Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The coolest place (except for the wall spiders)

Elder Kandeh, Samuel Joseph and Elder Eppich and Samuel Joseph's baptism in Kpong Ghana
May 27, 2013
Well this last week was another good week for Elder Kandeh and me. We taught a lot of lessons with a member present and his name is Lawson and his older brother was in my MTC group but is serving in Cote'd Ivore. He is a super awesome guy! We also had a baptism for one of our investigators yesterday and his name is Samuel but we call him James. But he is a really sweet kid who is 16 yrs old and I really hope that he will serve a mission!! That would be so awesome! His sister will be baptized in June for sure! The missionary that baptized Elder Kandeh is our branch clerk in Kpong, it’s a super small world.
It’s pretty tough to pay attention at church because most of the time they speak their own dialect and so we can’t really understand. It helps a lot for our investigators because it will help them understand easier! But this area is getting pretty big concerning the church growth. We have members coming from far away to come to church. Hopefully in the next couple of months they will add another branch. Transportation is the main reason why we can’t get our investigators to come to church. We are trying to re do our working areas and it has to get approved by President Judd first but if it gets approved, Elder Kandeh and I will have all of Kpong and all of Akuse while the other Elders will have Somanya. Somanya will grow a lot if it gets a branch there!
But I’m super happy I will be able to stay in Akuse because it reminds me of home......kinda haha because it just a small little farming community! And then the other day we went outside of Akuse to teach a man and it is a super small village with just straight mud houses and straw on top! Some of the houses had aluminum on top but not many. And it is right on the Volta River so they are all farmers or fisherman. But it’s the coolest place!
One of the scary moments that happened this week, well to start off I thought I was getting used to spiders and not afraid of them anymore, but I was sitting on my chair and I dropped something on the ground and like a foot from my face I saw a huge!! Wall spider! It seriously scared the crap out of me!!! I guess my fear hasn’t left all the way!! There just ugly big spider!!! Oh and then we had PEC in the bishops office and he has A/C in his room and it was set to 21 C about 70 degrees and I honestly thought I was going to freeze to death (not really, but it was super cold!!!!) I couldn’t wait to get back outside Haha.
We have some good investigators right now but a lot of them are far away from the meetinghouse and so they don’t show too much commitment but I think by the time we continue to teach them than they will realize how important this message is and want to come and see how we worship.

Well it looks like you are all doing good back home and sound great! I love you all!
Elder Eppich

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Thank you for coming to Ghana and Serving a Mission"

Elder Eppich and Elder Kandeh, Liberia
May 20, 2013


Well, today I have lots to talk about! Hopefully I will remember everything I want to say! So to start off I did get transferred from Kaneshie and Elder Van Scheltema L but I had a good last day in Kaneshie! I went around and said goodbye to all of our investigators and RC (recent converts) and the members! One of the coolest things I got to hear on my mission is when I went to say goodbye to Debora she said to me “thank you so much for coming to Ghana and serving a mission because if it weren’t for you two then I would have never been baptized into the church!” It was so awesome to hear her say that!!! It made me feel so good. She truly has found the Pearl of Great Price!! She was very sad to see me leave! And then it was also super hard to say goodbye to the ward mission couple, Brother and Sister Mensen. They were so nice to me and Elder Van Scheltema and Bro Mensen actually shed a tear when I was leaving. He always called me his new son and I’m going to miss him so much! He was a really funny guy. I have a cute picture of us I'll try and send.

So I was transferred to Kong (pong) which is the bush. It’s absolutely beautiful out here and I’m super lucky to come out here! My new comp is Elder Kandeh and he is from Liberia. Super awesome guy as well. He is a little different then Elder Van Scheltema but it’s ok cause were going to do work together J

So for my new area it is huge!! We cover just a little bit of Kpong but then on certain days we travel by tro-tro to Somanya about 25 mins away from our apt and then on Fridays we travel to Akuse which is about 30 mins in the opposite way tro-tro ride. But Akuse is like the coolest place I’ve seen. It’s got some legit villages with huts and just super small brick buildings and every Sunday somebody pays for a bus to pick all the investigators and members up because its cost like 4 cedis for a trip for one person but they get to do it for free!!

Oh and when you just walk outside our apartment you can see lake Volta!! It’s still pretty far away but you can see it really easy from where we stay in Kpong! The apt is a lot nicer than my old one in Kaneshie but we have a problem with the electricity where its super unstable and the voltage will jump super high at random points and so we weren’t able to have the fridge running because when we try and plug it into the regulator it would spoil the regulator cause it’s so unsteady. A few days ago an electrician was going to come out and try and fix it, which we needed super bad. We didn’t have any cold water so I wasn’t drinking any water, which is super bad here, and like an hour before the electrician was about to come the lights went off on us which was the worst timing because we needed the lights on for him to fix it! And I couldn’t last many more days without drinking very much water so about 15 mins later I decided to say a little prayer and ask Heavenly Father to turn on the lights again so that we can fix the fridge problem and I didn’t even say amen yet and the lights went back on and it just put a huge smile on my face and I started thanking Heavenly Father and it was a really good testimony builder!! God does love his missionaries! But that was another one of my highlights of the week!! I’ll never forget it!

Oh and Kraymer got a hold of me!!!!! It was so awesome to talk to him! We talked for about 20 mins about the mission, but it was perfect timing because we had just finished eating at zoo-zoos and I put in my sim card and a few mins later an unknown number called and I just answered and was like”KRAYMER!!!” I honestly didn’t think it was going to work Haha but it did! The talking lagged a little bit but I’m guessing its cause we’re like super far away from each other.

One of the hard things about coming to Kpong is that they speak Ewe and Krobro here not really Twi! And so now I have to try and learn a different language Haha! But it’s ok I will just know lots of different weird/cool languages.

Then the first Sunday at the Kpong branch they had their primary program and it was so funny and cute! They had this 5 yr old kid (looked like one of the Riner boys, but black Haha) and he was their chorister!!! It was super cute and then the same boy went and recited something in the podium and he talked really loud (kind of like the Riner boys) Haha and it made me feel right at home Haha. Oh and lots of the kids have never seen a white boy before in our area because it was just opened and so when I get in the tro-tro little babies will just look at me and start to cry Haha I hope it’s because I’m white and not ugly lol.
So some more info about the area I serve in, it is green all around and mountains as well! The other day it started to rain and it was absolutely beautiful! I really wish you guys could all be in my shoes for just 10 mins to see how amazing it is here!! Pictures just don’t show everything!

So the other missionaries in the apt are Elder Hansen and Elder Cserepes both from Utah. Elder Hansen knows Kraymer!! He went to the same BYU football camp and he and Kraymer both won the best tight end award!! How crazy is that?! Such a small world! But our apt is super legit! Last night we played Uno forever and then our neighbors came and gave us Fufu and Banku!.

So I’m in need of some things and I hope I will be able to get my stuff from Ashley because we don’t get mail very often out hereL so because of the voltage changing so much it spoiled my whole toothbrush and I’m not sure if there is any way I could get a new one, and then for my birthday I just want like soups or stuff that is easy to cook over the stove top. Like when I was at BYU I ate a lot of those chunky Campbell soup. You might have to send a box. But I need more nutritious foods because I’m afraid I’m losing weight now. So if you could send lots of soups that would be awesome because I can cook rice and then poor a little bit over the rice I make and it’s super nice. Oh and possibly if you can send that USB with the GC talks and the state championship football game because Elder Hansen wants to listen to it. Possibly otter pops as well. Not sure if that’s possible but all you can say is no J so I hope I haven’t forgotten anything but I love it here! Sounds like all is going well back home! Good luck at State Karigan! Love ya!

Elder Eppich JR

Elder Eppich in Kpong

Brother and Sister Mensen in Keneshie (ward mission couple)

Beautiful countryside of Kpong Ghana

Kpong Ghana

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"I Love This Place"

**We were planning on a 3 way skype with Kraymer and Kade on Monday after Mother's Day.  Unknown to us, plans changed and Kade wasn't going to be able to. So on Sunday during Sunday School, a strange number called that I didn't recognize. I declined it then it immediatley called back and I knew it had to be Kraymer or Kade. I went in the foyer and answered it. I talked for at leasat 5 minutes thinking I was talking to Kraymer becasue the accent was so thick. When I mentioned Kraymer's name Kade said, "this is Kade!!" I didn't believe him, I thought Kraymer was teasing me. He sounds like an African after three months. :) 
Kade, Deborah and Elder Van Scheltema
Last Baptim in Kaneshie Ghana

May 13, 2013
Well since we talked yesterday nothing new really happened, but I’ll try and say everything I did yesterday to let my friends and family back home know how things are going.
So to start off I think I’m getting transferred from Kaneshie which really stinks because I’ll leave Elder Van Scheltema and leave all the awesome members and investigators! :( but I will find out tomorrow morning what’s all going down. If I do get transferred its ok because I ended my last week with a bang! So Deborah was getting lots of persecution from her church but then she watched all 4 hrs of GC and the next time we went to see her she was more interested in being baptized. She said she wanted to have me and my comp there to see her baptism. We told her that I’m getting transferred and she was super sad because we have been teaching her ever since I got here and we have become really good friends! So she said she wanted to get baptized on Sunday if possible and have me baptize her!! I was super excited because in Kaneshie they want the members to do the baptisms to give them more experience, but this was a special case so I was able to baptize her on my last Sunday in Kaneshie!! I’ll try and send the photo!
Oh and I also got to go to the temple on Thursday because Elder Van Scheltema is training again so while he went to trainers council I got to go to do a session at the temple which was way awesome!!! Like always, I learn something new. Then on Saturday we were at the market going to teach someone and some of our crazy African ladies that we always pass by and talk to have a church hymn book for some reason!! And we were like what the heck!! And so in the market Elder Van Scheltema sang the Battle Hymn of Republic to them. Haha it was a really fun experience because we just have Africans walking by staring at us Haha love it! Oh and when we were going to the temple on Thursday we were in the tro-tro (bus) and it was super packed, super hot and bad traffic!! And to make it all worse we had a crazy lady stand up right next to me and started preaching to everybody and yelling at the top of her lungs!! She did this for about 20 mins and made no sense. Once she finally sat down, Elder Van Scheltema gave her a Restoration pamphlet Haha. Maybe next time she will preach true doctrine :)
Then one last thing is we met a guy and he was pretty educated but he was a crazy dude!!! He was saying the whole time that missionaries are really just spies and after we finish our 2 yrs , we go to the white house and report what we saw. He says it’s just one way how America is just trying to take over the world! Ha  
Well that’s pretty much all that really happened this past week! But it was a good week to end my stay in Kaneshie! I’m going to miss it like crazy! I didn’t realize how hard it would be to leave an area! And I’m going to miss Elder Van Scheltema! He has taught me so much and is a brother to me!! I honestly could never see him again (he is from South Africa) when they split the mission in July if we’re not in the same mission. I’m trying to get him to come to BYU. Well I love you all and things in Ghana are going awesome!! I love this place! Happy Mother’s Day again mom, love you :)

Elder Eppich, Jr

Monday, May 6, 2013

"An amazing feeling in my heart when I hear them talking about the people I have the prvilege to teach"

May 5, 2013


Well this week went by super fast! And was good for the most part! Our investigators we were suppose to take a man Adams to get a special interview from the mission president but he didn’t show up to the place where we were suppose to meet him and his phone was turned off so we were walking around everywhere trying to find him but could never find him so we missed our dang interview! It was frustrating but it actually turned out pretty good because he can still get baptized the 22nd and we had 2 extra hours of finding and we found like 3 new good investigators! So maybe us not going to Accra was suppose to happen and us to find these new people! The Lord works in mysterious was sometimes! But I know he had a hand in it! Then Eric and Mercy were supposed to be baptized the 8th as well but they aren’t married! But in Africa if both the parents recognize them as husband and wife then we are able to baptize them because in the African culture you have to buy the wife to marry her and sometimes the husband doesn’t have money so they can’t officially get married but still live together. So we thought both parents see them as married but I guess Mercy’s parents don’t so we have to wait till they get married. We’re going to try and have the bishop just do it in his office so they can be baptized!
Oh crap I remember what happened this week!!!! We got to watch General Conference yesterday!! It was so awesome and I loved every minute! We only got to watch the Saturday afternoon and the Sunday morning but it was better than nothing! It was so awesome to listen to them talk about West Africa! (No biggie) everything they said about the African people is so true! I think it was President Uchtdorfs, Elder Cook, and Elder Dickerson all talked about West Africa! It seriously puts an amazing feeling in my heart when I hear them talking about the people I have the privilege to teach :)
Oh shoot, ok so a few weeks ago that I forgot to tell you about was Elder Van Scheltema and I were in the market because that is where Adams works, and in the market it smells bad and is super dirty!! And this huge rat was running around the ground and he ran by my foot then I turned around to see where he went and some guy was walking with some stuff on his head and he couldn’t see where he was walking and he stepped on and killed the huge rat Haha it was so gross and nasty! It was still twitching for a while Haha. Then I forgot to tell you about the bats here! They are super big as well and at night time when you’re teaching people they will be flying right above you and the whole time I was afraid it was going to drop down on top of me!! These things are huge! But it reminded me of when we were at the cabin and I was a little boy and the bat flew in! Do you remember that??
So I don’t remember anything else that happened this week so I’ll try and answer your questions.
Yes there is still a propane shortage, it cost like 37 cedis to fill up a tank, were going to run out soon I think, but yes I eat at chop bars probably 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent of the time I eat indoe me (top ramen)
I’m not sure if I’m gaining weight or not but Elder Van Scheltema and I want to weigh ourselves at the end of my training to see if we gained or lost weight the last couple of months.
Yes I got your package on Thursday!!! It came so fast and I was super surprised and happy! The pens are super perfect and whose tie was that? I like it a lot!! Then all the candy was perfect! The gummy worms were nice because Elder Ujifusa got a bunch of them in a package one time and I have been craving them ever since! So thank you for everything because packages are the best thing on the mission! (Besides baptisms and serving the Lord, but you know what I mean :)
Yes transfers are on the 15th and I’m pretty sure we won’t stay together which stinks because Elder Van Scheltema reminds me of Kraymer so much, plus if I get sent somewhere on the east side I won’t be in the same mission as him :(
-we don’t have a certain family that treats us super nice but one family called the Mensons will give us minerals (pop) and muffins sometimes. There is an elderly lady named mama Lee that lives in Mateheko side that feeds us every fast Sunday so we went there yesterday and she made super good rice!
Mangos aren’t in season yet,
Then our next baptism will be the 22nd hopefully but it stinks because I might not be here :(
Well it sounds like everything is going good there! It’s still flippin hot here and rainy season hasn’t come yet, but Ashley (McCary Woodside) will probably make it just in time for the rain! And I know where she is going Abomusu or something like that. That would be funny if I get transferred there! But I love you all and do good! It’s going to be weird to talk to you guys next week! Oh btw we will probably email president before we Skype so I will email you and give you an ETA of when we will be skyping.

Elder Eppich Jr