Elder Harris, Portia and Gordella

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Family,

Poo is a completely ordinary part of life. You do it. I do it. Everybody does it. All I do is teach people what life is really about and Poo is part of it. Sometimes we just need to talk about the dirty things. I'm around Poo everyday! I'm used to it.

When I was in high school, I had a sign language teacher who was big and flamboyant. Besides his usual sign language teacher duties, he also helped with the cheer squad and was in charge of those girls who wave the flags around with the band. He often wore tight black shirts and it wasn't unusual to see one or both of his nipple rings. He was by far one of my favorite teachers. In sign language, facial expressions are very important in conveying mood and meaning, so Mr. Gallimore had a whole cheer made up so we could remember them all. In his big booming voice he would start ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMLIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now you can picture the Lion part in the most flamboyant way possible and that's how he did it. He wouldn't do it very often but we loved it. Now in Ghana the dudes who go around picking all the trash are part of a company called ZOOMLION. Back in my days with Elder Akoki, he took a picture of me with Elder Adjei's crappy film camera, which had a crazy long zoom on it and ever since he would call me ZOOMLION. I think it will be a sweet band name in the future but I'm not really sure how copywrite laws work here. We shall see!

You weren't late in sending me an Easter greeting. Today, in Ghana, is Easter Monday and is celebrated by many as a holiday. Our Easter was pretty boring since I didn't see a single rabbit anywhere and no painted eggs. What a drag! I spent my small free time on the weekend reading about the final week of Christ's mortal ministry in Jesus the Christ. I read about His triumphant entry into Jerusalem and His final public teachings in the temple. I thought it was interesting that He visited the temple the first day, looked around, and returned the next day fully prepared to drive the sellers and the money changers. Talmage says that no evil could withstand the righteous command of the Master as he drove them out of His holy house. I read about the betrayal, the final supper and the sacrament, the awful hell Christ faced in Gethsemane, the trial, crucifixion, and finally the glorious day of His resurrection. Nothing is more important to me then the words of the angel crying, "He is risen!" I know that He lives and knows my name and is willing to do everything he can to see me enter into the mansion he has prepared. I am grateful for that.

Church was boring yesterday and keeps getting more boring every week. The problem is not the spirit of the speakers but the delivery. I think they want to give a good talk but taking Gospel Principals and reading an entire section in front of the congregation is not a talk. Somebody needs to instruct the members! I just don't know what I can do about it. It's so common here for people to look at us and say, "Oh that's just the white man way of doing things."

I will say that this ward is the most effective ward I've been in. We don't have a lot of referrals to teach right now but we are taking steps in reactivation. This is the first ward I've been in that has actually taken steps past preaching about it. Brother Charles Mensah of the Kojokrom bishopric has been meeting with us and the ward missionaries every Thursday to coordinate visits to less actives every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It has been sweet and we have already seen the spirit work in some of those who haven't been to church in a long time. They were able to visit Prince Peterson, Porcha's older brother, who came to church for his confirmation and hasn't come since. He actually came to church yesterday and despite the boring Sacrament Meeting (it wasn't boring to me since I don't hear the Fanti and it seemed the same as any other Sunday) he enjoyed the classes after wards. I hope it left a lasting impression on him and he will come every Sunday his work doesn't keep him away.

I know that you will be happy to hear I've been eating pancakes everyday for the past week. We bought a whole bunch of flour, eggs and other stuff so we can have it everyday for a long time. The first couple of days it was just too much food for my shrunken tummy to handle but it seems to be expanding small small. I don't know how healthy they are but at least I'm eating! I'm pretty much finished with Eba. I got sick of it after I ate nothing but Eba for like 4 days. Now I don't even like to think about it.

Did I ever tell you about Chioa Cat? It was the cat that would run up to me from across Sister Yaa's compound in Asokwa. I just got a letter from her and yeah, It's dead. They made light soup with it and ate it with Fu Fu. This is the quote:

"Dear Elder Harris...Do you still remember that Chioa Cat? Wow; well that's very nice of you but I'm sorry, you knew how I felt about that Chioa Cat, I could not take it anymore so I had to use it for my fufu, it's gone. The Chioa Cat is dead. I'm sorry to tell you that but there was nothing I could do."

Oh well, I guess that's the end of Mr. Chioa Cat. I thought the letter was pretty funny though. I miss Sister Yaa a lot and it's a pity I probably won't ever see her again.

That's about it for this week.

I love you all!
Love Elder Harris

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