About Me

My name is Ben Jamison Eldredge and I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the next two years I will be sharing my testimony of the Gospel with the people of Ghana.

Monday, November 30, 2015

An Uncountable Number of Souls

hello family! 

wow it sounds like you all had a really nice week! lots of family fun. i miss that. but i feel like my family here is pretty good. this week i have felt unusually at home. its nice to finally feel comfortable. this week i played the role of senior companion. so i lead the whole week. i think i grew more in this past week than i have the whole first two months of my mission. i have a strong testimony that if you do what you are supposed to, and work as hard as you possibly can the Lord will take care of the rest. i saw that a lot this week. i cant tell you how many lessons i taught where i had absolutely no idea what to say. or how to answer someone questions, but as soon as i opened my mouth and started to talk i knew what i needed to say. it was so powerful, and i will never forget it. i love my Heavenly Father so much. sometimes i wonder why he cares so much. i was thinking about me only being a small part of the universe. i am only one in an uncountable number of souls, and my Heavenly Father still loves me more than i could ever comprehend, and knows me better than even i know me. i am so grateful for that. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL SO MUCH! it is true, and i could never and never would deny it. i am so thankful for the sacred calling i have to be able to spend all of my time and energy toward bringing the truth to everyone i meet.

This week was so great! like i said before i was senior companion for the week, and so i led every day. i have slowly come to the realization that i HATE contacting people by knocking on their door, but i loved finding people while in their shop or on the street. see for me, i am white haha and because i am white people love to say obrunie as i go by, so whenever someone says obrunie i just stop and talk to them. haha it has been effective so far. we taught 35 lessons this week! and we found some really amazing people who seem really interested. in order for you to know for sure if someone is interested is if they let you teach two or more lessons. because in ghana if you tell someone that you share the word of God, they are all ears haha but some people are stubborn and once you start to talk about the Book of Mormon they get defensive and say that they only need the bible haha. they are crazy. it is sad how absolutely lost people are here, and they dont even know it. but that is why im here :)

One night this week we were riding our bikes home and we passed a shop that sells water. i made eye contact with the woman who owned the shop, and i decided that i should stop. as i turned my bike around and started toward her, she started screaming across the street for someone named La----. haha she seemed extremely distressed. when i got to her i realized why she was called the girl. the woman couldn't speak English, and since I'm white she knew i would[n't] speak twi so she called her daughter over to translate for me haha. but they are so awesome! we gave them both the restoration and when we went back the next day, they had read almost the whole thing! i was so happy because you know someone is interested when they read the book. (Ghanaians dont like to read at all) and it also makes the lesson go a lot better. it was so nice. and as we were teaching, three more of her daughters came to the shop and listened to the lesson. so there is potential for five baptisms right there! i am excited for them. i could tell that they were so happy to hear what we were telling them. they knew it was true.

I think it was on Saturday night, but an investigator made us ampeceay. which is just boiled plantains with some sort of stew, in this case we had fish and egg stew.... haha it was a miracle that i chopped all.. hahaha even, as i was eating i picked up my third plantain and underneath floating in the oil was a dead mosquito... freak. lol i didn't puke, but i wanted to hahaha. i hope i wont have to eat that too many more times ;)

I also had a sweet African shirt made this week! the tailor made it pretty slim-fitted tho, so it is kind of hard to put on and take off, but its sweet. ill send a pic.
oh ya i almost forgot again! last week, we were riding our bikes down the main road and a big muslim guy went passed us on his scooter. as he drove passed us he started yelling at elder yao who was in front of me saying, "american! american! CIA CIA!" hahaha so he passed us and we caught up to him at the mosque and started talking to him. he said that we were CIA and that we came to Ghana so that we could spy on them and make a plan to bomb Ghana. HAHAHAHA he was being totally serious! he even said that the button on my shirt was a camera lol he was crazy.
but anyway that is my funny story about a muslim man. gotta love it
i hope you all have a great week!! i love you all so much, and miss you all a ton! but all is well, all is well ;) stay tuned, pics are coming your way
love elder eldredge

P.S. parker! great to hear from you. sorry about you and gretel... but no wahala bro. (no wahala means no worries) your Heavenly Father is perfect, and He has a PERFECT plan for you. love you bro. i miss you so much! it is true, our missions are very different, but at the same time they have the same exact purpose. i am so thankful to have you as my older brother. i am proud to follow your example. that is sweet that you are applying for the photography course! you should call my buddy devin! i know for a fact he has some cool spots for you to take pics. but i have faith in you. you are a great photographer. keep it real bro. love you

also.. i forgot to put it in the main email. but i went to the health clinic near my apartment the other day, and i weighed myself. i have gained 16 pounds hahaha im getting kind of fat.

i also found these really cool bead bracelets where you could get any countries flag you wanted. so i had some made with dad's, parker's, and my mission flags on them. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Some Members Made Us Foo Foo with Aponchey

Hello Everyone!

This week has been great! i cant remember exactly what happened, but it was good! everything happens so fast here so it is kind of hard to remember what happened haha. This week we were fed so well! we ate foo foo with light soup one night, banku with pepea for lunch another day, and yesterday some members made us foo foo with aponchey. which is goat soup. it was so nice! i love foo foo, and i am getting more used to banku. i ate a whole ball of banku without gagging! so thats good haha.

This week we taught i think 23 or 24 lessons, which is kind of a low number, but we had some really really good lessons where i felt the spirit so strong. so i was happy with our teaching this week.
on friday i went on an exchange with one of our zone leaders. his name is elder straddling, and on that day we only got to teach two lessons... it was super sucky. BUT i taught three white people! hahaha they were from Germany doing some sort of study or something in Ghana. one of them was from Freiburg i think is how you spell it, but i guess she is going to school is Konstanz when she goes back to Germany. so that's cool haha. i never would have thought i would teach white people, but i got to teach three in one day lol.

I gave a talk in church yesterday on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. it was just a short talk, but it went well. i love to bear my testimony. and hopefully it touched the hearts of our four investigators that were there. i never realized how much your testimony could grow from simply bearing it to people. i love this gospel so much!

Today we had our zone activity, and all 24 of us, and the APs went to buduburam to play soccer. it was pretty fun! i scored a goal! haha then i started to sweat really bad, and sat under the tree for the rest of the time. after soccer we went to the apartment in buduburam and ate a lot of chicken and rice and french fries. it was so good. it was also fun to be with the whole zone. i like them all a lot.

Missionaries here don't like to wear their priesthood on Mondays, and today i felt like i should. so i wore my priesthood to go to the cafe. when we got to the cafe, all of the computers were taken so elder fryar and i went to the market to look around. man, EVERYONE was asking who i was and wanted to talk to me. so i got to contact some really nice people. I'm so glad i decided to wear my priesthood, because i know that if i didn't, no one would have asked me who i was or what is was doing in Ghana. none of the people i contacted were living in my area, and i don't know if they will progress in the church, but i have a feeling they might :)
anyway everything is good in Ghana.

I will try to send some pictures, but i have to use elder fryars card reader, and i don't know how long he will use it for and i think someone else is using it after him. but i will try my hardest!

I was just thinking about chad the other day! i would love to get his emails if you could! i will try to email him as well.

Sounds like it was a pretty good week at home! im glad you are all still alive and doing well.
for my plaque you can use Helaman 14:30. i like that one.

I love you all so much! stay safe and do the work!

Love Elder Eldredge
here is our kitchen. the stove is just behind me 

mine and elder yao's room. my bed is the farthest one. last week it rained and i left my window open and my bed got soaked! haha i felt pretty dumb

pic from L----'s baptism
my shower last week. so good ;)

this little kid is super cute. he is one of L-----'s little brothers

these are all either L----'s siblings or some of her neighbors. i took out my camera and they wanted to have a photo shoot hahaha. they were all posing and i took a ton of pictures.

elder broadhead and i caught a baby goat. and then we ate his father for dinner lol jk but kind of we did..

dig in! foo foo and aponchey (goat)

Monday, November 16, 2015

I had to dunk her four times...

hello america! 

This week went by so fast. it seems like just yesterday i was writing to you. but this week was good. the teaching was a little rough this week for some reason, but we contacted some great people! i guess i need to stop looking at just numbers, what matters most is the effort you put into your work, and your effectiveness. i didn't feel very good at all this week, so i just kind of pushed through each day. i don't know what was wrong, but it wasn't good. but they took some of my blood on Saturday to run some tests, but i am feeling fine now so don't worry ;) although getting your blood drawn in Ghana isn't the most comfortable feeling haha. 

I am so mad that i forgot to bring my camera to the cafe because i took some good pictures this week, and i also had pictures from my first baptism!! freak haha. but the baptism went well, except for that i had to dunk her four times... the water level was pretty low, and she kept kind of freaking out about how far down i had to take her. it was a struggle, but finally we got her all the way down. it was such a special feeling that i will never forget. you could immediately see the difference in her spirit. i was so happy. this church truly is true, and when we do the things that heavenly Father wants us to do we will be so blessed. i love this gospel and the pure joy it brings. and i am so proud of L---- for taking the step she did in being baptized. 

On Saturday we had a memorial service for sister hill. it was really nice, but really sad. everyone from the whole mission was there! even the elders from the bush haha. it was a really good experience. president hill is such a great guy. i look up to him a ton. i am sad that he wont be my mission president for too much longer.

I guess our mission will be gaining a new zone from the cape coast mission. we are taking the winneba area for some reason. its just a little ways from kasoa, on the other side of budumberum. it sounds like it would be a cool place to go. they say it is kind of half bush half city.
i feel like i am going to spend a lot of time in the bush... once i get assigned there i don't  think i am going to come back to the city haha. but i also heard that some places in the bush are nicer than the city to teach in. they said that in the bush you have to start proselyting at around 8 and then come back to the apartment in the middle of the day to do personal study because everyone is either at the market or on their farm. and then you can teach the rest of the day. and it looks super pretty out there.
it is been a tough week teaching i think this week because the light has been off every night. and when the sun goes down at six, and it is light off, everyone just goes to sleep so they don't get bit by mosquitoes. it has been pretty frustrating.

Also the water pump in our apartment broke... so we haven't had water for the last two days in the apartment. which means that you have to shower with pure water which is this little tiny bag of water that you bite off one corner of the bad, and just spray water all over your body.. it sucks. you have to use like ten bags of water and you don't really feel clean after because the water is pretty chemicalized. water off at the apartment also means that you cant flush the toilet... so yes i sat on a couple bricks in the field next to our apartment, and pooped... lol it was not good. hopefully we get our pump fixed soon.

This week we got two free meals! ahh they were both so good. on Friday a member gave us foo foo. i took a picture, but i kind of looks like banku but it tastes way better! it was so good. and it was pretty spicy, and light was off so we didn't have a fan to cool us down, so i was sweating really hard haha. then on Sunday another member gave us joloff rice and fried chicken. it was really good. she gave me a mountain of rice. i was so full.

Oh ya this week we were contacting, and we walked into this compound, walked over to the first house we saw, and there was a woman sitting there just finishing to feed her child. she didn't feel the need to put her boob back in her shirt tho, so i just let elder Yao talk while i looked at the ground.. lol i don't think i will ever get used to seeing that.

Our investigators are doing really well. im pretty sure we are going to achieve 2-fers for this month, which means that we will have at least two baptisms, two less actives brought back to church, and two recent converts experiencing the temple! this will be a good month :) we have two more investigators with baptismal dates for the 28th and it looks like they will be able to do it. im super excited.

Wow your trip looked so awesome! i hope i will be able to go there some day. i can totally relate with the people asking for money or food. i wish so bad i could do something. whenever we take a taxi to Accra or something people who have polio will come up to your window in their wheelchair asking for money. or they even will be sitting on like a skateboard pushing themselves around. it breaks my heart.

That picture of Ainsley with grandpa asleep in the background made me laugh so hard haha. classic.
mom! happy birthday tomorrow!! i'm sad i wont be there, but i will be there in spirit ;) i love you so much! and also happy birthday grandma! love you!
sounds like everyone's week went well, and everyone is still alive. love you all! see you someday ;)
P.S. dad i think we need to unlock my card again. i tried to take money out, but it wouldn't let me. i only used it once since i have been here, so i don't think i made a good enough habit. so if you could have them unlock it today or tomorrow it would be nice :)

P.S.S i will make sure to bring my camera to the cafe next week to send pictures. sorry again that i forgot.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Delayed Baptism

wow, india sounds crazy! i thought the drivers here were insane, but that takes it to another level. the flight around everest will be so amazing!! that sounds like a dream. almost everyone here cooks their food over an open fire. they just set there pot on top of this little thing that holds wood. but mostly they just deep fry everything. or they make banku or foo foo. but not too many people have stoves or ovens. 

This week was a good week. i am trying to remember all that happened. weeks go by so quickly and things are often just a blur. but it was a pretty ordinary week. just teaching plenty people and finding new people. it is always so funny when we go up to someone to try and contact them and they turn out to be muslim. haha they dont want to hear anything we have to say. which is also really sad. i didnt realize how lost people were. i went on an exchange with elder broadhead in his area, and we basically just contacted all day because their area was suffering. but i swear everyone we tried to talk to was muslim. it makes me so sad that they are so lost in their beliefs. it also makes me wonder how many of them know that what their family believes isnt true. if you are born a muslim and you decide to convert to Christianity, your family kills you... it is so sad. i have seen so many people that i just know that they know that what they grew up believing isnt true. and they just cant do anything. but i know that someday they will all get there chance. our Heavenly Father loves each of us more than we could ever comprehend. i am so grateful for the plan of salvation, and for the knowledge i have of the gospel. i wish i could teach every muslim here haha. i love this gospel and i know with all of my heart that it is the only true gospel. i have gained such a deep love for the scriptures. i cherish my personal study and look forward to it every day. i love this gospel. being a missionary is the hardest thing i have ever done. but even in the short time i have been a missionary my life has been changed. i am so happy to be a missionary. i love seeing other people realizing the truth. and finding there way through this tough journey that life is. 

I was so sad on saturday because i was supposed to baptize L-----. but that morning her dad sent her to Accra to pick something, and she didnt make it back to kasoa until like two hours after she was supposed to be baptized. by that time the bishop and the first counselor both left, and we couldnt perform the baptism. but oh well i guess, this week she will be baptized.
also this week for church we got to watch two sessions of general conference. it was so nice. even though i had already seen it, i loved listening to the prophets speak. even three of our investigators showed up! which was pretty surprising, but i was so happy. we should have plenty baptisms coming up soon! 

I got my package!! thank you so much! i couldnt stop smiling all day, and i enjoyed so much candy haha. dont worry i still have some :) i am going to send some pics today! but i dont know how many i will be able to send because the computer is being super slow. but i love and miss you all so much. 

love elder eldredge 

[Note regarding the pictures:] just some pics from this last week or so. that first picture is banku and pepeay. it is not good to me yet.. haha then me and my companion, our zone, and just a pic of elder yao and elder fryar that i thought was cool. sorry it isnt much, but this computer is being difficult.


hey everyone! 

wow it has already been a month since i have been a missionary! that is so crazy to me. i feel like i just barely left. this week was a little bit more rough, but it also had some pretty great highlights. on tuesday, elder yao was sick and elder fryar hurt his knee the day before playing football, so they both stayed in the apartment while elder broadhead and i went on an exchange. we spent most of the day in his area, and then taught someone in my area right before coming home. then the next day elder yao was feeling better, but since i still dont really know my area that well, he and elder broadhead went on an exchange together while i stayed with elder fryar. it sucked! haha i was so bored! but on thursday, elder bednar came to the temple site stake center and gave a devotional! it was so nice. elder yao and i brought two of our investigators along with us. it was a really cool experience. after the devotional it started to rain, and i mean rain! i was sitting out in the rain waiting for our taxi to come pick us, and i was drenched. it was kinda fun tho :) 

Friday and saturday went well tho, and i found out that i am going to have my first baptism this saturday!! i am so pumped! her name is L----- and she is 18. it is going to be great. i was a little nervous we would have to push her date back tho, because we needed her to come to church yesterday, but when we woke up it was pouring, so i was pretty nervous she wouldn't come. i guess if it rains here on a sunday, no one goes to church. and its true, there was no one there yesterday. but she came! haha i was so happy. then this morning elder broadhead and i woke up early so that we could go to the temple site to play basketball. it was super fun. i havent eaten anything interesting yet, but this morning i was making french toast, and when i went to crack one of my eggs it was straight black inside. it smelled awful! 

that sounds like a pretty rough flight! but im sure it will be worth it. that is cool you got to spend some time with grandpa and grandma and them. im sure it was fun. i was pretty sad i missed halloween, looks like everyone had a good time and had some sweet costumes. thanks mom for putting the package together! you have no idea how nice that will be to have. travel safe and have fun in india! love and miss you so much! 
elder eldredge