Monday, September 22, 2014

Lion King Kittens.

This picture is of the baptism of one of my favorite families in the world. They are all such a charming group. They are super strong in the gospel now as well. It's pretty cloudy, but boy does it get sizzlin when that sun hits. I've never been under a sun so hot. In response to Brooke's question. Well, there have actually been some neat experiences this week. For one, I received your package. The drink mixes are being put to much good use and the picture with the cookies had me laughing for a good long while. Seriously it was hilarious. I hate to beg, but seriously Brooke, I need more. Speaking of pictures I finally got your alligator one! Took forever, but it's really impressive. All of my roommates think you have some great talent. Sister Esinam was talking to a friend and told him that the "Elders dropped by again. He looked confused and mentioned that it was the first time she had referred to us as "Elders". Rather she always uses the term "Brother". She has such a wonderful spirit and I pray for her testimony every day. I also found that I lost the term "Apartment" somehow this week. It's been replaced with "home". It's a small change, but it makes a difference. Do I eat American food? ..You've got to be kidding. Haha I have to get inventive in the kitchen for anything like that to happen. Usually it's rice and bread, but I can make some mean noodles, hot dogs and french toast as well as stew with rice. 

Found some cute kittens at the apartment. This picture is the closest I'll ever get to the Lion King in Africa. I had fu-fu once and I don't want it again anytime soon. The taste is good but oh man, it's difficult to swallow. I've had rice ball more often, which has an easier texture. I don't know if I've said this before, but the pineapple here is really good. All of your e-mails are really nice and dad's make me laugh. Laughing is so important on a mission for me.

'Mufasa and Simba'

...Another shot of my desk. These pictures are old, but I'll try to get some newer ones to you next week. Oh guess what? The water is back! after two months I get to use a shower and flush the toilet. Boy life is great. Take care family. 

-Elder Silva

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Time to roll up my sleeves:)

43 minutes. Time to roll up my sleeves (not actually I always wear short sleeve) and start typing. I'm actually not sure how many are in our branch. It's difficult to tell when you have less actives as well. Well, we find an average of 6-8 new investigators a week, but it's all about sifting through the less serious ones. Right now we have a good 6-8 serious investigators right now that we're crossing our fingers for. We had 3 more baptisms last week making a total of 6 this transfer. They are all powerful converts. Two of them are from a part member family and it felt so good to see the family strengthen with new members. They will even chip in on the lessons and teach themselves. They seem unshakable. So Dad's home teaching companion is a new family? Be sure to tell them Akwaaba, welcome, for me. I'm glad to see he's getting his home teaching in. Be sure to help prepare the 16 year old for a mission, because at least for me, I couldn't have expected what I've experienced here. Me and my companion get along well. We all have days where we're tired or sick and are a little more on edge, but both of us understand that the work, and having good chemistry, is more important than personal feelings. He's a good teacher and we work well together. I'll have to tell you more about his life story later. The french toast has turned into the best thing I've eaten on this mission so far. I also was able to make a makeshift hotdog, and slice and fry some yam for makeshift french fries. Also another great meal. The laundry does take some time to do. I need to fetch two buckets from the well, and wash by hand. It gives me an incentive to get up on time on p-days though. Honestly I haven't really been taking any meds. My stomach has just been adjusting. I also don't really use the umbrella much. We walk all over town and I don't like carrying alot around with me, so if it rains there's no point in going back to the apartment to get my umbrella. Besides that the rain provides a nice break from the heat anyways. The Sahara heat isn't here yet, but when the sun's out in all it's glory it sure is hot. Tell Brooke I'll be feeling her pain, because I've started up a nightly work out routine. I'm really trying hard to keep it up every day, besides Sundays, for my entire mission. I love the pictures you put in these e-mails Brooke, and I look forward to receiving your latest picture. You're first one, not the alligator, is in the back of my journal. It's harder to work with the branch here as far as organization is concerned. I was grabbed to teach the youth Sunday school as it was starting this week. Good thing all of my last minute talks at home prepared me for that moment, because I'm actually very pleased with how the lesson turned out. I taught about commandments and how to get over those that seem more difficult than others. Football is a big deal here and I even told a few that my dad is a great football coach. No pressure. I love love love the pictures you sent. Honestly the house seems pretty surreal to me when I look at it. So many memories come to mind though. Don't worry, it's not making me homesick; infact it's encouraging me. Well I have more things I need to get done so I'll end it here. Have a wonderful week. Until next week! 
-Elder Silva

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Ice Cream :)

Alright I've got twenty minutes. Scratch that, more like ten. We have some new investigators, but guess what? Three more baptisms! It's super hard work, but it sure pays off. The only bad thing about baptisms is that now I need to refill my pool of serious investigators. Lately we've had lessons where they've talked to investigators about church leaders involved in plural marriages and the like. We never knew it was going on, because they taught the lesson in Twi. Anyhow, the church can be a bit disorganized here at times. Some branches have as few as six members. Half the work we do is just holding on to the members we already have. Oh and speaking of connections, just know that you can say the best things sometimes. I know I was never at home much, but I knew that my family was always close by, either at home or by a simple phone call or Skype. Here however I'm just about as far separated as I can be from you guys. I really miss all of you. It doesn't affect my work much, but it adds to the difficulty of long days. And to answer your question...sending juice packets and candy are great, but things I can hold onto and not devour are even better. There's a lot to say with so little time. It still rains off and on. My health is doing fine. Stomach pains every now and then, but that's all just my body getting adjusted to the food. As far as food is concerned it's mostly just bread. Sometimes I'll cook rice or go to a stand and buy some fried rice. This week I'm buying ingredients to make syrup. I'm planning on french toast. I'm also gathering fresh ingredients for a tasty stew to go with my rice. I used to buy juice but it's too expensive. The fruit here is good. I had my first coconut the other day. It doesn't taste anything like what you'd expect it to taste. Infact it doesn't taste like anything at all. I never liked pineapple at home, but here it's sooo tasty. As far as ward missionary work is concerned, It's actually pretty easy. The gospel has become second nature to me by now and it's super easy to teach. All that I have to watch out for are complicated questions and locals too nice to tell me they can't understand my accent. Speaking of nice locals, Ghana is a very peaceful country. A motorbike hit the back of a car and both people approached each other. Instead of fighting they just laughed and shook hands. If you want to imagine Ghana, just take what you have at home and flip it upside-down. Just about everything that can be different is different. Weather, food, church, customs, skin color, you get the picture. I'm getting jealous the more you talk about fall. See, as Winter approaches for you, the dry season approaches for me. That means desert heat from the Sahara will come here to Ghana. The work comes kakra kakra, (small, small). Every week becomes a little easier, but It's no cakewalk. I don't get much sleep here for a few reasons. One is because when you have an eight-filled missionary apartment, the temptation to socialize after a long day is just too much. Another is because of the early morning Muslim prayers. I pray for all of you as well and I always hope everything is going well at home. I'm pretty sure Dad would love to coach the Ghanians here. They are really good soccer players. That's it for this e-mail...I gotta go in a bit to do some shopping and buy my monday ice cream in town.

:) Love, Elder Silva 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Obroni (White Man).

This is a picture of us braving the Obuasi rain. So this part of the E-mail will be short, because my session will expire soon. I will be able to get an extra half hour soon though, so I'll send more separately. Sundays for me are great. The church here can be a little unorganized compared to wards back home, but we as missionaries are working with branch leaders to put things like home teaching and the like together. The more I get to know the members, the happier my Sundays are. I'm still adjusting, but things seem normal now. I had fufu last week. Think of taking raw bread dough, dipping it in soup and eating it. It's not bread (Casava) but the texture is just the same. It tastes good, but my gag reflex doesn't like to accept it. We've had 3 baptisms lately. It is such a fulfilling feeling to call them members rather than investigators. Speaking of investigators, I received Emily's colorful letter yesterday. No others yet. Yes Africa is far away. In reality I'm almost exactly half-way across the world. It took Emily's letter about two weeks to arrive here.

 My Sabbath Day was very rewarding yesterday as I had the opportunity to baptize three of my investigators. It really makes the work all worth it. My first baptism was a little humorous. Ghanians don't like water much and I have to baptize four times before it was done correctly. Here is a picture of one of the baptisms. This is Sister R. She is such a powerful individual and I see her having a very bright future. She just moved to another area for school, so we don't get to see her anymore. She will be back in December, so there's a good chance I will still be in Obuasi by then. By the way Brooke I love your style of humor in your letters. Seriously I had a couple curious Ghanians looking over at the Obroni caught in a fit of giggles. I will pray for you Brooke as you go into Highschool. Good luck!

Here are some of the Akuras (children), chasing the Obroni (White Man). Sometimes they come in packs and swarms. The investigator pool is doing well. We usually have at least a couple of serious investigators. The tough part is finding them. Pretty much all appointments fall through, so we just have to come and surprise them. Usually then, they will have an excuse. My favorites are when the kids say "Um, she says that she's not here."

Here is a picture of me fetching water to wash my clothes. So in answer to Dad's question, no I wish we had a maid. We have been out of water for a little more than a week now, so we have to fetch it from a well every morning. Good to see that your team is one step closer to the world cup Dad. Hang in there. I played futbol fairly often in the MTC, but here not so much. We haven't yet had an organized activity for p-days yet, but there will be one soon. I did had a small lizard land on my arm the other day, so I guess you wouldn't have been completely lying. ha. I've always loved your humor dad. I play piano every now and then, but I actually bought a cheap keyboard the other day, so I'm trying to take some time to practice a bit. I really love how the plaque turned out. Meedasi (thank you). Love you all!
-Elder Silva