Today is my first Pday in the field and I finally have an email account. The following was written on October 21, 2009:
I am now on a bus watching Indiana Jones of all things. I am on my way to Kumasi where I will be serving in my first area. I just found the Dear Elder letters in my big envelope containing all my orientation info. It was a happy surprise! I had woken up to Elder Jeppesen trying to get this three inch, black, furry moth as close to my wide open mouth as possible for a picture. I need a pick me up.
I am literally in the jungle right now. The area is so lush and the trees are amazing. Our bus driver is insane. He keeps whipping around people on the two lane high with his horn blaring. We are not on a small bus. Right now I am with Elder Jeppesen, Elder Vancherie, Sister Isidore, Elder Moiwo, and one of the Office Elders. After 19 days in the MTC we are finally getting out into the real world. We are the 5 chosen from the 20 from our MT group chosen to go straight to Kumasi. We don't even get to see the mission home. I'm a little scared but I know everything is going to be all right. I've been out proselyting twice now and I had mixed experiences. I did see this one woman's face light up as we told her about the restored gospel. I hope to see a lot of that around here. This is one of the most productive missions in the world.
So, everything is good at the MTC. The food, the sleep, the learning. It was comfortable and clean with hot showers and air conditioning. NOW I'm going out into the real world where you wake up to giant moths and disease causes every white missionary to crap his pants at least once on his mission. The office Elder here said he once came home to a black scorpion about a foot long with its tail stretched out! They scrambled around trying to kill it with a box, one of them screaming, "It won't DIE! It won't DIE!" Funny how I never really thought about bugs.
Well anyways, my new companion's name is Elder Akoki from the Ivory Coast. He speaks French, but I'm sure he's a great guy;) I can't wait to meet him.
Great things are about to happen in this mission. One of the area presidency said this: "The missionaries of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission have great faith. With that kind of faith, they can accomplish many miracles. They have the kind of faith it takes to baptize thousands." President Sabey considers this to be prophesy. According to him great miracles are happening everyday. Lots of new missionaries are being brought in. By December, about half the mission will have been out less than three months. That has never happened before. I'm very happy to be here.
You won't get this before my first email but it feels more real writing on the bus. I love you all, and I miss you. I'll be all right as long as I put my faith and trust in the Lord (Alma 57:21). Goodbye for now! I've got to finish watching Indy for the last time in 23 months! :)
Now, this is my fifth day in the field! The bus ride was so long we had time to watch both Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. My companion is awesome and is a great teacher despite the fact that he's only been out for four months. I love it here in Asokwa! The work is slower than I thought but its all good since I'm still getting used to teaching. My apartment is pretty cool too. Because of this lovely fan, I sleep better than I ever did at the MTC. The food is also good since I cook it all and we aren't allowed to eat at members houses at the moment.
Kumasi is the second biggest city in Ghana. Our area is HUGE. Too big, and there is only one church building so it is hard for many of the members to come every week. There are some dangers. At home I thought I would be killed by some disease or wild animal. But now I know that if I suffer death on my mission it will be DEATH BY TRO TRO. The traffic here is intense and there really is no speed limit. They just kind of honk at you as they speed by three inches from your leg.
Beside that, I really do love it here. There is a lot of poverty, but nothing I can't handle. The people really are nice. Little kids love to run around us yelling things like. "GIVE ME MY MONEY!" There is a language barrier though. Because Kumasi is in the Ashanti region, everyone speaks Twi. And they are proud of their language. Neither my companion or I speaks Twi so we have some problems talking to people in the streets.
So I really do miss you all! I get homesick every once and a while but it's nothing too serious. I'm on a long long camping trip that's all, and I plan on enjoying my self. I feel the spirit everyday and as my faith grows I can feel him guiding me. That's all I really need.