Monday, April 4, 2016

Leaving the MTC

(Mom)  I updated Gabe's mailing address on the right column of the blog.  He specified that this was the least expensive way to get packages to him, and that packages had to be sent via regular mail in a flat rate box or padded envelope, and would save him from paying a large tax on the package.  The mail people have a special place for all of the missionary mail so it's safe.  He's feeling a little homesick and would LOVE letters or packages.  :)

There's so much to talk about. First, the little green pills I take everyday are called Doxycyclene and they are my anti malaria pills! I took one this morning and if you don't take them with enough food and water, you throw up. So today, I didn't have enough water and got to enjoy throwing up, but that was all on me...  :)

We have laundry today that we have to do and I have a ton!! Since its been a while at the MTC I was running low on clean clothes. But, we got detergent and such today, so they are soaking at the apartment right now! We will do the dark colors by hand, but our Elders in the apartment bought a "washing machine" so we do our whites in there. It's about 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but it washes clothes so I can't complain!

For our last night at the MTC, we had a big devotional with all those who are leaving and all of our districts sang a song. They were all good, but our district was the most boisterous. We sang 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' and everybody was clapping and laughing!  :) Typical of our district to do that... :) A bunch of districts had very spiritual songs so there was a good mix of funny, happy and sad. Overall it was fun! 

We spent 850 cedis at the airport because the MTC didn't let us know that we could only have 1 piece of luggage and that was frustrating... So I forked out 250 cedis to get us to Kumasi, and hallelujah I am getting reimbursed. It is really really cheap to live in Ghana, it is crazy!!

President Cosgrave doesn't look anything like his picture in my call packet, it was crazy, I didn't even recognize him.  He is very quiet, had a sense of humor, and we get along very well. We talked about a bunch of families from Texas which was fun, and had a good interview together.

Around here I am called bruni (broo knee) meaning 'white guy' and all the little kids call me by that. It is hilarious. We have a local shop by our house and we go there almost every morning to get breakfast ingredients. There's a little boy named Godfred and we are buddies.  :) The little kids here are really sweet and nice and they love to joke around and show me all kinds of stuff. I just love kids, so it works out well!

My area is Nkoransa (N kor an sah) and it is a very poor area. There is a mix of either huge houses that are gated in, or houses that are broken down and only made of cement blocks. There are shacks and beat up houses, but it has a lot of awesome people here.  :)

My trainer is Elder Vuakatagane from Fiji! Something about me and islanders I guess... :) He is awesome! We get along well, we laugh, and joke around a lot, we can just talk and be friends, we teach together well, and most of all, we are both exact obedience people, so it works out!  :)

The first day we were here, we taught Sister Gifti who is a blind woman who lives in the ruins of a house about 20 minutes away from our apartment. She is very quiet and is very humble. We are going to baptize her this week if all goes well, along with a 10 year old girl named Grace. I am excited to hopefully baptize a lot!  :) There was a point in our lesson where we taught about Christ and the Atonement and it was very powerful.  Yikes.  I am already saying 'powerful' like all the other elders here... :) Anyways, it was a good testimony-builder, but not the coolest experience yet!  :)

The local transportation here is called a tro tro.  It's basically a small van that fits up to 12 people that takes you and a bunch of other people where you need to go. You stand on the side of the road and wave to a tro tro and they stop, pick you up, ask where you need to stop at, and take anywhere from 1 cedi to 70 pesewas (cents in US dollars).  It was nerve-racking the first time, but now it is normal packing in and riding to the next town over.

WE HAVE A REALLY BIG AREA. We have like 7 cities in our area so we catch tro tros everywhere!  Trede is the most walking area we have. We walk like 6 miles when we go there. Elder V says I'll burn through a pair of shoes every 3 months so that'll be interesting...

It is very hot here. The sun feels like lava sometimes, but they have a Doctrine for just the African missionaries called the Doctrine of the Sun. It says that the more you sweat and the more miserable you are in the heat, the more gorgeous your wife will be when you get home.  LOL!  Sometimes I joke about angels dropping one off for me on earth, but the longer I am here, the less I joke around about that... :)

We teach quite a bit around here, we teach shop owners, members, farmers, and everything in between. There are a good chunk of Muslims here and it is interesting when we walk by muslim temples because they pray and broadcast it over a megaphone for all to hear which is weird, but I am getting used to it.

THE ROOSTERS HERE ARE CRAZY.  Every morning the roosters start cock-a-doodle-lin at 5 am and they do it every 5 minutes which is sometimes aggravating, but oh well.  :)

For water here, we have a filtration system, but I guzzle water because of the heat, so we buy water on the street. They are called sashes of water (sah shays). They are basically half a liter of filtered water that you bite off a corner of and drink the whole thing.  :) It was weird the first time, but not bad now! :)

We have a tradition here of eating a pineapple a night and it is awesome.  It cost 3 cedis for a pineapple and they are sweet and delicious.

We have 2 baptisms scheduled for this week, Sister Grace and Sister Gifti.  We have 3 more for April 30th and 2 for May 7th! We are rockin and rollin so far!  :) Our Zone Leaders are Elder Lund and Elder Ulu, and Elder Lund is from Idaho!  They are pretty cool :)

We have had a ton of lessons so far and we teach a lot of Restoration and Plan of Salvation.  We taught this one guy whose name is Brother Osei, and he likes us to call him "Father Osei". He is very spiritual and has studied theology for a while. He is currently writing his own book too! He is so humble and loves to learn and our lesson with him was fantastic. He was asking all the life questions of why are we here, where are we going, how do we live with God, and so on. His best question though was why did Jesus Christ have to suffer such a horrible death and all of that pain. I answered and it was the best Spiritual moment ever.  I bore my testimony of how it had to be Christ so he could be our advocate, so that all of the world, past and present, and the future could be saved. It was just so so cool.  I was just feeling the Spirit testify to my heart and hopefully his.  He is awesome, and if he chooses to be baptized, I swear he could be a bishop. He is my favorite investigator so far.

We got to watch General Conference the Sunday morning session at 4pm our time at the Bantama Stake center and it was awesome.  I have never wanted to watch conference so badly before. It was good to help with my homesickness, which has been a struggle for the last week or 2, but knowing that we were all watching conference at the same time, it felt like my connection to home.  But at the same time I really missed not being at home and having grandma's food too.  Homesickness sucks!  :)

Lastly, we had our Sunday feast last night. We splurged on Sprite, Chicken (from the roadside), soy sauce, and a bunch of onions, bell peppers, and 1 garlic.  We made some stir fry and watched the Jesus Christ Bible videos and fell asleep!  :)

See ya next week and always appreciate the things you have.  :)

Elder Wawro


Final Week at MTC

First Week in the Field

(Elizabeth Gwilliam, you KNOW he was thinking about YOU!)

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