Monday, November 28, 2016

Give Thanks

 Sister Forgive's baptism
Me eating a bafloat  (like a big unglazed doughnut).

Hello Family and Friends!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!! I hope that you have all eaten yourselves sick. We did. More on that in a little bit. This week was just wonderful. One of the most memorable moments this week came as we were contacting. We met a man (named Bright) sitting on his porch without a shirt on. At first I didn't have high hopes in talking to him, but the Spirit had prompted us to speak with him. He quickly invited us into his home and gave us a seat. From that moment the Holy Ghost took over. We were given exactly the right words to say in that moment. As we spoke, this man opened up to us about his sincere desire to find the truth as taught by the Savior. The Lord had truly prepared this man to hear the message of the Restoration. He readily accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and promised to begin reading right away. I have have high hopes for him.

We also had a baptism on Sunday! Sister Forgive, who has learned with missionaries for many months, entered the waters and made the covenant to follow the Savior. It was an awesome service. We did it right after church and pretty much the entire branch was there. I am so happy for Forgive and I hope that she will be a light to the rest of her family. 

On Sunday our district got together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was awesome! We all pitched in and bought a ridiculous amount of food. Ridiculous. We ate boiled yam and plantain, vegetable stew, fruit salad, some weird kind of potatoes and a ton of chicken. I soaked the chicken in some blended ginger, garlic, and onion the night before. It was sooo good! Then we had dessert. I made a chocolate and peanut butter (kind of) cake with chocolate frosting. We also had ice cream and hot fudge. We were sick that night. 

I have sadly received the news that I will be leaving Juapong. I just got here six weeks ago, but the Lord has seen fit to take me elsewhere. I won't be going far. My new area is Kpong. It is about thirty minutes from Juapong. I will so miss this place. I have grown to love these people so deeply in this short time. They have touched me and strengthened my testimony and faith in the Savior. How grateful I am that I was blessed to serve here.

I am grateful for all that my Heavenly Father has given me. I am grateful for the gift of life. I am grateful for the last 17 months I have spent among the blessed people of Ghana. I am grateful that each day I get to wake up knowing that I will spend that day in the service of God. I am grateful for trials and challenges which allow me to grow. I am grateful for my beloved family and friends. I can't say what my life would be like without any of you. Above all I am grateful for my Savior. He changes lives. He has changed mine and continues to do so each day. I feel Him strengthening me every moment. God is great! He loves us all and He pours out blessing upon us each day. We just need to open our eyes to see them. 

I love you all to pieces. Have a blessed week.
Elder Radmall

 Thanksgiving feast
Chocolate peanut butter cake

Questions from Mom:
Q. Do you still have any gloves to do laundry with?
Nah. It's not too bad though without them.
Q. Tell us about one branch member….
Sister Edem is an amazing woman in our branch. She is faithful and devoted the the Lord. She comes to everything. She has been a member for a few years now and has a great knowledge of the Gospel. She has put in her mission papers and should be leaving soon. She also loves to be sarcastic when she talks to me. So funny!
Q. Tell us about one investigator…
Brother Jerry and his family were referred to us by the RS president. Brother Jerry has some problems with alcohol, but this week we had an awesome lesson with him about the Word of Wisdom. He is committed to live it! His family lives along the Volta River. It is beautiful. 
Q. How is your health?
Q. What was your funniest moment of the week?
Elder Palmer and I soaked Elder Snell with water yesterday in honor of his birthday. It was awesome. 
Q. Who can we pray for?
You can pray for all of the wonderful members of Juapong. 
Q. What is your favorite thing about Juapong?
The beauty. The beauty of the people and the environment. 
Q, What new food have you tried this week?
Sweetened condensed milk mixed with crushed up cookies. Very healthy.
Q. Where does your branch meet?
In a rented building.
Q. Do you know who your new companion will be?
My new companion is Elder Howard. He is American. We were in the MTC at the same time.
Story from last week that I (Bryan's mom) forgot to include:
We got to watch an awesome broadcast yesterday with some sweet talks for the Africa West Area. I think my favorite was given by Elder Stevenson. He talked about how we can find joy as we serve, no matter our current circumstances. Then he shared that President Monson reports each week when he meets with first presidency and the twelve about the acts of service he has been giving to the elderly and afflicted. That was really cool to hear. He said President Monson is old, but he still attends and runs his meetings and magnifies his calling.

Some photos from the internet showing Bryan's new city:

Kpong meetinghouse

Monday, November 21, 2016

Let Go of the Nut

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope you are all doing fantastic. This week was exhausting and wonderful, as most weeks as a missionary are. We taught an awesome investigator named Moses about the Book of Mormon. He was not pleased with it at all. No matter what we said or taught he was not willing to accept that he needs anything other than the Bible. I finally told him to try reading it for just one week and to see how it made him feel. He agreed. I will let you know how that goes! I have been trying to read the Book of Mormon every day as well. I just love that book. It brings the Spirit each and every time I open it. I know that it is true and will bring anyone who reads it with real intent closer to the Savior.

Church yesterday we amazing! They did a broadcast for the entire West Africa Area. The speakers were Elder Clayton, Sister Stephens, Elder Dube, and Elder Stevenson. Their talks were all soooo good. Each of them has recently traveled to this part of the world and they shared some great experiences. There was an underlying theme of turning to the Savior for relief from our burdens and sorrows. Elder Dube (if you haven't heard him speak, go and look him up) shared an awesome story about some men who wanted to trap monkeys in Africa. If they used a net it would hurt the monkeys. They came up with a box with a nut inside. The monkeys would reach in to take the nut, but once they had grabbed it their fist would be too large to withdraw. Even when they saw the trappers closing in on them, they refused to let go of the nut. Then Elder Dube said, with his awesome accent, "Let go of the nut!" 

I wanted to write more, but alas, time is short. I love you all a whole bunch! You guys are the best cheer squad I could ever have. I love my Savior and I know that He lives and loves us all. With Him all things can be overcome. Have a wonderful week.
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What are you eating for Thanksgiving?
Hahahaha! Just you wait and see. I will send pictures. :)
Q. Any bugs in your bed lately? :)
Nope. Just in the kitchen, on the table, and all over the floor. And they just fumigated our apartment!
Q. What is the weirdest thing you saw or experienced this week?
Besides more naked people? I also saw someone with a pet monkey! (Bryan says most of the naked people they see are homeless men. He said it is very sad.)

Questions from Mom:
Q. Tell us about one of the primary children you have taught…
There is an awesome boy named Isaac who comes to church every Sunday with Brother Linus. None of his family are members, but he loves the church and singing hymns. 
Q. What is one word you have learned in Ewe?
Mia dogo. (We will meet)
Q. How often do members feed you?
Not too much as far as food is concerned, but they feed me with their testimonies almost daily! 
Q. How did Brother Linus hike with you – I thought he had been in a motorcycle accident?
Yep. That guy is a trooper. We asked to borrow a cutlass and he insisted that he was coming with us.
Q. Why did you take pillows to the zone conference?  What will they be used for?
It is for the mission to supply to new missionaries.
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
Listening to Elder Dube talk in his crazy Kenyan accent.
Q. A spiritual experience you might like to share?

This week I was very touched as I read the story of the Widow's Mite. She gave all she had to God. I have things that I am still holding back, things to work on. The Lord has given us everything, so why can't we give the small part we are capable of back to Him? 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Climbing Mountains

 Selfie on P-day hike
 Termite Hill
View from the top of the mountain.

(Note from mom - Bryan's new camera, sent weeks ago in a soft side envelope wrapped in his old ties, finally arrived.  And it works!!  Wahoo!)

Dear Family and Friends,
How are all of you? This week was a pretty awesome one for us. This letter might be a little scattered. Our area is doing great. Things are really getting moving. We have been able to find more people to teach. We have three people (Forgive and her two sisters) on track for their baptismal dates, and we hope to extend some more dates this week. Our branch is wonderful and full of life. Though we are few in numbers, and many people are very new to the church, they love the Gospel and are full of joy. 

On Thursday we had a multi-zone conference in Kpong. It was awesome! President and Sister Heid came and gave us some much needed instruction. The overall theme of the conference was obedience and the spirit showed me some areas I can improve in. Obedience is such an amazing and powerful principle. It is thanks to obedience that we have the example and Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Before the conference we got a call from the AP's. They wanted pillows. Juapong produces a ridiculous number of pillows. So we rode to our zone conference in style. By style I mean a taxi stuffed with about 30 pillows. If we had crashed, I don't think I would have felt anything. 

Our area is also full of motorcycles! They are everywhere. I feel like there are more motorcycles than people. They zoom throughout Juapong weaving around cars and people alike. It is crazy! And yes, people do seriously hurt themselves. We have two members in our branch with badly hurt legs due to motorcycle accidents. Yikes.

Today we had an awesome P-day. We decided to go and climb the mountain behind our apartment. We recruited Brother Linus, one of the recent converts, and told him to sharpen his cutlass. This morning we started out early and worked our way through farms and bush until we reached the mountain. We were only able to climb about halfway up before the trees became too dense to continue, so we sat down on some rocks and enjoyed the view. It was beautiful. 

That is all for this week. I love you all like crazy! Thanks for being your awesome selves and for doing all the good you do. Have a fantastic week. 
Elder Radmall

 Mountain behind our apartment.
 Elder Palmer ready to hike.
Brother Linus crossing the stream.

Questions from Mom:
Q. What was your strangest experience this week?
Visiting an old woman whose husband was an investigator of the church. Apparently he just died, and they were having his funeral. 
Q. How and when did your companion decide to serve a mission?
I think he fully made up his mind to serve about a year before coming out. He had some crazy long hair back home, and apparently a lot of people didn't think he would serve, but he submitted his papers and cut his flowing locks.
Q. How did angels watch over you this week?
They helped me not to get hit by any motorcycles, though there were some close calls.
Q. How is your health?
Great! I am as healthy as ever.
Q. How are your toes?
They are pretty good. They still look a bit off, but they don't hurt!
Q. What did you do at church this week?
I almost spoke in sacrament meeting, but I was saved by a visitor from the district. Then I taught in Gospel principles and we helped teach primary. 
Q. How do you like being in a branch as opposed to being in a ward?
It is fun. We get to take part a little more in the administration part of things.
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
Being swarmed by children in search of candy. I took my candy corn to share with the primary kids, and apparently they really really liked it. After they had a taste of it they literally had me backed up to a wall trying to get their hands on the candy. The funniest part is that is wasn't just the primary kids. The adults were also fighting for some of the candy! Haha.
Q. What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for loving parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone who is a part of my awesome family. You guys are all awesome. I am also grateful for fans which allow me to sleep at night. 

 I love the bush!
 The fields.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Has the dust made its way to you yet?
A little bit. Harmattan season is starting which means the dust will soon block out the sun. Yuck.
Q. What is the biggest bug you have seen in your new area?
Today we saw some huge ones climbing the mountain. Some were the size of my thumb. 
Q. Are there any cute kids that you have made friends with?
Of course! I am pretty much best friends with everyone in our primary. 
Q. What is the next holiday in Ghana? Christmas? 
There is some random holiday on December 5th, but no one really celebrates it. Christmas is the next big one.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The People of Juapong

Hello everyone!!

God is so great! Ghana is a truly blessed land and I just love serving among the people here. Today I will mostly talk about individuals that I was blessed to meet with over the last week.

I will start with some investigators. We are teaching a great sister named Forgive. She works for our branch president and has been coming to church for a good while now. She should be baptized by the end of this month if all goes well. She loves the Gospel and hopes to serve a mission in the near future. She is 19. We have also been able to start teaching her family. We have been meeting with her father and her sisters. I hope that through her the rest of the family will be able to partake of the joy of the Gospel. 

We are also teaching Brother Jerry and his wife Comfort. They have likewise been coming to church for a while now. They live about ten minutes away from Juapong in a small village called Little London. It is a beautiful place right on the Volta River. The houses there are mostly made of mud bricks. I will try to send some pictures next week. 

Little London (Photo taken from the internet)

Now I will talk about some members. President Kassah is our branch president. He has a couple of small shops here in Juapong. He is just a cheerful and loving man. You just want to smile when you are around him. He lived in the US for a few years, but said he got sick of the cold and the snow. He serves faithfully and is a great strength to the branch here.

Then we have Brother Linus. He, like most of the members here, is a recent convert to the church. He was in a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago and seriously hurt his leg. He has been unable to work since and stays with his mother. He has completely embraced the Gospel and is as faithful a member as you can find. He limps to midweek every Thursday and to church on Sundays. He is always ready to participate and serve.

That is all I have time for today. Juapong is a magical place with wonderful people. The Lord has greatly blessed me this week in many ways. I am trying to be more grateful for His blessings. He pours them upon me constantly. I love Him and I know that He loves all of us. Thanks for all of your support, love and prayers. Have a great week! I love you all.
Elder Radmall

Street in Juapong (Taken from the internet)

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What is the weather like in your new area? Still very humid and hot?
Yep! And it has been heating up. Harmattan is coming which means it will get very dusty and very hot. Yikes!
Q/ What is the most interesting/unique thing about the culture so far, other than the naked people?
The language! Ewe is awesome. It sounds like the people are singing every time they speak. 
Q. Any new foods that you have tried since being there?
Not really. They have a lot of the same foods here.
Q. How are the people in your new area different from your last area?
There are a lot of people here who haven't had the opportunity to receive much of an education, but they are so loving and humble. They are very hard working.

Questions from Kurt:
How many people are in your district, how often do you meet, and where does your DL live?
We are 4 in the district. Our DL lives in a town called Senchi about 20 minutes from us. We meet together every Tuesday morning.
Q. How big is your branch, and do you have all of the leadership positions filled? Do the stronger members hold multiple callings?
It is a small branch. We had around 35 in attendance yesterday. The main leadership positions are filled. I don't know of anyone with multiple callings.
Q. How big is your grocery store, and how far from your house is it?
Hahaha! What is a grocery store? We have an open air market in Juapong about ten minutes from us and some small shops closer to our apartment. 

Questions from Christie:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
We visited a member this week and her son is so funny. He is maybe 9 months old with a super chubby face. He mostly moves by scooting around on the ground. While we were there he was scooting in circles and squealing. It was so funny!
Q. Who made your week better?
Our awesome branch president. He is so funny and happy all of the time. He just boosts your spirits.
Q. What were the best and worst things you ate this week?
The best thing I ate this week was no-bake cookies! I made them for Halloween. The worst thing I ate was some fried chicken that I slightly burnt, but it wasn't too bad.
Q. What was your favorite scripture this week?
Helaman 5:10
Q. What are you thankful for today?
Today I am grateful for the technology that allows me to write to all of you guys. What a blessing!

Questions from Mom:
Q. Tell us about one person at church…
Brother James is a very sweet and sincere old man. It seems that he passes the sacrament every Sunday, and you can see how sacred he thinks that responsibility is. He comes in his white shirt (which is very big for the little man) and tie and seems to just love being there. We visited him last week and he proudly showed us the talk he has written to give in sacrament meeting in a few weeks.
Q. Tell us one thing about your companion….
Elder Palmer had some sweet hair back home. It was loooong. He is also very intelligent and has a great knowledge of the scriptures. 
Q. What did you do at church yesterday – talk, bless the sacrament??
Yesterday I bore testimony in sacrament and taught a class during the second hour. 
Q. Tell us about one investigator…
We have been teaching a women named Sister Comfort and her granddaughter (who does most of the reading for her grandma). They are very sweet and you can see the love they have within their family.  
Q. Who can we pray for this week?
You can pray for Sister Forgive and her family to embrace the Gospel and commit to it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

From Drought to Flood

 Elder Palmer and the Watermelon Tree
Yep! (Juapong sunset.)

Hello beloved family and friends!
I hope that everyone is doing splendidly. Happy Halloween! A Holiday where you get to wear ridiculous costumes, eat lots of sugar, and watch scary movies. It doesn't get better than that. 
The power is kind of on and off today, so I will have to be fast. From the time I arrived here in Juapong up until Thursday we were without any running water. Let me tell you people, nothing makes you appreciate water more than living without it. Nah, it wasn't really too bad. We bought a bunch of water in plastic bags and used that. Here is your challenge for the week. Try showering with just one and a half liters of water. Then on Thursday as we were out proselyting the heavens decided to open and it poured rain. We ended up having to take cover on the porch of some random family. So we went from no water to more water than we could handle! I guess God has to do something to give Himself a good laugh every now and again. Don't worry though, our landlord called in some water trucks to fill up our tanks, so we have been doing better the last few days. 
This week I got to meet some of the members of our branch. They are awesome and very devoted to spreading the Gospel. The Juapong branch was created less than one year ago, so it is still pretty small with a lot of new members. I am excited to be a part of its growth. We also found some great new investigators this week. One of them is named Zacheous. He is very intelligent and loved the message of the Restoration. He is especially concerned with the many different interpretations of the Bible. We bore testimony to him that the Lord has blessed us in our days with prophets and apostles who receive revelation. Then we gave him the Book of Mormon and promised him that the book would bring clarity and understanding to the teaching of the Bible. He promised to start reading.
Saturday night poor Elder Palmer became violently ill. When I say violent, I mean it. So he spent most of the night going from his bed to the toilet. On Sunday he still felt pretty bad, so we sadly had to miss out on church. Don't worry, he is doing much better today. Elder Palmer is very funny and smart and I love being his companion. 
That's all for this week. I guess that wasn't too short. Woops. Anyways, I love you all to pieces. God lives and wants to bless His children if they will but come unto Him. I can never thank Him enough for the showers of blessings He pours upon me daily. I hope you all have a week full of His tender mercies.

Elder Radmall

 Selfie time in our new apartment.
Stranded in the rain.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. How many people will you be teaching in your new area?
I think we can get a lot of people here. It will take a couple of weeks, but we will be teaching the masses!
Q. What is the most beautiful thing about your new area?
All of the trees and the mountains! We are also just a few minutes from the lovely Volta River. 
Q. How many people are in the ward or branch?
I think they get about 30 people on Sundays. Apparently we get to give talks and teach every Sunday.

Q. Are there any types of stores or markets out there? Where do you buy your food?
We have a market and lots of little shops along the road. No more KFC though!
Questions from Mom:
Q. Did you play the keyboard/piano at church?
I might next week.
Q. How many mosquito bites do you have?  (Please wear your repellant!!)
I haven't really had any since coming here actually.
Q. What new and unusual experience did you have this week?
The person running against Mahama to be president of Ghana passed here this week, so that was new. This place went crazy!
Q. What is the funniest thing that happened this week?
One day after we bought our lunch we turned around to walk back to our apartment and found ourselves looking at a very much naked man walking down the street. Elder Palmer kind of jumped when he saw it. I don't think the man noticed though. I laughed at Elder Palmer for a few minutes. 
Q. What was your most spiritual experience this week?
I think it was being led by the Holy Ghost to those who were ready to hear our message. That always builds my faith. 
Q.  How many Elders and Sisters are in Juapong?
Just the two of us. We cover some smaller towns around us as well.

A sweet note and photos from Bryan's former companion, Elder Kallon:
Hello Mommy How is life I hope every thing is good Long time.
I want you to know that i miss your son so so much he was my strange (strength)
that help me to be strong on my mission,my greeting to every one in the

Elder Kambwiri, Elder Bodily, Elder Kallon

Elder Radmall is serving in the area where the movie Freetown was filmed.  This is the Adomi Bridge which is seen at the end of the movie.  Bryan crossed over this bridge to get to Juapong.