Monday, September 26, 2016

Best Apartment Ever - Or So We Thought!

Bryan with his 8 roommates.  His new companion Elder Fuller is in front of President Heid.

Dear Family and Friends,
          How is it going?? We had yet another blessed week in the lovely country of Ghana. On Tuesday President and Sister Heid joined us for our district council and brought my new companion along with them. After district council We took my new companion, Elder Fuller, to the apartment to start getting settled in. While he was there President took myself and Elder Fesolai (Elder Kallon's new companion) to go and see our new apartment in Sakumono. It is so stinking big!! It is easily one of the biggest apartments in the mission. It also has a water heater!! We were so excited to move in. On Friday we did just that. We packed everything we needed and departed from the overcrowded 8 man apartment. We got ourselves all settled in and at first we were enjoying the new place. Then Sunday came. Our prepaid electricity ran out and they haven't gotten us a card yet to pay for more power. And when the power went out it also meant that our water stopped running. So we have been living off of water sachets purchased on the street! So much for the huge apartment with water heaters! It's not all that bad. Hopefully today we will have power again. 
          Elder Fuller is the best! I love him. He is one of the most humble, patient, kind, and loving people I have ever been blessed to meet. He comes from a family of four children and he is the second. He spent about a year living in Wyoming before coming out on his mission. He has been out for about seen months now. He was serving in the mission office before coming to join me in Nungua. I am way excited to work with him and to learn from him. 
          My time is up for today. I know that the church is true. God loves us. That is why He calls prophets in our days to lead us and to guide us. Joseph Smith was one of those prophets and through him the Gospel in its fullness was restored to the earth. Today we are blessed to have President Monson to lead us. If you have any doubts about these things I invite you to humble yourself before God and ask in prayer. Then listen for God to answer. Above all I know that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. He lives and loves us all. Have a blessed week. Thanks for all that you do!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. Is your new companion the only member in his immediate family?
For the time being yes. It was his grandfather that introduced him to the church.
Q. How does an African American feel about being in Ghana?
He loves it. He says he will stay here when his mission is over.
Q. How do the Ghanian people feel about an African American?
Haha they like to call him black American! They think he is very cool.
Q. Have you purchased a new camera?
...Nope. We have been a bit distracted this week, so I will keep looking.
Q.  Funniest moment of the week?
Driving around Sakumono with President and Sister Heid. They are a pretty funny couple to be around. Not nearly as funny as mom and dad though. 
Q. Most spiritual lesson this week?
We had a great FHE with a part-member family. We talked all about baptism and I think all of us were touched by the Spirit to know the importance of being born again.
Q. Favorite thing about your new companion?
He is just so humble and patient with his very imperfect companion.

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
We have a brother in our ward named Wisdom who loves to jokingly challenge everything. We have some pretty hilarious doctrinal arguments that leave us laughing pretty hard. 
Q. Who inspired you this week? 
In our district council President Heid talked to us all about being happy wherever the Lord asks us to be. He knows where we can grow and where we can touch others and help them to come unto Christ. That inspired me to always be happy with the opportunities God gives me to serve Him.
Q. Who made your week better and how?
Elder Fuller. He cooked fried chicken and ironed my shirt! 
Q. What was the best lesson you taught this week?
We contacted a woman named Carol along with her two daughters this week. At first as we entered their home she was pretty reluctant to hear our message. She is an evangelist for her own church, but the Spirit persuaded her to listen to us for a few minutes. We taught her about Christ's church and about Joseph Smith. Through the course of the lesson she softened and in the end she even asked us where our church is and when we worship. It was definitely a spirit driven lesson. 
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
Matthew 6. The Savior teaches so many beautiful lessons to help us become more like Him.
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
Prayers for Sister Selina would be great. She has had a few challenges pop up since she was baptized. 
Q. What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you this week?
It was pretty embarrassing when I dropped a big chunk of margarine on our kitchen floor. Whoops. 

Questions from Kurt and Felicity:
Q. How many ties do you have?
I think 11 or 12. 8 or 9 that are still usable.
Q. Are there hedgehogs where you live? Felicity read a book about some living in Africa.
Not that I have ever seen. I will keep my eyes open.
Q. Have you read any great talks lately?
I love Elder Holland's talk from last conference. It is a great reminder that we just need to keep doing our best and in His own time, the Lord will open the way for us to accomplish all things.

Questions From TeriAnn:
Q. How is the weather there right now?
Right now it is hot and sunny. We got a little bit of rain last week.
Q. What should I be for Halloween?
Definitely Edward Scissorhands.
Q. The Utes beat USC last weekend. How do you feel about that???
Super duper! My boys are making me proud.
Q. BYU lost last weekend. How do you feel about that???
I better not comment on that one. I think it's a sensitive subject. (But I'm not crying about it.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Companion, New Apostle and New Apartment

A rare dinner out with Elder Jones after moving.

Hello Family and Friends!
          I hope that all is going swell! This week was a pretty exciting one for us. On Tuesday we spent most of the day helping the other elders move everything from their apartment over to ours. Their old apartment has been through a lot including an attempted robbery and getting lit on fire. Elder and Sister Jones came with their truck to help us get everything from one building to the other. After we had finished the move they took us all out to lunch! We got to enjoy pizza, chicken, and ice cream!! It's not all too often that we get food like that. Our apartment is now a big mess of furniture, pots and pans, suitcases, bed mattresses, and much more. We are all enjoying ourselves too much. We all sit around telling stories and jokes pretty much every night. I am getting a feel for what college life will be like. 
          On Wednesday we all headed down to Accra for our devotional with Elder Gary E. Stevenson (Apostle!), Elder Soares (in the presidency of the Seventy), Elder Nash (in the Area Presidency), and Elder Vinson (Area President). That's right, we got not one, not two, not three, but four general authorities! It was a combined devotional with both the Accra and the Accra West Missions. It was awesome!!! There were some fantastic talks about repentance and obedience, but my favorite speakers were Elder Stevenson and his wife. His wife is one of the kindest and most sincere people I have ever met. She cried as she spoke about her love for missionaries and our devotion to the Lord. Elder Stevenson is very energetic! He was waving his arms all over as he talked and several times he walked down from the pulpit to get closer to the missionaries. He bore witness to us that we are exactly where the Lord wants us to be. After the meeting we got to shake all of their hands. Wow, those men are called of God!
          This week I got to proselyte with my new companion for the first time. His name is Elder Fuller and he is great! He is an African American from Maryland. He joined the church five years ago after his grandfather (who is a member) took him along one Sunday. He was in the office before coming here and he is very excited to be back in the field. He is patient, kind, and has a very sincere heart. I am way excited to be working with him. For the time being he is still living at the mission home. Every day he rides in a taxi to Nungua. This Friday we will get a new apartment in Sakumono and he will be able to move in. That means Friday will be a lot more moving. Yay. 
          That is about all for this week. I am so happy to hear that Baby Winston has arrived safely. He is adorable. After Christie's baby no more until I get home! Happy birthday to dad on Sunday! Thanks for being the best papa daddy in the world! I love you all lots and hope you have a splendiferous week.
Elder Radmall

Moving Day

Questions from Mom:
Q. Has Godsway been baptized?
Nope. He traveled and he still hasn't returned.
Q. How are lessons going with Hannah?  How was she raised Muslim when her mom is a Mormon?  Where is her dad?
She was living with her father who is Muslim until recently. Now she has moved in with her mother. She is still progressing and on track to be baptized sometime next month!
Q.  Favorite hymn this week?
I love hymn 66 (Rejoice, The Lord Is King).  I am learning it on the piano right now.
Q. Favorite story told by Elder Stevenson?
He shared a great story about a time when he was assigning missionaries to their missions. He was slightly unsure about where to place one missionary in particular, but in the end he felt he knew where to put them. That night after going to sleep Elder Stevenson woke up. As soon as he was awake two things came into his mind. The first was the name of the missionary he had been unsure about. The second was the name of a mission. Realizing that this was the Spirit speaking to him he wrote down the two names. In the morning as soon as he had woken up he called the missionary department and instructed them to change the assigned mission of that missionary. God knows exactly where He wants us to be.
Q. Most spiritual lesson this week?
We had one awesome lesson about the First Vision and the Restoration with Bro. Joshua. Joshua is a referral we received from a member of our bishopric and he is way cool. He already has a testimony about Joseph Smith and the fact that he was a prophet of God. Now he just needs to come to church to witness the fruits of Joseph Smith.
Q. What or who brought you joy this week?
There is an adorable and very chubby baby in our ward. Everyone calls him "obolo" which means fat in Twi. He is soooo chubby and cute. I smile every time I see him. I also made everyone dessert pancakes with mint ice cream and hot fudge. That was some serious happiness. 

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Who is your favorite missionary right now?
I love my new companion, Elder Fuller. He is just pure goodness. He is so sweet and eager to do what's right.
Q. Who is your favorite investigator?
We are teaching a woman we call Auntie Esther. Her daughter is a member in our ward. She is a firecracker and loves to challenge what we say. She comes to church, but says it is too boring and makes her fall asleep. She is sooo funny.
Q. What is the most beautiful place you have seen on your mission or in your area? 
Koforidua is definitely the prettiest place I have seen in Ghana. The mountains and forests are just breathtaking.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sheltering the Homeless

Sorry this is coming a day late. The power went out yesterday while I was writing.

Dear Family and Friends,
          I hope that you are all doing great! My time today is limited, so I will try to keep it relatively short. We once again had a great week in the service of God! We were able to find some great new people to start teaching. One of them is named Hannah. Hannah comes from a part member family and her brother just started his mission (in Nigeria). She has been raised as a Muslim, but several months ago started living with her mom who is a member of the church. In our first lesson she told us that she wants to be baptized and to serve a mission like her brother... cool. I think we might be able to help her out with that.
          On Saturday Sister Selina entered the waters of baptism!! At first she was a little concerned and didn't understand why she needed to have an interview before being baptized, but as we explained the importance of being worthy for baptism her heart was softened and she was willing. Her baptismal service was lovely and well attended by members of the ward. We even made brownies to share afterwards. On Sunday Elder Kallon and I had the privilege of participating in her confirmation. 
          Due to our ward splitting to form Sakumono and Nungua 2nd Wards our proselyting area will also be splitting. Since Elder Kallon and I know both of the areas we are going to split up and each get a new companion. Elder Kallon will work in Sakumono while I take on Nungua 2nd Ward. My new companion is Elder Fuller. He is an African American from Maryland. I think I can still say that all of my companions have been African. He should arrive tomorrow. I will miss Elder Kallon, but not too much. We will still be staying in the same apartment.
          Speaking of apartments, ours is about to be in a serious crisis. Last week there were two of us living in our apartment. On Friday two of the elders from our district moved in. No problem. I can handle four people in an apartment. Tonight the other two elders from our district will be moving in (their previous apartment is being abandoned because the water isn't running, someone tried to burn it down, and it is right by a very loud church). Six people is a little bit too much for me to handle in our apartment. Then tomorrow Elder Kallon and I will be receiving our two new companion bringing us to a grand total of EIGHT hungry, messy, smelly, sweaty, and noisy elders in one apartment! Wow! How long will this last? Until they find us a new apartment in Sakumono. It will be an exciting week with many uncomfortable bonding experiences! Haha I can't wait!
          I love you all so much! I know that the Gospel is true. It has the power to transform anyone who will embrace. The Savior lives and loves us. Have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Q. How were your baptisms?  Did you have 3 yesterday as hoped?
We only ended up having one baptism, but it was a lovely service with a lot of people in attendance. 
Q. Did you get a new camera?
Nope. I still have a little hope for my camera.
Q. Did you make frosting?
Yes! We had banana bread with chocolate frosting. We took it for a FHE last Monday and it was a big hit!
Q. Have you found new investigators this week?
Yes. We have found some solid new investigators this week. I am hopeful for some of them to get baptized in the near future.
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
One of the funniest moments I had this week was looking through the pictures of everyone who has served in the quorum of the twelve apostles. There were some very unfortunate hairstyles and some very sweet beards/staches in the early days of the church.
Q. Most spiritual moment of the week?
In sacrament meeting as we sang hymn 2 (The Spirit of God) I was pretty overwhelmed by the spirit. It has been a while since I really thought about the words of that song. They are powerful. We live in a wonderful and exciting time!
Q. How have angels watched over you this week?
Angels have watched over me as I was weaving through traffic on my bike, trying not to lose my crazy companion! Don't worry mom, I had my helmet on.

Questions from Kurt:
Q. How are your bowel movements?
Not to bad. I haven't had diarrhea all weak! 
Q. What's been the best experience at church recently?
Yesterday we talked about the sacrament in the third hour (in both wards). I learned a lot about the significance the sacrament has to me. Although the bread and water alone cannot grant us salvation, they can grant us access to the atonement of Jesus Christ which can save us. I love getting to partake of the sacrament each week.
Q. What kinds of musical numbers or choir performances do the wards' have?
We are pretty blessed to have a great choir in Sakumono Ward. They take all of their songs from the hymn book and they do a great job and even sing in parts.
Q. When recently were you led by the Spirit to say or do something, or to go somewhere? What was the outcome?
On Friday President Heid asked us to give a blessing to a very concerned sister. She is about 8 months pregnant and having some complications with the pregnancy. The doctors are telling her they will have to induce labor. When I asked her if there were any specific blessings she was looking for, she responded that she just wanted to have a natural delivery. In the blessing I felt prompted not to promise her a natural delivery, but to make her aware that God knows her and loves her and that He has a plan for her and her family. I am not sure of the outcome, and I may never find out what happens, but I can say that God taught me a lesson that day.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Any temple trips lately?
Nope. Sadly not.
How are your feet these days?
Q. They are just swell! One of my toes still looks pretty ugly from the surgery, but they don't hurt.
Q. How was church yesterday? How many people attended?
It was great and long! I was so lucky I got to take the sacrament twice. We had maybe 60-70 people in each ward.
Q. What was your favorite thing you ate this week?
This afternoon we went to prepare food with an investigator. I decided we should make fried rice. It was my first time making fried rice, but it turned out AMAZING! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dividing Asunder

Hello Family and Friends!
          How is everyone doing? I hope you are all just swell. This was an exciting week! On Monday night we went to the chief of Nungua's home to have FHE with Bro. Jeffery (the chief's son) and his family. It was great. I gave a lesson on conquering fear with faith in Jesus Christ. I used a scripture I love in Mosiah 23 about Alma and his people. As a group of Lamanites came upon them, many of the people were struck with fear. But Alma, rather than fearing, went forth and prayed unto God. His people followed suit and as a result they "hushed their fears". When we recognize that things are in the Lord's hands and that He will always do what is best for us, we have no need to fear. I have definitely seen that in my own life.
          Tuesday through Saturday the week was pretty normal. People in Ghana have some very funny ideas about the church. It is interesting to see the rumors Satan spreads. I don't know if I have ever shared these before. A lot of people believe that in our church we drink blood. Some believe we have a book called the Book of Mammon that will allow evil spirits to enter you. Others think we have a secret room in our church buildings where we hide the bones of people we have sacrificed. Many think that anyone who joins our church will become rich. It is crazy the things you hear! I guess it is something that has always followed Christ and His disciples. The Savior himself was accused of casting out devils through Beelzebub! 
          On Sunday our beloved ward was split. Nungua 2nd Ward gave birth to the brand new Sakumono Ward. It was exciting to witness all of the calling and releasing. I was a little bit sad to see the split happen. I love this group of Latter Day Saints I have been blessed to work with. I wasn't too sad though because for the time being we will still get to cover both wards! That means next Sunday we get to enjoy church twice! Lucky me. 
          That is about all for this week. Our members still like feeding us way too much. The MTC chef made us sweet and sour chicken to keep in our fridge. It is SOOO good! Next week we are hoping to baptize Selina, Fortunate, and Godsway. Hopefully all goes well. I will let you know more about them next Monday. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Radmall

Questions from Mom:
Do you eat fish very often?
Waaaaaay too much. People here love their fish. My companion has been forcing me to eat lots of it. I can eat it, but I definitely prefer chicken.
Q. Best lesson of the week?
Sister Joyce was feeling pretty down this week. She is having a lot of troubles with the house she used to live in and the people there. On Friday we were able to sit down with her, and we had a lesson about building our lives on the rock of Christ. We read Helaman 5:12 and bore testimony of the peace we can find as we center our lives on Christ. Hopefully it gave her some comfort.
Q. Are the cockroaches gone or still a problem?
They are mostly gone these days. Sometimes if I am washing in the night I will see a giant one scurry across the ground, but that's about it.
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
On Saturday they had a blood drive at our chapel. The stake president was strongly encouraging members who are able to come and donate a pint of blood. Then he turned to my companion and said, "Except for you. I expect you to give 4 pints of blood with your size!" Haha it was hilarious.

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. How many times have you fallen off your bike on your mission? :)
Surprisingly, I can only think of two.
Q. What are you looking forward to this month?
We get to hear Elder Stevenson and Elder Soares speak on the 14th (I will be thinking of you Kurt and Maggie - Happy Birthday)! That will be sweet.
Q. When are the next transfers?
The next transfers are in a week. I should have transfer news next time I write. Will I stay or will I go??

Sorry - no photos this week.  Bryan's camera is broken.  Hopefully he will be able to buy a new one this week.