Monday, May 22, 2017

Brain Freezes

Most the time when I say the week went by really fast, sometimes I'm
just exaggerating and trying to sound like every other missionary but
this week went REALLY fast. I can't believe it's already been a week
since I called home for Mother's Day... but at the same time it feels
like it's been ages since I called home... what?

I got sick AGAIN this week. What kind of garbage is this? I swear my
immune system takes too much vacation time. So I was down and out for
about a day and a half, but did you know if you actually rest and take
the right kind of medicine (s/o to Sister Bills, our mission nurse)
you get better real quick! I feel like 98 bucks right now, and I'm
sure in the next few days I'll get those other two dollars back! While
illnesses seem to slow us down, they don't stop the work. The big news
is, is that Antoinette got baptized! Elder Berry got to baptize her,
what a good experience for a young missionary! She's great, and a few
young women came up to her and took pictures with her because they
were excited to get another young women in the group!!! Too bad she's
21 though hahaha

Other cool stuff, we taught a guy named Ebenezer and his sister, Love,
this week. At the end of the lesson they said their uncle goes to our
church. Their uncle happens to be the high priest group leader and is
essentially the ringleader of little Africa. Said ringleader also gave
us a referral for a family that we have a lesson setup with for this
week! We also received an investigator who told us today he wants to
join the church. We can help you with that buddy!

We had our interviews with President Randall again this week. This
time in the chapel across from the temple, so I made the most of the
trip and got Potbelly's for lunch at one of only two locations in the
mission, the other being good ole Bethlehem. Interviews were great! We
were poking fun at each other because I've hit my goal weight for our
challenge and he's 1/4 of the way to his. I tried to encourage him by
reminding him he had 2 weeks left! After some more joking around he
laughed and said "sorry about all he joking, your always just fun to
talk to!" Thanks President! That statement kinda describes my mission.
It's been fun, and maybe I should be sorry about all the joking and
playing around I do, but it's just too fun! After we left we found
that some of my old Cherry Hill gang, including Elder Cristaldo, was
hanging out in the chapel for some special Spanish meeting. So I got
to laugh and joke about everything all the way to our train stations!

Speaking of fun, one of my favorite days of the year passed by and I
was completely engaged in one of the most important events of the
year, Bring Your Own Cup at 7-Eleven. I still reminisce about going
with the guys back home to fill up some milk jugs with slurpee. This
year I brought a big ole water jug I miraculously had in the fridge.
Yes, 101 oz of slurpee is a lot. Thank you for all the support you
give! Everything goes so quick and soon enough I won't even been a
teenager anymore... but no worries, I'll still act like I'm one!!
That's how it goes 'round here. Love you all!

1) straight outta Africa (The shirts smell like Africa too)
2) a wreck with a chocolate brownie cookie
3) cherry hill squad!
5) Antoinette's baptism!
6) I happened upon this adorableness earlier this week and took
roughly 5 videos and many pictures of them
bonus: here's one of the said videos!

Aloha Ohana

May 15, 2017

Dang this week was cool. We had tons of stuff going on! Last Monday
for pday we climbed up to the roof of an apartment building in Philly
and took some sick pictures. Tuesday we had zone conference which was
pretty good, but by the time we got back to our area it was dinner
time so we went with the Petersons for a cheesesteak at Falone's! It
was mighty good, then finished our night at our ward mission
correlation meeting. Antoinette had her baptismal interview, so she's
all ready to go for her baptism, super stoked for that! We also had
another good lesson with Solomon, he's such a good kid. What was way
cool was when we headed over a few blocks to teach Clifford. He's the
one we taught about a month ago with all his little cousins who wanted
Books of Mormon. When we walked in he was on the phone talking to
someone named Desire, so I asked what Desire's last name was and he
said he couldn't remember but they lived across from the school.
That's literally where we just came from!! Haha he knows Desire and
Solomon and all the other kids we teach in that house. I forget these
kids all go to school together, crazy! We had another lesson with
Princess, who is coming along so well! We taught the plan of salvation
and she loved it. Especially the parts in 2 Nephi 2 when it explains
about Adam and Eve in a more positive way. The scriptures are
incredible, so it's so nice when your investigators will actually

On Saturday I was on exchange with Elder Makuakane from the big island
of Hawaii! He's the man and he was so impressed that I liked to listen
to islander music and know a bunch about their culture. He told me I
need to come to Hawaii with him one day, alright Elder Makuakane, you
convinced me! We went to the zone leaders wedding for their African
investigators. It was supposed to start at 1 and the bride and groom
didn't show up until 3:30 hahaha we helped set up a bit and had to go.
While on the exchange we got cheesesteaks at Carmen's which is a solid
10 on my scale. We also got to teach a Haitian family with 5 boys,
they were all so funny. Saturday was a downpour of rain, but we did a
pretty good job of staying dry.

Sunday morning we rode the trolley in with one of our investigators
and had a wonderful service, but I was distracted most the day because
I was so excited to skype home. It's crazy that it is my last time
I'll call home on my mission. Me and Elder Makuakane were comparing
our last call home to Elder Berry and Elder Yirena Tawiah's first
calls home and it was so chill. I don't know about anyone else, but it
was wonderful to talk with my family about what makes a good
cheesesteak and talking about how much I'll miss Wawa, also trying to
explain how to use the word "jawn"! It was such a good time. I'm very
thankful for the blessing my family is and the support that they give
me, I don't think i would have made it through the first 6 months
without their support! I hope you enjoy the many pictures and have a
wonderful week!

1&2) philly and the crew
2) cheesesteaks with the Peterson's
3) cheesesteaks with the Makuakane
4) 10/10
5) what a good view
6) the Peterson's are leaving us this week:/ see ya guys
7) the dogs are still okay, no worries everyone

Chicken Feet & Cheesesteaks

May 7, 2017

I might let the pictures do the most talking this week... we had some
super solid lessons though. Antoinette is gold, she came to church
this week and starting today has Sundays completely off! So she can
stay for all 3 hrs of church. Super pumped for her. I mentioned our
non-African investigator Princess last week. She read 7 chapters
between our first and second lesson! That never happens. As we were
teaching she stopped us and said her mother was about to walk in the
door. Her mother was not too happy to see us. She said there's
something wrong with most religions and there's something wrong with
ours, but she can't put a finger on it. Nice. After her trying to quiz
us and me standing my ground she went outside. We finished the lesson
with Princess and at the end we invited her to pray. Her mom came in
right before she started. Princess's prayer was solid! Which caused
her mom to tell us how she's been trying to get princess to pray like
that her whole life? She told us to keep doing a good job helping out
her daughter and she respected our dedication. A big shout out to the
spirit for softening her heart! We also got to teach Solomon and
Desire this week. They are a recent converts older siblings. They are
in high school, but they are much more mature than their younger
siblings. So we times it right to where they would be the only ones
home and the lesson was so solid! Now we just need to get them to

This week I realized how easy it is to make friends no matter where
you are! If anyone knows my mom, you know that she can go into a store
to buy some bread and comes out chatting up a storm with other
shopper. A few weeks ago we went to drop by a recent convert and some
white lady next door noticed us knocking on her neighbors door and
said she wasn't interested in Jehovah's Witness. I said we weren't
Jehovah's Witness and we were just stopping by to see a member of our
church! We keep seeing her all the time and earlier this week she
asked us if we knew where a certain hospital is because she was having
a grandbaby. We looked it up on her iPad and she was on her way. A few
days later we saw her and I asked how the grandbaby was and we spent
the next 15-20 minutes looking at pictures of him on her phone, her
telling us not to eat GMO's and to watch what kind of soil we use.
Thanks! On Sunday I was on the train and the guy in front of me had
fishing poles. In the city? No way. I just simply asked him where they
go fishing and it turns out they live by us so for the next hour him
and his boys talked to me about fishing, sports, video games and
whatever else 12 year old boys do. The fishing spot is right by our
apartment so hopefully we will get over there soon because the boys
told me I should come fishing with them hahaha! Maybe both of these
experiences I planted a seed and one day it will harvest. A lot of
people don't want to talk about religion at first, but most people
love talking about things they love and it's a super easy way to make
connections wherever you go!

I ate some solid cheesesteaks this week, and some interesting African
food. It wasn't my first experience with a chicken foot... but all in
all just another good week here. As time goes on I feel like
missionary work is becoming so natural and it makes it harder to think
of what to write, but I love it here! I might have to be dragged away
from philly if they ever make me leave! Have a wonderful week

1) football in Philly
2) when you want some frozen yogurt, but your broke, so you freeze yogurt
3) what's up Gregory??
4) saturdays lunch
5) west philly
6) dream car
7) Saturday's dinner... it's a game of guess what's in the soup...
8) the chestnut st. Missionaries

April Showers Bring May Cheesesteaks

May 1, 2017

This week we were given our SEPTA passes for May and I thought it was
strange because I didn't think May was very soon... looks like I'm
wrong because I'll be swiping my May pass when we go play football
today. Whoa. Super cool week though, we found some awesome people and
had some fun times too! We taught this guy named Mohammed, who's a
Muslim from Liberia. His aunt is a member and he was very willing to
have us come by and he was super excited about the Book of Mormon. Mid
lesson while reading from the Book of Mormon on my tablet he pulled
out his phone and searched for the Book of Mormon app, downloaded it
and accidentally hit play so it started reading the Book of Mormon to
us and he couldn't figure out how to turn it off! So sick! We also
picked up a couple from Liberia named James and Catherine, who were a
bible referral and then we also taught a girl named Princess who's NOT
African. That's a rarity around these parts. She was super cool!

We kinda had a breakthrough lesson with some of our investigators this
week. We are teaching a recent convert's, Momo (14), sisters. Their
names are Desire (17) and Moshell (12). We realized a few weeks ago
these lessons were trash if their wasn't a solid member there, so
we've been going the extra mile to get the YW presidency there for
lessons. This week we had a solid lesson, but they always seem to want
to be baptized later. A thought popped in my mind as we were teaching
and I told the story from Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Your Potential, Your
Privilege's". As I told the story they were so engaged and laughed
about it. It was cool to see how their opinion on getting baptized
changed after we connected the dots from the story. Hopefully it will
be soon! Later in the week we dropped back by the home and we were
just visiting for a moment, when I started talking to Momo's older
brother Solomon (17) about soccer. Thank goodness I played FIFA on my
Xbox so I knew enough to hold my own in the conversation! Anyways, we
built that relationship then somehow related it to the gospel and we
are going to teach him more this week!

I got to have Elder Fowers come to P1 with me for an exchange. He's
been in Darby many times on his mission so it was extremely fun to run
around with someone who knew the area AND has been my companion. It
almost felt like we were just made companions again. We taught a few
lessons, ate food, talked to tons of people, ate more food and talked
to more people! One of my favorite parts was when we were walking
around some row homes and we talked about how long we've been doing
this and how we are almost "professional", not even a minute later we
walk by a lady getting all this wedding stuff out of her car not too
far from Mazino's, my less active baller friend from Nigeria that I
mentioned a week or two ago. I put two and two together, went out on a
limb and said "are you Mazino's fiancé?". We helped her carry in the
stuff and got to know her a bit. She's going to be busy for the next
month with the wedding but really wants us to come teach her
afterwards because she likes the idea of being sealed for eternity and
really wants to learn more! It's awesome because I know God puts us in
the right place at the right time and gives us so many opportunities,
but the real awesome part is when we are experienced and can seize
those gold opportunities! Professional eh? I mean I do wear a name

Last week I mentioned how a recent convert named Emmanuel hooked us up
with all that food. This week we finished our lesson with him and he
said "you guys can get in my car and I'll take you to get a
cheesesteak." What? Get this, it was an 18 inch long cheesesteak!!!
Elder Berry and I split it and it was one of the few times I've felt
completely full after a cheesesteak. Emmanuel was babysitting a kid in
the ward named Gregory, who's absolutely adorable, and I noticed that
my cheesesteak compared to him in size. I handed him the cheesesteak
and right as I took the picture he said "it's too heavy!". Pictures
are to follow! We also dropped by a less active Sunday night and he
was grilling. African BBQ's are the most lit thing I've been to in a
long time!! Good food too! And we met another less active at the BBQ
who really wants to come back to church, so sick! I love this place so
much. Lil' Africa has a big place in my heart. I hope you all have a
great week!

1) rain in Africa
2) Gregory!!!
3) "it's too heavy"
4) classic philly meal: cheesesteak and a birch beer
5) I promise cheesesteak tastes much better than it looks!
6) my mom wanted a picture of me wearing this new tie
7) more cheesesteaks with the squad
8) GO JAZZ!!!