Monday, December 28, 2015

week 13 (12/28/2015)

     Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year! (or in Twi: "A fesha fa")
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas no matter what the circumstances.  And for those of you lucky enough to celebrate it with family, I hope you enjoyed "papa!"
      Christmas over here was definitely an experience.  First of all, the most difficult step, we woke up (JUST KIDDING- It wasn't difficult because chickens seem to love our yard in the morning. Jokes on them, they all got slaughtered for food this holiday season), then me and Elder Ulu bought some Koko (this one is porridge not plantain) which is now one of my new favorite breakfast meals.  Then it was time for presents!  Thank you to the Watertown youth (and visitors) for the notes/pillowcase.  I love them all.  And of course a big shout out to my family and any others who sent letters, whether received or still completing their journey to me.  All of that aside, my favorite gift that day was getting the chance to speak with my family.  Sorry you nosey people, I'm keeping our conversation to my self (; But, seriously, it was sweet.
     One of my biggest regrets is that I took so much for granted before my mission, most especially my family.  When we are given much, we tend to forget how much we really have been given.  And when this happens we set aside these gifts that are precious as things of naught.  We begin to ignore or even forget about the things that are most important, and of the most value, because we take them for granted.  We instead focus our time, energy and interests on things of less, little or of no value, especially when looking through an eternal lens.  I can't name all the things of value in this life that we should be focusing on, nor can I name all of the things that may be distracting us from them, but I know that as each of us look at ourselves, our lives and our interests, we can find areas that are in need of adjustment and correction.  Be creative when looking at yourself (;  There is nothing wrong with improving.  
     Something that we tend to forget this Christmas season, in the excitement of giving and getting gifts, along with the countless other distractions of the holidays is, ironically, the true meaning of Christmas.  The birth of Christ.  The greatest gift that has ever been given in this earth's history.  The expanse and significance of this/His gift is vast, and my testimony of it, simple, but it is real.
     I Know that He is our brother who we each kew before we came to this earth.  I know that He knows and loves each of us!  He knows who we are, He knows what we are going through, He knows our pains, whatever they are, and our weaknesses.  I know that He is our Savior.  He came to this earth to fulfill His and our, Father's plan for us.  I know that He was sent here to set the perfect example and submit to the ultimate sacrifice so that we wouldn't have to.  I know he can comfort us no matter what we are going through, and that through him we have a path through which we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families, eternally.  I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ and His church that these things are true.  And it is my invitation, that all will find out by investigating for themselves, and not set aside things that are precious as/for things of little or no worth.
Always improve!  Always learn more!  Always focus on what is important! I am nowhere near perfect, (I'm not even sure if no where is 1 or 2 words), but I wouldn't want anyone to waste the time that we have been given here.
MERRY CHRISTMAS (Late) TO ALL!!  AND TO ALL A ... Happy New Year as well, I guess (;

-Love Elder Speakman

ps At Branch Christmas party I pounded lots of fufu with the big pistol... (Stick)  I guess it was kinda cool or something... haha (smirk).

Monday, December 21, 2015

week 12 (12/21/2015)

I'm sorry that I missed the blog last week, but I hope you are all doing well!  Things have been good the past 2 weeks!

There is this Sister named Comfort that has been taught by missionaries for the past 4 months or so, and three of those months have been with me.  It has been a looooong time. But this past Friday, she chose to be baptized!  It was an awesome moment! And, she let me be the one to baptize her.  She's really shy and normally doesn't like to talk too much, but when she came to the baptism, she was smiling and talking and over all just happier.  As we were walking her home, I asked her how she felt and she said, "I feel happy."  When she asked how I felt, I said the same thing.  Then, she said something that made the happiness grow even more.  She said, "Thank you for showing me the right way Elder Speakman."  Man, that felt awesome!  I probably should have said something inspiring at that moment, but typical me, I came in clutch and said, "no problem."

Something that I've always told people is that it doesn't' matter where you are in the world, it's all about the people you are with.  Being  missionary isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.  When you get to spend time with the people and see the blessings the gospel brings into their lives and especially the lives of their families.  Blessings they didn't even know they were missing; and blessing that I didn't even realize I had before I came out here.
But anyway, it's almost Christmas, so I hope you are all happy and speding time with your families!  And always remember waht Christmas is really about.  I'll give you a hint, it's the first syllable in the word; Christ.
  I testify that he really did come to this earth and suffered for all of our pains and weaknesses and mistakes, and that through Him, we can return to live with our Heavenly parents and our families here on earth, in the life to come!

Merry Christmas! 
Happy Birthday Gannon!! And Happy Anniversary to my parents and Uncle Mitch and Aunt Ale!

Love,
Elder Speakman


Zone Conference 12/2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

week 10 (12/7/2015)

Wow.... it's almost Christmas!  Well... that's surreal. 
 I'd say that after being here for 3 months I've begun to normalize myself with the fact that this is where I will be for the next year and 9 months, but every time I think back to being a kid and saying that I would go on a mission, I go into a moment of disbelief that that time has actually come.  I guess more like, has actually begun. Apart from the terrifying thought that my life has begun, I would say things are going pretty well here, haha.

I've been here almost 3 months, I'm still with Elder Ulu and I got mail!!  For those of you who didn't write me feel free to guilt-trip yourselves into changing that (; Just kidding, but seriously, thank you to all of you, you know who you are!

Hamma-Time is different than I expected.  First off, it is very dry.  Vaseline is being bought in abundance by my companion haha.  Seriously though, it is terrible.  My eyes burn sometimes, and the throat becomes sand paper.  There is dust everywhere!  It is crazy, but it's not red dust, it just looks like fog.. that never goes away.  If you look to the sky where the sun should be, you won't find a floating orb, there is no defined circle, that whole portion of the sky is just lit up, it's interesting. And it's nice because the sun isn't so glaring in the afternoons.  The storm of sweat has been quelled (see how I used my own name (; ).
 Here's another positive.  You know those people who you hate walking next to because they can't seem to figure out how not to run into you (surprisingly sometimes we do have to learn how to not do something, well, lucky for me my companion isn't one of those people.  Lucky for him, I am. We'll be walking, I look up at the sky to watch the sunset and suddenly Elder Ulu's view is rapidly turning into the red dirt.  It's fun, haha

Speaking of fun, the other day we met this journalist for this big news station here "TV3".  He has traveled to Utah before with the President of Ghana and other journalists.  So after talking to him for a big chunk of time, he invited us to come back Saturday and teach him because his wife was going to be in town.  So we did, and it was great.  I would say I have had better lessons but this one was still great!  Dang, this guy had soo many questions, and he kept going deeper and deeper until I told him that if we kept going he wouldn't even understand what we were teaching because he didn't even know what we believed yet.  One thing he was very interested in was temples, which I can understand because temples are sweet.
But what I liked most about his lesson was that I could talk.  I didn't have to talk slower or simplify my language because he understood!  He understood and then he asked more questions!  It was great, that's all I can say.
 Sometimes communicating with people is a real struggle here.  Some people don't speak English so we go back with member to teach them so they can translate.  Some speak pretty well, and some you can't even tell.  Like they talk to you, and say they understand, then they say something that makes you think you might have to repeat the whole lesson with them again.. hahaha.  The people are great though!
There is this one boy Emmanuel who can barely read and can not write.  He's actually able to get through school just copying what the teach wrote, then writing it again to answer the questions given.  It upset me, so I started trying to teach him.  I'm pretty sure I sounded like a monkey trying to help him sound things out... anyway, I hope you all had and have a food filled and yet productive week, haha. 
I love and miss you all!
Love
Elder Speakman

ps please forgive me for my terrible emails/lack of them

Monday, November 30, 2015

week 9 (11/30/2015)

It's, "Hamma time!"  The first time I heard that I thought the person was just being funny or quoting a song, but no, "Hamma time," is an actual time of the year haha.  I thought it was hilarious when I first found this out.  It 's basically the summer (during the U.S. winter).  So there is very little/no rain, which means MUCH fewer clouds, which means I'm cooking over here.  But thank-goodness this means less humidity!  Although, when Elder Ulu and I are walking down the street, the dust from the cars is a bit overwhelming.

Something that has confused me since day 1 is that in the market I see people selling winter gloves.  And on top of that I see people walking around in winter vests... and hoodies!!  You know, I still don't really understand why they wear them in the middle of the day, that's a mystery, but apparently part of, "Hamma time," is having cold nights and cold mornings.  Needless to say, I'M PUMPED!

The other day we were passing by this old man whose job is to sit on a little wooden stool and shuck/remove the kernels from dried corn.  He sits outside to work, and behind him is a room filled with corn.  So Elder Ulu and I convinced him to let us sit and work with him.  At first he didn't want us to because he didn't want our clothes to get dirty, but eventually we convinced him to let us help. We removed the dried kernels until we filled a big black tub.  I began wondering how anybody can be happy doing this day in and day out, and I wondered if I would be able to do it if I were in his position?  I also wondered what was keeping him going, what could motivate somebody to do something so monotonous, all day every day?  Then I looked up from my corn and saw him smiling at something behind me.  I turned to look and saw little children playing and laughing with each other.  I asked him if they were his children?  He said, "yes."  Then I realized what it was that kept him going, what gave him hope in a life that seems so bleak, Family!
I'm sure I could have written this all much more eloquently, but it's really is as simple as that.  The most important thing in this life, and what we should all be striving for is family.  Not just to "have" a family.  We should strive for family.  I think that removing the word "have" makes the sentence much more meaningful and profound.  I encourage everyone to think about what that means to them?  What can you do better?
The family is one of God's greatest gifts to us, His children.  Through the priesthood and temple marriage He has provided a way for us, that our families can be Eternal, Families can be together Forever!  I'm thankful for my parents for their amazing examples in following the commandments of God and making it possible for our family to be eternal.  And I'm thankful to them for always teaching me and showing me the right way since I was a child.

"None of us were pre-destined to receive anything less than all The Father hath."  I like this quote. It reminds us that, "decisions determine destiny." Let's all make choices that will benefit us in an eternal perspective.  Not choices that bring us momentary and counterfeit pleasures.

I love and miss you all!
Make good choices!

-Love
Elder Storm Speakman


Monday, November 23, 2015

week 7 (11/9/2015)

"Ey Masta (s)"! That is probably my companions favorite thing to say.  Along with "what ting dey worry you?" and "masta forget."
But hey, things are good.  I'm getting much clear to my Nigerian (Elder Ulu)  We both swap stories and compare our countires as we are walking around, but I'd say a majority of that walking time is "pondering time." (;
Oy, I'm getting tired lately.  For example today (which was Sunday when he wrote this), I fell asleep for a minute in the church until the earth started dropping around me and I almost jumped out of my chair.  But it was a good day.  We had 4 of our investigators come to church (1 brought her family), and afterwards we went out with my good ole friend Bro. Ernest.
But in case you were worried I had lunch first; a delicious Egg, Cabbage, Margarire, onion sandwich.  I can cook "Papaaa" (very well in Twi).  Seriously it was delicious! 
Also, if all goes well with the baptismal interview, I'll more than likely be baptizing someone this Saturday!  We've been meeting almost all of our goals lately, especially as a district.  We have really been working hard.
I have been meeting a lot of my personal goals as well; one that I'm most excited about is working out morning and night. It's stinking hard!  I've never been closer to inhaling my own sweat, swimming in it or going blind from it in my life (you can always count on me to talk about gym"ing."  Speaking of the gym! We may have found a g that we can go to and lift some rusty gears every morning!  Brother Richard will be taking us there tomorrow to check it out. 
Also, I did get my first haircut last Monday. It was less than glorious. A patch of my hair did somehow go missing and is no where to be found. You can be assured there was much bobbing and weaving of the head.  I felt like I was boxing someone while sitting Ina chair, adrenaline was pumping. Sorry no pictures.

For us the sun sets and rises at 6 all year round. Its nice to be able to watch the sunsets though, but we don't get to stay out too late, usually we are home around 8 because you can't really contact at night. But one night I climbed up on the roof and just looked at our sparse stars. it was nice though. We also have fireflies. Especially on the path that leads to the church. They are a different kind of firefly's though, they're interesting. They're more of an orangish color and they glow for much longer, even as they are flying they continue to glow.
On Friday people were "singing" and speaking " in tongues" all through the night until 5 in the morning in the "infant Jesus school" across the street from us, that's always fun. There always seems to be some kind of chanting when we are walking around at night.

I've made it through 1 transfer!! It did fly by I must say, I cant believe its already almost been 2 months. One of the elders in the apartment is going to be training and its very likely that he will be training an American because that's what a majority of the new elders are. It seems we were the beginning of a wave of Americans coming to this mission.
This branch has some leadership issues but other than that its fantastic.

Well, anyway, I said a whole lot with out really saying to much at all, sorry.  But, I hope you are all well and making good choices. 
I love and miss you all!

Happy birthday dad and Isaak. I hope you both had good birthdays. 
We, I'll see you all soon (;
Love-
Elder Speakman. 


Monday, November 16, 2015

week 8 (11/16/2015)

Hey everyone!  I hope you are all well.  And if not, then just start talking, I'll strain to listen (;  But as for me, thing are going pretty well, I'd say.
The work is just as hot and sweat as before, but that's not such a bad thing.
 I was listening to a talk, I'm not sure who gave it, but he said something that I like quite a bit.  He said, "To sweat is as much a divine command as it is to pray."  We're here (on the earth and on this mission) to work, as scary as that is haha.  "Idleness creates a vacancy of worth (same guy)."
I've noticed that when we are truly giving our all to something, we feel much better about ourselves.  We all know that we have great potential (just think about it).
And for myself, I've noticed that the only time I feel okay with not living up to that potential is when I create within myself feelings of "passiveness."  The only way to feel comfortable or even "content" with my "under-achieving self" is when I simply stop caring or ignore the fact that I could be so much more, or so much better, if I just worked (something that was much easier to do back home with 1,000 distractions surrounding me).
Sometimes just the prospect of work can make me sweat.  And it can be scary!
Looking at what I want to be, and what God has made it possible or me to be, the work that it will take to get me there is frightening.  And you know what?  None of us even knows our own potential!
None of us know just how great we could be. And if it seems our time here on earth may even be insufficient to accomplish all that we hope for.  We won't always have tomorrow.  We won't always have tomorrow to say sorry, to learn more, to get better, to grow.  We won't always have tomorrow to change.
 A saying that I have come to despise is, "next-time."  What a short-sighted statement.  "Next-time" won't always some.  In fact, most of the time, as soon as you've said those 2 words, "next-time" never comes.
I could keep going forever because I'm writing this as much for me as for anyone else.  Believe me, I've got work to do.  And it's not easy o'.
I'll leave you with one last quote:  "Procrastination is the thief of salvation."

I love and miss you all!
Love,
Elder Speakman

p.s. Happy Birthday Mom!  And also Miriam and Jaelle!  And Happy anniversary to Uncle Mitch and Aunt Jamie


Monday, November 2, 2015

week 6 (11/1/2015)

Oh geez, what to write, what to write.
Well, things have been very busy I can say that much.  It usually rains about every other day, sometimes we're lucky and we don't get caught in it haha.
Going along with this "business" comes a lot of walking.  It's funny how those two things go hand in hand here.  Back here being busy usually brings about a lot of sitting.  And we do get to sit, don't worry haha.  70% of the time it's outside on a tiny wooden stool that we're doing it but hey, sitting is sitting.
Halloween is/was not Halloween haha. Honestly, I forgot it was until the end of the day which was probably a good thing.  It ended up being a great day though and before we had remembered it was Halloween we had gone to the night market and bought some fufu ( I never thought I'd ever be doing that either for all of you who are surprised haha).  I also bough some bananas and Elder Ulu bought some popcorn.  So when we got home I ate all of these delicious foods as a tribute to Halloween.  I even ate a few of my M&M's.
I am actually getting a pretty good hang (what an odd phrase) of the food here.  And judging from my skewed standards, I'm actually getting pretty good at it.  There's this one Elder, Elder Tushabe, who eats beans and rice almost every meal of his own choice.   That ... I don't understand. My meal changes every meal.  Also, mom you would be proud, I mix my cereals in the morning (mostly because I don't want to use all of my good cereal in one meal aka. the granola).  The biggest problem with the food is that I'm eating too much and working out too little.  I refuse to get fat again haha.  The awesome people need to stop feeding me so much.  Unless it's koko (baked-ripe plantain).  I'll take as much of that as they want to give.  It's hard not to waste all of my money on that every time we pass a stand.
Tonight I did 2 new things.  The first one was, I ate Sugar Cane.  Dang! That stuff is amazing.  It's literally pure sugar.  I've got a bit in the fridge for when I read (see what I'm talking about?).  The second thing was, that I took my first bucket shower. But! this was speical.  It was heavenly because I heated my water.  That was my first hot shower in about a month.  But apart from the very un-necessary but enjoyable heat, there was another reason for the bucket shower.  I got this sweet infection under my nose and on my hand that came out of no-where.  I've been putting Neosporin on it so it's going away but it was no fun.  I decide that it came from the water that we aren't suppose to drink and yet we run all over our bodies.  So I heated some filter water instead.
All in all, I would say that things are going pretty well for me.  It's obviously hard and a big adjustment, but I know it's what I should be doing and after all, "No Regrets!" I always say.
 I love and miss you all!
 I hope you are all well and make good choices.
 See you soon!
Love,
Elder Storm Speakman

ps- I watched General Conference! Here are 3 quotes of the many I wrote.

"The Power of the Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive." Pres. Eyring

"We must recognize who people are, where they come from and where they are going" Pres. Eyring

"We need to see people through a parents eyes, God's eyes."  Elder Renlund

5 weeks (10/25/2015)

Hey Everyone!

It has been a long while! I've been having troubles sending my blog but hopefully as you read this it means I have found a solution.
This past Monday, we had a little zone activity at our apartment.  Each of us pitchted in 12 cedis to buy a sheep, leusava and Plantain.  That's right, we were feasting.  Fufu and sheep meat all the way. Killing that sheep wasn't something fun. But let me tell you this... actually never mind, but even a "clean slaughter" was still grody.  So, after skinning it and sending the meat to the kitchen to be added to the groundnut soup, we began punding the fufu.  It's a process and I'm not sure the fufu makes up for all of the calories expended in making it. But how it works is you have the "driver," the person who places the leusava/plantain and risks his/her hand moving the fufu, and the pounder.  Ther person who lifts and slams the log to crush the leusava and Plantain until thy become on big , play-dough-like mass.  It's magical I'll tell you what.  But, I'm not even kiddnig that was the best fufu and Groundnut soup (right after Mama Mary's) that I've had since coming here.  I was super suprised.  These Elders have some cooking talent. 
Yesterday, we went to do service on a guys farm.  What we did was cut the grass in this big area with cutlasses so eventually he will be able to burn it and plant some leusava.  People here made it pretty clear that they don't think white people can work so when I got my run to cut I wasn't too keen to stop until Elder Ulu forced me to give him the cutlass.  Blisters and all, I didn't like being told I don't have heart.  But 1 serious word of advice.  If you live in Africa, and you walk many miles in 1 day, don't ever, ever, ever work out your legs unless you plan to take a trotro or taxi everywhere.  Midnight calf cramps are real.  I've woken up on numerous occasions on the verge of screaming because my calf was tearing its self apart. 
Last thing.  Tomorrow, Elders Ulu, Crerd, Wilson and I are going to this hotel to Email and get this, eat PIZZA! You people have no idea.  Food has become my life.  And there's never enough of it it seems (but there is) there's never enough variety (which there isn't).
I hope you are all doing well.
I miss everyone back home but I'll be seeing you soon.
Love,
Elder Speakman

10/18/2015 (1 month)

I'm very sorry I forgot to send in my blog to the editor (mom) last week.  I know I probably have  a lot of avid followers who were very disappointed.
 Man I don't even know what to talk about a lot has been happening. 

As I'm sure you can imagine we walk...everywhere... all, the time.  Honestly it stopped bothering me after the first week haha.  I feel like I could walk forever, not even kidding.
 Sometimes the heat really gets to a person though.  For example, yesterday, we were walking home from buying power (by the way the power goes out all the time here. Apparently the gov. sells it to other countries and let me tell you, without the fans it gets hotter than Hades in the apartment), and we weren't even in our church clothes because we had just cleaned the church and our house was being fumigated to kill the Satan-spawn cockroaches.   That walk, in my shorts and t-shrit, was the hottest that I have been since coming here.  Sweat was free-flowing, the dust from the traffic was blowing, and I was just munching on my 1 cedi bread trying not to drown in my own sweat.  Eventually I gave up on wiping away the sweat and just decided to go with the flow *quite literally.  Elder Ulu and I just laughed at our pain.  I was honestly just happy not to be one of the guys swinging pick-axes to fix the road.  Although it did look like a pretty good workout. 

The people here are awesome.  They are so nice, and I'd say we get fed an average of 1 meal a day. But some days it's even more.  Take today for  example. I made myself a big lunch of noodles, carrots plantain and bread, then we went out and got fed 2 dinners haha.  I'll work that off tomorrow.
Speaking of the food, I'm beginning to like a lot of it!  Rice and noodles are still my safe foods, but I really like the fufu with ground-nut-soup.  I like the yams, and I like the lcoho (baked Plantain with nuts). The 1 thing I don't like is Banku.  That stuff likes to stick in the throat. 
I've actually gotten to pound fufu 4 times now.  I might buy a "pistol" (the pounding stick) and just go pound over rocks in the morning for my workout.  It seems to work for the people here haha. 
But in conclusion, this was a much better week with too many stories to tell .  I''m finding members/investigators that I can talk to which is always nice and things are getting better.  Reading and writing have become my forms of entertainment at this point.  It's something new.
 I love and miss you all!
Make good Choices!
Love,
Elder Storm Speakman

And Happy birthday to Gentry, Grandma, Parker and Brinday!  Sorry I'm late!
p.s Yesterday, was my 1 month makr. It has gone by fast but slow.
p.s.s Tomorrow we are buying a sheep as a zone and cook it together... so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

10/26/2015

Sorry my peeps (a.k.a Brothers and Sisters) I've been slacking in my blogging duties.  It has been a busy couple of weeks.
My first area is in a place called Sunyan; and I 'm in the  Penkware district.  My new companion is Elder Ulu.  He's a pretty swell guy.  We didn't talk to much at first; and I must admit that it was terrible.  Being left to my thoughts is not a good thing sometimes, Hah.  In fact one of the thoughts I had was,  if you were to stick a group of teenagers in a land of dirt with no distractions (a.k.a phones), and left them to there for about a month, they would all go insane.  I'm probably scaring you all, haha
Things are actually going well here.  At the beginning Elder Ulu did a lot of the cooking for me but now I'm getting the ropes.  One of my favorite things to make/eat is fried Plantain.  And if the Plantain isn't ripe and you fry it just right it will taste just like a once removed second cousin of a french fry.  I actually really like them though. 
The other day, our district had a service project.  So my companion and I and the other elders in our apartment, and the 2 American Elders in another apartment (one of whom is Elder Lierd whom I sat next to on the plane to Ghana, and was in the MTC with), met up and went to paint the house of an investigating family.  It was actually really fun and the family was awesome. They definitely made my day.  They were the most American people I've met here thus far.  They were taking pictures of us the entire time. haha
But the fooood.... Oh that was heavenly.  I love rice and they gave us so much that I didn't even have to cook.  It was wonderful.  We're actually going over to eat Fufu tonight with them so that will be fun. 
Oh and me and Elder Ulu are thinking we'll buy a chicken tomorrow, that way we can actually have some meat.  My how I crave meat.
I sure miss your cooking Mom.
Until we meet again!
Love Storm/Elder Speakman

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/19/2015

Storm is having some technical difficulties with his group letters, he said,  "I'm trying to send pictures of what I wrote for the blog but it says my drive isn't formatted. so this could be a process because I don't want to delete all of my pictures. I might need to wait until next week and use a different sd card. just write that I'm sorry I haven't been able to write if you would and explain my situation.
 thanks madre
love Storm

 So I am sharing some of my email from Storm:
We have a shower! no bucket showers here, but the water is cold, and its hard to resist drinking the unfiltered water.
I'm learning to really like fufu, especially when some people make it.
We have been having a lot of rain but its almost the dry season. My farmers tan is awesome, it starts at about halfway down my neck.  
Our yard is made up of rocks, some weeds, and glass haha. 
 Washing my clothes is fun. The first time I got blisters but today they only got a little bit raw. 
 We head to the mission home along with the other greenies.
 Also, we should be having a baptism! that will be fun. 
I'm hungry all the time haha.
 I love and miss you! 
thank you for everything
Love Storm


Thank you for keeping in touch with Storm I know he loves and appreciates it.  He only has 1 hour of computer time, so he is trying to learn how to manage it.
Hopefully we will have more details next week about his missionary life in Ghana these past 3 weeks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

10/5/2015 In Kumasi

I washed my clothes with my hands today. I got 2 Blisters on my left hand from it. I'll have to keep getting tougher I guess.
We've had quite a few free meals. the people here are extremely kind. They all say good morning or good afternoon, etc. And all the little kids call me "bronie" some of them try to hold my hand, some just follow for a bit, some sing a song, some just yell and wave. At least I'm liked haha. I am serving in the in the Sunyani zone.
We have 2 progressing investigators and I know that 1 of them, Sister Esther (we are teaching 3 sister Esthers) will get baptized.
The fruit is super cheap here. and there's a little fruit stand outside our house that we go to to get pineapple, bananas and oranges. 1 Cede for 5 oranges or a bunch of bananas.

Its been raining a lot here lately. It poured on me and Elder Ulu on our way home last night and we had to sprint about a half mile. We were both soaked, absolutely drenched. I had to take his stuff from him and get him to keep running which surprised me because hes a pretty fit looking guy.

There is so much trash everywhere here. I miss the wildlife. We have wild farm animals but that's about it, and lizards. Not what I was expecting.

We haven't gotten to watch general conference yet.
I am doing well. I'm a bit tired and have definitely felt better haha, but I'll be okay. I miss  moms food so much.

I'm doing alright, hopefully things will get better.
Love, Storm

Letters and packages can be sent to the missionary through the Postal Service using the following address:       Just send padded envelopes or USP flat rate envelopes and make sure they are secured with PLENTY of clear packing tape.                                                                                                                                                                          
 GHANA KUMASI MISSION
           Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder/Sister (Missionary’s Name)
P.O. Box PMB KS 16333
           Kumasi, GHANA

 Mission President Michael L. Cosgrave and his wife

 1st companion Elder Ulu

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

week 2 (9/29/2015) Heading to Kumasi

It has been a week full of ups and downs. The beginning was probably one of the hardest adjustments of my life. But things are going great. I love the elders here. 
The African Missionaries are awesome. They are so happy and friendly all the time its crazy. 
If you walk anywhere you are bound to shake the hand of at least 3 other people. And there is an abundance of different hand shakes to try and learn haha. It's always fun. 
I have had 2 continuing struggles here at the MTC (missionary training center) the food and the sleep. Just kidding the food actually hasn't been that bad. It's definitely been different. The 2 most interesting things I've eaten have been the Fufu and what I call "Rice Porridge". but the hardest one to eat was the fufu. We are supposed to rip off a little piece of the...dough, or whatever it is, then use our fingers to dip it into the soup. then you put that in your mouth and swallow it whole. I think the soup is necessary so that #1 it doesn't get stuck in your throat, and #2 so that it actually has some taste. I would suggest not chewing it, because then there is a sensation...but I don't know if I would dare to call it taste. 
The sleep has been hard because apparently some people only need about 3 hours of sleep. Not even kidding some of the Africans go to sleep around 12 and wake up at 4:00. Its a struggle. But once I'm asleep I'm knocked out so that's nice. I don't even sleep with the sheet on me (they don't even provide a blanket because there is absolutely no need unless you have a death wish) but towards the middle of the night it gets to the point where I like the sheet to be on about half of my body. 
These 11 days? have been awesome. They have been full of great memories and people. I leave for my actual mission in Kumasi in about 30 minutes! So talk to you all later!

-Love Elder Speakman






Wednesday, September 23, 2015

week 1 Ghana MTC (9/23/2015)

 Hello,
I got here safely and the travel went well. On my first flight they had to delay to kick off some guy who was drunk haha. But it's okay because I was sitting at JFK for hours on my own anyway. Eventually 12 other missionaries showed up from all over the west.  All the Elders here are awesome both the Americans and the Africans. They've definitely been a huge help and good role models. Even in this short amount of time.  We are already talking about having our mission reunion at Elder Burge's house when we get home. That would be awesome. The Africans are so friendly. They all know my name but I only know like 5 of theirs haha. Its a struggle. The Names are hard. My first companion is actually from the Philippines, he is the only filipino here. but he's pretty awesome. He really knows his scripture references.

The food is alright, the first day and the second day it was horrible and I could hardly eat. But now I'm getting used to it and my stomach is almost back to normal size.My favorite new food is what I'm calling rice Porridge haha. Its actually not bad but its definitely not my favorite. Thats a joke. It was the first thing that we ate when we got here for "breakfast" along with breads, baked beans, and some white pineapple (<- glorious). 
 Its the humidity that kills!


We get to go outside every day, but there is a wall with an electric fence at the top so we can't really leave (jk), its just to keep other people out.

We went to the temple today which was amazing. It is beautiful. 


Today at lunch, I wasn't that hungry because I'd just eaten breakfast, someone started playing the piano. It took them a while to get the hang of it but eventually they got the notes right and they played the song that I was hoping they would. So I went over and sang with the group. It was great. 
Tell everyone I say hi and I love them! Including my friends!

I'm loving it although this is going to be a long two years haha
Love, 
Elder Speakman

 Arrived at the Ghana MTC 9/18/2015
 Meal time with Companion.
 District of Helaman

 Teaching 

Ghana Temple 9/23/2015


From MTC Pres.
 2 miles from the Ghana MTC.  If you look out a few miles South of here, it is where the equator and the Grenwich latitude line intersect.  So missionaries leaving from theGhana MTC are leaving from the Center of the Earth to the mission field. (Nice tidbit, eh?)