Monday, July 17, 2017

week 93 (7/17/2017)


Hello!
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!

Love,
Elder Speakman



Monday, July 10, 2017

week 92 (7/10/2017)

Hello!

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. 

Love,
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!

Love,
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??"....um, 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.

Love,
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: www.mormon.org

Have a great week!

Love,
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


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 79 (4/10/2017)

Transfers have come everybody!  It's crazy to think that I've only got 4 more left...
Eish, I don't even know what to tell you all.

My days in the mountains of Mampong are over though.  Tuesday night after we had finished proselyting, I was laying on my bed writing in my journal when my companion, Elder Annor, came in from the other room holding the phone out in front of him, He just told me: "It's President."  I'll tell you what, suddenly it didn't feel like I had been laying down for the past 20 minutes because my heart was pounding.  I don't know what it is, but 80% of the time, when your mission President calls you, your heart will start pounding even if it doesn't have any reason to do so.
All that he would tell me was that I needed to be at the mission home with my luggage by 2:00pm on Thursday with Elder Wood. "Okay President," was all I could say, haha

To make a long story short, I'm currently sitting in the Dabon apartment (about 2 mins. from the Mission Home) and am serving as the new office Elder.  My new companion will be Elder Ayim and we will be, "whitewashing" the office (both of the other Elders will be leaving).

So the past 5 days I've been riding around with the office Elders trying to memorize every road in Kumasi before they leave on Wednesday.  Enye easy ooo (it's not easy).
My ray of hope is that Elder Ayim is an amazing Elder and he knows Kumasi.  He's actually the one who replaced me in my 1st area.

So, life is busy, and rightly so!  I've got a lot of changes and excitement ahead of me.  Pray for me haha.
It took me and Taggart over a month to stop using the GPS to find our way to school when we first moved to Watertown, NY  haha.

Anyway, I've got to get going. Things to do.

Love you all!
 Elder Speakman

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAGGART!!!! have a great one!

Monday, April 3, 2017

week 77 & 78 (3/27/2017, 4/3/2017)

3/27/2017 
(Taggart didn't notice that he had this added blog message from Storm in his personal email).

Good evening everyone!! As I'm sitting in the internet cafe waiting for the power to come back so I can send this, I figured I'd give you all a little update. 

Things in mampong are going great! The work is progressing, the members are stepping up, and we have many progressing investigators. even 2 of them were baptized this past Saturday!! 
We were given a sweet referral from one of the members here named brother Baffour. It's a huuuge family and they all produce Gari together, it's a family business, so when we go there we have gotten many opportunities to help them out. It has been really fun. 4 of the sons actually came to church on Sunday, (the rest had to go to a wedding), so hopefully next week they will come and investigate! 

The power is back! I need to finish up, but I hope that you all have a great week! 

Be patient with the people around you, and if you don't understand them, try to understand this one fact; they likely aren't trying to hurt you with the things that they do. 
Love ya all!
Take care and have a great week!

love,
Elder Speakman



a family that we were referred to, 4 of the sons came to church. I WAS SWEATING, helping them to grind Kassava to make gari saturday night. it was good, I needed a workout that day ;)


 things were rushed in the morning as we had to walk to go pick up our investigators and take them to Effiduase for their baptism. 
(my bike is broken)

4/3/2017

My people!  I hope that all is going well for you on the other side, but I guess I will see for myself soon enough, eh? (;
By the way, I was glancing over some of my past blogs... I'm so sorry for my terrible humor; mission does something to your brain, seriously, I don't remember making such bad jokes when I was home, did I?

Anyway! I'm down to the final week of this transfer, that marks 3 months here in Mampong... that's insane.  Time is going!  

Yesterday, I watched my final session of General Conference in Ghana; I fully expect to be home, sitting on a couch with a bowl of Frosted Flakes in my hand for the next one, haha.
If any of you didn't watch General Conference, or don't even know what that is, I encourage you to do it!  It's a great opportunity to hear from God's chosen servants, especially God's chosen prophet and the 12 apostles (you can go to LDS.org and watch any session or talk).
One talk that really, "hit home" for me was Elder Jeffrey R. Hollands talk.  It helped me understand that life's not always a walk through a meadow surrounded by fragrant flowers and radiant sunlight.... personally, sometimes I feel like life is more of a, "sinking in the cold stinking swamp right next to the meadow, struggling to keep your lips above the water, while you watch others prancing by sniffling flowers," type of experience.  Maybe that's just me though? (;  Just kidding, but honestly, sometimes life won't be, "perfect," and we will be struggling at times just to breath, let alone sing about, "Sunshine in our Souls."  So don't get discouraged!  

On Friday, we went to visit a lady near our home who joined the church not too long before I got here.  She was busy, so we stood there a bit and watched her work.  What she was doing at the time was making palm oil.  She's also a farmer and a single mom of 3 stubborn boys. Every single one of those things is something that requires patience.  Making palm-oil requires collecting the palm nuts, boiling them, pounding them, sifting them through the water multiple times to allow the oil to escape to the surface,  squeezing the husks out that are in the water, collecting the oil off the surface of the water, and then boiling it again... all by hand, bent over two large tubes.  She is in poverty, she has practically nothing in the sense of worldly possessions, and even when she does get the money to pay for school fees, her boys refuse to go.
Yet, every time I see her, she's smiling and pushing along; whether she's fast walking with a child strapped to her back to make it to church on time(she did and she came in smiling) or bent over her tube of palm nuts and water, she stays positive.
No matter what our circumstances maybe, we can choose our attitude.  Nobody and nothing can destroy our happiness without our consent. And she's a living example of that!

Anyway, I wish I could tell you more but my time is up and this paper is full. 

Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Speakman

walking up "our hill" to the main road on our way here to email this afternoon. the rain has been coming small small

 this is the table where we were teaching our investigator NAOMI, she gave us bread and sobolo before the lesson. one time she cut a whole loaf of bread in half (top to bottom) filled it with margarine, and put it in a bag for us. 

what kind of a moth is this??!!!! 















Monday, March 13, 2017

week 75 (3/13/2017)

"Good morning sunshine; the earth says hello!" (name that movie).  I hope all is well on your part of the globe!
As for me, this has been a great week.  Much has happened that's for sure.  More and more frequently I find myself pulling out my planner to write something down that I don't want to forget to put in my journal, and more and more often I find myself using all my willpower to keep myself from cackling like Taggart and rolling on the ground from the hilarious things that happen.
A large majority of that laughter is caused by this one, "stubborn boy," Nana Yaw.  Hahaha  Oh man, just thinking about that boy makes me laugh.  Ooooh, he's just soo obnoxious, it's hilarious.  Yesterday, we were outside teaching this girl Lina (she, her sister, their neighbor Sheilah and their friend Isaac are really progressing well together), and throughout the whole lesson, Nana Yaw was there.  Whether he was with us sitting on the ground "like the muslims," coming over to shake my hand, giving me palm seeds to chew, "but not swallow," calling my name, taking off his shirt to show me it's reversible, or just standing across the street in the other compound.. he was always there.  I can't even explain it, but let it suffice to say that I've never had a more difficult time teaching someone about the word of wisdom...
Along with all the funny experiences, it was a great week of work as well.  7 of our investigators made the decision to come to church!  One of them is the wife of Bro. Eric!  It would be a great thing to hear that they went to the temple a year from now to seal their marriage, "for time and all eternity."
Earlier in the week we walked into Lina's compound and we saw her sister laying outside on a mat with all the pamphlets and around 5 books she had been given at church.  She had just finished reading, "Faith in God."  I asked her what she had learned, and this is what she said: "Well... I think I should be baptized, and go to the temple, and read these books with my family."... I was pretty shocked.  It's amazing how simple the gospel really is, and how she was able to understand it just from reading that small book.

The gospel is for everyone, and it's for families!!!

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
E. Speakman



that is me frying gari (I love that stuff)

pounding fufu for this old woman in that compound with our investigators  


us cleaning the water out of the chapel....someone left the tap on and when the water came it flooded the place...we're on the second floor too. 

 our investigator Santos, he's a sweeet guy,

THE FATTEST BABY ALIVE!!
 i was a bit scared because as she was walking towards me she wouldn't take her eyes off me...as if I was food. (;

and finally we have Sheilah and that crazy boy Nana Yaw.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

week 74 (3/6/2017)

Well, the new transfer has begun!  And once again changes have come.  Elder Boakye has left me and my new companion is Elder Annor!
Transfer day was Wednesday and it was great!  We traveled down to Kumasi by taxi (it's a miracle that thing could get us there, especially with all my comps stuff, haha.  He even brought his sugar-can, and I understand why, that stuff is great!).
When we got down to Kumasi I had a great time meeting up with my former companions and friends.
 Transfer day is the day everyone buys each other spring-rolls from the women selling them on their heads, then talk and wait around for our new companions to come while the zone-leaders stress out about making sure everyone makes it to the station on time... it was a nice change to be one of those who stands around chomping on a spring-roll for a change (;

My new companion is sweet!  He's also a Ghanaian from the Eastern Region.  He has been through alot in his life and it's a great opportunity for me to be able to learn from him and serve with him.
Since he came the work has really picked up!  We have been teaching lots of people, making great friends and working hard, it's great!
Many times we will start a lesson teaching maybe one or two people, but by the end a crowd has gathered!  One night, I counted and by the end 11 people were listening to us.  I sure wish that we learned twi in our mission, it's amazing to see how prepared these people are to listen to what we have to say when it is presented in their language.
The gospel is for everyone!

I hope you all have a great week!
My advice is: #1 Be patient and laugh, it will work out.
                       #2 READ THE BOOK OF MORMON

Love you all!

Talk to you soon (:

Love,
Elder Speakman

The snake the Elder Boakye DESTROYED behind our house on the path that we take. 

 This girl named Stephanie driving banku. that's like stirring a pot of play dough, do you know how hard that is?? some of these kids really know how to work. 
 
me and my old companion Elder Boakye at KFC 

two of our investigators who came to church (they are all friends but the other refused to join the picture haha. the  one in the pink dress has family who are members in Accra) and my new companion Elder Annor.

Monday, February 20, 2017

week 72 (2/20/2017)

I don't' have much to say this week.  Not much new has happened, I'm just trying to push to the end. (;

    Things are picking up in our branch I'm happy to say!! Our branch president has only been a member for a year (part of why I was sent here and told to read handbook 2), there is one RM named Yaw who is helping the branch so much. They all went out to visit less active members together after church on SundayIt is great when the members fulfill their roles, otherwise all the work that we do and all the people that we baptize is in vain. 
     Also, on Sunday one of the young men we are teaching was interviewed by the mission president so he should be getting baptized next week! 

     There is one thing that I have really learned to understand and accept though...  We are responsible and accountable for our own actions.  We are asked to give our all, and that's all we can do.  We cannot do it for someone else. We can entice, persuade, and encourage others to do the same, but in the end, we have to accept the fact that they have their own agency.  God will never take away our agency, and we cannot expect to be able to, nor should we try to, take away the agency of others.
     Sometimes that can be one of the most painful realities to accept: we have to allow others to make their own choices, whether for good or for bad we have to accept/respect their agency.
People often don't understand the fact that, "what we do does matter and will have a positive or negative effect on others."  What we choose to do can either bring a lot of joy or a lot of pain into the lives of the people around us, especially those who love us most.
     My advice is to remember that.  Remember what we do does matter, and it does affect others; you would be selfish to believe otherwise.  But at the same time remember that there are people who choose to ignore this fact, and we cannot control them.  Manage what you can (yourself), then be content.
     There are a lot of disappointments on a mission as you witness, and are affected by, how others choose to use their agency.  But there is only so much you (or should I say "I") can do.  I've been having to remind myself of that more and more often. I need to manage what I can manage, do all that I can do, then be content, no matter what choices others choose to make.

I love you all!
Have a  great week!

Make choices that will bring you and those around you Joy!

Love,
Elder Speakman

At Senior Missionaries building

Writing home at the internet Cafe'

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

week 71 (2/13/2017)

This time I'm being pro-active (not the acne meds... (; )and writing on Sunday.  It only took a year and half (almost) but I may defeat procrastination yet!  We'll see what happens next week haha (;

It was a great Sabbath though!  Sometimes (most times) going to church isn't as relaxing of an experience as it once was, and it shouldn't be.   So, rather than being stressed about all of our investigators who weren't able to make it to church, I chose to just relax.  I focused on the words of the hymns, sought for greater understanding of the atonement and did my best to resist overpowering them with my singing in an attempt to speed up the funeral paced sacrament hymn....
It ended up being a great time at church.  Our branch mission leader moved to Dubai so our clerk taught a great lesson in Gospel Principles class ( I think it was a great at least... it was in twi, but I didn't see anyone, other than me, falling asleep so that's a good sign (; ).  The members were taught about their important role in missionary work; and we had a great Branch Council after it all.

The work is going well here!  There are so many... too many, people to teach.  I think the biggest struggle is trying to balance our time to be able to see all of them.  But we do our best; and the other day we made time to go out with Bor. Baffour to visit some of the people he knows.  We ended up meeting a man who knew the missionaries back in Germany and started meeting with them again when he came here.  He loves the Book of Mormon and knows loads about the church.  He just needs to act and he knows it.  I had him read in Alma 34 about not procrastinating repentance and he completely agreed with it.  We'll definitely return to him.

All in all things are well.  I hope things are the same for whoever reads this, and if it's not, read the scriptures!

Love you all,
Elder Speakman (:

 *our modem was stolen yesterday from the chapel so I didn't get to email there and when we travelled 30 minutes through the mountains to the other chapel the power went out...no emailing this week, so here is what I wrote, I'll talk to you next week! 
tell everyone else I said I'm sorry if you could and I love and miss them all. 
Love
elder Speakman


 my companions stew

my stew 




Monday, January 30, 2017

week 69 (1/30/2017)

Another month passed away... live with no regrets! That's what I keep telling my companion, I don't want to go home after these two years and look back at them and only be filled with regrets.  We need to make the most of the time that we have and remember that, "there is a time and place for all things," and "figure out what things we are suppose to be doing in each moment we are given. "

Coming to Mampong has been a big change.  New companion, new environment, new food (some pudding made of corn that you eat with a soup just like every other food here... #carbs. Gotta enjoy them while I can (; ), 2 man apartment, bikes (looking back to "find" that my companion is not there is always a "fun" experience.  But the exercise and occasional races down our dirt "road" to the apartment at night is always fun... we wear helmets), over all things are just different.  Also, my companion is Ghanian so it's not uncommon for him to get carried away in a conversation that I strain to understand for a few minutes then give up and decide to look at the chickens instead, haha.  Things are just different.  But, something I've learned is:  "The only thing that's constant is change."  That pretty much describes my life but I wouldn't change it (:

One thing I feel to share is from my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 2.  Throughout this chapter the purpose of life and our mortal conditions are outlined.  One of the most important principles taught is the importance of our agency or, "free will."
Each of us is an agent; in other words none of us are objects to be acted upon but rather have the ability to act for ourselves.  This is something that can never be taken away, no matter what conditions we face.  Sure our freedom can be restricted but our free will is something that is ours forever.  One of the worst habits we can form is to justify our actions with such an excuse as, "I was born this way."  It's true that each of us are different and we all have our own weaknesses and susceptibilities (such as cravings for alcohol), but we all know the difference between good and bad, no matter how much we try to justify, and part of why we are here is to learn how to use our agency for good.  In vs. 25 we learn that we are here, "that we might have joy." True joy comes from righteous use of our agency.

Choose the right everyone and have a great week doing it.

Love ya!
 -Elder Speakman

(ps you should read that chapter, see what you learn)

walking to a referrals house with two kids, EISH! they took us the longest way ever. a huge circle haha. but we got there. 

mountains that we drive through to get to our area


this super flat spider

very interesting fruit that they call apple. it's nice actually. you can bite it or tear it out with your hands. each seed is surrounded by juicy meat. my companion tore it in half for the two of us haha


Monday, January 23, 2017

week 68 (1/23/2017)

Good afternoon! I hope all of you are well!

Eish, I can't believe I'm still writing these things, haha.

Sorry for missing you last week though, things were kind of hectic because it was transfer week. And I was transferred.  I knew it would happen, whenever I start to get to know to many people in an area and get friends, and once my shampoo bottle is almost gone... I know my time is up! (:

I am now assigned to serve in Mampong, with my first Ghanaian companion Elder Boakye!  Either President trusts me a lot of I did something terrible and president decided to get rid of me, cause man (or woman), this place is faaar.  It's a beautiful area though!  To get here we had to drive through mountains (my first time in over a year.. gettin' me ready for Utah, I guess (;  ).  And all around on the horizon are mountains as well, especially on this little look-out as we walk up this hill from our apartment, "I think I'm gonna like it here."  It was a big change from the city of Dichemso though.

That first night here was rough!  I felt like I was just starting my mission again and started to get homesick, it was such a big adjustment. I guess Dichemso had started to feel like home.
So far out here I've held a hawk, seen a huge snake and a giant flat spider, helped our neighbor take apart his old chicken coop, and had some serious pains from the least cushioned bike seat in the whole world (I've gotten pretty good at riding that thing, though, the pot-holes on our dirt road when we're returning home at night...).

So that's what's new over here! Oh, and it's just the two of us in the apartment so that provides much more time for studying the scriptures, writing in the journal, and working out!

I love you all and hope you're enjoying yourselves!!
Stay happy by making good choices (:

Love,
Elder Speakman

the hawk was on the other side of the street, its some guys pet, he reared it since it was a chick, and as we were riding by my companion spotted it so we went over




the moth was on our front porch

               
top of a mountain in mampong

Monday, January 9, 2017

week 66 (1/9/2017)

I can't believe it's 2017 already, it's amazing how when you are busy doing something worthwhile, time just flies.
This past year has been one of growth, and adventure, work and consequently change.  Sometimes, it's difficult for us to measure or see this in ourselves, but gradually, little by little, "line upon line," "hear a little and there a little," we change.  Each of us.  The things we watch, the things we hear, the places we go, the people we're with and especially the choices we make change us.
The more frequently you choose to do good, the more "good" we will become.  And, gradually, choosing to do good will no longer require an internal debate about whether to choose what's right or to choose what's, "easy" (or natural).  Rather, it will become instinctive and natural.
Week by week, as I get the opportunity to hear from my family and friends about their lives and the progressive changes they are making I am amazed.  As I hear about the great things that each of you are doing, sometimes I wonder if you recognize (and admit) yourselves that you are growing.
Looking from the outside in, it's easy to recognize the strengths and progression of other people, but it's also important to sit down and take a few minutes to be introspective and reflect on the progress that you have made.
I'm thankful for this opportunity that I have been given to come on a mission and become more aware and grateful for, growth of the people surrounding me.  But, I'm also thankful because as I've sat down to look at myself, I can see the changes that have come to me.  But I'll tell ya what, you don't have to come all the way to Africa to change.
 I invite everyone to look back at the year that has come and gone, look at the good that you've done and improvements that you made...I guarantee you've come further than you'd initially admit.  Then figure out what you want to continue to improve on.
Remember the Lord's words in the Book of Mormon, "...I give unto men weakness that they may be humble.... if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." -Ether 12:27

 We went to a museum in the palace near our house (the Ashanti kings former palace, we saw his rolls royce near our house a few weeks ago...this guy has soooo much gold. It's insane, he has to have people carry him because he wears too much gold when he goes out). It was such an interesting experience. Ghanians truly are unique that's for sure.  The tour guide was interesting.  He chastised my companion for pointing with his left hand and got upset whenever we asked questions even though he told us we have the right to ask questions... He was a cool guy though, in the end he told us, "now you know a little bit about our culture, now get out there and keep up the great work that you young boys are doing."  The people here are just confused, that's all I can say.  People will refer their friends to us but they won't accept the gospel themselves. 

My companion and I decided to fast for our investigators to come to church, and a total of 5 showed up!!  It was great. As we have been setting high goals, it's amazing to see how the Lord provides a way for us to accomplish them. 

I love you all and am thankful for your great examples and all that you have done for me.
Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Speakman



Hamatan is here!! see the dust. 


that's called 2 hours of washing while sitting on a stool...I need to stop procrastinating. but I hate using p day to wash.






This was our Christmas Dinner (:
WE COOKED PAPA! man did we cook. I borrowed an oven from our investigator who was baptized on Christmas and we seasoned, and stuffed a whole chicken, cooked that, made our own recipe for cookies, cooked those, bought spoiled plantain, cooked them, and then to top it all off, WE CHOPPED HAMBURGER AND FRUIT SALAD SON. I had to lay on the ground a little after I finished eating. slowly the baby is being digested.