Monday, February 29, 2016

The Lion and the Lamb

 No Bake Cookies
 My lunch on most days.
 Our investigator's soccer team.
Ghanian Wedding

Dear Family and Friends,
          It was a very hot and yet beautiful week in Koforidua.  Elder Itepu and I tried to follow up with all of the new investigators we found last week.  Sadly, almost all of them seemed to have disappeared!  Their phones weren't working, they weren't home, or they refused to meet with us.  It was hard to see so many people missing out on the wonderful message we carry, but perhaps the Lord's plan for those people is different than ours.  We will continue to seek for those whom the Lord has prepared to accept the Gospel. 
          Time for my weird and random thought. This week in my studies I was thinking a lot about two animals often mentioned in the scriptures. The lion and the lamb. The lion is used as a symbol of courage and valor. The lamb on the other hand symbolizes meekness and submitting to the will of the master. In Psalms we read that the "righteous are bold as a lion." In John the Savior labeled His disciples when He told Peter to "feed (his) lambs." As followers of Jesus Christ, how can we be both lions and lambs? The two don't exactly seem to go together. But I can say that we can and must be both a lion and a lamb when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need the courage to submit to our master's will. Abraham showed great courage as he went to obey the Lord's commandment to sacrifice his own son (in place of a lamb). Daniel was brave as he put his life at risk in order to submit to God in prayer (and he was saved from the lions). The greatest example is, of course, the Savior. Known as both the "Lion of Judah" and the "Lamb of God", Jesus Christ had the strength and valor to do all that His father asked of Him. This week I am going to try to be more lion-hearted by submitting like a lamb to our Heavenly Father.
          Sorry for the long and strange thought. It happens. This week I made no-bake cookies. They were sooo good, but they never fully dry in Ghana. Oh well. I like gooey cookies. I also attended my first ever Ghanaian wedding at our church. It was pretty sweet. The ceremony was pretty similar to what you might see in in America, but the after party was not. It was a LOT of bright colors with speakers blasting music at the highest volume. I am convinced that the people of Ghana are trying to go deaf. They served a nice lunch of rice and salad, and they even had cake! It was fun.
          Otherwise it was just a good old missionary week in Ghana. I love doing the work of the Lord. I know He is there and He loves us. Have a super week and know that I love and miss you all!!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. How is your toe?
Super! It looks normal again.
Q. How often do you speak in church?
Only once so far. 
Q. Do you teach the gospel essentials class for new converts?
Yeah. We rotate it.
Q. What was the most powerful moment in a lesson this week?
I loved teaching the young men this week. We talked about adversity and why we have it. I testified that the Savior can help them through any trial.
Q. How did you feel God’s hand in your life this week?
I felt His hand this week as He helped me to find joy. Even in the hard times this week I was happy. 
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Shooting people with my bow and arrow. (His nerf bow and arrow!!)

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was your favorite thing you studied this week?

Lions and lambs.
Q. Have you celebrated any African holidays recently?
No, but the sixth of March is their independence day!
Q. What are you looking forward to this week and this month?
Learning how to cook some new dishes from Elder Sarkodie in our apartment.
Q. What do you love getting in packages or would you love to get in packages?

Anything with sugar. I love sugar!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bring on the heat!

 Bird by our apartment.
Elder Sarkodie

Dear Family and Friends,
          I hope that you all had an outstanding week! It was yet another great week in the Lord's vineyard.  This week we had a few things trying to distract us from the work, (broken bikes, forgetting our keys at the apartment, etc.) but we didn't let that stop us.  We were able to do a lot of great finding this week and ended up with a lot of new investigators to work with over the coming week.  It has been harder for us to get members to help us lately as so many of them are involved in schooling, but we still have some great people to work with.  It really does make the biggest difference in the world to have them there to testify of how the Gospel has blessed them. I love my companion, and I am so grateful for his decision to serve a mission. I know it isn't easy for him. Neither of his parents are members and he doesn't really get many letters from home, but still he remains happy and upbeat. He is a great example to me.
          This week nothing too eventful happened. On Wednesday we had district council and we made pancakes and smoothies for the whole district. It was so good. Smoothies made from the freshest and sweetest fruit on earth. Yum. I also finally got my poor bike fixed this week. The handlebars and the chain have been pretty busted for a few weeks. Now that it is fixed biking has become to easy. It doesn't even feel like I am exercising anymore. 
          Ghana has become hot. Really uncomfortably hot. Even the other Africans complain that the sun in Ghana is too much for them. I am nonstop covered in sweat. When I wake up in the morning I am sweaty. When I go to bed at night I am sweaty. When I get out of the shower I start sweating. I suppose that is just life in Ghana though! I am actually pretty used to it now. Sweat is just a part of my life I need to accept. Truly, by the sweat of my brow shall I preach the Gospel! It is well worth it.
          I love you all so much and I thank you with all of my heart for your love and support. Your prayers are noticed and appreciated. Keep being great. The Gospel changes lives!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Where are the Taylor’s from?
They are from some small town in Utah.
Q. How did you like the fajita mixes I sent?
I haven't used them yet, but I am excited to!
Q. Who fixed your bike?
A member in the Adweso branch. He always does it.
Q. What lesson did you teach this week that touched you and the one you were teaching?  What gospel principle were you teaching?
We had a powerful lesson about the law of chastity with one of our progressing investigators. He is living with his fiance and their two kids. He truly wants to repent and keep the commandments. We will see if they can possibly get married soon.
Q. What fruits/vegetables do they have in Ghana that we do not have in America?
Cassava, (used for banku and fufu) contombre, (used for stew) and pawpaw! We might have those in America, but I haven't seen them before.
Q. Do you ever see monkey’s?
Not really. I have only seen two since being here. Hopefully I will see more though. 
Q. When did you feel the spirit this week?
As I took the sacrament in church. I can't say how truly grateful I am for the sacrament.
Q. What would you most like sent in a package?
Anything sweet and delicious. 

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How many missionaries live in your apartment right now?
Q. Did you try any new foods this week that you loved?
There is a kind of porridge here they call coco. You can always find it in the mornings and they mix it with some sugar. The twist is that it has ginger in it. Once you get used to it though it is really good! Ghanaians like ginger a little too much.
Q. What was the highlight of your week?
This week it was going to church. I just love feeling the spirit there and witnessing the wonderful and faithful saints here in Ghana.
Q. What is the weather/temperature like right now?
Too hot!!! And the humidity is returning. Please send snow!
Q. When will you go to Accra next?
I have no idea. Right now I have no planned trips there.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Safe for a little longer!!

Chefs cooking dinner.
 Bryan's banana bread.
 Delicious Dinner
 Beautiful Tree
 The most common lizard here.
 Apartment main room.
Porcelain throne.

Dear family and friends,
          How are you all doing?? Hopefully great. I know I am just splendid. It was a lovely week here in Koforidua. This week is transfer week, and guess what? I am safe for another transfer!! It looks like the Lord wants to keep me in Koforidua a little longer. I'm okay with that. This place has become my second home. It will be a sad day when I have to leave these great people. 
          This week was full of treats! How appropriate in honor of Valentine's Day. On Monday night our whole district went to brother Francis' house to cook fried rice and chicken. It was so good! I even made banana bread for dessert, although no one really had room left. Brother Francis' wife, Sister Evenlyn, had a baby girl just a few weeks ago. She is so cute and has lots of black hair on her head. 
          Now for treat number two! On Wednesday our whole zone crowded into a trotro (like 20 people in a car built for maybe 12) and headed to Accra for a devotional with Elder Vinson. He is the first counselor in our area presidency. This week he conducted a mission tour in our mission. His instruction to us was so inspired. I loved every minute of it. Our district was fortunate enough to be able to perform for him. We sang "I Need Thee Every Hour". I even sang the tenor part all by myself. Mr. Taylor taught me well. One of my favorite parts was the discussion we had about prayer. We studied the story of Enos in the Book of Mormon and how it applies to us. He started out praying for himself. Once his own sins were forgiven he quickly became concerned with the welfare of his fellow Nephites and he began to pray for them as well. Finally, his prayers turned to those who hated him. Enos realized that his prayers weren't just about him. In fact prayer is about so much more. Prayer is intended to be a way for us to align our own will with that of our Heavenly Father. Just as the Savior said in perhaps the greatest of prayers ever offered, "Not my will, but thine be done." 
          Here is my funny/embarrassing story for the week. On Sunday morning I got all dressed up for the day with my brand new pants and my nice shoes. I was looking great! I was in a bit of a hurry to get to church as we were late for a meeting. As I came flying around a corner my handlebar hit a sign post. CRASH!!! From the dust I was formed, and to the dust I returned. My clothes were totally covered in dirt. We had to go back to the apartment so I could change. I learned my lesson. Next time I will let my companion go first. The rest of our Valentine's Day was great though. Everyone was wearing red at church. I made sure to eat lots of sweets. Sister Rosslyn even bought us some small cakes to celebrate. She spoils us too much.
          I know that God loves all of His children perfectly. Because of that love He sent His only begotten to this earth. I know that the Savior lived and died to redeem mankind. His life and death were the ultimate acts of true love. We are never beyond their help. Their arms are ever stretched out to embrace us in our times of need. I love you all so much and I hope that you have a wonderful week. Happy Valentine's/President's Day!!
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How did you celebrate Valentine’s day?
With lots of candy, popcorn, cake, and a nice dinner. The little boy who lives by us especially loved the conversation hearts mom sent me.
Q. What was the highlight of your week?
Meeting with Elder Vinson in Accra. So inspiring!
Q. Do you have transfers this week?
Yep! But I am safe!
Q. How was church this week?
It was great. I am always grateful to be able to take the sacrament.
Q. What was your favorite lesson this week?
We met with a new investigator. As we started the lesson he told us he was searching for peace in his life. We were able to clearly teach him how he can have that peace through the Gospel. The Spirit was so strong.
Q. What was your favorite day this week and why?
Sunday. It was a very peaceful Sabbath, and I got to enjoy some candy as well. :)
Q. What was the weirdest thing you saw this week?
An old woman dragging a goat by a leash.
Q. Do any of the areas in your mission have cars?
No. The AP's and the Office Elders drive cars though.   

Questions from Momma:
Q. Do you actually get 30 emails each week?  Who from?
Around that. From family, friends, my mission president, and other missionaries.
Q. What new food did you try this week?
None. But I did have some pizza today for the first time in months!
Q. Did your arms ache after using a machete?
YES! It was hard work, but it felt so cool.
Q. Do you have a new senior couple in Koforidua?
Yep. Elder and Sister Taylor. They are great. Elder Taylor is very quiet, but he is super hard working. He reminds me of Grandpa Terry.
Q. Did your package come?
Yes. Thank you so sooo much. 
Q. When did you feel the spirit this week?       
In our devotional with Elder Vinson. The room was full of the spirit. I loved it!

Monday, February 8, 2016

American in Ghana

 Pounding fufu for dinner.
 Sister Maduakolam and Bryan with the branch mission leader.
 District sisters.
Final photo with the Browns, a senior couple from Australia, and Bryan's guardian angels.

Dearly beloved family and friends,
          This has been a spectacular week! Nothing too out of the ordinary happened, but I guess that's a good thing. Elder Itepu and I were able to start teaching some great new people and we are preparing three people for baptism at the end of this month! We even had three investigators at church on Sunday. God is just too good to me. I find that I tend to get too caught up in the small things in life. This week I have tried to take some time to stand back and see the hand of God in my life. He blesses me with little miracles each and every day. I mean, just the fact that I haven't managed to seriously hurt myself yet is amazing. He truly does send angels to lift us up and carry us through our trials.
          This week we will prepare to travel to Accra on Wednesday. Elder Vinson, first counselor in the Africa West Area presidency, is conducting a tour of our mission. He wants to speak to us, so we get to go hear him. I am excited, because riding in a trotro means I can sleep for a couple hours! Oh, and because I get to hear a member of the seventy speak to us. That is also cool. 
          This week our branch president's wife brought rice water to our Saturday morning cleaning. They cook rice with too much water and then they add sugar and evaporated milk. It is the best breakfast ever! (besides cereal) My bike has been broken for a couple of weeks. The handle bar is loose and it kind of slides from side to side. How exciting! This week our district said goodbye to Sister Maduakolam, the only one who had served in Koforidua longer than me! We have been together a long time and I will miss her.
         I love you all so much!

Elder Radmall

Monday, February 1, 2016

Living the Ghanaian Life

Dear Family and Friends,
          This has been a very Ghanaian week! Making local dishes, farming with machetes, and much more. I will give more info on that in a minute. On Tuesday we traveled to Accra to watch a worldwide missionary broadcast. It was amazing! I loved it. It felt like every talk was directed right at me, and I learned so much. The rest of the week was pretty normal. And by normal I mean we taught people all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is actually pretty extraordinary. Sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to be in Ghana sharing the word of God. How cool!
           On Sunday we went all out and bought everything we needed to pound our own fufu! It was awesome and we cooked a delicious soup to go with it. It is really impressive how they pound it. One person has to move the fufu with their hands while the other one is crushing it with a giant stick. Yikes! Today we went to a member's farm. It is a HUGE farm with everything you can imagine. Pineapple, mango, cocoa, maize, and sooo much more. They had us help them with some weeding. We used machetes. So cool!
          I love you all so much and pray that you have a great week. Pictures next week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Do you still play soccer on p-day?  If not, why not?
No. We just don't have time anymore. With washing and cleaning we are busy all day.
Q. How did you meet Sister Patience?
We were leaving an appointment and she called us over. She had seen us passing a few times and wanted to know what we were doing.
Q. Does she have children or grandchildren?
She has one son and no grandchildren.
Comment on last weeks letter!! Lions roaring??  Good one.  I looked up lions and they are endangered in Ghana – they hardly have any in the National Parks.
Q. What food do you miss the most?
This week it is pizza and any kind of dessert.
Q. What do you love the most about Ghana?
The people. They inspire me each day. They are so humble. They have so little and yet they give so much. I love them.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What do you eat for breakfast each day?
Oatmeal or and egg sandwich. Pancakes on special days.
Q. What is your morning routine?
I wake up, do some push ups, take a nice cold shower, and get dressed for the day. Then I make something to eat and start my personal studies.
Q. What is your evening routine?
We get back to the apartment around 8:30 and plan for the next day. Then we make dinner, wash if we need to, and get ready for bed.
Q. How is your bike holding up? Where did you get your bike from?
Not very well at all. The handle bar is loose and the tires are always going flat. That's life though! The mission provides our bikes.
Q. What was the highlight of your week?

This week it was teaching a man who lives about 45 minutes away from Koforidua about Joseph Smith. The spirit was so strong and he felt it!
Q. What was something new you learned this week?
That you can eat cocoa straight off the tree. It's sweet!
Q. What did you gain a testimony of this week?

This week I strengthened my testimony that the Savior truly lived the perfect life as an example for all of us to follow.