Friday, September 25, 2015

Still have the lights...

Sep 21

Hey guys! Well it's another one of those weeks. I'm trying to think if anything cool happened this week. Mostly routine, you know how it is. Don't get the idea I'm bored, the work is still a good work. Unfortunately “C” with the two kids has still not come to church again. 3rd week in a row. Don't know why this time. We just baptized our new Branch President's wife. Really happy about that, but it's looking to be awhile before another baptism. I collected ingredients for a stew and the Elders from Asamang came to our apartment to eat after a baptismal interview. In short my one week stew is finished. sigh... back to bread and eggs. There's a storm coming outside right now. The lights might go out so I hope this still gets to you. I'll send this one in case it does.

(Still have the lights) I love the outlook of your guys' emails. They're always so fun for me to read, even after so many. I'm happy to hear my letters got to you so quickly. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope you delivered Edna's and Emily's. It was about time I wrote to you guys again. My birthday? Hmmm I guess that is kind of coming. Well I'm on a mission so..... yeah I don't really need anything. Whatever you see fit. I'll let you know, there's still time. :) Well I don't have much else to say. I'll let a couple of pictures do the talking. Love you. See y'all next week!

Sep 14 


Loved the pictures guys! I wish I could write a big long letter about all of the many things that happened this week but, well it was pretty average. However!...(shakes finger) However.. There has been a change in the branch Presidency! The president is still the same. He's new to the job, and one of our chief problems was that he didn't know how to run a branch (one of the oh-so-common problems with branches). We have new Counselors. An elderly Ghanaian man who has learned a decent amount about the church and Elder Halliday! He and Sister Halliday just came to Ghana a couple of weeks ago as couple missionaries. Now that he's in the branch presidency I can breathe a little. The Hallidays are neighbors to the mission president. I guess he invited them to come to Ghana and help. They certainly seem like good people. That's about it. Our investigators sadly have not been coming to church. We just keep pressing on hoping for better. The highlight of my week was an exchange with the District Leader. Due to some problems we ended up staying together for a number of days. It was fun to have a mix-up. Also I got a package from Em! Isn't she the greatest? I also got mom's talk by Elder Holland. Very nice. The conference was good and we're having a zone conference tomorrow, so we're staying in Kumasi tonight. Very happy to hear about Chazz. Well, i'll still be here doing the same until the cows come home. Not insinuating that I'm a cow or that missionaries in general are cows, or.. ah just forget about it. Well I wish you all the best, and hopefully I can send a few pictures your way. 
Love you! 

-Elder Silva

Sept. 7, 2015
Well fam, once again it's great to hear from you all! Things aren't perfect, but my companion and I are living in relative harmony. No bad blood. I'm sad to say that the lady with the kids did not come to church. We saw her the night before and she said she had a stomach problem. Ghana food for you... P-days are usually the busiest and sometimes hardest day of the week. So much to do. Good thing you guys make it nice. Best thing that happened? Well we had some older members come to church on Sunday that I had never met before. Hopefully this means a return to activity. Hardest thing that happened? Well just proselyting. It's not an easy area and there are issues with the branch organization. To answer more of those missionary questions directed my way: Yes they eat dogs (and cats), no piranhas (or crocodiles), I do have a rash maybe fungus on my foot. Yeah we play soccer sometimes, people mostly use taxis when going long distances. Your KFC is a little different from mine, ha-ha. Enjoy the potatoes and biscuits. I'll try to send a pic or two your way. I love you guys! 

-Elder Silva

The Branch President's wife got baptized :) 

The local watering hole. Everyone gets water from here, people, animals, frogs, mosquitoes…..

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bad Goat Intestines...

August 24, 2015

Time is short but these e-mails were very, very good. I don't know how you all manage to pull that off. So for news: My new companion is Elder Onen from Uganda. I think I already said that. We're doing fine. However he fed me a bean stew he made with bad goat intestines (long story) and I have been suffering with the worst diarrhea of my life. It doesn't help that after the stew I had hot pepper in my next meal. My stomach is on empty since yesterday, but I'll start eating small small soon. Today we are in another area to stay the night since tomorrow Elder Carson is coming to speak to the missionaries at 7 AM. Whose idea was that? I look forward to it though. We had a new investigator named Sandra come to church - her first opportunity. Excited for that. 

As for Dad's questions, well I already answered the first one. To speak honestly my stomach never feels 100% fine on mission so I'm somehow used to it. Strange food leads to strange dreams . The only nightmares are the ones where I come to school and I haven't done the last 4 math assignments. I'm very happy to wake up from those ones . . . I forget that my name is Austin -  Brooke just reminded me of that. It sounds really strange. There were even a number of people in high-school that called me Silva instead too. 

Studying the scriptures has become an absolute joy for me and I often go over my time limit in personal study. I have found a new love for the Old Testament and am just starting to read about King Solomon. A lot of lessons learned there. To answer your other question...well, witch doctors aren't always easily avoided since you don't always know who they are. Suffice it to say; Black Magic is something no-one should meddle with. I try to stay positive, Something my patriarchal blessing greatly admonishes me to do. I've even named the cockroaches in the kitchen! As for the last question, I can't give a full answer as to how much I love you all. Believe it.... that includes Duke the cat. Well I think my time is up. I love you all and wish you all the best! 

-Elder Silva

August 31st, 2015 

Thanks for the jokes.  I always appreciate any jokes haha. Wow so I'll start with me. Sometimes I've felt as if Agona is like a desert in the field, but we had a lady and her two kids come to church this Sunday and I really think they loved it. Fingers crossed. Also we had a traveling member return so we finally have a member to go out with. Other than that it has been mostly contacting and finding new people. Agona is an old town and many old people live here, so the language barrier is pretty strong. Our new Branch President's wife returned from a trip to her mother recently and we're hoping she’ll be baptized soon. She's ready. Been a while since I've had a baptism. I know that may sound usual for some missions, but for me it's not what I’m used to, haha. We have a couple of young women, but no young men. A bunch of children and older people. We do have a handful of young single adults.

            This week we have another conference with Elder Curtis from the Presidency of the Seventy. His one last week was great and this time I'm in full health and ready. We're staying at another apartment closer to the venue so we have a sleepover with 14 Elders! I have a lot of my favorites there so I'll really enjoy it. We actually just came back from KFC. Man I'm full. 

            If you ever wonder I actually have a lot of dreams about still being in school. I've said that before, but I say it again, because it happened to me twice this week. A mission truly is something else. I can only speak for one of them, but it's an experience I'll never forget. Anyways, don't worry, I'm not eating any of my companion's food anymore haha, so all is well. Well right now we have a very busy day so I'll have to get back to you guys later. I loved hearing about everybody's week and I hope that the info. about my week is enough. If not just let me know and I'll try to take more time. 

Have a great week everyone! 

-Elder Silva