Saturday, January 30, 2016

Moving, Working, and Driving

Hello Family and Friends!
What a crazy week it has been. How are you all doing!? I hope you all doing well.
 This week I said goodbye to Swedru and that was really hard. I love the people there so much, and I really loved serving there. I had a hard time saying goodbye to Brother Frank especially because I met him since day one. I know that the Lord has great things in store for him and I know that the Lord needed me to go and serve some other wonderful people. 
Saying goodbye to my Swedru acquaintances

So I left Swedru and headed to Cape Coast, but on the way we stopped in Winneba to have our MLC report as a zone. Funny story: When we first arrived in Winneba, the mission van pulled up and it was the new missionaries (The new missionaries always stop at Winneba for a bathroom break).  And guess who I found... Toa! I guess I should say Elder Muawau, and it was so cool to see him and to say hi. Maybe I will see him around sometime!

We arrived in Cape Coast at what’s called "the Castle Apartment" (it's where an old mission couple used to stay) and my actual apartment was right next door! I stayed in the Castle Apartment for the night with the Halos (a mission couple in our mission) and we had a small testimony meeting and then we had some small snacks and then we all headed off to bed).

The next morning I just walked downstairs because my apartment was just right there, so I put my bags in and said hi to everyone. So now I am with Elder Hodson who is from Pleasant Grove Utah and is 19 years old. He wants to be a Police Officer when he goes home and wants to go to UVU. So Elder Hodson and I went with the other office elders and to drop off Elder Jones at the station and pick up Elder Ryes (He is going to be replacing Elder Day) so he is the new Mission Secretary and Elder Day is for sure leaving next Transfer; it will be interesting to see where he goes.

 Later Elder Hodson spent all of the day in the office sorting through mail and packages and getting everything ready for the entire mission (It’s definitely lot of work). Normally we wouldn't be in the office on Wednesday, but Elder Hodson and Elder Jones got behind because of transfers, so we just needed to get caught up, and it also gave me an idea of what a Supply Elder is like:  we deal with the mail, letters/pouch, packages, and supplies to missionaries’ apartments. We get the supplies and get them all ready and a guy named Jesse drives out to the missionaries and brings it to them. So we proselyte every day, but on Tuesdays and Fridays we are in the office from 12:00 to 6:00 getting the mail/packages, and doing the supplies and then we proselyte from 6 going. The other Elders (The mission secretary Elder Reyes/Elder Day and The Finance Secretary are in the office every day and only proselyte from 6 to 9, so Elder Hodson and I are the full time missionaries in Nkanfoa, and then the other Elders work with less- actives and members when they can, but we are all in the same ward together, so that's pretty cool! Later that night we got to sit in on FuFu for the missionaries going home and we got ice cream and it was really nice.


The area where I am currently serving
Thursday was my first day proselyting in Nkanfoa (I would say it like this in-con-fwa). It took me some time to get the name right. But we saw two of our powerful investigators, Victor and Christiana,  who have come to church 5 times and are very consistent. They both are super sweet and they both have baptismal dates for February. Victor February 5th, and Christia February 13th. I also met a nice woman named Abigail who is also very sweet.

Friday was a little intense. So Elder Hodson and I go back to the Office and I had to watch the driving videos so I could drive in Cape Coast for the packages/mail and stuff like that (Elder Hodson doesn't have his international license, so I am the only one who can drive out of the two of us) so I watched the videos and then President Stevenson approved me to drive, and that was nice. So I got to drive in Africa! Sweet right! I got to do some practice around some loops and Nkanfoa. It's a pretty big truck, but it was nice and scary at the same time. Africa driving is different than America. But Sister Stevenson actually needed some stuff in Cape Coast and we had to take her. She made us some lunch before we headed out and then she sat up in from with me and we headed to cape coast. Now I was just driving around in the neighborhoods, but the distance to Cape Coast is similar to West Valley to Salt Lake City. Because I am driving Sister Stevenson and it's my first time going there... I was SO nervous! I have never been that stressed out in my life, but everything was okay. Ghanaian drivers are very aggressive it's a very “my way” type of system so you have to be very cautious and patient at times. But everything was good and Sister Stevenson said it was all good, although she said I need to put on sunscreen Haha :)

 After we took Sister Stevenson we had to go back to Cape Coast and we went to the mail place and picked up the mail/packages and that was fun! I am getting better at driving small small, so it will be okay. I also got Grandma's Package and it was SO SO SO great!!!!! I loved it, so thank you grandma :) Later that night we went to PEC with all the Elders and Bishop Iwuzuse. !

Saturday was a great day: We had 6 lessons and I got to meet some more members:  A woman named Agness, and Gloria and a man named Albert. We got some fired rice at the end of the night and that was fun. Also I met this woman named Gifty, who is a member kind of less active and she actually got me wet small because she was pretending to be an investigator but she is very funny.
Onion Rings
 On Sunday I bore my testimony and Sister Stevenson came to ward (she comes sometimes) and she also bore her testimony and it was very good). I don't remember all of the members’ names and the investigators, but the work here is sweet so I am very excited to learn to grow here.

This next week I get to instruct and give a baptismal interview. Yay! Haha I am pretty nervous and stressed, but it's good. I have never been this stressed out in my life, but I am taking it one day a time and everything is going well. :) I know that as we turn to the Savior all things are possible, and as we rely upon his atonement we can start to become who God wants us to be. I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Harward

P.S. Office life is sweet because I get to know immediately if a package or letter arrives for me because we are in charge of that, so that's pretty cool :)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Change to a District Leader, Supply Elder, and New City, Nkonfa.

Hello Family and Friends! I am sorry that I missed last week’s general email but I hope everything is going well for all of you guys.
Here in my last week in Swedru, some great things happened: We got a referral from Brother Charles about a woman named Dora and we saw her that week, and she is really sweet. Her husband is actually a member in Accra! We also met a woman named Pat and she has been taught in the past by the missionaries and we saw her twice and she is doing really well. We also had a member named Kofi (Martha's older brother) bring a friend to church and we had a good lesson with on Sunday. So a lot of things were happening and the Lord was working on the people.
We found this tropical stream where we took some pics. These are the only ones for this week. Sorry. 
Okay so as for this week, since the Accra Mission is taking over the city, many missionaries have been arriving: So 7 people in one apartment has been fun ha-ha! We saw a woman named Oliva who is friends with Pat and she read the book we gave her! But it kind of seemed like she just wanted to argue with us so it was just an okay lesson. On Thursday we saw Pat again and taught her the Book of Mormon and she seemed to like it and that was very exciting to see. Friday was a great day! We saw Mustahpa and talked about the Word of Wisdom and what he needs to do keep that commandment. We then saw Olivia and we really tried to answer her concerns but she really just wanted to Bible bash us, so that was disappointing, but maybe with some time she will be ready.

Finally Saturday came... The big day! So we had chapel cleaning in the morning and then we came back and did our studies, and right as I was finishing lunch, our phone rang and Elder Barfuss said it was the Assistants, so he answered it for me and Elder Jones and (Because we had our hands full at the time) and then he gave the phone to me. SO I thought this was a little weird, but Elder Mocke says hi and we talk small and then he says, "On behalf of President Stevenson we would like to call you to be a District Leader. Wow. Ha-ha I wasn't expecting that. So that was shocking and that got me nervous because I don't even know where I am going. Elder Jones, Elder Barfuss, and I then attended 3rd wards baptism (Edward, and Frank), and that was really neat! We then went to Ryan’s restaurant and I had some hamburgers and I actually found a Snickers Bar!!!! It was SO GOOD! Then we all headed home and that’s when we got the call and I am going to......Nkonfa! Which is in the Cape Coast zone and actually that's where the mission home is because I am going to be a Supply Elder! Wow! That was a surprise too. So  I deal with packages, distribution forms, and supplies (as you can tell) so I believe we go to the mission home 2 times a week and do the supply stuff and then proselyte the other days, but I will keep you updated on that. I am going to see my trainer Elder day again, and I believe we are in the same apartment, so that should be exciting. I won't lie and say that I am not nervous because I am, but I know that as I rely upon the Lord and have faith everything is going to be okay.
Sunday was my last day in Church and I just said goodbye to people and it was hard. I won’t see them again for a long time, if ever, but I love them all so much! An inspiring moment of the week was from the Ensign conference (My parents send me the Ensign each month) from Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk. It was just powerful and I loved Elder Foster’s talk as well. It just really hit me how much I love and respect my parents. I am so grateful that I get to have their counsel and advice for the rest of my life and I know that they are always there for me, and it was neat to me to see how families really are together forever, and how much I want to be like my parents and live as they do. Well that's all for this week. I will let you know how being a Supply Elder Goes! I love you all, and how you have a great week!
Elder Harward

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hello Family and Friends! How are you all doing? I hope you all celebrated the New Year well and everything is going great for you.

Okay so as for this week it was a good week. I will try to spare you all the boring stuff and get to the interesting stuff of the week.

So on Tuesday Elder Barfuss arrived from the Accra West Mission. He is from Oregon and he is 19 months out on his mission. He is very excited to learn this area and he is a great addition to our companionship. So that day we actually saw Paa Joe before we saw Elder Barfuss and that was great. WE talked about the temple and eternal marriage and he enjoyed it, and it was a great lesson.
Elder Barfuss, Me, and Elder Jones
Wednesday was a good day- had some ups and downs, and it was kind of slow but eventually we went to our ward end of the year party! (The 3rd ward Elders came as well) and that was a lot of fun! We did some dancing and I ate some fried rice and that was nice.

On Thursday we had New Year’s Eve. And it was a slow day but we saw Martha, and that was great. That night we had 3rd Wards End of Year Party and we went to that one as well, and they did theirs a little different. They did some speeches about 2015 and what goals they have for their ward in 2016 and it was really cool! Then we went home and just played some games ha-ha!

Some of the kids dress up for a chicken festival
Friday came and 2016 began! Woot New Year! So it was another slow day but we did saw Charles (Who was drunk) and we addressed his drinking problem and he actually got mad at me during the lesson because I was just listening to him and then I talked to him about faith in Christ and then he said I don't talk (So I didn't get that, but when he is drunk he says some interesting things) After that we saw Alex and reviewed law of chastity and word of wisdom and that was nice, and he is doing well.
One of the investigators we are teaching
 Saturday was a good day! We committed Bianca to February 20th for baptism and that was exciting. She is doing okay. But she hasn't come to church so that will be our next goal, and she realizes that she can't be baptized without coming to church so that' cool. That night the 3rd ward Elders invited us for FuFu at their member’s home and it was SO good. I included some pictures of it :)

Sunday was church and now we are in the morning service. Paa Joe came to church late but it was nice to see him come :) After church we actually bumped into a potential investigator named Mustahpa an d we went to his house and he was just super excited to learn and he told us about his drinking problem (which was nice that he told us flat out ) and we committed him to February 20th for baptism as well! Sweet! He actually is a Muslim so we will have the zone leaders meet him soon (We have to follow certain rules for teaching Muslims).
Sometimes we act a little goofy to stay sane out here
 But that's all for this week, except Stella didn't come to church again so she won't make the 16th but hopefully we can push her back to a date to when she will be ready and when she can come to church. That's all from here in Africa. I hope you all have a great year and continue to follow Jesus Christ. I love you all! :)
Elder Harward

Saturday, January 2, 2016

President Stevenson and Elder Harward
"Elder Harward is doing great. We are grateful to have him in our mission." (President Stevenson)