Monday, October 16, 2017

Note from Mom- I changed the blog pic because I absolutely love this picture of him with these African children touching him, his face has pure joy on it and the kids look so happy!  Makes me smile!  

 Koli Poki out here.

Have any of you ever seen the movie The Other Side of Heaven? You know how everyone calls him Koli Poki? Everyone here calls me Boufloat. I don't know really what it means, but that is what they call me. Haha. Hope that will give you all a little chuckle to start out this email!

Well we have had a successful week this week, we were able to have 1 baptism on Saturday which is always an awesome experience to see someone enter the waters of baptism and make that promise with our Father in Heaven.

We were able to find 6 new investigators this week, and 5 people came to church. We had 9 people come to sacrament meeting! So this week has been a awesome week!

Life is good here in our little village of Asunafo.

The reason why I put Koli Poki is because I'm the only white guy here and no one really speaks English. Life is good because my companion is from Ghana so he speaks the language. I've come to love Ghana food more here. We eat a lot of plantains and different stews. We eat yam and banku which is like cooked corn dough with water. Life is good, I'm enjoying it. Ten months is not long!

So I'm reading in the Doctrine and Covenants now and also the Book of Mormon again. This week I finished Abinadi and his account and went into when Alma is converted from the words of Abinadi which goes to show us that even though sometimes it seems like no one is listening, you can have a major affect on someone else.

Alma did many amazing things from his conversion and Alma taught and helped many people come unto Christ.

I would encourage all of you to read the Book of Mormon it will strengthen your testimony in Jesus Christ. I have enjoyed reading it and continue to read it every day!

I love all you people be safe and have a good week!

Elder Paulson

1-Our baptism - Sister Mary
2-Elder Merrill and I
3-Geoge our branch missionary and I - the water at our chapel ran out so we had to fill it up with buckets
4-filling the buckets up in the rain
5-Investigators Left to right. Edna, Belinda, Ester and Abigail
6-Small girl in our ward
7-Some kids we met while proselyting
8-eating brownies DELICIOUS

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's a Toucan!

Hello people back home! I hope you are all doing well and have had a fantastic week!

This week we have had a great week here in Asunafo, Ghana with the missionary work. We have been able to find 7 new investigators this week. The work is moving forward and the Lord is truly blessing us for our efforts here. I am continuing to fall in love with this place. The people are great and the village is amazing.

We have been teaching this man named Emmanuel for a while and he was suppose to be baptized this past week but unfortunately his sister passed away and he attended the funeral so we are hoping to have him baptized on the 28th of October as well with 9 others. So for that week we are planning on baptizing 10 people which I am super excited for.

Being a District leader brings a whole new perspective into play with being a missionary. It's awesome to get some more experience in a different way. It helps you to look at others and think of ways to help them become better missionaries as well as yourself.

I have finished reading the Book of Mormon like I said but I have now begun again reading it with the mission. We are in Mosiah 11 and this chapter is where Abinadi comes in and preaches to King Noah and tells him of the wicked things and that they need to repent and he speaks of Christ and his coming. I think about the faith that these people had. They had never seen Jesus Christ, they just had faith and through their faith they knew that he would come and be their Savior. Over the past week I have had the chance to study more on the Atonement of the Savior. It really hits home to think about when Jesus was in the Garden and he asks his father that if there is anyway that he cannot do this, but he will do it if it his will. I think about how many times I have complained or told my dad I don't want to do something because it seemed to hard or boring. I now know that the love that Jesus had for his Father he was willing to do anything he asked. He loved each one of us so much that he suffered and died. He didn't want to do it. He just knew that he HAD to for each ONE of us to have the chance to live with him again. My testimony has grown of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for his sacrifice so that each one of us may live with him again. If you want to read one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon it is Alma 7 which talks about Jesus Christ.

I love you peoples and hope you have a great week! Ill send pictures in another letter. Thanks for everything!

Elder Paulson

1- My comp pumping water. THis is how the village gets water
2-Beautiful sunset
3-this is a medical center in my area - Check out the name
4-this is a traditional house made out of mud
5-me helping a lady make traditional medicine
6-my comp, branch mission leader and me
7-great view from the top of our area
8-GOAT  (whate would a letter from Elder Paulson be without a pic of a goat) :)
9-me cutting plaintain
11-more toucan

Be sure and read the caption on the building!  So Cool!

Elder Paulson says they are hard to get close to.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

Asunafo is still bushy!

Well good afternoon from Ghana. Hope you all had a great General Conference weekend and had your prays answered in one way or the other.

This week was good. Elder Stilson left me to travel home to the USA on Sunday night and Monday my new companion arrived Elder Antwi. He is a Ghanaian from the Ashanti region and he is an awesome guy.

We have been teaching and trying to find some new people to teach in our area. This week we are planning on having 2 baptisms. Hopefully all goes well and as planned.

This week we also did some service on Saturday morning by going to the farm with our ward mission leader and planting some corn and he gave us some plantains for helping him. It's totally like you see on the movies of Africa jungle when you go there. I'll send you some pictures. Also he asked if I would carry a thing of Palm Nut on my head going out (I think it was mostly so he could laugh). Anyway though it was a funny experience. Also if you want to know what palm nut is you should google it. I don't really want to explain it. It's awesome though, they smash it into juice and then make oil and cook with it.

This week I finished the Book Of Mormon. It was a great experience to read it for a second time on mission and reading it again really makes me look more and think more about the things I read and helps to understand about the Savior more. It is true that reading it again and again you always get something different out of reading it. I think about Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon and how he was alone but he knew that God was with him and would not leave him. He has amazing faith. I am now going to start reading The Doctrine and Covenants so we will see how that goes.

Thank you all who support me while I am here, I love all of you. Stay safe and as my dad says make good choices! Love you!

Elder Paulson

1-cool colorful bug I saw today
2-me and a goat
3-Great view
4-awesome looking river
5-Awesome frog we saw at the farm
6-colorful cocoa
7-me at farm
8-cutting down some plantain
9-carrying the palm nut (I looked it up -Palm oil is obtained from the flesh of palm fruit and is used as shortening, cooking oil, and in many food products. Palm nut oil is extracted from the kernel, or seed, of palm fruit and is nearly 80 percent saturated fat.
10-this is Ghana Lunch (I asked him if he ate this and he said NO!)  haha!

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'm a DL

Well Happy Monday friends and family. I hope you are all doing well.

First off today I want to start off with the awesome news is we had 3 baptisms this past Saturday. It was awesome to see people come closer to the Savior and have that chance to have there sins washed away. I'm going to start off with a short story about two of the people who were recently baptized.

So at the beginning of this transfer we went to visit these two investigators, their names are Florence and Seth. Awesome people!  Anyway, so my comp tells me that they are not yet married but are living together so they cannot be baptized until either one moves out or they get married. So we told them what needs to happen as we met with them, so over the next couple of weeks we continued to encourage them as best we could, but usually what happens is that we tell them they need to get married and nothing happens. So about 4 weeks went by and nothing happened so we got discouraged and began to lose hope because they had not yet made any arrangements to get married. About week 5 of the transfer our branch mission leader comes to us and tells us they have gotten married and we went there later that evening and it was true they had gotten married! We were so excited for them. They are two amazing people and are shining with the Light of Christ inside of them and they are both amazing people with amazing qualities. That was an amazing experience.

This week we have been working hard to get some more people to prepare for baptism and it looks like the work in the area is going to progress very quickly. This week we also had transfer news and my companion Elder Stilson is going back to the USA because he has completed his two years of missionary service. So my new companion will be a Ghanaian and his name is Elder Atwi. I'm excited the work will move faster with him speaking Twi to everyone.

Another thing that is new is that I will be the new District Leader which will be an interesting experience.

Well in my book of Mormon reading I have finished Mormon, I am now on to Ether and this has one of my favorite chapters.The part when the brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord because of his great faith.  The Brother of Jared is one of my favorite people in the Book of Mormon. The faith he had and the love for the Lord is amazing to see when you read. I love the Book of Mormon.

Well I love you people I hope you have a good week. Be safe and make good choices.

Elder Paulson

1- Our District (Elder Stilson is the one with blonde hair on my left)
2-a camouflage moth
3-our Baptism on Saturday (photo cred Elder Merrill)
4- Our chapel
5- the sunset
6- weird picture of me

Monday, September 18, 2017

Eaten more strange things. This one is a secret though.

Good Morning from Ghana American Folks and all readers. Hope everything is fantastic for you!

Well this week was a good week nothing too exciting, I'll try to think of some funny stories.

First off I ate something weird again, but for my mom's sake I won't tell until I come home, some things are just better left a mystery, but mom it was not a dog!

SO anyway we have been doing some work with some investigators we plan on baptizing this Saturday! There names are Seth, Florence and Paul. They are all awesome and have been working really hard to get baptized. Seth and Florence are a couple that had to get married and this last week they did! It's so exciting to see peoples faith here.

Another thing we had this week was we had Multi-zone conference with President Simpson and his wife. It was a good meeting. We talked about finding new investigators and how through our efforts and our faith to find new people the Lord will bless. In Ghana it is not too hard to find people to teach, everyone is willing to sit down and talk about Jesus Christ and religion. The hard thing here is to find people who are more serious about learning about the gospel and actually keeping the commitments we give to them. Also the office couple Elder and Sis Munro are leaving I think like the 15th of Oct, so that will be sad to lose them. The conference was great though. The only bad thing is we have to drive like 4 hours to get where they have it so it takes like our whole day. On the bright side though we got to go to the mall and eat some awesome food and buy some stuff that we needed.

So in my Book of Mormon reading I am in 3rd Nephi and in the chapters I am in which are in like 15-25, In chapter 21 it talks about how when Jesus asks them what they desire and 9 of them say to live with him in Eternal life and 3 ask him to stay on the earth till the time of his coming, and he says that they are blessed for their desires of this. It brought me back to John the Beloved in the bible. When he asks for the same thing and Jesus also tells him blessed is he. I looked up John in the Bible dictionary and he was given the nickname "the son of thunder" I look at where that came from and it's in Luke 9:54 and this is when Jesus and his disciples are looking for a place to stay and they go into a Samaritan village and are turned away and John and his brothers come back and ask Jesus if they should send fire down from heaven onto this town, and I just picture in my head the response of Jesus being, "no no that would probably be a bad thing John, I'm here to save lives, not take them away." I love John he is a very faithful servant of the Lord.

Well everyone that is my week, ill send picture in a separate email. Love ya all.

Elder Paulson

1-Elder and Sister Munro are going home
2-the sunset in Africa is beautiful
3-me and Madmfo (my friend)
4-me holding a goat that we caught by its chin hairs
5-more goat
6-feeding the goat
7- the spider in our house was huge on Tuesday (I asked him something to compare it to and he said like the size of a cell phone. Yikes!)

He loves goats! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

**I have to say that I am more than surprised to read how Elder Paulson has branched out in the things that he will eat.  I remember when he wouldn't even try sushi!  So with that in mind, be prepared!!  It is Africa after all! 

I'm In The Bush!

Well happy P day peoples. I hope you all have had a awesome week.

Well im just going to hit some highlights of my week.

The biggest highlight of the week is on Wednesday, we ate some......CAT. Yup sorry mom. I ate a cat. It actually is somehow good. The skin is super tough. Although I did eat the ear as well just to say I could, so it looks like my fear of eating food that I don't like it gone haha! I'll send pictures. Our branch mission leader killed it and cooked it for us, we bought the cat for 30 cedis, which is about $5. It was a awesome mission experience!

This week we have also been working on progressing some of our investigators to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. Some awesome people we are working with right now preparing to be baptized on that date.

On Thursday it rained all day which we kinda hated!

Saturday we went and farmed. In this part of Ghana most of the people if not all the people make there living by farming. Things like corn, plaintains, coco, cassava, coco yam. Awesome different things. So on Saturday we went with the first councelor in the district to his farm and planted corn for like 5 hours. Awesome small service activity. It was cool. Like if you ever go to like a zoo or something where they have jungle sounds playing in the background, exactly what it sounded like, but in this case it was real and awesome haha.

In my reading of the Book of Mormon I am in 3rd Nephi, and I am reading about when Jesus comes to the people of the Americas and teaches them. This part is awesome because he invites them to come to him and feel the prints in his hands and his feet, and as he is leaving they ask him to stay and he has compassion on them and heals their sick and afflicted.

I love the Book Of Mormon and the truthfulness you can gain from it. I encourage everyone to read it!

Elder Paulson

3-mi casa
4-dog at branch mission leaders house
5- my friend
6-Elder Paulson right now

As a side note, the cat thing kinda grossed me out but what is good is that he is trying new stuff and for him that is huge! So that makes me super happy! I guess the African's don't look at house cats the same way that we do!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Life in the Ghana Bush.

Well another week gone by, here in Ghana now on the downward slope of the mission. I hope this letter finds you all safe and well.

First this week we had lots of work to do trying to focus on people and we have a big teaching pool. So we have been working a lot.

Wednesday, we had District meeting and we talked about how to better use the Book of Mormon in our teaching and how we can use the Book of Mormon to find the people who are more ready for the message of the gospel. We also had a big talk about Malaria and how serious it is and trust me I have been taking my medicine for a long time now so no worries about that.

Thursday I went on exchange with Elder Mbonenche, he is from Malawi and we had a great time. Taught some awesome people and such.

Friday and Saturday were just regular Proselyting days.

Sunday we had an awesome show of our investigators at sacrament, we had like 8 people come which was AWESOME! I was way pumped for that. The best was the ones we are wanting to get baptized before the end of the month came, which means they are just progressing more and more opportunities of feeling the spirit in their lives. 'Im excited if you can't tell already!

So in my reading, I'm now in 3rd Nephi and have learned many awesome new things by re- reading the Book of Mormon. Like when the people of the Nephites band together with the Lamanites and defeat the Gadiaton robbers and are very righteous for a long time and many great things happen to them. Then Satan comes back into their lives and just tears them back down, it goes to show that we must always focus on our Savior Jesus Christ and always remember him because the devil always finds small ways to sneak back in to our lives.

Well I love all you peoples. Be safe and make good choices. May God bless you!

Elder Paulson

Side note:  I asked him about riding a "moto" and this is what he said. "I forgot to tell you in my letter about the Motorcycles. SO first they have been approved in our area because it is the only way in and out of our little village. Taxi's only go down here a little. The guy driving it is our friend and we call him whenever we are going places because he is the best driver we know." Thank Heaven for that! Ha!Ha!

1-Banku and pepe

3- me cooking fried rice
4-more Moth
5-Medamfo (friend in Twi) our branch mission leaders daughter
6- cocoa pod
7- a cocoa tree
8-our kitchen
9-our room
10-feeding goats

I looked this up because I didn't really know and the white things inside the pod get dryed and end up looking like a bean and then get ground into cocoa powder.  70% of the worlds cocoa now comes from West Africa