Saturday, November 30, 2013

Check out my new haircut... high and tight!

                                           See the Ghana Temple in the background

Not for the Faint of Heart

Anything I buy, I buy off the side of the road and I have to bargain for the price!  It stinks being white. Because every time if they don't know you, well they Oh Broney price you!  That's where you are white and they think you are rich, so they double their usual price.

I think I was telling people lately that my name meant loved messenger of God.
Oh and our name in Swahili is Mguu (mm-go). So yeah it's pretty cool so far yeah!

Gracie I love all of the pictures you do for me! I have them all in a special box! :)  

Here for Christmas I don't think they get very much unless they lived in America or they are rich. Christmas here is going to be mostly a regular day, but if I was in the bush (the bush is like the forest or wild) I would get fed sooo much!

The kids here love me, so I help them with all sorts of stuff and sometimes we walk them to church! It is cool!

Dude I wish I could watch movies here. Actually if I wanted to I could do it so easily.  Because I have a dvd player for training, or our land lord has a huge tv that he would definitely let me use if I asked. And I can get 2 movies for 1 Cedi.  So temptation is there, but not really. I am too busy studying and serving to waste time with a movie. But don't worry in 2 years, I am going to not move from the couch for a few days ;)

I wish I could play more soccer, but man there is no time! Most of the time I don't even have clean laundry!
Yeah so funerals back home are terrible.  Here our land lady died last Sunday and we had a week of partying! Like fully 7 days of over 100 people in our compound eating food.  And last night was the last night, so they spent thousands of dollars on music, alcohol, food, chairs, and a bunch of other random stuff.  There was a couple hundred people stuffed into our compound.  We even had a drunk dude passed out on our roof!  It was so fun!!  We couldn't really participate, but we live there so I got a ton of food and mineral (pop).
 Elder Thornhill and I went out back and got to pound fufu for this lady named Matilda.  She is like the hired help almost.   For pounding fufu, there is like a wooden stump with a cake pan sort of cut out and it is flat and smooth.  And you have a huge stick that has been manipulated to look kind of like a flower at the bottom and  you smash it.  Thump Thump Thump.   All the while  you are pounding, you have someone with their hand in the stump turning the fufu.   It goes fast, and it is dangerous, so it was super cool!

I am adjusting pretty well I think.   Today, I had to wash out a pot with my hand... oh yeah the pot was completely filled with 5 week old stew that had maggots in it.   Yep, mission is sweet!
 Also for a wedding on Saturday, they butchered a cow like 3 feet from our apartment.   It was sooo cool!! It took like 10 minutes to die, because they just cut out a chunk of its neck.   And it was squirting blood all over.   It filled a bucket and a bowl!   The cows here are already scary looking!

Oh yes I have gotten 2 packages so far!!  And I got a lot of the song lyrics!!  Which was awesome, because it came as 40 some odd letters.  And I just looked like a boss with all that mail :)  Yeah does the dear elder website cost anything? (not to some missions...Ghana Accra West has a free mailing option.  He got them the same week we submitted them online, much faster than regular mail)

I don't know what kind of celebration they have here for Thanksgiving, or if it is even a big deal.  ELder Thorhill and I are the only Americans in our apartment.  We are going to get dashed a rabbit today, and we are doing that for our Thanksgiving haha.  When someone gives you something for free, we say they dashed it.   So we are doing family home evenig at this member's house, and they have a small rabbit farm.
Ok so Cedi, the money, is said like See-Dee.  And Twi is said like Chwree, but the"w" is almost non existent and the "r" is really fast and short.  The things here are weird to say,  so it's hard to accurately describe some of the sounds over email, but don't worry I'll do my best!

The work is hard, but it is also sweet.  I never know how a day is going to go, and every week my goals and expectations are destroyed.  Every week I get on my knees and sweep up the pieces, because I know that no matter how poorly things are going or how sad the outcome of my week, I have something to say and the more I say it the more will listen. I have been called to serve and I intend to do that by serving people and the Lord. I don't have to convert everyone, I just have to love them.
Love Elder Legg

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's All About Who You Know

 We only have one new guy coming and that's at like Dec. 23 or 17 or something.  I want to train, but for a couple months my chances are ridiculously slim.  But in like 6 months to a year, it is almost guaranteed that I will train, which is super cool. 

I am trying to use as little sub this week, so that I can have a lot on the 4th week.  If I only use 35 cedi a week then I'll have 75 cedi for the last week which would be so cool!  Then I would buy pork and a tub of Ice cream!  Or I would go to Shoprite and buy some nice home like stuff.

So far Elder Kanu has been a little nicer to me.  But I did get him a little grumps last week when he bothered me, so I bothered him back.  He calls me Elder Legg just like the entire rest of Africa. I have a job for you.  Everyone keeps asking me what Legg means can you try to find out the meaning and if it doesn't have one, then I need you to make up something special! Can you do that for me?  (this was to Gracie)

Yeah I have been singing lots of songs that I used to sing with you because it makes me feel happy! Hey I bear my testimony every day! :) the best thing about a testimony is it doesn't have to be long or smart it just has to be a few Things that you know to be true. I know that I am here for a specific reason. I know that God is putting people into my life to shape me and prepare me. I know that God hears my prayers. I know that I am never alone. (this was to Tali)

When you serve you sacrifice, and when you sacrifice you give up something that you need in order to help someone else.  We are giving up time, which is one of our most limited resources, and we are becoming tools in the Lords hands!

Yeah my knees and ankles have been feeling pretty fine, and I only have to wear my braces sometimes. But they get stronger the more I work so things are ok! And every missionary in the mission has a bike. We have had them in our extra room the whole time, but we just recently got them all fixed and started using them. I personally hate using bikes. I would rather run to appointments than to bike.  And the bike gets me so dirty, and I don't know why!  Yes, we have run to appointments a couple of times.

Gosh so I study so much. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon with a Book of Mormon student manual and marking it up, so I'm doing that with a brand new Book of Mormon.  Also I am trying to go through my Missionary hand book 3 times. I read in it every day with Elder Kanu, so total I've read it 4 times.  But I have only gone all the way through with blue pen. now I am using black and next I will use red! I have a picture book of the stories in the New Testament that I keep reading through also. I have 6 pamphlets that I have been reading through and turning into my own lesson plans.  And that's just during my minimal free time!

So for food then, I can buy a 5kg bag of rice for 14 cedi.  Is that good?  Because that seems like a thing that will last me the most. I bought it on Thursday and I still have maybe 1kg left.  Yeah I have blown through it and I only have mayonnaise to put on it.   Which is probably horrible for my body, but man it is sooo good! I should be getting some soy sauce this week from my fried rice lady.  It's all about who you know.   Big bottle from her: 3.50.  Bottle half that size from the rubbish store owner down the street: 30.  Oh yeah!

This week it was stake conference.  Saturday and Sunday we had to ride a chrochro to Kasoa, which is about an hour ride.  But Elder Vincent talked and he is soo good.  He is our Area Authority and he is from Australia. He kind of reminds me of Wormtail from Harry Potter, but he is insanely smart!   Did you know the story of the Good Samaritan is actually a type and shadow of the fall and atonement!  Go figure!

We had transfers this week, so Elder Robertson and Elder Schmeltzer have gone out. Elder Thornhill and Elder Kagoza have taken their places. Elder Thornhill is from Arizona and he is here to work.  He is a pretty dang good missionary.  Elder Kagoza is from Zimbabwe and he is pretty cool.  He doesn't like the Zone Leaders, which I find so funny!

Ok so here is a scripture thought for all.  And all can try to ponder on why I chose this scripture! I don't think any of you have read this before. Ok so in the Bible in the Deuterocanonical Books.
Bel and the Dragon 1:27
So Daniel took some tar, some fat, and some hair and boiled them all together. He made cakes out of the mixture and fed them to the dragon, when the dragon ate them it swelled up and burst open. "That's the kind of thing you Babylonians Worship," Said Daniel.
Just some food for thought  :)

Oh and also our land lady died yesterday!  It was weird, random, and sudden.  Now there are a ton of people in our compound.  And it's been freaking me out!   But they are cooking lots, so we get a bunch of free food.  Everyone goes at some point... right?
Love Elder Legg 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Naughty Goat = Smelly Scriptures

Another need is could you send me 2 just cheap cloth scripture cases. Yeah, So story time: my scriptures were on my bike bars and another missionary asked to check out my bike. So he sat on it for a while and I walked off. He balanced it in the gutter/sewer for a minute while he grabbed something and along comes a goat.  The goat knocks my bike and my scripture case right into the gutter/sewer.  We cleaned it off, but it still kind of smells.   I need some that I could just really wash when they get dirty. 
This week was the first week that seemed even remotely long honestly.  It was weird, but it wasn't bad. Elder Kanu since he doesn't know how to train just kind of expects me to do whatever he says and do tons of things for him.  This week I had to do all of our planning, all of our goals, all of our appointments, all of our teaching, all of our leading.  Saturday he made me do our area book, by myself while he played monopoly.  He made me do it because he knows he doesn't know how to.  It took like 2 hours to make it the way I liked, but oh well, If I try to just do it every night it won't take very long. Yeah, he's been trying to get out of work to watch football matches a lot lately and its been really frustrating.  The only one I let him watch was the Fifa under 17 World Cup Final between Nigeria and Mexico. Nigeria won 3-0. But I have been trying to push him and we have even ran to a few appointments so far, but I think the best way to push him is to just push myself and lead by example.
Oh also, so this place that you could maybe count as a mall, that I went to today, was crazy.  It was like being in the movie I am Legend. Except the infected people are all African shop owners.  Man it was a building that was just cement and obviously not finished, but there were tons of vendors inside and it was supa swick!
Yeah sheesh packages are expensive!  And I have no Idea how that kid has gotten so many!  I'ts really cool though because they have piled up by the time you get them, so he just had a huge box with about 8 or 9 smaller packages stuffed in it. Maybe I can get something this week since it's transfers and people will be seeing the office Elders. Oh yes, grape flavored drink mix would be another good thing to have too.  We can buy some drink mix here, but it just makes it possible to drink the funky flavored water :)
You have to barter the price here for the mail because they aren't a set price. The mail is messed up here.

OK so the guys name is Brother Kissi and he and his dad are doctors that own a hospital and are super rich. also he reminds me totally of Mr. Child! He's same height, same build, and bald its soo coool!  I wish we had soft hand towels. The bathrooms don't usually have those and a lot of the time your lucky to have t-roll.
 I had a bite of pork the other day too! It was hard to chew and not very flavorful, but it was better than chicken or goat or fish head ;)   Man I miss chocolate, like I can get some here, but it wont be as nice. I have bought a lot of chocolate chip cookies so far because it is 1 cedi for them.  They are kind of like much harder chips ahoy.
Probably 1/10th of the girls I meet are named Esther. the Esther that feeds us is Esther Tawir. 

Ok so this week has been hard to see people, because it seems like after we contact someone and come back for the return appointment they have all traveled to Accra! We taught this one sister this week who didn't seem very serious about seeing us, but we taught her and her 2 younger siblings and invited them to church. The sister was unsure, but her siblings were incredibly excited! We went to pick them a little early on the way to church yesterday and the kids were totally ready to go. Their mom tried to stop them, but once we talked to her she was fine with everything. Those kids really helped my testimony in knowing that no matter what the Holy Ghost will help you if you stay strong. The little boy is 10 years old and I asked him afterwards why he liked church. He said, "Because it is the house of the Lord."
 I know that this Gospel is true and I know that the harder I work the harder things will get, but the easier it will be. Mission is sweet but Neowsem kituah  (it's not easy).  Yeah you won't pronounce that right. I spell all of my Twi words kind of how they just sound.  Try this Knee-ow-sem kit-oo-wah 

Love Elder Legg

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is.......Velveeta Cheese????

The rat was fine. I haven't had cat yet  because my investigator traveled.  But I eat fufu like a boss now! It's pretty cool actually, and I don't gag anymore.  No, the rat doesn't have rabies, and they aren't on a stick. Actually it just ripped in chunks, so it looked the same as the goat or the sheep. 

Yeah I get donuts every morning, but its a Ghanaian version of donuts, so I buy a bag of sugar and add that to it.  Yeah I have to pay for the bread!  It's 2 Cedi for a loaf, which sounds cheap, but when I only get 6 Cedi a day, it's a lot.  You wouldn't like the goat or cow skin called Killy Willy.  It's way hard, and you just chew it forever.  I don't like it at all.

I wish I could have trick or treated!  That would have been way fun, but their candy here is just cough drops. Like honestly, they hand you a piece and the Africans get excited because it's their candy.  The brand is Hacks, and it is Menthol flavor.  That is exactly a cough drop!

Yeah my week was a lot of walking, and a lot of eating because my investigators love me ;) This week was cool I got fed 3 or 4 times by my investigators.   And I usually get to eat most of it because Elder Kanu gets  full easier than me. One day we were eating lunch and our Recent Convert Sister Esther called and asked us to quick come over.  We cleaned up and were headed out and she called again so we rushed over. She had ended up making us a big thing of Fufu with like 6 pieces of chicken and 2 Pawpaw. Pawpaw is a papaya. I had to eat almost all of it.  So needless to say, I am probably going to get pretty obalo (that's fat in Twi, and no I did not just ask my companion for that!!) 

Yeah there are barbers everywhere here! Like at least every 5th shop on the road is a barber. So I can get a haircut pretty much, but no they are terrible at cutting white hair.  The last guy here took a tiny bit off the top and just shaped the rest!  It was terrible, so I had my Zone leader redo it.   I just had him cut it pretty dang short so I don't have to do anything to style it.  It now looks kind of like a shorter version of Jake's hair :). Dad should totally not get a haircut till I get back!!! I've been trying to grow a mustache out, but it isn't really working.   But I can grow a very nice sweat mustache in like 2 minutes here!

 I sleep on a nice and hard bed.  They make this stuff here called latex foam and it's hard, but better than nothing, so that is what my bed and my pillow is made out of.  My pillow still isn't broken in. 

 Yeah we were thinking about trying to join a league here, and then we could even play on proselyting days. We think we could probably get into division 4 here!  Man though only getting to play on Monday is hard, but I go out and play by myself every morning for my physical exercise.   So hopefully if I have a ball I can do that for the rest of my mission, and if so, I'll probably be good enough for college ball ;)

(I asked Travis what his needs and wants were for Christmas.  This was his reply:)
So for Christmas I will for sure have 5 other guys with me. I don't know who they will be, but I will be in my same apartment through Christmas. 
So List:
2.Bricks of Velveeta Cheese
3.A full individual letter from everyone
4. Highlighters!
5. Song lyrics! so I can sing a full song instead of half a chorus over and over! Songs like Disney ones (Mulan songs are non-negotiable) anything that could be cool and mission related or inspiring in any way. 
6. Maybe money?
1. Candy (Reese's Pieces)
2. an Ipod loaded with church music, any kind of church music
3. a flat billed snap back cap
4. a Calle soccer ball (those are specifically made for street, regular ones get ruined really fast here)
5. back up CTR wrist bands
6. powder drink mix
7. a few decorations. 
Also as a side note you are kind of slacking in the package department. I am halfway through training and I have received 0 but Elder McCoullough Is almost done with his training and he has received nearly 20... Just sayin......

This week wasn't fast Sunday because we got a hold of some General Conference and watched the Sunday sessions, so that was really nice.  They moved Fast Sunday to next week, but it's just about the same as home. 

Also we had the temple trip this week, so I got to see the 2 big markets at Kaneshie and Circle, where I am probably going to buy some cool stuff soon. SIster Hill thought it would be helpful to show us some easy to make recipes while we were there.  So she cooked us some stuff.  Issue: we don't have a grittle, we don't have a grill fry, we don't have milk, we don't have cheese, 9 of the 10 recipes needed at least one of these things... hmm, Wache it is, since that is just beans and rice. 

Something I keep forgetting to say! Darrin Luke smiles like a little Ghanaian! That's what I think of every time one of these 12-15 year olds smile at me!

Oh also, there is like some Dear Elder website where it's like you email it to me, but the church brings it as a letter, which is nice. I don't really know how it works, but Soph sent me one that I got this week. Someone should check that out. 

I got all of your letters this week though which was really sweet, and Elder Kanu loved them too. I put the quotes into my missionary hand book and I hung the Travis sign on my wall.  I think some other pieces may go in Preach My Gospel. 

I miss and love all of you!