Dear Family and Friends,
What a week! Like the title says, it's just an adventure here that you can't really all take it at once. I'm loving it so much!
To explain what I mean, everything I am about to say actually happened.
Tuesday there was a member-family that wanted us to come and visit with them. So we did of course. They live on the beach, an area I hadn't been to yet. Anyways, to get to their house we had to cross parked ships and then get in a little canoe for a boy to take us across a small amount of water. Supposedly that was the only way to get to their house. We told the boy we'd pay him when we come back to get back on shore. I was really sad to see the amount of garbage on the shores. It sounded like Hawaii had a good deal of trashy areas, but don't ever take a clean beach for granted!
After we got there, we talked and what-not, and then my companion took off his shoes and climbed a coconut tree! Right on a beach! I couldn't believe it! So we enjoyed a few coconuts and walked barefoot around for some time. Then it was time for us to live with Prince, the father, for PEC meeting at the chapel. So we're walking back, and we get to the water where you need a canoe. Well the boy and the canoe were gone. I was seriously contemplating swimming/walking across! But Prince took off his clothes and carried us one-by-one on his back to the nearest ship! I couldn't believe it! Then 20 minutes later we were in PEC meeting. It's just an adventure that is hard to describe! Things that happen to missionaries here don't even come close to happening anywhere else on the planet. I love it.
You know, just going to PEC meeting... nothing special really. At one point the water was up to Prince's throat... Our shoes and socks got soaked, but the rest was dry! Prince is the man!!
Friday night Elder Liongitau and I went to Papa's Pizza! We'd been planning it for the whole week, and I was super excited for it. It's really expensive, but boy was it worth it! It was my first American meal since the MTC, and my first pizza in 3 months. I got a 10-inch pepperoni with cheese and pineapple and ate the whole dang thing! It was sooooo good! I'll be honest though, I felt a little spoiled eating expensive food. Like almost worldly? Hard to explain, but I felt different. The next 2 days my stomach was tore up - maybe it had to do with the 1-liter Coke I chugged that night....!
30 cedis is outrageous for a meal. I mean, to them it's 30 dollars for a pizza. They don't exchange currencies. You get 2 balls of banku for 1 cedi, enough to fill you for basically the whole day.
Saturday was Larbi's baptism... and it was a success! She's a bit larger than I am, so it might have been a bit awkward on the coming-up part... ha! Later that night I asked her about how she felt, and she told me she "felt like a new creature" and that her sins were gone. I thought that was cool. She has great potential to be a solid member in the church.
Larbi is great. 2 young kids. She's 35 year old
Sunday I gave my talk on the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. The Stake President told us after sacrament that our branch has the potential to be a ward by April 2016! It seems as though our efforts are paying off regarding the time spent visiting less-actives and recent converts. Sunday we had 95 people in sacrament, the most I've seen yet. Normally we're around 45-70.
Anyways, it seems as though this is Elder Liongitau's last week in Sangonaa. He's been here all 7 months of his mission, and I got a feeling he's being transferred next week. I'm the one carrying the phone now and giving the numbers to President, so I'm preparing to be a trainer. We will see what the future unfolds soon. I don't feel ready to take on the area and train without his help, but I've gotta take the steps sometime!
Elder Liongitau is awesome. I actually really like him. He treats me well and is helping me grow. We laugh and play a lot. He's a lot of fun! I will miss him when he leaves a lot. He gives food to someone every single day.
Pretty good argument for coolest companion ever..... I tried, and it's really hard! I didn't even get 1/4 the way. They do it all time in Tonga.
Never had a coconut till my mission. They're common here. Only 1 or 2 cedis. They used to not be sweet enough, but they're a nice treat now.
Sounds like Hawaii wasn't all that you hoped it was, but at least you can say you've been there now! Hope everyone is doing well and having a great week. Sorry about the heat in Hawaii. I don't know what weather app you're all using, but the actual temp. here is much hotter. Mid 90's everyday and the same percentage of humidity at night!
In case I can't get a better Christmas picture... this one's for Cousin Eddy!
Gilbert, a super great convert. Blesses the sacrament and comes proselyting with us when he's not schooling.
Keep up the school work and great grades. Thanksgiving Break will be here before you know it! By the way, this week marks 3 months! Hard to picture seasons and holiday's at home. We don't have anything of the sort yet. Fireworks are coming out, so we've bought a few for kids to blow up for us. By the way, next Monday we're having a dual zone activity where we all bring a dish from our country. Since I can't make anything american, I'm going to make PBJ's! But I haven't told anyone yet. It's going to be SO FUNNY. Oh I am so happy I'm in Ghana. This place is absolutely for me, not even a doubt.
It's called Cacklow. Wrong spelling of course. Not really sure what it is, but i like it a lot.
If I was home, I'd be surprised by actual homes. Running water and clean water sources, and probably just good old american food. I wouldn't take the things I have for granted anymore, like clothes. It's especially hard for me to see children with rags for clothes. I think when I get home I'm always going to handwash clothes and dishes. I saw a little girl this morning with just underwear on (which is normal) but her underwear was tied together cause it was worn out so bad. I felt pretty bad at that one.
I sleep great actually. Most nights I only wake up 1 time. Sometimes I wake up covered head to toe in sweat. It varies though. One of the other elders wakes up every night and takes a shower to cool off. I've had this reoccurring nightmare: I'm home and finished my mission, and everyone is asking me about my experiences, but I can't remember hardly anything that happened. Like I remember just the 3 months I've been out. I think it's a sign that I should take advantage of every moment of my mission. I've also thought about what I'll be like when I get home. If I was home today, I know for sure I'd be so different. Even what I've been through and see just in this short time have changed me and changed the way I see things. I'm enjoying this way of life quite a bit. On a side note, we lose power every day now. It's 24 hours off 12 on.