Monday, March 31, 2014

Senior Missionaries - Busy Week

Dear Sister White,

We just want you to know what a fine son you have.  He is hardworking, polite and never complains ( not around us anyway).  Conditions are so hard here.  There are many, many Muslims that they can not teach.  It is sooooo hot.  Just seeing them go out knowing they will be walking all afternoon in the heat makes my heart melt.  He is cheerful and a joy to be around. These missionaries are courageous and good.  Thank you for raising such a fine son.  He really stands out not just because he is blonde and blue eyed:) 
 Hope you like the pictures. Sometimes I am in such a hurry they don't come out so well.  I will keep trying.

He worked so hard cleaning out their supply room.

Email #15 (Tamale) Done With Training

I am now among the brethren!  haha. I have just yesterday officially finished my 12 weeks of training. I have been given a new companion who is from Nigeria, once again, and his name is Elder Robert. I don't know anything about him other than that of what I have just shared. He is coming to Tamale this Thursday to be with me. I am staying in the same area as before but with a new companion. I will still be the junior companion, but I will act like the senior companion since I am the one who knows the area and the investigators and all that fancy stuff.
As for me I am doing wonderful. I have come to accept the heat here and it is weird for me to imagine snow back home. Seems unrealistic. I have been studying doctrine and scriptures a lot lately and my mind is just blown on how much evidence his church has proving that this is the only true church on the face of the earth. I am continuing to burn but I know that the rain season is coming soon and all that will be over with. Even today and yesterday it has been raining pretty hard. As I email right now, I would estimate the weather to be around 70 because the rain has cooled it off. It is pretty enjoyable, but tomorrow it will be super hot and humid when the clouds burn off. I think that I might be losing weight also! I'm not sure if it is the intense work or if what I am eating is way healthier than back home. I seem to eat a ton of food because there is an 8 hour gap in between my lunch and dinner but I seem not to be gaining any weight. Whatever.. its fine by me!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Email #14 (Tamale) No Letter Just Pics

The dogs that follow us throughout the day and come and sleep with us, but we don't own them. They are very friendly and quite well-mannered.  The one on the right is named Beyonce.

Where we sleep at night.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Senior Missionaries - Shopping

I have had a lot of you ask about what the shopping is like here in Ghana.  At first we thought there was very little to buy, but the longer we are here we are finding there really is a lot here to choose from-you just have to know WHERE to look.  If you want chicken you can buy one on the street and kill and cook it.  We go to a Cold Store (a place with a freezer) and buy frozen chicken.  I have seen chicken legs all frozen together without a wrapper. Pretty.

Just load it into a taxi and take it home for dinner.  Speaking of taxi's.  If you want bread just wait for the taxi to deliver it to your favorite stand where the ladies then put it in plastic bags.  By then you have no idea who has handled it.

When you do find a small store a girl follows you around with a basket.  You point to what you want and she takes it down and puts it in the basket. Everything is done in cash - no debit or credit cards are heard of.  They then carry it to your car.  Sometimes in the market women try to take things out of my hands without asking to carry it for me.  Of course they want to be paid.  I have had a literal tug of war trying to keep hold of the goods I am buying.

You have to know what you want and be ready to pay in cash.

We went to Kumasi this weekend for our Couples meeting with President Holmes.  Kumasi is a city of 2 million, Techiman is 100,000 and Tamale is 500,000. Kumasi is a huge sprawling city and nearly everyone is out on the streets buying and selling. 

I am still not good at bargaining. Most don't speak English that well.  Elder Olson and I  keep learning new things everyday.  If we can find a parking place we feel like it will be a good day.  The pineapples, mangos and bananas are wonderful and cheap.  A huge head of cabbage is 1 Cedis or about .45 cents.  We do eat well, but very little meat and lots of rice.  We are healthy and doing well.  Elder Olson is a most kind and loving companion.  In 2 weeks we are having a District Conference and they will be forming 2 Branches out of our 4 groups.  We will have a lot to share with you then.

Thank you for your love, prayers and emails.
 Elder and Sister Olson

Monday, March 17, 2014

Email #13 (Tamale) Surprise Visitor from the U.S.

Hey once again,
I have been doing personal emails lately and have not enough time do them anymore so I will go back to my old way of sending one email to everyone so that I can fit in more information and detail.
I want to start off by saying "thank you" for all the cool updates that you give me and for keeping me on my toes, so to speak. I cannot believe all the mission calls that are being received, both at BYU-I and at my home ward.  Wow the Lord is hastening his work!

Senior Missionaries - What a Week!

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week we have had.  We haven't had a real P-Day for several weeks.  We just have to wash clothes and clean when we can.

Sister Okrah is doing well and working up to her last day which is in about a week.  We left Tamale on Tuesday morning and had a good drive to Techiman.  Of course we had to make a few stops for cows and all the wondering goats.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Email #12 (Tamale) Happy Birthday Mom

Dear my beloved brothers and sisters,
I cant express how hot it is here!  I am glad to hear that this is the hottest month here in Tamale and that after this month it will only get cooler.

Our investigators have a pattern now it seems. First we teach and teach and then they finally come to church. After church, they will read their Book of Mormon for some time and quit. Then after we get them to come to church again and prepare for baptism and everything is set, they just somehow and for some reason fall away and don't keep their commitments and they stop coming to church and answering the phone and they start to disrespect you. This has happened with 4 of our investigators. That is 4 baptisms that I would have by now but Satan is holding them firm and these people we teach cannot withstand Satan with the little knowledge that they have. It is just frustrating. I spoke to the Mission president because our chapel is a 35 minute walk from the main road and no taxi can drop them off in front of the chapel, unless they pay 10 cedis.  No investigator is going to pay that and no investigator is willing to walk that distance for church especially when their regular church is super close to them. The location of this chapel is making it hard to keep the work progressing. But it is a rental and hopefully in the next 7 months there will be one built and established by the main road. That will make the work much easier.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Senior Missionaries - Orphanage and Tamale

Dear Family and Friends,

For P-Day this week we moved the remaining blocks from the front to the
back.  It was a lot of work.  The Elders really enjoy doing things
together so they kept each other going.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Email #11 (Tamale) Hello Parents

Hello my fellow parents...
Thank you so much for the heart touching emails. I actually took time to read them this week and I want to take some time to reply to them.
Mom- Thank you so much for pushing me to be the "one priest at activities and the only person at church on time."  I know that you have really tried your best in raising your kids and I think I want to share with you that you do not need to try so hard anymore.  Allow the Lord to step in and pull the yoke with you.  Especially when you are trying to guide Britt back into the church. I have given my testimony and words of encouragement to some friends and hope they will start to see the importance and the need to serve a mission.  The Lord has them in His hands and not mine.  I want to encourage you to continue reading the Book of Mormon and learning the gospel. I am currently in 3rd Nephi and holy cow do I feel like I am getting to know the Book of Mormon.  I want you to be able to say the people's names and the stories that go along with them... who cares about the years and the places but really understand the story and how the scriptures can apply to your life.  I hope that Arizona went well and that your time in Texas will be well worth it! Tell the family that Bobby says "hello and chop some good brisket for me!" The thought of eating smoked meat is making my mouth water haha. Love Ya!