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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Post #14

Hello Everyone,
          Haha… Here it is Monday again. lol  Well this week was good for me and my new companion here in Obuasi. His name is Elder Cockrum. He is an awesome companion. It feels nice to be Senior companion now. I am the one that makes all the decisions, and takes the lead in most all of the teachings. He comes from a place called West Plains, Missouri.   He is a really big hunter and comes from a farm.  He was a Rock Mason with his dad before he came. When he came, we were able to kind of start a new page, and focus on contacting and finding more people to teach. We decided to start to proselyte in a different part of our area called “Estate”.  Me and my new companion are getting along very well, we are both O' Bronie!! (Its Twi for white man). So we get a lot of that, and an occasional China!! So yes I can speak a little twi.  Just small talk, Kakrakakra, hahaha it means small small.  I am always listening to em talk, and doing that has helped.
          So one of our people we usually greet and talk to on our way to our area, she just gave birth. She really likes my name, and always says it. So she decided to name her baby boy “Blackburn!!!”  haha… pretty cool I guess.
          We are hoping to have 2 baptisms on the 11th of August. We are still working on Rosca. I have been really studying the scriptures and trying to study doctrine. These people here always have lots of questions, especially about the Bible. So I’m progressing little by little.
          This last Wednesday, some of us went to Kumasi to get our new companions. I was able to see Stetson, and bunch of other of my MTC Mates.  They are doing good, and have lost a little weight. So not too much news on any one new.  We were able to help someone pound FuFu!! It was pretty fun. So this week, nothing much too exciting; just another week on Mission.
          I hope that you liked the small gifts that Jason delivered to you. They aren’t much, but I thought that I ought to do something like that. When I come home, I will really bring Africa home with me.  The place where they sell the wood carvings is pretty crazy! They really want your money, especially if you are white. I would have to say that since I have been here, I have become quite the negotiator and learned how to "JEW" them down. Hahaha…
          So I hope that you have a good time on the Mountain, and get all the cows moved. I bet that it looks good with all the rains. So yes, getting out of this heat and humidity is something that I always think about. On some days, the sun is almost too hot to even stand out in it. So I would have to say that I am suffering over here when it comes to he heat….When I get back, I won't know how to act.  Hahaha..  I hope you have a good and profitable week, and make sure to enjoy your self on the Mtn.
Take care, and thanks again for everything.
              Love You all,
        Elder Ty Blackburn

P-Day in Kumasi.  
I met up with Elder Larsen who was returning home to Loa, Utah after 2 years. 
 I sent home some African souvenirs with him. 

Elder Meredith and I with Rosca.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Post #13

Hi Everyone,
          Well here it is Monday again. It seems like I’m just skipping from Monday to Monday. So this week was good.  I have not been sick, and am feeling good.  So my companion Elder Meredith is being transferred to a place called Bibiani. On Wednesday, I'm going to Kumasi to drop my companion off.  He is taking Elder Larsen’s place as District leader, and I am going to be with one of my MTC mates; Elder Cockrum, from Missouri. I am very exited to be getting a new companion.  I’m going to be senior companion.  It will be good.  I’m going to have to step it up a little more. So all the missionaries that have served here in Obuasi have serve here for about 7-9 months; so I imagine I will be here until Christmas. Maybe by then, I will be able to train.
          So I guess I have lost weight..   Hahaha… You think so? I guess that most of the missionaries loose weight in Ghana. Well, we usually walk 5-7 miles a day. Our area is far from our apartment, so we usually take a tro and then when we come back, we walk. And my pants are baggy. I had to buy a new pair. They are kind of bell bottoms. And I have started to exercise in the mornings. When I do, I feel a lot better, rather than if I don’t.
          We keep the apartment clean. We clean it really good on Mondays. The only person that does not like to clean is Elder Barker, and his companion. The flooring in my room is like a lenolium. It’s really easy to clean. So about the spiders and crazy creatures. I have seen many lizards, spiders, but not snakes yet. They say there are many black and green mambas around.  They say, because of all the mining, the wildlife has moved out.
          So my highlight of this week was; when we were coming back to the apartment and we were walking, we saw a bunch of people standing in a circle shouting and yelling. So when we got close, we asked a guy what was going on. He said that they caught some armed robbers trying to steal fruit. He said they were going to beat them or stone them. … Pretty crazy!!
          We are still planning on baptizing Rosca; probably not until the 11th of August. She gave us some small apple pies (like you buy at McDonalds) again, yesterday. She is powerful! We are planning on baptizing her, and maybe another guy.  I am going to do a combined one with Elder Barker. So President Holmes is always opening areas that have never seen or had missionaries before. I hope I will be able to be a missionary that could open up a new area one day.
          So I am doing fine, and I can’t believe that I have been out three months. WOW!!  They say that is what happens when you work. I can’t believe that you are cutting second crop already. It seems just yesterday you told me you were going to cut first crop. Haha… That is really good to hear that Belle and Chap are working hard; and fighting over what to do. Trying to fill my shoes. Haha.. Keep up the good work. So thanks again for everything.  I miss you all.
            Love Ty

This is me and the other missionaries that I live with.  

This is my bed.  It wasn't too comfy at first, but now its fine. 
It's pretty nice to have a fan blowing on me all night.

This is our apartment. Its huge!! 
 It's one of the nicest apartments in the Ghana, Kumasi Mission. 
It's very roomy. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Post #12

Hi All,
          So this past week has again flew by. I have been able to stay busy. I have found that when I get discouraged or depressed, I tell my companion, “Lets go to work, we are here for only two years, lets make the most of it”. I have found that when I work, my days are much better. So yes, it has been raining just about everyday, and it is always muddy and wet now a days. It also sounds like you have been having some good storms. All the prayers and the fasts worked. We can always liken this to the Book of Mormon. When they lived righteously, they were blessed, and they prospered and flourished in all that they did. So it goes to show that you are living right. 
         I was all smiles while I read your email. Hearing about all the hard work you and the family are doing. You don’t know how good it makes me feel to hear all of these great things happening. I know that it is because of my service, and also all the prayers. It also sounds like you had a good time at Elkhorn as a family. I bet it was a lot of fun to get away and to relax.
         So yesterday we had a Branch Conference. Our Mission President, President Holmes, came and gave us all a really powerful message. Especially the members! The members here need a lot of work and help. They just come to church on Sundays, and then go home. They don’t do home teaching, weekly activities, helping the missionaries, feeding the missionaries, etc.. So I think that yesterday helped a lot. 
        So this past weeks highlight would have to be when we were teaching this lady named Barbara. She is middle age women who is a teacher. She has been dodging us and making excuses. But last Wednesday, we went to her house and asked if we could teach her. So we started to teach her the Plan of Salvation. So about half way through she started to cry when we were reading from the Book of Mormon. The spirit was really strong, and now she is progressing good again. And another highlight is when we went to a place called Junction. It’s a very small town or village. I guess you could say (it’s where the roads of cape coast, Accra, Kumasi, and Obuasi meet). So on the way we passed a place where the houses were made of mud and sticks. They were all cooking with fire with big pots, and had their babies on there backs. I was not able to get a pic but maybe next time. It was really cool!!
        So I love hearing all about everything back home. I hope you are enjoying your summer break. Have a very good and profitable week.
            Love Your Son Elder Blackburn

 This guy handing out tomatoes was a very loud experience. 
There were many many ladies yelling and cussing in twi (Ashanti native language) pushing and shoving each other to get the best tomatoes. Hahaha…  
It was really quite something to see.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Post #11

Well Hello Everyone,
          I am doing well. This week has just been another week in Ghana. I am doing good though.  No I have not been sick lately.   hahaha. Yes, I am feeling fine; just homesick at times. I am very happy to hear that all is well and that the rains are starting to come. It sounds like the cows are doing good and that my cows are being watched over too. Its really good to hear those things.
          The only thing that really bothers me is my companion. He is a really big boss, and always likes to have his say in everything, o and he is a really big smacker. Gad, about to drive me up a wall. But other than that, I’m just kicking it one day at a time. I really love Mondays though, they are my favorite. I get to listen to music, and see how everybody and everything is back home.
          We are still teaching the Rosca lady. This past week we gave her a baptismal date and she accepted for the 27 of July. And yesterday she gave us some small meat pies, and she says this week she will give me my apple pie.  So stuff like that makes Ghana more enjoyable at times.
          The poverty is really bad. They say that Ghana is the 3rd poorest country in the world.  So yes, it’s real poverty for sure.  It’s definately a humbling experience too.
          So the food is getting better. I am able to eat fufu now, but as for the other exotic foods its still pretty hard for me to take. My gag reflexes are still strong.. Hahaha…
           So. I hope you all have a very fun time with family this weekend on the mountain. Give it a HELLO from Ty would ya. hahaha. ..You know that I am very jealous and wish I could be there, but this is where I am suppose to be right now at this point in my life. I can’t believe it’s almost been three months since I left. Man, I am going to be home before you know it and everything will be in order and taken care of thanks to great men like my dad. I really appreciate you and all that you are doing for me. Also since I have been on my mission, I have realized the importance of families. And how we can all return back to our Heavenly Father and be Families Forvever. I love you and always am praying for each and everyone of you. So take care, till next week.
         Love you,  Elder Blackburn

Monday, July 1, 2013

Post #10

 Hey Everyone, 
         Thanks for telling me about all the happenings of Axtell. And yes, I’m doing alright.  I am sometimes shocked, and I have to take a step back and say,”Am I really in Ghana Africa??” hahaha.. It’s an African experience for sure! I am doing well here though.  So we went to Kumasi today, just three of us. The others did not want to come. So I was able to see Jason. It was sweet. We had a good time. He is a good guy, and cool one as well. I bought some canvas paintings and two wood carvings to send home to you guys with Jason.  So to answer your Q? about the steps we have. So every six weeks is a transfer.  I am on my second transfer.  Every transfer we get a new planner. I have finished my first one and I’m half way done with my second one.  Man the days are flying!!
          So this week was a slow one for us.  It is hot, humid, it’s not raining. It has not rained for almost three weeks now. They say it’s the rainy season, but its not coming! They say when it comes, it wont stop. I wish there was some way we could just transfer it all to Utah, when it does come.   
          We are still having a hard time with our investigators keeping commitments, and coming to church. They always promise to come to church, but they never come. We have one, maybe once or twice a month actually show up at church.  But other than that, it’s scarce. So when we tract, we usually just tract and contact in the same areas. We have been going to areas that have never seen missionaries.  We found a (I guess you could call it) a village! We found it just recently. It’s called Kokoteswia. It is in our area, but it is just too far from our apartment. We try to stay in the relative area of where we usually proselyte. 
          The HIGHLIGHT of this past week would probably have to be; when I was studying my scriptures. I was reading in the New Testament.  I was reading along and a lot of the questions I was having; they began to be answered one by one. And then when we went out, I was able to feel the spirit, and teach with it more than I ever had. So I learned that praying for the spirit’s guidance really teaches us many things. So that is my highlight.
          I hope that you all have a very happy 4th of July.  I’m really going to miss all the parties, parades, o and food this week on the fourth. Yesterday was Ghana's Independence Day. The only thing that was going on was just a few stores were closed. There were no parades, no parties going on, no nothing. So I am so thankful for everything we have in America, and all the patronage we all have. Take care and love you all. Till next week.
                   Love Ty 

The crazy sights of Africa!!

Eating fufu!!
Fufu is eaten by everyone taking a small ball of it in one's fingers
 and then dipping into an accompanying soup or sauce.