Monday, March 27, 2017

Except a Man Be Born of Water

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope you all had another great week. Ours was busy, exhasuting, hot, and full of joy. Much of our time this week was spent focusing on our candidates for baptism and going around the zone to do interviews for other missionaries candidates. It was a week of baptizing! Sadly, one of our candidates will have to wait on her baptism. She is staying with a man who is not technically her husband. They are trying hard to work out the marriage, but her parents are not willing to accept the man. According to the customs and traditions of Ghana that means they can not have their traditional wedding. We will keep working with them and hopefully work something out. Sister Theresa on the other hand had no problems come up and she was baptized on Saturday morning. She was so happy at her baptism. She was smiling the whole time. Theresa is 26 years old. She was born in Togo, but raised in a foster home in Ghana. She has a sweet and humble spirit and a deep love for the simple truths of the Gospel. On Sunday she was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

All of the focus on baptism this week caused me to reflect on why baptism is so important and so central to the Gospel path. The Savior taught us that "except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." But why did He teach that baptism is necessary for us to return to our Heavenly Father? As I searched the scriptures and thought about it I drew some conclusions. First, as we are baptized we are following the example of our Savior. As Nephi taught, if the Savior, who was perfect, had need to be baptized, how much greater is our need to be baptized by water. Second, baptism is a sacred ordinance through which we can make covenants with God. We covenant that we will take the name of Christ upon us, that we will keep God's commandments, and that we will serve him throughout our lives. Without such covenants we can not be truly bound to our Father in Heaven. Third, if we have fully repented of all of our sins those sins will be washed away in the ordinance of baptism. Without such a cleansing we would be unclean and unfit to enter God's kingdom. Fourth, baptism prepares us to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Without this great Comforter from God we would be lost. We would not be able to continue faithfully down the path our Savior has outlined for us. I know, just as the Savior taught, that baptism is an important step in bringing us in line with our Father's will. 

Here is the excitement from this week. Last night when my companion was putting his clothes in water to soak he called me over. There was a scorpion swimming in the water with his clothes. It had been hiding in his dirty laundry. Scorpion number three! This week I also found FRESCA at a little shop by our apartment. I have not seen Fresca in 20 months!!! The lady had four cans and I bought them all. Last night we enjoyed them with some members. 

My time for the week is up! I love you all so much. Thanks for continuing to support and love me. I am so grateful for all of you. I am grateful to be a missionary. I love this work and I love my Savior. Have a great week.
Elder Radmall

Questions from Momma:
Q. What made you laugh this week?
A member gave us some fruit juice in a bottle to take to our apartment. That night we each poured ourselves a cup of it and started drinking. It seemed really strong, but we kept drinking. Finally we decided something must be wrong with this drink. Upon inspecting the bottle very closely we learned that it was a concentrate. You have to dilute it with water. It makes 17 servings and we drank half of the bottle in one sitting. Haha oops. 
Q. How many inches long was the scorpion in last week’s photo (cause it looked big!!!)?
Not too long. Maybe 4 or 5 inches. 
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is your finger hurting?  Can you send a photo?
It really doesn't bother me at all. It just looks kind of funny. 
Q. What was the best moment of your week?
Seeing Theresa baptized and confirmed! 

Update on Elder Winborg, Bryan's former companion who was in the car accident with Bryan.  (Taken from a blog by the Pace's, a senior couple in Accra.)  Elder Akwara, his companion, currently has chicken pox, and they are required to stay indoors until the incubation period is over.  
On our way to Ho we stopped in a community called Kpong to check on these missionaries. Elder Winborg, in front, was the one in the car accident a few weeks ago.  He still has headaches but has more color and is generally doing well.  Elder Akwara, from Nigeria, was smiling in the picture.  Little did we know that we would return to make a medical visit for him on the way home.

Monday, March 20, 2017

They stop us on the street....

After district council.

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you have all had a great week. I don't know what it's been like wherever you are, but here in Danfa it was hot this week! One night when we returned to the apartment Elder Beck commented that I had a funny looking tan line on my forehead. Sure enough, I had a straight line where my bike helmet covers my skin. Haha. (Don't worry mom, I will repent and start wearing my sunscreen again.)

On Wednesday we were blessed with the opportunity to hold an exchange with Elder Miller and Elder George. They are the assistants to the president. In the morning we spent some time travelling around the zone and checking up on some companionships. After that we returned to our area and went out to see the people! I was paired up with Elder George and I learned a lot from his teaching skills and his humble heart. Elder George is from Zimbabwe

Other than that our week was proselyting as usual. We have been blessed with a lot of people to teach. We don't even have time to see them all! We very seldom have to go searching for investigators. People usually stop us on the street and ask us who we are. Yesterday a random man in his car saw us standing by the road and offered to give us a ride. It turns out he has met with missionaries before and would like to meet with us again! The field is white already to harvest. And to make things better we have a very strong and supportive branch. We are looking forward to baptizing Sister Theresa and Sister Doris this Saturday. A birthday present for mom. I can't wait! 

Last night we had some other missionaries from our zone come over to our apartment to play Monopoly. I haven't played Monopoly in years. It was a blast. 

It is pretty short this week. That is about all that I have to report. The mangoes on our mango tree should be ripe soon, so I will start making you all jealous by telling you about the delicious mangos I am eating. I love and miss you all to pieces! Thanks for being the best people ever. Have a great week! And Happy Birthday Mom! 

Elder Radmall

Our mango tree.

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. If you could be any animal in Ghana what would you be?
Probably a lizard. Most of the other animals here get abused. Chickens are eaten, children throw rocks at goats, dogs are underfed, and cats get run over. 
Q. What was the happiest thing you saw or moment you had this week?
I think one of my happiest moments this week was playing with some hilarious primary kids at church on Sunday. I will have to remember to take a picture of them next time. 
Q. If you could watch any movie right now, what would it be? 
Lord of the Rings. 


Questions from Mom:
Q. Are you teaching Sister Teresa English? 
She is attending a literacy class at the church. When we teach her it is all in English, so I think that will help her to learn it. 
Q. What language is spoken in Danfa?
Mostly Twi, my favorite. 
Q. How many children do most people in Ghana have?
I would say 4 is a pretty normal number of children. 
Q. How do people in Danfa make a living? 
Anything from selling food or phone credit to working a white collar job in Accra. We have one sister in our branch who works at the Distribution Center by the temple. 
Q. Are there wealthy people in Danfa like there were in Nungua?
There are some wealthier people, but not to the same extent as those in Nungua and Sakumono. 
Q. Funniest moment of the week?
Out of the goodness of my heart I made no-bake cookies for everyone to enjoy when they came over to play Monopoly. They thought it would be funny to eat all of the cookies and leave me two empty plates in the fridge. Haha... Ha. It was funny for them at least. 
Q. Most spiritual moment of the week?
I think my most spiritual moment this week came as we testified to an investigator about repentance and the power of the Atonement. We assured her that while sin will always bring pain, guilt, and sorrow, the Atonement is powerful enough to heal all of our wounds. 
Q. How is your finger?   I talked to a nurse this week and she said if it continues to hurt you need to have it x-rayed!!!
It is feeling much better. The lump is still there, but the pain is mostly gone. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Perfect Plan of Happiness

 Mission Leadership conference - pizza, a rare treat in Ghana, was served.
Bryan's companion, Elder Beck, in the middle with the glasses.  He is from Lehi and this is his last transfer.

Hello Family and Friends! 

What a week! I hope you are all doing well. A few days ago when we returned to our apartment in the evening we found a present waiting on our bedroom floor. It was another scorpion! I guess this is a bigger problem than we originally thought. We called someone to come and spray our apartment for us, which he did on Saturday. Today while cleaning I found several large cockroaches and a centipede in areas where he sprayed. They were all still alive. The adventure continues! 

Here in Danfa we are blessed with a lot of awesome investigators to teach. It is hard to work all of them into our shcedule for the week. We are planning to baptize three of them on the 25th of March. Their names are Mary, Doris, and Theresa. Sister Mary moved into our area a few weeks ago. She was learning from the missionaries where she lived and attending the church there. She moved here, showed up to church, and pretty much asked us to baptize her. I can't say no to that. Doris is Mary's good friend. Sister Doris doesn't speak much English, but with some help from Mary she is also growing to love the Gospel. Theresa has been meeting with the missionaries for a while now. She is in her mid twenties and just loves the church. She is good friends with many of the members and she has a sweet, happy spirit about her. I am very excited for all of them!

As we went around teaching this week many of our investigators questions and concerns lead us to talk about the Plan of Salvation. In particular, we spent a lot of time teaching about the Fall of Adam and Eve and its significance. I have found that many people struggle with the idea of God commanding Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil when it was part of His plan all along. This use to be a major concern of my own. While I do not know and comprehend all of God's reasoning behind the Fall, I have come to realize that it stands as a powerful example to all of His children. God gave Adam and Eve a commandment knowing full well that they would transgress it. God knew they would fall. That is why He also provided them with a Savior. Jesus Christ was chosen before the world was created to raise God's children from the Fall. In like manner our Heavenly Father has given us commandments knowing perfectly that we are simple and weak children who will break His commandments and fall. And so the Savior was foreordained to not only save us from the Fall of Adam and Eve, but also from our own falling to temptation and sin. God gave Adam and Eve a commandment knowing that they would break it, just as He knows that all of His children will be imperfect in keeping His commandments. But out of His perfect love he has provided a plan to redeem us from our sins and mistakes. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is perfect and infinite. He can and will reconcile us unto God on the conditions of repentance. There is truly no greater sign of God's love for His children than the Savior whom He sent to redeem us from our sins. I am forever grateful for the perfect plan of happiness available to all mankind and that I can be lifted back to my feet when I fall.

I just love being a missionary. This is the Lord's work and I am happy to be a part of it. I miss you all so much and I continue to pray for you each day. Thanks as always for your love and support. Have a wonderful week. 
Elder Radmall

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. What was the happiest moment you had this week?
My happiest moment this week was talking about video games with Elder Beck while eating fried rice and chicken. 
Q. What was the strangest thing you saw?
A giant centipede! It was big and creepy and it moved fast. 
Q. What made you feel grateful to be alive this week?
Thinking about my awesome family! 
Questions from Mom:
Q. What was your most spiritual moment this week?
This week we visited a member with a son who is pretty severely disabled. They have almost no money
Q. How many people are in your branch?  Do you have a ward choir?
We are just about up to 150 members. They have a wonderful choir. They even sang last Sunday. The branch is hoping to become a ward in the next couple of months. 
Q. What do the youth in Ghana do for mutual?  Do they have a mid-week activity?  Do they ever involve the missionaries?
I am not really sure. This is the first area I have served in where they have mutual. 
Q. What is your favorite tie? 
I think my favorite tie right now is one that my trainer gave me. It is a brand called Jatala. They are made in Nigeria and they are indestructible. 
Q. Dad noticed you paid fast offerings last year.  Did you take the money out of your missionary funds?  Do you have enough for food each month?
We are asked to pay a fast offering each month from our subsistence money. I have more than enough for food. 
Q. How much pain is your toe in?  How are your shoes holding up?
Not too much. I can still walk and ride my bike just fine, so nothing to complain about. My shoes are still sturdy as ever. 
Note from mom - Bryan has a cyst in his finger that was mostly likely caused by the car accident.  The mission nurse tells him it will probably need surgery when he gets home.  

Here is a report on Bryan's car accident from a blog by the Pace's, a senior couple serving in Ghana.  This blog post had details we had not known before.  We love the Pace's.  Sister Pace serves as the mission secretary and we receive emails from her occasionally.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Angels Watching Over Them

Monday, we received word that four of our missionaries were involved in a vehicle accident near Akuse. (Akuse is located about 2 hours northeast of Accra and is part of the Kpong District).   The missionaries, themselves actually informed us that they were ok, but that there were injuries.  The four of them were riding in a taxi toward Akuse to see the missionaries there and to have an activity.  The taxi hit a pothole and blew a rear tire.  The driver over corrected and the taxi rolled over.  No one but the driver was wearing a seat belt, so all four missionaries were thrown to the roof of the car and then into each other as it flipped over. (Only drivers are required to wear seat belts and taxi drivers cut them out of their vehicles!!) Fortunately, everyone stayed inside.  A good Samaritan stopped and transported them to a local hospital.  At the hospital, the medical team bandaged them up, took X rays, and saw no major injuries. President Heid immediately asked our mission nurse, Sister Jones and her husband, to drive to Akuse, pick up our missionaries, take them to their apartment, pick up some clothing, and to bring them to Accra. Within a few hours they were at the mission home and under our care.  They were again assessed by our Area Physician and further treatment administered.  One of the missionaries had some cuts from the glass but most were just seriously bumped and bruised.  They were extremely fortunate ,given the circumstances.  We truly believe that the angels were watching over them. (Remember we had a mission truck totaled a few weeks ago when missionaries hydroplaned during a rainstorm.  We have been doubly blessed with no injuries in these recent two incidents.)

Three of the missionaries are back in their areas at this writing.  For one of them, however, President Heid requested that he say a few more days.  He was suffering from a concussion and President felt he needed a little more time to recuperate.  

We are so glad they are doing well and are dealing with this traumatic experience with strength and courage.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy Ghana Independence Day!

Having pizza after the missionary leadership council.

Hello family and friends!

Happy Ghana Independence Day!!

This week has been hard. We attended district council meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday we went down to the mission home to have some meetings there. After our meetings I had Dr. Anderson look at one of my knuckles that has been disturbing me since our crash. It turns out I had a cyst. Don't worry, he stabbed it with a big needle. In the midst of our meetings we have been trying to spend as much time as possible in our area teaching investigators and less active members. On Friday I woke up with a nasty cold and cough. I popped a couple of pills and bought some hard candies to suck on throughout the day. By Friday night my voice was almost completely gone. Saturday I woke up and loaded up on more pills and hard candies. On Sunday we had a lovely fast and testimony meeting despite my interrupting coughs. After church we ran to meet with the stake high councilor over missionary work. When we got back to our area we saw a few people before doing our weekly report. Last night I crashed. 

It was a hard week for me, but it was also an amazing week. This week I got to go out each day and invite people to come unto Christ. The Lord humbled me this week as he led us to people with trials and difficulties far larger than my own. But despite their harsh conditions they continue to smile and to laugh. They read their Bible each day and pray to their Heavenly Father. I love the people of Ghana. They teach me so much every day. Here are just a few of the people we saw this week.

Yaw- Brother Yaw is an investigator. He loves meeting with us and talking about the Gospel. He is in his mid-twenties. He recently lost his father which means that a lot of pressure has been placed on him to arrange for the funeral. This week we taught him about the Plan of Salvation. I think the Spirit testified to him that death is not the end and that he can see his father again one day. 

Bro. Watson- This is a member of our branch. He is hilarious. He is Jamaican, but spent almost his entire life in London working in a medical lab. He has retired and moved with his family to Ghana. His wife is from the Philippines. He has such a kind and giving heart. He is currently building a huge structure next to his house to give the youth somewhere to meet and play games for mutual. He has also employed many of the youth in a business he started selling fruit drinks. On Wednesday we went to the hospital with him to give a very sick sister a blessing. On our way out he gave her husband the money needed to pay for their bill. 

I was hoping to write about a few more people this week, but I will have to save them for next time. In other news, one of my investigators from Nungua who I taught for seven good months was baptized on Saturday!!! Brother Fortunate was finally able to overcome his Word of Wisdom problems. I heard that he was very happy. 

I love you all. Thanks as always for your love and support. I continue to pray for all of you. Have a great week! 

Elder Radmall

Today, March 6, is Ghana Independence Day.  Today they celebrate 60 years of independence from Britain.

Questions from Momma:
Q. How is your back?
It is doing much better! I can raise my head off of my pillow now and I can sleep laying on my back. Hopefully it will be back to normal soon. 
Q. Have you ever seen a crocodile?
Not in Ghana. I am still hoping it will happen though. 
Q. What made you laugh this week?
This week Elder Beck and I had a hilarious conversation about who we would choose to be companions with out of the Old Testament. Elisha would be bad because he would end up calling a bear out of the woods to eat anyone who insulted him. Moses has difficulty speaking. Jonah would refuse to leave the apartment. Nobody would be able to understand Isaiah. I think I would choose either Elijah or Joseph. It was a funny conversation. 
Q. What did you cook for dinner yesterday?
Yesterday I made vegetable stew and we ate it with rice. 
Q. What was your most spiritual moment of the week?
On Thursday President Heid set apart 4 missionaries in the middle of a meeting we were having. It was powerful to hear the blessings pronounced upon the individuals for their service. It reminded me of my own setting apart and the blessings pronounced upon me. 

Questions from TeriAnn:
Q. Who killed the scorpion? You or a companion? And how did that go down?
Well, I was sitting on the toilet when I found it, and it was on the toilet paper... I kind of had to kill it. I took off my flip flop and gave it a good slap. 
Q. If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
A double cheeseburger meal with a large order of fries and a large mint Oreo milkshake. 
Q. What is your favorite word to use right now, English or otherwise?
The two words I use the most right now are "yo" and "sweet". 
Q. Do you still have an ingrown toenail?