Monday, August 29, 2016

Eat Like an American

 Le Burger (Am I in Ghana?)
Happy Birthday Elder Asare

Hello to all my people!
          I hope that all is well. I have enjoyed another great week in Ghana. A few days ago I was thinking of how I have grown and changed since coming to Ghana. Though I am still the same old Elder Radmall, my mission has taught many great lessons that I will draw upon for the rest of my life. I have become more patient, mature, charitable, and Christ-like. I still have a looooong ways to go, but I feel I am moving in the right direction. I have started to realize how very short two years really is. I only have about ten months left to give my all as a full time missionary to God and the people of Ghana! Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing when He called me here. My mission has been exactly the experience I needed to grow.
          Our investigators are continuing to grow. Bro. Fortunate has had his drinking under control for about two weeks now! Bro. Godsway traveled, but he should be back this week so we can continue preparing him for baptism. Sister Selina came to church yesterday and still loves to learn. She can now write her first and last name no problemo! We want to start focusing on helping her to learn the alphabet a little better. Sister Joyce, who was baptized about two months ago, has been struggling lately. She has had legal problems with her house for years and they just gave her notice that she has to leave this week. She is going to court today to try and work things out, but I can tell she is very worried. We will continue praying for her.
          This week was full of very wonderful and very American food. On Tuesday after our district council meeting we went to Chix n' Ribs. It is an American restaurant at the mall here. On Tuesdays they have a deal where you can get ten wings for ten cedis (About $2.50). Oh man was that a little taste of heaven! Then on Saturday night our district decided to celebrate the birth of Elder Asare. We made cheeseburgers and onion rings. They were divine and worthy of the celestial kingdom. And finally, to conclude the week, on Sunday we got back together for brownies, mint chocolate ice cream, and hot fudge. I was speechless. Did we spend too much money? Definitely. Was it worth it? You bet.
          That is about it for this week. I hope that you all know I love and miss your guts. Thanks for all you do and for loving and supporting me. Have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Brother Joel (a recent convert) and Elder Kallon
Brother Joel is from Nigeria, but he is currently attending the Maritime University here in Ghana. Elder Kambwiri and I baptized him about five months ago. He is completely devoted to God and the church. He has a burning testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He is considering trying to serve a mission before he passes the age limit. He is just cool and fun to be around.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Have you been sick at all lately?
Not really. I am healthy and happy!
Q. What is the weather like there right now?
This week has been pretty hot, but right now it is overcast and a bit cooler.
Q. What is your favorite part of the culture in Ghana?
Just how open and welcoming everyone is. I can walk up to a complete stranger and they will just smile and greet me and then offer me a seat. Whenever they are about to start eating something they will look up and say, "you're invited!" 
Q. Do people still call you Brohni?
All of the time!

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
A little girl named Blessing is scared to death of me and my white face. She used to start crying as soon as she saw me. She is slowly warming up to me and even gave me a high five the other day. It is so funny to watch her face when she is close to me.
Q. Who made your week better?
A recent convert named Johnson. Bro. Johnson lives in Sakumono Village and he LOVES the church. Every time we visit him I am amazed by his faith. He recently started the Book of Mormon from the beginning and plans to read through to the end. He is so positive and funny. You just have to smile when you are around him.
Q. Has it been raining there?
Not much. Last night it rained for the first time in a couple of weeks.
Q. What was the best lesson you taught?
A couple of weeks ago we learned that Bro. Godsway's mother is a less active member of the church. This week we were able to sit down with her to teach about the Restoration. Although she had heard it before, I could feel the Spirit witnessing to her that the Church of Jesus Christ has indeed been restored. I hope that her and her family will become strong and faithful in the church.
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
Any prayers for Sis. Joyce would be appreciated.

Questions from Mom:
Q. How are the barbershop boys? How is Benjamin in particular?
Benjamin is the only one who is still around. He is doing well and we still love stopping by to see him, but I am not sure if it is quite his time to receive the Gospel. We will keep trying to help him along though!
Q. How much did you weigh when you left home?  (Dad and I think you need to eat more!!)
Haha I weighed about 142 when I left home. Two days ago I weighed myself and it was the same.
Q. How is Brother Fortunate doing in his quest to stop drinking?
He is doing so well! For two weeks now I haven't been able to detect any scent of alcohol around him. He really wants to be baptized, so we are working towards September 10 for that.
Q. People in Sierra Leone think whites sent Ebola?  What does Elder Kallon think of whites?
Yep. He is fine with whites. He just thinks that some of us sent Ebola...
Q. How is Princess doing?
She is great! Her family has traveled to their hometown while they have a break from school. They should return soon.
Q. Funniest moment of the week…..?
My companion and I went to Benjamin's barbershop and he was cutting a funny man's hair. The man went on a big rant about how he hates technology, so we turned off the lights and told Benjamin to continue with the haircut. Haha it was sooo funny.
Q. Most spiritual experience of the week….?
My most spiritual moment this week came as we were teaching Selina the importance of the Sabbath. As we were teaching I remembered my first Sunday in Ghana. I was totally homesick. As I showered that morning I cried my eyes out for a good ten minutes. Then I started thinking that this was going to be my life for the next two years. But when we went to church I was overcome with a feeling of peace. I knew that the Savior was by my side and that God was watching over my family. It is because of those feelings that I am still here in Ghana some 13 months later. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Smells Great!!

 Pulling in the net.
It's a big net.

Hello Family, Friends, and Strangers,
          What a great week it has been! On Tuesday we went to the Ghana MTC to have zone training. We received some great instruction from our zone leaders about using the Book of Mormon and really understanding why our investigators act the way they do. At the training I got to see my son, Elder Itepu, and my MTC companion, Elder Johnson. 
          On Wednesday our zone leaders challenged us to have a Book of Mormon day. We tried to go the whole day with using mainly the Book of Mormon to teach. At first I thought it would be extremely difficult. I absolutely LOVE the Bible. But in the end I found that it was very easy and powerful to use the BoM. We even invited two of our recent converts to start the Book of Mormon from the beginning and read it through to the end. On the same day we had an amazing lesson with Brother Godsway. We left him an assignment to read in Alma chapter 7 and he did it! Not only did he read it, but as he read the Holy Ghost confirmed to him that book is true and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God. He has come to church several times and if all goes well he should be baptized this coming Saturday! I love him and his believing heart. 
          On Saturday we took part in something called the All-African Service Project. Throughout all of Africa the church sets apart this one Saturday to do some special service. Our ward decided to do some cleaning. Not only were we cleaning, but we were cleaning out the gutters. That is not what I would call a pleasant job, but it is one that must be done! I experienced some truly awful smells that I pray never to experience again. I was grateful though for the chance to serve this community that I love so much.
          That is about all of the time I have for today. I love you all lots and I pray for you each and every day. Have a great week!
Elder Radmall

 Something fishy.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week? 
One of our recent converts, Bro. Joel, wants to serve a mission. We keep prophesying to him that he will be called to Malawi and he hates it! For some reason that is the one place he doesn't want to serve. It has provided us with lots of laughter.
Q. What's your favorite scripture this week?
Alma 48:17 Moroni is a beast.
Q. Who made your week better?
Sister Nyankah, Sister Adjei, and Sister Ayeh who all prepared us amazing food this week. The sisters in this ward take very good care of us missionaries.
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
Any prayers for Bro. Fortunate (who is really trying to stop drinking) would be appreciated.
Q. What food will you miss the most when you come home?
I would say fufu for sure. Banku is a bit sour and makes me sick, and rice I can cook back home. But fufu is so sweet and delicious!

My and my two sons. (Elder Itepu on the left, Elder Kallon on the right.)

Questions from Mom:
Q. Tell me two things you like about Elder Kallon.
He is a great cook and he absolutely loves to laugh.
Q. Tell me two things you have learned from Elder Kallon about Sierra Leone.
I have learned that many people in Sierra Leone believe that Ebola was a weapon created by the whites. I also learned that it rains there a LOT to the point that people are stranded indoors.
Q. What was your best lesson this week?
Definitely our lesson with Bro. Godsway. He knows the BoM and the church are true!
Q. Tell us about one member of your ward.
The Kwansahs are an awesome family in our ward. They live in Sakumono. The father is a medical doctor and the mother runs a shop in front of their home. They have several awesome children. One of their sons named Richard recently returned from his mission and is now working at the Ghana MTC. He will be coming to Idaho soon to attend BYU Idaho. They are all amazing and completely devoted to the Gospel. They joined the church about 10 years ago.
Q. What type of laundry detergent do you use?
I just use some powdered soap. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Mountain of the Lord

 Ghana Accra Temple
Bernice's baptism

Dear Family and Friends,
          I hope that all is going well. Right now in Ghana the sky is a gloomy gray and it looks like it wants to rain. I hope that is does. Over the last couple of months we have had very little rain which means more dust and expensive food. Oh well. 
          On Tuesday we had district council at our chapel. Our office couple, the Paces, joined us. We had a great discussion about the things we can accomplish if we allow ourselves to become tools in the hands of the Master. That is one great truth I have learned over the last year. "As to my own strength, I am weak", but when I give myself over to the Savior "weak things become strong". Too often I try to rely upon my own strength and wisdom, but quite frankly compared to God I really don't know a whole lot. Thank heavens I have access to the infinite and perfect Atonement.
          Last Monday President Heid called to check up on my companion and then he invited us to come to the temple on Friday! Best thing ever. In preparation for going to the Lord's House I decided to do some study about temples in the scriptures. One verse stood out to me. "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths". That is the beautiful purpose of temples. To teach us the ways of Godliness. To allow us to walk on the path that will one day lead us to become like our Father in Heaven. When we actually entered the temple that was exactly what I experienced. I came closer to my creator.
          That is all the time I have for today. I love you all lots and I miss you like crazy! Have a super week and I will do the same.
Elder Radmall

Elder Kallon at the temple.

Questions from Mom:
Q. How is Elder Kallon doing?  Is the itching better now that he quit taking the Doxy?
Yes! That seems to have fixed the problem.
Q. Tell us about one investigator you are teaching right now?
We have an investigator living in Sakumono named Godsway. His brother (a member who lives in another part of Accra) brought him to church a couple of weeks ago. Godsway is 19 and just completed high school. He loves the Gospel and we have a baptismal date in place for him. A couple of weeks ago he came to church an hour early before anyone had even opened the gate! I love him.
Q. Best lesson this week?
This week we taught Sister Bernice about the temple and baptisms for the dead. What a wonderful thought, that we can help all of God's children, including our own family members and friends who have passed away. Bernice seemed to like the idea and she is willing to prepare to go to the temple.
Q. How is your bike doing?
It is alright. We get a lot of flat tires with the crazy roads we are always riding on, but other than that it is fine.
Q. How is Sister Heid?
I think she is feeling better. Her mother passed away a couple of weeks ago, so she went home to speak at the funeral. I am not sure if she has returned yet.
Q. Favorite food you ate this week?
This week we went to the Boakye's home and they prepared us some amazing fried rice with lots of vegetables. Ghana has really made me appreciate vegetables. They don't eat enough of them here!
Q. Did you have to have the electrical outlets repaired after the crazy power surge?
No. We did have to get our water pump fixed though. One of the cords giving it power was fried.
Q. Does the heat and humidity become normal after you have lived with it for a year?
Yes. I am actually worried about how I will adjust when I come home. Now, when I sit in air conditioning for too long I feel cold and want to go back outside into the sun.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What is your favorite Olympic sport?
Curling. :)
Q. What sports do they play in Ghana?
Soccer... that's about it.
Q. How old is your companion?
Q. When do transfers happen next?
In 4 weeks.
Q. When do you go to Accra again?

I am not sure. For now we have no planned trips.

Photo of me taken by a 4 year old.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Washed Clean

Hello Family and Friends,
          I hope all is going great! I can't believe that another week has passed. Today marks thirteen months for me as a missionary. That is crazy! The time is just flying by. And I have spent those thirteen months in just two areas. But I am lucky. Both areas are amazing and full of wonderful people to teach and work with.
          This week we had some excitement. On Thursday as Elder Kallon and I were having our companionship study, our fan started going psycho. It started spinning a million miles an hour. As we went to turn it off some of our light bulbs started burning out, and then sparks started flying out of our sockets. We rushed outside to shut off the power (which should have shut off on its own). Turns out a branch broke off of a palm tree and fell of the power lines. Fortunately, no houses burned down.
          On Thursday I went with our district leader, Elder Anderson, for Bernice's baptismal interview. She was found worthy and on Saturday morning we had one of the best baptisms I have witnessed so far on my mission. Her family came and we even had several members of the ward in attendance. It was great and I could see that she was so happy to be washed clean of all her sins. Then on Sunday she was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I was even lucky enough to participate in her confirmation.
          That same Sunday the bishop called us into his office to thank us for our work and to invite us to his home to break our fast. We couldn't say no to that. After a few appointments we rode our bikes to his house where we had a great time visiting with his family. They prepared us a LOT of banku with okre stew (the slimiest thing I have ever eaten, but still good). I forgot to mention last week that our dear ward will be splitting in a month. Our poor bishop has a lot on his plate with that coming up.
          That is all of my time for today. I love you all so much and I pray that you have a wonderful week. Thanks for all that you do. Remember to always just try to love as the Savior did.
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Why did Sister Bernice want to contact her grandmother before being baptized? 
Her grandma is a member of the church, and she just wanted to notify her.
Q. What country is Sister Nykanah from?  Where did she get beef? 
She is a Ghanaian. You can buy beef here. I even cooked a delicious beef stew last Sunday.
Q. Are there cattle in Ghana or just goats and chickens?
There are cattle. They sure as heavens don't look as healthy or fat as cattle back home, but they are here.
Q. I watched a YouTube video about head porters – women who work full time carrying things on their heads in the markets in Accra.  It was very sad – do you know any women who do that for a living?
I have known quite a few women who carry things on their heads to sell. They amaze me. The sad thing for me is to see children selling water sachets from their heads all day. 
Q. Do you go to the open air market to buy your food?
Sometimes. The food is cheapest there. 
Q. Do you buy chicken at the grocery store or at the open air market?
Both. It depends on how far we can travel to get our chicken.
Q. How often do you shop, and how do you carry things on your bike?
We shop a couple of times a week. They put everything in plastic bags for us and we carry it on our handlebars. They are obsessed with plastic bags here.
Q. Favorite scripture this week?
Isaiah 58 where we learn all about the wonderful blessings from fasting and keeping the Sabbath day holy.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Who is your favorite person you associate with in your mission right now?
We have a new senior couple, the Jones. They are from Canada (though Sister Jones is originally from Scotland and has a sweet accent). They came to check on Elder Kallon the other day and they bought us ice cream, so I think they are pretty great.
Q. What is the craziest moment from your mission so far?
Killing a goat was pretty crazy. So was the time when I fell into a gutter on the side of the road late at night and then discovered it was full of an angry army of ants. That was also crazy.
Q. How many times a week do you go without power?
Sometimes we can go 4 days in a week without power, but lately it has been quite a bit better.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Whole New World

Dearest Family and Friends,
          It has been another superb week here in Ghana! Sometimes I just wish that I could fly you all out here for one week to experience all of the things I get to see and do each day. It is a whole new world. 
          On Wednesday we traveled to a place called Madina for a multi-zone conference. The last time that happened it was because President Heid wanted to address some disobedience in the mission, but this time it was just for all of us to get together, have some fun, and feel the Spirit. It was great! They provided us with a nice lunch of rice and chicken and then every district performed a skit based on a scripture story. Our district did the First Vision with a few twists. It was pretty sweet. There were some very funny skits with great costumes and props. It made for a great time.
          On Thursday we met with Sister Bernice. She is an investigator who comes from a part member family. She has wanted to get baptized for a while now, but she wanted to contact her grandmother in London first. She told us that she was finally able to reach her and so we are planning for her baptism this coming Saturday! After we heard that we had a lesson based on Mosiah 18 about the covenants we make at baptism. She is so ready and I am excited for her and her family.
          Over the last few weeks we have had a very sweet and rewarding opportunity. A family in our ward referred someone to us to teach. Her name is Sellina. Sellina recently started attending literacy classes at our chapel. She does not speak much English, but she has an incredible desire to learn how to read, write, and speak English. Fortunately, she can understand most of what we say. We have been teaching her out of the Book of Mormon Stories (the one with lots of pictures) and she absolutely loves it. She has quickly come to love the church and even came to worship last Sunday. Every time we go to teach her we try to spend some time afterwards helping her to learn the alphabet. From there we are planning to help her start spelling some basic words. It is so cool to see someone learn these things for the first time. I think that she will end up getting baptized very soon.
          On Friday night our whole district was invited over to the Nyankah's home. Sister Nyankah is the head chef at the Ghana MTC. Oh. My. Gosh. She prepared us the most amazing meal I have ever eaten in Ghana! She made some kind of delicious beef and sauce to eat with rice. She even made us a SALAD! I haven't had real salad in ages. We all ate until we looked 8 months pregnant. It was divine.
          Well, that is about all for this week. I love the work I have been called to do. It is a privilege. I hope that all of you find joy in serving Christ. He lives and He loves us all. I love and miss all of you and I pray you have a blessed week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Kurt:
Q. Do the women there carry things on their heads, such as scriptures to church?
They carry lots of things on their heads. Bags, food, furniture, chickens, water, and much more. I have never seen scriptures though.
Q. Have you been robbed, felt threatened, or had anyone do something mean like throw rocks at you (or goat guts)?
I have honestly never felt too threatened. Except one time when we were teaching some Nigerians in their apartment. Nigerians scare me a little bit. I did have a bunch of teenagers throw a bag of cold water at my head once. It burst just like a water balloon!
Q. Do they have youth conferences there, and have you been able to participate in anything like that?
Not really. They do have YSA conferences, but that is about it.

Questions from TeriAnn:
In honor of Harry Potter's birthday, what is your favorite Harry Potter book, movie and character? :) :)
Q. My favorite book is the last one. My favorite movie is probably the second (except for the part with spiders). And my favorite character is definitely Dumbledore. My second favorite character is Snape.
Q. What did you do for Pday today?
Today we had to run to the area office so my companion could see a doctor. His body has been itching since arriving in Ghana.
Q. What are you looking forward to right now?
I am looking forward to teaching Sis. Adjei how to make brownies. The Adjei's are members of our ward and they SPOIL us all of the time. 
Q. At the end of your mission if you could only bring one thing home from Ghana, what would it be?
A wife. WHAT?!?! Who said that? Just kidding. I would bring home a suitcase full of fresh mangoes. They are soooo good.

Questions from Mom:
Q. Nungua has a chief?  How do you become chief?  Why do they live in a compound?  What place do chiefs have in their society as opposed to politicians?  Is Jeffrey’s father, the chief, a member?  (You could baptize a chief like Ammon did!!)
Yep. I don't actually know how you become a chief. I think it is passed on by birthright. The chiefs actually have quite a bit of power over their areas. The politicians usually consult with them before doing anything in their city. He is already a member.
Q. Is Gabriel (baptized 2 weeks ago - 18 years old) hoping to serve a mission?  Has he done baptisms for the dead?
Yes! He hasn't received the aaronic priesthood just yet, so we will have to keep working on that.
Q. Do you help new converts prepare names for the temple?
We try to. It can be a little bit difficult here, but we will see what we can do.
Q. What miracles have you witnessed this week?
The greatest miracle I had this week, is one that I have every week. And that is taking the sacrament. Sometimes I forget how truly amazing it is that I can find healing and peace every week by recommitting my life to the Savior.
Q. How have guardian angels protected you this week?
Angels protected me this week as I rode through busy roads late at night following an African. When I first came things like that scared me to death, but now it's become pretty normal.
Q. What made you laugh out loud this week?
After leaving the MTC chef's house one of the elders in our district exclaimed, "I hope she is the cook in heaven!" It was pretty funny.
Q. Who in Ghana needs prayers this week?
Maybe you could pray for little Princess (a recent convert - 9 years old) this week who has been struggling to come to church.