Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010 {Email}

Merry Christmas!

Wow! Christmas week in Ghana was so different than at home. First of all, the weather indicates nothing that it is christmas time ha it's still just about the same as when i came. But everyone knew it was Christmas! The only thing different was they couldn't really show it with decorations or anything. I even heard some christmas music coming from fried rice stands! I got pretty excited when i heard that! It's definitely not the same, but its still christmas and i will never forget this one.

The coolest thing we got to do this week was provide a meal for Jennifer and her family. Each missionary received 5 extra cedis in their sub to use for someone for christmas. Elder Harris and i decided that we would make french toast and syrup for this family. We made a ton of french toast and getting it to sepaase wasn't all that easy ha if you can picture two white men, one with a big pot of toast, the other carrying a smaller sized christmas tree and syrup, getting onto a tro-tro. Not easy ha. But we made it! They loved the food, but they didn't really know what to do with the syrup ha. The adults were complaining that it was too much sugar, which i didn't think it was enough ha. The kids loved it! They had me pour it in their cups so they could drink it! I dont think they have ever had so much sugar in their lives. While we were eating we gave them the same christmas tree that my grandma Lucy gave me. Thank you grandma, you made mine and this families christmas! They loved it and although they didn't do the best job decorating it, it was so much fun and made their christmas! It was such a neat experience for elder harris and i to go and give these people a christmas meal. I will never forget the smiles on all their faces.

On christmas day we weren't too busy. It was really strange waking up and knowing that the rest of you were all asleep waiting for christmas morning. I remember how anxious and excited i use to get, it was just a weird feeling not being able to do that. But I was still way excited to call home. The thing was we couldn't get our new phone chips registered! We tried everything that day to get it done, nothing would work. We were starting to think that we just weren't going to be able to call home until the next week. That night we went to visit a member of our branch. We found out that he had a chip that we could borrow! Wow, i felt so relieved and excited. Calling home was awesome! I felt like i was right there in the room with them, i even heard tripp bark a couple times ;). It was so cool to talk to them and hear their voices. One phone call down, three to go :).

It was really fun week and i'm starting to find out that a lot of the people here celebrate christmas more the week after. So we will continue to celebrate it with them. These people are awesome, they don't have much but they manage with what they have and they do it with a smile on their faces. I love them so much. Well, i hope you all had a great christmas and have a happy new year! Next time i write it will 2011! Crazy!

Love you all,

Elder Rogers

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 21, 2010 {Email}

Well this has been a very interesting week. Wednesday we taught a few lessons and went to Sepaase to see Jennifer again. Everything is sweet there, she is progressing and now is ready to leave her church soon. I'm so excited for that day to come when she is ready to only come to our church. Her little sister comes to ours every week and as soon as Jennifer is baptized we will probably get her baptized soon after that. Then that night we went to institute and met with Frank! He is a new member referral that we have and this guy is sweet, he loves to learn this message and always keeps his promises. I have really high hopes for him. He has now been to church a couple times.

On Thursday we didn't have much success like before. All of our appointments have traveled for the Holidays because it is christmas! Which is fine, they should be with their families right now. So at about six i suddenly got hit with MALARIA! Yeah, that african illness everyone talks about. We were just walking around and suddenly i got the chills and stomach aches. Elder Harris knew right away that it was malaria since he has had it 4 times already ha. When we got back to the apartment the power was out and Elder Harris was saying something about how hot it is and then he looked at me and saw me cuddled up in my blanket just freezing ha. I had malaria all the way til sunday. That wasn't fun doing nothing during those two days. But hey i'm better now and i can say had Malaria in Africa and survived! :) ha

Yesterday we had our Christmas gathering in Sunyani. It was awesome to see everyone and i saw Elder Hair, my MT, for the first time since the MTC! That was way cool. The meeting was sweet! It felt like Christmas!

The Christmas spirit is definitely here in Ghana and it is pretty fun to experience. I'm excited to see how they celebrate on that day. We are going to do a few things for some families which will be so fun I can't wait.

Well I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Afiyhipa!!!! (That is merry christmas in Twi)

Love you all

Elder Rogers

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 {Email}

What a fun week!

Well, I guess i will start out by telling you about the small situation we have going on in our apartment right now... We have no water!!! Man we have been out of water since last friday. Not just us, but the whole town of abuakwa. Not easy. So for water we have to go and fetch it from a wale (i think thats how its spelled) then we have to carry the big buckets on top of our heads up the hill to our apartment. I have a lot of respect for these people that live like this every day of their lives. It's not easy and to go on top of that we get the usual people yelling and laughing at us because a white man has water on his head. Ha they think it is so funny and they let us know. Ha i'm starting to know what celebrities feel like when people just yell at them constantly. They're not mean, just loud. They all just get really excited about a white man being in Abuakwa. I know i will never get used to it because everyone older than me still is not used to it. Oh well, just something that comes with being one of the only white guys for miles.

So I heard a story from Elder Holmes about his recent convert. I guess he was going home after his baptism and while he was walking up this hill he saw a COBRA just standing straight up on top of this small hill! He said that it made him realize that satan will be tempting him a lot now that he is a member. Cool story! But I didn't know cobra's were in Ghana! I knew there are Black Mamba's but those are in the jungle i think. This Cobra that he saw is somewhere in Asouyeboa which is close to Abuakwa. Let's just say it has had an impact on me and now i walk with my eyes looking for any movement on the ground. Not a big fan of snakes, just like lizards, they are terrible things.

Another cool thing this week was all the missionaries got to play a football match against the Suame ward. It was like my first time playing in a real game on a regular sized field. Of course i volunteered to play defense. I only played the second half but they didn't score at all that half, i wonder why? ;) jk but it was way fun! It finally clicked that all i have to do is pretend i am playing zone defense just like basketball and then i'm fine! Thanks Coach Brown and Staheli for teaching me how to play zone, it's my favorite by far! We won by the way 2-1. The ward members weren't too happy losing to a bunch of white guys ha sorry.

I have found a new favorite snack, well i guess you can call it a snack it's as close as i'm going to get to it. Plantain! It's like a banana but it's bigger and tastes somewhat different. What we do with it is fry it in a pan of oil and just cook nice and good. It tastes a little like those dried mango thingys but not really. I don't really know how to explain the taste but it's good and it's new so i like it right now.

This sunday we had the primary program! Mom, you would've loved it. It was set up the same way we do it back home, but the cutest thing was the little boy in his suit who was directing the choir. Ha it was awesome!

The work has been going great! We have a few progressing investigators who are wanting to be baptized! It is awesome. The best is Jennifer. She told us this week that she knows our church is the true church and she will leave hers for it! But... It will take some time because she has some responsibilities she has to take care of first so she doesn't just leave them hanging dry. Hopefully she will be ready in a few weeks to begin the preparation for baptism. I am so excited for her and she will be a great example for her friends and family. She is very powerful and will definitely be a leader in the church.

Ok, now for the big news!! It is transfer week and we got our transfer news today. It's really frustrating, nerve racking, and just a weird feeling not knowing what life is going to be like for the next six weeks. I have really enjoyed being with Elder Harris and have gained such a great love for these people in Abuakwa. Its hard thinking that we have to leave these people to other missionaries to continue with their progress. It's just a sad, weird feeling that i can't really describe. It's a good thing nothings changing yet!!! We are all staying put in Abuakwa! I'm so excited to spend another 6 weeks here! Elder Harris and I have a lot of work to do.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Love you all,

Elder Rogers

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010 {Email}

It has been a sweet week for Elder Harris and I. This Sunday Tony was confirmed a member, that was really cool! The work has been picking up very quickly! We have gotten quite a few new serious investigators that are way cool to teach and to be around. We actually had 5 investigators at church this week! It was awesome, at first there was no one, but as the meeting went on they just kept coming in one by one. It is such a cool feeling when you see that person you want so much to have this gospel in their lives take the right steps to being baptized. Right now, we have one girl, Jennifer, who is preparing for baptism. She hasn't committed yet because it is really hard for her to leave her other church where she has responsibilities. She feels really guilty and i completely understand, she has been there her whole life. I would probably feel the same way. Hopefully she will be able to find the strength to leave her church and be baptized. She is a sweet girl and will be an awesome member! She also has a sweet family, so when she is baptized she will have a big impact on their decisions as well. I'm really excited for the next couple weeks to see her grow and hopefully commit.

Time is flying! Wow, I can't believe Christmas is already less then 3 weeks away! Christmas here is definitely not the same though. I hear they celebrate it alot, but there isn't the decorations around town like back at home. Also, there isn't really Christmas music around, but if you ask someone about Christmas they will get way excited about it. I'm stoked to see what it is like here in Ghana! It is just really weird to know it is Christmas time, but then i go outside and sweat!! Strange feeling...

Today we had a zone v. zone football (soccer) match. It was way cool. We played on a full pitch with grass so that was awesome. These guys are so good and i'm not very experienced in that area of athletics so i'm not the best. Their zone beat ours 3-0. Not a good day for the Bantama Zone. Oh well, you give us a baseball, basketball, or even an american football and we will win. Just like the olympics. The only thing the U.S. isn't very good at is soccer because all of our great athletes play other sports. If we had Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Deron Williams all playing soccer, CHAMPIONSHIP! That is what i tell these people when they start bragging about Ghana beating the U.S. in the world cup. Ha its too bad they don't have a clue who these people are.

Well it was another sweet week and i'm really looking forward to a busy week this week!

Love you all,

Elder Rogers