Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ghana MTC/Letter #2

Elder Meinzer's Ghana MTC group

Elder Meinzer leaves the Ghana MTC today, April 7. His experiences have helped him, at times, to feel really confident and ready to go out to the field, but then at other times he feels awfully inadequate and unprepared. And that mix of feelings will help him a lot on his mission to continue to grow and develop, as well as to help others with his depth of preparation.

The students

The students

The teachers
He has grown really close to his companion Elder Isagara, Elder Sanft (from California), Elder Banda (from South Africa), Elder Hailemariam (from Ethiopia) and Elder Darrow (from Utah). He is so glad that Elder Darrow is there. He keeps him sane.

Elder Meinzer & Elder Darrow

Elder Meinzer's companion, Elder Isagara, "is kind of a big deal." His mother is a princess so people come and take pictures with him a lot. And that simple explanation is one of the many examples of the fact that Elder Meinzer's experiences in the Ghana MTC are very different than his Utah County life.

Elder Meinzer has only seen one other white person there who isn't a missionary and feels like he sticks out like a sore thumb. He has been able to eat everything so far, except for a disgusting porridge. The cooks try to mix things up and make food from the various countries of Africa so they have had yams and chicken in a broth, spaghetti, fried rice and salad with chicken, a local dish of fish tail with something that looks like mashed potatoes. (He heard it was disgusting . He didn't eat it because the cooks were looking out for the white boys and gave him and Elder Darrow yams and chicken.)

It rains for several days straight and the power goes out frequently, which turns off the fan and adds to the heat. He feels like he is constantly damp from the humid air. He washes his own clothes so he tried washing them on his abs, but that only resulted in a type of rugburn on his stomach so he hasn't tried that since. (don't ask me why he did that...washboard abs I guess)

He's decided that his humor doesn't translate very well. As he plays the prelude music, the two french speaking sisters always sing along. Does it surprise anybody that this annoys him? So, to throw them off sometimes he switches songs halfway through or just skips lines.

For church, two topics are assigned and everybody is supposed to write a 3 minute talk on each subject. Then during the meeting, the President randomly calls eight missionaries to speak. He definitely felt the spirit when he gave his talk.

The Accra Ghana Temple
Elder Meinzer had the opportunity to attend the Accra Temple twice while at the MTC. Only eight of the 39 missionaries were endowed when they arrived at the Ghana MTC. He loved going through with everybody and serving as an escort. He definitely appreciates all the time he spent in the temple prior to his mission. The Accra Temple is beautiful and is one of his favorites, along with the Newport Beach Temple.

Elder Darrow & Elder Meinzer

Elder Meinzer had the opportunity to give Elder Darrow a blessing. It was a great opportunity for him to feel the spirit. He is also learning his testimony in Fante, which is the dominant local language. One thing he mentioned that I totally love is, "I may not be able to save people from their poverty, but I can heal their wounded soul with the word of God."