Of Rain and Snails and Incredible Tales

Life is going at a hectic pace! Man, this week went so quick! I can’t believe how fast things are approaching and ahh! I’m almost 20!

Another Baptism

This week we had another baptism. This man is named Joseph Yankey. (YANK-ee). He is a very powerful man. He called us over to him as we were out and invited us in to hear what we had to say. You know, there would’ve been no way we would’ve gotten past his security guard if we tried to knock on his gate, so this was the only way we could’ve met with him, on top of the fact that he’s a super busy man.

He asked me to do the baptism and I happily accepted. There was rain that was trying to stop us from coming to church and even the baptismal font only filled half-way because we ran out of water, but no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. He had to sit down in the water and I immersed him with the small water we had as he leaned back and laid down in the font. It was awesome, he says he feels like a new man and he feels like Romans 6:2-3 really applies to him because the baptism is helping him walk “in newness of life” now that he has made that sacred covenant with God.

This is Brother Yankey at his baptism. Elder Gilbert is also there with his companion, Elder Nuamah.

The baptismal font is in our chapel. Our main source of water went dry or something. We have plenty at our apartment, but for whatever reason it stopped at the chapel. We think that the pump might be spoiled or something. The electrical power in Obuasi is amazingly good for Ghana. Dom-so (off-on or power outages) only comes every once in a while. The rain threatened to hold up the baptism because, to be honest, Ghanafo-o suro nsuo. Or in other words, Ghanaians are afraid of rain. When it’s raining you see them running! They put plastic grocery bags on their heads or just a handkerchief, if they have one. Literally everything stops except church and sacrament meeting when it’s raining. People prefer to wait and do nothing. It’s possible to see a couple of choice people during the rain, but for the most part no one really listens to you when you try to teach while it’s raining.

Also, I’ve been proselyting in my slippers (flip flops) because of some nasty athlete’s foot. I’m getting it taken care of by my Mission President, but it sure is a nuisance. I don’t want to send pictures of that one, It’s pretty gross. It’s a good thing I got some “tanks” for flip flops, because I can walk for miles without even feeling it.

More Service

We did a service project at a nearby hospital, grounds keeping and such. They said their lawnmower was broken, so guess what we did? Yep, they gave us some more cutlasses and said, “Have at it!” We whacked those weeds. I put in so much gumption that my blisters have returned.

We are wearing the yellow “Helping Hands” vests in this photo.

Another thing that happened this week is that an Elder in the apartment has taking a liking to the snails that will sometimes be around the apartment after a rain. This American from Georgia gathers as many as he can and eats them for breakfast. He’ll eat about 10 and give me 4. I also happily eat the free food. It’s almost like gathering manna, right? or something like that…     I let one crawl all over my hand and it was awesome. I will tell you, I’m not a picky eater anymore. I can eat just about anything now.   But you do know, Dad, I’d kill another goat and give it away to join you for some roast beef, potatoes and lemon bars. I miss mom’s cooking so much. I’ll have to make sure I stay close all my years so that I don’t have to go without it. Haha! 😀

I’m actually weighing about 145-150lbs now and I don’t have a lot of fat on me. It’s kinda strange Dad, I’ve never weighed this much before. I have been working out and doing some running.

Ghanaian Culture

Ghana has some chiefs and kings, but unless you know the culture super well, it’s hard to tell who they are. A lot of the time Ghanaians have an attitude of “I don’t want to trouble you and because I know how to do it, I’ll just do it” kind of a thing. It makes it really hard to learn new skills, like making FuFu. Thankfully, I squeezed myself in to a couple really nice situations so now I know! I can drive FuFu from A-Z! I can pick the soft Cassava to start, make it into a nice consistency, combine it with some plantain as well as shape the FuFu into nice balls to serve. All I need now is just a mortar and a pestle to wait for me back home! Seriously, I want to be able to make my family FuFu the traditional way. I’ve heard there is a colony of Ghanaians in New York and I’m guessing they make their own mortars and pestles there. By the way, Mom, what is the update on you coming to Ghana? 😉

I want to finish by saying that I really know for myself that a mission is irreplaceable and that the work is incredible! I have a great testimony of the Savior and the purpose of life. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown. There is a difference, a big difference in who I was and who I am. I can’t wait to share with you all the things that I’ve seen and done.

And for those of you who have read clear to the end, I’ll include a picture of my city view in Ghana.


Keep fighting the good fight,
Elder Gilbert

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