Monday, August 14, 2017

week 97 Last days in Ghana (8/14/2017)

Well, my peeps... my time in Ghana has come to an end (at least for now), and I can't believe it! 
As I'm writing, it really doesn't feel like I've been here for 2 years, but when I look back at all that has happened, it becomes easy to see.  
I don't regret coming here even one bit!

Throughout my life, I've been blessed to be able to travel all over the world, and that's something I am and always will be grateful for.  But none of those places have been quite like Ghana.

As I've been here I've learned so much, but as I reflect, what I'm most grateful for is that I've learned to love the people around me more than myself.

I really have come to know that God lives and he loves all his children whether rich or poor, black or white, Christian or Muslim, God loves us all!  And he wants to give us the things that we need to have joy.  This doesn't mean that we won't have sorrow.  We can't know joy if we've never known misery.  But to me it does mean that he knows our limits, he knows when we need relief, he knows when we feel like we're on the verge of breaking and if we keep faith and put our trust in him, rather than in something temporal and temporary, he will bring us peace, guidance, and sweet relief that we so desperately need.  
Never give up!  "Doubt, not because you see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." 
God lives!  He loves us!  And he has restored his gospel to give us the greatest and most lasting joy we can get in this world.  

I can't wait to see you all!  And I'm so grateful for all of your love and support and friendship no matter where I go in the world!

Love you!

See you all soon!
-Elder Speakman 

1 Nephi 3:7
         And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

1 Corinthians 10:13
        There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

week 93 (7/17/2017)

The climate has mostly been rainy lately! It's been awesome. 

We're struggling a bit to know where all of the members stay and getting them to come out with us, but we have some great relationships with a few of them and we got to know two more on Sunday. One was a girl named Abigail, bishop asked us to go with her to her house to bless her grandmother, not a member, who was not feeling well so we went allllllll the way to her house, that sucked up like 1/2 of our day, but it was cool! Abigail was awesome and she was able to show us another members house who stays near her because they want us to teach the wife's younger sister. It was fun walking and talking with her too. 

There was one guy who showed up to church on Sunday named Kojo. His friend talked to him about the church 10 years ago....he has been going from church to church and praying about where he should go. All of a sudden that memory flashed through his mind after the prayer. So he came and he loved it.  After visiting Abigail's grandmother we went AAAAAALLLLL the way back to the other side of our area to visit him while the spirit was still fresh in his heart. It was an amazing lesson. He loved it all. 
This morning we received a text from an unsaved number that said: "I have sought the truth and I have found it. My heart is filled with joy. Though I feel sad being rejected by many, but my spirit has found joy. I am privileged to be a part of this family". I was really confused for a minute but after investigating I discovered that it was his number!....I've never had someone receive an answer so fast....its amazing. and I'm so happy for him. 

We have quite a few progressing investigators in this area. Its wonderful...

I hope you have a great week!

Elder Speakman

Monday, July 10, 2017

week 92 (7/10/2017)


My final area is  Asuoyeboa for 6 more weeks....crazy! 

My new area and new companion, Elder Ordyna are great! IM LOVING IT.  Seriously, I don't think I could've asked for a better situation to, "die in."  Seriously, loving it. 
I'm really going to miss it here. Maybe I'll come back. It could never be the same though, I think it's impossible not to love the people you're surrounded by when you're a missionary. I get to talk to everyone, I get to try and help everyone; it's a completely unique experience. 

The people of Ghana are so unique, and happy, and loving, and hardworking, and humble, and and and, I should probably stop using "and", but I could probably go on forever. I'm so glad that I made the choice to come on a mission. A lesson I've learned is, "that often what appears to be a sacrifice in the moment, turns out to be an investment in the future."  I've grown so much in the time that I've been here. I don't regret it at all. 

Every single day we experience something new; and being with someone who just came straight from the States has really helped me to see how much of an adventure this whole thing is! I completely forgot that it's not normal to eat a fish head or see half the things we see every day haha. Maybe one day I'll be able to share it all more completely, but I'm thankful for my faith, and I'm thankful for the joy and the hope that it brings into my life. 

Elder Speakman 
With "my Son," Elder Ordyna

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

week 90 6/26/2017

Hello everybody!

Sorry that it has been so long, things have been pretty busy up here of late. So i decided to let my companions labor away in the kitchen for some time so I can write you; it was a difficult decision, but I decided that I'm willing to sacrifice for all of you (;.

If you don't already know, I've been serving in a tri-companionship for this past transfer.  Elder Nimely from Liberia and Elder Ayim from Ghana are my companions.  We've been getting along great and we have great unity in the work; it has been great!  I've made some great friends in this time that I've been in Ghana.

I'm now closing up my second to last transfer and am approaching my last...  2 years is almost up.      Sometimes it's had to believe; but when I take a moment to reflect on all that has happened within these two years it's hard to believe that it hasn't been even longer!  So much has happened.

This past Saturday we were blessed to witness the baptism of two great men.  Both of them have come a long way to be where they are.  Who I want to talk about is the one whom we taught.  I've learned a great lesson from him, and it is that we can accomplish WHATEVER we set our minds to.  No matter what limitations we may feel we have or what limitations others may label us to have.  In my entire experience with Alfred, we never once had to coax him, prod him, or otherwise try to persuade him to do anything from the beginning.  He's the one who was making advances; he is the one who was making choices.  He stopped us as we were about to pull away in the car, he told us he wanted to find the truth, he told us he would come to church the next day, he came (and he came in a suit and tie at that), he spoke at church, he walked 40 mins. to meet us in the hot sun to lead us to his house, he called us and asked if we could meet at the chapel, he told us that he had an addiction to weed, he made the commitment to stop.  He did everything he promised and more.  Even Saturday night after his baptism, he was in the mud, in the dark with us jacking up the van to try and create a platform to free it from the mud; that's after he went around with us the whole day teaching.

We can do whatever we set our minds to and more.  We can be just as great as we hope to be.  The other man also had to overcome an addiction  prior to his baptism; for him it was a much longer process, as it will be for some of us to accomplish our goals, but he did it!
We are all children of God with limitless capabilities if we choose to use our time and our talents well while we're here on this earth.
 I know these things are true.  I know we can overcome anything IF we rely on the Lord, especially through prayer and scripture study.

I love you all!
I hope you have a  great week!

Elder Speakman

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 88 (6/12/2017)

"Hey everyone!! 
Sorry it has been a while, I still don't have much time but I thought I would at least let you all know what's going on here. 
This morning was fun! We went to one of the chapels near the university and we were playing soccer on the basketball court outside while waiting for the other elders to come and play with us, when these two guys called through the fence "hey elders! can we come and play??", of course! it was sweet! one was named John, the other was Papo. Papo was on Elder Mutloungs and my team...we destroyed. It turned out that the two of them were pastors! They were awesome guys. One thing I'll miss about Ghana is how friendly and open everyone is.  

The other day too, we were stuck in serious traffic in the middle of town (we were going there to pick up an elder who was being emergency transferred to Techiman) when all these people started coming up to our car and asking for the bible, so we started giving out pamphlets and the book of mormon, eventually we only had one book of mormon left so we told them that we were out. But then this guy came up to my window and said "I want the Book of Mormon!", everyone else was just calling it the bible so I was very surprised! And I told them to give it to him.  He was so excited! It was awesome! Then as he was about to leave he turned to me and said with a sly smile on his face "I'm a pastor!" He laughed and slipped into the crowd, hahaha, I was dying. I thought it was hilarious. He's going to use the Book of Mormon to go and teach in his church I guarantee. 
People love the Book of Mormon...but they don't understand how significant it is. Sometimes, that's how we are as members of the church, we know that the book is true, and we will defend it to those around us, but how many of us really understand the significance of the book and do our best to study it diligently?
 To make things short, read it! cherish it! it makes a difference, I promise. 
I love you all, and hope you have a great week!
-Elder speakman. 
Office Elders with new nurse missionaires

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

week 84 (5/15/2017)

Hey everybody, longtime... I guess that's my fault.  Sorry, things are always pretty busy over here so it has been easy for me to find something else to do rather than write you all, but I am repenting so please forgive me (;

My time here is almost up.  Two more transfers to go... it's difficult to believe; but at the same time when I look back at all that has happened it's not difficult at all.  These past two years have been rich, full of so many great experiences provided by so many wonderful and inspiring people.  I don't regret it at all.
Nothing is ever ideal or perfect as it might look like from the outside, mission included; otherwise life would be quite like a fairytale I suppose, and nobody would ever cry.  But that's not really what life is about.  We're here to grow and become better, there's never growth in comfort and there's not comfort in growth, but the times when we grow are the times that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Coming on a mission has been the hardest experience of my life, I know I'm not done yet, but reflecting is good, right? (;  I've loved it, is the bottom line.  I'm just glad the Lord strengthened me and gave me the desire to finish it.
The people here have changed me and my life forever.  That's not to say it has been a fairytale, it wasn't!! But, it has all been worth it!
I hope that I can continue to strive to be positive through the good times and the bad, and always remember the good over the bad.  I hope you all can do the same.  I love you all.  I pray that you are well.

"Do what is right, let the consequence follow!"

Have a great week.

Elder Speakman

Mothers Day Baptism

 We went to another members house in our area (she's the cook at the mission home). That's my companion and elder Lindley the Assistant eating fufu

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 80 (4/17/2017)

Hey everybody!  I hope all is well.  I do miss you; but time is flying over here that's for sure.

Life in the office is a totally different experience.  Gone is the physical stress of walking under the Ghanaian Sun, a new kind of mental stress has begun.

This past week was crazy, it was transfer week and Elder Ayim and I had to do our best to learn everything as it happened because we will be conducting the next one all on our own... scary.
My new companion is sweet though!  I'm so blessed to be able to serve with him.  He's always smiling, always happy, always positive, always humorous and always generous.  He's evidence that your circumstances don't determine your level of happiness, only you can choose how happy your are.
So that's my advice: "Be happy, eh?!!

Love you all!

I know everyone always talks about remembering the true meaning of Christmas; try to remember the true meaning of Easter too.  And if you don't know what that is, go here:

Have a great week!

Elder Speakman

PS- Driving in Kumasi is a dream. My first day driving was when we were taking the elders Going to Tamale to the bus station Thursday morning....then they told us the bus wouldn't go so we had to find a new way....that meant driving into the market. NOT FUN. Luckily side view mirrors fold when you hit them. Now I'm fine though, back in the groove of things. Cutting people off like an animal is a habit that I hope not to carry with me when I get home though, but it's the only way to move here. 

Good times in the office