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