Monday, December 12, 2016

Eternal Life and Elections

Fishermen at Kpong, Volta Region (taken from the internet)

Dear Family and Friends,

How are you guys doing? It is a fine and very hot day here in Ghana! I shouldn't complain. Some of you would probably love some warm weather right now. This week has been crazy and awesome. I will go through it day by day.

On Tuesday we had zone training here in Kpong. It was an awesome meeting. Our zone is made up of 14 missionaries, all elders. The AP's were also in attendance. I attempted to do an object lesson. I had an elder come up and hold a stack of hymnbooks in his hand. He had to keep his other hand behind his back. On top of the hymnbooks I put some cheap candies. Then I held out two packets of Reeses (thanks mom). The elder was very excited at the sight of American candy. I told him that he could have the Reeses if he could grab them. At first he struggled for a minute trying to find a way to grab the candy. Finally I told him that he could set down the hymnbooks and forfeit the cheap candy in exchange for the Reeses. He quickly did so. The Reeses represented Eternal Life. They are a celestial candy after all. The cheap toffees represented things of lesser value that can keep us from grabbing on the eternal life. We must be willing to give up the things of this world and to put off the natural man in order to inherit the kingdom of God. That is a concept that I am working on.  It is hard to let go of some things, but it is worth it.

On Wednesday Ghana had their presidential elections! It was a hard day to proselyte. No one was around.

Thursday we were instructed to remain in doors. Nothing too exciting happened though. People in Ghana don't really fight very much. They are too peaceful. We spent the day in our p-day clothes cleaning, reading, and playing cards. 

Friday they announced the results from the election. President Mahama lost by a narrow margin to Nana Akufo-Addo. This was Nana's third time running for president. Persistence pays off. Other than that, Friday and Saturday were pretty normal days.

Sunday was just wonderful as always. I loved partaking of the sacrament and turning my thoughts towards the Savior. Our branch is wonderful and funny. That night we had all six elders in our district at our apartment. We made french toast with hot fudge and smoothies. This morning we finished off the hot fudge with some pancakes. We like fine dining. 

That is about all for this week. Christmas is closing in fast. I am way excited! This is an awesome time of the year. Find opportunities to serve and to love others. Don't get distracted from the reason behind the holiday. It is all about the Savior. He is the light and life of the world. A light that shines in any darkness. Come unto Him and experience the peace and joy only He can offer. I love and miss you all! Have a joyous week.
Elder Radmall

Kpong Hydroelectric Dam

Questions from Mom
Q, What did you do on Thursday – your shut in day?
We did a deep cleaning of our apartment. I also insisted that we buy a deck of cards in preparation for that day. That entertained us for a good while. 
Q. Was there any rioting or unrest after the election?
Not really. We were blessed with a very peaceful election. 
Q. How are you working to reduce the cockroach population?  Any luck?  (Perhaps an exorcism – hehehe)
By keeping things clean! It is getting a little better, but we still have lots. 
Q.  Do the people of Ghana have any Christmas traditions?  Will your branch have a program on Christmas day – or just talks? 
They kind of just like to have a ton of food. I am okay with that. I am not sure what our branch will do on Christmas day. Probably just talks. 
Q. Do you have a branch choir?
Yep! They are pretty good. I will have to join them. 
Q. What was your most spiritual moment this week?
This week a missionary in our apartment was upset, but none of us knew why. I was thinking of what I could do to lift his spirits, but nothing was coming. I went and prayed about it and then I felt prompted to just go into his room and start talking. We ended up having a great talk for about half an hour. God heard my prayer and guided me. 
Q. What was your funniest moment this week?
After church yesterday some members brought a cake for a birthday celebration. They invited the whole branch. Before serving the cake they scraped off all of the frosting and threw it into a gutter. The sad thing is that it's very common to see that in Ghana. They are scared of eating too much sugar. Haha
Q. Tell us about one branch member….
Our branch president, President Sam, and his wife were married less than one year ago. He works at Ensign College here in Kpong. I believe Ensign College is owned by Elder Gay of the seventy. Sister Sam is currently expecting. Both of them served missions in Nigeria. They are awesome! 
Q. Tell us about one investigator…..
We have a sister named Gifty. She has been learning from missionaries for a while and has been coming to church. She wants to be baptized, but her husband has been in Accra for a while. We want to wait for him to return to Kpong so we can discuss it with him. Hopefully he comes soon.

Ensign College, started by Robert Gay of the Seventy, former mission president in Ghana

Questions from Christie
Q. What made you laugh this week?
I went to get a haircut this week and the barber was pretty clueless on what to do with my white man hair. That gave me a pretty good laugh. He did an alright job though. 
Q. What was the grossest thing you saw this week?
A cockroach frozen inside of our freezer. 
Q. What was the prettiest thing you saw this week?
This week there were beautiful clouds here. I love my clouds. 
Q. Who made your week better and how?
Some members in our branch fed us jolof rice and chicken this week! That was pretty awesome. 
Q. What is the coolest thing about the new city you are in?
People here speak quite a few different languages, so I get to here all sorts of crazy speaking. 
Q. What is the hardest part of your new assignment?
Just staying organized and communicating well with a lot of people. 
Q. What is the coolest part of Christmas in Ghana that we are all missing out on?
Making smoothies with fresh fruit in 85 degree weather. 

Questions from TeriAnn
Q. What is your favorite responsibility right now?
Probably just teaching. I love teaching the doctrines of the Gospel, especially when you can see the Spirit touching those you teach. 
Q. What is your least favorite responsibility right now?
Gathering and reporting numbers every Sunday. 
Q. How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
We aren't sure yet. 
Q. Who are you most excited to talk to on Christmas (it’s me right)?
Definitely you... and everyone else in the family. 
Q. How much are you traveling right now within your area and mission?
We travel around quite a bit within our zone. We only go to Accra maybe once a month. 
Q. What is your favorite thing about your mission right now?
All of it! I just love being a missionary. But I especially love getting to know so many people and to see how the Gospel can change their lives. 
Q. If you could take all of us any place on your mission where would your #1 place be to take us?
Wow. That is a hard one. I would probably take you to Koforidua. It is probably the prettiest area I have served in and there are great sights to see. 

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