Monday, June 12, 2017

Grandma Su

Nothing too insane happened this week! Sometimes that's a relief. We
did have interviews with President Randall. It was only a few weeks
ago when we had our last interviews so we just chatted about whatever
and I'm sure gonna miss my interviews with him. While we were teaching
Quince and Allen, their grandma Susannah told us she couldn't
understand our English and to bring an African next time. Good ole
grandma Su came over to America from Africa about a month ago. We told
her there's tons of Africans at church, so she came to check it out
this week and she's hooked! Made my day when I walked into church to
see her and the boys already there in the pews. She said she is going
to keep coming! Vennesa joked that it's bad for him because now he has
to show up early to church! Edwina and Jamie are doing well! We took a
recent convert young man, Momoh, to the lesson this week. He's the one
who helped her read the Book of Mormon during school. The
fellowshipping is already too good! I got fed pizza this week for the
first time in ages, and Quilly also fed us some African food which was
much too hot for me to contain. I can't wait to have my family try
some of this stuff;) We did some finding in a part of our area we
weren't familiar with, which led us to getting off at the wrong
trolley stop and being dropped off in the middle of the woods. Not
what we are used to anymore!! Last week for pday we played rugby,
which is my new favorite sport to play. We are going to be playing
again today, so I'm super excited for that!

There was a couple baptismal services in the ward this week. On
Saturday a returning family got to see all 3 of their kids baptized.
Adrian, Eva and Alex who are 10, 10 and 8 I think. On Sunday a lady
named Amber was baptized after church. She literally walked into
church one day and told the missionaries she was about to get baptized
in Hawaii but had to move. Is it a coincidence that she lives in Elder
Makuakane's part of the ward and he's straight from Hawaii? Nah I
don't think so. God has a plan. I had the opportunity to do the
baptismal interview for all of them, except the 8 year old. It was a
wonderful experience being reminded how God prepares each person in
their own way. I'm was so happy to see how excited each of the
missionaries were as those they worked hard started on their journey
back to their Father in Heaven. I'm thankful for the success I've seen
on my mission and the growth I've seen in myself. This hasn't been
easy at all. I may sometimes exaggerate on how much I love and enjoy
this and how fun and easy it, but it is truly one of the hardest and
most exhausting things I've done. Why? Because I really do care about
these people. When I can't visit them, they don't keep their
commitments or show up to church it's very tough because they are
missing out on so many blessings. I can only pray and get back out
their to help them. I truly am tired, very tired, but the thought of
seeing the happiness these people can have years down the road is what
keeps me going! I'm excited for what's up and coming, each week is
something exciting for about the next month, so maybe the next few
emails will have a bit more juice to them;) thanks for the support!
Have a great week!

1) lookin like a trio of missionaries with Momoh
2) puttin together a bed for our friend Harriet
3) Haja! Cutest kid around
4) I was so tired that day I wanted to go lay down in the cave
5) the woods
6) there was a huge fire in Darby that shut down most of Main, but I
couldn't get a better picture than this
7) last weeks rugby

Oreo Milkshakes

June 5, 2017

Well first I'd like to just say thanks to those who wished me a happy
birthday this last week! I truly feel 20 now. Why? Because people
always think missionaries are old. So many times kids guess how old we
are and I get a range of anywhere from 24 to 37. Even missionaries
would find out I'm 19 and think it's pretty crazy because I'd been out
here way longer than most of them. It looks like it's time for me to
stop being a teenager... although I don't plan on growing up anytime
too soon;)

Monday afternoon an African couple, the Kollies, called us and asked
if we wanted to go to Chinese buffet. They picked us up and I had a
wonderful time eating sushi, Chinese food, chicken wings, pizza and
ice cream! I noticed their plates were always just chicken and rice. I
asked them if they liked Chinese food and they said "No, we just like
coming here because everyone can choose what they want!" For being in
an Chinese buffet, they still ate just like they do at home hahaha! In
the evening we went out with one of my favorite members here, Brother
Luce. He's originally from Layton, Utah and knows Mike and Lisa Cena
extremely well! He's been living in Philly for about 10 years and for
the majority of it has lived right in the middle of southwest, one of
the rougher parts of Philly. We taught a great lesson to a less active
and went out for pancakes and milkshakes at Denny's! As we were
talking and he said "I realized that the longer I stay here, the more
ghetto I'm becoming" So we sat and listed off all the things that we
noticed the city has changed in all of us. Sorry if I'm a hood rat
when I come home! On Tuesday we had transfers, so I said goodbye to my
first boy and grabbed another veteran missionary Elder Haws for a
couple days before we got our new Goldens. Elder Haws is originally
from Ethiopia and he has 0 mean bones in his body. He also served in
the south part of P1 a bit ago so in our free time we visited all of
the people he used to teach! He made such a big impact on the people's
lives here.

On my birthday we had to wake up early to get to Broomall for the
golden meeting. It was another wonderful meeting and I got to pick up
my new companion! His name is Elder Lee, originally from Detroit
Michigan, but recently lived in Birmingham Alabama. He's a convert of
3 years so this is definitely going to be a whole new experience but
we already get along great and have had a ton of fun! He constantly
tells me how much he likes how we do missionary work here verses how
it was done back at home. The meeting took up most the day so we got
back and took him to meet a few people before the day was over. It
honestly didn't really feel like my birthday though haha I even had
people tell me happy birthday on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th which made me
question which day I was really born on. Saturday evening we got a
bunch of pizza and baked brownies with the southwest elders which was
way fun too! I love the elders we serve around here, they are

Just a few things I'd like to highlight concerning those we teach.
Antoinette is doing so well! She went to a YSA activity on Memorial
Day and had a great time. We were thinking about having her attend the
YSA since her work schedule doesn't conflict with the YSA's meeting
time. During a lesson with her where we were talking about her
options, Bishop Ard called and asked her if she'd accept a calling to
be a young women's adviser and help out with girls camp! She's super
excited and she looks likes she's still in high school anyways so she
will do a great job! We picked up some new investigators last week,
Edwina and her daughter Jamie. Jamie told us she took her Book of
Mormon to math class. She was bored with the video they were watching
so she pulled it out to read. It just so happens our good friend Momoh
sits right next to her and said he would read it with her and helped
her understand it! How cool is that? Later in the week we came back
and Jamie had read chapter 2 and gave us a perfect summary of the
chapter! Elder Lee was so shocked because she's 15 and kept
commitments. He kept telling me about when his missionaries invited
him to read and when they came back to follow up he would just tell
them nah hahaha. Edwina and her kids Jamie, Christian and Micah came
to church in all their African clothes and they are super excited to
be baptized! It's such a blessing to be teaching these wonderful
people. I'm thankful for your support and that I can continue to serve
these amazing people. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

1) found a couple of my favorite departing missionaries hanging out in
Philly before they headed home, gonna miss these guys Left to Right:
Elder Haws, Elder Dyl Pickle, Elder Newman, Elder Neilson, Elder Drake
and Elder Winstanley
2) the district!! Left to Right: Elder Lee, Elder Lee (my companion),
yours truly, Elder Fowers, Elder Makuakane, Elder Yirena-Tawiah,
Sister Greenway, Sister Condon, Sister Stubben
3) pizza with the most diverse squad on the mission - Detroit, Hawaii,
Ghana and your basic Utah
4) not only is there a buncha weights and a broken hoop on the ground,
but a hood hoop made out of wood and a milk crate
5) a selfie brother Luce took when I had a bit of a chubbier face

Zesty Dyl Pickles

May 29, 2017

Another one in the books eh? I've got plenty of highlights from this
week and zero ideas of how to introduce this email.

To start off the week the Bills took us to get a cheesesteak at Leo's,
which is the one bigger than a small child! I appreciate the unusual
size, but it lacked the cheesey goodness this time. Either way it was
still pretty dang good! Afterwards we had a lesson with one of our new
favorite less actives Vafa. We met her in passing at another less
actives house and she gave us her number because she really wants to
get back into church! She's African, but was raised over here in the
states so her African food isn't so... African. We picked up a sweet
new investigator named Edwina and her 15 year old daughter Jamie. They
were the referral from said high priest group leader last week and
they are AWESOME! When teaching the restoration Jamie had so many good
questions, it was easy to tell she really wanted to learn! She was
even reading ahead in the witnesses while we were finishing up the
introduction. We also had an awesome lesson with Princess. She is so
diligent in keeping her commitments, I can't remember the last time I
taught someone who read over the pamphlet after the lesson and came
back the next time with solid questions. We talked about fasting with
her, in hopes that she can receive an answer that the Book of Mormon
is true. We showed her "Hope of God's Light" which ended up leading
her to open up to us and share about her past. It was incredible to
see the spirit work in her!

For exchanges I took our Ghanian friend Elder Yirena Tawiah on
exchange to Darby. He's such an awesome kid. He loves sports
statistics, but knows nothing about sports because other than a year
at BYU, he's not familiar with American leagues. This kid watched the
Mavericks beat the Jazz so he thinks the Mavericks are better. What?
No. Nice try. He also is worried that he's getting pudgy, so I made
him run in the morning and low key didn't use SEPTA at all during the
exchange... we walked over 12 miles, he said his feet were sore;)

Antoinette got confirmed this week!!! We had Elder Bills do it because
he's the man. She's on fire right now and absolutely hilarious!
Sometimes I forget she's 21, but then I'm reminded because she acts
exactly like I'd expect a 21 year old girl to act. Another big
blessing this week was being able to attend the temple. I figured I
should take advantage of living near it right? I haven't done a
session since I'd been in the MTC which is slightly a bummer
considering how much peace I've felt since attending this last week.
We weren't able to stay long because we had people to teach and souls
to save, but I feel like it rejuvenated me to finish out strong here
in P1 because transfers are here and I get to stay in P1! Elder Berry
will be leaving and I'm stoked for him because my second area taught
me a lot and my fondest memories are from there and I'm sure he will
have the same experience. I guess I didn't do too bad of a job
training Elder Berry because I found out I'll be training another new
missionary! Which means this should be my last area and last
companion, unless President Randall throws me a curveball hahaha. I'm
excited to finish out training though, it's gonna be a blast! Thank
you for all the love and support you give me! Happy Memorial Day

1) a very blurry picture of the district shot with a very high quality camera...
2&3) some pretty decent pictures at the temple shot with an iPad... hmm...
4) when it's the end of the transfer and the last thing you find in
the fridge is this
5) CHEESEsteak