One Month Completed

And so, November is gone and December is here! Kind of hard to imagine I’ve already been out for a month, but I’ve heard that the time goes by so much slower when you’re in your first 3 months, so I think the time is just gonna fly!

News About This and That

December Weather and Christmas: So a few interesting things about December and Christmas time in Ghana. The weather does change -not to snow, but to a dry season called Hamatan (ha-ma-TAHN). It comes from the Sahara so it’s basically really dry and like a desert. I was also kinda allergic to it at the start, but it hasn’t even hit full swing of the dry season. Right now it’s cool in the morning and hot in mid day. Although in some days, there is a dense fog that covers the sun, so it stays fairly pleasant all day! Who knew!
Photo by Philippe J. Kradolfer.  “Ghana Everyday Life.”

Christmas time is a time of fireworks. I hear them all the time, especially at night. It surprises me a lot.

The Food and Cooking: So I’ve been learning how to cook with rice. I can make a breakfast meal thats sweet (rice porridge), and a lunch/dinner food that is savory (rice and tomato stew).  Basically, rice is heavenly. I can do it all on a gas stove as well. I can also fry chicken, plantain and some other foods. I can boil yam, which is pretty much like a giant potato. Very filling. I’m progressing as a chef! My companion, Elder Anderson, is impressed with how quickly I pick up on cooking.  I either get it right my first time or only have to go through one failure before getting it right. Maybe that should be my career when I get back, a Chef!

Cutting My Own Hair:  Also, I cut my hair with the electric clippers this week, all by myself! It’s a bit uneven so I have to scissor it myself from time to time, but because it’s shorter, a lot of people say that I look younger. But Africans can’t tell ages of White people very easily. I’ve been told I look as young as 15 or 14 and as old as 26. Every time I tell them I’m 19 and everytime they are surprised.

Update on the Mice: So we kept up the glue trap from last week. We’ve killed a total of 9 mice. My companion forced me to kill one. Not fun, but part of the experience I guess.

Exchanges: I went on exchanges (switching companions for a day) this week with the Zone leaders and the one I went with told me he was impressed with how far I’ve already come in just 1 month. He said that my heart is in the right place and that I’m already pretty familiar with the lessons. He was very encouraging! But I know that I still have a long way to go before I’m where I want to be. I have two things that I keep thinking:
  1.  Dream big: start small. (The dream is complete consecration)
  2. Make the decision today to be better.
A  pathway outside the Accra, Ghana temple

  All in all, I know that if I keep working hard, I can be the missionary I want to be.

Christmas Wishes

Lastly, I would like to say that I know that Christ lives. During this Christmas season, please turn your attention to him, for he is the real reason that we celebrate on the 25th. He performed many wonderful things for so many people, but most importantly, he suffered and died for every single person on this earth. Through him and only him can we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. I know that if we turn to him in repentance and righteousness, we will be blessed with a happier life. As we turn our hearts to the Savior, his love will reflect off of us to others that we can help and love as well. Always be on the lookout for someone who needs a helping hand or a smile and a wave to brighten their day. Picking someone out and calling them by name and saying hello to them day after day for a week straight makes a difference. Believe me, they will smile when they see you as you enthusiastically smile and wave. I know that as we love our family and spend time with them, our relationships will grow stronger and that this Christmas season will mean so much more.

With love,

Elder Gilbert

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