Monday, October 26, 2015

Fried fish, head and all!!!

I'd like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! To the greatest father alive!! Love and miss you so much! I hope you had a wonderful day! I made banana cake and ate it in place of you for your birthday! 

So another good week. I didn't have as much as a rough time as last week so that was good. Ate something new this week.. Fried fish, head and all!!! Also had banku. It's kinda like fufu but you can chew it...somewhat. 
Banku is a Ghanaian dish which is cooked by a proportionate mixture of fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water into a smooth, whitish consistent paste.Served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish. one of the staple foods enjoyed by all tribes in the country.

Anyway I ate some but near the end I started to gag a little because it was so much so I asked my companion to help me finish it. (An additional perk to having an African companion for things like this).

Anyway, we've expanded our teaching pool a little bit but not a whole lot. We've also found another less active lady that we'll begin teaching this week her name is A__. 
Yesterday (Sunday) we had stake conference at the temple site (they have a stake center right next to it). It was so heartwarming to see the temple again!! As soon as we passed the gate to drive onto the temple site I was filled with so much joy!! It felt as if all my worries were gone. 

When they started conference, there were so many people that there was hardly any room for the missionaries to sit down so we had to wait outside. But it wasn't too bad; I was able to catch up with some elders and a sister that were in my MTC group. 

To catch you up on some people were teaching, one lady whose name is M__. We've taught all the way up to through lesson 2 and she seems to understand and accept everything we are teaching, she even testified that she knows the Book of Mormon is true. But we have yet to get her to come to church! This seems to be the biggest challenge here in Ghana. Almost all of the investigators we have won’t come to church because they're so attached to the one they have been attending already. So we need to find a way to get them there to feel the spirit. The same goes for R__, and this other girl L__.

We met a new girl this week named M___. She's 19. She called us because she's seen us come around her compound a lot. Apparently she met with missionaries a while back (about a year ago), but they never started teaching her. So when we came to see her, she was reading a Book of Mormon. We had the opportunity to ask her some questions. Her biggest problem was she didn't understand anything she was reading. She didn't even know the history of the book so we spent some time and took here through that. Then her last question before we closed the lesson was 
"So how can I know if this church is true?" 

You know that someone is serious about learning what we teach when they ask questions like this! We told her through prayer that she can know the truth of all things! God doesn't lie to us and will tell us in our heart. So, hopefully we can continue to teach her and bring her to church. 

This week on Thursday, Elder Bednar is coming to our mission!!!!! He's meeting with the long as we bring an investigator. We're planning on bringing M__. I'm so excited for him to come! 

My Book of Mormon reading is going so well! I just started Alma on Saturday and it's like a whole new understanding for me on what I read. I pray before I read and ask for understanding and then mark when I read and it's helped me so much. It's crazy how I hated reading before my mission and now I don't really mind it at all.  I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ! And that the words in it are from prophets of God!

A little update about trying to stay in shape... I grabbed Elder Barr, who is the next heaviest elder(150 lbs.-ish)  in the apartment, I put him over my shoulders and I started squatting him. It's not a lot but it definitely works the legs. We also bike everywhere in our area so that helps too. I'm just trying not to get a banku or fufu belly!! I think I'd rather go bald then fat on my mission!! ha ha Oh, it also rained and rained again. When it rains here we get flooding really quick. It's crazy. 

That's about it for this week. We will be in on Halloween this Saturday so we're going to carve pineapples and watermelons that evening. 

Love and miss everyone! God bless you all!
Love Elder Morris!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tender Mercies

Hello All-
So this week's email will be a little short because I don't have much time!
Transfers came this week so I'm now with Elder Zounmenou! He's only been out for 10 months but he is a great missionary!

So with Chelsey, his mom didn't come to church again this week so we'll have to start pushing back his baptism date. 

A little story for this week because I'm not sure what else to email about ha ha

This week was really kind of hard for me. My trainer/and companion (Elder Jessee) as well as another Elder in our apartment left for home this transfer. They talked a lot about home and after it made me homesick. I've really been missing my older brother a lot this week. Sunday morning, I just kinda got upset thinking about it and then before I ate breakfast I was saying my prayer and I included asking for comfort and the ability to lose this homesickness. Anyway... after the prayer I turned on some music and "Abide with Me tis' Eventide" came on. I started getting teary eyed and then I looked down at my fork... and you won't believe me but engraved on the fork were the words "I Love You"! What a comfort that was to see those words. God truly works in mysterious ways to show each of us His love. While I miss everyone back home, I know that God is with me! I'm not the only missionary going through these struggles. 

Again I have some really cool people in my apartment that are helping me feel better! A new Elder who has been out for about 2 months is Elder Barr (He's from Rexburg, ID) he's been a huge help. We talk with each other a lot. He's given me some great tips for teaching and he is a good listener. He's helping me get through my struggles. 

I gave my first hair cut this week! ha ha. The other Elders said I did a great job and so now they are telling a bunch of other elders to come to me to get their hair cut. haha  So I guess I should be expecting some appointments next Monday! hahha Aside from my homesickness, everything is going well in Ghana! I love and miss everyone back home so much! 

Love, Elder Morris
please send letters in the mail. That would really make me happy. Thanks

 p.s. I raced my first African and...I won! 

 I saw these stickers on the back of a van this week. Pretty cool huh?!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I Bless the Rains Down in Africa!

Alrighty, here goes...
Another week under my belt. I was able to perform my first baptism on Sunday for a young girl named Abigail. It was really great. 

So some updates on Chelsey. He continues coming to church but we've only had a few lessons with him. He's diffidently ready to be baptized but one problem is we need his mother to come to church or else he can't be baptized. Its really risky to baptize young children unless they have someone they can depend on to bring them to church. We also have a mission rule that an investigator has to come to church 3 time before being baptized to make sure they are committed. So we'll continue to work with them.

This week is transfers. My companion Elder Jessee will be going home! He's completed his 2 years! I'll be getting an African Elder to finish up my training in my same area. He's from the Congo. I guess he's learning English or has been. He's been out over a year on his mission. So that means I'll be here through December. Oh, we were told that a General Authority is coming to visit all missionaries on October 27-31st so that's exciting. We don't know yet who will be coming. 
Elder Jessee going home Ghana style

A crazy part of this week! We've been meeting with an investigator and found out after teaching her several lessons that she has already been baptized. She said she stopped going because she was offended from a family in the ward. But she wants to go to the temple and so now we are changing our teaching to help her understand that people make mistakes but that the gospel is perfect. We hope she will come back.

Also it rained this week which was really nice! We went out to teach, biking in the rain which was fun but trying to do wash this morning wasn't because I had to scrub out all the mud on the back of my white shirt! ha ha ha They were a mess! When we arrived home that day, one of the seasoned elders gave me a tip. He said, "In Ghana, you can't go teach in the rain! 1. Because everyone sleeps when it rains here and 2. because if they are awake, they don't want to talk because they don't want to get wet. (Most all of our lessons are outside the persons house. When it rains here it floods because of all the trash in the gutters.)
Muddy shirt...Pday wash should be fun!

These are the gutters that flood.

Ok here's something crazy...there's a pastor in the Accra area, kinda where I'm at, named pastor Chris. You wont believe this but he went to BYU and took a Book of Mormon class and then came to Ghana and started his own church!  

This week we've had a lot of food to eat because Elder Jessee is leaving so many families have fed us. I had this huge bowl of FUFU this week... man I'm surprised I finished it! I actually said a prayer to myself to help me finish the food and not feel sick. By the end of the fufu I started gagging because I had eaten so much.

Thats about it for this week! hope thing are good for you all.
Love and miss y'all
-Elder Morris 

p.s. I'll send a separate email describing the pictures I will send. I'm sure it's nice to have you home Kaden!
 Rain down in Africa 

These 2 pictures show how we had to fill the font this week! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monkey business!

Another week gone by and it's definitely been an interesting one! We had lights off (no power) quite a few times this week so I had the chance to take my first bucket shower! Holy cow it was freezing!! I haven't had a warm shower since I've been out of the MTC. 

Anyway some more weird things happened this far while I've been in Ghana I've had 3 different women/ teen girls ask if they could marry me?! What?. Haha During a lesson this week I was holding our investigators baby then my companion turned the time over to me to start teaching about the restoration when suddenly I started feeling something warm on my leg. At first I didn't think much of it but then the heat started going further down my leg. I lift the baby up and what do you know A BIG OLD spot of pee alllll over my leg!!! So then, after waiting another hour to finish our lesson we headed home for lunch. And on the way home we were nearly ran over by some cows! Along with all this, I had a dog chase me while ridding my bike this week! Whew! Adventures in Ghana!

On Thursday, my companion Elder Jessee, had to go to a meeting with another elder in our apartment so I went on splits with Elder Paddon, who's a very good missionary. He's only one transfer (6 weeks) ahead of me. (He's from California) We went out to teach some lessons in my area which is a pretty big area and after we taught a lesson on the way back to the house we found a pet monkey!! His name was Mismos. He eats yogurt and bananas. He was so cute haha 

Some cool things this week. I got a letter from Elder Kaden Morris! Let me just say I miss that guy so much! It made me so happy to come home after a strange day and find a letter sitting on my desk. So please if you ever have free time, I'd love letters from everyone who reads this!! They make missionaries very happy!! I think I was so excited to hear from Kaden because I feel like I don't even really know who he is! haha 4 years with out seeing him is gonna be tough :/ 
Elder  Esplin gave me a haircut this week. It's not too bad.  Something cool...we have this young investigator whose name is Chelsey! He came to church on Sunday by himself (side note kids take taxis by themselves all the time here!)  After church he ran up to me and said "so when are you going to baptize me??" I thought it was so great that he has a desire to be baptized so I told him real soon! We have to start teaching him the discussions first though. 

This week I read more about the importance of temple attendance. You never really know how much you miss the temple until you're not able to go to it for 6 months at a time.(my situation) but I know that it's the most important place we can go to on earth. The peace that I feel while in the temple is absolutely amazing!! I wouldn't mind living there. I feel safe from everything else that happens in the outside world. In Ghana, I never know what's gonna happen to me. When I'm on the temple grounds I feel safe from everything. President Ezra Taft Benson, in his teachings of the prophets book says "I promise you that with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your life as you bless the lives of those who have died. Temples are places of personal revelation. Do we return to the temple often to receive the personal blessings that come from regular temple worship? Prayers are answered, revelation occurs, and instruction by the spirit takes place in the holy temples of the lord. Let us make the temple a sacred home away from our eternal home."

For those who live very close to the temple (BYU students/ family, anyone in Utah) even back home in Texas) I encourage you to go to the temple more often. If I was home I'd make it a goal to go at least once a week! I know it will bless your life as you give those who have died the opportunity to accept the sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father! 

That's it for this week. We have another baptism scheduled for this coming Sunday and then transfers are next week so I'll find out Saturday what's happening. I'm guessing I'll probably be staying here because Elder Jessee is going home. This was a short 4 week transfer but the next one will be an 8 week transfer which puts us all the way in to December. 

Love and miss everyone!! Please send letters!!! :D 
Love, Elder Morris 

Scripture case

Pounding foo-foo

Hair cut from Elder Esplin


Elder Obasogie