Ow Fa Na Family and Others!!! (That means whats up in Pigeon English and the correct response is "No Wahala", which means nothing much. The Africans love me because I am learning Pigeon from my companion. I'll get into that later.)
Disoriented. That is definitely the word I would use to describe my first two days in Ghana and the MTC! After we made it through the insane traffic to the MTC we got to eat breakfast which is roughly the same thing every morning; Baked beans, scrambled eggs with chilies, two slices of bread, and a gourmet salad with tomatoes and LOTS of onions. They always pile up your plate and I can never finish the meals here because they are huge. The Americans here with me (18 of us in total) are getting kind of sick of the onions because Africans are crazy about them and we are just tired of the onion breath! But I am really loving everything in Ghana. Like I said I thought I was going to die the first day; I missed my family, I missed my mom's cooking, I missed being able to hear normal English, but now I've come to love everything here.
The first thing you do in the MTC is get a companion. My companion's name is Elder Odili! He's from Nigeria, he's 25 and he is seriously my best friend. He is the funniest guy I know and he knows his scriptures like I know how to sleep. Perfectly. We became fast friends. He eats like a horse and usually helps me finish my plate. He loves apples and I had one from Washington so I gave it to him one night and he literally walked to every dorm room on our floor yelling "My companion gave me an apple from the United States!" He is really good at rugby and is teaching me how to play. And finally he loves the Gospel. He's taught me a lot by his example and we work well together in this companionship. In the MTC the first few days are spent learning the doctrine so that we can teach by the Spirit and then we start teaching investigators. I do a lot of the talking and Elder Odili applies the scriptures. We are perfect companions and we keep getting complemented on how well we work together.
My favorite story from this week is when we left the MTC to go get our Ghana ID cards. We went to a bank in Tema, Ghana that had a center to get these cards. We drove through town and I'm going to try to tell you what I saw but you'd have to be here to appreciate it. In Ghana no one follows traffic laws, you can dump your garbage everywhere, you are allowed to "relieve yourself" where ever you please and there are people everywhere! So we drove in a bus to this place. The drivers in the MTC would be considered pros in America. They were weaving all over the road, making turns going 40 and they don't slow down when people try to cross the road in front of them, THEY SPEED UP! And there are also people called "Hawkers" who stand in the middle of the road and try to sell things to people and it's anything they can get their hands on. They were selling cell phones, soap, grannuts, soap, hand sanitizer, kites, table cloths, furniture, and just imagine them running through out the road trying to get everyone's attention so that they can make a living. It's a lot of fun to watch! :-) But my experience happened at the bank. After I got my ID card we went outside to wait for the bus, that had left to go back to the MTC, leaving some fresh missionaries in the streets of Ghana. Kind of scary. But when I walked out some Elders were talking to two ladies and I was so impressed with them and honestly thinking to myself how I wished I was that brave. I saw a man who was a guard for the store next to the bank and I just thought that I should go talk to him. When we had left the MTC, none of us had brought our scriptures so I asked everyone if they had pass along cards and only one Elder had one, a pass along card with a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I had no idea how I was going to teach with a picture of a temple that's in America but I felt like I should go so I showed it to Elder Odili and all I said was: "We need to go talk to him" and he just looked at me and said: "Elder Berg-e-sen (that's how he says it), I am your companion, I'll follow your lead." So we went over and I introduced ourselves to him, his name was David. I didn't get to talk to him for very long because his friend named Tony walked up. We talked to Tony for a while, he's married to his beautiful wife, has two kids and he is a Catholic who loves God. I told him I was a farmer and he thought that was pretty cool. So here we are, two missionaries who had been in the MTC for 4 days and we started teaching, asking him questions about why he thinks we are here, and where we came from, and how we can have eternal families, and he loved it. But pretty soon the bus came back up and he said goodbye to us so we walked back but again I had a thought that we needed to get their information and so I ran back and asked if he wanted to hear more and he said YES! I was so happy and afterward the only thing Elder Odili could say was "I LOVE MY COMPANION!!" The gospel is true wherever you are.
I can't thank Heavenly Father and my Savior enough for sending me to Ghana. This is already one of the hardest things I have experienced and I can't wait for it to get harder so that I can come closer to Christ. I know that my Redeemer lives and that he loves me. He loves me so much that he died for me so that I could have the opportunity to return back to our Heavenly Father. I know that Heavenly Father cares about us and that when we pray to him he will answer us. If we truly ask in Faith he will help us. I love you all and I'm thankful to know that we will be together forever.
Kaden's New Companion-Elder Odili
Temple Trip on P-day
All the bridges have the Ghana flag on them
Elder Bergeson isn't quite sure about the milk in Ghana