Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 8

Hello Everyone,
I hope everything is going well back in the USA with school starting and everything.

Tuesday
We went to Kpando for district meeting and to email because the power was out in HoHoe. I also was able to get some fresh Beef that probably was killed that morning. I cooked some up it was so good.

Wednesday
We taught Brother Prosper and his family the plan of salvation as we are going through all the lessons again with them. After that we had mid week, which is kind of like mutual, but for the entire branch. We taught the members hymns because their knowledge of them is small.  We only taught a couple of hymns.

Thursday
We visited a member who lives on the other side of town and taught her and her mother who is 76 years old. We also found a person who makes kenti which is used to make these cool ties. Then we went to visit Samson and Pamela to continue working with them. They are doing so well. They are going to youth conference this weekend. Afterwards, we went to the Branch President's house and while we were there we had fufu.  It was one of the largest balls I have seen and I was able to eat all of it. When I come back to the USA I will challenge anyone who is willing to an eating contest. With all of this food, my stomach is going to be so big. We then went to see Brother Thomas.  He is struggling with the baptismal date so I challenged him to come up with a date. He knows this church is true, but he holds an important calling in his church that is making the change hard for him.

Friday
In the morning a large storm hit and knocked the power out.  You can't go out in the rain because everyone stays inside and they don't want to talk. After waiting an hour, we headed out and got some great new investigators.  They are a family who lives near our apartment and they are accepting the Gospel.  In fact, their oldest daughter is going to attend the youth conference. Then we decided to go through the area book and visit the people in it. On the first one we visited, this person was so not serious during the lesson. Then we went to a referral and as soon as we started teaching he burst in to tears. We thought at first he was feeling the spirit strongly but nope he was drunk so we ended and left.  That night the power was still out and the stars where amazing! You could see so many because there was no light pollution. When the power is out the water doesn't work and that means the toilets don't work either.

Saturday
The power didn't return until noon, so in the morning we visited with the family next door. The father is going up north for two weeks for his shift as a firefighter. In the lesson he asked about the Book of Mormon, so we gave him one to take with him to read on his free time. We also visited with brother Thomas who we continued to teach and his daughter was also there. The power went out again and lasted most of the night.

Sunday
Church it started off with only 18 people there, and five were investigators.  By the end of sacrament meeting we had 40. For Sunday school we went with the youth and we talked to them about the youth conference. Youth Conference is nothing like the ones back home, but they had such a good time. In the evening we had fufu, which I am starting to be able to eat more of but its still hard.  Its like trying to eat a large ball of bread dough.

Love,
Elder Marcusen

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Week 7

Hello Everyone,
This week was a fun one!

Monday
It was so nice to email home. For dinner, I had banku with fresh salsa. Banku is very similar to fufu. It is very filling but doesn't quench your hunger.

Tuesday
We had District conference.  We went to an appointment and a drunk guy told us to leave so we did. We went to teach another appointment and during that things didn’t go well and we had to leave. Then we went to our Branch President’s home for dinner. We had fufu and it was a BIG serving. Half way through, the soup was refilled, but I kept chugging along to finish it. Oh, also the beef still has the skin on it and it tastes like jerky.

Wednesday
We taught Brother Samson and his sister Pamela. They are progressing so well and are getting ready for their baptism next month. Then at mid-week the Branch President asked me to give a talk Sunday on the importance of having and attending conferences. So yeah, I have a lot of studying to do. We had banku again for dinner at another member’s home.

Thursday
We were walking to one of our appointment and some drunk guy comes up to me, and in some language says he wants to take a picture with me (his buddy had to say it for him for me to understand). For some reason drunk people just like coming up and talking to me.  At another appointment I taught the whole lesson because my companion was too tired to talk. At the next appointment we were in the middle of the lesson, and I got a feeling that we needed to leave immediately, so I closed the lesson and we left.

Friday
Was a fun day, we went to have a lesson with the Relief Society President who lives 30 min south. She is awesome, almost every Sunday she come to church with her children on a motorbike. She lives up at the base of the mountains. After the lesson she wanted to take us to her farm so I got on her motorbike and my companion got on one with another guy and off we went to the farm. After the farm she wanted to take us to the junction to get a ride back to HoHoe, so my companion and I both got on it with her and went to the junction. Riding on the motorbike was really fun. Oh and no helmets so yeah riding on the bike was really fun. (pic below)

Saturday
We had our Africa West Area day of service, so our branch cleaned up the hospital grounds. Then at Brother Thomas's home we were telling about a Book of Mormon story and their son, who is about 8, comes running in from a different room with his Book of Mormon story's book open to that exact story, which was really awesome experience.

Sunday
I gave my talk and I think I did a good job because when the President was closing, he reaffirmed some of the things I said about the importance of attending District Conference.

Monday
We went to the water falls, they are really cool and the way the mountains look is different but really cool. Sorry for the late email the power went out for about 5 hours yesterday and we weren't able to email.

Love,
Elder Marcusen

Relief Society President's ride
Africa West Day of Service
P-day Hike to Wli lower waterfalls

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 6 - Elder Renlund visits Ghana

Hello everyone,

Tuesday
We traveled to Accra. In the afternoon we took a mission photo in front of the temple, and then another one with Elder Renlund and his wife. Then we went and listened to him as he spoke with all of us missionaries. In his talk there were three things that I really loved! The first thing was, “On behalf of Jesus Christ and all of the first presidency, and quorum of the 12, thank you for your work and for caring about others”. Second, you have been called of God and you are obligated to receive the same revelation about why you are called to this mission, all you have to do is ask in prayer. Third, if you have a positive attitude and make a positive effort, God will work incredible things through you. For dinner, because we were too far away to go home that night, we stayed at the mission home and had KFC which was really nice. Oh and you eat all of it including the bones.

Wednesday
We traveled back to Ho Hoe and on the way we stopped in HO, where I found some Reese's bars. I got five packs of twelve for five US dollars. I froze them and somehow, they were all gone by Sunday.

Thursday
We had the Zone Leaders over and we went on splits.  I was with an Elder who had served in this area, so we visited some of his converts. Then we went to Brother Prosper's home, and he fed us fufu. I finally ate an entire ball. Then we took a taxi back to the apartment. The driver was drunk as can be. He thought I could speak perfect French. He was also all over the road, we tried to convince him to let us drive but he wouldn't. We went off the road a couple of times, and I think we hit every pot hole.

Friday
The Zone Leaders left, it was so nice to have other people in the apartment, especially Americans. So today we taught Brother Samson and his sister. In the middle of the lesson we ask them if they would like to be baptized and they said yes!! Then we went to Brother Prosper's again to teach about the priesthood. We also got fufu again so lots of food. Something about fufu fills you but doesn't quench the hunger filling.

Saturday
I taught brother Thomas and sister Elisabeth about faith, then after the lesson I asked them to take a leap of faith and follow the spirit and be baptized and they said yes. During choir practice we are teaching the youth in the branch the church youth theme song for this year, which is “Ask God”. They are preparing for their youth conference later this month.

Sunday
Because of the lack of priesthood members I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament, which was really cool because it was my first time doing it as a missionary. Then we attended branch council and gave advice on how to better the branch.

Love
Elder Marcusen


Ghana Accra Mission August 2017
 Elder & Sister Renlund, Elder & Sister Vinson and President & Sister Keyes
 Ghana Accra Mission with President & Sister Keyes
Missionaries gathering after meeting with Elder Renlund
Found some Reese's in Ho



Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 5 - Second week in Africa

Hello everyone,
There is never a dull moment here in Ghana.

Monday
We did family home evening with a family in the Branch. Most families don't do it, so we are making rounds and doing it with a different family each week.

Tuesday
In between all of the lessons we had, we stopped by Sister Grace who is a bread baker. We helped her take them out of the oven and she gave us a couple of loaves. Then we went to visit Sister Rejoice and taught her how she has a Father in Heaven who knows and loves her. Then, the best part of the day came when we visited Brother Thomas' family. During the last lesson we asked him to pray to know if the church is true and to know by our next visit. So today when we visited, he said that he received an answer and that he was scared of the result (he holds a position in his church). So he told us that he wanted to study it out more.

Wednesday
I experienced my first “lights out” where the power is shut off. It lasted for about two hours. We taught Brother Samson and his sister, after leaving, we were biking and these people yell at us to stop. They took us to their office and basically arrested us because I am white and they think I am rich. So we call up a member who is in the police to come get us out and he does. Then we traveled to Ho that evening because we had a multi zone conference Thursday.

Thursday
At the multi-zone conference, it was so nice to see other Americans.  At the conference in Kpong, President Keyes talked about time management and making sure you plan out your day each day. We traveled back to Ho and then back to Ho Hoe which is a long and bumpy ride.

Friday
We went to Jasikan. The road is so bad that it takes an hour to get there. We were able to teach two lessons there, but what happened next was the worst.  It was dark and the road is so bad no taxi drivers want to drive it in the dark. One taxi came and there was a fight to get in it so we decided to wait for the next taxi. Let me tell you a little about these taxis. They are only for 4 people, but they put five in them and they are barely working. We were able to get in the next taxi but there where 8 of us in it. This taxi driver was petal to the metal driving so fast over the really bumpy road. We passed that first taxi that left and it was broken down on the side of the road.  By the end of the hour journey I had lost all feeling in my legs.

Saturday
I can’t believe that I have been out one month! Today we had a neat experience when we stopped by the bakery Sister Grace asked for a blessing so I was able to give it to her. Afterward, we were biking and we get a call from Brother Thomas who said we needed to come see him right now and that he was at the mechanic getting his car fixed. So when we got there he told us that for the past two nights he has been having a dream about the church and that it is God’s church on the earth today. So we invited him to church but he said he will be out of town. I think during our next lesson we will extend a baptismal date to him.

Sunday
Being fast and testimony meeting 3/4 of the testimonies where in a different language which was difficult because I couldn't understand them. Then in the evening we went to Brother Prosper and they gave us fufu. I still can only eat half a ball of it.

So a little thing from today.  I found out I can out run my companion and even most of the locals, especially when there is a mad man with a giant stone in his hands, eyes locked on you with a mad look on his face chasing after you at full speed. We were walking down main street getting a back pack and this shirtless man comes running eyes locked on us with this large stone. I have never run so fast!  So, yeah never a dull moment from my worst taxi experience to being imprisoned in an office.

Sincerely from your Elder in Africa,
Elder Marcusen      

 Elder Marcusen with his trainer Elder Olukoya
Multi Zone Conference in Kpong
Multi Zone Conference in Kpong with President Keyes
 Elder Marcusen