Monday, March 7, 2011

#79 You know what hurts? Snake bites.

Not that I got one. I just figured they probably hurt a lot.
Sorry, but there really is nothing interesting about this week, and
I've been saving that little throw-away joke for a while now.

Dear Family and Friends, 

Most of why this week was dull was ZLC. We lose two days of work when we have one.
Like I've said, I do love it, especially now that more and more
of my pals are being called as Zone Leaders (Elder Bi, Elder Tu,
Elder Be, Elder Da, etc), but it does eat up a lot of valuable
time. The instruction we have to give is literally the exact same
instruction I gave to the ZLC 6 months ago. I check my notes. Identical.
Which just means we didn't get it right the first time. President asked us
to LOWER our goal. He's pretty good about being stretch, but
realistic. To be honest though, this is probably the strongest month I
have even seen a Zone have. We have some really awesome missionaries
here, who are giving it everything they got.

    We have finally ironed out all the details about S and her
marital situation. I don't know if I have ever fully explained
marriage in Ghana. There are two kinds of marriage that are legally
recognized. There is traditional marriage, which is just a consent
between the parents of the two individuals. Usually, this is secured
by a "bride price". I have no idea how this can be considered binding,
because there is no evidence of the agreement. What prevents a parent
from taking the goods in the bride price, letting it stand for a few
months, and then claiming it was never done? Nothing! That's what!
Then there is the legal, or court marriage. Both individuals sign a
piece of paper, with one witness each, at a registered building, which
is then hung for 21 days. If there are no complaints, the marriage is
binding, and the paper becomes a license. This service is TOTALLY
FREE. This leads to a lot of frustrations to missionaries because it
really can be just that easy. Instead, most people prefer to go
through the arduous process of first "knocking", which is usually done
with a bottle of schnapps, and somewhere around 20 cedis, when you
meet the family. Supposedly, this is to let them know you wish to be
dating, but it has come to mean securing permission to live together.
Oi vey. Well, this means that people living together cannot be
baptized unless 1.) The parents assure that the two are married, or 2.)
they go and do a free, easy, binding, court marriage.
S is with a less active member and we convinced him to do what
he needs to do to get married to her so that they can stop living in
sin, and so that she can be baptized, which she reminds us she wants
frequently. Finally, Branch President called S's mom, and the
mother said yes, her daughter is married, so we'll baptize her this
week. YAY!

    The other cool thing that happened this week is we got to go to a
birthday party for Sister A. and Sister Terry. You do not see many
people back in the states dancing once they are over 40, especially in
non-formal settings. We had the District Presidency, Branch President,
and Elder A. and his wife and half the town (the A's are REALLY
popular) out there shaking it. Man, it was wonderful. I took some
photos, and no, I did not dance. I cannot imagine dancing with this
little black name tag on my suit. I met Stephen A. Jr. and his wife. She's from
Montana. Their little girl Rayna is the most adorable little girl in the world.
We were leaving, and she came waddling over. "Elder? What's your name?"
She couldn't have been more the 4 or 5. She's been around missionaries her
whole life, as that family always looks out for the missionaries in their area.
She has come to know that missionaries are ALWAYS her friends.

    I love being on a mission.

Elder W. Farnbach

No comments:

Post a Comment