Hello family and friends!
This has definitely been the craziest, wildest, and overall most challenging week of my mission. The stuff that happens is nuts! Tomorrow also marks 2 months...
Since it's all dirt, mud sticks around for days after hard rains...
Wednesday we had a massive, and I mean MASSIVE, rain storm! Of course, me and Elder Liongitau were miles away from the apartment, so we got stuck in it. We were so soaked! The only way I can properly describe it is we were wetter and muddier than Joe's wettest and muddiest soccer game. Head to toe! I dumped 4 shoe fulls of water out that night. Oh yeah, it was also lights out when we got back too, and my battery powered fan had died, so it was HOT! That sure didn't help my cold. T he rain felt good I guess, but you feel like you just jumped in a lake, so it's not really refreshing in any way. All your clothes and stuff just gets wrecked.
Dogs and rain.... But it wasn't raining dogs though!
Kids like rats here I guess. They buy and sell them, don't really know what else they do with them....
Thursday rolled around, and we had a great zone training meeting at the stake center, where we met the new fresh elders from the MTC. It feels so nice not being brand new anymore! You're not looked upon as a baby. Our district sang "Come To Zion....Remixed". We had been practicing it for a few weeks prior too. Somehow I was chosen to sing soprano, and everyone laughed when it was my turn to sing the 2nd verse like a girl. Oh well.
We like to goof around!
That night, while walking back to the apartment, I fell into a 3 foot ditch.I wasn't really looking where I was going, and it was dark out. It hurt pretty bad, not gonna lie! My nametag got all scratched up, pants scuffed, and my left arm got a beating. Ironically, I was singing "Don't Worry, Be Happy" right before it happened! So I stood back up, shook myself off, and kept singing! Oh yeah, we also had lights off that night too.... so no fan again...
The bad crash in the ditch. My knuckles, forearm, and elbow.
Everyone in our little area here speaks Ga. So I unfortunately don't know any Twi. I know just a few things in Ga. People go absolutely NUTS when you say something in Ga. They love when you do their culture. Kids will repeatedly ask me to say something in Ga to them, they literally all go nuts. I don't really know what the men do for work. Everything is really random as for working from what I know. Kids go to school usually 5 days a week. They go for a while then they have a break for a week or something. I don't really know much on that either. School's go for 2 sessions. Like a group will go 6 am to 1 pm, then another group will go 2 to 7 or something like that.
Friday we went on exchanges, so I was with Elder Fayeampah in his area. It was also his birthday that day, so we ate a fun breakfast and had a great dinner and party that night. Thanks Aunt Ninnie for the balloons! We had fun messing around with those.
This is what we had for breakfast on Elder Fayeampah's birthday!
Elder Fayeampah is 25 years old now... old man!
This was a super fun night.
Yeah I finally got my haircut Saturday night. The guy litterally spent 45 minutes on it. Like my hair was President's lawn or something. I was getting impatient almost. Looks good though. There's a good chance I'm going to be training. I'm a bit nervous on that, just handling the phone and baptismal records and all. Knowing the area is really hard too. No street names or anything. So I'm working now to prepare for that. I feel like there are many aspects I am ready for, but lots I'm not ready for. Training right after you've been trained is a challenge. We'll see what goes down in the coming weeks. We got 2 solid baptisms this weekend, so I'm stoked for that.
Oh yeah, I just remembered. A teenage girl hugged and kissed me on the cheek last week. A friend of an investigator that we see a lot. She hadn't seen me in a few days so apparently she needed to kiss me. Ugh.
Saturday was suppose to be a baptism for Fayeampah and Berguson's candidate, but he didn't show up, which is typical on baptism or confirmation day. So we were bummed out about that. Then, while we were sitting outside the church.... President Heid showed up! He wanted to come to the baptism. He ended up doing a personal interview in his truck to all of us, after which we all piled in and showed him our areas. He didn't have time though to drive around Sangonaa area, which was so nice! President asked Elder Berguson and Fayeampah the names of every road in their area... I don't know a single name of any road in our area! They don't really have names...? So we scraped by on that one by our teeth!
Saturday was also the hottest day I think I've been here yet. Incredible how hot it gets!
I just realized the weather here in Teshie! It's been high 90's all week! Whoa! . It is lights off right now, so we hung around the apartment after sports for a few hours until something opened. Elder Liongitau and I decided we'd just go to this cafe (the one with my bathroom experience). Luckily it's generator operated, otherwise we'd have to come tomorrow.
The food is great. No problems eating anything now.
I'm always sweating especially with the spicy food!
We woke up at 5 am to go buy shoes in Accra for Liongitau, but every tro tro was packed, so it never happened. He has 3 pair of shoes but 2 of them got wrecked cause that's just what happens out here. I'm probably going to give him some money.
Sunday rolled around and we had 2 great investigators show up. Somehow we lost track of time, so we looked at our watches and realized church was starting in 5 minutes... yikes! While jumping on my bike, I split my new pants clean down the center. So I quickly changed and we made it church in just 3 minutes! Record time for sure, but we weren't late...! Both of those 2 investigators are being baptized this Saturday. We have 2 or 3 more that are close to baptism, but getting them to attend church without us coming to pick them up is still a never-ending struggle. Our branch had their Primary Program Sunday! It was absolutely hilarious. The kids were super funny. They acted out the 10 virgins skit. I was laughing my head off all sacrament long. Super cute and hilarious. A girl got up in the beginning, 8 years old, and rehearsed the Articles of Faith without a single mess up. I couldn't read it as well as she did. It was incredible!
To sum it all up, this really was a week of trials. I told President that there were so many things that happened to me this week that I could have just thrown the jersey in and gave up for the day. But as for me, it's all about the attitude and how you handle situations. Like Gordon B. Hickley's father said, "Forget yourself and go to work!" I'm grateful for the opportunities I have to better myself and help others come closer to Jesus Christ. I'm working hard right now to memorize the area and where the members live, because the odds are I'm going to be training in 5 weeks. Elder Liongitau is helping with that a lot.
I've been wanting to do a shot like this since I left home. Finally a good day for it!
Great to hear from everyone this week, like always! Lots of pictures to come your way, as you can imagine from the eventful week I've had. Thanks for your all your love and support! And thanks to those in the ward for their letters too. Have a great week everyone!
There is one quote shared from a poem we read during Zone Conference that stood out to me:
"No matter what we go through, when we feel we can't take more,
Just stop and think about Jesus Christ, He's been there before."
Love Elder Nissinen