Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nov. 5, 2013 FuFou and PooPoo (I wish I was kidding)

Dear Family,

     Each week comes and goes with hardly a whisper when it passes by. When you are in the midst of the week, it seems as if a storm is raging, but then time moves and you find that what is past is past and you only have the present day to live through. Over the small time that I have been here, I have begun to learn from the past, to treasure up the present, and to have hopes for the future. Truly, being a missionary has changed my perspective and overall view of life, and my character is being shaped and molded day by day by the master potter.

     I guess the reason why I mentioned this is because I am already more than 5 months into my mission time, and it hardly seems as if any time has passed at all. When I just focus on one day at a time and forget about the time that has passed, everything flies by leaving me wondering if two years is really any time at all. I have been e-mailing with other missionaries who are in the field (some who were my previous roommates at BYU) and it is crazy to me to think that some are still coming on their missions. It really is a unique experience and something that is still somewhat new to me, but I am quickly realizing how missionary work is truly a divine work. People come and go every week, but still the work of God moves forward as a stone, rolling forth unto all nations. This is truly the Church of the Firstborn.

     Here in Ghana, people are very handy when it comes to crafts. I have a scripture bag that I bought from the mission home and it is very plain, but I heard from another missionary about a return missionary in Kumasi who makes scripture bags from beads. I was able to see an example of one and decided to call the return missionary (P---) to order one. Now, I have finally received the scripture bag and it looks really neat. I took a couple of pictures with my camera but forgot to bring the memory card with me, but I can give a small description of it. It has the Ghana flag on one side and the American flag on the opposite side, with a black banner going across the top on which is written "BYU." Like I said, I took pictures of it, so I will send them next week. I probably won't be proselyting with it, but it will be a nice souvenir for home.

     We have been inviting many people to church, but only one person has been coming every single time. Sister C--- has really been progressing in the Church, so Elder P--- and I were very concerned when she didn't come by this week. After church was over, we went to Sister C---t's house to visit her, and when we arrived she told us that she had fallen against a low stone and had damaged her leg. Part of her leg was patched bandages and she couldn't walk very far without having to sit down, so we sat down and had a lesson with her. During the lesson, a member from the branch came by to visit her to see how everything was going, so it was nice to see him reaching out to her. Brother A--- is doing his best to fellowship those whom we teach, and it has been a great help to us in our missionary efforts.

     On Sunday there was a solar eclipse, and hardly anyone was at church because of it. Apparently, just seeing the moon cross over the sun is enough of an excuse to stay home and watch. People don't have special glasses here to view it from, but they use the film tape that is found in VHS tapes and hold them up to their eyes to watch the eclipse. It was funny to hear people exclaiming in Twi that Judgement was almost at hand, especially because I have seen so many at home that it doesn't seem like too big of an event. People just view things differently in different parts of the world.

     The Zone Leaders have been planning an activity for the zone for a while now, and news is that we will be visiting the Coca-cola factory in Kumasi this upcoming Monday. From what I have heard, it is a very enjoyable experience, and it will just be fun to get out with other fellow missionaries. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is not my time, but it is the Lord's time, but at the same time I can look forward to every Monday for a little break. P-day is truly an inspired day because it allows us to relax and refocus on the upcoming week, as well as getting everything prepared and in order so that you don't have to worry about cleaning or buying food for the rest of the week. I don't know if I could do the work completely if I didn't have some time to wind down and refocus.

     Really, there wasn't much that happened this week. Just a lot of walking, talking, and teaching. I wish I had a special experience to share, but the only experience that sticks in my head is one that was just indecent. I won't talk about in detail. (OK so this part was PG 13 and in real life it may have been rated R so as a mom I just left it out) Oh well, I am at least grateful that we were able to complete the lesson after this event without too much trouble.

     Oh! I almost forgot! I had the craziest food this last week. I wrote in my planner to remind myself to tell everyone about it, but all the same it almost passed my mind. So, this last week we went to an investigator's house to teach a lesson. Upon arriving, we saw the investigator making fufou along with two other women. When we started to talk, the younger woman (Mary) asked if I would marry her, and the other woman (her mother) just looked at her. I pretended to be serious and asked Mary if she had a passport, to which she said she didn't. I told her that it would be impossible then. The conversation went on and at one point she said that she would put my head in the mortar that the fufou is pounded in. At another point, she asked if I was a joker. I don't remember how everything was brought up in the conversation, but I'm not sure what she thought of me at all. Anyways, on to the important part. We were about to leave and come back on a later time, but the investigator invited us to stay and set aside two bowls for us to eat from. She put fufou in each bowl and then put in a soup that had a nasty green appearance with brown flecks mixed in. We didn't want to ask any questions about what it was, so we just put our fingers in the fufou and soup hesitantly and started to eat. There was a slight taste of something in it that I didn't like, so I started to throw it down as quickly as possible. After finishing, I was afraid to ask the investigator what was in the soup but decided to anyways. Apparently, one of the main ingredients of it was fresh cow dung. Imagine! People can say that they have had cow tongue before, but how many can say that they have had cow dung? I felt a little like Bear Grills, but I have a feeling that the food he eats is actually fake. Africa... what a place.

     Well, I don't know what else to say besides I wish that everyone could be a missionary so that this work could progress forward very quickly. The Lord is relying on us to send forth the gospel to all nations, so we must be doing our part to bring his words to pass. Thank you for all of the prayers and I am praying for everyone back home. Much love to all of you.


Elder Twede


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