The computers are going very very slow.It has taken me about 1 hour to just read your emails. I am glad that dad is still recovering nicely and it makes me laugh to know you guys almost celebrated Easter a week early. My companion and i also made you a short tape recording. but i don't think i can send it because of the computers, but i will try next week.
As for me i think i am doing very well. Elder Ewudzie and I are starting to get along much better. We both just woke up one day and decided that we should be brothers. You asked if New Lagon was a university town. From what i understand there is a university here, i am not exactly sure where, but i am pretty sure there is one around. I hope that answers your question. New Lagon is pretty nice area, the only hard part as I told you last time is that the church is so far away. The church is in a town called Adenta which is one of the towns next to New Lagon. Adenta is pretty nice little town that actually is where we live. We live in Adenta in a place called the Flatts and we ether walk or ride our broken bikes to New Lagon, which is not easy.
We are teaching a pretty good group of people. One of them named B frustrates the heck out of me though. He keeps telling us there is really about, well he would say, a thousand and one ways to get to heaven. He says he believes in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We keep reading with him in both books that there is only one way to heaven, but he refuses to believe us. Elder Ewudzie and I are starting to worry though that hes not exactly all there, but we are not ready to give up on him yet.
Another man we just started to teach named P lives out in a place called Nana Crom(which is still part of our area.) We have a branch missionary out there that has found this young guy. We went out Sunday morning and convinced P to come to church with us. So we took a tro tro to a neighboring town and then made about a 30 to 45 minute walk to the church. I worry that he wont come next week because it was so far. People here in Ghana really have to have a strong faith in order to join the church.
I am learning though that it is very easy to change some peoples minds, not everyone, but some. For example that other night Elder ewudzie were walking home. So guy yells at us as we walk by "ill cut you!" Now i have heard many people say this phrase many times so i just decide to yell back "No you wont!" The guy just says "oh okay." It made Elder Ewudzie and I laugh, i think he must have been drunk or something.
I actually have a lot of interesting experiences walking home at night. Another one i had i think on Thursday. We were walking home and it was pretty dark. We walked through this field kind of by our apartment. There was bunch of people in the field running around screaming like a bunch of fools. I asked Elder Ewudzie what they were doing and he said "praying." I was like "ha ha yeah right," but as we got closer that's what they were really doing or that's what they thought they were doing. There was on guy jumping up and down as fast as he could clapping his hands chanting something. Another guy ran by us screaming "Holy Ghost Fire, Holy Ghost Fire." Now i have to admit the Holy ghost fire guy made me laugh, but the rest if the people made me very sad. It made me sad because it shows that Satan has taken the gospel here and twisted it so much, that people think they are doing right when really they are not at all. I guess that's why the church is here and spreading so fast in Ghana, because the people here are really ready for the truth.
Well that's about it for my week.I am glad Joey is having fun in baseball. Thank you very much for sending those packages. I am very excited to get them. I am going to try and send some cool African stuff home soon. So be expecting that. I know I cant do a lot to help, but if there is anything i can do please let me know. I hope you all have a great week, and i really hope this email makes it to you. I love you all so much.
Love Elder Sam Beck
-please tell me when dads next scan is as soon as you find out?
-i know you just sent some packages, but if you get a chance could you send me some face wash? thank you."
"Dear Family, Thankyou so much for all the emails. Its always nice to hear from you guys. I am very glad to hear that Dad is doing well. I fasted for him on sunday.
This week has been long. Last Monday i woke and i was in Buduburam and now i am waking up in a place called New Lagon.
It is a lot different than Buduburam. Its richer than Buduburam but not amazing. When i come out of my apartment i feel like i am in the poor part of LA. My area is about a 1 to 2 hour walk to church. So its not easy geting people to come. The work here is a lot harder too, because the people have a little more money they push us away. I really never thought i would say i miss being in a liberian refugee camp, but i really really do. I miss buduburam so much. The people there were so awesome. Im going to work as hard as i can though and maybe my companion and I can turn it around. Oh my companions name is Elder Ewudzie, he is a ghanaian from capecaost. Hes a pretty cool and relaxed guy, a little quiet though. Ive only known him a couple of days but, I think we will get along for the most prat though. I want to tell you about my area more, but to be honest it is really just a big blur to me. Its a huge area and i never really know where i am at. I think by the end of this week though i should have it down.
This whole week i was really worried that no one would come to church. I worked very hard to get anyone i could to come. I remember a women espesialy that we were teaching. the lesson was going great the spirit was there and i could tell she was feeling it. At the end of the lesson i asked her the question " E, will you come to church this sunday?" She immeditaly looked down, i started praying in my heart "pleese say yes, pleese say yes." The silence seemed like it went on forever, but finally she looked up and said "i will come." It warmed my heart so much, it made me relize though that it wasnt me that got her to say yes. It was the spirit. It oddly was a humbling experiecne for me. It wasnt me that got her to say she would come. The most wonderfull part of this though is that when sunday roled around she was at church waiting for it to start.
Thankyou so much for all you do for me. Everyone pleese keep a close eye on dad for me. I love you so much. I hope you all have a wonderfull week.
I am very glad that Dad is doing well. I have been praying as hard as i can. Tell Ricky thank you for being there to help comfort him for me. I love looking at the pictures.He looks like he is doing really good. I have so many questions about him but i don't even know where to start. Just try and tell me more about what is going on with him.
So it turns out that i will be transfered this Wednesday. I am not sure where i am going yet , but i am sure that i am that i will be transfered because Elder Farnbach is training. I kinda hope i go out to the bush, but i am not sure if thats really what i want. (if that makes sense) I am really gonna miss Buduburam. I have made friends with so many people here. I am gonna miss all the Orphans a lot. I haven't told you much about the orphans, but basically i have been trying to get them baptized for a long time. I have spent a lot of time trying to talk president Smith into the idea. He always says no because they are children and there would be no one there to help them keep coming to church. Some of those kids have promised me that they will keep coming to church, but i have to listen to president. Elder Farnbach has promised me that he will never give up on the quest to get the orphans Baptized so i think even with me gone we still got a shot. There is a women here named Sister S here. That is absolutely awesome. She was practicality the first person to welcome me to Buduburam and i will also miss her.
A little about my week though, we met this crazy guy that has been contacted that is from this crazy apostate group of our church. It was pretty freaky how much anti stuff he had about the church. I told Elder Farnbach to be care full about taking the new guy to see him. It would be a shame to see someone loose there testimony because of him. I wanted to ask Dad and Nate if they ever ran into anti stuff on there missions? In the end though Elder Farnbach and I shut him down, he said he wanted to back and study some more and then come back and talk. So we just bore our testimony's to him and let him go.
On Wednesday we went in and had Zone conference. There was an Elder talking to us that was leaving to go home in a couple of days. He was talking about knowing what to teach when to teach it. I have read and have been taught that the spirit is the main thing that guides you when you teach. Now the way this Elder was talking he made it sound like he had some tricks to knowing what to teach. So i raised my hand and asked "so what is the trick?" He just smiled at me and said "Now thats the question that everybody need to know the answer to" then he explained to us that it really just boils down to the spirit. A person could be asking questions about the word of wisdom and you could need to teach them about something that has nothing to do with that . It became extremely clear to me at that moment that the only way you can truly know what to teach is by following the spirit. Since then i have been trying very hard to listen. Sometimes it is very hard to recognize it, but it is there and if you listen very closely it will guide you.
Please just keep me updated on everything.Tell jenny and joe that i have a good feeling about everything that is going on with dad and i have high hopes that the cancer is completely gone. I apologize for my short Emails lately, next week i promise to tell you about every inch of my new Area. I love you all so much and please let me know if there is anything i can do. I love you. Love Sam
"Dear Family, Thank you so much for the Emails i loved them so much. I am very sorry it has taken me until Wednesday to email. I had my first encounter with Malaria . I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday feeling like crap . I toughed it out through the night and woke up and called Sister Smith (we are suppose to call her when we are sick). She told me i should probably start taking my Anti Malaria medication that the mission had given us. So i started taking the Medication and decided that i should still go to church. If it was a normal day i would have stayed home and rested, but it was Sunday. Because it was Sunday, i had to go to church to see if my investigators were going to come. Well i went to church and got a big punch in the face from Malaria. We ended up rushing back to the apartment and then rushing to the J and C Hospital in Accra (which is more like a half hospital).The trip was not easy at all. I ended up staying at the hospital until Tuesday night. I got a total of 10 shots, all in my butt, 5 for each check. It was not nice at all. The whole experience went from a way to high fever to throwing up everywhere to various other horrible things which i wish not to talk about at this time. I won't bore you with all the details, i will just tell you it was one of the most terrible experiences of my entire life.I will give you some advice, never ever never ever get Malaria! Ever!
I am a lot better now, i am very happy the experience is over. I have learned a couple of very important things. First always sleep in a mosquito net. Second always put on mosquito repellent. Third alway remember to take your doxy (which i aways do) And last do all you can to avoid the mosquitos. These are now my rules that i am going to try to live by. The other missionaries say the first time is the worst, but still i do not want to take any chances.
The week leading up to this experience happened to be great though. On Wednesday we had the wonderful opportunity of going into Accra and hearing Elder Holland speak to us. I was way awesome. The man is a true Apostle of god.
We also had a very nice Baptism on Saturday. Brother W got to baptize the rest of his family. It was way cool to help complete a family like that.
I don't have a lot of time on the computer right now, but we are going to try and take some time and come back either tonight or sometime tomorrow so i can finish emailing you. I love you all so much. If i don't get a chance i want you to have a great week. Love Elder Beck"
I want to answer Joeys question right now so i don't forget. When you flush the toliet here, it does not spin it just goes strait down. I don't know if that's because we have a crap toilet or if it is because i am so close to the equator, but i have a sneaking suspicion it is because of the Equator. It sounds like the family is recovery from all the sickness.
This week has gone by pretty fast for me. Wednesday night i got to go to another area. I went to a place called Adorko for a 24 hour split with the zone Leaders. The Adorko apartment is way nice compared to mine in Kasoa. It was really hot that night so me and Elder King slept out on there Balcony. It was a lot cooler out there but the downside was that i got eaten alive by Mosquitoes. It was not so nice. The next day was pretty fun, i went proselyting in there area. It was nice to see more of Ghana. The area in Adorko is a lot richer than Buduburam. I think Buduburam is the poorest area in the mission by the way. It was really crazy to see people with real live houses. They weren't nice houses, but they were houses.
Then on friday we went in for interviews with the president and also got to go to the temple. The Temple was so awesome, the spirit was way way strong there. When i was in there i just kept thinking it has to be impossible for someone to come here and to not feel the spirit. After words i was able to buy some really cool African ties that i am going to send home really soon. I also learned there that Elder Holling is coming to speak to us. He is coming on Wednesday, i am way excited, i am going to meat an Apostle!!
Mallory you know how you said you get scared when you have to say prays in front of large groups. Well i know exactly how you feel. On Sunday when it was time for Brother W to be confirmed the bishop stood up and said Elder beck will be doing the confirmation. It caught me by surprise really bad. i was walking up there thinking about what i should say and i realized that i didn't even know how to start the prayer. Well i got up there and started to do the confirmation. And by the way most African think prayers need to be exact. Well i started the prayer and i said by the "power and authority," in the priesthood hand book it says it only needs to be the "authority" So the bishop made me start over like 3 times, but the fourth time i got everything right. After that i studied all the prayers so much that i do not think i will ever forget them.
Mom as for my sickness last week it really was not that bad. It started with all my sinus blowing up like crazy. i thought it was allergies, but i got really bad body aches and a fever. I had to go back to the apartment and rest i slept for like 5 hours and that helped a lot. I did not push my self very hard at all the next few days after that. All this week my sinuses have been going back to normal. I think i am completely healed and i am trying to eat a lot of oranges. i think the vitamin C will help keep me healthy.
I am sorry if this Email is not as long as normal, i really want to keep writing, but the computers are pieces of junk today. I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do form me.I am really happy that both you Mom and Dad are felling a lot better. I always pray for you and the rest of the family. I love you. Love Elder Beck"