have those, but maybe they'll turn up. When we left the airport some guys started following us around, giving us advice about Ghana and asking for tips. So my first impression of Ghana wasn't all that great.
          But I have had a much more positive experience today getting oriented about the mission. President and Sister Heid are fantastic! As are all of the senior couples here. Today I will be driving to Koforidua. They're starting me out in the bush! How exciting! So far they have provided us with really good food, so I don't have any interesting stories there. Thanks for the pictures. She is so adorable! Keep sending me pictures. My companion's name is Grisingot... I think. I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with him yet, so I'll give you more info. next week. And I did pack floss, so no worries there! The senior couple in my area are from Australia and they have sweet accents. I am currently is some serious culture shock, so I hope the bush will help me overcome that really easy. 
          I will be able to email you from my area when the power is on. The mission home has a generator and a tall fence with electric wire which is pretty awesome. One of the senior couples know Alan and Tracy so they sent her a picture of me. You may have seen it already. Everybody knows the Radmalls! I am getting better at understanding the people, but I am still far from having total comprehension. I was told that I will always get ripped off when buying things because I am white. The driving here is absolutely insane! I love it and hope I never have to drive. 
          I miss you guys like crazy and continue to pray for you each day. Send me any questions you want answered in your next email. And please tell me everything that's going on with the family. I really want to know it all! On Monday I will have two hours to email. I can never express just how grateful I am for both of you and all that you do for me! I can not wait to hear back from you soon. I will try to get some pictures to send you. I love you both lots and hope that all is going fantastic! 
          -Bryan/Elder Radmall

P.S. Mom, you can not mow the lawn! I'm sure there is someone you can hire to do it. And dad, have a safe journey home! Love you guys lots.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Have Made It To Ghana

Mom and Dad, I have made it to Ghana. The plane rides were long, but not to bad overall. I am a little more homesick now that I am not in the MTC, but I'll get over that as I engage in the work. I am actually enjoying the humidity thus far, so let's hope that lasts. I sadly can't look at the pictures you sent me, but I have something to look forward to on Monday! My companion is from the Ivory Coast. He speaks French! but his English is very good. I will be training in the Koforidua area. I love you to pieces and hope you have a fantastic week!

Here is the mailing address-
Ghana Accra Mission
P.O. Box 2585 Main
Accra, Ghana

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Leaving On A Jet Plane

A man ran in to Bryan that knew my Uncle Alan on my Dad's side of the family and recognized his name. He text my uncle Alan, who text my parents about meeting Bryan on Trax/The Frontrunner. Then as we were talking to Bryan while he waited at the airport for his flight to Ghana, he ran into my Uncle Alan from my mom's side who was on Bryan's flight to Amsterdam. Talking to Bryan was like Christmas in July and all those people running in to him was awesome! We got an awesome and happy picture of Bryan out of it! He will be in Ghana tomorrow afternoon.

My Last Day Here At The MTC!

Dear Family, 
My last day here at the MTC! I am going to miss this place so much, but I know that I am going to love Ghana even more. Now for some of the things that happened over the last week. My district had a lot of really spiritual classes. We were all able to grow together in our testimonies and desire to share the Gospel. I have been eating myself sick. I've hardly even touched a vegetable in the last week and a half, but I have had lots of doughnuts, cookies, chocolate milk, fresca, cereal, cake, candy, ice cream, deep fried food, and much more. I probably put on a good 70 pounds! We had the opportunity last week to teach investigators here in the MTC. One of them was named Hailey and the other was Lisa. It was such a powerful and spiritual experience. I can't wait to do the same thing in Ghana! Ahhhh! I can't believe I'm going already! Anyways, Sunday was fantastic. The branch president, President Menlove and his wife spoke and gave some great advice to us missionaries. I went to Elder Bednar's The Character of Christ talk again. It was just as powerful the second. I so desire to be like my Savior and to always turn outwards and serve my God and His children. Yesterday morning me and the three elders in my room all woke up at 2 in the morning because there was a bat in our room!!! Just kidding. We woke up at 2 in the morning to help the other six members of our district take their luggage to the bus. Elder Larson and Elder Rindlisbocker (I think that's how it's spelt) headed to the Bakersfield, California Mission. Elder Pond, Elder Mckee, Sister Graubard, and Sister Diether all headed off to Chicago. It was hard to say goodbye to such amazing people, but I am so excited for them to serve their God. I know they will all be fantastic!
          Today I am heading to the airport at 11:30. 18 hours on a plane! Yay! Not really. It's going to be long and painful, but it's so worth it to go to Ghana. Yesterday I started taking my Malaria medication, so let's hope it works. I also got a wonderful blessing yesterday for comfort and safety in my travels. And I still don't have a visa, but don't worry about it too much. God will make sure that I am where He needs me to be and I'm more than okay with that. But I really can not wait to begin sharing the good news with anyone who will hear it! Last Tuesday when we went to the temple, we met a woman who has a brother serving in the Accra mission. She told us it is going to be pretty dang hard and we are all a little bit freaked out after that, but now it doesn't bother me at all. If God has asked me to go to Ghana then by golly I am going to Ghana and He will provide the way. I know that He is watching over all of you back home! I pray for my family and friends each day. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He love us all. The Savior has provided the way for every single one of us to have eternal life, and I am forever grateful for Him and the love He has for us. I know that we can turn to Him no matter what and He will gladly take us into His loving arms. This week I read Elder Holland's most recent conference address. He shares the story of two brothers who were rock climbing. They reached a ledge where they could not ascend any further, nor could they descend. The older brother lifted the younger one up to safety and then instructed the younger brother to get a stick to pull him up. He knew that he would not find any sticks up there. He just didn't want his brother to be there when he jumped in case he didn't make it. He worked up the courage and leaped for safety. His arms reached the ledge, but there was nothing to hold onto. His arms were slipping and he was near falling to his death. Just when it seemed like it was all over, two hands shot out as quick as lightning and grabbed on to him. His brother had never gone to find a stick. He had been waiting there the whole time to catch him and bring him to safety. The Savior is always waiting to grasp our arms and pull us to safety. Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith. He will never let us down.
         Love you all so much!

P.S. I am travelling to Ghana with Elder Johnson, Elder Bodily, and Elder Wadman. Here are their phone numbers. They are four of the greatest people EVER and I will miss them like crazy when we split paths. They are all committed to God and this work.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A 3' by 6' Table Covered With Goodies

Dear family, 
I love you all to pieces! I don’t get to write you too many more letters by hand, so I’m writing this. Just so you know, we have a 3’ by 6’ table totally covered with goodies. It’s heavenly. I absolutely love my companion and district. We all grow closer each day.
I am in love with the MTC because the spirit here seems to be endless. Each day I feel of God’s love for me and each of His children. He wants us all to be happy.
I want to bear my testimony to you that I know that my Redeemer lived, died, and lives again. His atonement is infinite and makes all things possible to us. I love Him and want to be like Him. I want to turn others towards Him. The Book of Mormon is true and testifies of our Savior. I love this gospel and know that it will bless all who accept it.
Thanks for all you do! You guys are the bomb! Love you. 
Love, Bryan

Friday, July 17, 2015

Flight Plans for Ghana

Dear Mom and Dad, 
I have been getting some very nice letters from friends. Owen wrote to tell me he saw me out on the field!
Now for some information. I got a letter telling me I do not need a visa right now. I will enter Ghana with my passport only. My companion and two other elders in my district are going to the Ghana, Accra Mission!! My flight is on Tuesday the 21st. I also have a flight from Ghana to New York on August 30th, so I don’t think they have my visa yet.  I love you guys more than words can say. 
As we turn to Christ we can “hush our fears” and find comfort.
Love, Elder Radmall

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

MTC - Week 1 - "I Have Never Been More Excited!!!"

Dear Family,
           HOLY COW!!! I am absolutely loving it here at the MTC! And I am not just saying that so that you don't worry about me. I am really having a blast! I have been so incredibly blessed here. Thank you all so much for all of the emails, letters, and packages. I almost feel bad because I have received almost as many packages as the rest of my district combined. But I am loving it. And I think I'm going to have to start skipping meals just to eat all of the junk food before I leave. Anyways, on day one we mostly just went through MTC orientation. I got to meet my companion, Elder Johnson. He is such a stud! He is pretty much my best bud after just being with him for one week. He is a crazy good wrestler and he has a very sincere personality. And my district is just outstanding. We have bonded so well and learned to love each other. We spend a lot of time in the class room, but it's not all that bad. At least we are learning a lot. 
           On Thursday night we met with our branch presidency for the first time. The branch president, President Menlove, is such a funny guy. I love him! They gave everyone in the district assignments. To the great surprise of Elder Johnson and I, we were called as zone leaders for our branch. Speaking of the branch, church on Sunday was sooo good! They have every missionary prepare a five minute talk, and then they randomly pick some to speak in sacrament meeting. Sunday night we had a great devotional about the importance of the Book of Mormon in conversion. But the crowning moment of my Sunday was watching The Character of Christ given by Elder Bednar. It is such a powerful witness of how selfless Christ was and is. It actually brought me to tears. We can become like Him as we always turn outwards and focus on others. I have never felt the spirit as consistently as I am feeling it here. It is almost overpowering. 
           This week Elder Johnson and I were able to start teaching our first three progressive investigators. The lessons all went really well and it was amazing to experience being lead by the spirit as we tried to bring others closer to Jesus Christ. And I can tell that the spirit has also been leading me closer to my Savior. It is a beautiful thing. On Monday our district studied the Plan of Salvation in class. We were supposed to come up with one word to show what the Plan of Salvation means to us. My word was Christ, because he is everything I hope to become through that plan. 
           Now for a few of the tender mercies for the week. There have been a LOT, but I only have time to share some of them. First of all, the food. I am in food heaven! I'll start with the cereal. They have Captain Crunch, Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, Marshmallow Mateys, Sugar Puffs, and much more. On Friday night they had my favorite, Papa Johns. And best of all, they have fresca in their soda fountains. So that is pretty darn fantastic. And I have seen Elder Statler Smith several times which is fun. Another sweet experience was the chance to give a sister in my district a blessing on Monday night. My mouth was filled with the words that Heavenly Father wanted her to hear. 
           I have been blessed so far this week in that I have not been very homesick. I think I have just been to busy. I meant to send a letter on Saturday, but being the ungrateful son that I am, it didn't end up happening. But know that my family has constantly been in my mind. I pray with all of my heart each and every day, multiple times a day, that Heavenly Father will watch over my family while I am away. I can never thank you guys enough for all that you have done for me, especially in preparing me to serve a mission. I have never been more excited!!! I can't wait to get to Ghana and to represent Jesus Christ as I share His Gospel. The Book of Mormon teaches us over and over again that if we turn to Him we shall be saved.
          Love, Elder Radmall

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Missionary Training Center



Today was the day. Lunch at Cafe Rio, milkshakes from JCW and our last pictures for a few years. Then Bryan was dropped off at The Missionary Training Center (MTC) at 1:30 PM. 
He is off on his next great adventure! He is scheduled to fly to Ghana July 22nd.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Elder Bryan Justin Radmall

Tonight Bryan was set apart as Elder Bryan Justin Radmall, by President David Cottrell. He also gave blessings to TeriAnn, Kelli, Abigail, Felicity and his Mom and he received a blessing from his father, Karl.