Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Post #9

Hi All,  
          We just got back from Kumasi from a zone meeting, and my week has been good.  This past week we had to fetch water for one week. It went out last Sunday and then came on yesterday morning. I guess that the city or something or another did something. We all suffered last week, no running water, no power at times, junk food, dirty apartment at times, hooooottttt weather, it was taking a toll on all of us. But now that the water has come back it has boosted our spirits a little.. 
          So yeah I remembered that you guys were fasting for rain. I also felt that I should fast. So I did. It’s probably the only way I can help being here in Ghana, through fasting and prayer. 
          So yeah when Elder Succo left, the new missionary that replaced him is from  Kumasi. He is being trained by Elder Barker (that was Elder Succos companion). He is a Ghanian that is training to be a stake missionary and then he will go on his mission in November to Nigeria. He is a cool guy and really good to talk to. So the lessons are coming easy now, but at times they are hard. But they are getting better. Some of the investigators we are teaching now are serious, and not so serious.  The ones name is Rosca. She is an older woman. She sells bagged concrete mix, and she bakes and sells meat and apple pies, and does peoples laundry. She is really nice. She is promising me an apple pie some time. She is interested in the gospel and loves the missionaries and wants to be baptized but will not commit to a date. So we are working on her very much. Also, all the other people we teach or talk to, they always promise and say that they will come to church, but we never see them. Everyone says that, but no show on Sunday. These Ghanians are not serious when it comes to keeping commitments. So anyway, we are hoping for 2 baptisms the first of next month. And yes, I wish I would of studied the scriptures and lessons a lot more before getting here, and been more prepared. But it is coming. 
          So yeah, the little kids are for the most part always grabbing and hugging me everywhere I go. So yeah, they like me for some unknown reason. And yes, some of the people have not seen a white man before. They like to stop and stare. Hahahaha  Last week the pictures I sent of me, the 2 boys, and the horse; the kid, actually he has the horses and cattle. He raises beef for a butcher and he just rides the horses for a hobby. So I actually have something in common with someone here in Ghana when it comes to livestock. Yes, there are a group of people that think the cows are sacred. They have a weird name that I cannot remember. The horses they just let them loose in the day time and lock them up at nights.
          So my highlight of this past week was when I was in Kumasi today; I have never seen so many people in my life in one place. There are thousands and thousand of just all you see is black dots, and people selling anything and everything you could even imagine exists. There were people grabbing me, wanting me to give them money. Asking for money!! It was nuts!!! The Kumasi market is probably the size of Gunnison and Centerfield big. Its crazy!! So I made sure my wallet and my back pack was surely fastened and safe. Hahahahaha It was crazy.!!
           I am glad that I am here and progressing in Ghana. I am really pleased and thankful for all that you do, and are doing, and many things that we will do together in the years to come. I appreciate everything, even the small things in life. I look back now and say, WOW! I really could use that right now, or I should of taken the time to make good use of it. So keep up the good work.
Love you and talk to you soon, Love Ty

Me and my companion in Obuasi

Having fun with the other missionaries I live with, and a boy selling fruit.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Post #8

Well hello all,
          So my week has been good. It hasn't rained for about five days now.  We have been out of water in our house going on two days now. We have to go fetch water from a members well out with buckets.  I will take a picture of me fetching the water at the well. It ought to make you laugh. And no power today. So yeah, things are not anything like home at all. It's making a man out of me already. But as for me the HIGHLIGHT of this week is;  I went on splits with our district leader, the one from South Africa. When we got back to the apartment we were talking about things that would help me and improve my missionary schedule and lifestyle. So, some how the subject of judging others and how we should not judge others and each other came up.  (The spirit was so strong) It was a very humbling experience.
          We have not had any more baptisms. We probably will at the end of the month. But yes, at the markets that is where I buy most of my fruit and veggies. There are many many markets and stuff like that everywhere. They are selling anything you can imagine. From food to clothes to tools to livestock, you name it. Things are loud and smelly around the markets. So yeah its a pretty crazy place.
          I'm getting to know the people here.  There are about 8 names that exist here. I know probably 15 or so Emmanuels, many Johns, and James's. They are all mostly Bible names or English names. So anyway, last time we were here at the internet café, I bumped into a guy and he said Blackburn! So I turned around and it was a guy who is here in Ghana mining gold. He is from England. Blackburn England!!! Pretty Crazy Huh?? That is what I thought.  We talked a little bit and chatted.  It's a small world. Oh I can't forget, so on Friday, we were just walking down this road, and we saw this guy chasing this yearling bull. So I said to my companion," Lets go help this guy catch it". So we went and he had a crappy rope. So I said, "Give me that  rope, and I will rope that cow for you, I'm a cowboy from America!" So we chased it into a corner and I threw the rope and caught it. We finally got it to a post and tied it up. Hahahaha Let me tell ya, it was fun.  We also saw some horses.. So its been a fun week. So till next week.
Take care and Love Elder Blackburn

This is a market in Obuasi.  It is a loud and smelly place.
It's where I buy most of my fruits and veggies.
You can buy anything you can imagine there.

This is the little bull we chased down and roped. (It was fun)
It's what I needed to regain my spirit with livestock.
Enjoy!!!   :)

This is a stud that is old and has saddle marks all over his back.
He probably came from a ranch somewhere around here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Post #7

Hello Everyone,
          My week has went by really fast, it seems like they are just going by faster and faster. I have finished my first planner in the field. Six weeks in the field. I have been out almost two months, jeez it’s going by fast. So here is an experience. So on Saturday morning I had and accident, I was kind of jogging in the apartment because the elder that went home yesterday was giving all of his things away. So I was on my way over to his room and the door ways in our apartment are built for midgets, I swear. So I was jogging and the next thing I knew I was on the floor laying on my back holding my scalp. The moment I stood up, I was bleeding like as stuck hog. So I went to the kitchen and began washing the blood out and applying pressure. But it stopped bleeding very soon after. Luckily it was not deep, it is about an inch wide and straight as a board. hahaha It was crazy, but I have been keeping it clean and taking antibiotic pills and applying cream to it couple times a day. So I did not need stitches or anything like that; but all is well and its almost healed up. So don’t worry I’m fine, I just need to learn to duck when going under this china made house. 
          The missionaries don’t talk in church; but we have to teach a gospel doctrine investigators class. I have not taught it yet. The older missionaries do it. I probably will in a few months. And in the chapel there is a keyboard and no one knows how to play. So its pretty quiet. 
          So the people we teach as I said last week, they mostly all work. Some of them are part of the Gallumsay. It’s a small scale Gold mining company. It is when they gets shovels and picks and just start digging a hole, like in the show Jungle Gold they had a part that they were digging a hole about 5 feet wide and about 20-30 feet deep. The names of the people that we are teaching Emmanual, Sadats, Samuel, Victiria, Sarah, Ramatu, Charity, Abigal, Asamoah, Chester, Kan, Beatrice, Yaw, Eric, Godfred, Evance. Weird names huh! The majority of the people they have not had much education and are not very good readers. So yeah most of the people we teach they are single and have kids, I think that there is maybe 2 that are married, yeah so its pretty sad.
          So I am starting to get use to some of the foods, but as for a few of them they are pretty hard to swallow. Hahaha nasty! So when we go to the cafe they have drinks that you can buy. I usually buy a drink like coke, sprite, or a fruit juice or something.  It has been raining about everyday. Yesterday it rained hard, like just sheets and sheets of water. There are gutters and trenches everywhere. But the place where we live, all the water runs right in front of our apartment and then the creek behind us. Yesterday, we had probably 6-8 inches of standing water INSIDE our wall of our apartment. 
          So the missionaries that I live with are Elder Meredith (my companion from Samoa), Elder Barker from Indiana, Elder Succo from American Fork (but left today to go home), Elder Sonpon from Liberia, and Elder Kgabaga from South Africa. The one from Liberia is the one that snatches and kieves food all the time.
          Oh yeh, the highlight of my week was; on Sunday morning we was going to church and I guess in the night, the church was plowed over by three cars. We laughed and laughed, cuz the guy is one our investigators and is very stubborn.
          So yeah I have really come to appreciate all that we have back home. Just the food we have to eat, and bed we have to sleep on, and roof we have over our heads. I have been eating a lot of Humble Pie lately. HaHahaha So take care and till next time. 
                                                Love Elder Blackburn

Here is a picture of a cute little girl.  
The school system requires all kids to shave their heads.
(the only way to distinguish between a girl and a boy are the earrings) 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Post #6

Hello Everyone,
          Well this week has been one of the toughest, knowing that you all were taking the cows on the Mtn. My mind was not very focused towards the end of the week. So yeah I have had two hair cuts since I have been here. Well three, if you count the one the Liberian gave me with a razor. (gad talk about a mess if you ever seen one) But they are almost a buzz, it is like a number two or three. The Africans, they give really good hair cuts. They take their time and don’t rush. 
          So it was yesterday it was raining cats and dogs for about an hour and a half. We live at a place which is kinda in a hole, with a wall around our apartment. So within about a half hour there was twelve inches of standing water outside our apartment. But luckily there was a drain to the creek which is behind our apartment. And luckily our doors are high and there is a small barrier around our door. Wow I was starting to worry for a min. But it was fun.
          The people that we have been teaching, they are Barbers, Bakers, Gold Miners, Seamstrices, sell quickcrete, taxi drivers, work at a fufu bar, and they have rice stands. And yes, they ask where I am from and what do I do there and I tell em I am a cowboy and a farmer. HAHa they just laugh and call me cowboy from there on, its funny. So yeah there are many little odd jobs to do but not many solid money making jobs. 
          Yeah so people here in Ghana the majority of them they go to some church. There are many many Christians, a lot of Muslims, and there are the few that are of an apostate church or they don’t go to church. But the majority are Christian based people. I took a picture of a small church that looks like our wood shed, it is called The Twelve Apostle Church, Nwe Nsuta Branch. The majority of the people we meet they believe in God and Jesus Christ. So yeah, I think that it is mostly because of the poverty. Because they have nothing but what they have and can have is religion. So we mostly just find people out and about, like just walking, sitting in the shade, or sitting at their little stores. But I haven’t knocked on one door yet. I may never. Who knows?? The teaching is going good. The lessons are getting better for me some how at times. But I need to listen to the spirit more.  
          So we usually go the rice stand maybe three or four times a week, it is really quite good for Ghana food. It's called King David's Fried Rice!! hahaha. Talk about a shack and a half!! It would not be able to compare with American food at all. So we cook food at the apartment like Samoan pancakes, rice, and stew which is getting very old; bread and egg, and ramen noodles. And I also buy the oatmeal cookies at a store here, they are pretty good. I like the elders I live with. They are all easy going and good strong missionaries to joke around with laugh, talk, ask advice or just to play a game of checkers with. One elder is going home next week from American Fork, Elder Succo. , He has been enjoying him self the last couple of weeks. 
          So yeah the clothes washer plunger thing that I brought, it works good, I have learned how to really use it good. But some times I have to scrub with my hands with some things like my shirts to get the dirt out. It was worth bringing for sure.  
          Tell little Bryer Patch Happy Birthday for me and that I miss her cute smiley face. So we are always working hard and doing our job as missionaries. I am getting use to the weather. And yes I am staying healthy. My feet are good; and yes, I always wear my shower shoes and of course I’m always taking picture. The best of luck with anything and everything. You are always in my prayers. So Till next week.
Love Elder Ty Blackburn 

This is the mining town that I am currently serving in. 
Obuasi Ghana Africa!!!

Here is a bowl of fufu.  
A thick, doughlike West African food made by boiling and pounding a starchy vegetable such as yam, plantain, or cassava.