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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Meat pies and Relief Society Sisters.

WHAT!!!?! HOLY SMOKES THAT'S AWESOME!!! (His cousin got mission call to Central Eurasian/Kazakhstan Mission.)

Wow what an experience. I think Drew Bailey went on that same mission. I remember him also giving me mission advice before I left. So this is the year Zach graduates from school right? Well duh I guess you would have told me all about his graduation had it been last year.
Alright let me tell you what’s been going on here before I respond to anything else. I just couldn't say anything without first reacting to Zach's call. As for us here in this small African town, we are.... umm.... happy and a bit stressed. Really nothing that hasn't happened many times before. The best news is that three of our investigators were baptized with possibly 2 more soon!! Great day! But we are still having a hard time finding new investigators. As I said, it's pretty usual. The baptisms went very well and the branch is always asking how our "fishes" are doing. The Relief Society anniversary was this last Sunday and ours celebrated with meat pies (no not a pie like home full of meat... I wish) and matching outfits. It was powerful. I have also been sleeping outside my room for a bit since I had a large infestation of bed bugs. I finally figured out the mystery of the itching. Our contacting has been very bad as of late. Whole days spent with 2 or 3 lessons, but the rain is also returning so that makes up for that. Alright so the other Obroni (white boy) is named Elder Lesh. He may be leaving in a week or so and I don't want him to yet.

Well I’ll leave everything at that for now. Pray for our finding this week and know that if Dad is fat when I get home, (joke between he and his Dad) I'll never stop laughing. Then I'll remember when I was fat on the mission and I'll humble myself a little.

-Elder Silva

Mangos are popping up faster than rabbits here.

March 14, 2016

Ah another great e-mail from everyone. The thing I love about them is that I can tell that you all at least put effort into your writing.  Just enough to really make me smile. Well yeah I guess things are the same except for one thing.... 3 upcoming baptisms!! woo! Alright, alright I shouldn't count my chicks before they hatch, but they really are looking good. Abesim has had a handful of people progressing now and we're super excited. Just that after that we won’t have anyone else ready. We've dropped about everyone else and the last time we contacted for almost the whole day we had 2 lessons. Long day.

I think the only thing really wrong with my life right now is that I don't get to see Mom's trapeze act. Maybe you could just send me pictures ;) ...Speaking of that, my card reader is finally up and running again. Now It's been months since my last picture send so I'll only send what I think is the best. The mangos are popping up faster than rabbits and they should be ripening in the next month or so. Excited for that. The branch has a temple trip coming up and I'm really hoping a lot of these members can go. The weather is now humid again, but the rain storms are passing over Abesim. Me and my companion think It's because people in Abesim don't want to repent, haha when Em says harsh conditions I'm imagining the Sahara or Mount Everest. Really I'm adjusted and I don't consider them to be harsh. As a matter of fact I realized that unless someone points it out, I don't really notice the heat anymore. Well I'm afraid this e-mail will be a tad shorter this week to allow for more picture time.

See ya next week!

-Elder Silva

The Hamatan Sun 

Our apartment people. 

Behold the area!

One of the best ideas I ever had. 

Boxing with our rock hard bread

Brooke helped me design my latest planner. Happy Valentine's Day...missionary style. 

Save me a Cadbury Egg.

Mar 7, 2016

You know it comes to a point where I just love reading these, that I have not idea what to say in return. Ah the stress. Well this week was actually busy with extra activities. We went to a mid-training meeting in Kumasi with the Mission President. It was great and some good points were made. Of course we hit the KFC on the way home and I spent a little too much money. Oh well you gotta enjoy in those moments right? This week we were actually able to get a handful of referrals. It's a HUGE help to the work, so we're pretty pleased. At least it will make this week easier. Honestly sometimes I just have weeks where I don't know where the next appointment will come from and I don't want to spend the whole time contacting. Normally it seems normal, but as a trainer it's a little different. My son is still getting used to plans falling apart. On that note, me and my companion are getting along fairly well. On further news, we had a District Conference this week and I'm really not sure how it went. There was too much English and people were falling asleep. It really was nice to see everyone, since missionary work usually means being cooped up in a village with just your roommates. We ended up having 5 investigators show up and two of them were a surprise. All in all, things are looking up and we're expecting at least 2 baptisms this month. As for me personally I'm still good. In all honesty, a bit tired, but I still have a lot to do here. The rain did indeed come and our apartment was flooded. about 10 buckets full. We are getting that fixed, so don't worry. The rains are infrequent, but the humidity has definitely returned. It's nice, but sticky.

The mangos will be ripe in the upcoming months and I'm excited to get back to mango munching. I would sure like one of those cadbury eggs, but I'll wait a bit longer. You may have to tuck one away for me later (don't hide it in the oven again mom) haha. I'm glad everyone's getting along at home. For every mean word you have to buy another cadbury egg for me. Deal?..... I'll take the silence as a rousing aye! Well as for Mom's question, my socks are torn apart, but I'll just buy new ones. I've repaired my keen sandals a number of times, and they're still kickin! My shirts aren't quite as white and my missionary tag is half broken, but other than that... naw I'm good. I honestly don't know much about Sister missionaries. They're around, but I've never served close to any of them, and most of my zones and Districts are sister-less. Well Em I would like to tell you some things about what to expect from the culture, but It's really become so normal to me, that I'm not quite sure what exactly would surprise you. Well fam. have a sweet week (is that an Easter pun or am I too soon?) and enjoy having the family more complete again with Em there.

Till next week.

-Elder Silva

Monday, February 29, 2016

Please pull a Jonah and...

I can always count on these days to put a smile on my face. Even though I've been away for some weeks... months..... almost years gosh. If you took away the signatures from your emails, I would know exactly who was writing me, the tone of their voice, their facial expressions and the color of the shirt they're wearing. Okay, I know what you're thinking... but I really do know the tone of your voice! Oh my goody goodness, training is weird. I won't go on a big tangent of the positives and negatives, but boy is it a challenge. I'm happy to say however, that after the first awkward weeks, we're settling into a rhythm and working on our differences. I feel like when I think about my own training, I had a similar experience to Dad's. It's funny how a lot of missionaries, including me, believed that since they were trained, they know what it would be like to be a trainer. Newsflash: It's not the same at all. No I haven't eaten any more rats lately. If anyone wants to make a jab at what other things I've eaten, I'll tell you if you're right or wrong, haha. Home teaching did prepare me for missionary work in a way and I loved having Bro. Jones as a companion. He's a great man. The thought of Brooke going to Wal-Mart, driving alone is weird. When did that happen? It's almost like I can hear a certain Fiddler on the Roof (or Ruff for us Idahoans) song playing in Mom and Dad's head. I'll let you read the lyrics if you want. The Hamatan is finally coming to a close. The good news: we had a big rain storm. The bad news: our apartment flooded. 8 buckets down the hall and on Elder Amakye's bed. I don't think God would stop the rain so much needed by the region only to help a few missionaries...maybe he could pull a Jonah and shade us though? Either way we're working on getting that fixed. Boy I miss seeing wildlife. Ghana really doesn't have any actually. Even the birds are few, although I do see some hawks every now and then. I love the screeches they make. In answer to Brooke's question, Life:...... is full of awesome things. I was just thinking about that today. There's such a big variety of things to enjoy, it's insane, and to think we probably haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible here. I doubt any ancient King here got to go to lagoon, eat bacon-wrapped lobster, or get that glorious feeling of triumph when you stomp over your enemies in RISK... Anyways that's my take on life. This Friday we spent a lot of our time at the chapel. I'm glad for all of those AP English things, because I spent a good deal of time editing our 2015 Branch history paper. Good golly it needed worked on. I'm also sorry for not getting pictures out for such a long time. Computers here are usually bad with viruses and either my card or card reader has crapped out. When it's re-solved I'll send a few things. 

Have a great week, TTFN! 

-Elder Silva 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Raticus Consumis.

Well, well, well the Fam. is all together today!... kind of... Sun... Sun..... aw you're kiddin yourself Dad. wait!... kid... kid..... (in response to Dad’s letter).

Anyways this week was rough but it worked. In a way. The good news is that we found a few more people to teach and one of them was quite the lesson. She asked so many questions that I have never heard any investigator here ask before. She was even questioning religion itself. Well for me it was a breath of fresh air, because it meant she really understood how religion works...Man cannot give the answers. After explaining that, she opened up a lot and said she would pray about everything. She said Christianity really confused her. One reason was the fact that people have died without the gospel, but the gospel is the only way we're saved. Never seen anyone more prepared to hear the plan of salvation. The Elder I’m training is Elder Kanu from Nigeria. We're working pretty well and things are good. I'm getting alot of flashbacks from my own training haha. The problem I'm facing now is that I've felt that I've been literally everywhere in my area. Even the Muslim Zongo. Although we did find a good Christian investigator in that Zongo. The work is slow, but we're trying to get people to progress. No one was able to come to church this last Sunday after 6 promised. Usual, but this time it just seemed tougher. Our mood is still good and we'll keep going. ...Well Brooke if it's any consolation, I haven't driven in almost 2 years. Just old taxis on crazy roads. I'll let you drive me around as well. Hopefully in something better than an old taxi. Just never get pulled over by police and if you drive close to one, signal for a while before changing lanes. I guess that's it for me this time. Enjoy the week everyone and go have fun. 

-Elder Silva

(In answer to last week’s questions of something that happened) . . .raticus consumis I ate a rat. A bit stringy. Just one of the many odd things I've eaten. Now me and Duke (the cat) can relate better haha.


BEHOLD! IT IS I.......ME! 

Yes I'm still alive thankfully. I could tell you just about any excuse for not being able to write you last week . . . like being almost-mortally wounded from provoking a large sheep, or suffering from iraticus consumes sickens, but actually it was all just technical error. Although one of those stories is somewhat true. I'll let you guess which one. I always feel a bit overwhelmed when I miss a week, because then I have to respond to both e-mails. Well in recent weather news it's HOT. I'm sweating like crazy. Training has proved to be harder than I thought, but we'll make it. My area is a very difficult one (although not my hardest) and my “son” is expressing dismay at the language barrier. I wrote a letter to President to ask him about his own views on that, because personally I've thought it to be a huge challenge my whole mission that we don't teach in Twi.

Holidays are recognized, but not really all that celebrated. I received a church valentines card from our neighbor with John 3:16 (the most popular scripture of all time). I miss my family's humor, by the way. I'm surprisingly at a loss of what to say right now. In recent news my release date has been extended two weeks because of changing MTC policies. I come home in August. I'll check out your other letter to see what's written there again. Till next time! 

-Elder Silva J

Eye me dea. Ebeyeyi.

I would reply to your letter, but first I have some small news for you.....

IT'S A BOY!!!!!

Ahem, now that that's out of the way.
If you didn't catch on, I'm finally training!
I'm very happy for the opportunity to train. President has released me as District Leader as well to focus more on this assignment. My present companion is leaving to be a District Leader and 2nd Councillor in his Branch Presidency. I told him to train them well well. This transfer is huge and so many things are happening. I get to see some of my favorite missionaries come to the zone. One is Hyena Boy (remember him?) We played football, er soccer as a zone today and had a great time. Yes I'm still not good, but I did hit the pole. After that shot I wanted to just collapse. Still our team did well and won 9-5. The Dry season is still heavy upon us, with no sign of letting up. If I pray for your winter, would you pray for my Hamatan. I believe it's because our investigators don't want to repent. Or perhaps it's due to my own imperfections. Perhaps I have something to learn from all of this. I suppose it does make me thankful for well insulated homes back home. This week is going to be a busy week indeed.

Answers to the questions for my companion: favorite color-white, favorite food-fufu, has 6 sisters 2 brothers, child of record and he had me running to and fro in football so I guess football is a talent of his. I'll miss this companion. Em's going to Hawaii? Dang she's doing alot of travelling. Good for her. Nice way to celebrate graduation. I have to get up early to travel to Kumasi on Wednesday. I wish I could travel Tuesday instead - to my old area in Atonsu and stay the night there. Alas Enye me dea. Ebeyeyi. The strange thing about speaking here is that missionaries mix our English and Twi all the time that it just becomes habit. I'm sure to let a few words slip when I'm home.

I see Brooke is rockin the license. Does she have a car to drive? If so Brooke just remember Austin's 10 driving commandments- 1. Always keep gum and mints in the car. 2. Remember where your license and registration are. 3. Take it easy in snow. 4. Rock out to music. 5. Don't honk your horn for anything other than dogs, cats and police officers (just kidding) 6. Make frequent taco/drink stops. 7. If your friends live in the middle of nowhere, don't expect Dad to pay for the gas you use to drive them home 8. Make Dad pay for it anyways 9. Be courteous, kind, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent and 10. Don't take after me when it comes to car cleanliness. I guess that's all I can give for now, I'm pretty busy. Have a great week everyone and don't forget to pray for the missionaries in the world. 

-Elder Silva

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We dey laughing well well.

Jan 24, 2015

Hello once again fam! As for me it was a very average week, which means it was good and pleasant. It makes me feel good to hear that things are moving along back home. Today we had a good zone activity and I'll send pictures. As for the work, we met plenty of people as usual and we are teaching a new family. As usual there is a language barrier but members and my Ghanaian companion help with that. The daughter can speak English and she is the one progressing the most. As most missionaries do, we struggle with getting people to church. We did have 2 women come and we are looking at baptizing them in February. It feels so good to have possible baptisms. Everyone is trying to do the best work they can in their area. I mentioned before, but my area is another village. It means it's difficult to find more people and even more difficult to find good English. Also it's a small branch so member support isn't always there. These members are a tight knit group however and they are willing to help when asked. We finally got some moisture this week. It stormed throughout one night and woke us all up. Since then there's been no sign of rain, but it should be coming. A quick update on my personal studies; I've been distracted with books and other things, but I have two books left to go in the Old Testament! I'll most likely finish it this week. Wow what a trip! After that I really want to do more New Testament, but I feel like I haven't been reading the Book of Mormon as much as I should. Our District is doing well and we're trying to come up with something fun to do in a couple of weeks. We'll see what happens. We have a somehow new missionary couple in the Mission called the Wardles from Washington. They're the supplies and nurse couple. They've popped in and out everywhere and came to our last District Meeting and our Zone activity today. They're a fun pair and it's really nice just to hang out with them for a bit. I was pleased to show off our clean apartment, but had to promise him we would maintain that cleanliness. I'd say we've done pretty well so far. I hope this habit of trying to stay clean will continue at home. My health is great and I'd say I'm probably at my best so far on mission in that regard. Well family. That's it for this week. Enjoy as always and keep smiling. 

-Elder Silva 

Jan 18, 2015

I just want you to know that I really did think twice before sending that mouse picture but... Well I just couldn't help it! This week has been a bit of up and down. We are working with a sister who lives far but comes to church on Sunday. We taught her at church on Sunday and she is wanting to be baptized. Miracles. Unfortunately, apart from her, we don’t have many to teach. We had a couple come close, but it's not looking good. I got the ipod and it's very nice. I'm adding a little CeCe Winans if that's alright, haha. We have a specialized training coming up this week with Pres. and Sis. Cosgrave. Apparently the Zone leaders are the ones instructing though. I'm also running out of things to instruct on as a District Leader. I've never been one to read a section and talk about what we read. I try to make mine memorable. I'll make it through this time, but if you have ever had any memorable instructions (if you can remember) could you let me know? It seems that the Hamatan is dying down and I'm itching for that first rainfall. I'll probably regret it when I run home sopping wet again though. It seems that all is well in that place called Idaho. Which country is that in again? Oh and by the way Mom's Pidgin had all of us cracking up. We dey laughing well well. Well all in all I'm still fine and still teaching. Greet one another with an holy kiss and keep asking yourselves "Is the Gospel still working for me?" It always does. Love you guys. 

-Elder Silva