Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chasing Cats

This week has been sweet!

We had some baby cats run into our apartment this week which was interesting, and waaay cute :)  (Video below)

The landlord woke us up at 4am this morning banging on our door like Satan himself had come to earth just to show us where a pipe was leaking... I am learning patience somehow because I didn't say anything to him... :)

I got a new companion!! His name is Elder Simpson and he goes home in September so I am learning a ton from him!  :)  He is really great about finding scriptures that really help people to understand the gospel and he is just overall a good missionary.  Elder Simpson is really awesome.  He is a little quiet like me, but that just pushes me to be a little bit louder and talk a little more.  :)  We get along really really well.  We both love working hard and he is really good at using the scriptures and contacting.  So I am learning a ton from him for sure.  :)  Also in our apartment is Elder Davis from West Valley, Utah and he is really cool.  :) We get along and like a lot of the same stuff, but he too is quiet, so more room for me to talk I guess... :)

This week, we learned how to make "eggdomie" which is basically Ramen noodles covered in eggs that you eat as one big lump of noodles and eggs, which was pretty good!

I had my first malt today which is pretty common in Ghana. They sell non-alcoholic malt everywhere, so today when we visited a member, he gave us each a can of malt (which did not taste great, but I downed half the can...).  There's not a good way to describe it, it's fizzy, bitter-ish, has a strange aftertaste, but it wasn't the worst thing I've had to drink in my life, but good to try something new.  :)

We had a disappointing week this week at Sacrament.  We had only 1 investigator come to church, which was a big change from last week when we could not have fit another person in the chapel, so that was disappointing.  Here in Ghana, people will say they will come, but never really do, which is annoying because everybody is pretty honest in the states about telling you straight if they will come or not, but that is just more practice for patience I suppose.

Anyways, life is good, I am learning a whole bunch here about the language, and people laugh when I can speak a little Twi (chwee) which makes us both laugh a lot.  :)

The internet is way slow again, I don't know the issue, but sometimes it is good, and others it is pretty terrible.  Oh well.  :)

Elder Wawro

PICTURES:


So many questions about this billboard...LOL


Cats outside the apartment



(Mom: I got no details about the next two pics, so use your imagination.  LOL!)



 Book cover out of a cereal box...



VIDEO:
Neighbor cats invaded the apartment.  Ahhh, good times.  :) I woulda grabbed one, but I don't know if I would have been allergic or not, and plus I had to film it... next time.  :)
video 

Last week's video that didn't come through till this week
  video

Monday, June 20, 2016

Transfers!

Sorry, we had another early day today as we have to drop Elder Odera off at the mission home exactly at 3 so they can head to Accra to leave tomorrow!

The internet is way slow again, so I am just trying to get the videos from last week uploaded.  Looks like nothing is going through, sorry about that...

Anyways, I cut my hair this week, so next week you can see it if we have good internet. :)

We had Zone Conference this week which was really awesome, we got to see 3 other zones so I made some friends which is always nice! We got a new mission recitation...3 Nephi 12:2 which talks about the blessings of those who listen to our message.

We went to Bekwai this week which is part of our area, but is way expensive, so the bishop got a group of powerful people from the ward and we spent a day proselyting there.  It is really green there, smells great, and so many people were anxious to hear the message! We met a part-member family, the father is a member but none of his 4 or 5 sons are, so we taught them and 2 of them came to church!  :) Brother Dorman, who we baptized recently, fed us corn porridge which was pretty good, but there was so much, I couldn't finish it.  :)  I have pictures, but bad internet will be the death of me... :)

While we were teaching this week, we had the peanut gallery walk by... On the way to this recent convert's house is a bar, but this bar sells more than alcohol, so the people come out wayyyyyyy left field... Yikes. The bar owner has called us over many times, and we share small messages with him, but he is interesting.  Anyway, every time we teach small, all those people want to listen and we call them the peanut gallery because we say like a sentence and they spend like 10 minutes every sentence we say laughing and getting way off track... :)  So we were teaching and I heard some drums thinking some people were practicing on the way home or having a small parade, but lo and behold, it was the peanut gallery banging on empty buckets going around asking for money and singing which was absolutely hilarious!  :)

We baptized Bro, Raymond this week and he is just fantastic.  Our chapel was full this week.  No kidding, every single chair was filled.  How awesome!  :) Anyways, it is heart warming to see all the recent converts we have that are growing, getting the priesthood, getting speaking assignments, and callings.  It is great to see the progress.  :)

We got transfer calls this week, which is basically as big as Christmas! All the Elders just stare at the phone wondering if it will ring that night, which makes everyone really anxious. President called at 9:30.  Which was like waaay late to call, but Elder V picked up and he is going to the brand new area Bolgatanga!  In the last 2 transfers, the elders up there have baptized like 64 people or something crazy like that!!!!  So he is going to enjoy it.  He is paired with Elder Zulu, the former AP, so he will learn a ton!

For me, I am 3 for 3 with Islanders!  :)  First was Elder Waihi in the MTC, then Elder Vuakatagane, and now Elder Simpson from Fiji as well!  :)  Elder Simpson is a former Zone Leader who goes home in 2 transfers so I may either kill him (ie, be the missionary who sends him home) or I will get transferred next transfer.  I am excited to learn from him for sure! :)

Elder V was way excited about the watch you sent him.  His other watch was a mess...so he has worn it every day since he got it.  :)

So, details on my pictures sent last week...every zone has a set of jerseys for when we have events like that, so that was really awesome.  My bandana and glasses were for when I had to clean all the fans because everyone else refused to clean them and they haven't been cleaned in like...6 months.  ha ha!  The pictures of birds/nests I just thought looked cool, and they build their nests upside down and crawl in through the bottom, so that was interesting to me too.  :)

Anyways, that was my week this week!

Love you guys,

Elder Wawro

Monday, June 13, 2016

Playing Soccer, Scaring Goats!

This week was a pretty great week.  We are planning for 3 baptisms on Saturday!  Cool story:

One of our baptismal candidates is Raymond.  He just popped into church one day because he was curious about what we teach. He had been traveling 2 hours to church to his previous church and was looking for something closer. We have been teaching him when he comes to church on Sunday and this week he called us over to tell us he was ready to be baptized.  Wow.  He didn't seem very serious when we first taught him, but we told him that if he prayed, God would let him know which church was true. And he did and it has really changed his life.  He is very receptive to the things we teach and he will be powerful when he is a member.

One of our recent converts spoke in Sacrament meeting this Sunday which was really great!  She is waaaaaay shy so we were confused why the bishop asked her but she did really well!  She even raised her voice at a couple of parts (which is common while preaching in Ghana, but the missionaries don't do that) which was funny.  :)

Our mission zone activity last Monday was futbol against our 4 zone!  We came in 2nd because our team was not very good at passing and teamwork in general (ha ha), but I got to play forward or striker which was way sweet because I usually play defense!  :)

The showers here, believe it or not, are pretty cold! We don't have water heaters or anything so it is cold!  It is even worse when it rains because then the sun doesn't heat the ground where we pump the water.

I wrapped my Book of Mormon in a box of fruit loops beacause it was getting bent, so I will send a pic of that.

Anyways, Africa is sweet and I am learning a lot.  I read in the Book of Mormon this week in the book of Helaman.  It always surprises me how fast people can forget God. The people are shown signs of Christ's coming and even a few years after, they said they were from the devil...that is crazy.  But what I took from it was to remember God in everything you do.  Everything you get, all the things you love, and whatever else you can think of, we ought to thank our Father in Heaven for it.  There's a quote from one of the prophets... I Think Ezra Taft Benson, who said that sometimes the biggest sin we commit is not giving thanks to God daily, which is so true. We are blessed with so much, and those in America, even more!

Mom, I will stop in and see the seminary class and take a small video of the class.  :) Your class will see how blessed they are in America.  :)

That's sweet that Derek is going on high adventure!  I just read Dad's email and said he was going and gets to raft!  Man, I am jealous and you know how much I love the mountains....they will enjoy it for sure!  :)  I am way jealous of Derek...tell him that if a group hikes to the peak he better go to the top with them, because that is one of my biggest regrets in my life is not hiking with dad to the top of Challenger.

Elder Odera and I get along really well now.  We traded some ties and he taught me how to make 'chipati' and helped me make my own batch!  It is crazy to see the change that one simple apology makes.  We could still rather hate each other if I had not apologized, but since I did, we get along, laugh together, and there is quite a bit to learn from him too.

Love you guys,

Elder Wawro

PICTURES:



Playing Soccer!  (Zone T-shirts and everything!)








One-day beard growth.  Ha ha!


VIDEO:

"Goat-Scaring Adventure"!
(typical Elder V...always finding something to laugh about!)

video

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kumasi Sports Stadium

Sorry again, I got on email way early for you guys (5am Texas time).  We have a soccer game at the stadium and since our apartment is way far away, we had to come early.  Dropbox is being way stupid today, so I got a whopping 3 pictures uploaded.  I hope next week you will get to see the rest.  (Mom: actually, only one picture uploaded.  LOL!)

Love you guys and the package you sent :)  Those Crystal Light 2-quart drink mixes were sweetness and I am still enjoying those.  :)

My beard growth is ridiculous!!!  Every morning when I wake up, I am like "what in the heck is going on?!"  But the razors that came in my package are SWEET.  Sometimes Elders come up to me and ask if I forgot to shave, but I am obedient and shave every morning, but dang it grows fast and thick.  I will take a picture this week!

No early-morning seminary here, they do seminary Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening because the schools here start at like 630ish.  Sometimes we drop in and say hello which is sweet, but they don't have early morning seminary! :)

Man.  I can eat fufu pretty well now.  Elder V can take like handfuls at a time and swallow them no problem, but so far I can swallow like golf ball sized fufu, so I am getting better!

In the apartment, there are 4 of us.  Me, Elder V, Elder Mutasi (district leader), and Elder Odera. The other 2 are good guys.  :)

Fufu is really soft, almost like mashed potatoes, so it doesn't need to be chewed.  I suppose you could chew if you wanted, but it isn't necessary, and they eat it way fast, so if you chew it takes more time! 

We speak twi a little bit here and there and lots of the people think it's hilarious that I can speak a little and understand some, so it is a good laugh for everybody.  :)  There is definitely a need, most of the younger kids go to school and learn English, but people that are like 30 and older barely speak any so it is good to learn.  :)

Ahhhhhh, Elder V loves the watch!  I will have to show you his old one because it is a mess.  :)  We met the office elders in Kejetia, so we just met them and they brought the package.  :)

Today I have 1.5 hours so I will write as much as possible!! Sorry I am emailing early again, we have a Zone vs. Zone futbol tournament today at THE KUMASI SPORTS STADIUM!!!  I am way pumped especially because a lot of our Elders in our zone love futbol as much as i do :)))

(Baba Yara Sports Stadium, aka Kumasi Sports Stadium, Google images)

To start, I will share a really sweet experience I had.

Every week we buy and pass Sister Amilia, who owns the shop by our apartment.  We came by one night after a really rough day on the streets and many appointments that fell through, and stopped to grab some bread and eggs. I was really bummed about our day and was low in spirit when we came by.  We usually stop and hang out and talk a little bit, but this night was a little different.  She has 4 kids, 3 of which can walk and a little baby. Her kids had music on, dancing like their favorite dancers and dancing to their favorite music and laughing a lot.  :)  We all laughed and had a great time for 15 minutes or so as the kids all had a dance-off and joked around.  It was a really humbling experience.  Even though this family is struggling to get by and I am sure have many other struggles, they were spending time as a family laughing and joking and dancing. It was really awesome to see because most of the people of Ghana really appreciate their families.  I cant really put in words how happy it made me feel to see them having a good time as a family and laughing and how much it brightened my day, but it was awesome.  So maybe this week, take your family out to get some ice cream or have a dance-off with your kids, but family is really important.  The memories that kids and family members really remember are the ones that are spontaneous and the ones where the family is all together laughing and having a good time.  Find some time this week to just laugh with your family whether that's washing the car as family, or getting ice cream, it is so important to laugh as a family and spend time with each other.

Anyways, this week was sweet!  I saw my first rainbow and it was friggin sweet!  We had a baptism of a man named Brother Dorman and he was awesome because he was on time!  Here in Ghana, if you want to meet someone at 9, then you say 8 and they come close to 9.  It drives me crazy because I hate being late, but that is okay! 

We met these kids on the road who were about to race and as they began, the kid who was saying go said, "On your mark.... JACKSET... Go".  Hahahahhahaah!  :) It was so friggin funny to hear "jackset"!  Reminded me of the game 'telephone' where you say a word and at the end of the circle it is something way different!  Anyways, just a funny experience of the week.  :)

Elder Odera taught me how to make "chipati" this week!  It is basically a tortilla, just a little thicker and a little less salty, but it was really cool to learn and it is really simple.  :) So I am buying the supplies this week so I can make my own.  :))

I have knocked out most of the Book of Mormon this week, and last night, I read the last chapters of Alma.  It is really awesome to see how some people react to war and trials and how others react. The people of God began to pray mightily, build up their weakest cities so they became strong, formed defenses and towers to defend from and were watching always for the enemy so they could protect their people.  The people of God are led by men who always pray and always remember God and his mercy.  I read about the stripling warriors who were raised by faithful mothers which built their faith so much, that wherever they went, the armies of the righteous were relieved when they arrived.  The best part is, because of their faith, not a single one of them was killed, even when they faced some of the most brutal of enemies. This really relates to our lives.  When tough times come, do we pray?  Do we strengthen our weak areas where the devil is trying to break us?  Are we following those men called by God to lead us?  Do we put full faith in God that we will make it through whatever is thrown our way?  I invite those who haven't read the Book of Mormon before, to just go read the last 10 or 15 chapters of Alma and see what sticks out to you. It is amazing to see how the Words of God apply differently to everybody, but somehow all teach the same message.  Man. The Book of Mormon is true and if you don't think so, go and pray about it, and have the missionaries come share a short lesson about the Book of Mormon because I know 1000% that if you pray to know, God will answer your prayer just as he has answered millions of others.

I burned through most of my EZ-cheese from the care package this week... oops... It was way delicious for sure, and I made use of every drop!  :)

This week, somebody left a window open at church and a small family of birds made a nest!  So there should be a video coming of me catching bird in the chapel which is way awesome and something I have never done before!  Only in Africa right?  :)

I can officially play hymn 100 "Nearer My God to Thee" without too many errors, but man I am still way terrible at the piano... :)

That's it for this week, I miss snowboarding especially when it is way hot, I miss seeing the family, but I wouldn't trade the blessings I have for anything in the world :)

Love you guys,

Elder Wawro


PICTURE:
Just one lonely picture came through this week
No story behind it, just a cute cat.  LOL!


May 30th, 2016

All the missionaries in the zone are part of the council that we have once a month. Elder Odera is from Kenya and has a cool accent and today when I get home, he is teaching me how to make "chipati" which is almost like a thick tortilla.  :)

I finished up both my books this week and have begun the monster sized "Jesus the Christ" book so maybe in a month or two I will have finished it.  :)

I made a video this morning going through my week so check the blog sometime today and watch (video below).  :)

Right now, I am listening to Justin Timberlake at the internet cafe...the owner is blasting it, so I am getting a taste of home.  :)

I am going to pick up a set of hair clippers today so I can touch up my hair before Zone Conference when I will see President. I got my package today from the office Elders which is why I am emailing really early because we had to meet them in town this morning.  :)

Life in Africa is really awesome.  I miss some stuff from home, but I am grateful for the many things I have been blessed with now and before I came.  I have a new appreciation for America.  Traveling to the less industrialized areas of the world really changes your view on the world for sure.

To those who are not members of my church, I read a book this week that is directed for the nonmembers of our church, so that they can get a better understanding of what we teach and a little bit of why we are the way we are.  The book is called "Our Search for Happiness" and it really sheds some light on why Latter-Day Saints are the way they are. :)

Mom:  No pictures this week, but there is a LONG 20-minute video of Gabe recording his mission week.  Please excuse the burping.  Goodness...LOL

VIDEO:

video