Monday, February 22, 2016

week 20 (2/15/2016)

Good morning you all!  (that's right, not "ya'll", "you all")  Haha, just kidding, but I hope all is well back in the great U.S.A and wherever else you all are staying.

This past week has been great.  Elder Argo is a great companion and we've really been able to work hard together, even with unplanned - dentist appointments/nightmares that take the whole day.
I won't scare you all too much with the actual details of the appointment, but the miracle is that I was able to get both of us to the appointment and right at 11:30 too... the only problem was the dentist was 2 hours late.  So then he was rushing while working on my tooth (terrifying), so then the next day the filling came out when I was, get this, flossing..., so we've scheduled a return appointment.... I'll have to pray about that one.

Today, is one the busier P-days so I don't have much time to write (sorry to disappoint all my faithful fans (; ). But next week I'll try to have a better message/ story for all.  (we're trying to make chicken noodle soup tonight!  We'll see how that goes, haha). 

I love and miss you all!
Remember to always seek to improve and seek for more truth!  And do it now, not tomorrow.  "Procrastination is the thief of Salvation."

Make good choices!

Love
Elder Speakman

(ps Humidity is the WORST)
(Pss My hands hurt from washing)

week 21 (2/22/2016)

Good morning everybody!  At least for me it is morning, it's 7:15am and slightly overcast here in Ghana.  I hope things aren't too cold for those reading this (; enjoy your snow if you got it!!
This week the heat returned but without the rain (neither are fun to walk in), but the people here are really waiting on the rain to come.  They said usually the rain starts towards the beginning of February, so right now things are pretty dry; as thy have been for a while, and to my dismay manjo season is being delayed!  But I'm not really fearing, I know the rain will come and the humidity with it!

Lately, we have been running into people and meeting with people who tell us that they have met with the missionaries in the past, so they know our church and they like our church.  We even have had pastors call us and ask for a Book of Mormon, they say, "I love that book," and "I know it is good."  Every time I hear this I get confused, and the only thing that I can think to ask them is, "what happened?"
The reasons they give for stopping meetings with the missionaries or not coming to church are many.  Sometimes they say, "I traveled," or "I'm too busy."  Sometimes they don't really have a reason at all.  But something that I've noticed that all of the reasons have in common is, that things stopped being, "easy;" or it was no longer, "convenient," for them.  I could ramble on about how, "being a part of Jesus Christ's church never was meant to be an easy thing,"  or how "Salvation is not a cheap experience" or about how, "[nobody] said the truth would be easy, [they] only said it would be the truth."  But I'll leave it to a much smarter man, Deiter F. Uchtdorf, to say it in words much better than my own.  I hope you'll take a small amount of time to read his talk,: "Be Not Afraid, only Believe,"   https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/be-not-afraid-only-believe?lang=eng
I hope that we all will try to find ways to apply his words to our lives in whatever large or small way we are directed/prompted.

I know that life is not always easy, and having or gaining faith is not always convenient; and sometimes it's not even apparent that it's needed; but I know it is.
The best things in this life are usually the hardest to get, but that doesn't mean they/(it) aren't/(isn't) worth it. 

Seek to be better!  Seek to have more!
If we aren't progressing we're regressing. 

Love,
Elder Speakman'

Monday, February 8, 2016

week 19 (2/8/2016)

Hello to all!!
This week has definitely been a week of change that's for sure! But hey, change is how you know you're progressing (....sometimes, haha).  So I hope all of you had a week filled with good change!

This past Wednesday my trainer/1st companion, left me to spread my wings like a beautiful peacock and soar... My new companion is Elder Argo from Ethiopia.  He's a pretty cool guy!  It's always interesting to hear about what, "home," is for all these different people from so many different places.  But one thing we do have in common is we both love to, "gym" (they don't say workout here).
So these past few mornings we've been, I never thought I'd say this, getting up early.  But it has been sweet.  I definitely miss Elder Ulu, but I get along with Argo as well.  And this guy can EAT!! He's a bit short and has hardly any fat on his body but he ate a whole bunch of bananas the other day for a snack, if that tells you anything.

Something else exciting happened.
So you know, I'm in Ghana, eating chicken bones and everything else imaginable and things have been great.  Then the other day our, "mission mother," delivered a package to me.  To my dee-light, it was filled with chewy candies. So I ate one!  I think it was a, "bit-o-honey."  After eating it one of my teeth felt like it had something stuck to it.  So I went and checked in our little mirror.  Low and behold, to my horror one of my teeth was chipped.  After everything I've eaten, 1 American candy, ended up bringing my downfall.  How stinking ironic is that.  It's like poetry.  So after that I fell on my bed and almost started crying ya know, no biggie.  Now I just have to travel to Kumasi on Thursday to visit a Ghanian dentist.  No biggie, it not like I'm scared or anything....

I hope you're all enjoying life as well, haha!
I love you all!

Love,
Elder Speakman
(p.s. thanks for the candy mom) 

week 18 (1/31/2016)

Greetings from Ghana (I switched it up on ya, no "heyoo" this time)!

 It has been a week filled with excitement over here and I must say it flew by.  I hope yo all had a great week as well!

First off, this week was transfer News! My companion was waiting all week to receive the news that he would be leaving this place haha.  He's been here for over 7 months, so it's pretty understandable.  But, at the same time not, because I'm really beginning to enjoy it here.  But anyway, back to the transfers!  Elder Ulu got his wish and will be leaving for Kumasi this Wednesday along with another Elder in our apartment.  So that means 2 new missionaries!  I'll be living with a stranger again... haha  But if all goes as planned my new companion will be Elder Argo from Ethiopia.  Crazy stuff!

Speaking of crazy... so when we were living in Germany our neighbors were Ghanian, and also part of the military.  When I got my mission call my mom, being much more thoughtful than I, immediately thought of our neighbors and got in contact with them.  Recently they gave her one of their uncles phone numbers, who lives in Sanyani (the city I'm in), and she gave it to me.  We were told that he lived in a different part of the city than me, so I gave it to the Elders in that area.
 Then one day we received a phone call from some guy asking about my mom and we were both really confused so we hung up.  Then I realized who it was!  And I called him right back! Man was I excited!
 So we made an appointment after we found out where he lives (not an easy task by the way), and this Saturday we met up with him!  In summary it was stinking awesome, he and his family are awesome! He offered me a place to live and welcomed us as family and this Sunday they fed us and gave us food to take home as well. 
All of that was awesome, but what amazes me most is this: We knew this man's family when we lived in Germany, and some of them were even coming to church with us while we lived in Germany.  Then, we moved to NY and lost most connections.  Then, one year later I received my mission call to their home country.  Then I went to Kumasi.  From Kumasi, the first zone of my mission that I got called to was the zone Sanyani, where their family lives, in the area that their uncle lives, in a house that we have passed dozens of times.  Either that's a massive coincidence, the world really is tiny after all, or it's a great blessing and opportunity.  But as for me I choose the latter.
It's still amazing for me to think about....!!

Anyway, I hope that you all have a great week.
Stay Happy and try to recognize the hand of God in everything!

Love,
Elder Speakman

She is the grandmother of one of our investigators. She's 107 years old and still hearing and talking. She was worried that she didn't look good for the picture so they adjusted all of her clothing haha XD it was funny.  Her grand daughter said "she thinks shes still young."
I guess nobody ever plans to grow old!