Monday, October 24, 2016

Back to the Bush: Baboons and Naked People

 Sister Bernice (a recent convert) and Sister Howard (Bryan's Ghana Grandma)

Hello everybody!
I hope you all had a wonderful week! Mine was insane. On Wednesday I receive a call from our zone leaders informing me that I was being transferred! They have finally kicked me out of Nungua. My former companion, Elder Fuller, is going to be training. Yay for him! He will do great. I'll miss that guy.
We continued working the rest of the week and I started saying goodbyes. Sweet Moses, I am going to miss Nungua! It has been such a great area. I have so grown to love all of the people there, especially the members of our ward. They have been wonderful to me and I can never fully express my thanks to them. Sunday was hard as I bore testimony for the last time in the Nungua second ward. 
From there I picked up my luggage and went to meet my new companion. His name is Elder Palmer. He is from Cache Valley. He is awesome. He came out one transfer after me. He is very tall and very smart. 
And my new area is... Juapong (dwa-pong)! I am in the bush! That means mountains, rivers, lots of green, and naked people. I am actually really excited about it (except the naked people). As we were driving here there were some baboons casually crossing the road. You know, just normal stuff. One was a mother with a baby on her back. Pretty cool. Our apartment is perhaps the nicest I have seen in our mission so far. I will send some pictures of it as soon as I can. The only problem is we currently have no running water... Aw man! 
Well that is all I have time for this week. I will get you more details next week. I love you all. Thanks for all you do. God is in the details. He knows us and our needs. Have a blessed week.

 Final Day in Nungua - Elder Fuller on Bryan's right, Elder Kallon on his left.

Questions from Mom:
Q. What new word in twi would you like to share?
Now I have to learn a new language! Ewe. I will share some next week.
Q. What was your most spiritual experience this week?
Bearing testimony in church was pretty spiritual for me. As I spoke of the Savior's atonement the Spirit confirmed to me that through Him all wounds can be healed.
Q. Tell us something about your bishop…
My last one just welcomed his first child into the world! My new branch president is funny and chubby. 
Q. What is a Ghana tradition you have not told us?
They wear some very long and very expensive cloth whenever there is a funeral. They have a cool way that they wrap it around themselves and drape it over their shoulder.
Q. How are the elections in Ghana coming along?
There are posters everywhere and trucks driving down the road blasting advertisements. Nothing too unusual.
Q. What was your funniest experience this week?
I bought five liters of ice cream before leaving Nungua. We ate until we were drunk off of ice cream. It was hilarious. 


Questions from Kurt:
Q. Who cuts your hair? How much does it cost, and how often do you do it?
I just go to any barber I can find. They don't know how to cut my white man hair, but they try! It costs about the equivalent of one dollar. I get it cut maybe once a month.
Q. How do you keep bugs out of your food?
Sometimes you don't. Protein is important though, right? Just kidding mom. We usually try to keep it in an air tight container or I just store it in the fridge. The bugs don't usually go in there.
Q. What's a place you pass every day or a person you see all the time that will represent that area to you when you leave?
Q. In Nungua the chapel came to symbolize the area to me. We did so much there with weekly meetings, cleaning, teaching people, parties, and baptisms. 

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. If you were here, what would you be for Halloween?
Probably Batman.
Q. What is your favorite Halloween movie? 
The Adams Family! And The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
Q. Do kids in Ghana ever get dressed up in costumes or something like it? 
Not really. :(
Q. Have you met any new people who are instant favorites in your new area? 
Yes! There is a member named Michael who owns a small chop bar close to us. He is very funny and makes good food. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Act Like An African, Eat Like a Tongan

 The Pig
 (The pig cost $50.  Everyone helped pay.  Bryan says the pig was really good- but he thinks roasted goat is better.)


Hello dear fam bam and friends!
It's been another superb week in the beautiful land of Ghana! Actually, I haven't had a bad week yet on my mission. I have had some very hard ones, but no bad ones. Anyways, this week Elder Fuller and I were able to make some good progress in our area. It still has a ways to go, but we are moving in the right direction. We have one investigator named Rosemond. She is an older woman who works with her daughters. They grind corn into powder that is used to make banku. The first time we met Sister Rosemond she opened up to us that she has a problem with drinking and she wants to stop. We have been praying and fasting for her and I think she is making good progress. She loves our teachings and she has a wonderful heart. We have another investigator named Joshua who recently moved to Nungua from Kumasi. He is reading the Book of Mormon and really wants to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Yesterday he came to church! I have high hopes for him. I just love the people of Ghana! I am so blessed to be able to serve among them. 
Almost every night last week our ward had practices for a big stake cultural festival that is held each year. We sang songs in a local dialiect (Ewe) and acted out one of the tribal festivals of Ghana. I got to dress up as an African warrior and shout in a language that I don't understand! it was awesome!! I was one of two whites who performed in the whole stake. Brownie points for me. 
Today I had another awesome cultural experience. Today our zone got together for an activity. We bought a pig which we killed and roasted over a fire. Most of the credit goes to the Polynesians in our mission. It was very cool to watch and delicious to eat! 
That is about all for this week. Being a missionary is awesome. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for all that He has given me. I am grateful for the trials and challenges He allows me to learn from. I am grateful for the family and friends He has given me to support me in all things. I am grateful for the tender mercies He sends each and every day. And above all I am grateful for my Savior whom Heavenly Father sent to give us hope. I love you all. Have a great week!
Elder Radmall

 Elder Fuller and Elder Radmall dressed as warriors for the stake cultural celebration.
On stage at the cultural celebration.

Questions from Kurt:
Q. Do they eat many desserts in Ghana?
Not at all! 
Q. What's been your favorite?
Some of the wealthier people like to serve fruit salad as a kind of dessert after dinner. That's pretty nice. 
Q. What does your companion want to be when he grows up?
Captain America of course!

Questions from Mom:
Q. Besides praying for Sister Augustina, is there any way we can help her family? 
Nothing much. I bought them some foodstuffs the other day. 
Q. What did you learn about Elder Fuller this week?
He LOVES the Avengers. 
Q. Have you spoken in sacrament meeting lately?
Nope. Thank heavens. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Faith Through the Storm

Making Banku

Hello everybody!
This has been a bit of a long week, but it has been full of opportunities to grow and learn. The last couple of weeks a lot of our investigators have disappeared or been busy meaning we spent a lot of time trying to find new investigators both through our own efforts and through members. It didn't work too well and I started to get a little bit discouraged. Why wasn't Heavenly Father giving us people to teach the Gospel to. Then I had a clear thought come into my mind. "Perhaps this week God wants to teach you something." That hit me pretty hard and I can tell you that I did learn a lot throughout the week. 
Holy cow!! On Saturday night when we went to bed it was lightly raining. At midnight I woke up to a bright flash of light and a deafening crack of thunder. The rain was pounding on our roof. For the next fifteen minutes I experienced the most intense lightning and thunder I have ever witnessed in my life. I have always love lightning and thunder, but for once it actually scared me a bit. My heart was pounding as I lay in my bed. In my head I started singing "These are a few of my favorite things" from The Sound of Music. It didn't calm me down too much. Anyways, it got me thinking about one of my favorite scriptures. In Helaman 5:12 we learn that when we build ourselves upon the rock of our Redeemer we can prevail through any storm. No matter what comes our way we can feel certain that we will not fall if the Savior is our foundation. He is sure and unfailing. I have tested that truth many times in my life and have found it to be totally true. Within a few minutes of remembering that scripture I was sound asleep. 
Yesterday there was more heavy rain and even some flooding in parts of Accra. Last night we invited over all of the missionaries in Nungua and made fried rice and fried chicken for everyone. It was sooo delicious. 
That's all for today folks! I can't wait to talk to you again next Monday. God lives and loves you. So do I!
Elder Radmall 

Elder Fuller

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
Quoting crazy movies with my companion and Elder Fesolai. We especially love Nacho Libre. 
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
The beginning of Mark 2 where four people bring their friend, sick with palsy, to the Savior. When they can't get inside the building they decide to lower their friend through the roof. The part that stands out the most to me is when it tells us that Jesus, seeing THEIR faith, told the man his sins were forgiven and then proceeded to heal Him physically as well. Our faith has the power to change the lives of others.
Q. What type of meat do you eat most in Ghana?
Chicken!! In my current area they eat a lot of fish though. 
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
You can pray for Sister Augustina and her family. They were baptized at the beginning of this year. She just gave birth to a new child and her family has very little to live on. 

New Apartment

Questions from Mom:
Q. Did Kurt’s package arrive?
What?! It did not, but I will sure look forward to that. 
Q. Do you know the Pace’s?  (Dad found a blog of their mission to Ghana.)
Yes. They are the office couple in the mission home right now. They are some very good people.
Q. How many senior couples are in your mission?
Right now it is just two couples. We had 4 couples when I first came. 
Q. Craziest thing you ate this week?
RED VELVET CAKE!!! One of the very wealthy members in Sakumono Ward invited us over for a birthday party and we ate some very good food. I was so surprised to see red velvet cake. It was sooo good.
Q. Best thing about your new ward?
It has some great energy. Most of the members are pretty young. I'm not sure if anyone in our bishopric has even reached 30 yet. 
Q. Favorite lesson this week?
This week Elder Fuller and I taught about the Atonement from Alma 7. It is a powerful chapter and I would encourage you to read it and reread it. We taught Bro. Joshua about all that Christ has done for us, and what he asks in return. He pleads with us to have faith, repent, and follow His example. That's pretty small compared to what He was willing to do for us.
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
When I kept falling asleep on a trotro and hitting my face on the seat in front of me. Some people were giving me funny looks, especially Elder Fuller. Haha
Q. What spiritual prompting did you receive this week?
This week I felt a strong impression of the need I have to be more humble. I have started letting pride creep into my mind and I need to kick it out. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice

Bryan's new companion, Elder Fuller, on the left, getting a package from home.

Hello Family and Friends!
          Wow! I hope you all had a wonderful week and a great time listening to conference. I did! That's right, by God's sweet mercy I got to watch part of conference! My first time in a year and a half to listen to the prophet... in English at least. Sunday morning we went to the stake center to watch a recording of the priesthood session. After that at four we were blessed to be able to watch the Sunday morning session of conference live. I can't express just how much I loved it. As a kid I usually looked forward to conference because of the brunch we would have on Sunday morning. While that is still a very necessary part of conference (I made us all pancakes to eat on Sunday), I have started to better appreciate the spiritual feast that is available as we listen to the Lord's appointed servants. All of the talks I heard were wonderful and I heard exactly what I needed to. Among my favorites were President Monson's talk on the Plan of Salvation followed by President Nelson's talk on joy. The two work perfectly hand in hand. The whole purpose of God's plan for us is that we might have joy. Sometimes I think we lose sight of that. I know I do. I forget that behind all of the commandments, the callings and assignments, the ordinances we perform, and the trials and challenges we face there is one overarching purpose; that we might have joy. It is a beautiful concept to think about. 
          Missionary work is moving on, though a bit slowly for now. But this is the Lord's work and His will shall be done. We got some new investigators this week, including some more barbers. For some reason we teach a lot of barbers. One of them had looked up everything he could about Mormons on the internet and had a giant list of questions to ask us. Most of what he read was very much untrue and random. One of the funniest questions he asked us was if we have super powers in the church. Apparently he read that we can jump really high. It was hard for me not to laugh after hearing that one. 
          Well, that's all for now folks! I hope that all of you have a wonderful week full of the joy of Christ. Thanks for being amazing and inspiring me to be better. I love and miss you all!
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn
Since you have been in Ghana:
Q. What has been the most challenging thing or experience?
Just adjusting to a new culture and way of life. There is no way to really understand life here without living it for yourself. 
Q. What has been the most rewarding thing or experience?
Being an instrument in the Lord's hands to help others become converted to the Gospel. It is such a sweet feeling to know that the Lord has used you to help one of His children.
Q. What has been your favorite lesson or experience?
My favorite lesson is one that I have learned from the people of Ghana. Despite great trials and challenges, despite adversity, poverty, difficult circumstances, the people of Ghana never let go of their faith in God. Rather they hold on to their faith even tighter. 
Q. What have you been changed by the most or how have you changed the most?
I think I have changed the most in the love I have for the people around me. I have gained a much deeper love for all of God's children.
Q. Who has been the person that has influenced you the most?
The Savior, without a doubt. From the moment I arrived here He has stood by me and shaped me to become what He wants me to be. I am still not there yet, but thankfully the Savior seems to have a lot of patience. 

Questions from Momma:
Q. What service have you given this week?
I haven't given enough service this week. I guess I helped Elder Fuller with some laundry and I made everyone pancakes to eat for general conference. 
Q. Who inspired you this week?
Elder Curtis inspired me in his talk about the Book of Mormon. I need to use the BoM more both in my own studies as well as in teaching. It has great power.
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
You can pray for the wonderful members of Nungua 2nd Ward.
Q. Were there any baptisms this week?
Sadly not. 
Q. Have you had a hot shower?  Do you even want one in Ghana?
No! It turns out our water heater is in fact not working. :(