Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in Ghana

 Sister Sophia's 40th birthday.
 Birthday feast.
Ghana sunset.

Dear Family and Friends,
          I can't believe it is almost Christmas!!! This week was another fantastic one for us. Monday night we  had FHE with some of our branch members. They served us banku and a delicious stew. I even enjoyed the fish. As we were biking home I received a phone call from the sisters in our district. They apparently left a sink on in their apartment before they headed out for the day. When they returned that night everything was totally flooded. It seems our district has a theme of flooding. Elder Itepu and I headed over and helped them to clean up for a couple of hours. I especially enjoyed observing one sister yelling "Oh, my shoes! Why my shoes?"
          Tuesday night we went to another FHE with Sister Sophia's family. They are a great family of five living in the middle of the city. They can't have FHE on Mondays, so they do it each Tuesday. This time was special though. It was Sister Sophia's 40th birthday! We had a great lesson from the birthday girl and an amazing dinner afterwords. Delicious pasta and chicken!
          The rest of the week was pretty normal. Right now we are in Harmattan season. The good news is that the temperatures are cooler! The bad news is that Harmattan is caused by crazy winds blowing dust from the Sahara Desert across Ghana. Everything is covered in dust. Sometimes it is so thick that you can barely see the sun. My nose and eyes are in constant distress. I guess this is just Ghana's version of snow. 
          This is such a special time of the year. Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE Christmas. I am one of those awful people that starts singing Christmas songs before Halloween. At the same time, I have come to the realization that this Christmas simply can't be the same. I am in a foreign country without my family. At first this came across as very distressing. No snow, no homemade chocolates, no presents under the tree, no getting together with the family and acting out the nativity. But I have come to realize that this Christmas will be an exceptional one. This Christmas I will truly come to understand what Christmas is all about. This Christmas I will be blessed with a chance to serve my Savior who gave all for me. I know that He was born more than two thousand years ago. I know that He lived, suffered, and died for each of us. And I bear you my testimony that He lives again. Because of Him we can find hope in an ever darkening world. I love Him and I know that He loves each of us. May you all have a wonderful Christmas!
          I love you all soooo much! Have a super week and a white Christmas.

Elder Radmall

Questions from Dad
Q. Do you have cell phones?
Yes. We use them a LOT as missionaries here. Everyone in Ghana has a cell phone if you can believe that.
Q. Do you use French at all?
Sadly, no. Some people here speak French, but they also speak English.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. Did you get you second package with all the Christmas stuff in it?
Not yet, but hopefully this week!
Q. What was the best part of your week?
This week I loved my personal studies each day. I focused on the Savior and felt the spirit so strongly as I studied about His life.
Q. Did they do Christmas Sacrament meetings where you attended?
Not really. We don't even sing Christmas songs in sacrament meeting aside from the choir.
Q. How is your toe?
It is really good! It still looks funny, but it feels great.
Q. Will you please splurge and buy yourself some yummy treats for Christmas Day? :)
Haha I think I can do that.
Q. What is your favorite Christmas scripture or scripture story surrounding the Christmas theme?
I have always loved the story of Samuel the Lamanite and the people who believed on his word. Samuel showed courage by prophesying of Christ to a people who mostly rejected him and even tried to kill him. Those who believed him were heavily persecuted and almost put to death. But in the end the Savior was born and their faith was rewarded.

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