Monday, May 16, 2016

A Normal Week

Dear Family,

Sounds like you had a fun week. I can't wait until that new garage is functioning. That will be lots of fun. I was super excited to see that Brandon got his call. When you get your call you think it is a really big deal where you go, especially while in high school. I have come to learn that their are children of God everywhere. And they all need help in their own way. The blessing is serving and learning to love people not where you go.

We had a normal week this week. On Monday (Brigham's birthday) we went to a nice Restaurant called Lindador and had Pizza. It was really fun and it was also a send off party for Elder Okiyi who was transferred on Tuesday.

Wednesday we had our Zone Training. It was really good and also strange to have Elder Buys back again instructing but he gave a really good instruction that the Zone needed to hear.  He brought the truck up here and it has been really nice getting rides from him.  (Elder Buys was in Brigham's apartment in Tema and was transferred to Oyoko this week.)

Saturday and Sunday was district conference for the Koforidua district. President Heid came up and he gave some really great instruction to us and some really great talks in the Saturday and Sunday sessions. He told this story of a missionary who was in a Temple in Arizona and he felt like one of the ordinances wasn't performed exactly correctly so he went to the Temple President and raised the issue. The President told him, "You would be surprised what the Atonement covers."  I love that thought.  It is comforting to know that the Atonement is more infinite that we know.

It has been weird to have Elder Buys back in the apartment. It is like I am halfway back in Tema now. And halfway in America.  I realize that I had forgotten a lot about how Americans really are. Luckily we still have Elder Krofuah to cook for us although it was hard to say goodbye to Elder Okiyi. I was thinking today that most of the people I know and are friends with are older than me on the mission. Not many people have come in after me. It will be sad to watch all of those Elders leave. Elder Ojaide and Okiyi both leave next transfer and Elder Krofuah the transfer after that. I don't like saying goodbye.

We are teaching this lady named Rachel. She just moved to Oyoko and has no friends here so we have quickly become her good friends. She has a 5 year old daughter and a husband as well. It is rare to find a family like that. I haven't taught a family my entire mission. Hopefully we will be able to teach all of them. I really enjoy teaching her. She is really humble and speaks English which is nice. Her daughter is really cute and will always run up to us. Even when we first contacted her, her daughter took my hand and followed us for a long time while we walked away. They are really enjoyable to teach.

  • What is school like for the kids and is it different in the city than out where you are? How long (years) are they in school? Does everyone go or just the privileged? 

You have to pay school fees so it is difficult for some people. In Tema 99% of children went to school and most of the older people had been to school. In Oyoko some don't go to school because they don't want to because educated people are kinda frowned upon, or they can't pay. Most of the older people haven't been to school. Especially the women.  The school system is very different.  They can beat you at any time for anything. There are prefects that have the ability to beat anyone as well. They start children at school here much younger. When you get into middle school you have to pick a subject to "Major" in for lack of a better term. Lots of people don't finish school here because they have adult duties early in life.

  • How big is your area?  It sounds like you cover several towns.  About how many miles from one end to the other?

Our area covers 4 towns. New Asakore, Oyoko, Jumapo, and Suhyen. It is maybe 10-15 miles long. We mostly stay in Oyoko and Jumapo, the two middle towns.

  • What is the one dish that you will want to make when you get home.  Is there one particular food that you enjoy most? I suspect that you will miss the Elder who does the cooking (when you go seperate ways).  It sounds like he knows what he is doing.

I will make rice and stew all the time. Yam will be another one. Elder Buys and I have been trying to devise ways to make all of our favorite food back home and find out how it will be possible. Emutuo (rice ball) will be possible and most of the soups and stews as well. I definitely want to continue to eat Ghanaian food when I go home. I tell investigators that my favorite food is Tuo-zaafi with Ayoyo. It is more a Northern dish but it is really nice. I also like Kontombury stew.

Tuo-zaafi (TZ), made with corn flour and cassava flour and accompanied by a variety of soups,
 such as ayoyo or bra (dry okra soup or fresh okra soup)
I'll be excited to see how the state tennis tournament goes.  I want a thorough update on the tournament. Especially how Ben does. GO BENGALS!!

I love you all.

Elder Shelton

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