The Beginning…part 2

Ahh, so where was I? I’ve nothing better to do – well, that’s not the truth, however – it is a dreary rain outside. I bought a Clem…some pretty purple flower and didn’t exactly want to head into the drizzle to plant it…oh, I could have – but…

Ghana doesn’t have much rain!¬† OH – if you’re wondering about the spoiler alert before – it’s cuz, duh – the trips a go ūüėĬ† So, anyway..I had to reread the last post to see where I was with my story…..so, I contacted GNDCS….the first time¬† it didn’t take, so I did it again the following Monday.¬† When I got home – there was already a response from someone named Rosemond.¬† I think she was just feeling me out, figuring if I was serious about it or not….well, we’ve been e-mailing back and forth – about once a week….

So, at this point of the story – roughly, I decided to go online to the local library and check out as many relevant resources as I could – I mean..my knowledge to this point is just that there’s a country that exists called Ghana..and that’s just because there’s a city here named Gahanna¬†and when Scott and I moved here they told us “Guh¬†hannnah” not Ghana like the country….Now, to add to this – all I know of Africa is what I’ve seen in the Lion King – such a credible source, in Sometimes in April..and Hotel Rwanda.¬† So, as far as I was concerned…it was crazy to even think about travelling to a place that was so uncivilized…¬† OH, and I’d just finished reading Infidel by Ayan Hirsi…so that painted a lovely picture in my already wandering mind..

Well, I decided to e-mail my little bro, Isaac.¬† He went to Africa not too long back, so I hoped he could give me some pointers. Meanwhile, I also was pondering what sort of delectable¬†items would be tantalizing my taste buds.¬† Now..although I didn’t truly¬†think it..I thought “They eat bushmeat..what if bushmeat means a meerkat!?” I mean – we have those in our zoos, there’s a whole series on the television about them – they’re as populous as, say cows, are here – and I eat cows!!!……..

By this time, the few people I shared my aspirations with, knew someone or of someone with ties to Ghana. My mom works with a lady who’s husband’s family is from Ghana….they cleared up the meerkat issue for me….the adorable Spanish teacher at work has neighbors from Ghana….and, although it took to the END of my visiting teaching rendezvous¬†for one of my visiting teachers to figure it – before our ward was formed, the ward she, Lolly, was in – well the Powell Ward has a missionary there – in the Accra, Ghana mission!!

An interjection – follow this branch if you can ūüôā¬† When I decided to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – back in 2002, I was exhilarated, moved, and felt strongly that I wanted to serve a mission. So much so, that one of the Sister Missionaries (Sister Spencer, now MacKenzie) had written home about my desires and her family had written back stating they would love to help me serve! So, this connects to everything, I promise!¬† I had a small dry erase board with a countdown until I could put in my “papers” – 3 months before my year anniversary for my baptism I could submit my formal request/paperwork stating – I’m a worthy member who wants to serve the Lord and spread the message of the restored Gospel and teach others about Jesus Christ…GUESS WHAT!?¬† Somewhere in the middle of everything, I met this handsome gorgeous unimaginably perfect boy.

My friends and I had made a list – a checklist, if you will, of our future spouse.¬† He could braid hair, swing dance, build a house, had an element of chilvary…all of these things…well – this boy was nothing that I ever thought I wanted but everything I did. So, after the consent of my dear friend who had been crushin¬†on him for a long long¬†long time…and a few meetings with the bishop…it was done.¬† No mission, per se (marriage could be a mission!), I married my Bunnee.¬† I hope he’s not embarrassed¬†about me putting that – because everyone that knows me knows I call him that – started as “Honey Bunny” but he said he’s not a bunny that hops – he’s a B-U double N double E sort of Bunnee.

ANYWAY! I never got to go on that mission.¬† When I visit with missionaries or listen to return missionaries (RMs) talk, I still had that yearning deep in my heart – so much so that, on occasion, i¬†had a psychosomatic reaction in the bottom of my heart.¬† After graduation from high school, 3 of my friends went on a mission trip to Ukraine. One of those friends studied abroad in Spain…twice!¬† She also has been residing in England for some time!¬† Another of the 3 when on another mission trip, and has, herself¬†– been internationally peppered.¬† The last of the 3 lived in Ukraine – and if it weren’t for her parents not wanting her to come back to “The States” for a proper senior year, we wouldn’t have met.¬† Then…my little bro went to Africa – and I was green. So green, I could have been mistaken for Kermit! Though, they’d had these awesome opportunities, and I LOVED living vicariously through them – I still longed for that for myself.

Well…there did come a time where I questioned whether or not I should really be doing this – could my marriage survive a trip away? – 2 months would be¬† a long time¬†away (the tail end of my trip included one to Arizona for my dear, sweet, StephAmy’s wedding to Mr. Andrew!!)

Well, fortunately – everything is working out – I have a *gig* just before I depart – and although at the time I wasn’t sure about cutting back 2 weeks, I feel it is the BEST thing for me and my dear husband….now back to the story – this was where I started to go – so, I was questioning whether or not I should TRULY be doing this.¬† I honestly know now that Heavenly Father does tend to and know each one of us.¬† Mind you, this all started back on April 14th – today is May 18th – so, a lot has happened in a short amount of time. I’d been keeping the prayer in my heart about if this was the right decision for Bunnee¬†and me.¬† This is when I find out about the local missionary in Accra and everyone else’s contacts there as well.¬† BUT, the thing that most ….my answer came in the form of an email response from Rosemond.

See, I’d been fretting about offending someone – here’s why.¬† I watched an Anthony Bourdain¬†thing on Ghana where I learned about palm wine. Initially, I thought…”maybe it’s not REALLY wine but they just¬† call it that..” OH NOOOOOOO…it’s 90-95% alcohol…no mistake there! So, I emailed Rosemond¬†with my concern – told her I was a member of TCJCLDS and got this:

Hmmm, your concerns with water is true, I wont drink water when I go to Ghana. When I was there it was no problem but after staying away for a long time it becomes a problem so you will always have to travel round with your water. Ttraditionally people will offer you water or palm wine when you visit as a sign of welcome, but you can hold it and refuse it nicely. You do not have to drink it. The best way to refuse it is to say you brought yours so it should be a ritual to carry your water with you wherever you go. You can buy  bottled water anywhere and it is relatively cheap, no problem. Am happy to hear you are do not drink, the family you will stay with is  a Christian family and they neither drink nor smoke and the house is close to The church of Jesus Christ of later day Saint so they will arrange evangelism for you on part time basis. they will be glad to see you, I hope you will like to worship and introduce yourself to them. I have a very good friend who is an elder there so I will try to get in touch with him.

Now, as I reread it, I’m not hit as hard – but in the moment – this normally reserved me was overcome with emotion. He hears me. He heard me. He answered me and is watching out for me.