Archive | December 2011

Email From Elder Holder 12/26/2011

Hey guys,
  I’m just sending some pictures that i’ve taken since I’ve been here. How many i send depends on how fast the computer goes. There are a few of christmas, a few of me, a couple ghana sunsets, and a few of the apartment. Thank you for all the stuff you guys sent me, the hard part is going to be to make sure that it lasts. Christmas was weird because it wasn’t with family but it was still good. The day after is pretty hard. I hit like a small  depression before hitting up this place. We also almost didn’t get to email today. I guess some people in ghana celebrate christmas for three days, the 24th, 25th, and the 26th. All the cafes in my area were closed and then the ones that were open didn’t have a link. The one i’m at now just barely got a link. The pics take too long so you guys are going to have to wait until i can get to the cafe in town. It’ll be alot faster. I’m not sure what two pics your getting but that’s just a little bit of what i’ve been doing here. alright enjoy
  Elder Holder


Merry Christmas from Ghana (Elder Holder Phones Home)

Elder Holder called today he is doing well. he has not yet ate “coat” (a slice of cow skin) His companion is Elder Wheeler from Bountiful, his dad is Jon Wheeler. I, (Mike Oviatt went to school with him. He’s not a member). Elder Holder believes no one is truly prepared for the food of their mission. We reminded him that he is in a third world country. The Misison President spoke to him about eating. What they landed on is Elder Holder needs to budget his money better and he needs to learn to eat African. He needs to learn to cook stews.Elder Holder has still been trying to eat American which is expensive. Elder Holder said the cookies from are the bomb and he’d love some more. He is wanting canned goods and photos. He is in a town 2 hrs. north of Cape Coast. He will send us the name of the town. For Christmas The Mission President had a meeting with them on Friday and let them watch a movie about rugby . They also had a fried chicken dinner with stir fried rice and custard for dessert. He and his companion comfirmed a family they baptized today. He said they were really strong.  He said it’s hard being on a english speaking mission in a country where a lot of people don’t speak english. He has to talk real slow. He said his mission is bitter seet. I told him I had just read in Roman’s where Paul taught we have tribulations to teach us patience. from them we gain experience and from experience we gain hope. Seku said they had the power go out just about every night. He is 7 hours head from Utah. He will have his companion until February. In Feb. he will probably be a trainer. We told him he better learn to cook by then so he can teach his companion. He lives in an apartment with 2 other Elders (both American). He told us a story that while they were at the Christmas dinner they got a text from Elder’s in another district telling them that the road to the Ivory Coast was open and the police were out in force. They were warned they better find a way to get home so they weren’t arrested. They had been bussed to another area for the dinner. While they were panicing and scrambling trying to figure out what to do a text came thru saying “Just kidding!” So now they are plotting their revenge.Seku says he has his debit card so now he has to figure out if he can use it. That will make it easier for him to pay the duty on packages. Elder Holder and his companion live in their area so they walk. The other companionship have a ways to go so they either walk or ride bikes. Where the bikes come from Seku didn’t say. Elder Holder is sounding good.

Dec. 19, 2011 Elder Holder Reports Baptisms

Dear Beloved family,

       I was going to send pictures of the people that were baptized but my camera just barely died. I was also going to send some of the apartment and stuff but yeahh. Well the baptism was awesome. I was only supposed to baptize like one or two people but Sister Akose’s son didn’t show up because he was sick so I baptized her and her daughters and then two others. I got to baptize 6 people. Honestly I feel like I could go home right now, maybe after another baptism or so oh wait i have to be here for two years doing all this stuff. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the mission goes. Elder Wheeler and I did do really well to start off because seven people is a lot. and they’re families. He tells me most missionaries baptize maybe two families their whole mission. The Africa west is supposed to be one of the leading baptizing missions so maybe things will trun out good here. Mom I remember that message and i sent that because I was running out of time and i knew that you would be reading mike’s message so ya that was kind of for all of you. Back to the baptism. Next week i will make sure that my camera is charged so i can send you those pics. I was a little bit worried about baptizing sister akose. She’s a big woman and I am SMALL. She came in and I said what i was supposed to and dipped her and i was about to bring her back up when i noticed her elbow wasn’t under so i dropped her down just a bit more to make sure before pulling her back up.  It turned out alright. Her eldest daughter was fine, probably the best out all the people i baptized. But the young daughters. before them let me tell you a fun fact, Ghanaians may have a mild fear of water. Elder wheeler said his first companion told him this for his first baptism, “they’re like cats, you just gotta shove them under and pull them back up”. Well the first daughter, Adjewa, She opened her mouth just before going under and thrashed a little bit, i had to urry and pull her up to make sure she was ok. We ended up doing it again. Her sister did the same thing but she handled it a little bit better. I felt bad but it had to be done. sister mary did ok even with her bum knee and so did Derek. It was a good day well for the start. Later on Elder wheeler was sick so we had to stay home for the night and while the other companionship was proselyting i was pondering some things that were bugging me.  I had to pray and i actually  cried. It was weird because i haven’t cried in years and here i am crying in a prayer. It makes me understand a lot more the scriptures that say “cry unto the lord”. i always thought they just meant pray a ton or pray hard but i have better understanding now. As for the food and things they aren’t too bad. I eat some top ramen type stuff a lot and some bread and egg. make french toast every once in awhile and pancakes. I’m trying ot get more breakfast stuff os i can have something heavy. Ya i need ot budget my money and everything but it’s not like there are any restaurants for me to blow my money on. The only thing i spend money on is food and it’s pretty much on what i listed above. just stuff for that. though today i got some groundnut, jam, and syrup. along with a candy bar some doughnut type things and breakfast like cornmeal. Ya it was 41 cedis. It’s hard eating well sometimes. Christmas is almost here and i’m getting excited to open stuff. I’m super curious about what’s in them. I’ll probably make french toast and use the syrup i bought for it.  and eat that candy bar, it’ll bomb. I’ll be enjoying. There were some people i thought who would be at church who weren’t. legitamitely disappointing. But Felicia came. I also found out how much easier it is to teach someone when they understand english. We had one sister millicent who did her assignment and we got through almost a whole lesson with her. I hope she’ll be converted but she won’t come to church for three months because she has a new born. It’s a ghana thing. well I gotta go. Hope this see you at the speed of internet. Talk to you in a week. Love you all and be strong and of a good courage.
Your Bestest Elder
     Elder Holder

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential

Letter Received Dec. 17, 2011 (written Dec. 5, 20110

Dear Family,

P-days are becoming depressing because I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for the most part. I hope today will be different w/ that new account I made (He’s since fixed the I really hope you guys were able to get my messages. Apparently the mission pouch takes forever to get letters there so I don’t think I want to use it. I’m not even sure if you guys got my last few letters. I’m not sure if I told you but I guess my Mission President knows my Grandma Pauline and Grandpa Fedor. He built a house for them when they came from Liberia. It’s pretty neat. Ghana is definitely bitter sweet. The people are so relaxed about everything, so it’s not all bad that we’re late for appointments, but it’s also hard to get them to commit to anything. I’m tired of people lying to us too. The kids are funny but wherever we go we hear bruni (white guy). Hundreds of times a day gets a little obnoxious. Oh and if any more kids ask me for money I smack them. One sad thing I’m not sure what’s abused more the kids or the dogs. They both can get pretty bad. The dogs are all mutts but they basically all look the same. There are few dogs that are actually big dogs. Most of the time they’re not much bigger than Topper. I’m picking up Twi small small. I’m also picking up some expressions they say here. Small small is brofo (English) for kakraka kra, usually I’ll say oti Twi kakrakakra. I speak Twi small small. There are some people here I love others that I just hate. Obviously I love our investigators who are getting baptized. We have a powerful lady Sister Akosa . We taught her one day, she came to church the next day and she’s ready to be baptized on the 17th of this month. Also she’s pretty much getting her whole family to baptize.


She already loves the church, it’s awesome. Then we have another we call Old Mary. She’s 70+ yrs old. Has a bum knee but still walks to church every Sunday. Here’s a funny story about another investigator. She’s also Mary. We were going over Baptismal interview Questions w/ her. She didn’t understand the law of chastity so we started explaining it.   Her child was making a fuss so just before we finished explaining the law Mary pops it out and starts breast feeding. It happens a lot here. We have a group baptism on the 17th with a goodly number being baptized. It should be good. You guys might know my companion’s dad. He went to Woods cross around the same time you did. I don’t remember the first name but it will be a Wheeler. Oh you guys need to send me your phone numbers so I can call you on Christmas. Either try both e-mail and letters to make sure I get them. I’m worried I’m losing weight here. I sweat all the time and sometimes I don’t have enough to eat. They give us little sustenance money. It’s about $90 dollars a month which is low even for here. It’s not too low but it’s still low. Our power I off and on and water is sketchy some days. Oh and if you guys think laundry was fun wait till you do it by hand. It’s a blast. It takes like two hours of scrubbing. Well I’ll finish, hopefully I’ll be able to e-mail today. If you could send it I really would like nail clippers, a good glasses cleaner (mine sucks) and some good ole American food i.e. non perishable candy, PB, Cosmic brownies? You know the good stuff. Don’t send too big though because I have to pay a duty on it. Love you guys.

-Elder Holder

Elder Holder is Sounding Better

I still couldn’t read all your emails but I think I have my stuff figured out now, hopefully. No pics this time but hopefully i can get some next week. First things first. Elder Wheeler and decided that we would be calling you guys at 4 on Christmas. It would be about 9 o closk your time. its a 7 hour difference so i think its alright. Tell me your numbers next week and if that time works for you. So i read a message that came after this one about the thought of florida and ghana and england and i was like ” wait a minute, who the crap is going to england” and its devin. We’re the zero parallel brothers and the Atlantic ocean three!!! That\s pretty sick!  Your packages got here finally and holy cow what did you guys send. The duty for both of them was 24 cedis. That’s about 16 dollars. The shipping on those looked like they sucked. I don’t wanna be whiner but i hope that its not top ramen because we have that here and i actually like another brand better. its called indo me it adds a spice to the noodles that top ramen doesn’t have. Anyway i\m sure ill be happy with whatever it is. I can’t believe Justen is a zone leader. I’ve met my zone leaders theyre pretty sweet.  Justen will be awesome. The last time i saw president he talked on how we shouldn’t use anything but ldsmail so i was like oh crap. but hopefully i wont’ be retarded and will be able to keep getting it to work. I’ve told you about my baptisms and stuff this sunday. I think to celebrate i will make some french toast and buy a mineral (soda) the day before. Ghana is treating me better and i’m starting to pick up on some twi. not much so far but its coming. I hope i will get it soon because elder wheeler won’t be with me forever. I did learn an insult or two. The first one is wedjie me-you are a fool and krasini-villager. apparently on the second one people will get pissed. but i think i’ll use them when i get home. I could go for some good american food right now. half the stuff the four americans in our apt talk about is food and then investigors and other things. I’m learning lots from the scriptures. The biggest thing i learned is to find parallels between the old testament and Bom. It’s powerful with something like that. We had to drop a few investigators because they weren’t acting on anything. They say its true but don’t do anything about it. its frustrating. The people here lie all the time. Mostly its “oh i will come” when talking about church. obviously they dont. Then tons of people just make up stories when they honestly don’t know the answer. Its kind of ridiculous. The people are all friendly though if not a bit stubborn at times. I almost forgot at district meeting Pres. shulz came and taught/scolded us. He had a great lesson on the plan of salvation and it made me feel a lot better about what i’m doing to make to the celestial kingdom. He also flat out told that we had a heavenly mother and i was like ” yes” i knew it. He taught us lots and then he went into some of the stuff missionaries have been slacking on in the mission. oops. but after he came to me while everyone was getting they’re packages and stuff and said ” you doing ok” I said ya “Thats good because you know i’m expecting you to be a good leader in this mission” or something like that. I was like ya. He said something like that before but now it’s starting to make me nervous. What does he have in mind for me? I am nervous about it but I know if i do get moved up to a leadership position that i’m doing what i am supposed to. Well i gotta go I miss you guys and i will try to have better stuff next week. Love you
  Your awesome Superior missionary
     Elder Holder

Elder Holder Talks about his Mission

Dear Family,
                Even with a working Email they still find ways to frustrate me. I have tried sending so many and none have gone through.  We may have to resort to letters until I’m on a not gay computer. I really am trying.  It’s really dirty here but I can live with that. I like some of the people but I also don’t like some of the people.  Please send me Kylie’s and my dad’s emails so I can talk to them too.  Where is Devin going on his mission? I want to know.  I like the thanksgiving stories.  I’m still getting used to things here but the work is progressing. That’s all for now until I’m on a computer that actually works. I’m sorry its so short.  Remember just to help each other out when you can. Thanks for the packages you sent. I hope its delicious non perishable food. Like oreos or PB. We are having a big baptism on Dec. 17. We have sister akuosa and most of her family. A lady we call old mary and a mary odei. Possibly a sister Hannah. As we teach people it’s hard to get them to commit to anything  at times no matter how much they say they believe. It doesn’t look like you’ll be getting an email this week because the internet is still not working. I’ll keep trying though. We have an appointment in like twenty minutes that I think we will be late for. I’m depressed again because of another week not being in contact with you guys.  If you do end up getting this please send me your phone numbers and tell kylie to send my dads phone number to me if kyou could. I just got moved to a different computer. I seriously have tried sending three emails already and they all failed.  The food is mostly good. There is some stuff that I simply never want to try but will have to eventually.  The most notable is coat, it’s cow skin. It sounds like the most disgusting thing someone can eat but I better be ready for it. One of my favorite things to here is the homemade bread with some of their jam on it. Then to cut up a banana and have a sandwich. It’s so good. My first week here that’s how I motivated myself to get up out of bed.I bet Garrett is getting ancy to go. Tell him the field will be nothing like how it is in the MTc especially since he’s going to provo. I’m happy for you guys. I guess a huge storm blew through or something. That’s what Elder Wheeler told me. I think that’s what you guys were talking about but I wasn’t sure. All the kids here can get annoying. Hundreds of times a day you just here Bruni Bruni. And then some of them come and ask for money when that happens I want to turn around and smack them.  But I don’t plus they are probably abused enough by their parents  anyway. I’m sorry I can’t have read all your emails but we need to go. That storm sounds intense. I wished I could have seen.  I’ll have to read the stuff for next week and try to add in my last few  weeks. Before I go I wanna tell youabout Bishop kibs. He was the first bishop of our area and he only has one leg. When I first met him he was super sick and had been in the hospital for almost two months. He was in pretty bad shape. He still had faith though that God was working in his life. It was truly humbling. We gave him a blessing and he was able to come to church this past Sunday.  I like to think it was because of the blessing. OH and before I go the goal for baptisms that the stake president gave us and our ward is 125 baptisms over the next five months. That’s a ton of people.  I don’t know how we’ll meet it. We are going to need plenty help from membbers. Well cya guys later I love ya

                Your Bruni (white) Elder Holder