Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day PHONE Calls!

Garrett called at 7am (Utah time, it was 1pm Ghana time) yesterday morning so we woke up bright and early to talk to him. Because he was calling us from a cell phone he lost service and called back about 20 different times within the hour he had to talk with us. He'd call back and we'd just pick up our conversation where we left off mid sentence. Here are a few of  the highlights from our call with him.

  •  The elders hold church in their apartment every Sunday. Garrett said  "We just finished church-everyone just left our house." Garrett said there were 14 people in church today!
  • Garrett is currently serving in Sunyani, the area was opened 7 months ago. When the area was opened they rented 2 apartments and the Mission President told the missionaries "Go where ever you want!" The mission currently has 10 elders and a Sr. couple serving there.
  • Garrett said that "Nothing seems crazy anymore" like it did when he talked to us at Christmas, because now what used to seem crazy just seems "normal."
  • Garrett said  he receives about 120 cedi's, which breaks down to about $25/week!
  • Garrett said the food he misses the most is "BEEF". He's craving a hamburger and looks forward to a good fast food hamburger when he returns.
  • Garrett's diet consists mainly of fufu and bonku. He has also found a way to make spaghetti sauce which he says he eats almost every day. He makes a big pot each week and keeps it in the freezer. He also makes pancakes and egg sandwiches a lot. 
  • In Ghana they don't refrigerate their eggs, when we asked Garrett about this he said that if he did the eggs would freeze. In Ghana everyone leaves their eggs out on the counter for up to 2 weeks and they stay good. The missionaries soak their eggs in bleach for a few minutes to get rid of any bacteria before using them.
  • Garrett is living in a house with 3 other elders: 
    • Elder Marimira from Zimbabwe-his companion who he loves! He said they are both hard workers and he has loved being with him.
    • Elder Russell from Washington-he gives Garrett haircuts :)
    • Elder McPacki from Zimbabwe
  • Garrett said that EVERYONE in Ghana knows their bible very well. It is helping him to get to know the Bible and the Book of Mormon well :)
  • There is a woman in Sunyani named Suzanna that enjoys feeding the missionaries any time she sees them.  Suzanna calls Garrett "Brakofi" meaning born on a Friday.
  • The Ghana name for missionaries is Apacio
  • Garrett said in his first area when he was adjusting to the mission, food, culture, and life in Ghana that time seemed to go slowly. He now says that time is flying and he loves the people and being in Ghana.
  • He has now been out for 8 months!

Jordan called at 5pm Sunday. He is currently serving in the east zone of Tucson and loving every minute as a missionary. He has been serving in the Kenyon ward for 2 months. Our phone service was much better in the conversation with Jordan. Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation.
  • Jordan said its over 100 degrees every day in Tucson. He looks forward to the next monsoon rain storm!
  • Every night Tuesdays-Saturdays the elders have dinners set up for them by the members and he has yet to eat cow intestine. Thanks to everyone feeding Jordan-we know that is no small food bill :)
  • Jordan's companion is Elder Safley from Price Utah. It is actually the 2nd time they have been companions. They are currently Zone Leaders.
  • Jordan and Elder Safley are training 2 new District Leaders right now. Jordan says he is learning a lot about himself and a lot about being a good leader.
  • In just a few months Jordan's mission president will change. He has loved Pres. Walker and his wife. He said that Sister Walker makes him want to be a better person.
  • Jordan's Hump Day (half way mark) was May 5th! He says he does NOT want to come home because he loves being a missionary but he did burn an old bad shirt to celebrate his Hump Day.
  • A member let Jordan borrow their guitar and he has had fun practicing and playing guitar occasionally.
  • Missionaries in the Tucson Arizona mission receive $120 each month.
  • Every Tuesday the missionaries have what they call a "Car Fast" where they bike in the hot Arizona sun instead of drive. It helps them to be able to talk to more people.
  • Jordan said "There is nothing better than serving the lord 24/7!" He doesn't worry about himself because he is "above ground and walking". He says he's doing very well (besides the fact that his hair is starting to thin :)
  • Everyone asks Jordan how tall he is. He answers 5'18" (the rest of us would know that as 6'6")
We cant wait for their phone calls at Christmas!

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