Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A New Companion

Hello Dearest People!
          I have no time today, so I will keep this brief! On Tuesday we went to the mission home where I said farewell to Elder Kambwiri. I will sure miss him. He was a great companion. Right after that we had a meeting with all of the trainers, trainees, and President Heid. There we were given our new companions. My companion is... Elder Kallon! He is from Sierra Leone. He has been a member of the church for 7 years. He was the first of his family to join, but his 3 sisters followed after his footsteps. His parents have both passed away and a couple of weeks ago he was able to participate in their temple ordinances. He submitted his papers to serve a mission over two years ago, but because of Ebola he had to wait for his call all that time. He is 26 years old and he loves cooking and eating. He is super funny and we are going to be great friends. I am so grateful to serve beside him and to learn from his example in the coming weeks. 
          This week I was overwhelmed by the love I feel for the people of Ghana. I realized that God has blessed me to see them for who they really are, His sons and daughters. They are an amazing people full of love and charity. Although many of them face challenges beyond anything I ever have or perhaps ever will experience, they hold fast to their faith in God and it brings them joy. No matter how great or tiny their earthly treasures are, they know that they have God. They know that they can turn to Him in any moment. I add my own witness to theirs that God lives. Jesus Christ is His son and our Savior. As we put our faith in them we will find peace. I know they love each of us, and I love them with all that I am. 
          I love and miss you all sooo much. I pray that you have a blessed week and know that I am praying for you!
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How is the weather this week?
This week we had almost no rain which means it got very hot. It wasn't too bad though.
Q. What is the best thing that happened to you this week?
Going to church yesterday. I was just filled with joy as I went about greeting members and investigators and feeling God's love for them.
Q. How is your new companion?
He is great! This morning he insisted upon helping me with washing my clothes.
Q. How were transfers?
Exciting and chaotic as usual. A lot of missionaries moved to new areas.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
My new companion and all of his funny stories. He loves to tell stories about Sierra Leone.
Q. How is your bike?
Okay. This week the seat broke. I will try to get it fixed tomorrow.
Q. Who made your life better this week?
Elder Kallon. He is always looking for ways to serve me.
Q. Who did you serve this week?
Some missionaries were stranded near our apartment this week, so we let them come and sleep at our apartment and in the morning we all had pancakes. Delicious.
Q. What was the best lesson you taught this week?
We taught a young man named Gabriel. He is staying with his aunt and uncle who are very strong members. We taught him about prayer and the Book of Mormon. We shared scriptures, bore testimony, and invited his cousin to share her testimony. It all added up to be a very powerful lesson. 
Q. What is your favorite scripture this week?
Genesis 1:26

Questions from Mom:
Q. What might surprise us this week about Ghana that we don’t know?
In Ghana goat meat is their absolute favorite. It is the most expensive meat you can get.
Q. How has God been in the details of your life this week?
He has guided in every moment by the Spirit. Whether things went my way or not, He showed me the best way.
Q. What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your mission thus far?
If you want to know the Savior better, and to draw closer to Him, obey. That is what He did from the beginning, and that is what He has asked of us. It is the greatest sign of our love for Him.

(No photos this week - the power was more off than on while Bryan tried to email!!  That is life in Ghana for the many people who live there.)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Birthdays, Transfers and Training

 Swag for Jesus
Eba and Agushi Stew

Hey everybody!
          Dear sweet heavens! It has been a very exciting week. I don't know where to begin. We are working with a lot of great investigators who are really progressing. It was great to be able to teach them this week. Elder Kambwiri and I have become very unified in our teaching and it makes our lessons so much more powerful and spiritual. And on Saturday we were blessed to witness the baptism of one of our investigators, Sister Joyce! Joyce is a very funny middle aged woman. Her husband took her only son and moved to Belgium. She lives alone, but she is always busy doing something. She sells eggs and works at a car wash. She has been taught by many missionaries, but it was just this month that she decided she really wanted to be baptized. She is so awesome and I am happy that she was able to make those sacred covenants with God after many months of learning with missionaries. On Sunday she was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
          A Happy Late Father's Day to all of the fathers. I am blessed to have the best dad ever and I am so grateful for him and his righteous example to me. I love you dad! In our ward the primary children came into priesthood opening exercises to sing for us. It was delightful. After they finished singing the children all ran to hug their dads. A sweet little girl named blessing, who comes from a home without a father, ran up and hugged me! That was like the best thing ever. 
          Not only was Sunday Father's Day, but it was Elder Kambwiri's birthday as well! I made him some french toast for breakfast, and after church we invited the other elders over for a nice dinner and dessert! Brownies and ice cream as usual. I am getting pretty good at cooking brownies in my home made oven. After that we played some serious ping pong. It was a fun night, and I think Elder Kambwiri had a good day. 
          On Saturday we received some news from our zone leaders. Elder Kambwiri will be leaving me! Noooooo! I am going to miss him. He has been a great companion and friend to me. I will be staying here in Nungua and training a new missionary fresh out of the MTC. President Heid really needs to stop trusting me with new missionaries to torment. I should be going to pick him up from the mission home tomorrow. As I received the news that I will be training my thoughts quickly turned to how inadequate I am. Who am I to help someone learn how to be a missionary? I spent much of the weekend questioning and doubting myself. As I was praying about it, the Spirit brought a thought to my mind. "Elder Radmall, yes, you are totally inadequate. Everyone is. That is the reason behind the Atonement of Jesus Christ." That hit me pretty hard. I guess I just need to be more humble so that the Savior can carry me and make me more than I am alone. How grateful I am for His Atonement and the power it grants us to overcome all things.
          Well, that is about it for this week! I will let you know who my new son is in my next letter. Hopefully he showers regularly and brushes his teeth. I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and prayers. Have a joyful week!
Elder Radmall

 Birthday celebration for Elder Kambwiri
Blow out the candles.

Questions from Kurt:
Q. What is the food or ingredient you are missing most?
Milk, milk, and milk. I will be enjoying lots of milk when I get home.
Q. How are your shoes holding up?
Pretty swell. They just have one year to go.
Q. What cultural hygiene difference has surprised you most in Ghana? 
They are so careful about washing their hands before eating. I think Americans should be more conscious of that. At the same time they don't really care to wash their hands after using the bathroom...

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. When are the next transfers?
Q. How are the bugs in your apartment?
Really bad lately. Now that it is raining more we have lots of mosquitoes.
Q. Do you get a lot of bug bites?
Yep. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because of all the bites I have.
Q. What are the seasons like in Ghana, now that you have almost been there for a year?
Hot and rainy or hot and dusty. That's about it.
Q. Do you ever use your spray water bottles?
Yes! Especially now that the power is sketchy again.
Q. How are your shoes holding up?
Wow. My family is concerned about my shoes. They are good.
Q. What was the best part of your week?
Having a baptism and celebrating Elder Kambwiri's birthday.

Questions from Mom:
Q. What new food did you eat this week?
Nothing new, but we enjoyed a nice Nigerian dish. It is called eba. I sent a picture.
Q. Do they have corn in Ghana?  (Because we had our first corn on the cob of the summer for dinner today!!)
Yep, they don't have butter to eat it with.
Q. What would you like or what do you need in the next package?
Haha stop spoiling me so much!
Q. Favorite moment of the week?
When Blessing ran up and hugged me in church.
Q. Favorite thing about your companion?
He is so funny! I am always laughing around him.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Baptizing the Masses

Baptism of Princess

Temple time. 
(Elder Kambwiri's given name is Gift!)

Hello dearest family and friends!
          I hope you all have had an outstanding week. My week has been spectacular and full of blessings! I will share just a few. On Tuesday we had zone training. It was an awesome meeting. We talked all about repentance and how important it is both for us as missionaries and for those we teach. Repentance is change. It is turning from our own desires and focusing instead on the will of the Lord. Without it, we remain in our "carnal and fallen state". With it, we become "new creatures" and powerful instruments in the hands of God. What a blessing to be able to continually work towards becoming like our Heavenly Father.
          Thursday morning we received a call from the other missionaries in our district. They informed us that President Heid had invited our whole district to attend the temple that day. We cancelled all of our appointments and headed out into the rain to get a trotro to the temple. The temple is simply amazing. I love the opportunity to learn and to feel of the Lord's love each time I enter that sacred place. I felt especially peaceful as I sat in the Celestial Room and reflected upon how our Heavenly Father perceives His children. I read in Matthew where the woman with an issue of blood touches the hem of the Savior's robe. Immediately she is healed. I realized that that is what God wants for each of us. He wants us to reach out towards the Savior that we may be made whole. The temple is truly the House of the Lord.
         Friday we had a very successful day of proselyting with some awesome lessons. We met with Benjamin (one of the barbershop boys) and as we were talking with him I felt a strong impression that we needed to teach him about the Word of Wisdom. I was pretty hesitant because I know he has some problems with drinking alcohol, and I didn't want to offend him. But the impression kept coming, so I finally submitted and we taught it to him. It ended up being a great lesson and he committed to try and follow the Lord's commandment.
          On Saturday we had the awesome chance to witness the baptism of Princess. She is the nine year old grandchild of Sister Theresa (whom we baptized the week before). She is so adorable and very intelligent. The missionary who interviewed her for baptism said she knew exactly what to say for each question. I think she was very happy to be baptized and then to receive the Holy Ghost the following day. I even gave her that greatest gift I could think of. I gave her a pack of Skittles. Brings a new meaning to the song "I Love to Look for Rainbows".
          That is about all for this week. This Saturday we are planning to baptize two more investigators, so stay tuned to find out what happens! And also a SUPER Happy Father's Day to my pops and to all of the dads out there. Thanks for your awesome example and love towards your family. I love you dad!
          I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. No matter what is happening in our lives we can turn to Him and find peace. He has overcome all things. With Him we have no need to fear. I love and miss you all and I pray that you all have a great week!
Elder Radmall

 Sister Theresa's family
Birthday dinner and package.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
When I slipped in the mud playing ultimate Frisbee. I was pretty filthy after that.
Q. How was your birthday!?
It was super!
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
All of Alma chapter 5. It teaches all about repentance and the power of the Atonement to change us.
Q. What was the hardest question an investigator asked you this week?
We have one investigator who lives with some members. When we asked if she had any questions she started asking about temple sealings and why someone can be sealed to more than one person. I have never heard that from an investigator before.
Q. What brought you joy this week?
I was invited to help confirm Princess on Sunday. After the prayer she grabbed my hand and forced me to walk her back to her seat. That brought a smile to my face.
Q. What was hard this week?
Riding through the mud and trying to keep my clothes clean. I didn't succeed. 

Questions from Mom:
Q. What angels watched over you this week?
The angels that inspired President Heid to invite us to the temple.
Q. Tell us about one of your investigators:
Right now we are teaching a middle aged woman named Joyce. She was taught by missionaries a couple of years ago. A couple of months ago she called out to us as we were passing on our bikes and told us she wanted to start meeting. She is so funny and totally open about how she feels. She loves the church and we are planning for her baptism this Saturday!
Q. How many hours a day do you have power?
Our power right now only goes off for a few hours everyday. It is just unpredictable though. Saturday we were without power all day.
Q. What do you do for light when the power is out?
We have some chargeable lamps in our apartment.
Q. What did you do for your birthday?
I had french toast for breakfast and then ate junk food all day. In the evening I had fried rice and brownies and opened my packages. I think the best part of the day was getting to spend some time with Sis. Theresa's family. We went there for Princess to have her baptismal interview.
Q. Did my package come?
It did! Thanks soooo much. It was absolutely wonderful.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Baptism; in your face, Satan

Sister Theresa and her baptist.

Dear family and friends,
          What a week it has been! On Saturday we planned to baptize Sister Theresa. She is a lovely old woman who lives with her daughter and grandchildren in a very small wooden structure. Her daughter is a member, and Theresa has been coming to church for months. As we got nearer to the baptism problem after problem seemed to come up. We had a hard time contacting Theresa to schedule her baptismal interview and we had to schedule with someone to translate for us (she speaks Twi). Finally we were able to get the interview done. Then, the night before the baptism I got a call that she might need a special interview because her father was a polygamist. It was too late to call anyone to do the interview, so we had to wait until morning. In the morning we rushed to her house so someone could do the interview over the phone. Then the interviewer told us we would have to wait another half hour, which was exactly when the baptism was supposed to start. Yikes! So we decided to head to the chapel where we met our ward mission leader. Turns out someone had shut off all of the water in the church building due to a leak. Satan did not want this baptism to happen. Luckily we were able to bring a hose in from outside to fill the font. When sister Theresa got to the chapel we called the special interviewer who informed us that she in fact did not need a special interview. What?! Our mission leader kept telling us we should postpone the baptism, but I was determined to baptize Theresa. In the end everything came together and we had a lovely baptismal service. As she was immersed in the water I had the greatest feeling of calm wash over me. Truly, the Lord provides a way for His work to go forward.
          Right now watermelon and mangoes are in season. They are so delicious and so cheap. I need to start making smoothies every night! We have also started experiencing a lot of power outages lately. It is depressing to get home hot and sweaty and to find that you have no fan. Oh well. At least I have my handheld fan (thanks mom). 
          I am out of time for today. I love you all so much and I am grateful for all that you do. I pray that you all have a blessed week!
Elder Radmall

 P-day volleyball

Elder Bodily and Elder Radmall

Questions from Kurt:
Q. How have you recently seen the priesthood bless someone's life?
I was blessed to witness two baptisms this week as well as some children being named. It was sweet to see blessings being pronounced upon these individuals so long as they remain faithful to God.
Q. What is the meanest thing someone has done to you on your mission?
A bunch of young men threw a sachet of water at my head. It broke and poured all over me. I guess it was somewhat refreshing though.
Q. What prophecy from the scriptures about our day has recently struck you the most?
Today I was studying all about old testament prophecies of our day. Many of the prophets have spoken of the earth become wicked like Babylon of old. As Babylon gave way to evil and idolatrous practices they fell apart. The same fate has been promised to the nations of our time if they fail to heed the warnings of the Lord which come through His prophets. 

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Haha when a giant spider crawled out of my shoe. Haha... ha... not really. I hate spiders so much.
Q. What was the best thing you ate this week? 
Today at our zone conference they fed us all SANDWICHES and fried rice. We had to pay for it, but it was awesome. I miss sandwiches with lunch meat and lots of vegetables.
Q. Who was a good example to you this week? 
Bro. Seade, an old man in our ward. He lives in the tiniest little shack with his daughter. After insisting we eat some of their food, he told us he had just been to weed the yard of a sister who is living with no husband to support her. This man has nothing as far as worldy possessions are concerned, but he still constantly looks for opportunities to serve. I about started crying.
Q. Who did you serve this week? 
I guess Sister Theresa as we helped her on the road to her baptism.
Q. Who served you this week? 
The ward mission leader in our ward. He helped us out a lot with the baptism and other things.
Q. How is your health? 
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
Mosiah 3:19.

Questions from Mom:
Q. How often do you meet polygamists?
Like never. Mostly it is the chiefs that seem to practice it. 
Q. Are you able to teach polygamists, and, if so, what do you teach them about polygamy?
Yeah. I think we have to get special permission first. I guess you just have to be bold and let them know what the Lord has said about polygamy in our day.
Q. Are there any polygamists in any of the wards or branches you have served in?
Nope... at least not that I know of.
Q. What are your plans for your birthday?
I don't know. Maybe I will buy some fried rice and a cupcake.
Q. Do you have a calling in the ward?
No. Our ward is very blessed with a lot of very capable people to serve in all of the needed callings.
Q. How many missionaries serve your ward, or do you serve more than one ward?
We are the only two for our ward. Most of the wards in Ghana have one set of missionaries.
Q. What was your funniest moment this week?
I was trying to be a ninja by jumping across a puddle of mud, but I am not a ninja. I ruined my poor shoe. It was pretty funny.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Felicity asked if they have cakes in Ghana for your birthday. Do they sell cakes there?
Yeah, but they are very expensive and they don't taste that nice. Ghanaians really don't like sugar.
Q. What food do they eat there when celebrating a birthday?
I guess that depends on the person. They eat rice a lot.
Q. Did you get any of your birthday packages and cards from the kiddos?
I got two packages and a few letters. I haven't opened them yet.
Q. Do you feel older?
NO!! I refuse to be 19.
Q. What was the most joyful moment of your week?
Seeing Sister Theresa baptized!
Q. What new food did you try this week?
I didn't try anything knew, but I made jellouf rice for the first time. It was delicious. You just cook rice in a stew. So good!