Monday, July 27, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!

Wow, another week has passed. Can you believe it? I felt like I just wrote yesterday haha. ante phrase of the week is Me to ick wat tu. Which means “I am going to buy an orange”, which I say to sister Jennifer every time we get an orange.


Okay so this week has been a pretty great week, and Ghana is great! I am hoping to have some pictures for you guys this week so I hope you enjoy them. :) So last week on Monday Elder Day and I went to Brother Frank's (Our Ward Mission Leader) house for Family Home Evening and I ate Bonku. It was really good,and I am getting better at eating it. So inside the soup for the Bonku there was the skin type of thing and I didn't know what it was, but Brother Frank told me to eat it, (and of course you don't say no) so I did, and it was very chewy. I asked Brother Frank what it was and he told me it was cow skin. Cool right? It was pretty interesting! The lesson for FHE was on Agency and it was good, and we got some Oreo type of cookies at Melcom's (Ghana's version of Walmart) and some Fan Pop's for the kids. They enjoyed that. On Wednesday night we had Mutual again, and that is going really well. More of the youth are showing up and are excited for all of the activities that we are planning. 

My Desk

The ward is great! It's definitely different from back home with just 20- 50 people for church whereas I was used to a couple hundred, but the people are nice and we are trying to get a ward activity and I think that will be so great. It's definitely different being here in Ghana but I am loving it, and am learning a lot. Elder Day actually wants me to teach Gospel Principles next time so we shall see how that goes but I can do it if I don't doubt myself. Okay so cool experience: last Sunday a guy showed up to church out of the blue and we were like, "wow, that's cool." I told him he could sit by us and we talked small and I tried to help him with the sacrament because he looked confused, which makes sense because he has no ideal what it is. So after church we got his address and number and asked if we could meet some time, and we set up a time for Thursday. We actually were able to meet with him on Thursday and he explained that he just decided to come and see what are church was like due to all of these people going there. He told us that if the church was of Christ, he would go there, but if it wasn't of Christ he wouldn't go back to that church. He really liked our meeting and said he would like to join our church. Elder Day and I were so impressed. In fact he came this last Sunday as well. We are hoping to extend him for a baptismal date for the 15th of August.

Friday, I was able to go on my first split. I was excited to go with Elder Nwatah and to the Swedru Third Ward. We were able to have 4 lessons! In fact Eric is getting baptized this next week, so that is so great for them! Saturday we were able to go to Sister Tina's baptism (I met her on the split, and reviewed the interview questions with her) and that was so cool! Then afterwards the other Elders and I went to Aboso for the huge stake youth activity and it was fun to see all the youth excited. This past Sunday was great and Paa Joe even came on time to the meeting (We were really working with him to be on time for the sacrament so he can practice taking it, as well as not working on Sunday) and he is doing well. So the Elders in our apartment and my trainer like to tease me: We were eating this thing that looked like Bonku but wasn't at all, and I asked them what was it and they said "Oh that's goat poop." I said cool, it doesn't even taste like that, and I kept eating because you don't say no to food even if it's questionable. And they kept it going for a couple of minutes, but they eventually told me it was Eba which is just pounded Cassava. Haha they are funny. Speaking of food, there is Plantain here and it looks like a banana but isn't sweet, and it is really good, especially fried Plantain. There is this lady named Sister Gifty who sells it every night by our apartment and it is so hard not to get some and I usually get some. Fried Plantain is the best. We actually invited her to church because we stop there so often and she likes us, so we are hoping for the next week she'll come.

My Bed, mosquitoes anyone?

Okay so as for Elder Day's and my investigators goes. They are doing well. We are shooting for 3 baptisms on the 15th of August with Brother Paa Joe, Sister Vida, and Brother Alex. They have all been doing really well and we actually talked with Sister Vida Sunday Night and we talked about her lessons and her baptisms. We are hoping that her soon to be husband, Theolopus, can baptize her and that would be really awesome. Alex is awesome and we will extend that baptismal date soon. As for Paa Joe we are a little concerned he won't make the 15th due to the fact of his marriage. He just needs to put a down payment on the bride price and then he will be all good, but his soon to be wife's family doesn't come back until the beginning of August. Also he is doing some festivals for his business, so he won't be in town for a while except for the weekends, so we are going to have to meet with him on Saturday and Sunday every week so he will keep progressing but he is great. Other than that we have been working with our less actives and recent converts a lot and are making sure they are doing well. Sister Jennifer (The lady who sells great oranges) is great and she is funny and laughs when I try to talk to people because I always say Good Evening (Et a Sane) and the people walking by will laugh or just not respond at all but it's all good, and some people respond, so that's nice. :) We have a lot of potential investigators on our board like Sister Gifty (The one who sells Killiwiillie, the fried plantain). and many others, so this week we are really excited and optimistic for what we can accomplish. The work here is great!

So Today is Monday and for P-Day we actually had a Zone Activity. We got to go to Winneba Beach. :) It was so cool and I even go my feet wet in the ocean and got to look at the cool waves. It was fun, and I liked talking with everyone and seeing how everyone was doing. We were going to get pizza (SO hard to find and is usually expensive) and sure enough, the place we went to was going to be too expensive for too little pizza, so I was a little sad about that, but we got fried rice and chicken and it was all good. :)

So Spiritual thought for the week, and this is kind of a shout out to all of my friends going into the MTC soon. These past weeks have been really hard, I'm not going to deny that, and I go throughout the day and I try to stay optimistic, but I just start to doubt myself by thinking I can't speak to [people], what if I can't answer their questions, am I even a good missionary? etc. And Elder Day has been talking to me a lot about that and he put it on our board to not doubt because it isn't from the Lord, and he wrote down the quote from Henry Ford which says "Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right." I love that quote, and it has really been helping me out. So I have just decided to not doubt and go forward with faith in my Savior and the more I am not doubting myself the more the lessons go well and the happier I feel. So to my fellow new missionaries: don't doubt yourself. The Lord has confidence in you and He will guide you and protect you. Look to Him and you will be okay. The gospel is so worth it. I am so excited for you guys as you go out and serve and you can do it. You will have been set apart to be as a missionary and because of that the Lord will help you and guide you as long as we remain worthy of that. This also applies to you, family and friends in your daily lives: go forward in faith and have that confidence because the Lord trusts you. He loves you so much and He will help you, if you continually turn towards Him. I know it's not easy but the Lord expects us to learn because if we didn't were would we be? As Nephi says (2nd Nephi chapter 2) “Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy" That is true and I hope to work on doubting myself and to just love and serve these people, and I hope that you all won't doubt yourself as well because you are great. :) I love you all SO much, and I hope you have a great week! Stay awesome, and I will talk to you soon.


Elder Harward

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!
How are you all doing? I hope that everything is going well! So twii word of the week is Abruni which means Whiteman haha, and you see why I choose this word later. So this week has been a slower week due to the meetings we went to but it was a great week! So Tuesday we went to Winneba and had interviews with President Stevenson and got taught by our District leader Elder Tyson, the Assistants, and Sister Stevenson. I learned a lot about how to have more sincere prayers and what we can do to use our time more wisely. Wednesday we actually had mutual in our ward and it was so great. We watched 17 Miracles and had some little treats. On Friday Elder Day and I went to Cape Coast for our Trainer and New missionary meeting just making sure everything was going well in training and what things we both could improve on. It was really awesome. Elder Day is a strong guy haha. I have teased him that I am stronger than him and he punches me in the shoulder to prove his point, ( to make me stronger so he says.) So I have some bruises on my arms but it's all cool because I am trying to be stronger haha and I am getting tough.He's a cool guy and I am learning a lot from him. Oh and I got a hair cut this week due to Ghana being so hot. It's pretty short so I will try to send a picture next week.
Instruction during Interviews

Enjoying lunch

Winneba Zone

Saturday and Sunday were good and we got to meet with Acquah Family and got to eat Fufu. Haha I am not too good at eating it eat but I will get there. They had cow's knee with it or something and I tried some of the tendon, so that was interesting haha! They are a great family and are doing really well! Okay so the children here in Ghana are very interesting. You feel like a superstar. Every time they see you they yell Abruni! Abruni! They go up to you and touch you and are just fascinated by you, so it's pretty cool. The babies however are terrified of us, so it's a little sad when they start to cry, but if we go over to the house a lot the babies get used to us so that's great. 

Cow's knee and Fufu

For me this week has been hard, but I also have really learned a lot and grown so much. I love this quote from my dad,"What but the mountains tumble into the sea and all the earth be done away, yet I will not fear for God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." (Reference to 2 Timothy 1:7) I used to roll my eyes whenever he quoted that to me, but it really has helped me out so much this week. God has given us all a spirit of Power and Love not of fear and we just have to try and he will make up for the rest. As we go through life and have to go do things like going to college, getting married, moving out of the house, just know that the savior is right beside you and that he has given you a spirit of power and of a sound mind. We can do hard things, and I am so grateful for that. Anyways our investigators are doing well and we are hoping this week we can meet with more of them so I will keep you all updated. But I hope everything is well, and I hope that you all have a great rest of the week and really rely upon the savior. I love you all! Stay strong.


Elder Harward

New Missionary Training

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!

How are you all doing? :) Okay so first things first Twi word of the week (I just thought I should start that) is Badsi. It means Thank you. I really like that one and I use it a lot here in Ghana. So this week has been a pretty good week, and things are going great here in Swedru. Okay so intresting fact about Ghana is that sometimes power will just randomly go off here in Ghan, becauuse they can't power all of the electricty here in Ghana so sometimes they will just cut the power off. (Even if you paid your bill). And there is no back up generator so you just have to wait until it comes back on. So the whole city is without power until they decide to turn in back on. Sometimes it's off for 10 to 30 minutes but sometimes it can last up to hours. It's not too bad, but it's just kind of werid when suddenly the lights go off in the apartment for no reason. Yesterday they turned of the electrity 3 times haha. It usually is only once a day or so but sometimes it goes off more than once. When the power goes off in the afternoon it is pretty brutal becasue the fans won't work and the rooms get really hot, but we make it work. :) Yesterday the power went off in the afternoon right when we were in the apratment and we used our pamplets to cool us off as fans haha! Luckly (The power going out) hasn't happen during our email time, but if it does we will either try to write later or come on Tuesday to write our letters. So last week after Elder Day and I emailed we went to this superstore here in Swedru and it was really intresting to look at all the stuff and what they had. It's like a walmart but with two floors and it was pretty intresting to look at all of the stuff!
On Tuesday, we had a Zone Meeting. So our zone is called the Winneba Zone. Our Zone leaders talked about the Head of The House hold for baptism and who we should write down for specific cases. Also they talked about how to use the pamphlets (The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Word of Wisdom, and Chastity) in our teaching and why they are important. It was really great and we carry them all the time and hand the pamphlets out to those we meet and use them in our lessons with the investigators, especially because they have really good pictures that can help our investigators understand. Te Sister Zone leaders talked about the Holy Ghost and what we needed to do to have the companionship of the holy ghost in our lives. It was a really good meeting. So Wednesday Elder Day and I followed up with a woman named Teresa. We gave Teresa a Restoration pamphlet when she stopped us and said she wanted to hear our message, so we wrote our information down and got some information on where she stayed and when we could come by and visit. So Wednesday we meet Teresa and she is a nice lady. She has a strong Christian faith and goes to some church and we just discussed some small things about the gospel and asked if we could come back and she said yes, so we are going to go over the restoration with her next time so I'm pretty excited for her. That night Elder Day and I went to the Acquah Family. They are really sweet and have kind of been in active but lately they have been doing better. (We actually have a FHE with them tonight so that's really exciting.) We were able to talk to the children and we talked to sister Acauah. And she wanted to come with us to help translate some time, and that was a really cool experience, to see how invested she is in missionary work.

Thursday was kind of slow day due to our weekly planning, but we did get to meet brother Paa Joe and discuss with him on Tithing and Fasting and we followed up with our commitment to him to not work on Sunday and that the lord would provide for him. He is doing SO well. He has come to church for a little while now and is doing so well, the only thing that is keeping him back is his marriage. Okay so a little explanation on marriage in Ghana. First they do what is called the Knocking. So that is where the families discuss the marriage and agree for them to get married and are okay with everything. Then the second step is the Bride Price. This is where it gets tricky. The Bride's family has to decide some amount of money that the groom has to pay, and it can be very expensive. However for baptism the church has said that the groom has to only put a down payment for the bride price and then they are married in the church's eyes until they can finish the rest of the bride price and traditional marriage. Then the third step is too have the traditional wedding and then they can get sealed in the temple a week following their marriage (Due to Ghana not recognizing temple marriages.) So that is the step they need in order to get baptized is just do the knocking and pay a little bit of the bride price and that's what we are working with for Brother Paa Joe is the knocking and the bride price.

Sister Vida and her husband Theolopus have the same issue with just the bride price so we have been working on that with her as well. (We didn't get to see her this week due to her moving out for a bit due to worrying about the flood but she should be coming back soon with Theolopus. But they are doing well and they both have been coming to church this past weeks so that is really great. Friday was really great because we went out to Happy Home (A little part of our area) and we saw Sister Gabriela and it was really great to see them. Also we talked with Brother Frank (Our Ward Mission Leader, he is a really cool guy in a wheelchair) about mutual and we are starting that up this week so that is really great. We are also really working on getting a ward activity going so that is really cool and I think that will really help the ward. Saturday was really slow and a lot of our appointments fell through so as for Sunday it was really great and church was really good and we had a ward council right after church and we discussed how we can help the ward and it was great. That's about it for the week. :) We are hoping this next to really see some people who have been gone this week but I think it will be a good week.


 I'm doing pretty good and Elder Day is a really great guy. I'm learning a lot and I even started to hand wash my clothes because my trainer has a washer but I was thinking I wont't be able to use that all the time or with my next companion so I stated to hand wash. It's hard but well worth it, and I like it. Cleaning is also really relaxing for some reason and I like to clean our apartment because it is bad sometimes. So for food we have Pancakes or I have cereal. Or I scramble some eggs and have some bread. Or we do an egg on toast type of thing except the eggs can't be runny at all just as a precaution. We have vegetable stew with rice and I have had Bonku, Fufu and Jolof, some of the Ghanaian's local favorites.  I want to make french Toast this next week so we shall see how that goes. Sometimes I just have some cereal, although power milk isn't always too nice but I put some sugar in it and it's pretty good. :) My Trainer is making sure that I survive and that's good because cooking is one of my weakest areas. The people are SO amazing. They have such strong testimonies and it's really great to hear them sing because it doesn't matter if your on pitch just if you have passion. I like that. I am trying to stay optimistic and it gets hard sometimes but I just take it one day at a time.

Jollof Rice

Anyways I love you all and I just wanted to leave you all with this last thought that we as missionary's have been striving to focus on and President Stevenson talked about this with us and that is to strive for all people to got to the temple. That as missionaries, is something we are really working on is not just baptisms but really for people to endure to the end and I think that is so cool. I hope we can all go to the temple and make those sacred covenants wit the lord; I love you all. Have a good rest of the week!. Until next week stay awesome. :)


Elder Harward

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!

How are you guys doing? How was your Fourth of July? :) I hope that you all got to see some fireworks and had some hot dogs and hamburgers or something. :) This week has been pretty great and the work is going well! On Tuesday we had our District Meeting and that was great! We talked about the Book of Mormon and put questions on the board on what investigators will ask us about the Book of Mormon and how we could respond through the scriptures and it was really insightful! I learned a lot and it was great to see the scriptures that we could use to help our investigators! I also had the opportunity to introduce myself and that was really cool!

So after District Meeting we went out to lunch at a Chop Bar (Little places around in Ghana were you can sit down and get food) and I was pretty nervous because I was going to try a local favorite dish called Fufu. So you actually eat Fufu with your hand, no silverware! Awesome right!? :) (Sorry Mom). You wash your hand and then you just dig into it (It looks like bread dough and put in a red sauce) and you swallow it. You’re not supposed to chew at all. Crazy right? I dug with my hand and I tried to chew it and it is not pleasant to chew it, but when you just swallow it, it pretty good. I couldn't finish it though because it was so big. The other Elders could eat it like it was nothing and that was crazy to me, but they said I would get used to it haha.

On Wednesday Elder Day and I went to Aboso with Elder Tyson and Elder Nwanta (other set of missionary's in our apartment) and we got to do a missionary activity!

So we spilt up our companionships and each elder went with one of the leaders from the Aboso branch and went tracting around the streets. The reason why they were doing this is because they are trying to increase the Aboso Branch so hopefully they will be become a ward someday and that would be awesome! I went out with brother Goman and a little young man named Michael and it was great! We talked to everyone we saw and we even got 10 or so names and numbers so the other elders could contact them! It was a great success! Funny story actually the second place we stopped at was this little sewing shop and we were talking to some ladies and this women was talking to me in Fanti and I was trying to understand her and she was pointing at me and her and I was like "Oh so you want to marry me?" haha I was right and she asked me Do you want to marry me? Of course she was joking but I said haha I can't because I am a missionary. She was a funny lady!

Thursday thru Saturday was slow but we were able to see some of our investigators and recent converts. One of them is named Paa Joe who I believe I mentioned. Anyway cool story so we were teaching him about the word of wisdom and the law of Chasity and we reviewed not having earrings and he forgot about that and during the lesson he actually took his earrings out. It was so incredible to me. I mean if you looked at this guy you probably wouldn't think he is interested in the gospel or would even accept it but he really has been the most receptive and has kept all of our commitments. He really has opened my eyes. We also saw sister Vida who is doing really well. She and Theolopus are great (Theoolopus is a member and they are together but are not married.) Marriage in Ghana is a little different than in the U.S. and they have a different custom of doing marriage, So we have to work with Paa Joe and Sister Vida on that and figure out everything haha but they are great!

Saturday we met with Adoja and her daughter and gave her a BOM so I hope she keeps progressing. She is very sweet. And we were able to meet with two recent converts Anglea and Jennifer. Angela is 8 years old and just recently got baptized and she is great. Jennifer is in her thirties I believe and she sells oranges and we always get some so that is great. Sunday was really peaceful and Sister Vida and Thelolpus came as well as Paa Joe along with another less active family that we have been teaching so it was really cool to see all of them! We have really been trying to work with our less active members because we have a good number of members in our ward but most are inactive for some reason and so we got a ward directory and we have been working on that.

I am really learning and growing here in Ghana. I think about you guys during some of my experiences. I am going to learn how to wash by hand tonight I think. Crazy right? When I am in the work it is easier to focus on the people and really get the work here progressing. We just need to always rely upon the savior and we will be okay. Thank you guys for being my rock and for always being there for me. I truly love you guys with all of my heart. Ghana really is great and the people are so nice and always great you very friendly and I absolutely love that. It's pretty poor but I mean these people make it buy and it's heartbreaking at times at how I can be so selfish and have all of this stuff when these people have so little but I know that the lord knows us all and that he is aware of our needs and concerns and these people have great faith and love. The work is really good here! :) I am learning so much and am really grateful that I get to serve with amongst these great people! Anyways I hope that everything is going well over there! I love you all. :) Stay Awesome!


Elder Harward

Traditional Ghanaian Chop Bar

Fufu! Yum!

Elder Harward with his trainer Elder Day