Monday, May 30, 2016

Dinner With a Crunch

Contacting Activity

Hello beloved family and friends!
          I hope that you all had a splendid week! Elder Kambwiri and I had a wonderful week.  The Lord truly poured out blessings upon us.  We were able to work very effectively with members in our ward and it yielded some great fruits.  On Sunday we were filled with joy to see five of our investigators come to worship with us!  Two of them are planning to be baptized this week, and the other three are quickly progressing in the Gospel. The two preparing for baptism are Sister Theresa (a 65 year old woman who has been coming to church for several months now) and Jennifer (a 15 year old girl whose brother is a member). They are both awesome and I can't wait to see them enter the waters of baptism and make those sacred covenants with God. I will let you know how it goes!
          Wednesday was a holiday in Ghana. It was African Union Day. I don't get it though. From what I have heard, Ghana is the only country in Africa that really celebrates it. Anyways, in honor of the holiday all of the missionaries from our zone had a mass contacting activity with a nearby branch. It was cool to see so many members and missionaries (around 60) going around and inviting people to learn more about the Savior. Afterwards we all met at the stake center to enjoy rice and banku! 
          Last night our bishop invited us over to his home. When I first met him I thought he was a pretty cold and somewhat rude man, but I have come to realize that he is really a very Christlike person. You just have to force him to be your friend. We had an awesome time playing with his adorable kids. His wife prepared us some delicious banku and okro stew. That's a very typical meal I have eaten many times before, but this time something was different. There was crab in the stew. Like whole crabs. And here in Ghana they don't take the meat out of the shell. You eat everything. It was dinner with a crunch! The food was all delicious though. I even gave some Starbursts to the kids and they were in love with them.
          What a blessing it is to participate in this great work, and to see the hand of God changing people's lives.  This Gospel truly does bring blessings that can't be found anywhere else.  Of course, Satan does his best to try and deceive us with his counterfeits.  He makes the things of this world seem like the only way to be happy, but those who have experienced the power of the Atonement know that nothing Satan throws our way can ever compare to the Savior's love.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we can enjoy true peace and happiness, both in this life and in the life to come.  What could be more fulfilling than to help others know "to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." 
          That is all I have time for this week! I love and miss all of you so much. Thanks for being awesome and inspiring me to keep going forward from week to week. Have a great week.
Elder Radmall

 Beach Selfie
Kwadjo (the bishop's son)

Questions from Mom:
Q. Is there anything you learned or experienced in Ghana this week that was new or surprised you?
Not really. Eating an entire crab I guess.
Q. How many youth 12 to 18 are in your ward?
I think maybe around 20 who are active.
Q. When did you feel the spirit this week?
I really felt the Spirit as I partook of the sacrament and reflected upon the Savior's life. I love Sundays!
Q. Did you have more baptisms in Koforidua than you have in Nungua?
Not really. I had 4 in Koforidua and after this week I will already be up to 3 in Nungua after two months.
Q. Do you travel from Nungua to any villages to teach?
We have Sakumono village that we ride to, but it isn't the same as the villages in Koforidua. This one is more developed.
Q. Favorite scripture this week?
Joshua 1:9

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was the weirdest thing you saw this week?
At the beach today there was some random dude building a pile of dirt. Later we learned he was building a ramp he could run and do flips off of. He was quite impressive.
Q. How do you receive your spending money on your mission and what forms of payments do you use to pay for everything?
We have a debit card and we get cash at an ATM every four weeks. We pay for everything with cash. That is the only way to pay for things in Ghana.
Q. What did you do today for P-day?
We went and enjoyed the beach for a while. It was awesome.
Q. What is the biggest challenge missionaries in your area face?
We have some struggles working with our members. They have had some bad experiences with missionaries and most of them are very busy. 
Q. What is the bishop of the Ward in your area like?
He is a lawyer and he isn't super friendly, but he always follows through on what he says and he is so devoted to his family.
Q. What is the typical family size in the areas you have served?
Usually people have between 4-6 children. Every once in a while you run into a family with multiple wives and lots of children.

Questions from Christie:
Q. Who do you feel really accepted what you taught this week? 
Sister Theresa. I love that lady. She lives in a very tiny wooden hut with her daughter's family. She is so humble and so willing to live and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Q. What made you laugh this week? 
Our bishop's son Kwadjo. He is a one year old who loves to wear a giant helmet and ride his tricycle around the house. It is endless entertainment.
Q. What was the hardest part of your week? 
This week was pretty physically demanding, but God provided a way as always!
Q. Did you get rained on this week? 
Yes! It rained quite a bit at the beginning of the week, but nothing too bad.
Q. Did you eat dog this week (haha, Addie hasn't asked for a while)? 
Haha not this week. Only the crab.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up

Elder Frandsen blowing out his birthday candles.

Hello everybody!
          I hope that you all had a great week. I know that I sure did. This week Ghana had some serious rain! I started looking around for Noah. The winds were unbelievable, and the lightning and thunder were absolutely awesome. Unfortunately our windows are just a bunch of glass panes that don't seal tightly. Our kitchen took on a little bit of water, but we survived. Unfortunately our clothes lines, with my clothes hanging on them, did not. Oh well.
          We have some awesome people we are working with right now. We have a couple of part-member families who are expecting some baptisms very soon! We also have an awesome investigator named Bobby. He is a young man going to a university in our area. He was referred to us by a member. He is so willing to do anything necessary to learn if the message of the Restoration is true. On Sunday we had the member who referred him bring him to church, and he had a great experience. I will keep you updated on how he is doing.
          This week I was really struggling to know whether Heavenly Father is pleased with my missionary efforts. Sometimes I feel like I am just so inexperienced. I start to believe that I am letting others down, including God. This week as I thought about it I realized that I am in fact a very much unprofitable servant. But that doesn't mean that Heavenly Father isn't pleased with me. I can honestly say, though I am far from perfect, that I am trying to improve each and every day. I can't do much by my own strength, but the great thing about the Plan of Salvation is I don't need to do it by my own strength. If I just put forth my best effort, and I have faith in the Savior, God will qualify me for the work. I don't need to be perfect, I just need to be striving. The Gospel is so perfect for us imperfect people!
          We had a birthday in our district yesterday. Elder Frandsen turned 19. To celebrate we had brownies and ice cream. It was heavenly. Then we played some ping pong at the apartment. 
          Our dear members fed us a lot of banku this week. It was delicious, but I am becoming fat from eating too much banku. Pretty much all of their foods here are straight carbs. Oh well. I guess worse things have happened than becoming fat because people like to feed you. 
          Ghana is such a wonderful place. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with the opportunity to spend two years with these humble and loving people. I want nothing but the best for them, and that is exactly what the Gospel offers. God lives and Jesus Christ is His son, the Savior of the world. He loves us each perfectly. I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Radmall

 Birthday Brownies
Throwback to the MTC with my comp Elder Johnson

Questions from Christie:
Q. How hot is it? 
It feels like I am in Florida, but it is always summer.
Q. How often does it rain?
Last week we had two big storms. I think the rainy season has finally arrived.
Q. How is your bike holding up?
Pretty well! I am surprised how long it has been since I needed to get it fixed.
Q. Who touched you the most this week? 
A sweet old man in our ward. He hasn't been a member for long. We were helping him with a temple prep. assignment and after we finished he insisted on feeding us banku. This man has next to nothing, but he was willing to share with us.
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week? 
Mosiah 15: 29-31
Q. Who did you serve this week? 
I tried to help Elder Frandsen have an awesome birthday.
Q. Who served you this week? 
Sister Sarah made us some delicious fried rice!
Q. How is your health?
Sweet! I am alive and kicking.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What is the ward building like that you meet in?
It is actually pretty close to a chapel back home. The biggest differences are all tile floors and windows that are always open.
Q. How old is your companion?
He will turn 22 next month.
Q. When do you get to go to the temple next? 
Elder Kambwiri just filled out a family history sheet, so as soon as the names have been processed by a man in our ward I will text president to see when we can go to the temple.

Questions from Mom:
Q. Do the youth in Ghana attend seminary?  If so, who teaches it?
Yeah. They do seminary through the wards. Each ward calls someone to teach.
Q. Do the youth have youth conferences?  What about girl’s camp and scouting?
Not really that I have seen. There is definitely no scouting or girl's camp, but living in Ghana pretty much automatically qualifies you to be an Eagle Scout I think.
Q. What made you laugh this week?
An adorable and very fat baby in our ward. I don't know his name, but we call him obolo. It means chubby in Twi.
Q. What are you grateful for this week?
This week I am just grateful for God's love. There is no better feeling than to know that someone loves you perfectly no matter what you do.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Daniel and the Very Hungry Lion's Den

 Coconte with palm nut soup.
(Coconte is dried cassava, ground into a powder and mixed with water.)

Eating coconte.

Happy Monday everyone!
          I hope you all had a great week. Ghana is just awesome and sunny as always. This week was pretty sweet. We went and found where a recent convert in our ward lives this week. He stays in a place called Sakumono Village. It is a pretty poor area right along the coast. I think it will be a great place to proselyte in. When we got there we found out that he had been interviewed to receive the Aaronic Priesthood the following Sunday. The troubling thing was that he didn't know anything about the Aaronic Priesthood! We sat down and taught him all about it. Another one of our recent converts, Joel Shaduka, was also scheduled to be ordained as a priest on Sunday. It was so cool to see both of them taking another important step along the Gospel path. 
          One of my favorite lessons this week was with Sister Sarah and her family. She has two children and several others who are always at her house. There names are Blessing, Jemimah, Kwesi, Kofi, and Celestina. When we arrived at the house they surprised us with dinner! We ate a food called coconte with palmnut soup. It feels kind of like you are eating bread dough. Anyways, after we finished eating we had a lesson with the family. I decided to teach them about Daniel and the Lion's Den. The only problem was that everyone was pretty sleepy after eating such a heavy meal. The only solution I could think of was to act it out. So I gave all of the kids a part to play. It was hilarious. The kids were all great at playing their parts, especially Blessing who was a very hungry lion. At the end I asked them all what we can learn from Daniel, and they shared that we need to have faith and courage to do what is right. It was the perfect lesson.
          We also had some rain this week! It was nice because it cooled things off for a little while, but it also meant we had to track through mud. On Saturday we attended a wedding at the chapel. It was pretty boring, but they did give us each a tiny bite of wedding cake and a soda at the end!
          That is about all for this week. I am so grateful to all of you and I continue to pray for you all! I love you guys and hope you have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Nungua Wedding

Questions from Mom:
Q. In what ways or when did you feel the spirit this week?
I felt the Spirit as I took the sacrament this week. I love the chance to just remember the Savior and His sacrifice.
Q. Are sacrament meetings the same in Ghana as they are in America?
For the most part. They sure don't sing the same hymns as we do. And a lot of the people who give talks just read straight out of a church manual of magazine.
Q. Do you spend any of your time finding inactives?
We try to! We have a lot of inactives in our ward, but nobody knows who they are or where they are. We have tried to contact some with very little success.
Q. What is the difference between fufu, banku, and conte?
Conte is dried cassava mixed with water.  Fufu is made from pounding boiled cassava and plantain. I like fufu much more. Banku is made mainly from corn dough.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What strengthened your testimony this week?
Meeting with a recent convert named Brother Johnson. He bore testimony to us of how the church has blessed and changed his life, especially the Word of Wisdom. It strengthened my own testimony to hear his.
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
Mosiah 5:15. Be steadfast and immovable in your faith and God will carry you.
Q. What was the hardest part of your week?
Having some investigators disappear on us. It is sad to feel like someone progressing in the Gospel and then to lose them.
Q. What made you laugh?
Acting out Daniel and the Lion's Den. The kids were hilarious.
Q. What did you do for fun?
We attended the wedding and even got to eat some cake!
Q. Who touched your heart this week?
King Benjamin. I was so moved as I read his sermon about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Q. Who was an angel for you this week?
Mom was! She sent me an awesome package full of goodies. Does she love me or what?
Q. Who did you serve this week?
We had an investigator who lives just by our apartment. When we called to set up a time to meet with him he told us he couldn't meet because his water was not coming. We went and helped him fill up containers at our apartment and then carried them back to his house. The cool part is that we were able to have an awesome lesson with him afterwards.

Questions from TeriAnn: 
Q. What are you doing to do for your birthday coming up?
I don't know. Maybe I will treat myself to some fried rice for dinner that night.
Q. Any rain yet?
Yes!! It finally rained, thank heavens.
Q. When are the next transfers in your mission?
We just had transfers last week, so the next transfer will be in the middle of June.
Q. What made you happy this week?
Walking and whistling in the rain.
Q. Who is your favorite family or person in your area right now?
Sister Sarah and her family are pretty darn awesome and I love being around them.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

A Ghanian engagement party.

Hello everybody!
          It was a splendid week in Ghana. One of my highlights this week was teaching a new investigator named Brother Adjetey.  He is a very interesting man.  He was born and raised in Ghana.  When he was nineteen years old he moved to Canada where he attended school.  Eventually he moved from Canada to the US where he spent much of his life.  A few years ago he became very ill and learned that he had cancer.  Fortunately, he was able to fight it off and it is in remission now.  He has returned to Ghana for the time being while he recovers.  On Sunday we met him at Stake Conference, and on Tuesday we were able to begin teaching him.  I can say that all that has happened in the life of Brother Adjetey has prepared him to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His experiences have made him humble and teachable.  He loves what we have shared so far and he has been diligently studying the Book of Mormon.  I am very excited to continue working with him and watching his testimony grow.  It is amazing to see the ways that God prepares His children to receive the truth!
          This week we got to go to an engagement party for one of the members in Nungua. It was pretty awesome. The groom's family had to present gifts to the bride's family and then they negotiated for like the next hour. Sadly, it was mostly in Twi so I wasn't really sure what was going on. But in the end the bride's family accepted! They will be married on Saturday.
          It was also mother's day!!! I got to call my dear family which was an absolute delight. I am so grateful for mothers throughout the world. I am grateful for my grandmas, aunts, and cousins who are such great mothers. I am grateful for my dear sisters and sisters-in-law who are such great mothers to my nieces and nephews. I am especially grateful for my own dear mother. She has done far more for me than I think I can even fully comprehend. She has willingly sacrificed and given her whole life to bringing up our family. I love you mom!
          Thanks to all of you for just being awesome. Have a great week!
Elder Radmall


Questions from Christie:
Q. How was the work this week?
It was awesome! It was another hot and sunny week, but God continues to strengthen us.
Q. How is your toe? 
It's okay. I have been treating it with lots of neosporin and band aids, so I don't think they will need to amputate it.
Q. What made you laugh? 
Our bishop's son, Kwadjo. He is an adorable little boy and he was trying to ride a bike around their house with a giant helmet on.
Q. What was hard or discouraging? 
We had some people commit to come to church, and I really believed they would be there, but they couldn't make it. I guess they will have to come next week. 
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week? 
This week I read the story of David and Goliath. God truly brings about great works through His faithful children, no matter their size. I had forgotten how cool the Old Testament is. Like when Jezebel falls off a tower and the wolves come and... well, I just like the Old Testament. 
Q. What would you love to get for your birthday?
Definitely a pony. If that doesn't work though, I will always take some skittles or starbursts!

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How many people are in your Ward?
I'm not sure actually. We usually have around 90 or so in sacrament meeting.
Q. How far is church from your apartment?
It is about 7 minutes on our bikes.
Q. What did you do today?
Today we did some major cleaning and then I fell asleep on our table. It was awesome.
Q. What is your schedule in the morning before you leave and the evenings when you come home?
In the morning I shower, get dressed, make some oatmeal, study and eat, and then study with Elder Kambwiri. In the evenings we usually get back to the apartment, plan, cook some dinner, wash if needed, get ready for bed, and crash.
Q. What are you looking forward to this week?
I am looking forward to our Zone Training on Wednesday because it means I will get mail!

Questions from Mom:
Q. Are you glad you made the decision to serve a mission?
You better believe it! I have grown and changed so much in the last 10 months. I have received countless blessings and learned so much about other cultures. I will draw on this experience the rest of my life.
Q. Would you go at 18 again knowing what you know now?
Yes! I have no doubt that I left exactly when God wanted me to.
Q. How is your testimony?  Do you have doubts or do you feel it is stronger?
Doubts of course try to creep into my mind, but overall my testimony has been made so much stronger by choosing to share it.
Q. What have the people of Ghana taught you?
They have taught me to have hope and faith that God can and will deliver us. When you ask people here how they are doing they will respond "By His grace, we are doing fine."
Q. What cultural barriers do the people of Ghana struggle with that keeps them from accepting the gospel or staying active?
They just have some annoying beliefs and traditions. For example a woman who is married has to follow her husband to whatever church he attends.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tender Mercies

Hello Folks!!!
          I hope that all is going just great. Things are pretty swell here in Ghana. What a blessed week it has been.  We had some great tender mercies this week.  Thursday afternoon, as we were preparing to leave our apartment after finishing our lunch, it started lightly raining.  We had made plans to meet with an investigator, and we thought we could make it.  Within minutes it had started pouring.  We quickly took refuge at a nearby shop.  We were trying over and over again to call our investigator, but because of the poor network and the very loud rain we just couldn't communicate.  I started thinking we would just have to reschedule for another day.  I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help us meet with this man if it was His will.  Then our investigator called and told us he was at a nearby school.  We stuck our heads out of the shop and sure enough, there he was.  Though all of us were soaked from the rain and a bit cold, we sat down and had a wonderful discussion about the Restoration of the Gospel. 
          Another tender mercy came on Friday morning. We have an investigator named Samuel from the Ivory Coast. He has no phone and there was no way for us to contact him unless he came to church, which he didn't. Friday we got a random call and it was Samuel! He was at the chapel waiting to meet us. We rushed over there, taught him about baptism and the Holy Ghost, and set a date for him to be baptized. Let's hope he continues to progress.
          We also got to attend the Tema Stake Conference this weekend. It is my first stake conference in months. It was awesome to hear from so many inspired men and woman. The theme for the conference was becoming unified as saints in Zion. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly the only thing powerful enough to bring peace and harmony to this world of constant commotion. How lucky I am to have that Gospel as a part of my life. I have witnessed firsthand how well it works. For the last 10 months I have lived, laughed, loved, and served with people who come from completely different cultures and backgrounds from me. Only the Gospel could have allowed for that. 
          Other cool things that happened this week. On Friday as we were riding to our apartment we ran into the barbershop boys on the way. They were just going to eat some fufu and they insisted that we join them. We went and enjoyed an awesome meal. They love to talk about how sweet life is in America and then they say, "Radmall, isn't it true?" Haha they crack me up. 
          I guess that is about it. I hope that you all know I love and miss you. I pray for you. Keep being awesome and have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Can you send a photo of the Egbos?
Yes! As soon as I get one. I forgot my camera this week.
Q. When did you feel the spirit this week?
As I spent time trying to learn a hymn on the piano. I have been loving playing the piano lately.
Q. How is your new bike?
It's okay. The gears  are all broken, so I need to get it fixed. 
Q. How have angels watched over you this week?
Saturday night I became very ill with a case of runny tummy, and I thought for  a little bit that I wouldn't be able to make it to stake conference the next day. All night I was up. I prayed that God would allow me to make it to the conference to meet with our investigators who had promised to come and I am fairly certain that angels were pushing me along the whole day, because when we got back to the apartment I absolutely crashed for a couple of hours. I am feeling much better now.
Q. What is your favorite thing about your companion?
He loves to smile and laugh. You hardly see him when he doesn't have a grin on his face.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was something fun you did this week?
I had extra money left over, so I took the district out for pizza after our district council on Tuesday. It was delicious and most excellent.
Q. What will you do to celebrate your birthday coming up?
What?! My birthday is forever away. Maybe I will wake up at 6;35 instead of 6:30 to celebrate. Living on the edge.
Q. Do you have any interesting or fun neighbors?
Our apartment is in an enclosed are with just one other house. The people who live there are very nice. Their grandma lives with them and she is very old and senile. The poor woman moans for hours every morning. But overall they are great neighbors.
Q. What was the highlight of your week?
I think stake conference. It was great to hear so many inspired messages.
Q. What was something new you learned this week?
I learned a hymn! I also learned how to prepare jelouf rice.