Monday, May 30, 2016

May 23rd, 2016

Mom: Busy week trying to finish up the last of school and processing seminary, so I'm going to post last week's email and this morning's email today.

This week was a very trying week for me.  We basically started from zero this week as we baptized many last week, so we have begun to do some finding and contacting of people in the area as well as seeing some referrals from our recent converts. At one point this week, we were teaching a whole family and all their kids, so it was like 5 adults and all their kids which reminded me of Alma and Amulek as they taught many many people, so that was a sweet experience!

We had zone council this week which was really awesome, but I definitely could pick out the disobedient from the obedient. Most of our zone is full of old people, so half former zone leaders and half missionaries who are going home soon.  It's interesting to see those who magnified their callings and those who haven't. But it was a really cool experience to get to be part of a zone council that I knew what was going on!  :)

I had sweet bloody knuckles this week after washing, but my knuckles are getting stronger so hopefully today they won't bleed too bad :)

We got a new Elder in our apartment, Elder Odera, and we did not get along well at the start of this week. We got in a little fight about work because he doesn't work much and is a little lazy, but regardless, we fought about work and he was a little rude and I was rude back which was not good at all. Although I may have been justified in some of the things I said, that was not a correct situation. I thought about it a lot before I went to bed that night about how I was right, but as I woke up, I knew I had to humble myself and apologize.  I prayed for charity and courage, and went to apologize.  He is 23 months on his mission and I am almost 3 months, but still I felt bad about what I said.  I went up, shook his hand, looked him in the eye and just said I was really sorry for what I said last night.  He said it was okay, and as I left, I felt very peaceful about the whole thing.  I had made right what was wrong and we get along great now.  I learned an important lesson about forgiveness as I humbled myself and apologized.  Our relationship was saved, no matter how much we don't get along, I showed my love for him as I apologized, all because of a simple apology.  This applies to everyone on the earth, no matter how right you may be, "it is better to foster an environment of love and nurturing than to be right...let us let love conquer pride." -Dieter F Uchtdorf

I had a patience test as well this week as one of our investigators blew off his baptism for a job appointment he got last minute.  We got up early to get everything ready for his baptism and 2 hours after his scheduled time, he called and said he was out of town.

So, since Aunt Wanda's moving (to Colorado), THAT MEANS I CAN VISIT AND SNOWBOARD WHEN I GET BACK!  :)  You never know how much you appreciate something until you don't have it.  Ask me how I know.  :)  But for sure she will appreciate her mom much more when she is not around.

Side note: If you can send a church history book every package or every other package, that would be really sweet.  :) I love reading about church history and such and I have finished almost both the small books of the missionary library.  :)

NICE JOB KYLE!  And love you too grandma, and I love hearing from you :)

PICTURES:



I am in love with Kalyppo as it is my alternative for soda! 
Guava is actually very good.  :)


Picture sent of missionaries emailing home on Monday/P-Day, sent from internet cafe.
I can imagine how empty this place must be on the other weekdays...ha ha


VIDEO:

Calling home for Mother's Day!
(Sorry for using the word 'crappy'.  LOL)

video 

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 Video
Enjoying a REAL bowl of Fruit Loops with a box of milk!  LOL!  Shopped at "Palace", the local American grocery store.  Please excuse the eating and slurping during the video.  Ha ha...goodness!  And do you like his homemade haircut?  :)
(P.S. One 'cedi' is about the same as $.25 cents U.S.)

video 

"And you may ask, how do you wash clothes in Africa?"  Ha ha!

video

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

10 Baptisms!

My time is really short so I will keep it brief! The internet is really slow here so my pictures and such aren't loading very fast, but hopefully some will come through!  Ugh. The internet is soooo slow.   I tried to put more pics and video on and cancel the less important ones. If the pics and videos would load faster, you could see more stuff I have done!

This week we had 10 baptisms!  It was really awesome and half of them are referrals from the members!   :) It was really awesome and even President was speechless when we told him! The Wardles and the Haladays came (senior couples) and they loved it!  :) It was really awesome.  The best part of my week was definitely the baptisms.  Everything went well except the baptisms started an hour late because we run on 'Ghana' time so that was fun... haha!  Testing my patience, but all is well.  My week was insane, we had to finish up the lessons with everybody and have our district leader interview everybody, but we got it all done.  :)  With the 10 baptisms, there was a family of 5 and the other 5 were investigators.  

We just came back from a zone soccer game which was really fun! It was the first time I have played soccer since the MTC so hopefully we will do that more often.  :)

So happy my package from home came.  If it's packaged correctly, it shouldn't go through customs.  I get 1 'freebie' where the mission home pays for it, but if any more come, I will have to pay customs... yikes.  I FINALLY GOT THE PACKAGE THOUGH!!!  And mom, I think everything you sent made it!  :)  (Including the pink honorary-groomsman tie from Carina's wedding!  See pictures below!)

Thanks for sending a second package - I can't wait to get it.  THANK YOU AND I AM PUMPED.  Zone council is every 2nd Tuesday of the month, so if you send a package the last week of the month, I should be able to get it at zone council.  :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARINA :)))))

Anyways, I also gave myself a haircut last Monday which was interesting since the hair clippers died halfway through the hair cut (sorry Kevin) so I will have to purchase some here at Melcoms which will be a little expensive, but not too bad!  :)

Derek, to answer your email - YES I MISS MY BEARD.  Shaving is really tough and only gets tougher because I have to shave every single day!!!!!! Yes, I do miss my Oreos and milk, and soggy is the only way to go man, what are you talking about?!  :) But I did get some Oreos from mom and we had boxed milk at the apartment so I got to enjoy some.  :)  Right now, I am at 12 baptisms in my area and it is sweet!  :)  Aye, I will remember buddy, don't you worry.  :)

Anyways, hopefully soon I can write more, but this week I had like 10000 things to do on the computer!  Yikes!

Love ya and miss you guys,

Elder Wawro

PICTURES:







Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Birthday! Happy Mother's Day!

 
This week was really crazy!  We had stake conference yesterday (Sunday) which was focused on how the members can help the missionaries and such, which was awesome and we had tons of investigators there too!  :)

We have a ton of powerful investigators who are keeping commitments, like prayer, reading the Book of Mormon and such, which is really awesome to see how it is changing their lives.

I finally got the call that my package from home came in.  It had gone through customs so I will inherently be missing some items, but as long as I get the tie from Carina's wedding (honorary groomsman!) I'll be happy.  But hopefully I will get it next week!  :)  The package you sent finally made it!!!!  I got a special call from Elder Halladay at the office that it came in, but he asked for me to pass the message on that it was pretty expensive to pick up and that the customs people dug through it so we will see, but only those padded envelopes don't get checked, so those are by far the best option!  :)

I can barely play hymn #100 on the piano after practicing for about 30 minutes a day to play one hymn, but it is coming along well! :)

We went to KFC today (Monday) to celebrate my 19th birthday which was REALLY expensive and the only American place in Africa that is legit food.  But it was so so soooo good :)

 

 

 
  
Then we went to 'Palace' which is the local American grocery store where everything is a bit expensive, but it has some American foods there and I even got a box of Fruit Loops!!  AND A BOTTLE OF IBC ROOT BEER WHAAAATTTT!??!?!?!?!?!?!?  :D


 


 

We ran to Melcoms (local home store) and bought USB drives and such, I got to call home which made me cry TBH hearing mom for the first time in 2 months, but it was really good.  :)   (Side story from mom:  A local member was passing along the message to him to call home at 2:30pm our time instead of 5pm which we'd previously arranged, because he would be talking to us at 10pm in Africa and we didn't want him to stay up that late.  Unfortunately, the message 2:30pm 'our time' wasn't passed along, so Gabe called us at 2:30pm his time (9:30am our time) when we weren't all together and prepared to talk.  I answered the phone seeing that it was from Ghana and was SO excited to talk to him, but told him we weren't all together then so could he talk to me now and then again this afternoon when all the family was there, or would that be against the rules and cut into his hour of talk time?  He said it would cut into his time later, so I had to let him go quickly so we didn't waste any of his minutes.  Talk about HARD!  I got off the phone and cried for 30 minutes...heartbreaking to know that he was excited to call after not hearing our voices for two months, only to talk for two minutes and have to call again later.  I heard it in his voice and lost it.  It was a hard day until we all were able to talk to him again at the REAL 2:30pm.  #bigmomtears)

This week I have had a cold or some bad allergies which bites, but I can effectively shoot snot without hitting my shoes and stuff, so I guess that's another skill I have learned while in Africa! Hahahahaaaa!  :)

I finished off the last of Uncle Bruce's cookies this week which is sad, but oh well.  ;)  See the video of me opening their package!!



Happy 19th birthday to me, it was awesome reading a bunch of emails today.  :) So thank you everyone for writing.  :)

Thoughts for the next package you send or ones in the future:

Tic-Tacs to remind me of dad
Small tool set - screwdriver set with some pliers, the basics
Small pack of cotton balls
Mini peanut butter dipping packets
Gummy bears
Mini good smelling candles
Toenail clippers and a nail file
A tennis ball or racket ball
Mashed potatoes should come in like every package :))))))
--So, why potatoes?
--Potatoes are
1) REALLY FRIGGING EXPENSIVE (if they aren't already spoiled) and
2) because they are delicious and only require us to boil water.  :)

Hope you love the videos and pics from the week and sorry for the short email!


Elder Wawro

PICTURES:

Emailing home today (Monday!)


 Found one of our family favorite juices!!!!



Cousin Haley Wawro and her brother, Christian Wawro, are both performers with the BYU "Young Ambassadors" and they happen to be in another part of Africa right now.  Cool to be in the same country right now! 

 

VIDEOS:

Package from Aunt Holly and Uncle Bruce!

video

Buying a sache' of water & shopping in the market;
Sorry about the sideways video!

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Walking and talking;
Heading to the bus ("tro-tro")

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

More Videos!

I made a bunch of videos this week because I got too lazy to write in my journal, so enjoy!

Sorry, mom - I still haven't received your package.  The office Elders are going tomorrow morning to check on it.  I got one from Aunt Holly and Uncle Bruce (thank you!!), but none from home.  :(  I have been really stressing about it because it has the tie for Carina's wedding in it, but the package HAS STILL NOT COME IN YET.  Ugh.  But regardless, Life is good.  :)

The videos you sent me came  through.  :)  That makes me happy, but a little sad because I  miss Brit's goofiness.  :)

This week has been super sweet! Elder V. and I are really good friends, and we goof around all the time.  :)  This week I have been in a much better mood after my sickness and stress and whatnot, so that has been quite a blessing. We joke around and laugh all the time, push each other around and play little jokes, which makes the stress much easier to deal with for sure.

This week, we found this lady who cooks egg and bread, so basically, she mixes a bunch of vegetables and eggs together, cooks it and puts it between some bread which she cooks as well! :) It is delicious, and I have had like 6 this week... Oops... :)

We have 8-9 people that have chosen to be baptized on the 14th which is gonna be AWESOME.

Our first is Brother G. and his family, and they love the Gospel.  They love seeing us come by and teach and they gather the family to listen.  There are 5 that are old enough to be baptized, and this week they said, "we are ready" which just makes my heart and Spirit sooo happy.  :)

Next is Bro. D.  He is way cool, and he lives like 2, almost 3 miles away, but he is worth the walk 10000000%.  This week we answered more questions he had asked previously to pastors which they couldn't answer, but we could.  Super sweet when your investigator says, "My pastor couldn't answer that, but the Book of Mormon does."  And he said also that he was ready for baptism!!!!  He is probably my favorite investigator so far!  :)

We had insane rain this week (see video below).  It kept us in our apartment from 3pm-8pm and then our day was over, it was insane.  I was grumpy because we didn't do any missionary work, but it couldn't be helped.  So we watched some church videos and some D&C videos :)

I have been practicing for like 30 minutes a day on the piano, sometimes more, and today I will play for like 2 hours... yikes.... But I can play the top hand of the easy songs, but until I can read like a master, I won't move on to the lower hand.  PIANO IS WAY HARD.
 
This week I had a little bit of sickness, we had some sardines from a can which is rather popular, and after I ate it I did not feel good at all!  But it passed after much prayer, so it was all good, but I can check that off my bucket list right?  Ha ha

We ran to the culture center which I thought was gonna be super busy and bunches of souvenirs, but it wasn't busy, and only like 3 shops were open, so that was bummer. 
I heard of a missionary last week that sent a package home for only 305 cedis!!!  It was 14 POUNDS TOO!!!! :D  So maybe I'll send a package like once a year with a bunch of little gifts for everybody :) 

Africa is sweet, the food is getting better, and the missionary work is way awesome!

My testimony has really grown this week as I read about how the Lord blesses those who always remember him.  In the last few chapters it talks about the people of ALMA who were in bondage to the Lamanites and fought 3 times to be free to no avail.  They were even killed if they were seen praying.  Yikes.  But even still in their time of need, they prayed always in their hearts and found a way to keep the commandments no matter the consequence.  Then because of their obedience, they walked right out of the city because everybody was asleep!  Only through the Lord were they saved.  This absolutely applies to us.  No matter the situation, Heavenly Father will provide a way for us to keep the commandments (1 Nephi 3:7).  Just like a wise man always said, "Faith and Obedience and the Lord will be with you" (thanks, dad!!!).  I have seen this so many times.  Elder V. and I always strive for exact obedience and we are very blessed because of it.

BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING.  We Americans are very blessed for everything in everything.  Always be grateful and thank Heavenly Father for even the tough times, because that is when we grow the most.  And always remember that this life is very short, so if you have strange food you don't like, have a tough situation, or even miss out on something, just know that all things are for our experience.  :)

On Sunday for Mothers' Day, I was hoping to call at like 5 or 6 your time so I could talk to grandpa and grandma for like 5 minutes or so, because we only get an hour.  (So, it will be like 11pm my time Sunday night!)


Elder Wawro

PICTURES:

Saved money and purchased a simple keyboard to learn and practice, so that I can play hymns here

 So.  Many.  Bugs.

Ghana Maps


Egg and bread stack

Animals everywhere - cats, dogs, chickens, and goats, I like taking pictures of them.  
This was a baby goat that was so cute, I had to take a picture!

There are like 3 kinds of mango's here, and this one is massive!

Fruit juice box!

Milk!

Apple Juice!

Tasty cupcake and drink

Funny pic of Elder V. posing with some crazy local attire


VIDEOS:

Crazy Rainstorm!
video

Not a 'tornado' but a 'dust-nado' ha ha!
video

Apartment evacuation...roach infestation.  You've been warned...ha ha
video

A day in the life of a missionary...
video

A day in the life of a missionary, Part II...with some funny one-liners

1. The name of the grocery store is "Rip-You-Off Supermarket
2. And we live right down the street from a nightclub...
3. Part the roach-sea
video

April 25th - No letter, just pics

(Mom) My apologies - I am a week behind in sharing Gabe's updates.  Carina's wedding is just a few days away and we had an extremely busy week.  Gabe wasn't able to be on long, but I did get a few pictures from him - here they are.  :)

Ice pops are a hit in any country!

I believe this is Gabe's "Washing Machine"

Gabe wanted to know how to make rice and BBQ sausage, one of his favorite recipes at home.  :)

It looks like he figured it out.  :)

With his companion, Elder V, and Godfred, a great guy from their ward who is really helpful and that they like hanging out with