Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 27, 2014

A Week of Replies

Hey everyone!  So to be honest this is going to be a real short email.

1) this week went by wayyy to fast for me to remember anyting hahaha
2) I NEED to reply to you people!! haha so thats what I'm going to do, Which im pretty excited for:)

This week was good though, it was a lot of fun and im loving it here more and more everyday. 

I love you guys!!

Elder Verdoni
(Clips from email to mom)
I am doing great!  This week was just really good, nothing real noteworthy besides the mail, which just made my day. But hey guess what I heard on the radio? that "Da, Dem Wah" song that you have, with the mens choir or whatever? anyway it brought back memories and made me happy. 
If you haven't sent pictures yet maybe you could include some wallet sized ones that I could keep on me? that would be real nice. 
Just letting you know about something I find mildly interesting:
My sleeping patterns.
Since the day I got to Kumasi, I wake up at least 3 times a night (the most was 12) and my dreams are soo crazy haha. It doesn't affect me physically, I think. Just wanted to let you know!! 
Love you guys
Questions asked by Mom

So when is transfer day?
Wednesday, Elder Ojok is leaving, and I am staying to finish my training (obvi) but it's all so exciting.
So you stay in the same apartment and do you get along with your companion Elder Moshani?
Yeah with another companionship. one is leaving and the other is training now (I'm not the youngest yayy!) And yeah me and Moshani get along good, he is a powerful teacher and a good friend.
So what is church like there in your district?
It's different hahah gosh. most of its in Twi, no piano when we sing, it's hot. but the spirit is there, and I'm uplifted so I love it!

That's fish. that we buy. and eat. ew

Me and a sweet lady who only speaks Twi but wanted to take a pic with me:)

That is me eating waakye (watchay) it's pretty legit

I cut my hair today so its short:)


Happy birthday Elder Michael Verdoni
We love you Elder Michael Verdoni

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct 20, 2014

Affliction Week

Yes, this week was Affliction week, the week between getting our subsistence. And boy were we afflicted hahaha. I think I was hungry all week long, we ran out of money on Friday lol. We did not budget well but hey we lived! I had mostly rice bread and egg for all 3 meals, not that im complaining it was delicious but now we can afford other food so its a good day. 
Nothing really to memorable happened early in the week, so on Thursday I went on Exchanges with Elder Ojok, from Uganda. He is hilarious and me and him (bad grammar?) are really good friends! We worked in an area called Trede, and I had to lead. And as a missionary who is still training it was a tad intimidating at first but it was real good and a lot of fun. We found 5 new investigators! holla. and we got fed by some members! extra holla (it was Jollof rice with chicken)
It was just a good day. On Saturday we saw Peter, our recent convert and holy molly I love that man. He has the Spirit with him and you can tell. He is so happy and he is powerful. We taught him about Temples and man he got so excited, he really has a powerful testimony and It makes me so happy to see the change the Gospel has brought to his life. On Sunday, we taught two people named Naomi and Mommy( okay her names not mommy but that's what you call older ladies here so I don't know her real name) and Naomi is in her last year of college, so she is very well spoken and can read, write, and understand English very well (which is rare here) and Mommy cant speak it well but she can understand and read it. So we taught the Restoration and man that was a powerful lesson let me tell you. Naomi had a page full of questions she wanted to ask after the lesson since we taught her prior to this. But she didn't ask a single one, we answered them all without even trying as we taught! That really hit me, the Spirit really inspired us as to what to say and how to explain it. And Mommy, man I'm so excited for her, she just got it. She understood it all and she said the it just made perfect sense, so I'm really excited for her. They both accepted a Book of Mormon and to read and pray about it. I'm praying that they will come to find the truth. That's the glorious thing about this work, its all up to you to find the answer and the truth of these things. Agency. And I know that it is true. All of it, every single piece. Because I prayed, and studied and read these things for myself, I didn't have someone else do it for me and tell me. I did it. Me. And if i can do it, anyone can. I love this Gospel.
But anyway, its crazy to think I'm six hours ahead of you(AZ time) like when I get up at 6:30 most of you are asleep or almost, hahah wild. and the Rumors we hear about the church are CRAZY. hahah oh my gosh some of them are just so out of the box. But the most prominent is that we call devils down during worship, because I guess saint in Twi means like sprirts so thats one we talk about often. Oh and my Twi/ Ashanti name is Kwabina Piasie (I'm Tuesday born and the firstborn), pretty cool huh?
Well I love you guys! thank you for all the emails it so hard to reply to all so please bare with me!!
Elder Verdoni

Pictures and Descriptions:
Okay shoot I cant see what they are but let me try and remember what I attached:
1) me and Elder Ojok tracting and teaching
2)Moshani and I went to L'italys, and ice cream place it was absolute perfection. I love ice cream.
3) Pics with kids at church?
4) No clue lol hahah good luck!!

Oct 13, 2014

It's Been A Good Week

Well just like my heading says, its been a good week. First off, we had exchanges on Wednesday and man it was awesome!! It was sooo nice to get out of my area and see somewhere new. I was with Elder Kinghorn, a wonderful man from Newcastle, England, He is awesome, we've gotten pretty close since I've gotten to Ghana. For being an obroni he knows a lot of twi, man I need to learn hahah but give me time and I will. He works in a place called Nwamasi (the richest place in the mission) with 4 other Elders in their apt: Erickson, Zulu, Sesay, and Olsen. Its a fun place hahah. But on our way there a car pulls up to us and says "Hey Elders, need a lift?" IN AN AMERICAN ACCENT so I was like "whaaaatt????" and I look and its a white guy. hahah he served here two years ago and has a few companies that he's started here. sweet.

Okay so the first thing we do when we get there is eat Otter pops, or their version. It was sweeet. What they do is each person will put in 50 cedis and so they use all that money on food, and they get good food. So it was pretty fun. Elder Kinghorn even has a laundry machine!! haha its so nice wow (okay well not nice to you guys, its a plastic dinky thing, but to us who have to hand wash, it was nice). But it was late so we were getting ready for bed and we started talking about music. Lo and behold we like the same genres, so I ask what he used to listen to music, he uses Spotify just like I did, so I went deeper and we started naming off bands; hahah I bet our playlists were nearly identical, he listened to almost all of the same bands I did. We connected and then started to sing, it really is a small world and I love it.

Okay so morning comes and we had Cocoa Pebbles! Yum, he bought them from a store I'll talk about later. Our first appointment is with Mary, a sweet old lady who moved back from Switzerland to take care of her mamma. shes loaded. Her house was soooo nice and she had the coolest German Shepard. She still isnt baptized but she reads the Book of Mormon everyday. We taught her about personal revelation because she needs surgery in her knees, but to do that she has to go back to Switz. so its a tough decision for her but she is very sweet. After the lesson she gave us a glass of juice and invited us for Christmas Dinner (I dont care what part of Kumasi I'm in I am going to that dinner). Then we taught a few gate guards of the houses out there, man those houses are soo nice. One them is named Lambert and he works for a lady who is a member of the Church. In fact she is in the US for Conference, she goes every time and she'll take the info of the members who live in Salt lake and meet with their families! haha how sweet.

But the day was ending and we wanted some food, so we went to Palace. Its a store owned by some Lebanese guys. and its a legit store! like carts and aisles and everything! those don't exist here. But the best part is they import tons of stuff! There was Cereal and poptarts and chips and cookies and real condiments and real milk and any spice or ingredient I'd ever need. Like everything was there and it was amazing, I think we're going there to buy some stuff actually, but all we bought were some magnum ice cream bars, it was cool.

The other days were alright but then Saturday came around. Our investigator Peter was baptized! He is a wonderful man, he is an older man with his own pineapple farm! But that's beside the point. He is incredibly sweet, with a powerful testimony. He truly knows and I'm so happy for him. But it was good that Elder Moshani and I got there early because the water we filled up last night was green, PURE green holy gross. so we drained it and luckily the power was on today so the water filters worked and the water was nice and clean. It was a real good baptism.

I GOT MY BAG!!! holy yes!! the AP's got it to me and man I couldn't have been happier. I finally have all of my stuff and it feels nice, I'm able to relax now. Church on Sunday was good, Peter gave us a 10 pound pineapple from his farm, wow I love pineapple out here it is the best. haha but I cant get over the 2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency, like I know he's black but he looks just like my cousin Colten! (I hope thats how you spell it haha) and okay I know Colten is like 5 or 6 but he has the same facial features! It freaks me out! and even the way they talk! like the lisp and everything it kills me and I love it. And In ward council, the Branch Pres. said BS, like the real word. haha Im not joking. English swear words mean nothing out here to these people so you can get quite and earful even from the members, haha man Africa's something else.
Hanging with kids at church!
Well I hope today's email is better than last week's, I'm trying. and sorry if I cant reply to all of the emails I get, I am pressed for time so I'm trying my best! I love you guys!! and I love your emails!!
Elder Verdoni

LDS church
Oct 6, 2014

Mission Update

Hey everyone!! This week went by so fast haha holy cow! I honestly feel like I have nothing to write about but I will try my best! Today is my Companions one year mark and to celebrate him and all the other elders that are a year (plus their companions) Went to Golden Tulip, A 5 star hotel with a buffet. Delicious. wow wow wow hahah it was amazing but super expensive, we gotta budget pretty hard these next two weeks, but it was worth it. I saw white people there! like normal white people! haha that still weirds me out. 

This week me and my Comp bought 200 chocolate bars! hahah for like 20 cedis(6 dollars) and they're the Target brand! (market pantry) so they're delicious. life here is pretty good, I'm still adjusting but it's cool. Kotwi, the area where I live, has a bad electricity connection cause the power goes out all the time, and no power= no fan and no shower so bucket wash, those are weird hahaha.
But proselyting is a good experience, everyone here is so humble and willing to listen to what we have to say. If they want another lesson it's another story but we teach a lot. This week we got like 9 new investigators! which is sweet!! and our investigator, "P", is getting baptized this week!! I'm so excited for him he is a wonderful guy. He's got a good testimony. But wow oh wow I've never seen so many churches in my life!! theres literally 100's of churches here, everyone is religious. and the number of false prophets is insane (my favorite is Ebenezer Miracle) so we have to explain how a real prophet is called quite often.

The humidity does crazy things to my hair haha, it's so frizzy and product is useless but it's okay cause all the little kids and the old ladies love me. the kids sing to me alllll the time and it can get old real fast but man the kids are so adorable. It's just sad to see their living conditions, most live in poverty, thats most of our area so its sad sometimes to see. But they are a happy people so thats what matters. The food is so crazy hahah, nothing like back home so I crave american food a lot, (like subway) fufu is pretty legit. Its also super weird but I'll come to love it, just something you gotta get used to. I love working here, I really do.

My companion from the MTC Elder Snow
The work is good and the Lord has truly prepared these people for us to teach. I know this Gospel is true, living it like I do, there's no way it's not. If it wasn't true I wouldn't be here. But it is, and I want to share that message with my brothers and sisters. I love you guys!

Sept 29, 2014

Week 2

Wow well this week went by fast! It will be great when I get to see everything and i get to know the area much better (our area is huge BTW) Well I have been living without a piece of luggage this whole time and I won’t be surprised if i never get it back, oh well. I’m doing good without it and I'll manage just fine(but it would be nice to have it haha) (MOM insert - He had No sheets, only two shirts & two pants - handwashing)

So I heard the stories of children crying when they see a white man but I didn’t know that I would have that experience hahah! Yeah so far I have made two little children cry because I am the "red man", but one of them likes me now so there’s progress. All the rest of the children love me. They sing and dance and call me "obroni" I kid you not. It gets kind of annoying hahaha but I just smile and wave. The kids are so cute though holy cow!! Adorable 110%, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to take pictures with them so we will see haha.

Teaching is actually really really cool, IF I teach with unity and with the spirit. When I’m truly prepared and ready to teach and rely on the spirit, He gives me what i need to say in the moment that I need to say it, it’s wonderful. It is so rewarding seeing people accept the gospel and change it has in their lives, we have a baptism in a couple weeks and I’m so excited!

 THE RAIN HERE IS SO FLIPPING COOL. When it rains it pours! Holy cow haha I love it! Sometimes the rain is too loud to teach during. it comes down and sheets and mini rivers form in minutes! And since most the roads are dirt it makes for a pretty interesting walk. But I am really starting to love it here; I know it’ll take some more time to get totally used to it but man I am glad I am here. I know the Lord needs me here and is with me every step of the way. I have truly felt his presence and his love for me. I know this Gospel is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God. I love the work, it’s not easy work, but it is worth it. I love it. My companion has been an immense help in helping me adjust to my new life here, he is a blessing. I love you all so much, thank you for your support! I can’t believe I’ve been out for a month already.

Sept 22, 2014

This Is Not America!

P-day!! Wow oh wow I am in Ghana! it has been quite an experience, I was not prepared for how different the culture would be but all in all I am loving it! My companion/trainer/Father(that's what they're called out here) is Elder Moshani, a wonderful man, He's from south Africa and he's just awesome.

Proselyting is great here, very receptive people, and open to hear our message. Most Ghanians here are religious and believe in God, so that's nice, and they are all very polite and open. Not like America hahaha but its a good change. I am learning Twi, the language, just simple phrases but it is cool and the  people get a kick out of me trying to speak it haha:) It is hard work, but rewarding work as well. Teaching is quite intimidating but when I rely on the Spirit to teach and not myself things go well. We have committed 3 people to baptism but now its just making sure they get there (most don't but I will change that(; )

Rain here is crazy cool but man the humidity is INSANE! I sweat constantly but it's cool, so does everyone else. I am the "obroni" (white man) in our area so I am pretty popular to the locals, especially the kids, haha they have a song and everything.

On our way here I got to spend a day in London while we waited for our plane so that was a lot of fun, okay that was off topic. Being a missionary is different, it is kinda hard adjusting to the mission life but I can do, and I want to do it. The other missionaries here are wonderful, I share an apartment with two others who come from Uganda and Nigeria, Good men.

But this is a very poor place, very very poor. but that is why they are so humble I  guess, it's weird going from a 1st world country to a 3rd world one, but I am starting love it and the people. haha everything is sooo cheap here!! well cause I'm American but whatevs, I can (and will) buy a machete for 4 dollars or 12 cedi, Its legit. food is very interesting, I haven't had fufu yet but I am stoked cus I get to Thursday!

Well thats all I have for now, no crazy stories yet but they will come I'm sure! okay I love you guys!

 Elder Verdoni

Had to hang out in London for 24hrs
      Elder Wilson, Ashby, Snow, Lawson, 
    Vause and Verdoni flying together

Elder Moshani, Pres Holmes, Elder Verdoni
Where I sleep

Sept 15, 2014

To Family
Thank You

I love you all. Thank you for being an incredible family. No family is perfect but wow it's a close finish. Not everyone is as close to eachother as our family, and I'm so grateful for that, I love being around cousins and grandparents and Aunt and Uncles nearly everyday. Thank you for the love and support and help while im on my mission. 
Its crazy that I'm leaving the Western Hemisphere tomorrow and moving to AFRICA. coolest sentence ever. The Spirit of God like a fire is burning. I'm excited to go help spread the gospel and bring people unto Christ, I love you all
Elder Verdoni
Sept 10 2014
First Week In The MTC
Hey guys! Here's my first and only P-day at the MTC! so I will write as much as possible in the time I have. It's flown by, I don't know if it's the lack of sleep, the 9 hours of class, the fact that it feels like we're just constantly eating but man these days have mushed together, I cant remember what day I did what and its gone by so fast holy cow. 
I'm in a tripanionship with Elders Snow and Wilson and its really cool! my district is awesome and I love them, ( which is crazy to say since I've only known them for a week) you make friends here so fast it's crazy and I love it. From the first day here you're in class, for like 9 hours. I already have two "investigators" and were teaching them. They're my teacher and a paid actor, but it's so real, and hard lol. You really have to teach by the spirit here or you'll fail, every time, guaranteed. Ive been there and man it's a humbling experience. 
Sundays are real nice since it's all church and meetings and not a lot of class, and devotionals! man those are cool! we had a member of the seventy talk to us and it was super sweet. P-days are sweet though, you don't do anything except laundry and email, and okay well I still gotta teach but whatever. Oh, the food. yeah there's a ton of it and most of it is good, but some you HAVE to stay away from. just do it. Don't worry I haven't gained any weight, but I feel like that's what they want you to do here haha. 
The weather is awesome, but I'm real mad I missed  "the greatest storm ever" yeah. green monster. that's me. Man this keyboard sucks to write on. shoot can I say that? oh well but yeah excuse the typos really not my fault I promise. But in the end I'm so ready to get the heck out of here and into the field, so ready (at least I feel like it hahaha) Elder Hadfield and I compare this place to the Telestial Kingdom, Its full of the spirit but its like prison. haha kidding, kinda. I like it most the time.
They give us gym time everyday  and I usually play 4square, yeah its a super big thing here I guess but I'm getting good! like I haven't been this good since elementary school so good for me right? Oh I have real friends here! well from home, Elders Herring and Dana, man I love those boys, I mean Elders. I'm so glad I got to see them and talk to them. Its cool running in to people you know. It's also pretty cool talking to missionaries and where they're going. Even though I'm going to Africa I can get jealous cause man some of those places are just cool! Well I hope thats enough for now, If I have any more time I'll spend it here, I love you all!!

Elder Verdoni

P.S. I love hearing about how life back home is going, even the everyday stuff, please tell me. please.
P.S.S. I'm not suggesting anything but getting mail is the best thing ever!
P.S.S.S below is a pic of my travel itinerary, sweet huh? also kinda rough cus its over 24 hours but whatev!
First companion Elder Snow

I'm going here!

My Tripansionship with Elder Wilson and Elder Snow