You've gotta love Africa

You've gotta love Africa
Elder Chambers and Elder Kivaya in Oda

Going to Save the World

Going to Save the World
Elder Donovan Chambers

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

27 December 2010

Hey everyone, it was so great to hear from you guys on Christmas. I miss you guys and can't wait to spend the next christmas with all of you. except donovan will probably be on his own mission by then. I love you guys and I'm sorry I don't have time to write more today. We are very late and just have a few minutes to check in tonight. We spent our time playing football (soccer) and then pounding and chopping (eating) fufu at the stake president's house for p-day. Love you all. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, December 20, 2010

20 December 2010

Hey everyone, This week was pretty interesting/busy. First of all we had our Christmas Conference on Tuesday. It was pretty sweet. We had the whole mission come together. We started the day with a meeting that included hearing a talk by Dallin H. Oaks on why the church is true that he gave to mission presidents, our apartment winning the clean apartment award for our zone, and having a testimony meeting. Don't ask me how our apartment won the clean apartment award. The place is always a mess. On my camera I have a photo of a mushroom that sprouted in our sink... anyway we enjoyed the prize: homemade banana bread. After that meeting we had a great and most delicious lunch with the most high class of meals here in Ghana: rice and chicken. Following that we had a talent show that was very entertaining, but no one from our zone had any talents to share. Then to finish the day we heard from Elder Dickson in the africa west presidency and his wife Sis Dickson. They gave us some great talks about christmas. On Wednesday we had district meeting and then normal proselyting with Elder Maganda. Which isn't my favorite thing in the world. We had a quarrel when my bicycle broke and I said we'd have to walk and so he called the zone leaders. On thursday we had a zone training over planners and the area book and the zone leaders sat down and counseled Elder Maganda and I. He told them everything wrong about me that he's observed which was a little boring for me since I hear it multiple times a week. Then they tried their best to advise him and reason with him and asked us not to let any other missionaries know that we are having problems. Both these efforts were nice, but I think probably in vain. He's said that he's never going to change and his reputation is already infamous. Anyway all of this was not the most interesting thing to happen on thursday. What was, was when that night around 10 while Elder Maganda was cooking, Elder Nwachuku was washing, and I was updating the area book/sleeping, Elder Lemmneh took the keys and the phone and escaped. They woke me up and were like, "Elder Lemmneh's not in the apartment!" I was like what? that guy is crazy. President Smith told us to get outside and look for him, but just after we left he came back. So when we got back to the apartment and he was there. We were like are you crazy? what in the world were you thinking? He said that he wanted to go home, he was tired, the sun was too hot, he didn't know missionary work would be so hard. He didn't think President Smith would let him go home without breaking a rule so he went out and bought a phone and called his mom and came back. Well anyway to cut it short Friday Pres. Smith interviewed him, and yesterday the APs came and picked him up and he'll fly tonight I think. So now we are back as a trio, over both areas, and now with the added bonus of being with Elder Maganda. I'm looking forward to talking to you guys on Christmas. I'll probably call around 9pm here which i think is 4 or 5 pm where you guys are. I love you all! Enjoy the holidays! Merry Christmas! Love, Elder Chambers Oh I forgot to add that last night I made that chili you guys sent me. It was so delicious! Thanks so much. I gave the cheddar broccoli soup to Elder Maganda. I think he liked it. Love, Bradford

Monday, December 13, 2010

13 December 2010

Hey everyone I hope you guys are all doing well. On Tuesday of this week we had District meeting as normal and did our proselyting as usual. Wednesday and thursday were hot as usual and we did a lot of searching for new investigators. On Friday we had a service project. Our zone went to a big psychiatric hospital and mopped their kitchen for them. It was fun. The zone had made some t-shirts and we all wore those. They're pretty cool looking and have all our names on the back. Then we practiced singing the christmas song our zone is performing for the mission conference tomorrow. On Saturday we had a baptism for two of our candidates, Jessica and Joseph. They're both kids (Jessica's 8 and Joseph's 15) and their families were both really excited for them. The rest of saturday we spent at the apartment because elder maganda was sick. Except in the evening we went to the stake center to watch the christmas program. We are preparing for the mission/christmas conference tomorrow. It should be a lot of fun. Well, talk to you guys next week. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, December 6, 2010

6 December 2010

Hey guys, I hope you guys are all doing swell. We're a bit late to the cafe today so this'll have to be somehow short. This pass week was fine I guess. We spent a lot of time teaching the lessons to prepare two kids for their baptismal interviews on sunday. One was a bit tricky because he can't really speak english that well, but his sister was able to be a big help. The other was really easy to do because she reads english perfectly and has been coming to church for like the past 2 years, and her sister was a big help as well. On thursday we had a zone meeting that was teaching us about how to begin teaching and how to better help people keep commitments. It's still hot and Elder Maganda is still giving me a hard time, but on the book of mormon is still true. Love you guys a ton. Enjoy the christmas season. I can hardly even remember that it's December here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

29 November 2010

Dear Family, I love you guys. I hope that all is well. I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe that the next Thanksgiving I'll be enjoying it at home with all of you. This week was the usual mixedd bag of highs and lows of missionary work. Monday and Tuesday things were rough and tension was high between Elder Maganda and I. Wednesday it was at it's peak. I was doubting if i could last the next 6 weeks with the guy, but then things cooled down and Thursday through Sunday things were normal. I think if I work hard we won't have any more problems. What I think has helped is that the sun has been beating us severely. Today it's not so bright, but the last two weeks it's been hot. Seriously, you don't know how hot. On Tuesday I actually burned for like the first time in a year. I think it's been the hottest of my mission, and it has certainly been the hottest two weeks of Elder Maganda's life. He's from Uganda and hasn't felt sun like this. From all what I've heard from the Africans that aren't Ghanaian (the ones from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierre Leone, South Africa, Ethiopia, etc.) is that nowhere is hot like Ghana. If there are places hotter I don't think people can live there. Anyway I think it's killing Elder Maganda. I don't know if you can have heat sickness, but if you can he does. Add to the sun the fact that I am working him hard (on Wednesday alone we taught 9 lessons) and by the end of the day he's easy to get along with. Aside from the sun and Elder Maganda this week was also Thanksgiving and baptisms. Thursday my Thanksgiving dinner was fried rice with chicken, egg and bread, and alvaro. This subsistence I've done a poorer than usual job of budgeting and that cost me most of what I had left, but it was very delicious. I love fried rice, and alvaro is my favorite. On Saturday we had a sweet baptism for Sheila Nyamadi, Momma Grace, and Lawrence Wornyo. They'll all be strong members. Also as a bonus the young women were having an activity after the baptism so they shared some waa-kye with us for breakfast before we started our proselyting. Wa-kye is like one of my favorite breakfasts in Ghana, the other is Hausa porridge with these things that are almost like donuts. Anyway I'm doing great. Hope you guys are too. Miss you. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, November 22, 2010

22 November 2010

Hey everybody. Hope you guys are all doing sweet. Life here in Ghana is the same ol same ol. This week has been super scorching. The sun's rays were very powerful and I got burnt for the first time in months. We did a lot of finding this week and were able to get a bunch of new investigators. The old investigators we are having all have problems and are not coming to church so we are struggling to get people that we can hopefully help to progress before the end of the year. I'm still having struggles with Elder Maganda, but I'll probably have at least the next 6 weeks to solve all those. This sunday we had stake conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City to all of West and Southeast Africa areas. Presiding was Pres. Packer. The other speakers were Eld. Dallin H. Oaks, sister Ann M. Dibb, and Elder Christoffel Golden. Elder Dallin H. Oaks was the best speaker. He was really knowledgeable of the problems in Africa and addressed them very well. He talked about many things, but the one that was my favorite was about adopting a gospel culture. It was about making living the gospel and creating traditions that help us to live the gospel as the shared culture for latter day saints all over the world. It really made me realize how our family has so many traditions and practices that have made living the gospel our culture. It also reminded me that thanksgiving is this Thursday. Well I hope you guys have a great week. This Wednesday is transfers so if anything happens you'll get to know next week. Love you guys a ton. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, November 15, 2010

15 November 2010

How's everyone doing? This week was pretty interesting. First of all on Tuesday around lunch time President Smith called to tell us that he was breaking up the trio which I was happy to hear, but that my new companion will be Elder Maganda. Elder Maganda is from Uganda and I think he's now in his 5th transfer and I'm his 7th companion. He's not the easiest person in the world to get along with. On Friday we had a temple trip and zone interviews. President Smith told me he wanted to put Elder Maganda with me because he's seen that I'm patient, longsuffering, and not easily ruffled. So I'm sure if everything goes cool with Elder Maganda and I that means I'll be having the worst companions for the rest of my mission... Well anyway this week has been pretty smooth. I can tell that he's really trying to do his best to be agreeable. We had big disappointments all week with investigators keeping commitments. Also my breakfast fell all over the street on tuesday. Going to the temple was great though and on Saturday we had a good baptism for Alex, Evelyn, and Gifty. We'll be trying to find some people this week that can progress to be baptized for December. The only help we are getting from the ward is advice on how to do our job. Their number one tip?--to stop wasting our time teaching people that they think are not serious (but that are coming to church). It's not easy. Love you guys a ton. Hope you are enjoying the football season/autumn. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, November 8, 2010

8 November 2010

Hey everybody. I hope you guys are doing swell. This week was all pretty normal. Which is to say completely different from being at home, but we were just doing the usual missionary work this week. Going out and teaching and finding people to teach. I can't believe it is already november. Back home it was one of my favorite months. Cool weather, beautiful scenery, football, thanksgiving, all the cool movies and video games come out, getting psyched up for christmas, etc. etc. I can't believe that by next november I'll be home again. It's crazy. For thanksgiving I'm going to amaze everyone by how much more my stomach can contain. Just this saturday I ate so much banku that one more bite would have caused me to burst. I'll be able to eat both of our normal pizzas myself. I'm totally serious about it too. This sunday we had a good turnout at church, we had seven investigators there. Four of them will be baptized on saturday, Alex, Evilyn, Lawrence and Gifty. The ward here is not supporting the missionary work at all. The bishopric wishes we would stop baptizing people. How can we stop inviting people to come unto christ through repentance and baptism? We teach them, they commit, and then they keep their commitments. It's not like we can tell people that they ward doesn't want them so they can't be baptized. Anyway I love you guys sooo much. I hope you are all doing well. Miss you. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, November 1, 2010

1 November 2010

Hey everyone. I hope you guys had a great week Happy birthday patrick and happy halloween everyone else. This week was hectic as usual. Seriously, at times I wish I had Hermione's time turner. Lately it seems like time is always running out instead of passing by or marching forward. Anyway this week was filled with the normal proselyting except over two areas instead of one and three missionaries instead of two. WE also had to go to the banka like 4 times to try to get Elder Lemmneh's subsistence and/or ATM card. It just wasted time because we never got either. Also whenever we do anything from companion study to planning it goes very very slowly since we are now 3 instead of 2 and Elder Lemmneh is being trained. I don't know if you guys can remember what I was like when family home evening lasted for more than 45 minutes? Well you can imagine what I feel like when it's 10:30 and we've been doing weekly planning since 6:00. Anyway slowly buy surely or something, right? Lately it seems like everyone we meet wants to feed us banku. On friday night we ate two balls of banku. Each one was 8 inches in diameter. Elder Lemmneh hardly ate any so Elder Nwachuku and I ate like literally 5 pounds of banku each. It was not easy. We were full all the way until saturday night when we ate banku again (fortunately it was a normal sized portion). On saturday Elder Lemmneh thought he was going to die because he was so sick. Either he had malaria because he doesn't take his doxycycline or he had food poisoning because he eats raw cabbage every day. Regardless it made us to spend saturday mostly stuck in the apartment. Anyway, he took medicine for malaria and he's now feeling fine. This all happened just two days after we were warning and warning him to take his doxy. He kept saying that that god would protect him because he was a missionary....... well we still tried to expound the doctrines involved but he hardened his heart. Anyways I hope you guys had a great week and are enjoying life. Love you all. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, October 25, 2010

25 October 2010

Howdy everyone from Alajo, Accra. I hope you guys are all doing great. I love you all so much. So this week was pretty interesting. First of all on tuesday morning President Smith called and told us that Elder Lemmneh was coming back, which we were happy to hear. Unfortunately I don't have any companion coming to me, meaning that we are now a trio were once we were a duo. And that's more than 1.5x more difficult. We are still over both areas and teaching pools. It's not easy. Anyway we were of course very busy as we had to be running all over trying to at least see our strongest investigators while at the same time finding our required new investigators. We struggled and strove, but in both areas there are a lot of people we didn't get the chance to see. We're hoping that the mission will find someone to call to be my companion before too long, but maybe they'll just wait til transfers. During the week we also had a zone meeting to get some training on some the new teaching principles they have for us: "receiving revelation through church attendance" and "teaching people not lessons". On saturday we had a sweet baptism for three people: Constance, Matilda, and Beatrice. Baptisms always make me cheerful. Elder Lemmneh was the baptist which was cool for him. So I though maybe you guys would find it interesting to know what I eat when my subsistence is run out (like last week) and no one is feeding us. First of all I eat a lot of Top Ramen. Except that it doesn't taste as nice and it's called indomie, and there are only 2 flavors (chicken and onion chicken). After that I eat a lot of rice and also a nigerian food called eba. You make eba by stirring gari(cassava powder) into hot water to make like a thick dough. Then I eat the rice or eba with a kind of tomato stew. Here is the recipe: Tin Tomato Stew Ingredients: Vegetable Oil Onions 1 can tin tomatoes (tomato paste) Maggi (a brand of spices they put in stews. it's like bouillon made from shrimp) pepper salt sardines First dice onions and fry in the vegetable oil. Mix the can of tomato paste with 2 cans of water and add to the onions. Add spices, pepper, and salt. Make sure the onions and tomatoes get well and fully cooked so that you don't get runny stomach. Add the sardines. Finished. Enjoy on top of rice or with eba. This costs me less than 3 cedis (2 dollars) to make and lasts approx. 1 week. Well I love you guys a ton and I've now been on my mission for 1 year. I'm going strong and pray for you all every day. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, October 18, 2010

18 October 2010

Hey everyone. I hope you guys are all managing. I'm sure you all are having plenty of stress, but strive not to worry too much. I love you guys so much. Anyway we had quite the interesting week. On tuesday we found out about transfers. Elder Maloni and I stayed together. This was quite the surprise to everyone because everyone was convinced and certain that Elder Maloni would be leaving. It's pretty unusual to stay four transfers in your first area. Anyway, Elder Maganda has left the apartment for Ashiaman. So for the rest of tuesday Elder Maloni got to say un-goodbye to everyone he prematurely farewelled. We also had a lot of time wasted on tuesday by one of our investigators who goes to some church called Theocracy. We gave him a Book of Mormon which he loves. HE says it is a third witness to him that he's found the true religion (Theocracy that is, not LDS). Whenever we meet him he wants spend all day (literally ALL day) talking to us about Revelation, End times, antichrist, etc. He's not serious at all. On wednesday we got to meet Elder Nwachuku's new greenie, Elder Lemmneh. He's new to the church (like 17 months or so) and comes from Ethiopia. The church is pretty small there, and the missionary work sounds pretty tough. The dominant religions are ethiopian orthodox and Islam. He's a cool guy with a strong testimony of Joseph Smith. Well through out the week a few different plot arcs advanced: First, we worked to try and get our last hopes for accomplishing October's baptismal goal (4) to come to church this sunday. You see there is a rule in our mission that an investigator must come to church four times before being baptized. Well at the end of september both Felecia and Kwaku had come twice, but then both missed the first two weeks in october. So this week we really focused on them and on sunday we were happy to meet Felecia and very disappointed by Kwaku. So we still have a chance of meeting our goal this month, but we don't have any back ups. Second, we worked with Christiana and her family, preparing her and Jennifer (whose 11 years old) to be baptized on Saturday. Everything went smoothly, we finished the lessons, and they had a great baptism despite 2 year old Johnson aka "John Cena" usual performing. Third, it soon became pretty obvious that Elder Lemmneh didn't want to to continue his mission past the first week. He always was sweating and complaining about the heat, and after interviews with President Smith, splits with the APs, and tons of encouragement and advice he left for the mission home this morning. Because of this my companion, Elder Maloni, also left this morning on an emergency transfer to Mataheko. That leaves Elder Nwachuku and me as companions to cover all of Alajo. Just the two of us with a vast area with myriads of investigators, for at least the next 5 weeks. Well that was my week. I hope you all enjoy the rest of October. I'll be 1/2 of the way home on Saturday so see all of you soon. Love ya. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, October 11, 2010

11 October 2010

Hey everyone. i'm sorry i wasn't able to send mail last week because the internet was hardly working. i was able to read everyone's messages though. Last week when i heard that grandmother had fallen down the stairs, i was kind of expecting to hear that she passed away. She'll certainly be missed. I have so many good memories of being with her. I can remember always wanting to spend the night at grandmother's house. I remember how when i wouldn't sleep grandpa and grandmother would pretend to be the sandman and come and throw wadded up newspaper at me to make me sleepy. I also remember how much I loved the soup that she would make with the little things (i think maybe rye or barley or something) in it. I also remember 'helping' when they were making the green bathroom. i remember the great sense of humor she had. And maybe my favorite memory is of always getting her to give me chocolate protein shakes. I hope everyone who loved her will be comforted knowing that one day we will all meet her again. i love you guys and hope the funeral arrangements all go smoothly. Anyway the last two weeks have been very hot for me. October, November, December the sun burns and burns. This last week we spent a lot of our time trying to work with people who have committed to baptism but can't manage attending church. As a result our finding efforts kind of suffered, and i don't even know if our efforts did any good with helping them. We also had a zone conference and a zone training. learning about the new principles of teaching that we are using with preach my gospel. this sunday we did get the chance to go to the stake center (at the temple site) to watch a session of conference. it was really nice except elder malone and i didn't get off at the right stop and went almost all the way to labodi. the reason being elder nwachuku told us that the car would go right past the temple. which was not true. i really enjoyed conference, i guess it was the sunday morning session. pres. monson talked on gratitude. we have a great family being baptized next week who are already becoming strong members in the ward. they got interviewed yesterday. well the only other thing i can think to add is that transfers are wednesday. probably i'll get a new companion, maybe a new area. send my greetings to everyone and have a great funeral for grandmother. love you all, elder chambers

Monday, September 27, 2010

27 September 2010

howdy everyone. First of all I got the birthday package you guys sent. Thank you soooo much. It's probably my favorite birthday present I've ever gotten. I was glad to see the pictures, everyone is looking fresh. The letters were all interesting. Just about the last thing I opened was the tortillas, and I just about squealed with glee. I ate them with the mexican rice yesterday. You guys are best. I love you so much. Tell everyone thanks for me. Things this week were a bit tough. On tuesday after district meeting we went on splits with the APs. That was cool, we had a sweet lesson with some cool new investigators and they committed to be baptized. Then on Wednesday I had the flu and we slept most of the day, only going out in the evening. On thursday I had a headache all day, but we got a ton of work done. Friday my tire got a huge puncture so we walked all day and had a lot of appointments fail us. Saturday we had a good baptism for Jeremina and five people from the rest of the district. On sunday we had quite a few dissapointments. None of the people having a baptismal date came to church. We had a new investigator come and a small girl who's been coming for a month or so. That was everyone that came to church. We did get our first member referral since I came to the area though. So that was nice. But the fact that it was our first in a month gives you an idea of the member involvement in the ward. Love, Elder Chambers

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

20 September 2010

Hey everyone, thanks for the birthday wishes. I hope you guys are doing fine at home. This week Elder Maloni and I did a lot of work. And too much of it was in the rain. It started on wednesday when we were beaten severely by buckets of rain as we rode from one side of our area to see a guy who on the saturday before disappointed us for an appointment, on sunday disappointed us by not coming to church, and on monday and tuesday told us to wait and see him til his appointment on wednesday. Well on wednesday when we came, through the storm, to see him he told us: that it's raining, that he just got home from work, and that he was eating dinner (a bowl of rice that he could have finished in 5 minutes), and that on saturday he would meet us by all means. Well we went back home having learned a valuable lesson about riding our bicycles in the mud when we saw the state of our shirts. The backs were completely black with dirt. So we had to scrub that night. On friday and saturday it also rained so we again got soaked, but we walked so only our trousers and shoes had to be scrubbed and not our shirts. I'll let you guess for yourselves what that guy told us on saturday night. Sunday we had a pretty good day at church. The usual mixture of disappointments and miracles in getting investigators to sacrament meeting. We had a new family come who seem pretty cool. Hopefully we'll meet them again tonight. On my birthday we should have a baptism for one girl, Jeremina, who's really great. She's been investigating the church for awhile and is way brilliant. Well I love you guys so much I hope to see you all safe and sound once again. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, September 13, 2010

13 September 2010

Hey everyone. We had a great week here in the area. Alajo is quite different from my other areas. We have spent almost every day the exact same way. Going out and teaching a bunch of lessons. Elder Maloni and I are really learning patience trying to teach some of these people. Elder Maloni especially is learning. It's hard to help people read the Book of Mormon or the tracts when they read at a first grade level. For sure the number one difficulty in this mission is literacy. I'm going to make sure all my kids can read before they're 4 years old and make sure they read every week. People here go to school and learn to read and then never read their whole lives. Sometimes it's depressing. On saturday we had a baptism in the morning. We had to fill the font ourselves and we started like an hour and a half late. I'm always embarrassed to be late, but people here don't pay attention to time at all. Our candidate, Cecilia, and 3 others were all baptized and then confirmed sunday. On Sunday a few of the people we've been struggling to get to come to church came and more than a few continued to not come. We'll have to drop them and start focusing on getting good new people. It's always sad to see people who have a witness from the spirit to totally fail to act, but that's something you see a lot here. People just let little unimportant things get in the way of their salvation. I've really learned to always put God first in my life from seeing so many people just reject the blessings he has in store for them if they'd just exercise their faith. Anyway the other news in the apartment is Elder Maughn is out and Elder Maganda from Uganda is in. Elder Maughn wanted to go home, but I think he decided to stay at the last minute so I think he's now in a new area. I hope he manages to last because I think not going on a mission would be the worst decision he could make in his life. He'd regret it for the rest of his life. I really believe that for a guy in the church the worst things you could do would 1. not be married in the temple and 2. decide not to serve a full-time mission. Well I love you guys a ton. I'm really enjoying my new companion and new area, but missionary work is still as hard as ever and still as sweet. Love, Elder Chambers

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

6 September 2010

Hey everybody. Sorry you guys didn't get an email last week. The internet wasn't really working so I got to read your emails and write my own email, but I couldn't send or save the email that I wrote. So sorry about that. Anyway last week the big news that happened was that Elder Nielsen was called as a trainer and we had a mission tour. So we went to Accra on Wednesday and attended the mission tour and stayed over night so that Elder Nielsen could attend Trainers Council. The mission tour was really good. We all prepared talks on obedience to prepare for it. And the main speaker, a seventy from Cote D'Ivoire whose name I can't remember, gave a talk about satan's great plan of misery. He went through the scriptures and showed us some of satan's many methods and strategies to cause our misery. Ok now to this week. On tuesday we found out what transfers would be. I'd be going to the Alajo ward in Accra. And Elder Nielsen would be staying in Asamankese with his greenie. So then on tuesday night we had Rosetta's baptism. Elder Nielsen was the baptist and it was a little funny because of how scared Rosetta was of the water. She was brave though and everything went smooth. During the time after the mission tour on wednesday and at trainer's council thursday, I spent going on splits with the elders in Jamestown. It was way different from Asamankese. Anyway we finally made it back home thursday night. Then I packed up all my stuff. Which was pretty easy because I'm having less and less stuff it seems like every time I pack. Wednesday the Terrys came and picked us up and took us to the mission home. My new companion is Elder Maloni from zimbabwe. He seems pretty cool. He's funny and relaxed and I think we'll have a good transfer together. I'll be his second companion so he's still fresh. We cover half the Alajo ward. The other elders in the apartment cover the other half. They're Elder Nwachuku from Nigeria. He's our district leader and just got a new trainee, Elder Maughn from Utah. Elder Maughn is having a hard time being away from home, but I'm sure he'll get to love the work soon enough. Our area is somehow struggling. It'll be an upward battle this month to achieve the goal they set. Last night in weekly planning we went through every person in the area book and in the end we ended up with only 22 people left in the teaching pool and most of them seem pretty unserious/weak/flaky so we'll need to do a lot of good finding this week or we won't have much success in October either. Well that's how things are in my part of the world. I love you guys too much. Let me know what's up with you. Love, Bradford

Monday, August 23, 2010

23 August 2010

Hey everybody. I guess your summer is about over. Hope you enjoyed. It seems like time is really flying by. This last week was pretty packed, but not with so much teaching. More like hours of riding in trotros and days of rain and mud. On Wednesday when we went to Kade we met the ZLs from Abomosu to go on exchanges. I went to Abomosu with Elder Asiedu and Elder Nielsen went back to Asamankese with Elder Hicks. It was my first time to go to Abomosu. It's a tiny little village. It would be a cool place to visit, but I would never want to go there to serve as a missionary. First of all you would be a zone leader which at least in this mission is no fun. And second of all, you are over 5 different branches with each branch being 45-90 minutes away by car, all in little villages. With no car to drive from place to place. You totally depend on branch missionaries. Who're, in general, totally undependable. Too much stress, too little joy in the missionary work. Not to mention no internet for emailing. Anyway, on thursday I went with Elder Asiedu to Konongo so he could do some baptismal interviews there. We left at like 7:30 and got there by 10:30. It took us 4 different cars to get there. Then left for Kade by 1:00pm to meet back with our companions It took me 5 cars to get back to Asamankese by 8:30pm. Well now I've been everywhere in the North Zone and everywhere in Accra is all the same. The only place left in the mission to see is Ho in the Volta region. Also I can say I've been in 9 different cars in one day. Which I don't think many people can say. Friday was spent proselyting in Asamankese. We had a pretty sweet morning of teaching appointments, but the afternoon we were troubled small by the rain. In the evening though, we had more success. We are trying our best to follow the teaching process we've been taught: 1. ask inspired questions 2. listen to the investigator and the spirit 3. discern the spiritual direction 4. Teach the doctrine (in small segments) 5. Check for understanding. When we were practicing our teaching this week we decided that the easiest step is by far #4, and that we do way too much of it. Then on Saturday we left by about 5:30 to get to Koforidua to have zone interviews with Pres. Smith. Interviews went normal. Pres. Smith kept it short and from Kof town we stopped by in Suhum for baptismal interviews to be done. Then we went to Oda to do some more baptismal interviews. Then finally we made it back to Asamankese by 8:30pm. In the next week we have a trip to Accra to look forward to as we are having a mission tour. Update on Francisca: she was in Accra and couldn't be interviewed so she was a little bummed that she'll have to wait to be baptized in Accra. It's probably for the best though, that way her new ward will get to know her better. Well I love you guys a ton, Elder Chambers

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

16 August 2010

Hey everybody. I hope you guys are enjoying the last weeks of summer. I'm sure you guys are very busy. Hope everyone is ok. On wednesday we went to leadership training in Koforidua again. We learned about the process of revelation and the importance of getting our investigators to pray. We also learned about the importance of getting them to read the book of mormon. It was a really good training. I learned a lot and really l feel like my own prayers and my own Book of Mormon study could use some improvement. On thursday we went to proselyte in Kade, where the big news was that Francisca told us she's moving to Accra, but she still wants to be baptized before she moves there next week. So we'll be trying to help everything work out for her to be baptized and confirmed this weekend. She's the third of our baptismal candidates to move this month. It kind of bummed us. On Friday and Saturday we spent some busy days in Asamankese. Did a lot of teaching, which is always really nice. I think maybe when I come home I could study to be a high school teacher or something. Get three months of vacation every year. On Sunday we went to church in Kade. We taught the law of chastity in the investigators class. It was a really good discussion. Then we had a follow up lesson on it with Sylvester and his family. He is one guy who really is prepared to repent. We also went to this one village, Pramkese, to see a referral from one of our investigators. They investigator and referral are brothers, Emmanuel and Bright, and they are both correct guys. Hopefully we can prepare both of them to be baptized in September. Well that was my week. I love you guys. Hope you are praying for me. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, August 9, 2010

9 August 2010

Hey everyone. I can't think of much interesting that happened this week. It was the pretty normal stuff. Everything went pretty well. We found some good people, we taught our other investigators some good lessons, rode around in a bunch of trotros. We had some disappointments as well. Two of the people we where going to baptize next week, Selena and Jennifer, have left town and will be gone for an unknown, but definitely long, period of time. So that will hurt our goal for the month. And also another couple we are planning to baptize, Sylvester and Philomena, are not going to be prepared in time to be baptized, so we'll have to postpone them to next month. Kind of stressful. Yesterday we went down to suhum so elder nielsen could do some baptismal interviews. Suhum seems like a good town, but the branch there is struggling. Well, anyway, I'm doing good I guess. I hope you guys had a great week. Keep on enjoying the summer. Love you. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, August 2, 2010

2 August 2010

Brrrr. We've been nearly freezing the past week. I bet we've been below seventy some mornings. You have to be very courageous to take cold showers in these kinds of conditions. All in all though the weather was great this week. We had a lot going on. We are trying to take some time to be sure and get to know all the members here as fast as we can. Elder Nielsen and I are brand new and pretty new, respectively, to the area and we have a 3 branches of members to know and get referrals from. On saturday Felix was able to be baptized without us, because we were in Kof. attending leadership training. It was a good baptism and a good meeting. At the training we focused on 2 of the new teaching principles: The doctrine of Christ, and the role of the spirit in conversion. Also this week I got to have snails for the first time. They're easier to eat then cow skin. We chopped it with fufu. The other interesting thing we had happen was that the office elders came up with supplies for a new companionship. Beds, chairs, and things so probably next transfer we'll have 4 missionaries in Asamankese. Anyway, I love you guys a ton. Hope you have a great august. Love, Elder Chambers

26 July 2010

Hey everyone. I hope you all had a great week. Hopefully you are all enjoying your summer. This past week has been like the best weather of my mission. Nice and cool. but not rainy. So this big happening of the week was transfers. On Monday they took Elder Stout to Accra so Elder Kivaya and Elder Moses came from Oda to be with me Monday. Then on Tuesday the three of us spent the day proselyting in Oda. It was a pretty normal day. Then on Wednesday we came to Asamankese to proselyte. We were able to give one lady, Jennifer, a baptismal date. Then in the afternoon they brought my new companion Elder Nielsen. Elder Nielsen is from St. George, and he's been out now 15 months. He's a pretty cool guy. He's been in Accra his whole mission so he's pretty excited to be out in the bush. He'll be the new district leader here as well. He's hoping to stay here a long time, and I think he probably will be. On Thursday I took him to Kade and we went round there to see our investigators. It's somehow tough proselyting in Kade. First of all it's an hour to travel to, when we get there we have to walk everywhere, and everyone is busy until like 2 o'clock (and we need to leave by like 4 or 5). The branch there is still going well though. We'll be having a baptism there on Saturday. Friday we spent proselyting in Asamankese, and Saturday we went back to Kade. Sunday we had church in Asamankese. I was really impressed by how Elder Nielsen got to know the members. I think as we work with them this transfer we'll have a lot of success. Today we spent much time washing clothes and cleaning the apartment. I need another haircut so we'll take care of that next. Or maybe lunch will come first. Then we'll teach some lessons and have a family home evening (and hopefully dinner) with some members. The big things we'll be looking forward to this week are Kade's baptism and a 6 hour leadership training in Koforidua (which is like 2 1/2 hours away).

Monday, July 19, 2010

19 July 2010

Hey everyone! I got the package you guys sent. Thanks so much for the things. I can't wait to try the mashed potatoes next sunday for dinner. Also thank Iszie for the letter she sent me. Another thing, I can't find my debit card, so I don't know if maybe dad could withdraw the money from the account or something. And Mom, you can go ahead and just send what you want to Sis. Potter. Just tell them I love them and to keep up the good work. And that I'm doing great. Anyway this was my last week with Elder Stout. He left this morning at 8. The Oda Elders came to be here in Asamankese until Wednesday, when my new companion will be brought. Everyone was really sad to see him go and said that they hoped he had taught me everything he knows. They're already missing him and he's already missing them. The big event of the week was Zone Conference yesterday. We went up to Koforidua and received some nice instruction. They taught a lot about planning ahead and about enduring to the end of our missions. Also we really learned the importance of exact obedience. President Smith also announced that the mission and the church will be changing some of the ways missionary work is done. We'll now be doing zone conferences and interviews only once a quarter instead of every transfer. Also our goals setting and reporting and planning will be for a monthly basis not a transfer basis. Also the way they teach at the MTC and the way we train in the field are being changed. They've come up with 8 new teaching principles that they'll focus on in the MTC instead of learning the first three lessons. So in the next few months we'll be getting trained and learning all these new things. And in the end all will be better. Anyway life is going well. I love you guys a ton. I can't wait to see what this week will hold. Hopefully my new companion is pretty sweet. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, July 12, 2010

12 July 2010

Hey everyone! I love you guys. I hope you have been enjoying your summer so far. It's been nice and cool the past few weeks here in Ghana. Kind of rainy as well, too though. Anyway we had a nice week. Just the normal stuff this week. A whole bunch of walking and teaching and walking. It rained really heavily a few different times. I think on like wednesday night or so the main junction was all flooded and a truck went into the gutter and stopped up traffic. On Friday we went to Kade and it started raining at about 3 and continued all day until Saturday. This made Elizabeth get stuck in the village she traveled to so she missed her baptism. Fortunately we were able to make it happen on Sunday for her. She was soo happy. It was a sweet baptism. We had it right after branch 1's block of meetings which is at the same time as branch 2's investigator class. So we had a baptism for investigator's class. It was quite the spiritual class. Hopefully we'll give a few of them their own baptismal dates in the coming week. Speaking of the coming week, it is Elder Stout's last week. So he's a bit stressed. It's going to be really hard for him to leave, but he's excited to go home as well. Which means that next week by wednesday I'll have a new companion, and maybe some other changes as well. This week will be zone conference on saturday up in Koforidua. It sounds like you guys had a fun trip to Utah. I hope you enjoyed it. Well, I miss you guys. Love you a ton. Love, Bradford

Monday, July 5, 2010

5 July 2010

Hey everyone I hope you guys had a great week. Hopefully it wasn't too hot there in Utah for you. This week went pretty well here. We went to Kade every day last week except for Monday, so a lot of time sitting in trotros. On Wednesday the zone leaders came down with us to do splits. Then on Friday Elder Kivaya had to come and do our last baptismal interview for the week so I was in Oda with Elder Moses. Saturday we had a great baptism for Frank and his wife, Hagar and also for Phillip. All of them were in Kade. They were all really excited to finally be baptized. On sunday they all bore their testimonies in sacrament meeting. We also had an investigator in Kade bear his testimony in sacrament meeting so that was great too. Things are still moving along here in Asamankese. On sunday we had a lot of new people at church so hopefully they'll all be able to continue to progress. On saturday it seemed really hot, but I saw the weather today and I guess it'll only be mid 80s this week. Hopefully without too much rain. At the moment Elder Stout and I are looking at all our investigators, trying to be proactive and see who maybe we can give baptismal dates to. Right now we have one woman with a date, Elizabeth, but we aren't sure if she'll be baptized on time or not. I think this is the third time she's been given a date. Well I love you guys a lot. I'm really learning a lot and building my testimony. Keep the faith. Have a great week! Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, June 28, 2010

28 June 2010

Hey everyone I hope you guys are all having lots of fun. I guess most of you have been in the car for hours. The trip to Utah sounds like fun. Hope no one gets hurt or sick or anything. Anyway this last week was pretty sweet here in Ghana. I went to Oda again on tuesday with Elder Moses so Elder Kivaya could do our baptismal interviews in Asamankese. Elder Moses is pretty funny. He's from sierre leone so he has a kinda strange accent, but I'm pretty used to strange accents. Man, Oda has been struggling this transfer. It seems like they just have tons of not serious investigators. Anyway then on Wednesday Elder Kivaya and Elder Moses came to spend the night so one Thursday we could all travel to Accra as a district. On Thursday we were in the trotro for pretty much ever. We rode down to accra to first go to the temple and then to have interviews with President Smith. The temple was really great as usual. I love being in the temple. You have no stress and total peace for hours. Then we had some lunch and the mission home and had interviews. As usual my interview lasted like 2 minutes. I think I chatted with the office couple longer than with President Smith. He just told me to be exactly obedient and sent me on my way. Elder Stout said in his interview President Smith almost made him cry--because of all the nice things he said. Speaking of Elder Stout, he's getting excited about going home, but I think he's realizing more and more how much he'll miss being a missionary so we're working harder and harder. Anyway after interviews we came straight back and spent hours in Accra's traffic, squished into a trotro. Saturday was the worst day of the week trotro wise though. First thing on saturday was a great baptism though. We had to rush and fill the font though. We had I think three hoses filling it as the baptismal service started. Moroni and Celestina's dad, Redeemer, was the baptist for Moroni, Celestina, Mary, and Ernestina. We didn't think Kingsly was going to make it in time, but he came in right as they were baptizing Ernestina so we had him quickly put on the white clothes and baptized him with the others. Then after the baptism we took a trotro to Oda to do splits to do some interviews. I went with Elder Kivaya to Kade. We spent like an hour in the station waiting for the car to fill up. Just before we got to Kade the back windshield shattered and pieces started falling out and glass was blowing inside. We all were shouting at the driver to stop, but he wasn't serious at all, just said that we were almost there. When he dropped Elder Kivaya and I he grabbed the biggest pieces dangling from the van and just through them out on the road. Like, I said: he's not serious at all. Then we had an interview for Frank and went to the station to ride back to Oda. Then back to Asamankese were we had to spend the evening inside because of the Ghana match. Guess the USA lost. Well not much else happened. On sunday we were hoping to give baptismal dates to this one family, but the mom went to her old church instead. And while we were teaching them this old lady came and interrupted the lesson by telling jokes in twi. Probably rude jokes I'm pretty sure. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on our contacts for the week. Well I love you guys too much. Hope you are having a fun summer. The church is really true, and being dilligent and valiant is worth it. If anyone is wondering being on a mission is the greatest thing. I've learned there is nothing like serving the lord. Spell check isn't working today so sorry about that. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

21 June 2010

Hey everybody! Happy Father's day, dad! I hope you guys are all doing great. I love you guys so much. I hope Owen and Patrick are having a fun summer. I hope maybe the letters I wrote you guys have come. We had a pretty busy week as always. On wednesday we had to travel to koforidua for leadership training (Elder Stout's the district leader). It was really interesting. President Smith taught us about the micromanagement techniques that President Monson had taught him many many years ago. He shared a quote that I like from President Monson: "When we deal in generalities we shall never succeed; when we deal in specifics we shall rarely have a failure. When performance is measured performance improves. When performance is measured and reported the rate of improvement accelerates." Then on thursday we had exchanges with elder kivaya and elder moses in oda so elder kivaya could do a baptismal interview for gertrude. She was so happy at her baptism on saturday, it was so awesome to see. She's really committed. So I spent thursday back in Oda with elder moses. It was a little strange being on exchanges in my old area. I still know it a lot better than Elder Moses, so I showed him a couple shortcuts. Then on Friday we had a busy day trying to see all our baptismal candidates in the Asamankese branches. This Saturday we'll have a baptism for five of them: Celestina, Moroni, Kingsly, Ernestina, and Mary. Moroni's father introduced him to us 2 sundays ago just after he had turned nine. He knows the story of Joseph Smith super well, especially the part about Angel Moroni. It was funny to hear him tell it for us. Celestina is his older sister. So then on saturday we went to Kade and had Gertrude's baptism, like I said. In the afternoon we took the senior couple in Obomasu, the Terrys, to do a few abortion interviews for us. Frank and his wife gave us a huge pot of banku and some okro stew to take with us. The Terrys didn't want to share it with us so we got the whole pot. Elder Stout doesn't like banku which means basically I have a whole pot of banku to eat. I'm still working on that. On sunday we went to Kade for church. It's a pretty small branch. I think about 30 people came to church. They don't have a chapel so we meet in a rented house. We had a really nice quorum class. They gave it to Elder Stout to teach. (Which I guess they do every time he's there.) He taught basically lesson one, the restoration. At the end he asked the class to bear testimonies about how they came to know the church was the only true and living church. After a few an investigator who we hadn't met yet and had just come to church for the first time bore a sweet testimony. He told about how he had been living with a family and was cleaning when he found a copy of the Book of Mormon. He didn't know what it was, but he opened it up and saw it was like a bible so he began to read it. He said that he read a verse that told him if he prayed he could be shown if the book was true. So that's what he did. He prayed and he said that he felt good about it. Then that night he had a dream in which the book grew to become very large and writing appeared on it saying, "a new song that is pleasing to the lord". When he woke up the book was normal sized and the writing had gone, but he knew that the book was true. It was awesome. Then another new investigator said that he too could say that the church is true from the teaching he saw about the plan of salvation in the gospel essentials class. The spirit was really there in its strength. Well that was the week in brief. I just left out some stuff about it raining all the time, being cramped in leaky and faulty trotros for hours, and having people be world cup crazy all the time. I'm pretty tired, I had to get up early wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday to ride in trotros to different towns. Other than that I've been having a sweet time. Elder Stout is a great companion and a sweet missionary. The areas have real potential and the investigators are for the most part progressing. We have baptisms scheduled for each week left in Elder Stout's mission so he's psyched about that. The spirit has been with us as we've been teaching and people are gaining faith. It's been so humbling to see things work out like they do. Well I love you guys, and I hope you are all safe and happy. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, June 14, 2010

14 June 2010

Hey everyone. you guys sound like you are getting into the summer just fine. High adventure sounds like it was fun. I'm still in Asamankese with Elder Stout and Elder Moses and Elder Kivaya are still in Oda. They added an new area to our district as well, Suhum, but we haven't met them yet. So I'm guessing Elder Kivaya will finish in Oda, which is what I think he wanted. He only has two transfers left. His whole mission he's been to three areas: nsawam, oda, teshie, and then oda again. My whole mission and I've been in as many areas as he has. Elder stout will finish here in asamankese which is what he wanted as well. He's excited to finish his mission strong. We have 9 people with a date and are hoping to give some more people dates for before he leaves. I'm hoping he'll save some people so I'll have someone in our teaching pool for next transfer. Just kidding. I'm mostly worried about learning as much of the 3 branches in our area before he goes. It's tough to learn when we travel between two different towns each week. I don't want to have the work slow down at all when he goes. Well the computer here is not all that great so maybe I'll wrap up for today. We have a baptism next saturday in kade if the interviews go ok. the lady that liked elder moses should be among so that'll be great. if you send a package any time soon could you add some role on deodorent, cinnamon, and maybe instant mashed potatoes? Thanks, I love you guys a ton. have fun at work, youth conference, in utah, and things. love, elder chambers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

7 June 2010

Hey everyone! How's life? Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you guys are preparing to enjoy your summer vacation. First off the big news is I got transferred today. I'm now in Asamankese. I'll tell you about how that happened later. Last week went pretty well. We gave two people baptismal dates, but neither came to church on Sunday so we were sad about that. Also this week we had zone conference. We learned that mission is still progressing. Our district didn't achieve our goal but the zone was able too. We learned that as of that day, June 5, the mission would have 1000 baptisms for 2010. Most of the zone conference was on how we can build better unity with our companion and on exact obedience. Two things president smith the spirits really been prompting him that the mission needs to improve on. I'm sure as we apply what we learn things will really progress. I also got some letters you sent at the end of may. Thanks! What I didn't get was either the May or June Liahonas. So still no conference talks for me except the 1 session we watched a few weeks ago. Anyway yesterday as we left our weekly FM at the branch president's house President Smith calls and says he needs us to perform an emergency transfer--just three days before normal transfers. One lady in Asamankese has fallen for Elder Moses so I swapped with him this morning. I went to Asaman and he went to Oda. So until transfers on wednesday our district has the same people. Only I'm now in Asamankese with Elder Stout. This is Elder Stout's last transfer. He's from Price?, Utah. Not Bryce, Utah. He's a great missionary and I'm really looking forward to the transfer. I don't know anything really about Asamankese. I just got here this morning. What I do know is that we cover three branches. 2 Here in Asamankese and 1 in Kade, which is like an hour trotro ride away. So I get plenty of trotro time...just what I was hoping for. Also word is they are opening Suhum this transfer (Wed.) and so they'll be joining the district. They were also having plans to add another companionship to asamankese, but 2 elders went home last week so that got put on hold--we think at least. Well I'll let you know how everything goes next monday. On Saturday I sent you guys a bunch of letters, so be expecting them. I think I wrote one for everyone except Mom and Dad. Sorry bout that. Love you though. I hope everyone enjoys the last week of school. Love, Elder Chambers

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

31 May 2010

Hey everyone. How's memorial day? I'm glad the internet is working today. Last week I couldn't read/send anything. Anyway the last two weeks have been very busy for us. We had baptisms the last two saturdays. First was Sarah and her son Thompson. Then this last Saturday was Gifty and Anita. Elder Kivaya has been teaching all these people for a super long time, and I think he's really happy they have finally been baptized. Gifty and Anita were both miracles. Gifty came to church for the first time since I've been in Oda 3 sundays ago just out of the blue. Then Anita after rejecting a baptismal date last week wednesday told us last week saturday to add her name to the list. It was really cool. Anita's younger brother did the baptisms. The last two weeks were also the last two weeks of the transfer. The last two weeks of the transfer are kind of like the redzone of the mission. Everyone who is behind in their goals (like us) is struggling and praying for those two weeks. One of our candidates, after begging for baptism and complaining about it for months, was finally prepared with her twin sons for saturday, but unfortunately for some reason she's decided to avoid us and we couldn't get the interview accomplished, and she didn't show up to the baptism or church on sunday. Well whenever she has the desire we'll sacrifice and prepare her again. Well I guess this is the rainy season. And soon to be world cup season. So the work here may slow a bit. Here no one likes to do anything or go anywhere when it is raining. On saturday it rained at like 3:30-4:00 and the baptism was at 5:00. We started at 5:30 and in total there were I think 12 people around. Anyway I took some time to write you guys letters during some rain. I'll send them at zone conference this Saturday. Well I love you guys. Happy birthday Spencer! Happy birthday Dad! Happy Memorial Day everyone! Congrats on finishing another school year, Talk to you later.

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 May 2010

Wow the internet here in Oda just keeps getting slower and slower. Also the power keeps goin out. So I'll keep things brief and hopefully get this sent. This week wasn't the easiest. The good news is that the baptism went on successfully, Justice Frempong was baptized by his father B.A. Frempong. It was really great. He's been friends with all the return missionaries for a long long time and Elder Kivaya's been teaching him for almost forever. Everyone was really happy that he has finally entered the fold. Other stuff that happened this week was zone interviews, rain storms, splits, flat tire, and the zone leaders coming for district meeting. Zone Interviews were in Kofiridua as usual, so that took out practically the whole day. They were good as usual. I love you guys, keep up the good work. Miracles are happening everyday of our lives. We just don't pay attention. Love, Elder Chambers

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 May 2010

Hello everyone. It was great talking to you guys yesterday. It was really cool to hear your voices again. The internet is suuuper slow today so I don't have much time to write. I'm glad you guys are all doing well. I'm a bit jealous of Spencer getting to listen to music all the time and play tons of frisbee. This week is going to be pretty busy for us. The Zone Leaders are coming down tonight to attend District meeting tomorrow and then do splits to Asamankese, and before they go we have to get Elder Stout to do our baptismal interview right after District Meeting. Then on Friday we'll being going to Kof. town for zone interviews. Then on Saturday we have our baptism and we might help out with aaronic priesthood commemoration day. Also we have to to meet with Sarah and her son Thomas as well as Ophelia and her twin boys, Owusu Kwakye #1 and #2, and explain that we are postponing their baptisms until they can have time for us to finish going over the lessons. Well my times about up. Hopefully next week I'll be able to write more. I love you guys all tons. I\m happy that I got to talk to you yesterday. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, May 3, 2010

3 May 2010

Howdy everyone. I hope you are all doing well. It sounds like you guys really had a busy week. Everyone seems like they are doing great. Here in Oda we had a pretty good week. Elder Kivaya's fine. Nothing exciting except we had some rain storms. On sunday we got to watch a session of General Conference which was nice. I think it was Sunday morning's. We are having trouble getting the people we teach to apply what they learn to themselves (both members and investigators) without us just telling them. When we teach we have been told over and over that the way we have to do it is not by pouring information on them but by drawing information out of them. That is working pretty well but then they can't see how they need to change their lives to live what they learn. Well we're still practicing. In the mission we are trying to improve on the three things Elder Holland said missionaries generally don't do well: study, plan, teach for commitment. With Mother's Day we will get to call, but I don't know how because they haven't given us the phone chips like they did for Christmas. So unless someone brings us the chips from Accra... I don't really know what will happen, but we'll certainly get the chance to call, but maybe not on Sunday. It's tricky for the zone because we are all spread out and far from Accra. Everyone else in the Mission will be calling on Mother's day though. Either I think I'll try to call around the same time as Christmas or I'll email next Monday and tell you when I'll call. I can't believe it's AP tests already. That means Graduation will be any time now. Nice job Donovan. Good luck to Uncle Bryan and Connor. Congrats to Aunt Emily. Happy Birthday Ellery. Keep up the good work everyone else. Well, tell everyone I love them. I can't think of anything I need, but I'll let you know if I do. Enjoy yourselves! Love, Bradford

Monday, April 26, 2010

26 April 2010

Hey everyone I hope you guys are doing great! Ellery happy birthday! I can't believe you'll be turning twelve this week. In no time you'll be serving a mission. That's crazy. It's funny you mentioned the hair, because I've gotten used to it by now. President Smith likes really short hair, and it's a lot cooler, and no one gives a decent haircut around here so now I just get it buzzed. And buzzed super short, usually a 1 or a 2. (3mm or 6mm). This week went pretty well. Both Elder Kivaya and I were a little sick all week. Elder Kivaya was feeling really bad Friday so we came home in the afternoon. He still has somewhat of a cold. On saturday we traveled to Koforidua for zone conference. The north zone did awesome last transfer and our goals were solid this transfer so there wasn't really much in the way of chastisement. President Smith gave us good instruction. I'm really coming to admire him as a leader. He is really intelligent and his style is correct. Pragmatic, and building step by step. If we do as he teaches us we really can't help but have success. Happy Birthday Ellery! Sorry about the allergies everyone. Tell Aunt Emily congrats for me and good luck. Love you guys. See you in 18 months! Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From Sister Bevan

We are a senior missionary couple serving in the Ghana Accra Mission. We are the Area Family History Advisors. We attended Church in the Oda Branch on Sunday and met your handsome son. He appears to be healthy and happy. He and his companion seem to get along well, and they had some investigators attend the meeting. Oda has one of the most beautiful buildings in Ghana, which is situated on a large piece of property which has been landscaped beautifully with native trees, shrubs, and grass. I am attaching a photo we took which you might enjoy.

With Love, Sister Bevan

Monday, April 19, 2010

19 April 2010

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing great. This week was pretty normal, except for one thing I guess. We were walking all week because Elder Kivaya's bicycle got tired and needed a rest. It wasn't a big deal for me because in New Legon we walked all the time. We are getting it repaired today, though, so we'll be able to ride this week. By the way,I think we had a bit of a rainy season in the middle of the week.
Yesterday, we had a pretty good Church service, except that all of our recent converts disappointed and went awol. Also, Michael Kim was out of contact with us all week (he doesn't have a phone) and whenever we went to his place (almost every day) he was gone. We found out he had traveled to Accra. So anyway, we ended up cancelling his baptism. I guess this is the second time he's disappeared after getting a baptismal date. (The last time was before I came, I guess his father died so they had the funeral or something.) So because of that we're still going to try and work with him, pray for him, etc., but we won't set a goal on him next transfer. Everyone has their agency, I suppose. Despite that disappointment according to the Zone Leaders our Zone and the Mission was able to surpass their baptismal goal.
Also to let you guys (ie Mom) know, the district is back to four missionaries again. That happened last week, Elder Moses from Sierre Leone will be with Elder Stout. Both the Chapel here and the 'apartment' are awesome here in Oda. The Chapel is super nice and built on this hillside. It's really beautiful and stuff. The compound is huge. The branch President said it was put up in only 6 months. I'm not sure about that. He has an enthusiastic mind and tends to exaggerate. But compared to the other buildings around it probably could be said to be put up in a week. I think most buildings, especially big ones like churches, around here take years and years to build. 10-15+ I'd guess. The apartment here is super nice, because it's actually a house. It was rented for couple missionaries, but the couple missionaries never came to Oda so we get to enjoy. There is three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. And just 2 missionaries...
It's good you guys are staying active. I'm looking forward to playing frisbee again. I can't believe Connor's 14. By the way, Connor, happy birthday again; I love you lots. Tell Micah good luck for me. Rome! That's pretty crazy. I'm sure he'll do well there. Tell Grandma, Grandpa, and all the family that I love them. I'll try to write them a letter to mail them this Saturday when we go to Koforidua for zone conference. Well I hope the rest of the world is doing good. I love you guys.

Monday, April 12, 2010

12 April 2010

Hello everyone! Happy Birthday Connor! I hope you guys are doing good. From what Mom has said it sounds like you guys are really busy this week. We've been pretty busy here too. On Saturday, we were able to have the baptisms for stephen, charity, and janet. They are doing great. Stephen was late to both the baptism and to sacrament, but he made it in time to be confirmed, and next week he'll be sustained and ordained as a priest. We are going to be working this week with Michael Kim. In fact right after the cafe we'll be going to try and see him. We just have a couple things left to go over with him and he'll be ready to be baptized on Saturday. Time is really flying here. I can't really tell what's up with the weather, I don't know what it's supposed to be doing or what it will do tomorrow. It's rather unpredictable. Excepts it's always hot. Always very hot. Some days it's humid, some days it's dry, some days it's rainy. Anyway, everyone here is really vague and unsure about when or whether the rainy season is. I'm glad to hear you guys are helping Vera. She'll need lots of support as Satan tries his best to shake her. We are always struggling to help our recent converts here. Our Branch President said that in 2008 200 people were baptized into the branch and now today only 10 are active. That's one of the reasons President Smith took all the missionaries out of the bush. And now he's opening the areas up one by one as Accra has become stronger. Well I love you guys a ton, and I pray for you always. Cya later.

Monday, April 5, 2010

5 April 2010

Hey everyone, I hope you enjoyed conference. I can't wait to get the Liahona and be able to read the talks. I hope everyone had a happy easter and ate lots of candy. On Saturday I got the two packages you sent mom. Thanks for everything. The letters were good to read and the candy was good to eat. The taco mixes and things should last me for awhile, thanks again. I love you. On Saturday we had zone interviews so we had to travel to Koforidua in the morning, it's like 2.5 hours away. It went pretty well, but we ended up coming home with an extra companion, Elder Stout. So he's tagging along with us until he gets a new companion. It has made things a little more complicated, but you know you just have to deal with what life throws at you. He's been pretty cool to have around though. In the afternoon we went with him to attend the baptisms he had in Kade. On Sunday we had just the normal old fast and testimony. It was weird to think that general conference would be going on this weekend and I wouldn't be watching it. It was a really hot day, and we spent the afternoon walking because we only have 2 bikes. This week the biggest things we have on our to do lists is help Steven Owusu and Janet and Charity get their baptismal interviews and then their baptisms this saturday. They all seem really excited and we all are too. Well I love you guys tons. I hope you are all happy and enjoying life. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, March 29, 2010

29 March 2010

Hey everyone, how's it going? Spring break sounds like fun, I hope all of you get over the vacation sickness. It sounds like you guys will be in for a busy couple of months. Say hello to Uncle Bryan for me when he gets here, and tell Aunt Emily congratulations. So yeah, this last week we were really busy, I think we ended up teaching 34 lessons. Right now we have 40+ investigators in our teaching pool, and that's really too many. We have to really be in tune with the spirit as we drop people that aren't serious. President Smith wants us to have about 25 people in our teaching pool at any given time, and he also wants us to have about 9-10 new investigators per week. So we're kept pretty busy. A lot of people are willing to listen to our message, and a lot of those will recognize the spirit and gain testimonies of the truthfulness, but only a few are willing to make any changes in their lives. It can be kind of frustrating. In one of our lessons this guy asked us, "so can people be baptized and then leave the church after they receive the gift of the holy ghost?" and "so what if I pray and God tells me that your message is true, but I'm also told that where I am now is good?". He for sure knows the truth, but he is just looking for anyway he can to keep from following it. Well, while it's sad to see people reject the truth that we've given them, it is exciting to teach people with enthusiasm for the church. The funerals here in Ghana are big deals. They are the biggest party and the most expensive expenditures for any person. In one of the nearby villages that we proselyte in the queen mother had died and the funeral was over the weekend. No one from that village came to church (including 4 recent converts that were confirmed last week) except for our three baptismal candidates. I was so happy to see them on Sunday. So I say, "Hi" to everyone, and I'm excited for Donovan. Wyview should be fun, hopefully your roommates will be cool. I'm jealous of Spencer, I miss playing Ultimate. And yeah, this place is aka Akim Oda. Anyway the work is moving forward, and I'm happy to be here to do the work. I miss my little brothers, and I love you all. Keep the faith, the church is true. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

22 March 2010

Hey everyone! How are you guys all doing? Well the big news of the week is transfers. I went on transfers last wednesday and am now serving in a town called Oda. It's pretty nice here. It's kind of up in the hills and somehow far from Accra. It kind of reminds me of some town in the Appalachians the way everything is hilly and farms. The work is going really strong at the moment up here in the villages. Saturday we had a really nice baptism for five of the investigators my new companion, Elder Kivaya, has been working with. Unfortuanately the water we had wasn't really enough so the people basically had to lay down in order to be immersed. But we got it done and they made their covenants so we and the hosts of heaven rejoiced. We still have 3 with a baptismal date and are hoping to prepare 1 other person to be baptized on April 10th. Then we'll need some more referrals, because it almost only the referrals that get baptized here. My new companion, Elder Kivaya, is pretty cool. He's from Kenya, but was in medical school in Ukraine when he was baptized and decided to serve a mission. He's been out like 19 months or so and knows a ton. It's just me and him in the apartment here in Oda, and no other missionaries nearby. The rest of our district is in Asamankese which is an hour or so away. The whole north zone is really spread out and sparse, but the work is moving quick here because we are in the villages were the people are more humble. One of our big challenges here though is that our Mission President, President Smith, won't let anyone be baptized who can't read and understand English or at least can read Twi (but almost everyone that can read Twi can read English). This is hard for some people here to accept and understand so it gives us some problems. Anyway I'd say that I'm really lucky to be here in Oda, it's got the sweetness of the bush and enough development to have an internet cafe. Most of the other places in our zone don't have that luxury. Well I'm praying for you guys. Build your testimonies and stay true til I get home. Love you guys tons! Oh yeah I guess I'll write something for you to send to Sis Potter right now and send it to you real quick. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, March 15, 2010

15 March 2010

Hey everyone! I'm doing well here. We had a really nice week last week. I'm sorry to hear about Bro. Flannery. I hope his family will be all right. I liked that idea about service, it will certainly be something I try this week. Like I said we had a nice week. On saturday we had Zainleone's baptism and gave Bro. Appiah a date for the 27th. Sunday was branch conference so we had a lot of people from the stake visiting. We are working hard, but transfers are this wednesday so we're sure something is going to happen. But we can't really make any guesses which of us are leaving. If we could choose though Elder Ewudzie really wants to stay and I'm cool with going somewhere new. If Donovan comes up with any great money making ideas I hope you'll share them with me. I could use some money when I get home too. As for housing, it was a lot of fun and really simple to live in Helaman Halls but off campus can be a lot cheaper. That's what everyone I worked with said at least. Don't they still have student loans? People have been telling me that Obama is giving people money, you could try asking him. So next week I'll write something to send to sis. potter. But I'm not sure what will happen next week so I guess I can't make any promises. (maybe i'll be transferred somewhere without internet or something else). If I can't then go ahead and put something together for me. Thanks. Have fun on spring break, I hope everyone has fun and enjoys. Keep working hard, I love you guys too much. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, March 1, 2010

1 March 2010

Hey everyone! It's cool that Elder Bingam was able to call you guys last night. I met him at our stake conference that Elder Holland spoke at. I think he works throughout the area as something to do with public affairs. So yeah, it was a pretty exciting week with Elder Holland being here. I got to see him twice. The first time was when he spoke to the whole mission along with President Snow of the Seventy. That was really interesting. He's pretty funny in person and also someone I wouldn't want to make angry. He told us that he could go pretty ballastic. Mostly he talked about how important the missionary work is. It's really the most important thing in the world, he said. He also talked a lot about how our missions should be one of the biggest blessings in our life; so we should take advantage of them, work hard, grow up, and don't be homesick. He said that his mission was the greatest blessing of his life, and because of that he doesn't have any sympathy for missionaries that want to go home. He said if we wanted to talk to him about missing home then he'd get President Snow to sit on our legs and he'd sit with his knee on our throat and we could talk to him about missing home. He also taught us a little about how Preach My Gospel came about. He said that what happened was that President Hinckley told the missionary committee that they were doing it wrong. He said that if missionaries could go out and teach the gospel for two years and then come home and become inactive, then they were doing it wrong. So Preach My Gospel was designed with the idea that at least each missionary could finish their mission having converted at least one person, themselves. The second time I got to see Elder Holland was at a sort of stake conference here in the Adenta Stake. He spoke a lot about how men should respect their wives more and about how the youth were being "lost". He spoke a lot to the youth and how he wanted them to be active in the church and serve missions. It reminded me of that "Decade of Decision" talk from some General Conference not too long ago. Anyway everything is going fine here. Our investigators are doing well. Georgina should be baptized this Saturday (last Sat the baptist, her husband, was traveled). and Zainleone will be baptized the 13th and JW Appiah sometime in March as well. I'm sorry to here about Bro. Flannery. I hope their family is doing all right. I'll be praying for them, for sure. That's cool that Vera wants to be baptized. It's also cool that you're having them over for dinner, for some reason when I heard that I started imagining calzone. Love you guys, tell everyone hey! Love, Bradford

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Surprise Phone call

This afternoon we got a surprise phone call from Ghana. It was Elder Bingham, a church Service Missionary. He's been traveling with Elder Holland. Elder Holland was touring the mission. Elder Bingham always talks to some of the Abruni Elders and then calls their families. Elder Bingham says that the work is going well in Ghana. Bradford has a fine tan and that he now has an accent. He speaks in clipped English typical there. Bradford said to tell Donovan "Congratulations for getting accepted to BYU." That he loves us and misses us and that he's getting used to the food.

Monday, February 22, 2010

22 February 2010

Hey guys, sorry to hear that some of you are sick. Congratulations on getting into college Donovan! That's really awesome. Record snow sounds pretty nice to me right now, I think it has been in the 90s all week. Oh yeah I have a new email address now. The mission is now going to be using the So you should email me here now. Anyway last week was pretty good. On thursday we went to accra central to have zone interviews with President Smith and attend the temple. It was really great I love going to the temple. The temple is on Accra's main street, just down the road from the presidential palace. The peace and quiet really let you feel the spirit there, and it is a real contrast to the hot bustling traffic just outside. Adding the peace and quiet to the comfortable couches in the celestial room meant that the temple workers had a difficult time judging whether a few missionaries were saying really long prayers or needed to be woken up. I think everyone was a little tired since everyone had to leave very early from their apartments to beat the morning rush hour. Also this week we had a nice dinner at Elder Ahadjie's home. He is an area seventy and it was really cool to see what he is like at home. Turns out, that like everyone else in Ghana he's a big football (soccer) fan. While we were eating we could hear him and Sister Ahadjie cheering for a match. Sister Ahadjie is a really big fan; but she doesn't watch many matches because she gets way too excited. She said she has the same problem with professional wrestling. That's another thing I like about Ghana, everyone thinks professional wrestling isn't fake. We had some really good proselyting expierences this week. We now have two people with baptismal dates, JW Appiah and Georgina Yerinkye, and another investigator, Zainleone, who told us he wants to be baptized. Unfortunately Elder Ewudzie is in kind of down mood because we haven't been able to get our weekly lesson goals lately, and this week we only had 6 new investigators. It's good to be concerned when you aren't meeting goals, but he is too discouraged and he realizes that he is which makes him even more discouraged. He's taught me a lot about myself and I wish I could help. I'm really thankful that I've been blessed to always have a positive outlook since on my mission. Well I love you guys all so much. Owen, thanks for the letters! Mom, thanks for your letter too and helping Owen. See you guys before you know it! Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

15 February 2010

Hey everyone! Happy President's Day! I hope you guys are enjoying your winter weather, I'm still sweating a lot here. I'd guess it's in the 90s every day. If the seasons are changing I can't really tell. I keep asking if the hamatan is coming. He says it should be here, but you know it's not really because of global climate change and stuff. Well in honor of Elder Holland coming next week we had a general cleaning of the chapel last Saturday. So we scrubbed walls all morning. It's pretty obvious why the church likes to put carpet on the walls. I have no idea what's up with the primary kids touching and drawing on all the walls they can reach. After that though we were able to have a really nice baptism for Sis Darko. It was the first time I've gotten to actually perform the baptism. It was really, really sweet. It's so great when we see the fruits of our labors. On Sunday she received the holy ghost and was confirmed. Elder Ewudzie is planning on sending a picture of her on her baptismal day to her son. He is serving a mission right now in Nigeria. This week we are going to the mission home for our zone interviews with President Smith. This is so we'll be able to go through the temple. I guess every three months or so we get the chance of going through the temple. I'm excited to go again. First of all you learn so much each time you go through the temple and second of all the temple here is really beautiful. Well we have another busy week planned, and I hope all of you are safe and enjoying life. It's good to hear from you. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Monday, February 8, 2010

8 February 2010

Hey everyone! I love you guys. It's kind of crazy that you got a foot of snow this weekend while the same sun that is at home was scorching me with mid 90s all week. I'm still in New Legon for another transfer, so for sure next time something will change. This email will probably be pretty brief today, because the cafe is really busy tonight. The exciting news is that an Apostle is coming to Ghana this month, and not only that but it's my favorite apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and he's visiting Adenta Stake. He's going to tour some of the buildings so the whole stake is really cleaning up. He's especially going to be looking at New Legon's new building since it is the first of a brand new design. So the construction workers are working hard to get it finished by this week. I'm hoping by March we'll finally be able to move in. Elder Holland is also going to have a mission tour while he's here so I'm really excited for that. It'll be in either 2 or three weeks; I'm not sure. This week was ok. We got a lot of good lessons, but I'm worried about those we set goals for baptism on. All of the people we hoped to baptize this transfer, we were hardly able to teach this week. Also, only one of them came to church this sunday. Well, I'm about out of time. I love you guys, you're always in my prayers. And thanks for the letters, Mom. I got both the 1/12 and the 1/20 letters this week when the zone leaders went to the mission home for transfers. Oh yeah, there is a new Elder in the apartment. He's o bruni and his name is Elder Pearson. He is from Orem. Elder Owusu got sent to Kofuridua. Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

Saturday, February 6, 2010

5 January 2010

29 November 2009

16 November 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

1 February 2010

Hey, I hope everyone's doing cool. Sorry to hear some of you are sick. Transfers are wednesday so we won't find out til tuesday night what's happening. It was kind of tough this week getting appointments to come through without having a phone. People say they're always free here, but if they aren't expecting you they're almost never ready. Well today's Feb 1 so we now have credits on our phone once again. Saturday our baptismal candidate, Sis Darko, didn't show up. We found out she'd been called to attend a funeral early in the morning. There are way too many funerals here in Ghana. Every weekend there are about 50. Anyway, I'm sure she'll get baptized eventually, her testimony's seems to be getting stronger and stronger each time we see her. We extended another date this week to one of our long time investigators, Jeff Wilson. He told us that day that he knew we were coming to talk about baptism and that he'd had a dream in which he was told he needed to be baptized, the sooner the better. So we were like, ok, we're planning a baptism for the 13th, why don't you pray about whether that sounds good. He said he'd pray about it and let us know. He's been reading from the Book of Mormon and coming to church pretty regular. I know he is feeling the spirit telling him it's true. I praying that he'll have the humility to change his life around and join the church. I hope you guys are doing well. How's Donovan handling senior year? Is he going to college or what? Hope everything is cool. I sent some letters a couple weeks ago. I think to Spencer, Patrick, and Owen. Let me know if they get there. I love everyone! Love, Elder Bradford Doyle Chambers

25 January 2010

Hey everyone! I hope you guys had a great time this week. This past week was the sixth and final week of the transfer so the week after this is transfers, and possibly I'll be sent somewhere else. It'll be weird if I go, I'll miss Elder Ewudzie and New Legon. I'd really like to see the chapel here completed. Well anyway, I had a pretty ok week. Like I think I mentioned last time on Wednesday we had a mission tour where we heard from Elder Dickson of the Seventy. It was really really good. I learned a lot from it. He talked a bit bout Joseph Smith and the revelation of comfort he got while in Liberty Jail. I know that all of our challenges, trials, afflictions, persecutions, etc. are given to us for our benefit. But as well we learned that we only get the blessings God wants to give us if we do the necessary work to obtain them. God is a just god and any blessings we recieve are resulted from obedience to the laws established by him. Sometimes though, we get a little push in the form of challenges and trials. Sister Dickson told us that sometimes we are comfortable to have a nice little cottage, but God wants to have mansions. I've really been thinking about the conference a lot and am very happy about the things we learned. Saturday we had a great day of work, and really had a lot of nice lessons that we taught. The only down side was that we couldn't get Sis. Darko abortion interview done in time for the baptism, so hopefully she can be baptized this week. Anyway, I can't think of much else to add. We've just been working hard and everything has been pretty normal. I miss you guys, and I miss American food. Hope everyone is doing great! Love, Elder Bradford Chambers

18 January 2010

Hey everyone I'm doing great. So far 2010 has been going awesome. Last Saturday we had another baptism. Sis. Minerva and Godsway were both baptized. Sis. Minerva is really great she was taught by elders in another part of Accra, but they didn't get to baptize her becuase she wanted to move right away because her business there was a drinking spot. She didn't want be tempted to sell people alcohol at all. She still doesn't have a job here yet but she is very happy to be finally baptized. Godsway was the first person I extended a baptismal date to and also the first person that I've taught from beginning to baptism. He's a real cool kid. He's 23 and is currently working for his cousin who is our second counselor, but he wants to go back to school. Unfortunately one of our baptismal candidates, Joanna, missed her second baptismal date. I don't really know what I can do to help her because she speaks only Twi. According to President Smith we are supposed to only teach lessons in English, and we try to do that, but Joanna has family in the church and Elder Ewudzie and Elder Darko were teaching her before I came so Elder Ewudzie has tried to continue. It's hard though becuase I can't really help resolve any of her concerns when I can't hear what she's saying. We have another baptism for this Saturday, Sis Darko. She wants to be baptized and I know she is ready and understands how important it is, but I'm worried she likes us visiting her too much and is afraid we'll stop if she gets baptized. Her son is currently serving a mission in Nigeria and I think we remind her of him. Thus far she has been keeping her commitments to come to church even though it is very far for her, but in the past she's been saying she didn't want to get baptized until she had learned everything there was to know about the church. This sunday she had her interview though and one of our recent converts (Nana, who happens to have known her for over 30 years) talked to her for awhile and basically told her that she needed to be baptized since she knows the church is true. So I'm really excited for her to get baptized this Saturday, but I know Satan's going to have a lot of oppurtunities to stop her this week so I'm worried about that. This week we are having a "mission tour" instead of our normal zone conference next week. A mission tour is when one of the general authorities decides they want to talk to the missionaries and tour the mission. We are getting to hear from Elder Dickson. He is the newest member of the West Africa presidency, and I think he's in the first quorum of the seventy. It should be really great; I've heard these mission tours are always amazing because the seventies are all great, wise teachers. This week was pretty good. It was hot but at this time of year at least you can say it's a dry heat. I can't say I've really gotten used to the weather, but I have gotten used to constantly sweating. I also haven't gotten used to hand washing, but I have started getting used to being covered in dust. For almost a month now we've stopped using are bikes and been walking. Saturday we walked the farthes into our area we've ever been. We went to the top of a ridge that was pretty much in the bush and were able to have a really cool view of our area as the sunset. Judging from the sattelite map they gave us of our area it was probably about right in the middle of our area but it seems like the far half of the area is just bush. We continued trying to work on our serious investigators, but it has been a challenge to figure out who is actually serious and who is not. We can get people to accept and read the book of mormon, which is one of the most important steps for getting them to have a testimony, but we can't get them to come to church. We try all our persuasuasion and testimony and teaching skills, but the simple fact is that the church is too far away and it is too expensive, too burdensome for the investigators to come. If they don't come to church we can't progress them any farther, so like I said it has been difficult discerning who to focus on in our teaching pool, because we can't tell who is ready to progress. An investigator can't be baptized unless they've been to sacrament 3 times. This is because it is useless to baptize them no matter how strong a testimony they have if they can't be confirmed (which happens at the beginning of sacrament) and if they never come to partake of the sacrament. We are praying for the new building to be built fast, but the date keeps getting pushed back. (Sounds familar for some reason). Elder Ewudzie is praying so hard that he'll be around when it opens because we are sure the baptisms will flow once people come to their first sacrament meeting. I really liked getting to talk to you guys on Christmas, but because the time was so short I didn't really get to ask you guys anything. I wanted to know what everyone was up to, what christmas presents people got, whether it was a white christmas, etc. There wasn't much of a chrismas season here. People don't really get into it. Without all the commercialization and the cold weather it didn't really feel like christmas. I was actuallly also kind of curious if anyone had seen that movie everyone was hypeing when I left. Avatar I think it was. You guys should go see it for me in imax 3d and tell me how it was. It has also been really great to get your emails Mom and Dad. The trip to Kentucky actually sounds kind of interesting. Even though I saw my first african monkey last week going to a braille factory still sounds intriguing. I also really loved the letters you guys sent around thanksgiving time, I hope my replies have arrived by now. It'd be really cool to get emails or letters every once in awhile from my brothers. I miss them a lot more now then I ever did at BYU. Last week I used up all my time at the cafe trying to upload pictures. The problem was the internet connection was really slow and my pictures are for some reason huge. Like 1600x1200. I think two got up on Flickr, but they aren't the most interesting. I have like 400 more to add, but I need to resize them all. Dad, maybe you know a way I could do that easily? MS Paint? Happy Birthday Owen! -- Elder Chambers