Monday, May 30, 2016

week 34 (5/30/2016)

It's almost June everybody!  I hope you are all doing well!  Things have been cooling off over here so I'm hoping that means you all in the U.S. have been stealing the heat from us haha.  I think that the past 3 nights it has rained which has been awesome, I must say.

Something that I have really come to love about Ghana is the people.  I mean sure, just as anywhere else in the world there are those people who are a little less easily loved than others, and there are sometimes annoying and odd things that are part of their culture, and sometimes it gets annoying being called white man by little kids 24/7 haha, but all of that aside, I still love them! The people here are just so kind and generous.  They are so willing to give what they already have too little of.
We were at this muslim girls home, and I was watching her three little brothers, they are triplets, 1 of them had a little package of crackers with only a few crackers inside.  He opened the package and gave 1 to each of his brothers leaving himself with 1 broken up cracker.  And he didn't even complain; he was satisfied.  Another time we were over there, all three of them were sharing their peanuts with us and these small seeds that you suck on, even though we have almost no relationship with them because they don't speak english.
When I was leaving Sanyani, "Ma Ennice, " bought me material to make a shirt, even though she was obviously in no position to do that. In Sanyani sister Victoria use to feed us every Sunday.  Here we have a family who does the same.  There is this muslim seamstress that we go to and talk with when ever we are passing by her shop, she is just our friend, and she is always kind and smiling. Even she, once bought us porridge to try (all of this contributes to my fear of becoming obese in Ghana by the way, haha (; ).
It's just amazing to me how willing they are to give and it's something that I have really been trying to emulate since I've come here... I definitely have more room for improvement.

Just as a challenge to you all, since we're all trying to improve, right?(; try to find a way to give to somebody around you.  Don't ask them how you can help, just help; and I'll be here trying to follow my own advice.
Anyway, I love you all!
Happy Memorial Day! Do something fun for me! And stay classy my friends (always ask yourselves:..." it classy enough?" name that tv show).

Elder Speakman


Monday, May 23, 2016

week 33 (5/23/2016)

I hope all of you are well!  Hopefully things are heating up for those of you in New York by this point; it is almost June after all.  I'm happy to say that over here things are cooling off!  In fact my clothes are out hanging on the line right now.  I don't know if they will dry because our sky is filled with clouds, no rain yet though.

Breaking news! Our branch president fed us fufu on Friday!  I hadn't had fufu for so long before that point, the reason is because food is getting more and more expensive as we wait for the rain to come.

It was a nice Sunday!  First of all, three of our investigators came to church only a little bit late, so that was awesome.  Also, the new couple missionaries (Elder and Sis. Renfroe) came to our branch and spoke to us.  It too was awesome.  They shared with us their almost tragic love story, about how they were engaged but chose to put off their wedding because both of them received calls to serve missions and at the same time; so they chose to respond and go.
I wish I could share the whole thing with you but what touched me most was their devotion to God, their faith, and their trust in Him that even if they left everything would work out.  Sister Renfroe shared how even though there were many tear filled nights sleeping on a cot in Argentina, never once has she regretted her choice.  And it's blatantly obvious that the both of them have received their reward.  They are two of the happiest and most energetic people I know.
The point of her talk was that she chose to listen to her heart, and that's what we need to do; because very often that's how God chooses to communicate to us, through our own thoughts and feelings, we just have to be sensitive enough to recognize them.  In her mind all she wanted to do was stay home and marry Elder Renfore, but in her heart she knew she needed to serve.  So she listened to her heart and has never regretted it since.

All of us need to make sure that we set aside a time and a place where we can be in an environment to listen to those promptings of the spirit; that "still small voice."
In the world today we are surrounded by noise and distractions.  If we don't actively put ourselves into an environment where we can receive those promptings, we may miss out on what God wants us to do; and we may miss out on finding anything meaningful to do at all.

I know that God answers prayers if we take the time to listen.  And I know that, "our lives are not confined to a 4 inch screen" (or a 6 inch screen, if you're insane and want to have a tablet for a phone).  Please take the time to think, pray and listen!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Speakman

p.s.- The rain came and my clothes are even  more soaked than before now.  Just thought you ought to know
p.s.s- it soaked our clothes on the line, so the line broke and all my clothes got dirty again. I was happy....

Monday, May 16, 2016

week 32 (5/16/2016)

Hey everyone!
Sorry, this week I procrastinated so I don't have much time to write.  But I hope you all had a great week!
We had transfers on Wednesday. So my beloved Elder Tembo left me, transferred to another area.  During this time I went out with the zone leaders while my companion was traveling up from Kumasi, and they only had two bikes. So our original plan (that I came up with) was to have me ride on their handle bars to the sisters apartment to get one of their bikes for me, (it reminded me so much of being in Hawaii riding on the cruisers), except this time, I was genuinely worried for my life and of falling into a gutter/getting smashed by a truck, so I quite quickly put an end to way of travel. We stuck the bikes into the back of a taxi and drove that there instead haha. 
I'm now with Elder Otieno from Kenya.  I already knew him a bit from my first area.  He's a cool guy but he's a bit quiet...... we'll see if I can keep myself from going insane.. haha
But, things are going well!  I'm beginning to know and love the people and the rain is coming!
I hope you all have a great week and make the most of your time.  
Study your scriptures!
I love you all!
Sorry I have neglected you (;
Elder Speakman
"Procrastination is the thief of salvation."  -unknown
                                  oh, and that's a monkey that I found and touched.
 This is a pic of us riding in the back of an aboboya (basically a motorcycle tricycle with a truck bed) because we couldn't find a cab, the night was upon us and a storm was coming. Squatting in that was fun knees hurt)

Monday, May 9, 2016

week 31 (5/9/2016)

I hope all of you, especially you moms... especially my mom, had a great day!

Mothers day was great for me.  The sister missionaries were having a baptism for a young girl in the branch, who has been coming for six months! Her whole family came to support her even though they aren't members of the church, which I thought was great!
My companion and I went to the chapel early to make sure there was water in the baptismal font for them... and we ran out.  (I know that's an anomaly for all of you in the U.S. haha, but it's pretty common here.  Most people don't even have their own pipes, they have to go to the community faucet to fetch their water for the day and carry it back on their heads.  It usually takes a few trips).  So we ended up moving the baptism to another branch in,  "Kanvilli."  Luckily, one of the members has a car and she was willing to drive them there... us missionaries get to take taxis.  But, it was great!  I was even lucky enough to be the one who conducted, haha.

After that we went home, I ate some bombom beans (something like that), we saw some people, had some awesome lessons, then we went back to Kanvilli to Skype my FAMILY!!!  It was friggin fantastic, I won't go too in depth with that , but it was great and I'm thankful for it!  I hope none of you take your family for granted!!

Also, I have some transfer news.  My companion is being moved to Obuasi.  He and the rest of the branch are pretty sad about that, he has been here for 6 months.  So because he's leaving, we went to our branch presidents home and ate with the sister missionaries.  We had ampesie with kontombre stew, and we even had a disco ball light show, haha.  Celebrate good times (;

Anyway, I hope that you are all having a great time and doing what's most important.  
Love you mothers! And don't forget: "The culminating act of all creation, was the creation of woman."

I love you all!
Take care!

Elder Speakman