Monday, June 24, 2013

A Great Week in Kpong!

Elder Eppich and Elder Kandeh with 7 baptims this week!

June 29, 2013
Well Elder Kandeh and I had a great last week together! He got called to train which means I’m leaving my area most likely :( probably heading back to Accra, but that’s ok because we ended with a bang in Kpong district!! Out of the 6 missionaries in our district we baptized 17 people!!!! How crazy is that?! We were told by members there that they have never seen that big of a baptism!!! It was so crazy yesterday trying to get everything lined up for the baptism!! But all worked out!!! I was so happy once everything was finished with Haha.
As for our investigators that were supposed to be baptized on the 23rd.......all six were baptized :) And we were also blessed with a 7th who was baptized during the freeze in Ghana (20+ yrs ago) and so she had no records of being a member and so we had to re do everything for her to rectify the situation and she was baptized! She was a 72 yr old super sweet lady! There are actually two more that lost their records so they have to be baptized again but I probably won’t be here for that! But it was Clement(18) Eben(20) Patience(31) Kuturah (10)Samuel(61) Happy(40) and Grace (the one who had to be re baptized (72) I’ll send a picture of them all and another one of the 12 baptized at our church (the 5 others were baptized in the Senchi branch). So the month of June, Elder Kandeh and I saw 8 investigators baptized! What an awesome month! But as we look back at everything that has happened to us with no lights or water for long periods of time and right now we haven’t had running water for about a week (except late at night when the Ghana water is turned on, our pump is broke) To me I think that Satan was in charge of all of our problems and trying to get us frustrated and not focused on the work so we wouldn’t bring 12 souls unto Christ for our apartment!! But we worked even harder and still kept our spirits high and baptized a dozen :) That is my theory at least! Take that Satan :) Oh we also had 15 investigators at church yesterday :)
So another highlight of my week is we got to play basketball!! First time since MTC!!!
 I missed it so much and I was so sore the next day!! So what happened is there is this really nice compound dealio where the workers of the water works stay at and they have a really nice basketball court with lights and everything! The fun thing is that they are all Chinese men that stay in the apartments and so they came out and played with us!!! We just messed around for the first little bit with companionship vs companionship but then we wanted to play 2 vs 2 against the Chinese and so Elder Hansen and I played these two Chinese men! We’re not suppose to keep score but we both had too much pride and beat them! At first it was a little scary because we were afraid of some Jeremy Lin stuff going to happen! But it wasn’t too bad. I think we won 11-8 or something like that. They both were really good ball handlers and quick too (Of course :)) It was a fun time! And once we finished we sat down and talked to them about what we do as missionaries and one of them didn’t really know Jesus Christ which is really sad! So I think later today were going to go back and have a little rematch :)
Q and A
So we only proselyte in Kpong a few times a week. We are actually called the Akuse Elders but just stay in Kpong. We have 3 cities were in charge of - Somanya, Akuse, and half of Kpong.
We still teach around 35 lessons or so a week. My days here are pretty much the same as when I was trained in Kaneshie except we go out at 10 am instead of 11am. Of course all the kids here love me! There are a lot less white people out in the Bush so they are more excited to see us. Especially in Akuse! I’m pretty sure I’m the only white person there when we go Haha.
Our apartment is a lot nicer than Kaneshie and my bed is good! The power is a lot more stable now! But our pump is messed up so bucket showers pretty much the whole last week.
Hopefully I answered all of your questions!

Well I hope everything continues to go well for you guys back home like it is here for me! Love you all very much! I’m going to miss the Bush! But I’m glad I got to at least taste a part of it and also have success here!!
Elder Eppich

The Kpong district's baptisms for June 23, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day Dad

19th Birthday dinner

Koforidua Zone

Termite Hill - 100 years old
June 17, 2013

Well to start off I just want to say happy Father’s day Dad and I love you so much and I’m so grateful/blessed for you to be my father!!
I’m finally a 19 yr old missionary and it feels so weird! I’m getting old Haha but it was a nice little birthday. After we got done emailing we went to the chapel and Elder Cserepes made some really nice fried chicken, Elder Hansen made this guacamole dip, and Elder Amumi(Kenya) made these Japates (not sure on the spelling) but I’ll send a picture of how it all turned out! It was quite the meal! I got dashed some biscuits because it was my birthday so that was pretty cool!
So not much happened this week besides we got 3 of our investigators baptismal interviews finished and so they are ready for baptism next week and then hopefully this next week we will be able to do a few more for the 23rd baptism! We found out yesterday on Sunday that we have 2 ladies in our ward that stay in our area who were baptized a long time ago but they can’t find their records on the church website and so they think they were baptized during the "freeze" in Ghana when the church wasn’t allowed to be there and so their records weren’t done! So I think next Sunday we might have to rebaptize them, but we aren’t sure yet and haven’t heard what exactly we’re suppose to do. We continue to work hard and try not to be pragmatic in our teaching but follow the spirit.
We were walking to church yesterday we saw this man carrying something around his neck. Everybody was running away from him and we realized that it was a huge python that was wrapped around his neck! It was his pet and he was just taking him on a little walk Haha. Crazy guy! I couldn’t get a picture because the man was already walking away and my comp wanted to go to church but it was a big snake!
I will answer some of your questions now. No we don’t have any senior couple missionaries right now and our mission needs them very bad! For breakfast I make eggs with sausage (just hot dogs but a different name here) and then toast some sugar bread and have bread and egg in the morning! It really nice! You can add tomatoes and onions in it as well for extra flavor. Yes we have transfers next week on the 26th I think and I’m pretty sure I’ll stay here just because I’ve been here for one transfer but who knows. Well it sounds like everyone is doing well there and having a fun summer! Have a good week! Love you lots!

Elder Eppich

We are teaching this boy's mom and he is the cutest little kid that rides this pink cinderella bike haha his name is fefe

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy 19th Birthday Elder Eppich

Elder Kandeh, ward member, Sister Comfort and Elder Eppich in Kpong Ghana
June 10, 2013
Well this week went by pretty fast! It doesn’t seem like it at the time but when you look back on Sunday it’s like what the heck just happened? So I’m trying to remember what all happened this week.
To start off with some of the highlights off the week.  Sister Comfort was baptized yesterday! She was a little nervous but she was ready for it! The great thing about baptism here in Kpong is that it is right after church they have the baptisms so they have lots of support. That helps so much!! Then our last recent convert passed the sacrament today and that is always an awesome feeling! Oh and yesterday we had 12 of our investigators come to church!!! It was so awesome I was just blown away. It’s the most I have ever had come to church at one time!! And pretty much all the ones that came have baptismal dates. We got that number because this last week we worked so hard! We contacted so much and started to look for more of the elect and we came to find out that we have so many more areas that we are in charge of that missionaries have never even been to! So hard work pays off!!
This last week did not feel like rainy season!! During the daytime it was super hot!! But then at night time it gets to like 80 degrees so it feels so nice!! Oh and on a side note we had no lights, or water for 110+ hrs!!! It was like 4 days of nothing Haha! So that was pretty rough, but at night time we slept really nice because of the cooler weather. After the first day we figured out that it was just our compound without lights and so we call ECG and after 3 days they finally came and fixed the wiring problem!! When we would come home at night we would just change and go outside in our little compound and look at the sky!! It was really nice because all the stars you see back home are in a different part of the sky and upside down (exp. Big dipper) plus since we are on the equator we can see the different constellations that you can only see when you’re in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere! But it is so crazy to think about all the worlds that have been created and what is all out there.
And yes I got the packages! Thank you so much!! I was going to wait until my birthday to open it but this morning I was bored and so I decided that I would just open it anyways :) it was all perfect and I loved it!!
 The tro tro drivers here are super scary, I think I mentioned it before, but we were in a tro tro and the driver cut off a guy on his motorcycle and hit him and the guy crashed his motorcycle! He was ok but then they got in a heated argument about whose fault it was and they were pretty tenaciously engaged!! In my opinion it was the tro tro drivers fault but since the road rules are different here in may have been the motorcycle guys fault!!
So for right now we have 5 serious investigators for baptism on the 23rd by his grace all will work out but if not I know at some point they will be baptized! So the serious ones are Sister Patience who just married a member and is 30 yrs old and she really wanted to join the church so they can be sealed in the temple next year. Clement is a referral we received from Tema and his mom had just been baptized a month ago but he now lives with his Auntie and hasn’t missed a Sunday yet. -Future missionary-. Then Sister Happy and her husband Brother Samuel are doing really well. Also Brother Samuel lost his left hand and forearm. So the resurrection will be something good for him :). Then Kuturah is 10 yrs old and her mom is a LA that we brought back to church and now she wants her daughter to be baptized. Then last is Brother Eben who is 20 and we met last week when he came to church by himself. His Auntie lives in Italy and she told him about the church and so he came and really wants to be baptized! And so like I said "by His grace" they will be baptized on the 23rd but if not the 23rd then the next date!!
So I think that is everything that happened this week, oh btw mom my leg is fine from the dog bite except it is swollen and looks infected........ hahaha jokes I just gave you a fright! :) Well I love you all and thanks for the birthday wishes! Can’t believe I’m almost 19 :) love you all!
Elder Eppich

Monday, June 3, 2013

"The dang dog jumps up and bites my ankle!"

First dog bite casualty in Akuse
June 3, 2013
Well this last week was a pretty good week! Rainy season is starting up and it rained probably three or four times this last week! And a few of those times it seriously rained super, super hard!!! I couldn’t believe how hard it was raining and then with the thunderstorms at the same time it is kind of scary! We were on our way back from Somanya in the tro tro and we see this flash to our left and then a huge boom came right after it. It made me jump and the guy next to me was laughing Haha. But we will get around 4 inches on the roads so it’s sketchy but so awesome!! We can’t really proselyte during that so we just wait it out.
On Tuesday we had a zone conference in Koforidua and that was an awesome drive! It took about 90 mins and driving through the jungles and mountains of West Africa :) and it was super pretty because it was early in the morning and there was a bunch of fog in the lower parts of the mountains.  I got a birthday tie from President and Sister Judd! Oh and then 2 days ago was my year mark from graduating high school!!! Haha what the heck?? So weird to think about and then next week is my birthday and I'll be 19… so crazy! I got all the candy and saline solution so that was really, really nice! Sister Avery (mission secretary) kept the shirts, ties and socks to give to missionaries that need them and I kept the Weiler’s ties to share out here. Tell the Weilers, Sloanes and ward members thank you very much! I gave some ties to some missionaries already and then I’m going to give some to our RC (recent converts).
So on Friday it was quite an eventful day! We had to go to Akuse and when we first got there we had to go and get our bikes at the district President’s house because we travel far in Akuse. When we got there nobody was home and the gate that was surrounding the house was locked. We needed the bikes so I called president Tyson and he said I can jump over the wall to get them Haha. So I did! It was pretty cool but not a big deal :) and so this is when it gets pretty awesome…We went to visit a LA and she has this 5 ft wall around her house and a big gate and when we started to go in, one of the workers told us to not go in because they have a crazy guard dog that will bite you and that we need to have the lady come out and tie the dog up. So we tried to call the lady but no answer and so that stranger said that he will try and shake the gate so that the dog would bark and would wake the lady up that in side. So while he was doing that the bar that was holding the gate together came off and so the guy said that we needed to grab that bar and lock the door again so the dog doesn’t come and get us  but this whole time I’m thinking that there is no way I would be scared of this dog (it was a big dog, but I’m a missionary and nothing fazes me except the spiders, snakes, and sometimes thunderstorms Haha) and so when my comp was reaching around the big gate to grab the bar I was watching the dog to make sure he didn’t run to the gate, and I then glanced at my comp and then back to the dog and the dog wasn’t there anymore and my comp and the stranger was trying to shut the gate but it was just stuck and they started to run and left me there all alone Haha so the dog comes running out of the gate and then stops and looks at me Haha and I’m thinking where the heck am I going to go!!! So I just turn around and run!! and I saw the big wall that was surrounding the house and it was like 5 ft tall so I knew the dog couldn’t jump over that so I took a few steps and jumped onto the wall and when I was lifting my left leg up the dang dog jumps up and bites my dang ankle Haha but he couldn’t hang on so I lifted my leg and just stayed on top of the wall for like 5 mins while the dog was just staring at me Haha and then he ran off and killed some chickens and I jumped down and ran to my comp lol. It ripped my pants pretty good and I’ll try and send a pic of it. But it was just so funny because you always hear of missionaries running from dogs or getting bit by dogs and it happened to me Haha. But mom, don’t worry because I called sister Judd and she called Dr. Elmer and they think I won’t have a chance of rabies or any problems Haha. Than after that we went to an investigator that lives outside of Akuse in the village of Atzevenya and its right on the Volta River and super pretty!!! I’ll send some pics of it. But in the end it was an awesome day where we taught great investigators and the Lord was protecting his missionaries :)
We have a sister ready for baptism next week and her name is Sister Comfort! She is a really nice girl who lives in Akuse. And then later in June we should have some more investigators ready for baptism that stay in Akuse and Kpong. Clement, Sister Happy, and maybe Happy's husband.
So now I’ll answer your questions;
Yes we still get a few FMS (ward members feed them) but we got our sub raised to 180 Ghana a month so that’s super nice! (they have more money to buy food)  I try and drink as much water as I can. We have indoor plumbing and all that good stuff but when lights go off (which they go off when there is a storm because it gets pretty cold with the wind and rain) we have to shower with a bucket and cup. We take like 30 sec showers because the water feels so cold to us Haha. And on Pdays we normally wash our clothes, email, buy some food, cook, and rest. We haven’t played anything here because we’re always busy. If we didn’t wash our cloths for 2.5 hrs in the morning we could do stuff. I hope I answered all your questions! I love you all very much! Have a good week! This Work Is DIVINE!

Elder Eppich

Prison in Akuse

One of the two dams in Ghana on the Volta river. The blue pods are for fishing.

Homes in Atzevenya