Monday, February 24, 2014

Famine in the Land of Ghana

Well, this week has been a very interesting week. You may be wondering why it says "Famine". Lets just get down to the story:
     First off, on Tuesday is when this Famine started. This Famine was a WATER Famine, and it affected all of Accra. So we went from Tuesday to about 30 minutes ago, no water. It sucked, because we were not able to clean any of our dishes, and don't even get me started about the toilets...ya, that is just a topic for a whole other blog story.
     Then what about showering? How did we shower for a week? We did what is called Pure Water Showers. You know those little bags of water I posted a few weeks ago. Well, you take about 20 of those things, and you put them above your head and pour it down. Yup, that is how I showered for the past week.
     The reason that the water was out, was because the Volta Lake Dam Pipe needed some repairs up in Kpong (not Kpone my first area but KponG, in the Volta Region). So they had to shut off all the city water in all of Ghana for that. Ya...Lets just say that nobody was happy about that.

So I have some news for you all.
There is a new address for packages
it is:
Elder Ty M. Bowden
Ghana Accra West Mission
PMB CT 209


West Africa

     So there you go. It is there. Don't worry, if you have sent a package to the old address, the office elders will still make trips down to the old address every once in a while, but not as often. This new address is closer to the mission office and President and Sister Hill's house. For the office elders it will be a lot closer to the office. So they will get packages more often. SO SEND MORE PACKAGES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you. 
     This week we had a special experience. We got to meet with Elder Dube of the Seventy. It was a great time to learn and to grow. This meeting to me was focused a lot about how to work closer with the members. He really focused on how the time has come NOW, for members and missionaries to work together. And when we say NOW, it means it is time to get out of your comfort zone, share the Book of Mormon with a friend, and then invite said friend to church. When they come to Church, make sure that the missionaries are in the building or on speed dial, so that they then come in and meet said friend. Then You and said Missionaries, go TOGETHER to the said Friends house for a small get together. You watch the Restoration Video with them (20 minute version not the 1 hour and 10 minute one), read Moroni 10:3-5 and then set a return appointment. Then you go back with said missionaries, to said friend, and you continue to teach said friend. Is that too hard. Elder Ballard said it best:
Brothers and sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or a contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those whom you speak with will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change.  Elder Ballard, November 2013 Ensign (General Conference 2013) 
So...Are we ready to get the job done?     
     Pressing Forward...Church yesterday was very interesting. It was the Korle Bu Ward Conference. The Bishop and the Stake President Spoke in Sacrament. Bishop spent way more time then he should of. He started speaking after Sacrament was over and didn't end until 11:35 (That is 5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting Ends) and then the Choir Sang, then the Stake President had about 3.5 minutes to give a 15+ minute talk. He kept to his time (now I know how my Father feels during Ward Conferences). 
     We had One Investigator At Church: Her name is Zenabu. She has been taught by the missionaries before I came here. This is her first time at church and she seemed to like it. She brought her 4 kids with her (two count as investigators at Church :)). It was sweet. We are hoping that she comes back next week. 
    Well, that is all for this week. It was an adventure to say the least last week. Lets pray that we can continue to have success in the nearing future. 
Elder Bowden

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ghana Letter

So I am guessing that this week you want to know how I am doing. This area is not easy at all. The walking is still a big pain. My shoes are getting pretty worn on the bottom, so I have tried to preserve them as best as possible. I might have to buy some shoe repair kit or something like that if I wanna wear these shoes my whole mission.
     I said I want to talk about investigators who come to Church on Sunday. That would be nice...if anyone came to Church yesterday. Sadly none of our investigators came to church. You might be wondering about Jewel who was supposed to be baptized yesterday. Well, on Thursday we were supposed to meet her at the Church and do her baptismal interview there. Me and Elder Serassio the whole day and day before have been trying to call her and get in contact with her, but she would never pick or she would answer, say shes at Circle, and then hangs up. So we had no idea what was going on. So on Thursday night, we can tell she's not coming. We decide to travel to her home to see if she is there. We are informed by her neighbors that she will not be coming back ever.  So we put two and two together. She is no longer part of our area, (moved into the Circle area) and we have sent her contact over to the missionaries in that area. Sad day. :(
     So I need to clear something up. Elder Serassio's family. His parents are both Americans. Their ANCESTORS can be traced back to Italy and Ghana. Just in case there was any confusion, his parents are American.
     Alright Great News. I have been working out. Ok maybe not working out, but I have been doing sports. Me and Elder Pearson (From Montana and goes home in 30 days) go and play basketball every morning (except Sunday). It is a lot of fun to get out and play some B-ball.  While the two of us are doing that my companion, Elder Serassio, is gyming like a beast in the apartment while we are playing b-ball. He has talked about running so maybe this week we will go out and run during the morning and what not. I do not know. We will see.
     This week is going to be busy. We have a mission tour this week with Elder Dube of the First Quorum of the Seventy. So on Wednesday I get to meet another Awesome member the the Church General Authorities. Our Mission has been blessed with so many wonderful people in the last few months. Elder Vincent (Seventy), Elder Bednar (Apostle), and now Elder Dube (Seventy). Ghana is super blessed to have so many spiritually powerful people in it. 
     So in case you wanna know who is all in my apartment just in case I mention someones name and you wonder who is who and what is what. Here it is:

Elder Pearson is companions with Elder Bills, Elder Pearson is the Zone Leader. 
Elder Kelly is companions with Elder Schoessow, Elder Kelly is the other Zone Leader. 
Elder Pietsch is companions with Elder Saleh. Elder Pietsch is the District Leader. 
Then there is me and Elder Serassio. 
YUP...Elder Pietsch and Pearson are heading home soon (30 days soon). 

Other then that things are pretty much the same. Life is good. Just have to find more people to teach. Lots of contacting ahead of us this week. The members of the ward are super nice. They love the missionaries. I love the members here. Just part of Adjusting.
Well, I better close for this week. I hope you all take care and I am always here waiting for your emails or letters or packages.  But whatever you would love to send, I will love to hold in my hands and hug. Love you all so very much.

Elder Bowden

Monday, February 10, 2014

Zongo, Transfers, and a Jewel

Well, the question should be, where to begin.
     We all should know that I have been Transferred. Yes I have left the Amasaman area. I am sad to have left but I know that Korle Bu is the Ward I need to be in now. It is quite an interesting area. For one, all we do is walk in this area. I would bike if I could, but for a few reasons we don't. One, the area is small enough we can walk, two, its hard to contact people on a bike, and the last reason, all the bikes are broken and no one will fix them (I would if I had the tools). 
     So we walk. And let me tell you that is painful at the moment. In Amasaman we did walk, but it was on dirt, on sand. Now I am here and I am on asphalt. A hard surface. Very painful. My feet kill right now. NEVERTHELESS we press forward. 
     My Companion: His name is Elder Serassio. He has an interesting back ground. His Dad's dad is from Ghana, and his mom is from Italy. They met in the US and now my companion is in Ghana with me. Elder Serassio or Yaw, as he likes to be called, is sweet. He loves to GYM every morning. He does push ups sit ups all kinds of work outs every day. It is sweet. It is inspiring to watch, as I eat my bread and egg sandwich. 
     Korle Bu. I can describe this area by dividing the area in thirds. 1/3 of the area is auto mechanic places and businesses like that, and shops that line the street. Another 1/3 is the fruitful area that we can actually do some decent work in.
     Then there is the last 1/3....This area is called the Zongo. Well, how to best explain this....It is dense, heavily packed, Muslim area. Not to worry it is perfectly fine area. Just the fact that there are Muslims and it is kinda scary to walk through at night time. No worries! ...pray for me!!!!!!!!!
     The ward is super nice. They are small though. I wouldn't say that at church we had over 100 people. However the ward seems to be moving. At least I hope so. The Bishop and his councelors are less then a year old (in terms of serving).
     Now I want to try something new. I want to start talking about the people who actually come to church on Sunday. This week we were blessed to have one come to church.
     Her name is Jewel. She is a 19 year old girl who is quite interesting. She has a great desire to join the church. This Sunday she will be baptized into the Church. I am so excited for her! The moment I met her she was just funny to be around. She is a spaz, as some could say.
     So, there is my week in a nut shell. I do not know why I say nut shell when I would die if I even touched one. Oh well. BYE BYE!!!!!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Transfer Time

Well, things have been interesting this past week.  I have passed 10 months on my mission, Elder Bednar was in Ghana and I got to see him! Elder Smith goes home tomorrow, transfers are on Wednesday, and the Broncos lost the Superbowl (ya...not too happy about that one. Still love them! Love them through thick and thin).

So where to start? Lets start with Elder Bednar. There was an Apostle in Ghana last week!!  It was amazing! He was so powerful and bold. He just gave it to us straight. He is just wow... He did an open discussion and then a question and answer. Prior to the question and answer part he told us he didn't want questions like "where is Kolob" or "have you seen Jesus Christ."  He asked us to ask questions that would help us progress in life. He said, you have an Apostle here, now is the time to ask an Apostle of Jesus Christ something about being an Apostle or something that he has learned in his life.  There were some really good questions. Some like, "As an Apostle how have you observed prayers with other Apostles and how can I put that into effect?" Well, the response to that question I want to share with you. He said, "you can only pray so many different ways. As a Quorum we meet every Thursday and after we have lunch. I wish you all could see the prayer that is given on the food. You can only bless it so many types of ways. But it's not the words (again we don't want vain repetition), but prayer should come from the heart. Focus more on the heart." He then challenged the Elder who asked the question (it was Elder Smith :) to get an inexpensive Book of Mormon, and read it cover to cover and mark anytime it mentioned hearts, and the attribute attached to it. Such as hard hearted, So there is Elder Bednar in a nutshell. 

Transfers are on Wednesday. I am being transferred. I will be going to a place called Korle Bu (core lay boo). Fun fact it is where the Main Hospital in Ghana is. In case anything happens to me, know that I am close to the Hospital. LOL  What is sweet, if any of you remember, Elder Pietsch (if not you will have to wait until next week) but he is my new District Leader! YAY!!!! I am excited to be in the same apartment as him. 

Well, that should be all for this week. I am grateful for all of your prayers and thoughts. Keep them up. Don't lose faith! GOD LOVES YOU!!!!