Monday, December 21, 2009
Hey everyone! Hope you guys are enjoying Christmas break. I heard the Northeast got pretty pounded with snow this last week. I'm missing the snow a bit. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without even any pictures of snow. We were pretty busy today (more on that later) so I'll have to be pretty brief today because we don't have much time at the cafe. First off: Christmas calls. I'll be able to call you guys on Christmas. We already got our sim cards and credits so on Christmas I just need to load the into our phone and MTN willing call you guys up. It sounds like we'll be pretty busy on Christmas so I think the best time for me to call is when we get home for the night. So that will be about 9:30 here or 4:30 there. I can't wait to here how you're all doing. Oh and transfers are Wednesday, we find out about them tomorrow, so that could change things I guess. Anyway our Christmas conference was great. All of the missionaries came down to the Temple Square in Accra. It started at 9 but because of traffic we had to leave the apartment around 6. Traffic signals aren't all that popular around here. First we had I guess the typical Zone conference where we went over our numbers for the previous six weeks. Our mission had a goal of 230 baptisms last transfer and we were able to get 222! For Elder Ewudzie and I we have already given 2/3 baptismal dates for this transfer and are hoping to extend 2 more this week. We are really hoping to surpass our goal, but it won't be easy because of the general Holiday confusion. The people we are hoping to baptize are Sis Janet, Sis Darko, Godsway, and Jeff Wilson. Well after that we had some instruction from I guess the West Africa Area Doctor Missionary or something. Then President Smith gave some instruction and we had testimony meeting. After that we had lunch. There was plenty of food, but I guess it wasn't like last year because the meal didn't really live up to the hype. There was Banku which is sort of like playdough, then I think jollof rice, and of course chicken. After lunch we had some cultural presentations. The Ghanaians danced, the Nigerians danced, some Cote d'Ivoire Elders sang french carols, a couple Elders played guitar and harmonica. But the highlight was the pacific islanders performing a haka. It was really fearsome except that there was one, Elder Tavo, who just can't help making everyone laugh. He'd always smile and wink while everyone else on stage would be glaring. Well after that we had some really great instruction from President Cardon of the area presidency. I think we are really lucky as a mission to have the area presidency here so we can hear from them so often. Then after that we concluded and got mail, took pictures, etc. before going home. I really like getting letters from you guys. I plan on writing back to you all asap. It was cool to see Patrick was a Jedi for Halloween. I was surprised he didn't want to be Darth Vader. So like I said we were really busy today. That was because we had a little district Christmas activity. It was really, really cool. We pooled some money and bought a goat which we took to a member's house. Then we killed it and roasted it. I have lots of great pictures of us killing, roasting, butchering, cleaning, and eating. I'll try to get them online for you guys as soon as I can. It was a lot of fun, but was more work and time consuming then I thought. No wonder people started farming. By the way, goat doesn't taste that great. It's really tough. And there is good reason why people don't say "like a goat to the slaughter". I'm excited for this Christmas. First we are going for breakfast to Nana Bobio's and we'll help him kill a ram and pound some fufu and then in the afternoon we are going with all the missionaries in the city (Accra) to I think it's spelled, Elder Ahadjie. or maybe it's President. anyway, he's a member of the area seventy who is in our branch and has the missionaries over every Christmas. Well I've got to go now, I can't wait to hear from you on Christmas. Love, Elder Chambers
Hey everybody! I hope everyone is doing great. It's a little hard to believe that it is the middle of December for me. A little because I feel like there is no way I've been here for this long, but mostly because it feels like the middle of summer. It must have flurried by now, hasn't it? My week was pretty good. We've been working really hard to give our investigators Book of Mormons so they can start reading and gaining testimonies for themselves. We don't give any Book of Mormons out until we are sure they understand what a valuable thing it is we're giving them. I started rereading the Book of Mormon myself this week. We got our conference issue Liahona magazine this week so to kind of start my reading of the Book of Mormon I read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk on the Book of Mormon again. I wish I had more time to study, but fortunately we always have a lot work to do. This Wednesday is my first zone conference, which also happens to be the mission's Christmas conference, and like the only time the whole mission is all together. I'm pretty excited for it, I'll get to meet the whole mission at the very beginning. The program sounds pretty cool from what the zone leaders have told us. I'll let you guys know about it next week. It's hard for me that I can't understand more than half of the things people are saying around me. Not to mention that half the time I say something the people are just like, "Huh?". Other than that I'm adjusting well, though it is getting drier and drier all the time. Thanks so much for your prayers, I should be mailing a couple letters at the christmas conference this week. Let everyone know I love them! Love, Elder Chambers.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Hello to everybody! How are you guys doing? We had a pretty good week, but nothing too exciting. Thanks for asking bro. Cook about the retainer for me. It was interesting to hear how they split the wards up. I'm sure it will be great. Also, Mom, I did get the wrapped present. I'm surprised I forgot to mention it last week because I really liked it. Yeah, I already opened it, but I saved the paper so I can wrap it back up for Christmas. I really liked seeing everyone's faces again, and Mom did a great job making the book. Yesterday we had testimony meeting at church, and it was really nice. We had an investigator, John Okyere, who visited for the first time and he really liked the service. Next week is my turn to teach gospel doctrine class. Elder Ewudzie has been teaching since our branch mission leader was released. Right now we are meeting in the Adenta meeting house. Two wards and two branches meet there at the moment, and we are at !:30. But are branch is getting a new building that should be complete by January. We hope. Today our zone went to an orphanage to do some Christmas service. We mowed their fields for them. Which means we took machetes and hacked at the grass all morning in the hot sun. Welcome to africa I guess. Well got to go, Tell Patrick not to worry, my bike is just fine. And also don't worry about calcium pills, I can get them here if I want. Love you guys, Elder Chambers
Monday, November 30, 2009
Hey everyone! It was great to read your emails today. I'll do my best to answer all those questions you guys had. First of all sorry I didn't get to email you guys last week. We didn't get a chance to come to the cafe because we went to the market in Medina and then spent the day preparing food for the week. Ok before I forget I need you to talk to the orthodontist and ask him some questions for me. See there is no dairy food group here in Ghana so to get calcium the people here just eat the whole chicken. Well not the feathers, but the bones, cartilage, and everything else. So while I was eating some bones I broke the cement for my permanent retainer on the right side. So what I'd like to know are my teeth going to go all crooked again? Should I break the other side off and just take it out? Right now it's sitting in the exact position it was cemented and you can only tell it's not connected when I move it. Should I try to get it repaired at the dentist? So if you could just consult some orthodontist and let me know what they say that'd be great. So let me start with two weeks ago. Wednesday was the big day of the week. That evening we had baptisms! It was really cool. We had a recent convert who baptized his wife and nephew as well as the wife and son of another member. Unfortunately one of the people we were expecting, Seth Boateng, didn't show up despite us seeing him a half hour before. This was the second baptism he's skipped. He's facing a lot of strife from his boss (who we're pretty sure he also lives with) for investigating the church. He has a testimony though so we haven't given up on him and hopefully he'll be able to join the church someday. Anyway the rest of Wednesday was also pretty exciting. While we were out teaching a big rainstorm came in and our area got a bit flooded. Our apartments are pretty far away and uphill from our area so we struck out to get back for the baptism. The roads were literally rivers. We worked our way along but then we kind of found ourselves stuck and the water was rising as it ran downhill. So our best chance was to take off our shoes and roll up our pants. One of the locals led us through the flood along a path that avoided the biggest potholes. I only slipped and fell once! I heard that though it is the beginning of the dry season you still get a few big rainstorms to get ready for Hammatan. Don't worry I have been taking pictures of the flood and other things, but I'm not sure exactly when I'll be able to put them online. This cafe you can't really do it in. This week and last it's been a bit of a struggle for us to actually find our investigators at home to teach them. For one thing we spent two days in traffic going back and forth to Accra so Elder Ewudzie could get a root canal and fix his tooth ache. The investigators we were able to teach the lessons went really nice. This next week we are going to really follow up with our investigators because a few of the ones we have been teaching for awhile have stopped progressing. We need to see if they are serious or not so that we can know if we should drop them and find people who are more ready. It's kind of sad for me that we have to drop investigators who aren't serious, but there are probably 200,000 people in our area and our missions are only two years. So I got the Christmas present I think the 18th? The APs brought it to leadership training (Elder Ewudzie's our district leader). It was really awesome. I also got some letters from Dear Elder. For some reason the Dear Elder letters sent to the Ghana MTC I just got a few days ago so that was a little confusing. And mom I did get the email you sent today, so don't worry it worked fine. Also just to let you know I'm trying to write different things in emails from what I write in the letters. The letters are going to be like the small plates of Nephi. It's been great hearing from you, but I'm sorry you had all those funerals. I thought it was a little strange when Mom told me Aunt Violet died since I thought I'd already been to her funeral, but I guess it was Aunt Ethyl. I don't really need anything so that's why I haven't used my debit card, but if you do want to send something, Mom, I loved those chewy sweet tarts. Since it was Thanksgiving this last week I guess I'll mention a bit about the food here. First of all I'm pretty sure I'll be about 400 pounds when I get home because each night I eat like a mountain of rice. On the actual thanksgiving this was my dinner: rice with groundnut soup, mangos, sugarcane, sachet of water, and alvarro. I love alvarro, it's this pineapple malt soda that's delicious. It's kind of expensive though at like 80 pesewas. Also on Saturday I got to have "real" FuFu for the first time. An investigator, Sis. Comfort, invited us over for lunch, and I got to help pound the Fufu. Fufu is just plantains and either cassava or yams pounded into a doughy ball. We ate it with groundnut soup. I think after clam chowder groundnut (peanut) soup is my new favorite soup. Love you guys lots, and I have more to tell you, but our time is almost up. Pray that I'll get sick of eating rice, and let everyone know that I'm glad for their support. Love, Elder Chambers
Monday, November 16, 2009
Hey guys, this is my very first p-day of the mission. So far the mission has been awesome. This is about my fifth or sixth day out in the field. I'm not sure if you would have gotten any of my letters yet or not. When you do get them I was wondering if you could put all the letters from me into a shoebox or something for me. The letters I write to the mission president, my journal, and those letters home are apparently what will make up the record of my mission. Anyway you can read about the MTC from those letters so I won't really go into it here. It sufficeth me to say that it was great and I learned a ton. Out in the field--. Well Ghana sure isn't like home, but aside from everything being different the hardest changes have been hand washing and riding a bike all the time. This morning we did all of our laundry and my hands are scrubbed raw. My companion, Elder Ewudzie, and I are in a brand new area. Our branch/area is called New Legon and is only about a month and a half old. Last transfer Elder Ewudzie and Elder Darkon opened up the area, so that makes me the third missionary to the area. Also in our apartment are the zone leaders for the Adenta zone. Yesterday was stake conference so I still haven't met most of the members of our branch yet. We did meet the Branch President the other day though. He purifies water for satchels so our apartment gets all our pure water from him. Satchels are these bags of purified water that everyone sells. They are a half liter and only 5 pesewas. Which is good because our area is especially hot and dusty. The last few days we have been focusing on the investigators that are preparing to be baptized this Wednesday, and on finding investigators that we can progress to be baptized in a few weeks. If everything goes as planned we should have 5 baptisms this week. It's been really exciting working with so many people willing to hear the gospel. On Thursday Elder Ewudzie had me teach a lesson totally without his help. It turns out they were members, which was relieving to me because they didn't understand a word I said because of my accent. We aren't actually sure of our area boundaries but there are a ton of people in it, and probably as many chickens. Today we rode a tro-tro to the Madena market so we could buy some food to make stew to eat for this week. It was pretty awesome, and I can't wait to try it. I'm pretty sure the little tiny red peppers we put in it are way, way hot. As if I wasn't sweating enough already. Anyway I don't think I could ever get tired of eating rice so I should be good foodwise for the next two years. Missionary work is hard work, but so far I'm loving teaching the gospel to people. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers
Sunday, November 15, 2009
(This letter and the one from Oct. 29th both arrived on Thursday Nov.12) Dear Family, I hope that all of you are doing really well. Here at the MTC we have been very busy all of the time. I've done a lot of personal study and wish I had time to do more. The teachers and classes have been great to learn about how to be the absolute most effective teacher you can be. We practice all of the time adjusting what we teach to meet the different investigators needs, concerns, interests, rate of learning, etc. Preach My Gosple is such a great resource. It is really easy for you to be able to teach whatever the Spirit directs rather than just teaching a memorized discussion. I wish I'd studdied it a lot more before coming. It is truly going to revolutionize the number of convert the church gets. Another thing I wished I'd done before coming is kept a journal. It's been great to put may doings, my thoughts, impressions, etc. into writing each night. There is something to be said for putting a thing into your own handwriting. It really crystallizes your thoughts and gives you new insights. I can tell I'm going to treasure my journals immenseky. I'd encourage all of you to start keeping them. I know you;ll love it. Let me know how everyone's doing, love you lots. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers
Dear Family, How are you all doing? I am having a great time here at the MTC. We are being taught and learning so much. I can't wait to get out into the field and begin teaching. My companion and I have been working on a lesson that we are teaching tomorrow. We are going to teach about prophets and then mopve onto Joseph Smith. We'll be teaching the MTC manager and then the MTC President as they pretend to be the Mackey Family. Today we got to go to the Accra Temple. It is right on the main road in Accra. Inside it has the same basic floor plan as the Columbus Temple, but it is decoratedvery differently. There are vaulted ceilings and dark red room everywhere. There is a beautiful mural of an Afican forest too. On Sunday we watched some of general conference. It was really good to see again. Some of the talks seemed more powerful/important to me now then they did the forst time we watched them. For the most of each day we are studying and learning constantly. It should really pay off as we enter enter the field. I really like Alma 17:2-3. I hope that when all of us at the MTC enter the field that we will be able to teach with power and authority of God. I love all of you guys. Happ birthday Patrick!! Love, Elder Chambers
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Bradford is in Ghana at the MTC, Missionary Training Center, in Tema Ghana. He will be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in The Ghana Accra Mission for two years. I've tried to upload pictures twice but keep getting an error. I'll try to get them up later. For now, here are his addresses. From now until Nov. 11th, 2009 Elder Bradford Doyle Chambers Ghana Accra Mission Ghana MTC Community 10 Hospital Raod Tema Ghana After Nov. 11th, 2009 Church Pouch Mail: Elder Bradford Chambers Ghana Accra Mission P. O. Box 30150 Salt Lake City UT 84130 Pouch mail can only be one sheet of paper tri-folded and taped with one piece of tape to tap it closed. Do not tape the ends closed. This takes regular U.S. postage. Mission Home Address: Elder Bradford Chambers Ghana Accra Mission 6th Tenth Road East Ridge Accra, Ghana Post Office Address: Elder Bradford Chambers Ghana Accra Mission P. O. Box 2585-Main Accra, Ghana Bradford will sometimes have access to Email after he has left the MTC.