Hello Family and Friends!
First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. There is no Halloween here of course, so nobody else around me understood what the heck I was saying when I yelled "Happy Halloween!" in the streets. It sounds like everyone was able to dress up in some fun costumes and most importantly eat a lot of junk food!
Fast Sunday tie in full-color! I got some shirts tailored, which was a genius move. I don't look or feel like I'm drowning in my clothes anymore! I also got a hair cut. Sunday is the day you have to look A+. I was called to give a talk on the Second Coming next Sunday.
There wasn't anything super cool or special that happened to Elder Liongitau and I this week, other than Elder and Sister Bednar, some Area of the Seventy, and all 14 mission presidents in the Africa West Area! One thing I thought was funny was that as soon as Elder Bednar walked in, we all stood up, and by the time we sat back down, his (and everybody else with him) removed their suit coats! Just like that! There was tons and tons of missionaries and their investigators there among everyone else. We brought Gilbert, the guy I baptized last week. Elder Bednar used a different approach than what we thought for his talk: he simply had people in the congregation stand up and ask questions to him, and he would respond! But boy did he lay it down! We are not suppose to chastise people, but rather "strongly encourage". I actually think he was chastising! He was wonderful. He really told people the truth, regardless of anything else. He had everyone laughing the whole night. It was great to be within sight of one of the 15 men who hold all the keys of the Priesthood on the earth... I was able to take a few pictures, even though I was far back. It rained really hard though right towards the end of it, so we all stayed inside 'till it stopped. Elder Bednar left immediately, so nobody was able to personally meet him or anything that I know of.
Elder Bednar! Good luck finding another picture of him without a suit coat on!
He was sweating!!!!!
Sister Bednar. She's really nice.
The day before (Wednesday), our zone helped out at the eye clinic they were putting on at the stake center. I was amazed to find out that the 4 or doctors there were 100% volunteer eye doctors from Utah, donating their time and materials to put this clinic on. As soon as we got there, the zone leaders told us to go sing in front of all the people who were in the chapel waiting for their examination! We had no idea! The 4 of us actually sounded really good, not gonna lie . I was able to also help out one of the doctors personally and see what he had to say about all the patients. It was really sad how many people needed eye glasses and had cataracts that could only be fixed through surgery, meaning that they would never be fixed. Even blind people came.
Sunscreen melts right off! Honest truth you are sweating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's not even funny. The doctors inside the stake center had a thermometer going, and they were complaining because it was 86 degrees inside with many fans running. I was surprised, none of us Elders were hot at all!
I stare at the moon every night. The sky is awesomely lit up here, especially during lights off! This was at like 5 pm.
Ghana is officially an English country, but it's such a joke. Nobody speaks english! If they do, its most likely broken or hard to understand, so you have to speak reaaaally basic english back. I get really frustated in some lessons because they have no idea what you are saying. Imagine teaching the Restoration (or any other lesson) to a 5 year old. That's about what we do every day. I'm trying to come up with ways or flash cards with pictures to visually teach the lessons. Nobody carries a conversation with another Ghanaian in english. I'm barely in an english speaking mission.
Richard, a boy who we are going to be teaching soon. He's been to church twice now. We'll see how it goes. Hard to teach many people because of their lack of english. Really challenging.
We did have a baptism this weekend! I baptized Maybell, and it was a success. I learned that Maybell was actually only 8 months older than me, meaning that all those events that happened to her was around the age of 14-15. Tough life. Our other investigator is still not as prepared as we would like her to be, so we hope by next weekend she will be ready. We also have a few other women (all our investigators are women, odd..?) that are really good investigators, so some solid baptisms should be on their way!
Maybell! 8 months older than me and 2 months younger than Liongitau! She forgot her birth date and how to spell her name...
it's rather sad.
The 3 shades of a human being: Brown, black, and white! Got the full racial combo here Mom.
That's about it for my week. Nothing super special besides Wednesday and Thursday. Elder Liongitau and I get along really well. We laugh and tease each other and enjoy our missions a lot. I did receive the package from Ninny today, so thank you for that! After I email you all we are leaving for some banku. I eat 2 balls now! Banku is better than fufu. It's the best. I eat 2 balls every day for lunch typically. No bucket baths this week. We've had a bit of rain actually, so stuff is all muddy and what-not. I think it's 24 hours off, 12 hours on. Pepe is the spice, and its hot, but not to where you need water. I like it too. They use pepe in a rice dish and it is good. You eat what is given to you, regardless if you are full or don't like it.
To let everyone understand a little bit logistically about things here:
1) We are to be in the apartment by 9:30 pm each night. We usually get home around 8 or 9 ish, depending on who we are visiting.
2) It is dark by 5:30 every night. The sun rises very early here!
3) Baptisms are 100% led by the missionaries. Everything that goes into a baptism is done by us! We don't really have a Branch Mission Leader...?
Crazy young women.... I still teach Sunday School, and one young woman told me after class "You look shiny Elder Nissinen". I didn't understand what that meant, and she smiled and blew me as kiss.... good grief!
I hope everyone is doing well. Keep up the hard work in school and extra-curricular activities. !
Hope everyone has a great week and a blast in Hawaii. Soak up some sun!!! That is an opportunity nobody gets here. I mean, to be able to go to a different place than your own city. Take plenty pictures. Join a luau .
If Joe or Rosie want an awesome song to listen to, listen to Mansa by Bisa Kdei or something. It's my favorite song right now. We hear music allllll the time, so you know all the songs. If you send me money big bills are better. I get a better exchange rate with bigger bills. 10's and 20's are fine. Make sure any money you send is good looking, like no rips or fades. They think that it is fake or something. I think they're nuts.
Love, Elder Nissinen