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!

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