Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 16!!

Elder Itepu

Ghanian Rainstorm

Pineapple and fruit smoothie.

Dear Family and Friends,
          So much to write and so little time to do it! I received my wonderful package from home! It was the best! I am enjoying my mister fans, and the lemonade packets are divine. I also got a picture from sweet Maggie which made me smile. I have come to the realization that I have a serious drinking problem. Back home I drank less than one liter of water a day. Here, I force myself to drink between three and a half to four and a half liters a day. Then I sweat pretty much every drop of it. On Friday I decided we needed smoothies in our apartment. So we froze some pineapple got some bananas, juice, and a strawberry dessert, and blended it all up. It was amazing with the fresh Ghanaian fruit! This week we had a lot of awesome storms with powerful wind and deafening thunder. We were out proselyting in the bush when one such storm came. We had to wait under our investigators porch for about an hour and a half before we could walk around. I thought the house would be blown away! This week I had to say another very hard goodbye. Elder Johnson, my MTC companion and dear friend, was transferred to Accra this week. Fortunately I got to make him pancakes before he left.
          We had a great experience this week. A man named Douglass randomly started showing up at church a few weeks ago. We were introduced to him and got to begin teaching. He loved and agreed with everything we said, and I could tell the spirit was teaching him. He has progressed so quickly that we were able to set a baptismal date for him this Sunday! I am way excited! This will be Elder Itepu's first baptism in the field! Another interesting experience this week was teaching some white people from New York. They are staying with a family in our branch, and we were invited along with two sisters to teach them. For once the investigators could understand me, and not my companion. 
          As I read over some of the letters from my friends serving missions yesterday night, I realized that my mission really isn't what I expected in so many ways. At first, this was discouraging to me. Why am I in the middle of Africa adjusting to some strange culture and not serving somewhere I know better. Then I realized that my mission has been exactly what I have needed each day. It may not always be what I expect, but it is just what God knows I should be experiencing right now. And I know that is true of all of us. Whatever we are going through may not be what we expected, but it's what God knows will allow us to become more like him.
          This week I am grateful for dishwashers. What a wonderful invention! You can eat, throw your dishes in some magic machine, and then go sit on the couch and take a nap. How cool!
          Thanks for all you wonderful people continue to do for me. I love you all and hope that your week is fantastic! I love my Savior and I know that He lives and loves us too.

Love, Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom
Q. How much did you have to pay in duties for your package?  I am so glad you liked it!!
I had to pay 90 cedis unfortunately. ($23) Apparently that's a real rip off from what I heard.
Q. Were you able to make peanut butter cookies?
I am saving them! And I want to find some way to actually cook them.
Q. How many investigators are you teaching right now?
We have 12 progressing investigators and maybe 17 we are working with.
Q. Have you had your surgery yet on your toe?  (Photo???) (He sent a photo.  Don't think I will post it.)
Not yet.
Q. So, armies of ants, doom for writing your name in red ink – what else might we find interesting about Ghana?
They are obsessed with fried food. I am amazed that I don't way 300 lbs. yet. Fried rice, fried plantain, fried chicken, fried yams. It is crazy!
Q. How do you get rid of your garbage?
Haha we put it in a pile outside the apartment and the lady next door burns it every morning.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. What was the most fun thing you did this week?
We had a party today for Sister Christelle, who is going home on Friday. We had nice rice and a delicious purple drink.
Q. What was yur happiest moment this week?
When Brother Douglass quickly agreed to be baptized!
Q. What are you most grateful for this week?
That we can receive revelation from God. So many people don't know that. What a great truth.
Q. How is your new companion this week? 
He is great. He is an excellent missionary and teacher.
Q. How are you feeling?
I am actually feeling pretty wonderful. God is still pouring out His Spirit upon me. How can you be all that down when you know God is with you?

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Faces

Elder Itepu (ee-tay-poo) Bryan's new companion from Nigeria.

Dear Family and Friends,
          It has been a crazy and wonderful week. On Tuesday I went to Accra where I picked up my new companion, Elder Itepu! He is from Nigeria. He has been a member for four years. He is a fantastic guy, and I love him already. He can cook! I find that our apartment is much more united when we all cook together every night. Tuesday night we introduced our trainees to their new home for the next three months. On Wednesday we hit the ground running and went to work. This week we walked a ton, but the results were well worth it. On Thursday we had zone training, and Sister Brown brought her heavenly banana bread. In Nkurarkan we contacted a man named Eric. As we talked about the Gospel the Spirit taught him. On our second visit he said he wanted to become a member and asked what he needed to do to be baptized! Wow! I look forward to working with him. Yesterday was Brother Deny's confirmation, which was lovely to witness. 
          A miracle happened this week. Elder Itepu was asking me if we could get potatoes. We were working with a member who quickly lead us to a lady selling potatoes! I had a baked potato and french fries on Saturday night. It was heaven. These potatoes are different though. They are like a cross between a regular and a sweet potato. Sunday night we made our favorite dinner. Spaghetti! We make a delicious spaghetti sauce with corned beef. The weather here has gone from hot to boiling. I have never sweat so much in my life! Thank heavens for showers. 
          This week I am grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith. It is amazing to look at all that he has done for the world. I love every chance I get to tell the story of the First Vision. I know that Joseph Smith did in fact see God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They called him to restore the only true church to the earth. Through him the fullness of the Gospel is available once more to God's children. How blessed we are by that great man.
          I love and miss all of you more than you can ever know. I pray each morning and night for you. I hope that you are all carrying on in doing God's will. Have a great week and remember to make good choices! Peace!
Love, Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom
Q. How many siblings does your companion have?
I believe 5.
Q. Where is Elder Bodily from? (He is one of the elders in Bryan's apartment, and was also in his MTC district.)
Hyrum, Utah.
Q. What is his new companion’s name?
Elder Dougal 
Q. What country is he from?
Idaho. It's a country.
Q. What new fact do you want to tell us this week about Ghana?  Something that you find interesting or surprising?
Q. Writing someone's name in red pen means they are going to die. Who knew??
Q. How many people at church can read?
Most of them. It's mostly the elderly that can't.
Q. Do you have a literacy program where you help them learn to read and write English?  (I read that Twi is a spoken language – that is does not have an alphabet.)
Q. Not that I have seen. It can be written in English. We have Twi Book of Mormon's even.

Questions from Dad
Q/ Where is the other new companion in your apartment from?
Blackfoot Idaho!
Q. Do you have to pay any bills as DL, or does the mission office handle all of that?
I pay our water and electricity bill for the apartment. That's about it.

Questions from Kurt
Q. What item did you bring that you have found very little use for?
Jeans. The day I wear them here in Ghana is the day I die.
Q. What's the coolest thing you've bought since being in Ghana? 
I bought some sweet beads. I want to buy a lot more, but I will wait for a while.
Q. Have you stopped wearing deodorant yet?
Haha not yet. I'll let you know when that happens.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. How is the DL thing going?
Good. I am still getting used to it and learning what is expected of me, but I know God can qualify me.
Q. Did you watch conference yet?
Sadly, no.  (I, his mother, have been sending him excerpts of talks each week in my email.)
Q. What is the best thing that happened this week?
Having an investigator tell us in the second lesson he wanted to become a member!
Q. What are two new things you learned this week. Spiritual and from the Ghanaian culture? 
Spiritually, I learned that God can bless us to love and serve others we thought we couldn't get along with. About Ghana, I don't know if I learned much. They love to add "o" to the end of words. Evening'o!!!
Questions from Christie
Q. Where was Deny baptized? In a font and if so how did you fill it?
In a font in our church. We fortunately have running water, so it was no problem.
Q. How many miles do you walk a week and how many do you ride on your bike?
I don't really know. I walk maybe 5 or 6 miles and bike maybe 4 or 5 miles a day.
Q. What is the coolest thing about your new companion?
He can cook! He loves to make food for the whole apartment. And he knows a lot of awesome scriptures.
Q. What lesson did you teach this week that you found most significant or were you most touched by?
I loved every chance I had to talk about the First Vision this week. It is such a powerful story that everyone needs to know.
Q. What made you laugh this week?
When I dropped my bowl of spaghetti and the sauce splattered all over the apartment. It looked like a murder scene.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Goodbye and Hello

Bryan's district with Elder and Sister Brown from Australia and Brother Bodine from Lindon.

Sister Rosslyn and Sister Janet with Elder Grissignon. They are earthly angels who watch over Bryan and feed him regularly.

Deny's Baptism

Dear family and friends (and other random people reading this),
          What a crazy week! I feel like I say that every week. Elder Grissignon, my dear trainer, has officially gone to Accra. I don't think I will see him again before he returns to Ivory Coast. I am going to miss that guy, and I am so grateful for the wonderful companion he has been. Tomorrow I will travel to Accra to pick up my brand new trainee! I am excited and slightly nervous. I take comfort in the knowledge that God will put me whoever He knows I need to be with. 
          Despite the fact that my companion left this week, we were able to accomplish a lot. On Tuesday President Heid had us spend four hours to do a mission deep cleaning. I was so grateful! Our apartment is cleaner now than I have ever seen it. It looks good (for an apartment in Ghana that is). I love the opportunity we have to teach so many wonderful people. I especially loving teaching families. Every time I teach a principle I feel my own testimony being strengthened. On Friday we went on an exchange and so I was with Elder Johnson, my MTC companion! He is in my zone. It was great to catch up with him and to remember all of the delicious food we had at the MTC. Because it was Elder Grissignon's last week, lots of people wanted to feed us! I am always excited to get free food. I especially enjoyed the rice balls made by Sister Janet. I ate until I was about to die. The crowning moment of my week was seeing dear Brother Deny being baptized. I felt the spirit so strongly through the service, and I am so excited for him to be able to continue down the road he has started on.
          Ghana has made me more grateful for air conditioning. It is the best feeling in the world to come home to a nice cool house after a hard day of working in the sun. I can't wait to enjoy that again when I get home. But the mission is great to provide us with fans in our apartment, so it isn't all that bad. Man, I complain way too much. I apologize for being a whiner. I will repent and do better to find joy in the journey.
          I want you all to know that I love being a servant of the Lord in His vineyard. There is no greater work on earth. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for the strength we can receive by relying upon His Atonement. I love all of you and I continue to pray for you. I hope that you have a splendid week!
Love, Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:

Q. Did you watch conference yet?
Nope. Still waiting. :(
Q. Where is your new companion from?
I will find out tomorrow!
Q. Are you nervous to take on Ghana on your own?
Heck yes! But I know that God will provide a way.
Q. Have you picked up any new ties yet?
Yes. One from my trainer and one from Elder Johnson. Elder Johnson gave me a red one in honor of the Utes.
Q. What is your new title?
District Leader. 
Q. What are your responsibilities? 
I conduct our district council each week and I call to get a weekly report from each companionship in the district. Then I report to the zone leaders. I am also supposed to look after the sisters in our district and make sure they are doing well.
Q. What was the coolest thing that happened this week?
Q. Witnessing Brother Deny's baptism! And people feeding us a LOT of free food. 
What was the hardest thing that happened this week?
Saying goodbye to my man, Elder Grissignon.
Q. What was your greatest blessing this week?
Taking the sacrament. Heavenly Father blessed me to feel of the Spirit and of my Savior's love. How great!
Q. What are you most grateful for this week?
I am grateful for the comfort I can find through reading the scriptures.
Q. What are you looking forward to this week?
Meeting my new companion!

Questions from momma.
Q.  How was your baptism today?
It was super! I love seeing people make this change for good in their lives.
Q. What is your favorite scripture for the week?
Alma 7: 11-12. Please read it.
Q. What new experience have you had this week?
Sleeping in the my room by myself. It felt very strange.
Q. Will you be going to Accra to get your new companion?
Yep. Tomorrow.
Q. Do dead bodies lay by the side of the road until the families come to claim them?  (Elder Pace mentioned this in his book!!)
Q. I haven't seen that yet. They do keep them in a mortuary for several weeks before burying them though.
Q. What is one thing we might all like to know about Ghana?
There are randomly HUGE lines of ants marching across the road. It's cool and really scary at the same time. Thousands of big ants united in purpose.
Q. How is your new scripture cover?
It's great! Other missionaries want to steal it from me. Thanks for sending it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Change Around the Corner

The city of Koforidua

The jungle

Branch hike

Cocoa tree (the source of all chocolate!!

The Accra Temple

Dear Family and Friends,
          Life is just soooo good! Not easy, but worth every second. I have had a fantastic week. I have been in a far better mood than the week before. Brother Deny continues coming to church and we plan to baptize him next Sunday! I am super excited! A lot has happened this week, and I think even more will happen in the week to come. For starters, my beloved companion is going home next Tuesday. I was feeling rather below the task of leading a new companion around our area. Then they made me even more unsure by asking me to train! Some poor kid, fresh out of the MTC, will have to suffer wandering around the streets of Koforidua with me. Nevertheless, I am excited and humbled by the opportunity. Elder Bodily, who was in my MTC district, is currently living in my apartment. He will also be training. This means that no one in our apartment will have been on their mission for more than three months. Yikes! Haha pray for us. I have never been a big fan of change. It is something that has always scared me. But this week I have come to realize that the Plan of Salvation requires change. It is all about relying upon the Savior and His Atonement. As we do so, our hearts are changed that we can progress and become closer to our Father in Heaven. What a blessing to be able to experience so much good change in our lives!  (Bryan has also been asked to serve as district leader.  I think he would appreciate prayers to help him in this new responsibility.)
          Sadly I didn't get to watch General Conference this week, but from what I have heard I should look forward to it. I did, however, get to travel to Accra for a Trainer's Council. We heard from both President and Sister Heid. They even provided us with a delicious lunch! Speaking of lunch, last night for dinner I made some superb onion rice with an excellent vegetable stir fry. Yum! It's the little things that keep us going. This week I have a lot of FMs ( Free Meals) to look forward to seeing as how my companion is going home. I won't complain about that. The weather here in Ghana feels hotter each day, but you just learn to accept the fact that your whole body will always be covered in sweat. Most people don't seem to judge me for it.
          This week I am grateful for a living prophet. Although I did not get to watch conference just yet, I know that President Thomas S. Monson is called of God to receive revelation for everyone on the earth today. I love and sustain him. I know that as we listen to his council we can not go astray. How blessed we are to have him.
          That's all from me for the week. A HUGE congratulations to Nick and Savannah and Kurt and Kelli on their new babies! What great additions to the family. I can't wait to hug them when I get home. I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support. I hope that you have a wonderful week. The church is true!
          Love, Elder Radmall

 Questions from mom
Q. Did you get to listen to any sessions of conference?
No. :(
Q. Is your cold gone?
Q. Has your package come yet?
Yes! Thank you so much. I have already been enjoying the contents.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. Do you live in an apartment complex? 
Nope. We live in an apartment totally surrounded by trees. It's awesome.
Q. What American foods do you buy there?
I buy a LOT of green peppers, carrots, and imported bananas (they have bananas grown here, but they aren't as good). I also have my delicious pancakes on occasion. Other American food is too expensive with the money I get.
Q. What is your favorite Ghanaian thing to buy, Something that you cannot get here?
Um... I guess just Ghanaian food. That's where most of my money goes.
Q. What is your favorite place to be on your mission so far?
In members homes. I always feel so comfortable and welcome there.

Questions from Christie
Q. What made you laugh this week? 
Sitting with some return missionaries and listening to their crazy stories about Nigeria. It sounds like a pretty scary place.
Q. What conference talk did you feel was meant just for you? 
I will tell you when I hear them!
Q. Can you take a picture of the sunset for me?
Of course! 
Q. What are you studying in the scriptures?
Right now I am focusing on the Book of Mormon. I recently finished Isaiah, which is awesome!
Q. What is the hardest question you have been asked by an investigator?
We had some Jehovah's Witnesses who wanted to know why we pay tithing. They say tithing was only intended to support the Levites because they didn't work. The Spirit helped us to answer them pretty well though I think.