Monday, August 31, 2015

Another Lovely Week

Baptism for Brother Joshua  

Children in Huhunya

Dear family and friends,          

          Let me just say, God is so good. I am often ungrateful and at times even a little upset towards my Heavenly Father, but He never turns His back on me. I have relied on Him almost completely since starting my mission, and He has come through for me every time I have needed Him. This week I am grateful for prayer which allows me to speak directly to my loving Heavenly Father. I know that He hears and answers when we pray in faith. The answers may not come immediately or just as we want them, but they do come. If we can fill our lives with constant prayer and submit our will to the Father's, I know that all will be well. A feeling of peace that can only be found in the Savior will fill our hearts.
           This week has been another great one! I had my first baptism!!! Brother Joshua made sacred covenants with his Heavenly Father. As I witnessed this I was overwhelmed with the Spirit and I felt of the importance of this work. I was reminded that I am here to help others come unto their Savior. He is the light and life of the world. We also got approval this week to go to Huhunya twice a week!! Woot! While contacting this week I felt prompted to enter one particular compound. Inside we contacted a couple girls and told them we would return. When we came back they were gone, but there was a man sitting outside we decided to talk to. It turns out that he was baptized in the church in 2008 and has since fallen inactive. He just moved to Koforidua from another part of Ghana. We bore testimony to him of Heavenly Father's love and the truthfulness of the church. I know that God lead us to that man.
           Every morning I get up at 6:30. There isn't an alarm in our bedroom. We don't need one. I am woken up by crowing rooster everyday. How cool is that?!?! All over the place here there are men pushing little carts with the name FanIce on the side. They sell delicious rock cakes and stuff that's almost like ice cream in a paper tube. I am always tempted when I see them, but usually I can resist. I forgot to tell you last week about falling in the gutter! Sunday night we were walking home from a delicious meal at a members home, and we were singing as we went. It was totally dark and I couldn't see the road in front of me very well. I fell completely into the nasty, deep gutter on the side of the road. To make matters worse, there were about a million billion ants where I fell that covered my body. I was dancing the rest of the way home! Hahaha it was pretty funny.
           Well, I am about out of time for today. I want you all to know that I have a very deep and sincere love for you. Thank you so much for all of your support and love. I feel of your prayers every day and I need them! I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn-
Q. What's the weirdest thing you have seen in Ghana?
A. I saw a giant dead python that was as thick as my arm on the side of the road. That was awesome.
Q. What's the worst thing you have seen in Ghana?
A. Children living in extreme poverty with sad looks on their faces.
Q. What is the best thing you have experienced in Ghana?
A. The people!! I love the humble and kind people here. They are very warm and giving despite having so little.
Q. What is the worst thing you have experienced in Ghana?
A. Falling into a deep gutter and having ants crawl all over my body. Yuck!

Monday, August 24, 2015

West Africa is a Land of Dreams

Dear family and friends, 

          Happy late anniversary mom and dad!!! You guys are superb and I am glad you decided to get married.

          It has been another wonderful week in the vineyard of the Lord! Elder Grissignon and I continue to see so many great things each day as we travel around our area. We had a lot of great lessons where I could definitely feel the spirit. I'm not always sure if our investigators' testimonies are being strengthened, but I can tell you that mine is. Truly one of the greatest ways to become more deeply converted to the Gospel, is to share it! I don't want to deceive you and say that it's all just rainbows and butterflies for me. It's not. There have definitely been struggles for me. One of the worst so far came on Friday. Our zone leader went to Huhunya in my place so that he could interview brother Joshua for baptism, which made me a little sad. Instead I went with the zone leader's companion and we biked nearly the entire day up and down hills, leaving me pretty exhausted. When my companion got back we had an appointment up on the mountainside, so we pretty much had to carry our bikes up. Afterwards we had to ride our bikes about twenty minutes to get home where I had a pile of laundry waiting to be washed by hand. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally spent. I was feeling very impatient and grumpy, wondering what I was doing in crazy Africa. It was in this low state that my thoughts turned to the Savior. I pondered over the hardships that He endured, and He did it all for us. I realized that my pains and sufferings were nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice Christ gave in atoning for us. He knows all of our hurts, sorrows, and weaknesses. Turn to Him at all times and you will be strengthened to carry on.

          Now for some more randomness about life in Africa. First I will talk a little about food. Pineapple. Oh. My. Goodness. Back home I didn't like pineapple one bit. Fresh pineapple here is so good that it makes me want to cry. I love it! This week I cooked stew to have with our rice every night, and it's delicious. I had my first Banku and Kinke (pronounced kink-kay) both of which I actually really liked. God has been helping me with the food here so much. I can even eat nasty fish and not gag! We had Zone Training which was great. The Browns (our senior couple from Australia with sweet accents) even provided us with chocolate ice cream which is the best thing I've eaten in the last six weeks. Washing clothes has become one of my least favorite parts of life. Washing by hand is a pain! But it's not all that bad. I had a cool experience this week. I had a dream where I was traveling with President Monson and just talking to him. I don't remember all of the details, but I woke up with such a strong feeling inside that he is a prophet called of God. West Africa is a land of dreams!
          This week I am grateful for washing machines. Oh, what a blessing they are! I have never realized just how blessed we are to have them. Washing by hand is a pain and it takes forever. If you have a washing machine, give thanks.
          Well I'm running out of time for the week. I did a poor job of taking pictures this week. I will repent and do better. I hope that all of you are doing super well and that my mother isn't still mowing the lawn. I continue to pray for all of you, and I feel your prayers and support constantly. Thanks for being such great people and examples! Have a fantastic week and good luck to everyone starting school! Love you guys.
          -Elder Radmall

Questions from mom.
Q.    How are your shoes holding up?
A.   Haha my monster shoes are doing quite well! My other shoes are struggling a bit even though I only really wear them on Sundays. And my really expensive bag is ripping and my expensive pants are frayed at the bottom. Ghana is crazy!
Q.   What are you reading during scripture study?
A.   I rotate between The Book of Mormon, The New Testament, Isaiah, and Jesus the Christ. I want to read them all, all the time, but I'm trying to pace myself.
Q.    What was your greatest joy this week?
A.   My greatest joy was just meeting wonderful people and getting to talk with them. The people of Ghana are really so wonderful.
Q.   What was your greatest challenge this week?
A.   My greatest challenge continues to be homesickness, but I continue to see God pour out blessings on me so that I can keep going.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Another Great And Blessed Week!

Dear family and friends (by the way mom and dad, I hope you know these letters are mainly directed at you),

           It has been another fantastic week here in lovely Koforidua! Okay, some parts of Koforidua are lovely, some are really gross and trashy. Anyways, the work of the Lord continues to progress here. Me and my companion are trying to stay hard at work. We continue to meet many amazing people with great stories. I will just cover a few of my highlights for the week. Brother Joshua is still on track to be baptized at the end of this month and he continues to make the long and expensive journey to church each week despite not currently having a job. Our branch president has asked us to encourage to find work so that he will be able to continue coming after he is baptized. I am so excited for this guy! Elder Grissignon and I decided to try doing some contacting up on a mountain side on Wednesday where we met a man named Aaron. He quickly invited us into his house and we learned that he is married and has a son. Then he told us that he had been taught by missionaries in Accra over fifteen years ago! And he still had the original Restoration pamphlet they gave him!! He was almost baptized, but felt that he wasn't ready to make that commitment. We went back to visit him again on Saturday, and he told us that he knows he needs to be baptized. What?!?! How cool is that?? I know that God prepared Aaron and lead us to him. We also went to a compound to teach a less active sister. When we got there all of the kids living in the compound were outside playing, so naturally we taught a lesson to about 12 adorable kids. That was an awesome experience. They had an All African Service Project this week where members of the church throughout all of Africa did service in their communities. We helped to clean the grounds for the Koforidua Hospital.

          Now for some more random information. People must die a lot in Ghana, because they are always having funerals. They drive down the streets in big trucks wearing red and black, shouting as loud as they can. It's pretty exciting. I don't know if this is unique to Ghana, but people here make a ton of commitments that they don't keep. I guess I just need to be patient with them and keep trying. Let me tell you they do not sing the same hymns in Africa as they do in America! I have sung so many hymns that I didn't even know existed. Every Sunday in church I get to learn a new song. And while we're talking about music, Elder Grissignon and I loooove to sing as we walk in our area. I sing the melody while he sings the bass part. Our favorite is The Battle Hymn of the Republic. It has rained here a few times this week which I thoroughly enjoyed! It comes out of no where and starts pouring. Five minutes later it's gone and the sun is shining.
           I am so glad to hear about all of your experiences back home! You are all such wonderful people and I love to see all of the good you are doing in the world. Mom and dad, it sounds like you had a busy week in your callings as usual. I'm glad you were able to get it all done. I look forward to each Monday when I get to hear from my family and friends! It's no wonder that I get homesick from time to time with such great people to miss! I have been feeling a little homesick again this week, but God has been helping me so much and I can't thank Him enough for the comfort He has brought me.
           I decided I want to write each week about one thing that Ghana has made me more grateful for. This week it's family. Being here has helped me to develop an even deeper love for all of you which I didn't think was possible! I love you all and continue to pray for you. You can always turn to the Savior for help. He is there. The church is true and how blessed I am to have it in my life! I hope you all have a fantastic week!!
          Love, Elder Radmall

Some Questions from Dad

Q: How are you sleeping?
A: Wonderfully actually. I am so tired at the end of the day that I have no trouble.
Q: How are you feeling at about 3:00pm?
A: Pretty good actually. Mostly just tired from walking.

Q: Do you have flushing toilets? (we did not in some of my apartments in Japan)
A: I do, thank heavens!
Q: How big is your fridge?
A: It's not huge, but big enough for four of us. We don't refrigerate a lot.
Q: How do they heat their water for showers, washing, etc.

A: Some people heat it on the stove. I just live with cold water, which isn't my favorite, but it's alright.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Time Flies!

A selfie of yours truly. (The sign behind him.....)
 My bedroom. 
 Some flowers on our way to town. 
 Ghanian Dish.
 Our church building. 

The view out of our apartment. 
Dear Family and Friends,

         Saturday was my one month mark!!! How did that happen so fast? I'm sorry I had to cut my email short last week! I didn't realize the internet cafe closed at 5. This week I should get my full time. I can never thank all of you enough for your continual support. Your letters and prayers are more strengthening to me than you can fully understand. I had a significant change over the last week. For a while thinking about home would just about bring me to tears. Now it just makes me smile to think of so many wonderful people who I know love me. Being here in Ghana has made me appreciate everything I have in my life so much more. And I smile when I think about all of the milkshakes I will have to catch up on when I get back. :)
          Now for some information on my week. I feel like every day is hotter than the last! But I have actually been enjoying the heat and humidity more than I thought I would. My skin is so smooth. Anyways, me and Elder Grissignon had another fantastic week. We have some great investigators we are teaching right now, and we continue to find many wonderful people each week. We had another wonderful trip up to Huhunya. I can't express to you just how much I love going there. We have a fantastic branch missionary, Emmanuel, who lives up there and helps us to teach. He can translate what we say into Twi for those who can't understand English. There is a man named Joshua who lives up there we have been working with. He comes to church every week! That's expensive for people with so little money. We are planning to baptize him on the 23 of this month! If we can get around ten members of the church in Huhunya we think President Heid will authorize them to start a branch up there. How cool would that be??
           I am actually pretty amazed that I have been able to survive and even thrive here in Africa! God is so good. I actually really love the food here. They make this amazing stew that they put on all of their rice. And it's a good thing I like the food, because I am ALWAYS hungry. It feels like I eat nonstop all day. Another huge blessing in my life right now are two members who live close to our apartment, Sister Rosslyn and Sister Janet. They buy and cook food for us all the time, which is stopping me from spending my money too quickly. They are such funny ladies. We visit with them frequently. And while we're talking about food, I should tell you about our fridge. When I got here it was absolutely disgusting, so I took initiative. I bought some cleaner and I made that fridge spotless! My mother should be proud. 
          Here is some other random information about Ghana and my mission that I wrote down to write about. Most of the people in Koforidua are trilangual! They speak English, Twi, and honking. Honking is seriously its own language. Everybody honks ceaselessly, even if they have no reason to do so. And tell Addison that there are lots of beads here! They have a big market every Thursday, where they sell beads and other crafts. I will make sure to get some. Along every street there are many little shops. Most of them sell the same items such as basic food and some candy. The lizards here are huge compared to anything we have in Utah! They are like as big as Geofrey was! I think that Harrison would be way jealous of how much biking I get to do, and a lot of it is pretty much mountain biking. Anytime that you are interacting with another person in Ghana you MUST use your right hand. Waving, giving money, taking food all has to be done with the right hand. It is considered pretty offensive to use the left hand for any of those things, which I find rather amusing.
          Well, I will stop dragging on with this really long letter. One last thing. My companion is strongly hoping to get into BYU and I hope he does as well. If he does he will be starting school in January and one of the first places he will visit in Utah is our house. I told him that my mom will make him fantastic food!
           I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly Christ's church upon the earth today. God loves and knows each of us as His children. He has a plan for us to return to live with Him one day. The power of the Atonement is both real and infinite. Each and every one of us needs it. Turn to the Savior in all things and He will prepare a way for you. I love you all soooo much and I continue to pray for you daily!
           -Elder Radmall

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ghana Rocks!

Dear family and friends,
        Holy sweet Moses!!! Ghana is fantastic! Ghana is also the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me. It is humbling me like crazy! And I can honestly say that I am loving every minute of it. We work and play hard here. Long days in the sweltering heat and humidity walking the tiny streets packed with people and taxis. All of the sewers are filled with strange colored liquids that smell pretty horrendous. There is constantly dirt all over me. I'm saying all of this to let you know that I could not survive on my own! I have no doubt that God is watching out for me as I engage in His work. And even more than that, He is helping me to actually enjoy it! How wonderful is He??
          We have been teaching a wonderful man named Ebenezer who we felt inspired to contact one day. We quickly learned that his wife had passed away. We were able to teach him about the plan of salvation and he lit up when we told him that he would see his wife again. We have set a baptismal date for him and will continue to teach him. We meet a lot of wonderful people each day and I can't help but to love them all. Right now we have a lot of people to teach and we are keeping pretty darn busy. In total we set 5 baptismal dates this week which was way cool!
          One of my favorite experiences this week was going back to the village called Huhunya. The people there are soooo humble and ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are teaching a sweet man named Joshua, who pays to travel half an hour to church each Sunday, and then half an hour back to Huhunya. That is one of our concerns right now. A lot of the people in this village don't think they can afford the trip to attend church. Otherwise I think we could baptize half of the village! I have been praying for them and our mission president has encouraged us to teach them about sacrificing for God who has given us everything. I look forward to going back to Huhunya later this week.
          This paragraph is dedicated to my wonderful parents to bring them comfort and to show just how much I love them. These are the things I have been doing here in Ghana. I have taken vitamins and malaria medication each day, brushed AND flossed my teeth, worn my retainer, worn my glasses, used a mosquito net, eaten and drunk lots, and much more.
         The internet cafe is closed so I have to go! I love you all! The Gospel is true and Jesus Christ lives and loves you. Have a great week! 

Elder Radmall

Questions and Answers
Have you played the simplified hymns?
A: We have a keyboard in our apartment so I have been practicing, but they like to sing A Capella here. 
Have you cooked anything?
A: I have cooked lots of eggs, rice, and Indomie (the Ghana version of Ramen). I also eat a lot of bread and fruits which are so good. 
Do you want me to send any recipes?
A: Yes! Could you send me the recipe for no bake cookies?
How many missionaries in your apartment and your city?
A: There are two companionships in my apartment and so far I have met like 12 or 14 missionaries in and close by Koforidua.
Any sister missionaries?
A: There are four sister missionaries in Koforidua. All of them are in my district and they are awesome. They are from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. They cook us delicious food at least once a week!
What is the funniest thing that has happened?
A: Haha that's a good question. It's always funny when I'm trying to get off of my bike and I fall on my face in front of an investigator.
What has been the highlight of your week?
A: The highlight was probably going to a sweet village called Huhunya! The people there are so humble and ready to receive the Gospel. It was awesome.
Tell me about your companion. Age? Family? Convert?
A: My companion, Elder Grissignon is 20. He will be going home as soon as he is done training me. He has 4 siblings. He has always been a member. He is trying to get into BYU in January. If he does he will come and visit you. I told him you will make him great food!
Have you lost weight?
A: If anything I have gained weight! I have been eating tons.
Can you understand people? Are you learning Tri??
A: I am getting so much better at understanding people, and I have learned a few words in twi. I'm sure I will learn plenty more though!
What new foods have you tried?
A: Well I had my first fufu, which is weird and slimy. I didn't like it all that much, but it's alright. Today the 4 sisters in our district cooked us a whole bunch of African dishes. They cook for us pretty much every week which is awesome. I don't remember what the dishes were called, but they were good. A lot of their dishes here are just slimy blobs that you dip in soup and eat.
What did they cook that you like? What are you going to cook for them? Did I teach you enough cooking skills??? I am feeling that I did not!!
A: Haha! You taught me plenty. We buy drinks for them to enjoy. One made a South African dish with corn and lots of spices. That was really good. The only meal I really make for myself is breakfast. Lunch we buy and people tend to feed us dinner a lot.

Also if I ever don't email you on Monday don't worry. The power is probably out. I will email you later in the week.