Monday, August 25, 2014

"First ever sacrament meeting service in Hohoe, Ghana"

The first ever sacrament meeting service in the history of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hohoe, Ghana

Sacrament meeting service in Hoeho

new apartment

Elder Eppich and Elder Zaugg

new apartment

in Hoeho

Hohoe church house

Elder Eppich, Daniel, Elder Zaugg

August 25, 2014


Wow what a great week we had here in West Africa! Things really caught me by surprise this transfer as President Heid taked to me about a new assignment. He asked me to go and open up Hohoe for missionary work! This area has never had an organized church group or full time missionaries. We have a few members there and he asked me to head up there and start up a group (smaller than a branch) which I was super pumped for because that would be such an awesome way to finish my misson! I really didn’t want to “die “ in the office as President Heid's Assistant and I guess my prayer came true! Elder Izekor wasn’t too happy because that means he will spend like 10 plus months as an assistant before he goes home. I guess president just wanted me to go there.

So through the course of the week starting on Monday night a big group of missionaries went to KFC to enjoy and we really did and then Tuesday was a day of saying goodbye to members and investigators, which is always a tough thing to do when you leave an area, but all was ok. I have their numbers and I have given some of them a call to talk to them a bit. So Wednesday came around and we had the normal super busy transfer day and it was actually pretty funny because right at 12 pm I just told the AP he is taking over now and I went and relaxed and talked to missionaries that were on transfer! Haha.

Another funny story is that we have one basketball that we have been playing with in the office on Mondays and I was the one who got a hold of it and so I was going to take it to my next area but the office elders and the Assistants were mad that I was taking it and so we decided that we would play a small game in the back of the mission home and winner got the ball to keep. So Elder Burr and I played two other elders and we smashed them and took the ball up to Ho Zone! Anyways, so The Cosgraves took the luggage up to 
Ho while we had to take a tro tro and just to get all the way to Ho it took us from 2:30 – 8:30 pm due to a ferry ride and traffic! It was a long ride but we enjoyed! The next couple of days we had to stay in Ho and go on exchanges because our APT/Meeting chapel wasn’t teady. So we went on exchanges Thursday and spent the night at the Cosgraves place Thursday night. (remember the Cosgraves are Bishop Mackay's uncle and aunt)

So Friday came around and it was finally time for us to resume our journey to Hohoe. It was such an exciting time because this day has long been waiting for missionaries to start proselyting there and it was finally time! It took another 2 hours to reach Hohoe and the place was so sweet! It isn’t too “bushy” and its not as developed as Ho so it is overall an awesome place! Right when we got there we picked up a faithful member named Daniel Opoku who is a policeman and a huge help to getting a meeting place and apartment for us. He took us to the apartment, which is also attached to the chapel, and we got a look around at what it is like. The meeting place is so sweet and an awesome area! It is a new developing area and so there is alot of "Bush" around. The downfall is there is a muslim mosque right next door and every morning at 4 am the sirens start going off and wakes us up. The apartment still needs a couple of things but we are still managing everything. 

Friday late afternoon we were able to start working in our area and so we went and met up with Daniel and started to get to know the details of eveverything and how many members are in Hohoe. We were able to see him and another member before we finished the day. Saturday morning we just prepared in the morning for church the next day. About 4 members came over to our meeting place and helped us clean everything and we got to know them a little better. It was fun to work with everyone! After that we realized we didnt have a podium for the chapel and so what did Elder Zaugg and I do? We found some wood in the back, borrowed a saw and hammer from a carpenter a little down the road and made our very own podium!! it looks pretty sweet and I will send you pics of it! The painter came around to touch up on the wall that he just painted and so he painted our podium for us! That night we went around again looking for the members places and inviting everyone to church the following day! The members here are so ready for the church here in Hohoe and many have not gone for years because of the distance but now the church is here and they are ready to work! There is a man named Gameli who is a correct man and has done a lot for us here the last couple of days - getting chairs to sit on during sacrament srevice, and even he was the one who found us the building!

So Sunday comes around and our service was going to be at 1 pm so that President and Sister Heid could make it to the service. We were only planning on having sacrament because of one or two things. Anyways so they call us saying they are going to be late and so from 1pm to 1:40pm we sang hymns and it was so sweet! Only 7 members and 3 investigators were there at the time and we just sang and it was great! Finally President Heid got there and we had the service. We had a couple of members give talks and me and my comp, Elder Zaugg bore our testimony and President Heid concluded! It was great! Everyone ws so happy that we were able to have the first ever sacrament service in Hohoe!! I was able to conduct the meeting and also pass the sacrament! Such a great experience that I will never forget! Also President Heid called me to be the group leader for the meantime until we can prepare someone else to take my place. It was funny because afterwards we were taking photos of everything (I hope you get the pics mom) and I don't really think the members and investigators really understood how great of an occasion and a great stepping stone for the church in Ghana and the Volta region. The only down side is I cant learn twi anymore and back to ewe....

So all of this was awesome...but wait there is more.... on May 30, 2013 we had a zone conference in Koforidua with Pres Judd. I was serving in Kpong and had just been on mission for 4 months when at this confernce we were talking about how the Accra Ghana mission was going to split to the Accra West and Accra Mission and President Judd was saying that when we split the mission it will help us reach the places we couldnt reach together as one mission. He then prophecied to missionaries that were sitting in the Koforidua meeting house that a few of us would be privileged to open the church in Kpando and even up to Hohoe..... when President Judd said that I felt an impression that I was going to be that missionary that opens either Kpando or Hohoe..... then at the Christmas conference in dec President Judd prophicied again that a few missionaries in this room would be opening Kpando and Hohoe and I got the same feeling that I did many months earlier that I was going to be the one to open that area to missionary work....and now 15 months later here I am and it is such a great experience to be a part of everything and see how the Lord works! President Judd got it right on because both times when he prophesied Elder Jones (opened Kpando) and I were at both meetings! so awesome!!!! So ya... that pretty much summarizes my crazy week!

It's so crazy because each time something awesome happens to me I feel like this was the reason why I came to Ghana, but almost each transfer something different comes up that strengthens my testimony that I was truly called to the Ghana Accra Mission for a reason! I know that we live in a day where God reveals things to all of his servants to help hasten the work of salvation.

Sorry about the bad grammar, now that I'm not in the office the internet is super slow so I'm just trying to type as fast as I can so the internet doesn't turn off on me or lights off. 

I love you all and know that the church is true and who the Lord calls, He qualifies! I couldn't have asked for a better mission! Now I just need to finish strong! I  love you all and have a good week! Remember attitude determines altitude :) 

Elder Eppich

18 months in the mission - burning pants

chapel in Hoeho

new podium Elder Eppich and Elder Zaugg built for the Hoeho group

children fetching drinking water

Upcoming transfers and Sister Comfort's baptism

Sister Comfort's baptism and Elder Burr
August 18, 2014
Well this week was a pretty good week as we prepared for this upcoming week of transfers. A lot will be happening and it is pretty exciting to be a part of! Not sure exactly how the transfer will all affect me but it will be good!
As far as teaching goes, this week was actually pretty slow for us. Probably the toughest week in trying to see people. We had a time to see them but it seemed like we couldn’t ever meet them at the right time. Plus, we can’t contact because it’s all military barracks. We get people complaining to us all the time because we are foreigners in their military camps. They are yelling at us and telling us that we can't be there after 6 o clock then we tell them sorry and that we are missionaries and they still get mad at us but when we give them a pamphlet or a book of Mormon and then we set a time to come back and teach them. We ask them what time they will be free and they say after 6 pm so we ask them if we can come at 7 pm and they say "oh ya that would work" and so we just walk off and they don’t think anything of it. I guess you have to be there to see how funny it is haha plus I probably didn’t say it very well :) 
Yesterday was a pretty chill day as sister Comfort could be baptized! We had been teaching sister Comfort for over a month and she had the craziest ideas about the church!! So it was fun to sit down and teach her about the church and to help her understand that the truth will always be persecuted and gave her plenty of examples of that in the scriptures! She was a fun investigator to teach just because she has such a sweet spirit.
Also on Saturday we had the "All Africa Service Project" where all throughout Africa they were having the service project on the 16th of August. It was super fun service where we went to a special ed school and completely changed the way the small playground, weeds, and so much more looked! It was tough work and I'm pretty tired still from it! We had to do a lot of shoveling as well and that put some work on my body that I haven’t felt for a while. Also I wasn’t able to take any pics but hopefully I can get some sent to me! It was great! I also got a 2 yellow vest for it:) (Not sure what I will ever do with them)
That is so awesome the you were able to go back to Argentina to see the people there and witness the temple sealing! Hopefully next  year in August we can come back to Ghana or around that time... the closer to the middle of the year the cooler it is so we can decide all of that later! But I’m super jealous! One of my RC had their baby last week and I sent you a picture of it a little bit ago and they are an awesome couple that we could hopefully come back to Ghana to see them get sealed! This is their first-born.

Well family I love you all and hope all is well for you back home! Enjoy Argentina.
Much love,
 Elder Eppich

Monday, August 11, 2014

"There is nothing better when you can feel His loving arms wrap around you and enable you to continue pressing onward"

August 11, 2014


Sounds like all is well at home and you are pretty excited to head down to Argentina this week. For me this week has been super busy with so many different things! It was super hectic and not a whole lot of time to proselyte. It all started on Tuesday morning when we found out the missionaries from Sierre Leone and Liberia would be flying from their country to Belgium then to London and back to Accra. They were to land Tuesday night and we were suppose to pick them up. The flight came in at 7:40 pm but it took forever for them to get through customs and get approved to get into the country. They were nervous that we were going to bring in the virus.

We ended up getting the cream of the crop in our mission! That night we picked up 7 from Liberia and 2 from Sierre Leone, and then 3 sets of senior couples!!! They will benefit our mission so much! It took so long and we didn’t get to bed until after midnight. All of the missionaries are super strong and one of them was an assistant in Liberia and so he is currently in a threesome with Elder Izekor and I. He is way chill and knows Tyson from BYU his name is Elder Burr. Wednesday we processed everyone into the mission and got them Ghanaian ID cards and everything else they needed. They left a lot of their stuff where they were serving because of how fast everything happened. Wednesday night we picked up a missionary from the MTC that was heading to Sierre Leone and then that night we got another 2 missionaries from Sierre Leone that took a different flight path. That was another super long night . But by Thursday we had everyone processed and out into the field with their new companions. We had to re open areas that had been close downed because of lack of success so hopefully these missionaries will help us out in those struggling areas. Friday was MLC and that took most of the day but Friday night Elder Burr and I were able to go and teach some lessons which both of us were super happy to do because of the lack of proselyting the last few days! It was a good stress reliever. Saturday we got a lot of work done in terms of teaching our investigators, but around 3pm we had to head back to the mission home and president told us that he was going to white wash an area because the missionaries serving in an area had got robbed a second time in a short amount of space. Elder Burr and I had to drive to M___ and pick those elders up and drive to Korfidua, and then to Suhum to pick up another missionary. It was no small trip for us and it was late. One of the missionaries who got robbed a second time was just super down with everything and was ready to give up and head back home.  I was able to pull him aside and talk to him for a good amount of time about mission and everything that is going on right now and he was still determined to go home which I felt so sad about. So we brought him back to the mission home and he was able to talk with Pres. Heid and everything could be worked out.

Sunday morning he came to me and really thanked me for all the kind words I had told him the night before! It was such a great experience for me to see his attitude change and have that desire to continue to press forward each day. Missionary work is not easy at all and at one point each and every one of us hits that point of giving up, but that is when it is our responsibility to get down on our knees and plead for help and strength from our Father in Heaven. There is nothing better when you can feel His loving arms wrap around you and enable you to continue pressing onward! That is something I will never forget throughout my life.

Today was a sweet pday where we were able to go play soccer on the beach and it was so much fun!! A good stress reliever for us here on mission! I didn’t take any pictures but I know others did so I will try and get those pics later. Well family I love you all and pray for your safety and success! Have a great week!

Much Love,

Elder Eppich

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Include all of West Africa in your prayers"

President Azuma and Family
Teaching discussion with Elder Fausett following
Brother Samuel, Elder Eppich, President Azuma, Brother Moses

Lake Voltz - Kpong region

August 3, 2014


Well this week has been pretty crazy and hectic for us but has been so much fun! To start off I got a call from a RC saying she wants to know how to get General conference tickets in October!! That would be awesome for her to go and meet the family! I may ask her to wait until I go home so I can meet her there! It was sister Deborah from Kaneshie.... Elder Van Scheltema and mine last baptism together. So we will see how that goes. She is a nurse. And yes the Ebola virus is a pretty big deal here but we just need to keep ourselves safe and clean. It hasn’t got to Ghana yet so that is good and we may receive missionaries from those different mission this week (Sierra Leon and Libera missions are temporarily closed)s but we don’t know everything right now. It will definitely strengthen us in numbers and help us grow as a mission to places we have not reached yet.

That soccer picture I sent last week was when we had a ward activity. There are a couple of missionaries and members together... we lost 2-3 it was such a blast though! I knew Karigan would like that picture I sent yesterday (a member from church took a picture and text to Karigan yesterday) I’m glad it made her day! Yes the sister missionary is doing much better and no worries there! Also before I forget can you send a copy of my patriarchal blessing? I lost mine somewhere.... I read it all the time but I think someone was messing with my stuff and accidently dropped it somewhere. So maybe just take a picture of it and send it over email and I can print it off. I got sick this week, which was a bummer, but it was a good thing I had not heard of how serious the Ebola problem was or else I probably would have really freaked out. haha

We had a great experience with an investigator this week as we had challenged her to really pray about the church and as she knelt down to pray she asked God if the church was true or not because she was tired of being confused, and the first answer she got was No! In a really loud voice, but a few moments after that, as she continued to listen she heard a still small voice whisper yes and she knew that was her answer! Her Brother is a strong RC so he can continue to nurture her, but a problem we are facing is she leaves to university at the end of the month and we may not want to baptize her because the church is pretty far away from campus and she may go less active.  We will go by the spirit and judge what would be best. I just felt like sharing that with you. I don’t share a whole lot because of time but that was a neat experience for Elder Izekor and I.

Another great experience we had this week was when three members from Tema New Town branch came to the temple for an endowment session. President Azuma has problems with his legs.  When he was a child they never really grew and so he walks on his hands and he is a complete stud!! He is married with 3 children and he is the branch president. Brother Samuel is the second counselor in the presidency and Brother Moses was less active when I was there but we were able to reactivate him! They are all such great people and I love them to death! I couldn’t go to a session with them because of the time issues but it was good to meet with them all!!! They love me :)  Also we had a good trip to Kpong and got to see the Volta Lake. We had to visit the Kpong zone and we stopped to look at new areas for missionaries and branches.

Well Family and friends I love all of you and I’m grateful for all that you do. I hope you not only include me in your prayers but also all of West Africa. We know the Lord is in charge and will do what is best for the people here! Also Elder Hatch is the new office elder so we will be working a lot closer now. It's so weird that we live in the same apartment and we are so far away from home! Have a good week!

Elder Eppich