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

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