Monday, January 25, 2016

Twelve Balls of Banku

Dear Family,
Multi Zone Conference

This week presented some of its own challenges. It seemed like the ward and the area was stunned and disappointed to see Elder Ojaide leave. We worked hard to continue the progression of our investigators and to contact and find new ones as well. Our investigators and ward members had to adjust to Elder Johnson. I too had to adjust to Elder Johnson. Teaching lessons with Elder Ojaide and Elder Johnson are much different and Elder Johnson and I are still working on teaching in unity together. It seems as though some people have seen Elder Johnson and I as the 2 young Americans that they can be friends with instead of missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope as we explain and teach the magnitude of our message more they too might take things seriously.

That being said this week was a good week. Many new opportunities and lessons learned. We started working on our ward mission plan, as a part of it we are having small devotionals with members several times a week. We hope this will bring in many referrals. It has seemed to be a great program so far and it has been good for Elder Johnson to meet so many members.

It seemed to be a week where we had a lot of funny things happen to us and I laughed a lot. On Tuesday evening we were having a devotional with a member. We were reading out of the scriptures and this small boy named Kieth is sitting next to Elder Johnson. Next thing I know he has vomitted all over Elder Johnson and I and our scriptures. It was pretty funny.

Then on Friday night we were at the stake patriarch's home to do our devotional.  We were there with the Sisters as well. Afterwards he brought out 12 balls of banku and a huge pot of stew for the 4 of us. I usually struggle getting through one ball.  As I am about halfway through my first ball the patriarch comes in and tells us his rule at his house: No food can be remaining. So he gives out the rest of the stew into our bowls.  In the end each of the Sisters, who are both Ghanaian ate 1 ball, I ate 3, and Elder Johnson ate 5. So we are still stuck with two balls.  Sister Thatcher tells us to put them in our pocket and then claim we have a disease. We eventually got Elder Johnson's bag from the other room and packed them out in there.Elder Johnson got home and threw up. Kind of sad but he was fun enough to laugh at it.

Sounds like you had a good week. You have a trip to Hawaii pretty soon. I would say Ghana beats out Hawaii on quality of pineapples and coconuts. I buy one almost everyday.  Pineapples are 2 cedis for 1 full one. Coconuts are 1 although usually they charge me 1.5. They are my favorite snacks.

Anyways that was my week.

Questions from mom:
So I'm very confused about transfers in your mission. Can you explain why there are transfers mid transfer? Don't know actually, President just moves people when he feels like it. The sisters are on a different transfer cycle than we are too.

How close to the beach are you? It took about 22 minutes on bike.

And I'm hoping you were able to fix your bed so you don't get into trouble for it. Didn't fix it. Elder Buys was too nervous to tell the mission. So he took my mattress and is sleeping on the floor. I took the bottom bunk.

What is your favorite food to buy off the street? Probably coconuts. They just cut it with there cutlass right there. You drink the water, then they will split it for you and you eat the meat.  Plantain, yam, bowl floats, fan ice, pineapple, are other favorites.

Is the power situation in Ghana getting any better? The news from there says it is but you never know. Yep, we have power a lot more often now.

Did you do any service this past week? Helped a Lady stir her Kenke.

I hope you all have a good week. I am afraid that when I go home I will freeze. I was sitting in an air conditioned room the other day and I looked at a thermometer that Elder Buys has and it said 83. I was freezing. Love you all.

Elder Shelton
Cultural Note:
Banku and Kenkey are two more Fufu-like staples from Western Africa, served with a soup or stew or sauce. They are particularly popular in Ghana. Both are usually made from ground corn (maize), though Banku can also be made from a mixture of maize and grated Cassava tuber. Making Banku or Kenkey involves letting the maize (or maize and cassava tuber) ferment before cooking. Banku is cooked in a pot; Kenkey is partially cooked, then wrapped in banana leaves, maize or corn husks, or foil, and steamed.

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