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!

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)

(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!

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)


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!

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??!!!!