July 11, 2016 Well
everything is going well here. The Zone is progressing. I feel terrible because
we were supposed to have a baptism on Sunday, but due to poor planning we
couldn't hold it that day. An old missionary like me not prepared for baptism.
Well I beat myself up about it and then decided to just be excited for next
week. In better news, the Nkawkaw Sisters had a couple of baptisms on Saturday.
There was an old man named “Y.” He can't
walk well and it took 4 of us to get him into the baptismal font. Once he got
in he said "hallelujah!". hahaha I talked with him a handful of
minutes before and he's a sweet guy. After the baptism he just came to the
front and started bearing testimony. Such a strong spirit. That man is a true
convert. Today we are cooking a goat with fufu. He's having a last meal of
leaves and watermelon rinds, just to show the proper respect. He made a heck of
a noise in the taxi ride though. It's about time we got the zone together
again. Well fam. all is well with me and I'm glad to hear things are well with
you as well. I'm excited for Mom to go to the Minnisota reunion. That'll be
real cool. See Y'all next week. -Elder Silva
July 4, 2016
Well time is
short so I'm not sure what to really say. Especially with not long left here in
Ghana. We have some progressing investigators with a baptism coming up this
week. The sister of one of our recent converts. So happy! Everything else is going
fine. I had some pictures and things I wanted to send, but the computers in
this area won't do it, so it will just have to wait.
As for my
testimony, well I can say that everything is true! Yup it's all true. Time
won't permit too much, but mission has taught me alot of things. I suppose, in
that sense, there are different testimonies I could share. Basically it all
boils down to our own relationship with God and Jesus Christ. 1 cor.2:11 and 1
cor.12:3, just about sums up why this Church is very different in our
proselyting efforts. I don't convince people with scriptures or logic. To do
either would be an unstable foundation for a testimony. We simply provide the
message and the rest is between them and Heavenly Father. Same way we all got
our testimonies and the same way I strengthen my own. The fastest ways to a
testimony lie within John7:17 and the Book of Mormon in its entirety all
coupled together with prayer. That's the secret. ;) love you all and see you
next week! -Elder Silva
June 27, 2016
it's so interesting to see what Em thinks about Ghana! I never thought
one of you guys would see my part of the world. I guess I can testify that all
that she said is true. (Although I don't know anything about that Pinnochio's
As far as being upset when I was 5 because
you were going to have a girl, I think l got the best of both worlds. Yes I had
a little sister, BUT she wasn't afraid to play smash bros. or pretend we were
ninja warriors as kids... yeah she's pretty awesome. Sometimes I even... wait
what is this liquid substance draining from my oculars?!
Anyways this week has been crazy. I was up
late last night trying to balance the Holy Money. Zone Leaders are in charge of
reimbursing missionaries for certain things. To make a long story short, this
week we were short over 100 cedis and it took me until the next morning to
figure it out. It made me think of those days I saw Mom with 1,000 papers on
the table, with that big calculator and her head on her hand haha. enye
easyooo. The week went somehow well.
Transfers was a bit hectic, but we all made it home in one piece. (reminds me
of that anime every time I say that Brooke haha). I'm not sure if you remember the Elder you
all called "Hyena Boy." He came the same time as me, but he just went
home to Ethiopia early for school. He has to take some extra tests, like
English literacy for his application to BYUI. He's hoping to get in. I think it
would be really cool to see him there
Somehow through God's grace we have some
people progressing here! We're looking forward to a couple of baptisms soon. I
extended a baptismal date to an investigator the other day for August. Suddenly
I realized I wouldn't even be in Ghana for that day. So insane. Also you can
tell Mr.Fisher I would love to help out. I've seen him "march" guys
back to camp to help him "band" those kids together. (up too late
last night, that's the best I could do haha). Also you'll be shocked to hear I
went to war, despaired if you knew the odds, livid if you knew the enemy, but
on your knees singing praises when you hear thatwe killed them !!cafards!!uh sorry. that's cockroaches for
you non-Frenchies. Yes we did a deep clean and boy does it feel good. Of course
it's not the end. There are still some stragglers and the babies will come back
for vengeance. All will be well with Raid on my side. Well see y'all on the
other side! -Elder Silva
It's raining. and I love
it. I just realized this week that Idaho is kinda dry isn't it? that'll be
strange for sure when I get back. I can't believe how good Zach looks. Seriously
I'm really excited for him. He's going to have one heck of a mission.
As for me my final
transfer is here and I'm getting a companion change. NOOO! I just wanted to
settle down my last 2 transfers without changes. change is something you can always count on, huh? My new companion is Elder B. from Uganda. I'll be training him as a new Zone Leader. Wish me luck! I think I've got it all down by
now, but teaching it is another matter. As for me in general I'm doing great.
I've been really enjoying the mission lately. The only problem is thateverybodykeeps reminding me it's my last transfer. I'm not sure how I'm
even supposed to feel about that. I think I'll just deal with it like most
things and go with the flow.
A question that just
popped up; how long will Zach spend in the MTC? I hope Em's problems over here can be solved.
I pray for her and Ally. So as for
church this week I didn't go. wait wait wait, pick your jaws off the ground for
goodness' sake. One of our Sisters was
sick so we took off to take her to the hospital. It turns out she has Malaria so she's at home
(apartment sorry) with medication and caring Sister missionaries. We made some
visits, and she should be on the mend
soon. I still hope never to deal with
malaria. If it comes to me during this final stretch I won't be very happy. it seems she caught it from Kumasi when we
stayed a night for a Zone Conference, so Nkawkaw apartments here seem pretty safe.
We had the pleasure of
seeing four people be baptized this Sunday with more on the way! I couldn't be
more pleased with the way this area is progressing. We were walking across a
road the other day when suddenly we heard "vvvvvvrrrroooooooommmwhack!
baaaaaaahhhh!!! We turned to see a goat
thrown across the road rolling towards us. He got up, looked around in a daze
and walked away. Downright hilarious.
It seems that animals are just getting lucky these days eh Brooke? Oh one more thing to mention... HAPPY
BIRTHDAY BROOKE!!! Please don't think I
forgot. I truly remembered. Man 16 is crazy. That's so cool! When I get home
I'll make you some nice banku or something for you to enjoy. Well that's my
time finished so I'll see you all next week! -Elder Silva
June 13, 2016
My mind has too much
stuff inside today. This time I feel like Brooke. ummmm... Well we have my last Zone
Conference coming up Wednesday. We go up the night before to sleep at the
mission home. we will have some free time in Kumasi. Should be fun! As for
this week we've had much more time to be in our area so we are seeing more
I'll be looking forward
to pictures of Zach’s farewell. I can't send pictures, because of the computers
I'm using right now. I'm really hungry right now come to think of it. I think
I'll just walk outside and walk to the Burger King across the street. Then I'll
just stand there and sigh when I realize it's not there haha. Actually we found
some stuff and I made fajitas this week. Obviously it was a bit of an
experiment for me, but it tasted enough like what I miss. Well everything here
is going well. This is the last week of the transfer, so I'll tell you next
week if I get my last companion, or work with the same one. Catch you all
later! -Elder Silva
I can't believe my older
sister and adopted sister came to see me and I never took a picture with my own
camera! How foolish . . . Well, you asked about our week . . . We spent probably about 12-13 hours proselyting in our area. We were
in Kumasi for much of it. We had meetings, exchanges with the Assistants,
baptismal interviews etc... It was fun to travel around, but our area is
getting a little "dusty" due to our schedule. We're trying as much as we can and
we may have some baptisms coming up soon.
Seeing Em and Ally was
really cool. The members were a bit distracted from their lessons, but they
were happy. It hasn't thrown me as I haven't even had much time to think about
it anyways haha. What's strange is that it was so fast that it seems as if it
didn't even happen. It's also strange to think that they're getting a small
taste of what my mission is like. At least somebody will understand my strange
mannerisms when I'm back. I'll have to be sure to E-mail Zach soon. It's crazy
that he's graduated. Actually Mom, I already bought a nativity set earlier so
don't worry. I'll be sure to bring some coins. All the coins were minted in
2007 because of a change in currency. I haven't seen any of the old currency,
but I'll be looking for it. Also I'll be thinking about a nice rock to bring
for Mr. Gunderson. Too bad I wasn't in Obuasi when you asked. Maybe I could've
had my hand on a bit of gold. I heard a missionary got the paperwork through to
bring a small amount home. I'm not worried about Brooke's E-mail. When I get
home I'm just going to tie her up to a chair, shine a light in her eyes and
force her truth serum until she tells me everything that happened in the last
two years... or I'll just ask Duke, (He sees more than you think...) Well fam.
I guess that's it for now. Transfers are coming somehow soon, so I'll let you
know then. -Elder Silva
May 30, 2016
wouldn'tcha know it? it's around 2:00 in Nkawkaw right now. I suppose as I'm
typing this very message, Emily should be in the Ghana airport by now, surrounded
by a bunch of skinny dudes asking to take her luggage in broken English...
Don't do it Em!! Haha
week has been pretty good. The days are flying by. We've been starting a big
push for member-missionary work in the Zone and we've seen some improvements.
Don't forget to help those Elders or Sisters at home a bit. Life is still busy,
but I prefer it that way. Me and my companion are doing great. no problems...
well except for the fact that he always seems to be using the bathroom when
everyone else needs it. The mission is having a famine of missionaries soon.
People are leaving and few are coming. It calls for more Stake missionaries or
combined/closed areas.The Branch is doing well. We have some people sorta-kinda
progressing. We're unsure, but not losing faith. We actually have real PEC
meetings. sooo nice. All in all it's a gay ol' time.
that as time here goes on, I just expect that time back home is frozen. Then I
realize that 2 school years have passed, Brooke's an upcoming Junior, Em's out
of college, Mason Skaggs is becoming a super computer hacker, Carson is
graduated, Steven is still tootin on that trombone, and now I'm hearing things
about uprooted bushes and ghost cars... strange. oh and Zach's going to
Russia... no big deal. Speaking of what Dad said about elephant guns, is there
anything any of you guys are just "dying" to have from here? I never
gave much thought to souvenirs and now that time is running out I don't have
many ideas. Just a thought. Well Brooke, I wouldn't say Junior year was the
hardest. Sophomore was my least favorite. Senior was my favorite and my
hardest. No worries. If you're worried about not being able to handle the summer
heat, then get that job. It will help you to grow up to be the super something
you always wanted to be. Also you might be able to save up enough to get
something cool like a pirate ship or a gumball! Enjoy the week everyone. -Elder
What's a week
as a Zone Leader? well really busy. I really like it though. It's also why I
have really short time right now. I go to different areas to visit District
Meetings, we have baptismal interviews, we deliver supplies, deal with money reimbursement, Zone councils and other things. Right now we're buying supplies
for some Sisters and filling their gas tanks- which is soo much fun (insert
sarcastic smirk). ummmmm dang I'm thinking fast. Good luck with finals and Good
luck with being in the Stu, co again Dad. I've always respected you for being a
busy man. At least you're not in the bishopric as well. So Em's coming soon?
Powerful. uhhhhhhh Church was alright. Still work to be done but we were
actually invited to a meeting with a real council so that was awesome. We have a lot of potential here. And with that I gotta go. Greet one another with an
holy kiss and take care of Duke.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!
What you thought I forgot? ha! Actually there's no way to prove that is there? hmmm. You'll just have to take my word for it, Mr. “senior menu.”
The new responsibilities
had me super busy with e-mailing, so my time is short. Nkawkaw is a cool place. It's
just at the base of some mountains and it's a pretty sight. Reminds me a bit of Utah or home. Apparently during Easter alot of people go paragliding. The new area is small, but the members seem willing to
work. We have a return missionary here and he helps alot. This first Sunday was a District Conference, so I didn't really experience the branch life here yet. One cool thing. There's a Sister I was with in
the MTC who returned home to Nkawkaw. I saw her here and was like.... wait, what? ha It was fun catching up. Speaking of Sisters this is actually my first time on mission really interacting with them. Most
of my Zones and all of my Districts never had Sister Missionaries, so I was never around them. It's a little more stressful, but a welcome change of pace. That's been the best part of Zone Leader so far. It
takes away from the repetition by allowing me to engage myself in other responsibilities. Kind of like a breath of fresh air. I know it's only been a week, but I'm enjoying it so far.
I'll be willing to help out
with the grass Dad. I figure since I work all day here for 2 years, that mowing for a few hours won't be too hard.... dangit please don't use that against me. I think Brooke should definitely take that
job. She'd enjoy it, and it would take away from the monotony of Summer. Plus money!! Then she could afford that dog she always begged for when she was 16. I have the pic of me and my President, but my card
reader finally got lost, so I'll get it to you later. Sorry. My companion is Elder Mkandla from Zimbabwe. He was here already for 6 weeks. He's good and we enjoy together. He's been a Zone Leader for a
long time, so there's a possibility he could leave and I'll get one more companion. (Emily: I'm in Nkawkaw branch 2. Service from 9-12 A.M. I can't believe you're going to be in Ghana soon!!!) Gotta go. See y'all next
time. -Elder Silva
This week we
went out and taught the gospel to as many as we could find who wanted to hear
what we had to say . Some listened. Some
did not. Some understood, some did not, which is a pretty average week. I think
the main reason for the lack of information this week is because I forgot to
write in my journal all week, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. I'll go back and
write what I can remember to honor Dad's wish though. I still have an entry for
every day. It's pretty fun to go back and read sometimes. This Mother's day I
don't think I'll do a Skype call. I'll just call the ole’ fashioned way and
speak 1 on 1. I'll tell Em anything she
wants to know about Ghana. Brooke, Geometry was one of my favorite subjects. I
found it pretty simple, but not all math classes were easy. The college Algebra
class was really hard. I think I also got a 59 or so on my Statistics test. So
don't worry Brooke, we all struggled haha.
I think I'll
save up most things for the Mother's day call, so I'll leave it at that for
this week. The branch is still doing pretty well. Some rocky things and
progressing things. This will most likely be my last week in the area. I'll
know for sure on Saturday. We have a cat that hangs around our house a lot and
it came back once with a limp tail. Reminded me of Duke. Tell that Duke I
should at least be able to recognize him later. As for the rest of you, I also
hope to recognize you as well. I'll try to make sure you won't recognize me.
Older, a few gray hairs and a Superman physique. See y'all next week!
Just the thought of Brooke getting a pie to the face had me rolling. haha. Guys
I really enjoyed the E-mail this week. Time is going and I'm very close to two
transfers left. Hopefully I'll be transferred out of this area in a couple of
weeks and go to one more place. I've been focused much on getting a new
teaching pool so my son will have something good to get busy with when I leave.
We met TONS of people this week. 17 new investigators to be exact. It was
insane. In this mission, finding people to teach isn't
the biggest problem, but very few actually understand what we teach. By the way, Twi is the language we deal with.
Pidgin is Nigerian. I'm a bit familiar just because of all the Nigerian
thought you said Em was totally fine. What do you mean by recover? I'm pretty sure Mom will be called as a ward
missionary. New revelation can come you know. I really want some of that fruit
from our backyard. Mango trees are everywhere here and I'm already getting
tired of them. I really wanted a picture of Dad as Ammon. You'll have to make
up for that somehow. A great E-mail should be replied with another great
E-mail, but I actually have somewhere to be soon. I'll leave you all with that
for now and talk to you next week. Good luck getting through school and enjoy
your last summer without me for awhile.
Heeeey I get
to hear from the whole fam. this week! That sure makes me smile. Well this week
went well. We had a baptism which was awesome!
I'll most likely be transferred
in 3 weeks. The Texan is a roomate, not my comp. I'm still training my Nigerian
Elder Kanu. I don't believe I'll have any baptisms left in this area, but I
hope Dad is right in his prediction. This week me and my comp. literally sat down
to think about areas we haven't already been to. Feels like we've combed every
inch of this town. The Texan, Elder
Zurek, and me found potatoes and made potato chips (oh my gosh, did I really
just call them that?) ahem.. French fries, with barbecue seasoning he got in a
package. Best food I've had in a looong time. By the way, Em sent me these
dried mangos once and they were really good. It would be cool if you could send
some at some future point. Mango season
is coming in and I'm enjoying this delicious fruit. Mango trees are everywhere.
had an Email from Bro.Jones. I really feel bad if he thinks I've been ignoring
him all this time. New callings were extended to some members and it's really
great to see their new involvement in the branch. I've been teaching youth and
young men for a couple of months and they were upset with the prospect of me
leaving in a few weeks. aww loyalty. I sure wish that would motivate them to
pay attention more haha. You asked if anything scary has happened? The closest I can get is that we have another
mouse in the house. Ate our bread and part of our potatoes. I ate rat again.
I'll send the pic. We helped a member paint some chicken coops on Saturday and
that was a nice change of pace.
Dad predicts 2
or 3 families a week? my that would be paradise. Most baptisms are people kind
of “scattered.” Baptizing a family is the ultimate goal. Well Em, to prepare you a little before
getting here in Ghana - just get ready for heat and humidity!!! I can't even
sweep the house without sweating like a pig. You oughta see when I exercise. I
don't know what conditions you'll be in, but remember air conditioners are rare
so just be prepared. We had a missionary couple called the Wardles drop by
unexpectedly one morning and the apartment was a small mess. We have been
having water issues for a while and I was too tired to fetch well water every
day. Anyways the apartment was bad and after they left we cleaned up very well.
They came back to deliver something and Elder Wardle said a tear almost came to
his eye to see such quick repentance. That was cool. Anyways, keep the house
clean and keep Duke on mouse duty. Have a great week!
This week has
been chugging along and I'm more than happy to report that we have an incoming
baptism this Sunday! Crank your hoses, call the fireman, but Abesim Fia can't
be stopped! Things are pretty good here lately. Honestly I'm a bit tired of the
area, but I still have work to do here. Time seems to be moving very slowly
lately and I'm not all that sure why. I think it's because I made a mistake in
my journal writing and realized that I was 5 days ahead of myself. The sun is
more than scorching and the sweat is more than dripping, but Silva is still
more than Silva-ing. Rainy season also brings more bugs in.
Well good to
hear that Em is fine. I pray every day that this beloved family of mine will
stay safe. So I'm going to impose some new rules. 1. You must drink 4 gallons
of water every day to combat the new “heat wave.” 2. a minimum of two turrets
must be installed on the new fence and sentries posted every evening to watch
those mangy mutts. 3. Couch cushions will now be glued to every end of every
car to soften any unexpected impacts. 4. Duke's paws must be removed.(Matt
5:29-30) 5. Jacob 6:3. The new rules are
to be put in effect immediately and any in-compliance with said rules will be
punishable by a very guilty conscience. Have a great week all!
Me and the Texan.
My favorite breakfast. koko and kosi. a ginger-porrige and bean bread.
La cucaracha, la cucaracha...
Elder Vinson and his wife. This was a mission tour for Elder Vinson.
Me with my Mission President, President and Sister Cosgrove.
My new planner. Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Last class selfie with the young men.
(my last area I just left)
Abesim Branch. Last Sunday.
These are like my mother and father in Abesim.
I've had a lot of good people take care of me on the mission.
Lots of rice..... yep just lots of rice.
Traveled to Mrpaeso in the mountains (another missionaries area). Check out the baboon.
My MTC pal. Now I'm serving in her home branch!
My new apartment mates (new area).
My comp. is on the far right (your right)...
Nice mountain in my new area. Just took this picture about an hour ago.
I too felt the Easter
spirit yesterday! A bit of an odd story. I awoke to a beautiful, cool and humid
morning. No mosquito bites, no bed-bugs, and leftovers from a recent package
from my wonderful family. (yeah it's all gone now). As usual I got about to the
first part of my morning schedule... a mad rush to the bathroom. now I've only
actually had diarrhea once so far on my mission.... the day I arrived up until
now. After studying a bit, I sat there pondering that it was Easter Sunday. At
that moment “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, about the brightness
of the sun.” The sunlight coming in from the window provided a certain
atmosphere that just had me smiling. Combined with some birds outside and the
obnoxious roosters, I just couldn't help but feel the spirit.
As for the rest of the
week, we had better luck contacting this time. We're working on more member
visits and referral seeking. I challenge you to give a referral to the
missionaries and even to be bold enough to go with them to teach the person.
I'm sure the missionaries would appreciate it. At least you don't have to go to
translate. Transfers came and all is the same save for Elder Lesh leaving us.
I'll miss him. My new roommate is a Texan. Sources even tell me he's big. Good to hear you all had a good Easter with
Grandma. Right now Em, I'm serving in
Abesim, Sunyani. It's the capital of Brong-Ahafo region. I'll most likely be
here for 6 more weeks. Mole park is pretty far. It's in the Northern region.
Some senior couple missionaries I knew went there once and said it was pretty
cool. I'll try my best with an address, but here houses don't have addresses.
Anyways I'll make sure you find it. Good to hear
from everyone again. I'll send a few pics and see you all next week!
Relief Society Anniversary. This is the best Relief Society I've ever served with.
A few are missing from this picture.
Three baptisms this week!
Chickenzilla chasing this terrified little girl. Seriously, the picture doesn't do it justice.
I love these kids!
"My baby" came back from a trip!
April 4, 2016
News from Ghana? Well as usual I haven't seen conference, but I'll get around
to it eventually. I heard about
3 temples in South America and 1 in Zimbabwe. That will make 7 in Africa
working or in progress. Excited for
that. We had 2 baptisms this week. One teacher age and primary age boys. They are really cool and they love the church. We had another guy that we knew would come to church last week. We
expected it was due to a certain wants to do it. I'm not entirely sure what his motives are, but we'll start to
seriously teach him this week. This is surely an answer to our prayers. The area is still slow despite the baptisms (I know some missions have few to zero baptisms, but It's difficult to explain
how I can still say things are slow). One girl who was baptized who, admittingly I
thought would go less active, is surprising me by how active she actually is. Again, an
answer to prayers. All in all things are
going well. The new missionary in the apartment is Elder Zurek from Houston
area. He's a cool guy and we have some
things in common. A missionary left a Monopoly board in this apartment and we
have been playing it a bit this transfer. I've won twice in a row and the rest are bent on revenge. I'll only play again if
everyone promises not to gang up on me. I had a painful evening yesterday from
over-eating/drinking. I was so afraid it was going to be a repeat of a Fufu indigestion I had once. Thankfully everything
is fine and I'm alive. Reminds me of that Celine Dion song. By the way people don't
listen to American music here, but when they do it's only a small handful of artists.
For some reason she's really popular here. I hope everyone's doing well back home
and that Brooke is still alive. I'm kind of fond of her ya know. Just take it a
day at a time. That's what I do when mission gets hard. Well I'll end it with
that this week and catch you all later!