Sunday, February 28, 2010
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.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
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
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
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
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