Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Q&A with Elder Silva

Who is your favorite investigator right now to teach?            
Do you have one that's particularly hard to teach?  

Hello again! I'll post a picture of my current favorite investigator. She's the one with the cat. We had one investigator who asked lots of questions and never accepted answers in lessons. He came to church once and scattered the investigator and Elder's quorum class by trying to convince them they were wrong. We taught him once more recently, but he still seems the same. We may end up dropping him.

Tell us about doing laundry there.  Do you use the plunger thing much or just scrub the clothes together - use cold water or warm it up sometimes?  How do you get wrinkles out when hanging the laundry?  Do you need more white shirts?  

Doing laundry takes a while. If we don't have water then we'll go to a well to fetch it. I scrub my clothes together. It used to make my fingers bleed, but I'm used to it now. Just coldish water with washing soap. We just hang them up on a line and iron them when they're dry. My white shirts are a bit dirty, but they're okay so far.

What is your nearest neighbor like? 

Our nearest neighbor is right next to us. The building is split in two and she occupies the other half. She's the landlord's daughter. Muslim since we live in the Zongo (Muslim community). She's nice to us and there's no problems. There's a man who parks his car in our compound so some mornings can be a bit noisy. Also the landlord's son will pop in randomly sometimes. He takes out our garbage and sometimes helps us clean though so it's not too bad.

It's funny how much your testimony grows here even when you think you already know a lot. I understand things so much clear than I ever did and every day my testimony of this miraculous gospel is strengthened. I'm so grateful to be part of a family where we are all active in the Lord's gospel. I'll have plenty of gospel topics to talk about later.
I didn't realize you guys were on Spring Break. I hope you enjoyed the breath of air. Now get ready to jump into the ocean of school again. I saw a test the other day from a student and I got scared. I didn't realize how good it feels to not have any grades to worry about. When I graduated I kept having dreams that I was still in school and I had missed tons of math homework.

One thing I never thought about; there's no such thing as cat food or dog food here. They just feed them scraps. The cats here eat rice and fish.

Students really are the hardest part of teaching right? I once taught 10 investigators at once. I don't know how Dad manages 20-30.

This may sound funny, but I miss mowing (no you can't use that against me when I'm home). I guess I just miss grass. Nothing but dirt here.

I've had a lot of learning about the Holy Ghost recently and my testimony of it is growing in a way that it never has before. A talk that Mom sent me about it helped a lot too. Well I think that's about it. This week was full of bad contacting, but I'll keep my eyes off of those waves. 

Enjoy the week and know that I love you all. 

-Elder Silva

I think she might be scared of me :/

Ghanaian sun with a haze and rooftops

 Here’s my current favorite investigator, Hannah. the owner of Adom the cat. Her second time at church. Pray for her. 

 It's hot, even in the shade. This wasn't very comfortable though so............

 I became Pharaoh.

 The boys came with style to church

 Missionaries in action!

 Common food. Yam, stew and fish.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fanyogo and Fufu.

Dear family,

Well I suppose this week has gone alright. Just a pretty average week. We have several investigators progressing. The hard part is getting people to church. The rain is coming back so the heat is decreasing. The humidity however is peaking. Today I finally have some pictures ready, so I'll be able to send them for your enjoyment. I think someone from home asked me about ice cream the other day. Recently I've become addicted to the "fan" company. Fanice is like a strange vanilla ice cream. Fanyogo is a strawberry yogurt and fandango is like a frozen tropical drink. When it's hot, well these babies are perfect. People sell them all over on their heads. ...I'm not wearing any socks today. ...Just thought I would tell you. As for now I don't have a whole lot to say. I hope the pictures will make up for that. I'm still enjoying my area. I ate fufu yesterday for the first time in weeks. I didn't realize how much I actually missed it. 

Have a great week everyone! 

-Elder Silva

 He claims to be 135 years old. If that is true then it just goes to show that you are never too old to be baptized!

 Cassava field. This is what they use to make fufu.)

 Destroyed my companion in chess :)

 This is how they color chickens in Africa. 

 Another shot of my desk

 Duke's new girlfriend Adom. Pronounced (Adoom, meaning Mercy).  Duke is the Silva family cat.

 Bear Grills (TV survival expert), taught me to use my resources. 

 Going to a Ghanaian Funeral. They're long and I can't understand the language. It seemed to go well though. 

Falling asleep in Elder's quorum. (It's a work in progress)

Thought it would be nice if we pinned it up.

You've got to admit the kid has style……Okay maybe not.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pokemon in Ghana.

Hey everyone. 

Another week has come and gone and this time I'm in a nice internet cafe. I mean "nice" because everything here works smoothly. I don't have to wait 10 minutes just for one page to open and there's a small fridge with soda here. We traveled to Kumasi today for p-day to have a nice meal. Why? 2 reasons. 
1. It's Elder Argo's Birthday. My MTC companion Ma'ungatai has moved to Tamale. (the hottest part of the mission) Elder Argo is his replacement and he was also in the MTC with me. It's nice to catch up with them. 
The 2nd reason to come here is because we exceeded our baptismal goal for this month. We just had 5 baptisms this week. I was able to baptize 3 members of a family (the rest are too young). I'll include a picture as always. 
We have maybe 2 more potentials coming up. We'll see what happens. We had an investigator come to church and scatter all of the lessons with his persistent questions about God and Jesus being one. We've answered his questions through multiple lessons but he came to church to argue with everyone. It was a bit of a mess. I got to teach the Youth Sunday school also. I actually really enjoy doing that one. In regards to Mom's spelling it's Akwasi (means man born on a Sunday). Some say Woho te sen, but most say ete sen (I can't spell that right with this keyboard). In case you're wondering, no I don't speak Twi. I know some basic phrases, but there's not much motivation to learn it. There's no language study, a good number of people speak English and only the Ghanain missionaries know Twi. The biggest reason is because the Mission President won't allow us to teach in Twi. Only English. I still haven't figured out the reason why yet. Twi is still fun to use 'small small,' if only to entertain the locals. They get really excited when they hear an Obroni (white man) speak it. 
In more news, we moved apartments this week. We're out of the chapel and into the Zongo. That's the Muslim territory. They don't provide any trouble and we don't bother them. I'm learning basic greetings in Arabic though haha. Brooke's E-mail was nice.  I would love a heath blizzard when I get home. Please make a note of that and hang it on the wall so you remember. There is ice cream here if you feel like spending a bit of money. You usually have to do a bit of searching to find good ones, otherwise you can find Fan Ice (a funny vanilla). It's still pretty good. I just spent a decent chunk of money on a big jug of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. I can't do that again for awhile, but I'm going to enjoy tonight. ;) I hope General Conference will be more available to us. I didn't end up watching the last one. Ghana feels hotter these days. Then again it always feels hot so I'm not sure. Today we finished our wash, put it in a bag and carried it on our heads to the chapel to hang it there. (we don't have a line at the apartment and the neighbor's was full). I was dripping in sweat. Yuck. 
When the trash is full we stuff it in a wheelbarrow and head to the local trash pile. Well all in all it's been a good week. I look forward to hearing from you next time. 

Have a great week! 

-Elder Silva 

Happy day. 

 This girl is by an orange stand we always pass. She knows my name and runs up to me every time she sees me. It's pretty cute. 

 Elder Ejo playing football with the kids. 

Haven't had this in almost 8 months. Not near as good as home, but still better than most things here. 

Pokemon in Ghana :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oops...wrong mission.

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't get this out to you yesterday. All of the internet cafes were down. Well this week has come and gone and so has the transfer. The new Elder coming is my MT (he was in the MTC with me). His name is Elder Argo from Ethiopia. I'm looking forward to being with him. Speaking of letters I got a couple from Mom. The talk and the one with Brooke's picture of me holding up the cat. It was awesome. It's too bad you can't really send me chocolate for Easter. Otherwise I would love a Cadbury egg here.  Our teaching pool is increasing "small small". We just had a family of 6 referrals from a soon-to-be recent convert family and another referral has come to church multiple times. We're looking at 3 baptisms next week and hopefully at least 1 more before the end of the month. I haven't been practicing piano at all last week. I should start again. It's just tough to have the motivation to do anything once we get done for the day. ...We're dead. Summer is upon us and it will be for the rest of my stay. The rain is a little low too, but I expect it will pick up once we get closer to May. In a weird sort of way I miss mowing the lawn (don't use that against me when I get home).  

I'll attach a bunch of pictures, (I think I missed these last couple of weeks). 

Have a great week guys. 
Love you. 

-Elder Silva

 cute kid. 

This man claims to be 135 years old... The man on his left is his grandson. Ghanaians didn't keep good birth records then, but he does seem pretty old. 

  I’m still taking out the garbage….not much has changed.

 Practicing for Independence day

 My new proselyting equipment... I wish.

 Cashew fruit... This stuff is full of juice, but dries your mouth and is nasty.

 P-day football (soccer)

That famous African wildlife!

                                                                 Oops...wrong mission.