Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Physical and Spiritual Feasting

 My companion's outfit when he was helping the Red Cross during the Ebola crisis.
Elder Kallon before his mission.

Hello dear people!
          I hope that all of you have had a fantastic week. My own was pretty great. This week I did a lot of feasting. First I will talk about the food. On Wednesday evening at the end of a very successful day of proselyting, a member in our ward prepared us some delicious rice and kontombre stew. Kontombre stew is made using a leaf that comes coco yam plants. It is quite delicious. On Friday evening we had an appointment at our elder's quorum president's home. His name is Jeffery and his father is the chief of Nungua. Their compound is huge. I am pretty sure like 80 people could be living there comfortably. His wife made us more rice, this time with a classic tomato stew and chicken. After finishing everything on my plate I was sick. Then she came back and insisted that I eat more... and then I drank half a liter of water. Riding home that night was a struggle. Finally, on Saturday morning Sister Adjei (who absolutely spoils us) called us to come and eat ebba (a Nigerian dish made of ground cassava) and a lovely veggie stew. The members in Nungua are simply amazing and I love them a lot. Also African food is very heavy and I might way 300 pounds when I get home. Oh well.
          Putting the food aside, my week was also full of spiritual feasting! I am absolutely in love with the scriptures. It's kind of weird how much I love them. This week I had the chance to study quite a bit of the book of Matthew. What better way to invite the spirit than to study the life of the Savior? I love all of his teachings and His acts of kindness. One story that has always stood out to me is the woman who had an issue of blood. This daughter of God had spent years suffering from the physical as well as the mental pains that resulted from her disease. As the Savior was walking to raise Jairus' daughter from the dead (also amazing!) this amazing woman had enough faith to believe that by simply touching His clothing she could be healed. As soon as she touched the hem of His robe, she was made clean. What a great example to us! If we will have faith like this woman to draw near unto the Savior we too can be cleansed! He is the bread of life. When we partake of the feast He offers we will never hunger.
          I love you all! Thanks for all that you do. Have a blessed week! I am praying for you all and I feel your prayers working on me.
Elder Radmall

 Gabriel's baptism (he is on the left. Brother Ken on the right.)
Black Star

Questions from Mom:
Q. Please tell about a Ghana tradition that you have not mentioned previously?
It is common courtesy to serve people water when they come to your home. Some days I drink probably 5 liters of water. It also means we have to pee a lot. And you can't turn it down.
Q. Are there libraries in Ghana?
Yes. Not many, but some.
Q. Describe one convert – family, job, lesson taught, etc.
This week we visited our recent converts Princess and Theresa. Princess is a 9 year old girl who is waaaay too smart for her own good and Theresa is her sweet grandma. This week I shared with them the story of  God protecting Elijah and his servant with an army of fire. 
Q. Do you use butter in the brownies you make?  Where do you get it?
I am very blessed to be right by the mall. I can get butter there surprisingly cheap.
Q. Can you send a photo of Gabriel’s baptism?  How old is Gabriel?  (I love that name – the angel who in this life was known as Noah!!)
He turned 18 on the day of his baptism.
Q. We have a lot of weddings coming up.  Tell me something about weddings in Ghana.
Wow! Marriage is so stinking hard in Ghana. Before a man can even think of getting married he has to save up a huge sum of money just for the wedding. Some men put themselves into massive debt to have their weddings. 

Toe surgery complete. 

Questions from TeriAnn:
What is the strangest creature you saw this week?
This week it was just a giant cockroach while I was hanging my laundry.
Q. How is your companion doing?
He is super!
Q. Any rain this week?
Yes! It rained for the first time in a month. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ghana is great; God is greater!

Hello beloved family and friends!
          Am I not the most blessed man alive? I get to spend all of my time and energy serving the true and living God. I spend each day walking among some of the most humble and loving people in the whole world. Each morning I wake up and treasure up in my mind the words of eternal life. Then I get to go and share those words with my brothers and sisters. I have an amazing family and wonderful friends, back home and around the world, who love me and pray for me. And best of all, I get to represent He whom I love most, Jesus Christ. Could my life really get any better?? Though at times there are challenges. The sun may be scorching. Some may reject us. I may be physically and mentally tired. But God has given us a way to overcome all. Truly, God is great.
          This week on Tuesday I texted our mission nurse about my ingrown toe nail. She immediately called us and said we should go straight to the area office so I could have them fix it. So that's just what we did. Dr. Andersen (the area medical advisor from Alaska) cut off my toe. Well, at least he cut it open. Now my toe is feeling much better.
          On Wednesday as we stood outside a members house trying to decide what to get for lunch, the member inside overheard us. She stuck her head outside the window and said, "If you don't know where to go then you better come in and sit down." She had her son prepare us some amazing rice and stew. Later that night we went to another member's home to teach an investigator. The member told us that we had better stick around after the lesson. They fed us banku with some delicious okre stew AND gave us some stirfry and noodles to take home. The SAME NIGHT on our way home a member called us and told us to stop by. She gave us a big bag of rice and a container full of stew she prepared for us. What tender mercies!
          Finally, on Saturday we were able to witness the baptism of Gabriel. Gabriel is the nephew of some strong members in our ward. We have been teaching him for a few weeks now. Not only was it his baptism day, but it happened to be his birthday! Naturally I had to prepare some brownies for the baptism. They were a big hit. On Sunday Gabriel was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
          That is about it from this week. I love serving the Lord and doing His work. There are miracles all around us from day to day if we will just look for them. I am so gratefully for my family and friends and I love you all so much. I can never thank you enough for all of the prayers, thoughts, and letters. It means the world to me. I hope that you all have a blessed week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. When do you get to go to the temple next?
Who knows? Hopefully soon. I think President Heid will try to get my companion in there because he is without a temple in his own country.
Q. What was the best lesson you taught to someone this week?
This week we taught Sister Michelle about the Book of Mormon. She is a single mother who has been sick for a while with some kidney problems. Elder Kallon and I both bore powerful witness of the BofM and the power it has to bring peace to our lives. I think she felt the Spirit and that she will read.
Q. What are you most looking forward to this week?
This week I am looking forward to just going out and sharing the Gospel!

Questions from Christie:
Q. What was the hardest part of your week?
I suppose just having people cancel on us. This week it happened a lot.
Q. What did you cook this week?
Home made brownies and lots of rice!
Q. What was the funniest part of your week?
The funniest part of my week was watching the bishop's son, Kwadjo, run around the sacrament hall yelling at the top of his lungs with his hands up in the air. 
Q. Who made your week better?
Sister Adjei! This week she just spoiled us nonstop. 
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
Any prayers on behalf of my companion would be much appreciated.
Q. What is the strangest thing you saw this week?
The strangest thing I saw was definitely somebody cutting my toe open. In the surgery, after the doctor numbs your toe, you can just watch while he cuts out part of the nail. It was awesome. My companion was rather horrified.

Questions from Momma:
Q. What is your favorite companion story this week?
Elder Kallon told me about helping the Red Cross during the Ebola crisis. He got to wear one of those big airtight suits and to enter one of the treatment facilities. What?! I might get Ebola.
Q. How did angels watch over you this week?
This week angels helped me find joy despite some homesickness and disappointments.
Q. How is Sister Heid?
She is starting to recover!
Q. What new word in Twi did you learn this week?  Can you speak in Twi and have people understand you?
I can't think of any new words I learned this week, but I can speak quite a bit of Twi and I can pick out a lot of things that people say in Twi. I have one more year to become fluent.
Q. Tell me about one interesting person in your ward--
The Imo's- They are a family from Nigeria. Brother Imo works for the church. Man, people in Ghana who work for the church are stinking rich! Anyways, last Saturday we were able to go and visit them in their home. Sister Imo is so much fun and she will talk your ears right off. Brother Imo, I learned, flies to every single world cup. He is obsessed with soccer. 
Q. Tell me about one interesting investigator--
Sister Selena- She works at a shop owned by a member in our ward. She is in the process of learning English, and she can't always understand what I say, but she has such a sincere desire to learn. She has been attending literacy classes at our chapel. With some help from the Book of Mormon picture book, she is progressing well.

Monday, July 11, 2016


 Jennifer, Dede, Daniel the baptist
Baptism photo with Elder Kallon

Hello dearly beloved people of the world!
          It has been a great week! I always say that, and I always mean it. Each week no matter what happens, we can learn and grow. And it is all thanks to the Savior and His Atonement. Because of Him, all things can "work together for your good". This week I reached my one year mark. On July 8, 2015 I kissed my momma goodbye and entered the MTC. That was the beginning of an adventure that would change my life forever. How grateful I am that I made this decision to serve. In honor of my hump day I wanted to share some lists.

5 things I miss the most from home.
1. Milk!
2. Mountains
3. Carpet
4. Cheap pizza
5. My family of course!

5 ways I have grown over the last year.
1. I have physically become much stronger and fitter. 
2. I have grown in my knowledge of the Gospel.
3. I have grown a little beer-belly. The food here is all carbs and oil!
4. I have grown in my capacity to love and serve others.
5. My testimony that the Savior lives and loves each of us has grown.

          I wanted to do a couple more lists, but my time is running short. I celebrated my one year mark with some fried rice and banana bread. I ate myself sick. Literally. The next day I had diarrhea all day. Oh well, it was worth it. On Saturday we also had a baptism! It was awesome. Sister Jennifer and little Dede both entered the waters. Both of them come from the homes of members and I was overjoyed to witness them coming unto Christ. Preparing for the baptism was a bit crazy as usual, but as always the Lord's will was accomplished and they were baptized. 
          Last night we also had a little celebration with our district. We met at our apartment and cooked groundnut soup (my favorite) and rice. Then I baked some peanut butter m and m brownies for us to enjoy with some ice cream. And of course we played ping pong. It was a blast! 
          I love you all so much and I hope that you know it! The Savior lives and loves us. The Book of Mormon testifies of Him and will help you to find true peace in your life. Have a wonderful and blessed week!
Elder Radmall

Sweet Bird

Questions from Mom:
Q. They roast the goat in an open fire – whole with the skin on??  Do they gut it first??  Do they eat the innards?  Or were they just burning the hair off in that photo?  I need details on the cooking of the goat!!
They roast it, then they gut it, and then we cook everything and eat it. In the picture they were burning off the hair.
Q. How are the barbershop boys?
We only see Benjamin nowadays, but he is great! We are still teaching him.
Q. How is Sister Heid?
I haven't heard recently, but I hope she is feeling better.
Q. Have you scheduled surgery on your toe?
Haha nope. Hopefully I can do that this week.
Q. Favorite lesson this week?
This week we had an awesome lesson with a new investigator named Michelle. We met with her after church and taught about prophets and the blessings that come as we follow them. She understood everything and when we finished she asked "so when are you going to come back?"
Q. Funniest moment this week?
When I ripped a plastic bag and spilled rice all over the floor. Woops.
Q. Your favorite hymn is “The Wintry Day?”  Do they sing that in Ghana or was that a joke? 
I don't think a single person in Ghana knows how to sing it, but I have been learning it on the piano and I absolutely love it!

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How did killing the goat smell?
It smelt like a smelly goat.
Q. How did cooking the goat smell? Do they cook it with the hair on it?
It also smelt like a smelly goat. They roast the hair off with fire before cooking it.
Q. How are the cockroaches in your apartment?
A little bit better, but still there.
Q. What did you do for P-day?
We mostly just did our chores and relaxed. I finished reading Our Heritage, which is an awesome book!
Q. Was there anyone that was a highlight in your week this week?
Brother Joel. He is a recent convert. On Saturday we went to teach him and one of his friends showed up. He invited the friend to come and learn with us and the guy even came to church!

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Just sitting around and sharing stories with the other missionaries in our district. Missions are full of awkward and funny things.
Q. What was the hardest part of your week?
Proselyting with diarrhea. But I prayed and the Lord gave me strength to carry on.
Q. What's your favorite scripture this week?
Alma 34:15
Q. Who made your week better?
Elder Kallon, who taught me how to make groundnut soup.

Question from Kurt:
Q. When this week or recently did you witness someone humbling themselves and submitting to the will of the Father?
I witnessed it as we taught a man about the word of wisdom. He is an investigator I have known for a while to struggle with that commandment, but he couldn't bring himself to tell us. This week he opened up and committed to follow the standard of the Lord.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I've Become a True African

 Poor Goats
Elder Radmall, Goat Slayer
(Note from Bryan's mom.  Several years ago we went to NYC and visited our favorite deli, Zabar's.  They have open barrels of pickles, olives and fish and a fresh meat counter.  When Byran got into the store and smelled all of those smells he ran out gagging and saying he was going to be sick.  He is not that boy anymore!!)

Happy Birthday America! 240 years old. Amazing.
          We have had quite the week! Ghana also celebrated a national holiday recently. On Friday it was Republic Day. In honor of the occasion, our ward (which is seriously full of rich people) bought not one but two goats! Now let me explain. Goat meat is for some reason the most desirable of all meats in Ghana. They are obsessed with it. I can also testify that it is one of the strongest scented meats available. And these were not dead goats. They were still alive and kicking! That meant I got to learn how to kill a goat. And not only did I get to learn how to do it, but I, Elder Radmall, killed a goat. I guess I can cross that one off of my bucket list. The whole celebration was a blast. I loved being able to cook, joke, laugh, and eat with our awesome ward. I have come to love these people with all of my heart. And the food was quite delicious I might add. It was so good in fact, that everybody went home and slept and nobody came to the missionary devotional we were supposed to have... oops. Haha that shows you just how much we enjoyed ourselves. 
          My new companion, Elder Kallon, is awesome! He is a great cook. He has been teaching me how to make some nice dishes. I can't wait to come home and cook African food for all of you. But be warned, about half of any soup or stew they make here is pure oil. It has onions and tomato paste though, so I think we can say it is healthy. Elder Kallon also loves working hard and he is constantly looking for opportunities to serve others. I am grateful to be with him and to learn from him. 
          This week I prepared a talk for the missionary devotional we were supposed to have. I centered the talk around finding peace through both living and sharing the Gospel. As I searched the scriptures and read through some General Conference talks it became clear that the only way to true and lasting peace in this life and in the life to come is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we focus on Him we find clarity and strength to deal with any challenge that mortality might bring our way. I am so grateful to be blessed by that Gospel each day. I am grateful to be able to share that Gospel each day. What better way to find peace in our own lives than to "proclaim peace" to the world. I love my Savior. Truly, He is the "Prince of Peace". 
          This week we will look forward to three baptisms on Saturday (all of the candidates come from part member families)! I will let you know how that goes.
          I miss you all like crazy! I hope that you are all doing super great. Enjoy celebrating the birth of America! If I have calculated it correctly, my plane should be landing in the US on this very day next year. Thanks for all that you do! I love y'all!
Elder Radmall

 Roasting Goat
My new companion, Elder Thomas Kallon

Questions from Momma:
Q. What does Elder Kallon like to cook?
Stews, soups, and rice. 
Q. How old was he when he lost his parents?
His father died about 8 years ago, and his mother passed away 3 years ago.
Q. What is your favorite hymn?
Currently it is hymn 37, "The Wintry Day Descending to its Close". 
Q. How will you celebrate the 4th?  (Sorry – I really fell down on sending you decorations!!)
Well I made American pancakes this morning and even shared it with our neighbors. Then I played the Star Spangled Banner. And now I am thinking about going to buy some ice cream.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you happy this week?
We have an investigator named Bernice. Most of her family are members of the church, but she has never felt the need to baptize. In the course of our lessons with her she finally came to feel the need to enter the waters of baptism and to receive the Holy Ghost. This Saturday she is going to be baptized! 
Q. What is your favorite scripture this week? 
Matthew 11:26... I think. (I think he might have meant verse 28.)  If I remembered right, this is the Savior offering us His peace. It is a peace beyond anything this world can offer us.
Q. Who made your life better this week?
My wonderful companion who taught me how to make my favorite food in Ghana, groundnut soup.
Q. What was the best lesson you taught this week? 
Some members in our ward have a nine year old girl living with them who has not been baptized. This week we got to go to their home and to teach all of their children. It was so awesome to teach them about Joseph Smith and then to sing all of my favorite primary songs with them.
Q. Who can we pray for this week in your mission  (besides you of course)?
Sister Heid, our dear mission mother, has been very sick lately. I am sure she could use some prayers.