Monday, August 29, 2016

week 47 (8/29/2016)

Maakye-oo! (It means, "good morning!")   I hope you are all doing well wherever you are in this world!

Things are going well over here.  I don't really have any exciting stories or incoherent lectures to give this week  haha (; (sorry Tag).  But, things are good! 

The missionary work continues here in the grand Dichemso ward!  The people here are wonderful!  Our area here is smaller, so we tend to see people much more frequently and I have to say it's nice to just be able to greet people as we pass by, as simple as that is.  The members here are great too.  They really do their part in coming out with us and I've become good friends with a couple of them.  We had a baptism yesterday!! Some of her family are members too, as well as people in her compound.

There's this one guy, Evans, he comes out with us a lot.  He's just such an, "interesting," guy hahaha, seriously, it's hard not to find myself laughing at him at least every 2 mins.  And he always makes sure to give his best effort in teaching me the twi... even during lessons haha.  I'm trying with the language haha (really there's only so far I can go without study time and teaching all our lessons in English, not to mention the lack of books) but yes I'm trying. The twi is coming kakra-kakra (small small). 

Really, that's all I can say.  Things are good! Mission is difficult, but it's sweet! And I've learned so much and grown so much, that it's worth the hard times.  Sometimes, I just don't feel like I'm doing enough as a zone leader or I don't know what to do, so that can be stressful (usually when it comes to witnessing disobedience and not knowing how to handle it), but I guess everybody has their own agency...lead by example and try my best to encourage them.

But, I love and miss you all! 

I hope you're all making good choices (:

Go learn something!

Elder Speakman

                                                       Baptism yesterday

                                Group photo with Elder Bednar and his wife

Monday, August 22, 2016

week 46 (8/22/2016)

Another week!  Time is flying over here, I can't believe that next month will be my 1 year mark in Ghana!  I'm almost on the downward slope ladies and gentlemen.  haha

Things have been going well here!  Me and my companion Elder Sekgetho get along well.  The people are wonderful and our investigators are awesome, and I'm understanding the twi small small!  I'm still nowhere near being able to have a conversation that extends too far beyond the realm of just saying greetings (maybe that's just because I don't try hard enough) but I can usually get the gist of what is going on and respond in English. 

Something else interesting is that I've come to realize that, yes, as crazy as it sounds, I will miss the food here.  Banku used to be my greatest enemy but I've found myself buying it from chop bars on more than one occasion.... it's scary actually...  I'll make sure to give those of you near me a sample one day, don't worry.  Don't kill yourself with anticipation either, haha; you've still got one year to crave it (;.

Our investigators are doing sweet.  We've got 5 people who are really interested in what we are teaching, and it's just exciting to see them build their testimonies, bear their testimonies and even notice the change that is coming into their lives as they discover the truth.   Bro. Boadu was there 30 minutes early to church yesterday! That was exciting! Now the members need to do their part to fellowship.

Something I've noticed is that really, the only difference between those who progress and those who do not is that, those who do progress took, a "blind step of faith into the darkness," then followed that forward momentum: and with each step they took they found the way lighted before them just enough to take another step forward.  While on the other hand those who did not progress never took that step.  Whether it was accepting our invitation to read something, say a prayer, or come to church; they made the choice not to. And the sad thing is that it's not that they are rejecting the things we teach as being impossible... I've known plenty of people who believe that what we teach is true, they just don't make that small, because that's what it is: small, step of faith for one, "reason" or another.  The most common "reason" is that they don't have time (just to make a point, that's almost never the ease... for any of us.  No matter how much we lie to ourselves).  Sometimes, that step of faith leads them out of their comfort zone (the most worthwhile journeys of life usually do), and sometimes, they just don't care; they're satisfied where they are and can't imagine what we share could possibly bring them anything better.
In life we often miss out on the greatest experience because of our own shortsightedness (Usually our sight extends just far enough to reach the screen of our t.v.. or even shorter for our phones).
All I can say is "Just DOOOO IIIIT." That's not too complicated is it?  Really, it's just as simple as that.  GO out of your comfort zone, take that step of faith, and try to find out if there's something more. 

I love you all!  I hope you're all well!  And I hope I at least said something of a little value.
Take care!  And don't forget to pray (;
Elder Speakman

(p.s.-  I've not been looking at my calendar lately... HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYS AND ADVANCED BIRTHDAY Kobe, Samuel, Alex, Grandpa, Jordan, Ruth, Mitchell, Brexten, Maycee, and Brynlee!!  Same to ANYONE else I missed.
Also, Happy Anniversary Grandpa and Grandma Labrum!  Thank you for everything!
I love you all!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

week 44 & 45 (8/15/2016)


Time continues to fly!  I can't believe we're half way through 2016 already and I'm almost halfway through with my mission in Ghana!
I am now in my 3rd area on my mission.  I was transferred from the furthest zone in the mission to the very center...
Things are definitely different here, the city is big and much louder and we meet people everywhere who don't speak English (we have to bring members with us to help with the translation, my twi will definitely be stretched here).  Also, I'm serving in a ward in the Dichemso Zone,  this area is much cooler than up North (I now take bucket showers so that I can heat my water on the stove first.  Maybe I'm just a wimp... but that water is cold!).

This coming Saturday all the missionaries in our mission will come here to Kumasi because we are being visited by Elder David A. Bednar!  I'm pumped, as most people are.  In fact I'll get the chance to meet with him twice because he will be speaking in our ward the Sunday following day.  Hopefully, it will be a great experience! (;

By the way, my new companion is named Elder Sekgetho. He's a sweet Elder from South Africa.  He has been through a lot both before his mission and on, so I'm blessed with this opportunity to serve with him and learn from him.

I hope you are all well! 
Read your scriptures (or start to (;), pray and remember; keep a journal!

I love and miss you all!  I hope you are all safe and happy.
see ya soon (;
Elder Speakman


Hey everybody!   Once again I have the opportunity to try and write something interesting and hopefully coherent to all of you haha...

It has been a good week!  Kind of a roller-coaster actually.  It's weird being back in the south again, things are just so different.  I really am in the city at this point.
Last night we walked into an, "apartment complex," (really it's a "huge" 3 story building with a small entrance into the center courtyard.  In the courtyard there is a staircase that gives access to each of the levels.  Each level has a walkway that goes all the way around the center courtyard giving access to each of the rooms.  Most people just rent out 1 room; so they cook outside and take bucket showers in one of the bathing stalls).  It was just so weird, there were so many people doing so many different things, and I'm just not use to that.  Something else I'm not use to, is the twi.  In Tamale everybody spoke English, old or young.  Here, I have to get use to bringing along someone to translate for us.  It's a new experience!  We'll see how it goes... haha

Something really exciting happened last Saturday and Sunday!  For the second time ever, this mission had the opportunity to be visited by one of the living 12 apostles of the Lord: Elder David A. Bednar.  It was awesome!  Getting the chance to hear from him and Sister Bednar was an amazing experience.  I got to learn so much from both of them, especially as I did my part to prepare myself to hear from them and to receive promptings about how I need to change to become better. The spirit was so powerful, I loved it!  And it wasn't just a lecture,  he asked us questions that we voluntarily answered because we are not objects to be acted upon but we are people who are created to act..  And we voluntarily asked him questions in return. And I did get to shake his hand afterwards.
It was especially cool to witness, how well he and his wife, and the wives and husbands of the other Seventy who were there, worked in Unity.  They had the same stories come to mind and they always wanted to share the same scriptures.
  I know that he truly is a chosen apostle of the Lord and that this is His church restored to the earth.  I know that God knows each of us individually, that he knows our needs, and that he ministers to each of us one by one.  As far-fetched as that might sound to some, look at everything around you and everything that has happened... I'm pretty sure it's possible (;

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

Elder Speakman

                      meeting up with missionaries who started their missions the
                                       same time.  We were in the MTC together.