Monday, June 23, 2014

A touch of home

June 23, 2014


I actually had forgotten that we ran into him, but ya so crazy story with Uncle Lanes brother!! We were at a little shopping mall buying some stuff for a missionary that was coming to Accra from far away, and we ran into Bishop Abu who is an amazing man (his father translate the Temple endowment video to Twi) he is actually married to an American women and so he works a lot with Americans coming to Ghana and helping them out.  
He was telling us he was with some Americans right now and so we went over to talk to them and I heard him say his name, but I thought I just misheard him and so we continued to talk and then I introduced myself and where I was from and he was like oh I know your father and I’m like what? What’s your name again? And he said Lane Mcgary is my brother I’m Steve McGary and I was like what the heck??? Are you serious and so we started to talk a lot more about back home and family, it was super sweet and random.

And yes president and Sister Judd are leaving next Sunday night and president Heid flies in the day before. So this week will be pretty crazy and we actually have a mini transfer this Wednesday because we have a couple of French speaking missionaries that have been learning English in the MTC in Tema and so they are coming this Wednesday so we will stay pretty busy...again haha. I’m super excited to start working with President Heid; it will be different but very rewarding! I guess he has already received our pictures and learning about us. Also I didn’t receive Karigan's graduation card, and that also reminds me that tell Karigan that I get my old number back.....if possible, I have been memorizing a million different phone numbers that last 16+months and I don’t want to have to memorize another one haha.

Brother Kofi was confirmed yesterday and I had given him one of my old shirts and ties and so he looked way fresh when he came to church. Yes, the World Cup is crazy here! We would just be driving down the road and hear people screaming when there is a goal. It is awesome, and ya I was bummed when Ghana lost to USA :( but they played super well against Germany! But I don’t think they can qualify to the next round now :( but I mean Ghana is super strong team and especially how small of a country they are! I think they are like the size of Oregon and a third world country so they did alright at the World Cup. Hopefully they beat Portugal this next week! But even if they do I’m pretty sure they wont have enough points to qualify.

Well family, I love all of you and I’m thankful for all that you do for me! I can’t think of anything right now for to send me, but ill pray about it. Have a great week!

Much love

Elder Eppich

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"A Change of Heart"

cute little monkey - Kade's favorite animal

The beautiful countryside of Ho and Kpando

June 16, 2014


Well this birthday week was probably one of the greatest birthday week's ever! Of course it had its ups and downs but it was fantastic! So I will try and explain everything starting from Monday to Sunday. So last Monday once we finished our cafe' (internet) we started on our little mission trip to the Ho zone which is quite a journey. We first stopped at Tsito to spend the night and right when we were joking about lights going out, it did! For me being in a place with a generator and not experiencing light off for 2 months, it was quite the bummer! Tsito is in the bush and the mountains it is very cold at night, so we decided that we would sleep outside. It was so awesome! The last time I slept outside because of light off was in Kaneshie my training grounds. The next morning consisted of us driving with the elders to Ho for their Zone Training Meeting. After the meeting, which was great, we took the Kpando elders back to Kpando, and that is about 1 hour 15 mins north of Ho and it was the most beautiful drive I have ever been on! We were going through the mountains and small villages on top of the mountains and seeing beautiful things! It once again reminded me of how beautiful Africa was! So much green! We also passed by a Monkey Sanctuary, which I will come back to :) We arrived in Kpando and went straight to work. My companion and me went with different set of missionaries and started to proselyte. Kpando is a new group that has just opened and they have been facing a lot of struggles in the last few months, and so it was awesome to get a fill of how everything was going there and meeting with the missionaries’ investigators. They are starting to turn things around there and I’m excited to see the future for Kpando and even the future in the northern part of the Volta Region. Our next goal is to get a Branch/Group in Hohoe, but we will see how that goes. The following morning (My birthday, Wednesday) we woke up and got dressed and started to head back to Ho, but because it was my birthday I wanted to celebrate a little so we decided to stop at the monkey sanctuary! It’s in a small little village just outside of Kpando where most of the income comes from tourists viewing the Sanctuary and also farmers. It cost us both 11 GHC to enter the Sanctuary. The man told us that they had run out of all the bananas that they fed to the monkeys so we had to drive to a near by village to get some more. So we started to walk into the thick jungle when all of a sudden a huge Gorilla popped out of the trees and started to make a really loud noise!!! Haha I’m just kidding but we were walking out to the deep jungle and the tour guy started to make these monkey noises and before we knew it we were surrounded by a ton of moneys! They were running on the ground, flying through the air from one tree to another, and they were all coming for our bananas! So what we do is we hold the banana out and the monkeys will come running over right in front of us and start to peel the banana and eat it right there!! It was the coolest thing ever, and soon after that we had monkeys start to jump on our arms and sit their while they are eating the bananas! Don’t worry mom I have a lot of pics and videos that I will send you! It was the coolest thing ever, and it felt so awesome to have a small little monkey on my arm or shoulder! (Kade has always loved monkeys) So that right there made my week and 20th Birthday!

But I will continue with my week; we left the monkey sanctuary and started our way back to Ho. Once we arrived in Ho we went out on exchanges with other missionaries and even though being with the monkeys were super awesome to celebrate my birthday an even more rewarding opportunity happened when I was able work with a companionship who all their appointments fell through during the day so the whole day we contacted and met some super awesome investigators! I tried to help them be more open and free with people and not make everything so dull and boring…I mean come on, we have the true and everlasting gospel we have to be contacting with a huge smile and upbeat attitude! We spent the night in Ho and then made our journey back to Accra! It was a great and rewarding trip but I was so tired once everything was finished and we pulled into the mission home. I think we drove a total of 600 KM which isn’t very much but it is when the road are so crappy and you are dodging every pot hole that could destroy your tire and run you off the road haha but it was cool! Friday was a normal day where we worked with president Judd for the first half of the day and then went teaching the rest of the day! Saturday came along and it was a nice full day of teaching and at night time to celebrate my birthday concerning the food way me and my comp went to KFC and I bought us a big bucket of chicken for 55 GHC haha that is over a quarter of our subsistence lol for 18 pieces and it was so worth it!!! The chicken is amazing but we can only go there for special occasions!

Sunday was a little stressful because we were scheduled to have a baptism and we had only seen our candidate once the whole week and that was for the baptismal interview, but we knew that we were doing our part and the Lord would do his part as we sacrificed our time and attention to a different zone the Lord would reward us for our efforts and he did! Brother Kofi came to church and was baptized by a RC name Ernest so I will be sending a picture of that. It was a great example of a mighty change of heart in my eyes! The first time I met brother Kofi he was completely drunk and didn’t know what was going on. We tried to sit him down to talk with him but he wasn't having a sober mind and so what ever we taught him it didn’t stick at all, so we decided to see him a little later in the week. He slowly progressed in his repentance but would just fall back into drinking. At one point we were teaching him and we were preparing to drop him, but something just changed inside of him and he started to get more serious with reading and coming to church. After that point it was a totally different Kofi. He was sober and the way he presented himself was a huge change. He had finally found what he had been looking for and changed his ways to be baptized. It was a great blessing to see bro Kofi’s change of heart and help strengthen my testimony of that anyone can change. We are now working with his daughter as well. He was so happy after his baptism!

This morning we had a great game of football and also the World cup is going on right now and everyone is going crazy here! The love for football is so crazy; we have hard time teaching people because the games are always playing! But Ghana plays USA tonight so I pray Ghana wins! And whenever someone tries to talk crap I will just say I’m German haha but it’s all cool! Well family, I love you all and I’m so grateful for all that you do.  My 20th birthday was awesome and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else at this time and stage of my life! I hope you all have a great week! The church is true! Continue to send your prayers. Much love,

Elder Kade Eppich
Kofi's baptism

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy "20th" Birthday Elder Eppich

great friends - Elder Kisembe (Kenya) Elder Bongomin (Uganda) on their way to the airport

June 9, 2014


Well this last week was a very great one for Elder Izekor and I. So much happened! So before I forget, the branch in Tema New Town (my former area) is just doing so awesome! They had 100 people at church last week and 89 this last Sunday!!! So crazy and my recent convert, Sister Cecilia, got called to be Young Women’s President! It was so funny to hear that she was saying that she has only been a member for so long and they want her to do something so big haha. She is solid and will do great! Also, this weather here is crazy! Rainy season is hitting us hard and we are having days of rain it seems like. It’s awesome for us because we have a truck but not for other missionaries.

So President and Sister Judd’s last Mission Leadership council was held on Thursday, as well as for 4 of my super close mission friends, but it was amazing! We did it a little differently this time because President and Sister Judd wanted time to give their final Instruction to us leaders of the mission. Sister Judd always does amazing with her knowledge of the scriptures and linking it to missionary work, specifically for our mission. Then President Judd bore his testimony on so many different things and using the scriptures and at the close of instruction he started to cry. I have not once seen president Judd shed tears, (I have seen him get watery eyes, but never shed tears) and it was so powerful. He basically said we are future leaders of the church throughout the world (I want to say I feel like the missions in West Africa have the most diversity.... Africans, Americans, Europeans, Polynesians) and we better not ever let us down, it was great!!!

I was also able to see some of the greatest men I have met in Ghana on Friday night when they came for President Judd and Sister Judd’s departure devotional to the districts and stakes. It was the district president President Tyson and President Dugbatey! We got some pictures with them and so I was super happy because I was not able to get a pic of President Tyson before I left Kpong. Also, President Dugbatey’s driver’s name is Eric and I baptized his wife and so they are planning to be sealed in the temple here in the next few months so that was great news to receive!

Dang, so this week with different meetings and so much rain we weren’t able to teach very many people and see our investigators but the Lord blessed us with a good attendance at sacrament! One of investigator’s was Joel, who we just started to teach about 10 days ago, and the light in this man’s face is amazing. He just has a huge smile on his face every time we teach him and at church he loves it! Especially the Hymns (in Ghana a big things is playing drums and crazy music at other churches) so the quiet hymns were great. We will buy him a hymnbook. But the man that I want to talk about was so crazy! He came to church for the first time and was like begging for us to baptize him. He loved the service and knew that he had found the true church and will never leave it. He has been searching for the correct church but couldn’t find it and after 15 yrs. he has found it! He has been a part of different cults, secret societies, Hindu, Muslim and everything and couldn’t find what he was looking for. He has had so many troubles in his life that he needed help and he was talking to a lady one day about all of his challenges and she referred him to her brother who is a member of our church and so the man just came by himself and he absolutely loved it!!! So will see how it continues to go for him! But with cases like this it just brings a big smile to your face! I pray that the fire keeps burning inside him so he gets baptized at the end of the month.

Yup I still can’t believe it’s my birthday either! I already opened the package with the scriptures in them today because after I get done emailing today, my comp and I will be driving to the Volta region to help the missionaries there. We won’t return until Thursday and I wanted to take my awesome new scripture so I just opened it haha sorry but they are so awesome! Thank you very much!!! I will just use them to proselyte but I will use my other ones to study in! On my birthday we will be in Kpando, which is the furthest North the church has ever been in the Volta region and so that will be a nice day to kind of celebrate my birthday. Sorry for not sending many pictures I’m just so busy that it is hard for me to send them, but I have some I will send today. I love you all and hope you have a great week! I can’t believe Karigan graduated last week! So crazy. The church is true.

Elder Kade Eppich

President Tyson, district president for the Kpong zone

Kade's bed all decorated for his birthday

Monday, June 2, 2014

"The Church is True and Missionary Work is Divine"

June 2, 2014


Well this last week was pretty busy once again with transfers. I felt like it all turned out well and the new companionships and areas are going to be a blessing to the new missionaries serving in their areas. We try our best to align our will with the Lord's will when it comes to transfers. Tuesday was awesome because we have the departure devo for the missionaries going home and we eat plenty of nice food that is cooked by sister Judd and her little helper.  Then there is a small farewell when the missionaries going home bare their testimony, so all of that is awesome but than you watch them head off to the airport and its like..... That’s sweet they are heading home to see their families but also sad. Wednesday was crazy day because we woke up at 430 to go to the MTC and pick the new missionaries up, have a welcome orientation with them and they get to receive their trainers. Then we receive a bunch of missionaries that come and get their new comps and supplies which is always fun to see old companions and friends. After that we had to take sister missionaries to a new apartment because we need more rooms for sisters because the next couple of transfers we will be getting a lot of them (only sisters from Africa are allowed in our mission).

I haven’t received my birthday packages yet, but I’m sure they will arrive. I guess the post office is charging money for those padded envelopes now so when you write on the outside of the package how much everything is worth inside the package just say its very cheep or else they will charge a bunch of money. I’m happy Karigan enjoyed state track and I can’t believe she is graduating so soon. Yes I seriously can’t believe I graduated 2 years ago!!! Crazy! Time is going by fast.

As for me I was studying for the new missionary orientation this last week and I talked about unity in the companionship and how much it will bless the lives of the missionaries and the investigators when you are truly unified. As I look back, I feel like the missionaries I have been with we have done very well in being unified and I feel like that blessed the work. But I was talking about Mosiah 18; 21 and how important it is, and I just kept thinking about how much this is going to help prepare me for my marriage when I get home haha. I have had some very different companions with much different personalities but yet we have been able to work things out and become great friends. It's so true when they tell you that a mission prepares you for life and I could have never learned these things unless I served a mission.  Then I went on talking about how the closer we get to God individually the closer we will get to our companions and I used an awesome talk by Elder Romney called Unity so you can look that up if you want. Well family I love you all and I’m grateful for your support..... I’m turning 20 soon! So crazy! The church is true and missionary work is divine. Talk to you next week.

Elder Eppich