Monday, June 30, 2014

June has come and gone

Hey everyone!  Hope you are all well and everything is going good this wonderful week.  I hope that all works out with the move this week.  This week for me has gone pretty well... we have been working, working, and more working.  We also enjoyed a little bit as we were able to get ground beef and we made hamburgers on Saturday.  That was really really nice... haven't really had real hamburger since back home.  But yeah... this week I went on splits with Elder Shinasi who is serving in the other side of Kojokrom.  That was a cool experience... it is only the third time that I have left my area when going on splits I believe and it was cool to learn from Elder Shinasi.  I think the  thing that I learned that I need to do more is just to be bold and confident in myself.  I need to not try to sweet coat things as much but just say it how it is.
But yeah... we are doing all we can but people are having a hard time keeping their commitments .. a bit of it is family stopping them from doing so.  So... we are continuing onward.  Today we went and played some soccer at the Takoradi stake center... Sekondi, Kojokrom, and Takoradi we all there.  It was fun.... and tiring.... I can't run at all anymore.... my endurance is gone.  But it is always good to get out and excersize... some people just take it a little too seriously.
But yeah.  Everything is going well.  Life keeps on ticking and we just have to make sure that we enjoy life the best we can... and the place were we will receive the most joy is found within this wonderful gospel.  
Well... I love you all!  I hope that you have a fabulous week.  Take care!
With love,

Elder Walston


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Wonderful Day in June

Hey all!  This week has been a good, fun and eventful week.  We started off this last Tuesday by going to Takoradi and having a Zone Conference.  We met with President and Sister Shulz and learned about our new mission president coming here next week, President Stephenson.  It was kind of like their farwell.  It was sad to say good bye to the Shulz but they have truly served and done a marvelous work here in Ghana.  When we were there Sister Shulz had us do a little activity... she had us all blindfolded and then we had to hold on to the rope and be lead by one of our leaders... there were many things that got in the way, such as bushes, ditches, trees, and whatnot... then at the end they lead us away and they told us to wait for further instruction.... then people started singing "Come Follow Me."  So I went there.  Sister Shulz compared the activity to life... there will be trials and difficulties that we have to get through and sometimes we can't see them coming or understand why we have to have them but nonetheless... they come.  But when we look to the Savior and follow him and his ways, our eyes can be opened and we will see what we have gone through and how the past, if endured well, has lead us to our wonderful reward.
Then after the conference on Wednesday morning we went and weeded a plot of land for some of our members.  They are planing on building a house for them there... that was a lot of fun.  I always enjoy being able to do some physical labor and help the people here... surely enjoyable.
Other than these things... not too much really happened this week.  We have been working hard to try to keep things going.  The World Cup has constantly been on people's minds here... they sure do love their futball.  But all is well.  We had a very cool experience this last week... we had this person we had been trying to see for quite awhile, but she was never available so we had not tried as hard to see her... but she called us last week and we were able to see her that day.... The cool part is that we had received a referral earlier that morning and it happened to be her younger sister and now we are able to teach the both of them.  A blessing from the Lord.
Well... I need to go, But I love you all!  I hope that you all have a splendid week.
With Love,
Elder Walston
President and Sister Shulz and I

Our service project this week... we went and weeded a member's land.

Soccer ball I bought ( I like what it says.... so Ghanaian).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cat, Rain, and the World Cup... makes life interesting

Hello everyone!!  Hope that you have had a wonderful week and I hope that the preparations for moving are going well for you back home.  Sounds like everyone is definitely keeping busy back home.  We have been busy here as well, but struggling with having the investigators keep their side of things... we ended up dropping 8 of our 12 investigators this week because people weren't ever able to see us or weren't keeping any commitments anymore...  I have found that we can only help people the most we can but then it comes to the point that people have to act for themselves... we can't make people act... we have been given agency so we can only help others see the good choices that they can make... but we can't make those choices for them.  So we have been trying to work on having this area pick up again.... just as soon as I thought that things were starting to get good again... it took a little dive, but that is life... sometimes it's a roller coast ride :)  But all is well... just going to require a little more work.  And that is going to be a little harder as the World Cup started this last week... people seem to have the attentions otherwise occupied.  and since USA is playing Ghana today... I have been getting people saying that "We are going to score you!" and how USA is going to loose today... I guess time will tell.  Interesting that the first match for either side is USA and Ghana.  It has been raining a ton this week as well... Elder McKeon and I were drenched on Friday.... completely soaked.  And we went Friday after noon to go make fufu for a family in the ward, as we have been trying to work with and serve the members.  That was tons of fun, but while I was there I knocked my scriptures off a ledge into a bucket full of the rainwater.... Opps. Luckily they didn't get too wet as the case Mom sent me protected most of it :)  But yeah... good thing that I was carrying my old scriptures that day that were already falling apart.  But yeah... yesterday was sweet.  Our ward had three baptisms yesterday, one of which was a child of record but we have been working with reactivating the family a lot... they were so happy.  It was really cool to see.  And then we were fed a bit yesterday.... the Relief Society president, Sister Eduful, fed us etil, something like banku.  It was really good but then we went to take a member to go to a lesson with us but he insisted us to eat first.  And he was eating cat!  So we had some nice cat and soup that tasted really nice... cat is probably the nicest meat I had or at least one of the best... it is really similar to chicken.  Then we were given coconuts.  When I first had coconut, which was my first week I hated it.... it was really nice now.  I crave Ghanaian foods now.  It is kind of interesting.
So recently I have been reading the New Testament and as I have been reading things, events about the life of Christ have become clearer and clearer... funny how that happens.  But one thing that I have noticed is how bold Jesus Christ really is.  He boldly states the truth, which many find hard to believe as much of it is new to the people he is preaching to.  He was showing them the way and how he was sent there to be the way.  But he also did it with such humility... he truly is the master teacher.  When we look to him we truly will learn a ton.
Well, I love you all!  I hope that you all keep safe and have a wonderful week!
Elder Walston

My Fante name is Kwabena and this can has my name!
Part of an unfinished house collapsed

How they collect water

Elder Walston waiting to eat cat.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Tender Times

Hello all!  Hope that you all had a wonderful week!  It was a pretty good week for us.  It has been rough as most of our investigators haven't been doing anything that we have asked but it still has been good.  Elder McKeon and I are working hard and it is a blessing that we are going to stay together at least another transfer.  I am lucky to be able to stay here... I love Kojokrom and it will be my longest area so far.  But yeah... this week has been full of service.  Which I love to do.... I pounded a ton of fufu this week.  My hands now have a few blisters but it was all worth it... people are always surprised to see white men do work.  The people here have the idea that whites are weak and can do any physical work... always fun to surprise them.  But yeah... we even went to one of our member's and investigator's houses and made fufu for them and their family...that was a very fun and cool experience.  Doing things like that just helps you to know and relate to the people here better.  It was really rather cool.  It started pouring rain in the middle of doing it so it made it a little tricky.  It really is raining a ton here though.  I have seen three houses in the past two days where the rain cause the foundations to give out and the house partly or completely collapsed.  One of the house was one of our members home.... the one side just completely crumbled... sad to see.
These last few months we have been working with a less active family and things have started to go a lot better for them.  They have really wanted their 8 year old daughter to be baptized and we have helped the family become active again so that can be accomplished.  It is really cool to see people change.  The hardest thing to do here is reactivation I feel.  There are so many less actives and that can be due to the carelessness of the missionaries and the members and it can put the people's salvation at jeopardy... we just have to do our best to make sure that we remain strong and help all those around us.
Well... I love you all!  I hope that you have a wonderful week!  Take care!

Elder Walston

Pay close attention to the girls shirt...
Excited to be eating Pizza!
Excited to be eating fufu!

"The toilet I got to use :)"
"My last time seeing Elder Molefe.... he goes home today."

"Julie & I"

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Already?

Hey everyone!  I hope that the week has been very good for all of you.  This week has been pretty sweet.  Thanks to Mom and Dad my companion and I had the stuff to make pizza and enjoyed some yesterday.  It was really nice. :)  Haven't tasted much American food in quite a while... still tastes rather nice.  We were really full leaving the apartment after eating and we went to our recent convert's house to see if she could help us with some lessons, but when we get there she said that she had fufu waiting for us... I was so fulll after that but very grateful of the generosity... the people here in Ghana are so caring ... but on to this week.  It rained a lot this week... all the Ghanaians are starting to say... oh, the rainy season is here.  The rain makes it a lot harder to go proselyting because all the lessons that we teach are outside and the Ghanaians sleep or other stuff when it rains... but it was all fun.  On Tuesday we had a member of our ward ask for a blessing of comfort from us, as she is taking her exams in the last year of her high school, and she had a friend, who is not a member come to get one as well.  It was a really cool experience to be able to give these blessings and I was really able to feel guided in what to say.  I have had a lot of opportunities to give blessings since I have been here in Ghana and it is a very cool experience.  Yesterday I was also able to take place in a confirmation.  These are all very cool experiences where I have been able to have been guided by the hand of the Lord.  Blessings of doing the Lord's work.  This week we had a hard time with some of our investigators... one of them, was looking really promising and all of a sudden told us to stay away from her for the next month.  No reason. She won't explain, she just wants us to stay away for a month... then we had another one who has just started lying to us... especially about the Word of Wisdom... it is hard to help people when they deny themselves the help and won't face the truth.  Sometimes the truth is hard, but when we face it, it will be the best for us in the long run.  So we ended up dropping those two, at least for now.  Until they will listen to that which we have taught them.  But this week we starting teaching a Naval Officer in the Ghana Navy.... big man and a sweet man.  We taught him inside his home... a really nice home and I think this was only the second time where I have taught a lesson while sitting on a couch...  I have hope for this man a he was a referral from one of the members in our ward. 
Well I love you all!!  Hope you have a wonderful week!
Elder Walston