Monday, June 29, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!Et a Sane? :) That's twi for how are you? If you are fine you would say A Yay, or I'm cool is Boko. So this past week has been crazy and I am so glad that I finally get to write you guys and let you in on all that has happened. So the Accra Temple was amazing, and it was a great experience to go and it was incredible to do a session there. We had Zone Conference in the MTC and one of the area seventy's came and it was really incredible and inspiring. I learned a lot from him and I really like the saying he told us "Lord what what lack I yet": that way we can improve each and every single day as a missionary. The next day in the MTC (Sorry I actually can't remember if it was Thursday or Friday) we had in field orientation. We got to move around and I learned a lot. So funny story, the last part of the in field orientation they had a little skit on how to work with ward leaders and the bishop and the MTC teachers were the actors. And they had a senior companion and the junior companion missionary Elders. The senior companion was smart and knew what he was doing, but the junior companion (the teacher) made fun of new junior companion, and he was hilarious; he even made jokes about some of the Elders in the audience. So during this part of the skit the junior companion was looking at the area book and was like, "Oh do you remember the MTC" and the senior companion of course said no. Then the Junior companion said "Oh there's a guy named Harward, do you remember him? He had that laugh 'hahahaha'". Everyone in the room burst into laughter including myself because I was laughing a lot during this skit. It was great. So that was great! :) So in the MTC I actually played scrabble with Elder Muzwenje and Elder Wafula and it became a hit thing during our physical exercise time. Haha they enjoyed it. A little side note about the food there in the MTC. Everyday for breakfast we would have bread with butter/tuna sandwiches with hot chocolate and slices of oranges and hot chocolate, and it was really good! As for lunch and dinner you could predict what the next meal was: rice, and some form of meat, usually chicken. Some of the Elders joked and said, "I wonder if we are going to have chicken and rice for lunch today." haha but the food was really good and the rice is really good when mixed in the sauce that they put out. On Sunday we watched the Testaments on DVD for our night time activity in the MTC and that was awesome and I liked the movie. On Monday we had our goodbye devotional and our district Jacob got to sing a song like every other district and that was cool. Sister Alinyo and Sister Atentio were funny and they laughed at me and we even did a little dance to a song Sister Atention made up. They were really nice and were really awesome to talk to, and hear their testimony's. Also some of the two week French group asked for me to go over some very basic English with them and it was really awesome! :)So the time finally arrived on Tuesday when we were going to leave for the mission home! :) We had a little meeting with the assistants to the President and they answered any questions or concerns before we headed out. So I said goodbye to everybody and put my bags on the top of the van and eventually we left. It was a little bitter sweet to leave because I met a lot of new people and they were all so friendly! However I knew that there were people that needed to hear the gospel, so I was ready to head out. 

Eventually we arrived in Cape Coast after a 3 hour drive with one break an hour and half into the drive. I met President Stevenson and his wife and they are amazing! :) We had some lunch then did some training and had interviews with the president and watched Meet The Mormons while we waited for our turn. Then we had dinner and it was delicious, and had more training after dinner. That night 6 of the elders (including myself) slept at the assistants' home and it was fun to talk to them and to hear about their mission experiences. Wednesday morning finally came!  :) We all had breakfast together (Which was pancakes!) and then we sat down and waited to hear our assignments and who are trainers were going to be. We all were nervous because we didn't know what to expect and they called everybody' name one name at a time (and all of us really were hoping we would have awesome trainers). President Stevenson said that Trainers were inspired, along with our areas and that he prayed again about our assignments and felt like this is were we needed to be. So alphabetically he started down the list. Eventually my name was called. He said I was going to a place called....... Swedru! It's about an hour and half away from Cape Coast and we drove past Winneba (Which is my zone's name) it on our way into Cape Coast and I heard my trainer was going to be Elder Day.

So our MTC group got spilt up into two groups and we headed out one group at a time to specific stations where tro tro's would take us. It was a little crazy at the station but eventually I was in and headed down to Swedru. 

Tro-Tros (Local Transportation)

Eventually I arrived at Swedru and I met my trainer Elder Day who is from Delta Utah. He played Basketball, Football, and Rodeo at Delta High School before he came on his mission. He has almost been out for one year now. He is a really cool guy and I am learning so much from him, and my training with him is just really great! Elder Day took me to our apartment and I unpacked and then we went out to see the members, and I met a couple of people. I don't talk a lot and I just have really been trying to discern our investigators' needs but it's been difficult. Any missionary advice would be amazing.

 Swedru is interesting. Sewer systems definitely don't apply here and they are open and huge. Also goats, chickens, cats, run around all the time in the side streets so It surprised me the first day, but I am more used to it now. On Thursday  we did our weekly planning and went out to start teaching. It has been great! We have two really good progressing investigators and they even came to church (Really good sign because they have to come to church at least 3 times before baptism) and they are Paa Joe and Sister Vida. Hopefully things will work out for them, but I will for sure keep you update on everything that is going on with our investigators. Ghana is amazing and so is Swedru. The people are amazing, but it is definitely different and things like even Water (They drink from a little plastic bag), and definitely the language barrier has been a struggle, but it's been so great and the ward that I am serving in the Swedru 1st Ward has been so kind to me, especially since I don't know a lot of Twi or Fanti but I am slowly learning. :) I even had the opportunity to bear my testimony in church on Sunday that was really awesome! (Okay so Mondays are my official P Days). So today for P day the zone leaders planned a zone activity and we roasted some pig and we interacted with the whole zone. It was great! I even did a little dance and all the sisters were laughing at me haha! :) It has been great! 

 I have just been trying to focus on the savior because I am weak right now but he can make me strong and I take it one day at a time. I miss you guys a lot but I really love you and I'm sorry I didn't take more advantage of all of your love and I could have helped out more but anyways I love you all. Anyways I hope everything is going well over there!I hope the best for you and I keep you in my prayers. Have a great rest of the week! :)Love,Elder Harward

Here are some pictures of where Elder Harward is serving!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!
So it's been almost one week since I have been in the Ghana MTC! I can't believe it! First of all, thank you SO much for your emails! They totally made my morning! Hopefully I will be able to respond to you this week, but I might not be able to because we are going to the Accra, Ghana Temple today! :) So we have to be on time haha. If I do not respond to you I will for sure respond to you by next week, because you are all awesome!

Okay, so this week has been really good. I have learned a lot about being a missionary, about how hard it is and how rewarding it is at the same time. We have been doing a lot of practice teaching and I have learned a lot of new principles and skills that I would never thought were important when meeting an investigator.

So, the missionaries in the MTC are fantastic! They are so funny and they think my laugh is funny :) It is great to see their enthusiasm and love for the gospel and they inspire me. Elder Wafula, and Elder Musenje are in my little room and they are really fun and it's great to see and feel of their love. We also have two sister missionaries in our district, which is called the Jacob District. They are funny. At dinner, the sisters told me that I would have to finish all my rice or I would let them down, haha! 

The MTC has been a great experience and I really am learning a lot. We have weekly devotionals where President and Sister Robison give really good lessons and I am truly inspired to be better. On Sunday we had Sacrament meeting and it was such a blessing to feel of the spirit there and really learn from the speakers. The speakers are chosen at random by the way so everyone has to be prepared! The speakers today spoke a lot about the atonement of Jesus Christ and that was really inspiring. Later, that night, we watched a rebroadcast of a devotional given in Provo MTC by Elder and Sister Bednar on October 6th 2012 ( I think that's when Katie was in the MTC!) This devotional was given right after The Church lowered the missionary age. It was really incredible to see how Elder and Sister Bednar handled the news. Their talks have been really inspiring. Throughout this week, I have learned a lot about Doctrines and Principles. It has been so great to learn about how we teach and apply them in our lives!

Yesterday all of the Elders serving in Ghana went to this office to get our Ghana card that would allow us to stay here and work here. It was interesting to see the roads and the buildings and traffic. The traffic here is crazy! I am not sure how the drivers do it, but they seem to handle it well. As we were driving we saw many people carrying water and clothes on their heads. I definitely want to learn how to do that! It is interesting to see their buildings, advertisements and really everything around them because it is all so different! It is incredible to learn about this country!

So today we are going to the Accra, Ghana Temple and I am excited to go and it should be amazing! :) Anyway I have to go! I love you guys! Have a great week and I promise I will write you all soon!
Love, Elder Harward

Friday, June 12, 2015

Elder Harward's first letter home!

June 12, 2015
Hello Family and Friends!
 Akwaaba! That actually means hello in Ghana. The first flight to Amsterdam was pretty long bu luckily I met up with one Elder before the flight so we talked for a little bit and then we met up with another Elder on the flight so that was cool. I was surprised that they offered  alcohol, wine, coffee, tea, etc. It blew my mind. I was just used to soda and water and that's what I asked for, haha. One of the ladies could tell I was a missionary and she asked me where I was going, and I said Ghana. She said wow, and asked if I knew the language. I told her I was going to learn it over there. At Amsterdam we me up with 7 other Elders and that was really cool. We called home and then went to the gate. However our gate changed so we had to go from E22 to F9 which was pretty far away, but it gave us some time to talk. On the flight to Ghana all the Elders and I were tired so we slept a little bit on this flight but it was nice because the flight wasn't so crowded. When we arrived in Ghana, I was so excited to see Ghana and to actually be in Africa!

The Welcome Sign at the Ghana Airport
The Elders and I walked out and it was so hot and humid, so it was definitely different than I am used to. Funny story., so the MYC driver told us not to give money to anyone because it would be a scam. But this guy came up to me (of course) and says hey give me a tip and I'll carry your bags and everything. Of course I said no and told him our driver said no too, but he kept following us to the van. He even tried to get the other Elders to pay him too. He stayed and stared us while we were in the van, but eventually our driver told him to get lost. I loved the drive to the MTC. Ghana is so green and lush, it's incredible. I was amazed at the view. We were all staring at the roads and everything around us. When we arrived at the MTC we met the MTC president and we got our name tags and we moved up to our rooms. We had to go to the top floor and I met my companion Elder Chinedu. He is from Nigeria and is going to the Cape Coast Mission with me. He is really cool. 
( He is the one in the picture with me)

Elder Harward and Elder Chinedu

The MTC Chapel Area
Ghana is great and I am loving every minute of it. The best part of the MTC is the Elders and Sisters who smile and give me a firm handshake.It's so great that the gospel connects us and really allows us to separate stereotypes and I love it. Well, I hope that you all are doing well and that you are all having fun adventures in Utah. The gospel is true. I am so excited that I get to serve these wonderful people and I am learning so much already. I definitely have my struggles but I am so glad that I get to rely on the Savior's Atonement and it truly is a blessing. The English is a little bit different for sure but I am learning and my companion and I are working things out together.I am so grateful that I get to be a missionary. I hope you have a great rest of the week and know that I keep you guys in my prayers. Have a great rest of the week. :)
Love, Elder Harward
Elder Harward playing football!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Information about the Ghana MTC, President and Sister Stevenson, packages and more!

The MTC in Ghana
Elder Harward has just entered the MTC  in Ghana!! (MTC stands for Missionary Training Center)
Here he will spend a few weeks studying and preparing to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after he gets some rest tonight. Its been a long flight after all.

Here is the blog for the MTC in Ghana:  There is some wonderful information here about the leaders and instructors currently there, as well as church history in Africa!

Elder Harward's Mission President

While Elder Harward is the farthest away he's ever been away from home, 6, 912 miles to be exact, you can expect that once in awhile Mom and Dad might be worried about their youngest son. But God watches over these brave young men and women called to preach his gospel. He has also called a special couple to serve over the Cape Coast Mission, President and Sister Stevenson.

President and Sister Stevenson recently came from Oregon, although President Stevenson is a native of Henderson, Nevada and Sister Stevenson was born in Santo Andre, São Paulo Brasil. They have  five children, and both are faithful servants of the lord, having served many different callings in the church. President Stevenson served formerly as a Stake President, Bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, high councilor, temple ordinance worker, seminary teacher and missionary in the Sweden Göteborg Mission. Sister Stevenson formerly served as a Primary teacher and is a former counselor in a stake primary presidency, ward primary president, ward young women adviser and ward missionary.
We know that Elder Harward will be in good hands with these wonderful representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ. You can follow their adventures at their blog:

Pouch mail and Packages: What is pouch mail? How do I send packages? We know that Africa is not next door, so here is all the information we have for the easiest way to send Elder Harward letters and packages.

Pouch Mail: The LDS church provides pouch mail service to the Ghana Cape Coast mission. Items sent by pouch mail, use the United States Postal Service (USPS) from your location to Church headquarters, where they are forwarded to the missionary by a private courier along with other church mail. Pouch Mail leaves Church headquarters each Friday. Items received after the pouch has been send will be held for the next week. Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes) written on one side of the page may be sent through the pouch. Notebook or other light-weight paper will not process through the USPS machines. Photographs are not acceptable. This is a great way for Elder Harward to receive inexpensive, tangible letters, that will arrive to his mission rather quickly. The address for where to send pouch mail may change periodically,but for now is currently the mission home address. It is posted on the homepage of the blog.

Packages: If you want to mail a package using a private courier (anything that is NOT USPS) you will need the mission office phone number 233-24-433-2967.Small packages of nominal value may be sent through regular mail. Photographs, tapes, CDs thumb drives etc should be sent in padded envelopes because they may damage postal equipment or be damaged during transit if placed in flat envelopes. Please be advised that packages sent to other countries often do not reach their intended destination. When they do arrive, they are subject to customs duties (taxes) that the missionary must pay from his personal funds. The address to send packages is NOT  the same as the one for letters and pouch mail and is also posted on the blog homepage.

Good luck and happy writing!

Elder Harward departs for the Ghana, Cape Coast Mission!

And he's off! Yesterday we said goodbye to the youngest member of our family, as he boarded a plane for Ghana, Africa. Kendall Harward- now Elder Harward has been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.

 While there, Elder Harward will be inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive his restored gospel, through faith, repentance,baptism, the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. Elder Harward has as a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. In his farewell talk on Sunday, he spoke of the love he had for Heavenly father and his son Jesus Christ. He spoke of how we must center our testimonies upon his gospel and his atonement. He spoke his love and testimony of the scriptures and his family. We are grateful for all who attended to support Kendall on his last Sunday here in the states.

 Before he left on Wednesday afternoon, we were blessed to attend the temple together as a family. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we build temples. Temples are holy and sacred places where we can worship and learn more about God's plan for us. We learn especially about the great blessing that families can be together forever in the temple.

Elder Harward and his family at the Salt Lake City Temple
 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Accra, Ghana temple in Accra, Ghana

Elder Harward will be able to attend the temple in Accra, Ghana. He is excited to bring the knowledge of temples and eternal families to the people of Cape Coast!

We are so excited for you Elder Harward! Good luck and God be with you!