Monday, December 30, 2013

Afihyia Paa! Merry Christmas! In Peanut town!

I hope all is well across the pond! It has been here. The Christmas season has come and gone and it came in a whisper. Christmas is just another day in Ghana and most celebrating had to be done on the inside rather than the out. No Santa, no presents, no lights, no songs. We did have a Christmas tree thought! Made fully out of balloons by yours truly! We ended up giving it to a family and they just loved it! Even with the country not joining with our celebration, we tried to have as much Christmas as we could! Most of it was just normal proselyting but we went out and ate TONNES of food at a member's house and I made cherry cobbler at night. It was a nice time to see, after all of the bright and shiny things have been taken away, what Christmas is really about. 

Some pretty big news is that they sad day has come where I had to leave sweet little Agona. I am now in Nketsiekrom and Eshiem! Nketsiekrom in Fante literally means "peanut town" but I havent seen any increase of peanuts... It is a large town with a lot of work to do. Eshiem is a TEENY village that we have to travel to a few times a week. The town is smaller than a normal high school campus and has about 200 people in it. The tiny branch there (with a real building and a baptismal font!!) has about 40 members. Only 19 of which were able to come to church on Sunday... I have high hopes for my village and many improvements will happen to the missionary work that is currently happening. My companion is Elder Wamono from Uganda! We are having a blast and half learning each others cultures. I am learning Swahili! 

People in Esheim are not too exposed to people of the Caucasian race and me being of that race apparently makes me Jesus. Or so some insane old man said. I told him. I am not Jesus.

Isaiah 9:10 For unto us a child is born, for unto us a child is given!
Elder Riehle 

Ghana culture for birthdays are very different. Instead of presents and pampering, you get soaked with water. 
My last companion let it slide it was his birthday and he got the full brunt of it!

My Ghana-style balloon christmas tree and present!

Elder Wamono and I. He is a fresh guy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A new area and new companion

We were able to Skype with Elder Riehle on Christmas Eve. He moved to a new area on Monday. He is in Nketsiekrom (translates as Peanut Town) which is still near Takoradi and very hilly. He will also be working in a small village called Eshiem. His new companion, Elder Wamono is from Uganda.
Elder Wamono and Elder Riehle

Harrison Skyping Home

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jason is dead and Headbutted by a goat!!

What a crazy week! I hope you can tell from the title. First off, as of last week I have killed my first Jason! I will kill another one next year as well! Don't worry, all commandments are being followed. July, August, September, October, November. Jason.

This was a powerful week. Numbers wise, one of the most so far yet. We had a sweet 30 lessons with room for more. Days go by so quick when we have a lesson every hour. They are just a blur. We have bumped our 1 gospel conversation per hour goal to 2. I have friends in Korea, Japan, England and others that talk to people all day. I need to make sure I get that experience too! Also our goal of setting times after GCs has exploded in our face. Saturday was a solid 9 to 9 12 hour day, lessons every hour. 

This is the life! During a lesson, teaching the Restoration, a nearby goat apparently did not like the content of the discussion and straight out head butted me!! Right on my knee and had me limping around for a while! What made it worse, was they tied it up but it got unloosed headbutted me again! NOT on my missionary call! You are hereby called to serve and be headbutted by goats. No. It was really funny and added a good mood to the lesson. Maybe God works in mysterious ways?

What was nice about our 30 lessons is that half were with a member! We have about 8 youth that are preparing to go on a mission in the next year or so and we have made a big focus to get them out with us. One of the young men especially, Arthur-Young, comes out with us all the time and is becoming a powerful missionary! We are setting up a mission prep class soon.

My time in Agona is running short. The transfer ends in two weeks and according to all logic, I am leaving. It will be weird to leave the place that has become my home. Arthur-Young was looking through my planner and saw the day I had marked Transfer Day. He teared up and said, "Please don't say you are leaving." That was like a punch of love to the face. I have grown to love these people so much and one thing I have seen the most, the work is fueled by love. If you put your full heart and soul into the work, you will get so much in return.

Speaking of love. I just want to say that I love my Dad so much! This week is is big FIVE ZERO!! Half way to a century, Dad! Even with your salt and pepper hair, you are still the young guy at heart!

Modern day scripture. "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel." Joseph Smith

Monday, December 2, 2013


This week had some fun stories! Thursday was Thanksgiving! Elder Richards and I had big plans. WE prepared a favorite Ghana soup called inketsikwan or Groundnut soup which blew peoples minds off. White people that make Ghana food? WHAT?! Not going to lie. We succeeded, it was delicious! We bought a full chicken that some guy cooked on the side of the street, which may or may not be really
sketchy... And then, the best part, FIVE LITRES of icecream!!! The first time I had had REAL ice cream in Ghana. It was expensive but very very much worth it. We saw that from all that we got it was
actually a good amount of food... too much for us... So we called up our investigator getting baptized next month, Michael Dreamson, and said, "We are coming at 8 and we hope you are hungry!" As we were getting ready to leave a less active member, Danny, called to say hi and that he was by our house. We ran out side and kidnapped and told him it was for a good cause. We all went to Dreamson's tiny mud hut and enjoyed big time! Danny had never had ice cream before and Dreamson loved it so much that he is going to buy it next time. I will be sending pictures. It was so much more enjoyable making others happy than us getting belly aches.

More on a missionary note, our dear sister Noadia got baptized! The first one to be baptized in our new font at our chapel. And also, the first baptism in a some weeks and it was great to see the excitement
of a new member, especially now that we don't all have to trek to the river!!! Noadia is going into surgery next week to fixed her injuries from a gas accident a year ago that has left here with thick burns all over her body. She desperately wanted the holy ghost to be with her for her surgery. She has received such a strong testimony of the gospel and she cane already seen how it has blessed her life. That is better than 5 litres of icecream!

I have been thinking a lot about being a friend recently. And my dad sent me a sweet story about how a lady became friends with the missionaries and has now found the truth. There are so many people
that I walk by everyday and stop and talk to them and I have become good friends with some. But over time, I realized that the Gospel discussing had stopped. I was reading in Alma 16:14 where it says the
Alma and Amulek were "As many that would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, with out any respecter of persons continually" I quickly repented. I have so many people that it has been crazy. I set about 10 appointments with people that we walked by everyday. The best way to be a friend is to be a missionary. There have been 3 straight out of university guys who we see regularly that I had to make a bold and loving change with. We had been teaching them, but slowly it had become more chatting and less teaching, until one time I couldn't squeeze any teaching in at all. We came this time and said that as much as we have liked being friends, we are workers of God. We have given them commitments and they have chosen not to do them. We set a time with them in three weeks to decide whether they truly want to know what we have said was true. One of them got insulted and pouted, the other 2 respected what we did so much and told the other guy he was dumb. It is great to be friends and a missionary is the best kind of friend. An eternal one.

Alma 16:15 Like Alma and Amulek, I have been Chosen for the work.

"And thus did Alma and Amulek go forth, and also many more who had been chosen for the work, to preach the word throughout all the land. And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites."