Saturday, July 30, 2016

No place like home.

Elder Silva is finally home after:
2 missed flights
2 long layovers
3 countries
2 years
736 days
12 hours
40 minutes
6 smiles later…

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


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
Oh man,  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 place.)
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 that we 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 

Monday, June 20, 2016


June 20, 2016
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 that everybody keeps 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 progression.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Blast from the past . . .


Jun 6, 2016

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

Well 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

Well this 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.

It's funny 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 Silva

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lots of updates!

May 24, 2016

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. 

-Elder Silva

May 16, 2016

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

May 2 

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! 

-Elder Silva 

Apr 25 

Hahahahahahaha. 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 missionaries.

Hey, I 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. 

-Elder Silva

Apr 18 

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.
I've never 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! 

-Elder Silva 

Apr 11 

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! 

-Elder Silva  

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. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

That Celine Dion song...

March 28, 2016

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! 

-Elder Silva

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! 

-Elder Silva