Monday, January 25, 2016

A week of excitement!!

Sister Patience in white on her baptism day.

 New Christmas ties.

 Sister Patience with the branch president and 4 others being baptized.

Beauty of Koforidua

Dearest Family and Friends,
          I hope that you all had an amazing week! I know that I sure did. I don't have much time, so I will keep it brief. The coolest part of the whole week was Saturday morning when I witnessed five people enter the waters of baptism! The same day as Felicity's baptism! One of those five, Sister Patience, has been our investigator for the last couple of months. I am so happy for her and the second birth she has just experienced. She is a wonderful woman who truly loves her Savior. I know that God placed us on her path for a reason. At her baptism she started to cry. When we asked her why she was crying she replied, "yesterday I was so sick I couldn't even leave my room, but this morning when I woke up I was fine. Jesus has healed me." I know that the Savior did heal her, and not just physically. Then on Sunday all five of them were confirmed. I even got to do the confirmation for one of them! It was a great weekend.
          When we got home Sunday we found Elder Dougal madly packing his things. He was sent on emergency transfer to Ho. I hope that Ho will be a great place for him. He has been replaced by Brother Sakodie, a branch missionary from Accra. He has been serving longer than me! He hopes to receive his mission call very soon. He is a great guy. At first the thought of being the lone American in our apartment was scary. Me with two Nigerians and a Ghanaian. But it has actually been really awesome! We all get along super well. The Gospel is so great. It brings people together from the most diverse of backgrounds and allows us to establish lasting friendships. 
          This week we got a new shower head! Ours has been broken since I first arrived in Koforidua six months ago. The sun has been scorching here this week! I feel like I am melting. I can barely open my eyes at times because it is so bright. I guess I should use my sunglasses more. I am getting pretty good at speaking Twi. The people here LOVE when I greet them in Twi. I had an interesting experience this week while contacting. We met a man from Louisville, Kentucky! There you go Aaron and Jeanette.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Questions from mom:
Q. Sister Rosslyn told me your favorite food, but I did not quite understand her.   What is it?
It is rice balls and groundnut soup. Heavenly. 
(Note from Bryan's mom - Sister Rosslyn called me on Sunday - yes, from Ghana.  Bryan had just left her house and she called to tell me how much she loved Bryan.  I thanked her for being one of his angels and a second mother.  It was a joyful and unexpected blessing.)
Q. What does your branch president do for a living?
I am not really sure. He has some office job that seems to pay well.
Q. How many people come to church each Sunday?
Lately it has been getting pretty high. We have around 150 each week.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was your biggest adventure this week?
Riding on the main road late one night with cars flying by. Sometimes it feels like they are trying to hit us...
Q. When are the next transfers for you?
The middle of February. I have a feeling I will be leaving Koforidua.
Q. How many weeks have you been in Koforidua now?
About 27 I think.
Q. Is the sand dying down even more then the last time I asked?
It has actually picked back up again sadly.
Q. What is your favorite item/thing that someone on your mission has given you?
Our sweet African clothes from Sister Rosslyn. Everyone else gives us food, which is alright with me.  (Yup- that is the Sister Rosslyn who called me!!)
Q. What is something you would love to get in a package?
My nieces and nephews.
Q. What was the highlight of your week?
Seeing five people baptized and confirmed! How cool.

Questions from Kurt
Q. Who have you witnessed feel the Spirit this week?
Sister Patience as she was baptized and confirmed.
Q. Do you hear a lot of noise at night?
Yes. Frogs, crickets, churches shouting random things, lions roaring...
Q. What is Elder Itepu's favorite sport? Favorite hobby?
Soccer. His favorite hobby is also soccer. Pretty typical here in Ghana.
Q. What p-day activity are you hoping to get to do?
We are really boring these days. We just clean and write our families.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Another week gone by...

 Favorite tree.

 Branch members.

Koforidua zone.

Hello beloved family and friends!
          How are you all doing? Hopefully great. I had another very good and very tiring week. We did a LOT of contacting this week. I love meeting so many great people with great stories, but I do get kind of tired of introducing myself for the twentieth time in a day. It was much needed though. Hopefully it will result in us having a lot of good new investigators to work with. I have been feeling a little bit discouraged over the last few weeks due to the feeling that most of our investigators just aren't really progressing in the Gospel. Sunday morning the feelings intensified as nobody showed up at church for the third week in a row. I started to wonder just how much good I am really doing in Ghana. As we started to prepare for the sacrament my thoughts turned to the Savior. He wasn't just rejected by many of the people He tried to save, but He was hated, mocked, and persecuted beyond belief. And yet He was never discouraged in His work. He knew perfectly His purpose and He knew that He was doing the will of His father. So long as we are obedient to God we have no need to feel discouraged. All we can do is enough. Christ will carry us the rest of the way. Sundays are just the best, and in the end we did have one investigator show up.
          This Saturday we will have a baptism! WOOT!! Her name is Sister Patience and I am so excited for her. I have been very tired from walking around in the sun all day. I even fell asleep in the middle of discussing tithing with a recent convert! Oops! Here in Ghana they have a sweet drink called sobolo that is made from boiling hibiscus leaves and adding lots of sugar. It is dark purple and very delicious! The sisters make it for us a lot and I love it! We had an awesome visit with Bro. Joshua today and he told us that when it starts raining again he plans to plant a garden just to grow food for missionaries. I love that man and his devotion to the Gospel. It is so hard for him, but he still shows faith without ceasing.
          I love you all so much and I thank you once again for being the best cheer squad a missionary could ever ask for. Have an awesome week and know that you are all the best!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Have you asked about the crocodiles?  Are there any in Koforidua?
Yes and yes.
Q. Is your new roommate, Elder Adeleye, a convert?
Q. How did Elder Itepu hear about the church and become converted?
He was introduced to the church by his brothers. He realized that the church Christ established in the Bible should be the same today with prophets and apostles.
Q.  Do people in your area speak any language besides Twi?
They speak Krobo in Nkurakan. I don't know any of it though.
Q. What service have you given this week?
This morning I bought and cooked an egg sandwich for Elder Itepu. We also helped clean our chapel which was fun!
Q. What is your favorite scripture this week?
Matthew 28: 1-6

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Is the dust dying down?
Q. Are you still enjoying all of the food?
I am indeed. I will miss it when I come home.
Q. What was the funniest thing that happened to you this week?
When I fell asleep in the middle of a lesson... and I was the one talking.
Q. What are you most grateful for this week?
I am grateful for the rain this week. I love that it can clean away all of the dirt and bring new life. How cool and symbolic!
Q. How are things with the new missionaries in your apartment?
Great! We are all getting along so far.

Questions from Dad:
Q. Did you do anything for your “bump day”? 
Nope. I am pretty boring.
Q. How are the two Nigerians doing in you apartment? 
Groovy. They are funny elders.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Six months already!!

 Sunset during Harmattan.
(A dry, dusty easterly or northeasterly wind on the West African coast, occurring from December to February.)


Elder Itepu excited for dinner.

Dearly beloved people,
          It has been an exhausting week full of spiritual growth and learning. We were blessed this week to have some great members go out proselyting with us. We are still trying to find great new people to teach who will keep their commitments and follow. We have two new investigators in Nkurakan named Emmanuel and Monica. They are married with a couple of kids. I love them. They are such humble people and they are totally willing to listen to all we have to say. We taught them the message of the Restoration. Sadly, they can't read, so we will have to read the Book of Mormon with them. We have a new elder in the apartment. Elder Adeleye is from Nigeria and he is a very cool guy. He is obsessed with cleanliness which I guess is probably a good thing for our apartment. He has been out 15 months and I am excited to get to know him better.
          On Thursday night we found ourselves at the chapel with nothing to do. All of our appointments had failed and we still had a lot of time before we needed to return to the apartment. I was at a loss. Then I felt prompted to pray as a companionship for guidance and inspiration. As we did so we were lead to contact some really good people whom we will teach this week. I know that God hears and answers all of our prayers. He won't necessarily appear to us or send an angel to us, but he will send the Spirit to comfort and direct us as we have faith.
          Now for the exciting things this week. We had family home evening with Sister Sophia's family. Her children spent hours preparing fried rice and spring rolls for us. It was delicious of course! Our sister missionaries in our district were robbed and one of them even sustained some minor injuries. Yikes! I saw a man walking not a dog, not a cat, but a baboon. Say what!?!? 
          I am so grateful for the continual support and prayers from all of you. I don't know that I deserve it all of the time, but I sure do need it. I know that God is aware of His children and their needs. Never hesitate to turn to Him. I love you all so much!! Have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mother
Q. How often do you see crocodiles? (His mother saw one on a you tube video that showed the St. Joseph hospital grounds in Koforidua.)
Never! I would love to see one though, so I'll keep my eyes open.
Q. What new food did you try this week?
Nothing new. I had a lot of rice, bread, eggs, and some nice fufu. I am actually in love with fufu.
Q. What new words have you learned this week?
This isn't new, but if you want to say cool in Twi you say boko.
Q. Can you speak any Twi?
Yes! Quite a bit actually. Ghanaian people love their languages. They are all eager to teach me and I love learning it.
Q. When did you feel the spirit this week?
As I took the sacrament and really reflected on how much the Savior suffered for all of us. I spent some time this week studying Christlike attributes. It was a great chance to reflect on how I can be more like Him. I would encourage everyone to study that as much as you can.

Questions from Christie
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Having children shout amen throughout our prayer before leaving the apartment in the morning.
Q. What was hard this week?
Going through changes. I felt like I was just adjusting to my missionary life, and now it's been tossed up again. But I know that through it the Lord is strengthening and teaching me.
Q. Is it still windy and sandy/dusty? 
YES! It is not very fun, but it's livable. Everyone is Ghana is just slightly sick with a cough.
Q. What scripture stood out to you this week?
Mosiah 27: 28-29. It teaches so much about the power of repentance in our lives.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. What was the highlight of your week?
Teaching Emmanuel and Monica. We don't usually have a lot of lessons with a husband and wife. It was a delight!
Q. How are the new changes with transfers being done?
They are weird, but I am adjusting alright. It's a part of the work!
Q. How is the weather there now? Still hot and dusty?
Yes indeed!
Q. What was the best lesson you taught this week?
Our lesson with Emmanuel and Monica on the Restoration.
Q. What has been hard this week?
This week I had a hard time getting my mind away from home, but the Lord helped me to stay mostly focused on the work.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ghana Time

 Cooking at the branch party.

 Dancing at the branch party.

 Children dancing at the branch party.

Cleaning cobwebs at the hospital chapel.

Zone service project at the local hospital.

Study buddies (sent to him from his sister TeriAnn for Christmas.)

          What a wonderful week! Elder Itepu and I really focused on trying to find some great new investigators, especially families, to teach repentance and baptism. We have been sad to see some of the people we were so hopeful for stop keeping their commitments. We will continue to work with them and to help them understand our purpose as missionaries. This week our branch had a wonderful activity with a great turnout, including some investigators. It caused me to reflect on our branch when I first arrived six months ago. It quite frankly wasn't really functioning all that well and the members seldom helped us in the work. Now our branch is running at full speed and the members are more than willing to assist us. I am so grateful for this branch I have come to love. 
          This week we had an awesome zone service project. We went to a local hospital and did a bunch of maintenance work for them. It actually made me feel at home to be outside weeding in the bushes. The bad part of the project was cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling of the chapel. I had to climb to the top of a ladder. No big deal. I'm fine with heights... until the giant spiders started falling around me! It was terrifying! Otherwise it was an awesome experience. 
          We had a great New Year's Eve. Let me start by saying that EVERYONE has wanted to feed us this week. I have hardly had to spend any money this week. It is awesome! For New Year's we were of course fed and then we returned to the apartment for more food and even some sparkling drinks. Then we played Uno the rest of the night.
          Tomorrow will be a hard day for me. My best friend here in Ghana, Elder Bodily, will be transferred to a new zone in Accra. We have been together for six months now. It will be hard to say goodbye, but he will do good anywhere he goes. I am grateful for the time I have been able to spend with him.
          A huge thanks to everyone for the wonderful people that you are and for your prayers on my behalf! They are answered. A big thanks for the wonderful package I received last Monday full of amazing goodies, toys, and pictures. I love it all. I hope you all have a great week. I love you people.
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. What did you do for New Year’s?
We had delicious food, good drinks, and played Uno!
Q. What was your favorite present in the package?
Haha I loved it all!  The food, clothes, toys, and pictures are all much appreciated and needed.
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Shooting each other with my new bow and arrow. (A Nerf bow and arrow sent for Christmas.)
Q. How are your new converts doing?
They are all doing really well. Poor bro. Joshua is still struggling with some health issues, but he does all he can to come to church each week.
Q. What is your favorite scripture this week?
Moroni 10:32
Q. How and or when have you felt the hand of God in your life this week?
I have felt His hand all week. This weekend in particular though I started to feel pretty down.  It felt like I wasn't really doing much good here. Then God helped me to see people not just for what they are, but for what they can become. It has given me a new desire to share the Gospel.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was the greatest miracle in your life this week?
There wasn't anything big, but I guess the greatest miracle was just Heavenly Father blessing me with comfort at the times when I felt down or alone.
Q. What are you most grateful for this week?
I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon this week. I love that book and the truth it holds.
Q. Who did you connect with the most this week that made you happy and feel at home in Ghana?
Pretty much everyone in our branch. I have really come to love those people! And Sister Rosslyn and Sister Janet continue to take such good care of us.
Q. Did you celebrate New Years?
Of course! 
Q. Is your apartment cleaned up after the flood?
Yes. I am grateful everyday for dry floors.
Q. How are your toes? The one that was operated on and the infected toe?
They are good. I don't think my big toe will ever look the same again.
Q. Do you ever have moments or have you had any experiences where you felt unsafe in Ghana?
My first week I was scared of almost everything, but now I have come to learn that Ghana is one of the most peaceful countries on earth. I feel very safe here.