Monday, July 20, 2015

My Two Year Trek.


My own “two year”  trek has been great. Elder Anderson is relaxed and easy to get along with. Good thing too since our apartment contains only the two of us. Anyways the new area is small. Yesterday we had about 10 people total in the congregation. Effiduasi was also small, but this is the smallest I've ever seen. The good news is that I don't have to worry about memorizing too many names and faces all at once, haha. The work is a little slower since it's a smaller town. Many, many people are SDA (Seven Day Adventist) here. For those of you who don't know their main belief is that the Sabbath Day is on Saturday not Sunday. It makes it easier to go to church (since nothing usually gets in the way) but I feel like their testimony isn't strengthened as much as those who sacrifice attending their own service to come to ours. Apparently when the SDAs came to Ghana, Agona (my new area) this is where they established themselves. Wouldn't it be neat if it was the Latter Day-Saints instead? Aw well, I'm just happy their Christian. I'm living in the Zongo again (the Muslim side of town). The early prayers still don't wake me up (I've grown very used to that), but the chickens and people fetching water at 4:30 in the morning still do. The apartment is small, but after some redecorating and moving things around, Elder Anderson and I have a sweet new set-up arranged.  The weather here is very humid, as we are in rainy season, and the heat just sticks to your body. I don't know the actual temperature, but it sure does feel hot. I don't know if I ever told you this but, as you know, I came home late a lot back home and, as you also know, Mom is a night owl. Whenever I came home, Mom was usually awake, or else would wake up, on the couch in the living room. I would usually throw my stuff in my room, grab a glass of juice and just talk with her for awhile. I loved those times and they are some of my favorite memories from back home. Treasure those opportunities with family. Well I think that's all for this week. I wish you all the most wonderful week ever and I do want to see some more pictures. 

With the up-most love and care,

-Elder Silva

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Mission President.

Greetings dear family!

Good to hear that the 4th was fun for you all. I myself am going to celebrate today at the apartment with my "father!" (aka my missionary trainer).  He has been my zone leader for this transfer and now we're both leaving. ...Yes, I'm being transferred.

6 months in Obuasi and 6 in Effiduasi. Now I'm going to Agona. I'll be companions with Elder Anderson. It's his last transfer on mission so I'll see him go home...hopefully he has some junk to get rid of! I've been with Elder Asada for 1 transfer and now with Elder Anderson for 1. Fast companions. I went from a decent branch, to a smaller branch, to even smaller now. It's not easy, but It's special to see the beginnings of what will one day become part of a Stake. Some converts/investigators have a hard time saying goodbye, but they'll get over it soon. They always do. They say, "That's it! I'm not going to be friends with missionaries anymore! I don't want to miss them." But they always do. :)

I played basketball today for the first time since shots must have showed it too. ha. I smell terrible and I hope the people next to me in this cafe aren't too upset. The country and mission are both treating me well. We were low on food this week, but surprise meals saved our lives. Missionaries will eat anything when we're hungry. Don't expect me to be a picky eater when I get home. We have a new Mission President! I’ll miss President and Sister Holmes. Sister Holmes was by far one of my favorite people I’ve ever met.  The new Mission President looks nothing like the newspaper clip. We met both him and Sister Cosgrove at a mission tour and their instruction was good. My health is fine and I appreciate the new medicine and the watch. That package was a surprise for me! Also Elder Hyena loved Brooke's hyena picture. He thinks it's "so cool."

Gotta go fam, but thanks for the e-mail. 
Have a great week. 

-Elder Silva 

 One of my favorites (seriously it is). Banku with pepe and fish.

 Those end of the day blues... 

 My favorite two boys. These guys are really smart and love to learn.

 Offset the sunset with a really bright full moon!

Ah! Those Ghanaian sunsets!

Brooke's drawings (with different headings) for Elder "Hyena" :) 

"That's the last time we knock on that door!" 

"It's just like running with the bulls in Spain!" 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

These people are true pioneers.

My feelings towards the mission have changed a lot. It's something that I realized was happening just this week actually. Instead of getting upset about the heat, forgetting to get food, low money or anything about home, I find myself getting more disturbed at investigators not coming to church, failed contacting, or lessons with stubborn people. In other words, I'm more concerned about the work now than other matters. It's a big change and it feels so good! The timing for what happened at church yesterday couldn't have been better. The branch presidency decided to show a video about how the church came to Ghana. It made me realize just how new the church in Ghana is, especially in the areas I've served. These people are true pioneers and it makes me feel good to be a part of it. I've seen incredible people and have had many experiences.
Overall things aren't bad over here. As far as the work is concerned... well I'm not quite sure. New opportunities and new obstacles. This is also the last week of the transfer so news will come Saturday evening. We are planning on having 3 baptisms this upcoming Sunday and I'm so happy! I know that those are more rare in other missions, but it's been a while since we've had one.
I know that you are always praying for me and my investigators and I appreciate that so much. Remember that in missionary work I only ever do about 25% of the work. The rest belongs to the investigators and the Lord. Surely the Lord will do his part, but my investigators need prayers in their behalf. Some have willing hearts but frightened spirits due to family issues etc.. Pray for them please.

Alright let me take a look at your e-mails and see what questions I can answer: 
I never actually know the temperature here but.. well, it's hot. The humidity is high too being how this is still rainy season. I got wet again yesterday. The good part is that if lights are out and there's no running water for bathing, we can always take a rain bath! I also have made progress with my fat belly! I'm so proud of myself. Give it a year and I'll come back with armor made of skin! If you want an idea of weather just go into mom & dad's bathroom, shut the door and windows and turn the shower on as hot as it goes. Just sit on the ground for awhile and do it wearing your church clothes.

-Elder Silva  

A few excepts from Elder Silva’s journal- (A request from his mother)

So Christmas Eve was not all that good for me. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was on fire. I didn't get much sleep. In the morning we went out for proselyting and had a difficult lesson with an investigator. After that I told my companion, Elder Okutu, that I needed to go home. We went back and I layed on my bed feeling terrible. He made me a banana chocolate shake, which I normally love, but I could barely drink it. I've never had one since that day. We went out in the evening for midweek, because we really needed to teach an investigator there. It was a long midweek and the investigator never showed. I had to wait longer for Brother Bright to finish with the young single adults so he could take me to his house to e-mail you guys about the Christmas Skype. There's not much to say since most of the day was spent in bed. Possible Malaria?

This morning was much better. I was still a bit achy, but my fever was gone. I made some kind of french toast and I wolfed it all down. I didn't really eat anything the day before, so I was starving that morning. The day consisted of going out mostly to recent converts and having a lot of food. Mostly fufu. I could barely contain it all. Man everyone wanted to feed us. We chatted with them for awhile and shared stories. It was nice. Towards the evening we saw the same investigator from the day before. We just had a nice chat and she ended up feeding us too...(I nearly died). The deal with food here is that if someone sets the food before you, you MUST eat everything, otherwise they'll feel bad. I ended up getting to Brother Bright's house in the evening and after some technical issues that I solved with my massive brain :/, I was finally able to Skype the family and Chazz. (Austin's cousin) I recorded how awesome it was including how fun it was to see Chazz. I also said that Duke (pet cat) was getting fat and I blame that on the family; particularly Brooke. The thing about Christmas is that it's not celebrated here at all like it is at home. Just a regular day with a special church program,  good food and a few cheap fireworks. It was nice for me though and I'm starting to miss some of my Obuasi converts just thinking about it. 

 No it's not an earthquake, it's soldier ants. These things will tear you apart.

 The Barnies. The medical couple. I love these people. 

 These are what dragonflies look like when they're waiting for wings. Kinda cool eh? 

 Me and "Hyena boy" at the district conference (The Elder is originally from a different part of Africa that has Hyenas).

 The scary bridge to "Zion" (the name of this area). It gets flooded over sometimes so we have to be careful when crossing.