Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nyinasi Life

A whole new life now! I have moved to a small village with a new companion, Elder Bannerman from Accra, the capital city of Ghana. My new village is called Nyinasi (En-yeah-nah-see). It is a bit bigger
than Eshiem but it is much much much more isolated. We are a good 30 minutes from the nearest small town, Twifo Praso and another 2 hours from the city, Cape Coast. This being said, life is very very different now. The apartment has spotty running water which comes from a well which is not potable. We have to use pure water sachets for most things. The power is also spotty. I think it has been off for at least a few hours every day. The network? Zero. Even, we have to check in every night so that they know that we are alive! To do this, we have to walk to a nearby dirt mound, stand on our tip toes and hope we can get a sliver of network. We also have to call the mission president every few days so that he can know if we are still breathing!

I have been transferred to Central Region, Home of the Twi People. So my whole mission speaking Fante has helped me only a little no that I am in a village that only speaks Twi. My companion is fluent so everything I say has to be translated. I can count on one hand how many English conversations I have had. Fante and Twi are very similar but there are some big differences. I say something in Fante and they just look blankly back at me. Then my companion (using the companion spirit gift of discernment) translates what I am actually trying to say. Every lesson is translated and it is a completely different teaching style when my companion actually knows what fully they are saying. I am working on it.

Being so isolated, everyone are farmers!! Everyone has at least 2 farms what feels like a 10 mile radius! Already I have gone to farm twice! First time, was to a recent converts plantain farm. Sweet! We
got to run around with machetes and be whacking down plantain leaves! The second time was planting corn. They asked, "Do you know how to plant corn?" I say, "I have seen the Restoration movie, so of course!" Little did I know all those times watching that movie I was preparing my self for farm labor in West Africa.

This week we had to get permission from some parents of some investigators getting baptized. The investigators live in Nyinasi but the parents live in Ehboboi, about an  hour and a half walk away. To
cut down the time we got bikes! There are not many areas in the mission that can use bikes. We had the adventure of our lives. We went up huge rocky hills... with out gears. and Down mountains... with out
breaks. Just to make things even more fun, I got a flat tire and my pedal fell off on the way back. And oh, it was raining too.

Basically, I m having the time of my life. The work is going so well and God is blessing us so much. I wont be able to send pictures except for once a month because the computers I am on now are toooo slowww.

Till we meet again.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moved Again

Somewhat a shocking week. As the last week of the transfer, the thought was that my companion would be going and I would be staying to take over. But the surprising news is that both of us will be leaving and two brand new missionaries will be coming in our stead. This will be the 3rd time this has happened to Eshiem and so this time I am making sure I am leaving a massive amount of information so that no sheep are lost. We have been teaching some sweet people there, but with no cell network, we don't have phone numbers for them. So Sunday, I took the Branch Mission Leader around to every single one of our investigators/potential investigators and I am drawing a map and writing about each one of them. I will not let any of God's children be lost just because I didn't tell the new missionaries about them!! I will be praying so hard for all of them by name. I know the Good Shepherd will never let one of his sheep be lost. 

I will be going to a place in Central Region called Praso. It is the infamous place in the mission as the place with out water or power or cell reception (unless you are standing on top of the house or in a tree) and no electricity!  Woohoo! Those are just the stories, how it really is I don't know. I'll be going right to another lovely village and I will be serving with a companion from Ghana! So hello Fluent Elder Riehle! Here I come!

If I don't send emails for the next few weeks, don't worry. I am alive but just in a 3rd world village in Ghana!

Alma 22:4 Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him to another way. He has gone to the land of [Praso] to teach the [Fante] people.

Me and my Ghana Grandmother in Eshiem

A record breaking 16 bodies in a taxi! Most of them are small girls.. but Still. They even still invited us to join!

The village that I will forever love. Just make sure you don't blink or you will miss it. Walk 5 minutes down this road and you have seen it all!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy 57 Birthday for Ghana

This past Thursday, 6 March, was the Ghana Independence Day! There would have been plenty celebrations if a massive rain storm had not came and blew everything away! 

This week I have thought a lot about looking out for others before caring about myself. Saturday night, we had closed for the day and were walking the long 30 minute walk to the apartment. As we were going it was slowly getting darker at a normal pace, but in the distance we saw a dark black sky looming towards us. With faith we said we would be able to make it home before it hit, but God had other plans. We were walking up a big hill and the wind started to pick up and it got very very dark. When the rain started picking up, I wanted to start bolting towards the house to prevent myself from getting wet. But like I said, God had other plans. A woman a bit down the hill was struggling to run with two large bags and a baby on her back. I turned around and went down and took the bags from her and started to run. For what felt like a long time, the woman and I ran through the indiscernible paths through the plantain trees with my tiny torch light. I ran with her all the way till I got to her house and I put the thing inside and ran away. Along the way, I got that her name is Mary and that she was leaving in the morning to another town. In the rush, there wasn't really enough time to explain to her that I was a missionary from the True church on the Earth, but hopefully Mary will never forget the guy in the white shirt and tie that ran her home in the Hurricane. 

This week we made preparations for the baptism we postponed last Sunday. We made sure Friday that the font (which is out side the chapel) in Eshiem would be full and ready for Sunday. All was well! Water was on! Font was full! But.... Sunday morning. Water was off and the Font was not filled. We found out that a leak along the side allowed all the water to spill out and there was no water with in 5 mile radius to replace it. But alas! All was not lost! We happened to be having another baptism planned for the same day in the other ward, Nketsiekrom. So after, church in Eshiem, we made a little branch caravan of taxis down the road and was able to complete the baptism. God always has a plan and all we have to do is humbly follow it.

"A life lived for others is a life worthwhile" Albert Einstein 

Elder Riehle

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NO Light. NO Water. NO Problem

Sometimes, you never appreciate something till it is gone. This week we have on and off power and no water! I was amazed how much having no water really changes... everything! Water is life!

This week were preparing for the baptism of our good friend Elvis who lives in Eshiem. This would have been the first baptism in the village for about 6 months and the first one to happen in their new baptismal font. Notice I said "would have." The baptism was unable to come on because, well, there was no water. And water is pretty important for baptism. We tried to think of alternatives, but for some reason, buying water bottles seemed to be a bad idea. It would have meant buying 400 water bottles! So we had to push it off till next week.

Not having water was ok until we ran out of dishes and we had to wash our clothes. That's when we did end up buying the water sachets bags and went on excursions to find neighbors with wells. I have never been so conscience about water before!

I learned a big lesson this week. Anything can be a crisis, but that is your choice. Not having water was tough, yes, but I know that we can live. Life goes on. It can be a crisis if an investigator doesn't come to church, OR we can be cool-headed and think about how to help solve their concerns. Don't let life be a crisis, go out into life and smile and it shall be well. Or in Fante, Obeyeye. We ran into this ridiculous pastor who said all this blasphemy about the church and Joseph Smith and rambled on for a loooong time. I just smiled and bore testimony and as he was leaving he said to me, "I like your communication. Keep smiling, It is working." He also said he had had seen me on the street (In Takoradi, the really big city) and recognized me because he remembered my smile.

So smile and wave, boys! Just smile and wave!

D&C 123 Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our paths