Monday, September 26, 2016

2nd WEEK IN AXIM, GHANA, (Sept. 26, 2016)

This past week has been really great. My trainer is doing an awesome job teaching me and is helping me out with the culture. So far I am already taking the lead in lessons, and I am able to teach confidently. It’s crazy how many times I bare my testimony each day here. There is always someone right around the corner to teach. These people are great though. Even if they don't even want to hear what we say, they will listen and participate and sometimes even give us a referral. It’s just funny how they act here. 

I prefer dry heat over humidity. I am seriously wet from sweat and humidity all the time. I'm getting used to it though. My favorite days are when it rains and we get to go around teaching. The people in Ghana hate rain and hide under cover and don't move until it stops. So when they see us walking around they tell us to come in until it stops, and we get free lesson all the time. It’s soooo funny. These people are so different.  But I am really starting to love these people like crazy. It’s so cool to try to be a part of their culture and to speak their languages.

So far since I've been here, we have had two new sweet investigators. One is a girl whose father is a tribe leader, and the other is a man who we talked to on the road. He said he doesn't go to church because he believes churches steal money from people to use for themselves. We loved telling him about our church… haha. He’s super interested now and came to sacrament yesterday. These two are both really new investigators so I’ll let you know how the lessons go next week with them. You can just see the spirit in someone, though, when they want to know more, and it’s so cool to see it in these two people. I hope things go good with them.

Anyway the Axim branch has been a branch for around 30 years. My companion and I are going to try really hard to help them out. Sorry I wasn't able to write very much this time. The internet is very bad this week so we are going to try to go somewhere else next PDay. I also cannot upload any pictures, but I promise I've got some great ones headed your way. 

Love you all back home,
--Elder Knecht

Thank goodness for Elder Knecht's mission president's blog so we could get a few pics of him this week!!!  Remember the "Provo Nine?"  It turns out if you don't have your Missionary Training Center experience in Ghana, you come into the mission field without Non-Citizen Identification Cards or your medical clearance to establish residency in the country.  So, they had to yank them all back from their areas of assignment, and they spent one day in Takoradi getting their ID cards and the next day in Cape Coast with the doctor.  Pizza and a sleepover at the mission home were included to make it all worth while. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

FIRST WEEK IN GHANA  (Sept. 19, 2016)

I don't know where I am, and I barely know how I got here because I slept most of the way. All I know is why I am here and that it is for the Lord. Ghana, Africa is crazy, and I know that there is no possible way I will ever be able to explain what I am doing and what I am seeing. First things first, the plane ride was forever!  But, the cool thing was that when we were finally beginning to land, the sun came up on the horizon, and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I will admit that I began to sing the opening song for the Lion King in my head. The plane landing was a little rough. We bounced several times hard, and I swear I felt the tail coming around. But, we made it safe and sound. Right when I stepped off the plane in Accra, I was hit by a huge blast of humidity! I am having such a great time getting used to it (sarcasm). The air here is the best in the world, though, I swear. It's so fresh and is mixed with the ocean breeze. I love it! We had a 3 hour trip to Cape Coast, and everything I saw along the way was nothing I had ever seen in my life! There are no rules to the road. It’s amazing to think that there are not car crashes around every corner. There are very few civilian owned cars and the tro tro's (Ghetto van taxis) use both lanes and you miss them by inches. Also, on top of that, there are huge pot holes in the roads you have to dodge.

We got to the mission home and for dinner that night we got to try our very first Fufu. To be honest, I enjoyed every part of it. The other missionaries did not. I also figured out that in the Accra airport some of my belongings were stolen from my bags. Nothing too serious. We stayed at the mission home the first night, and in the morning I got my area I would be serving in! I am serving in Axim. The couple missionaries were the ones who were taking me there, but on the way we had to make some major detours. One of them was aiding a sick missionary who couldn't get his belly button to stop oozing blood. The couple missionaries told me that this was a less serious sickness they have had to deal with in Africa. Kinda scary. We ran out of time, and I got the chance to sleep one last night in air conditioning on a king sized bed at the couples mission house which is halfway to Axim. That night while we were sleeping we were robbed. "Welcome to Africa!" They got into my bags in the car and came into the house and took the TV and other things. They were also in our rooms going through our bags. Luckily all they found was money, and they didn't take anything else. The couple’s house is a fortress with razor wire going all around and baring on every window. So, I have no clue how they got in. Also kinda scary.

The next day I got to meet my companion Elder Jennings. He is super cool, and I can tell he is going to be an amazing trainer for me. And my house is a sweet 2 story beach house with an amazing view of the ocean. Just kidding it’s ten times grosser than camping and smells awful. I have to take freezing showers with buckets and sleep under a mosquito net. Also, we cannot drink the water. We can barely bucket shower with the water... it’s that dirty. I don't know what’s in it, but I am constantly itchy from it. My companion told me that I have to rinse with filtered water. I'll let you guys know if it works.

But, other than that, I think it’s going to be the coolest experience ever!!!  We got to go out and do some proselyting! Let’s just say that everyone is black, black here! It’s so cool, and I can’t understand any of them through their crazy accents. On top of that, most of them do not speak English. They speak Fonte, Twi, and the hardest one, Axima. So we have to use a member for most lesson. My absolute favorite part is the little kids! They are all so cute and love us. They love to feel my skin and play with my hair. It’s honestly the best. They rarely see white people in Axim. They are always yelling "abronee" (A-bro-knee white person) and are waving or running up to us. The funniest thing was when a little baby, who could barely walk, ran over to me naked, hugged both my legs, and looked up at me with a blank expression and didn't let go. These kids are so funny! I got the chance to bare my testimony for my first Sunday in Ghana. Not many of them could understand me, and when I looked at them all I could see were their white eyes from the pulpit. It was pretty scary, but afterwards they all told me I did very good and that they welcomed me to their country. It felt pretty good. Afterwards, we got to eat at a member’s house, and this time I got the chance to help them pound fufu. I can tell that I am going to have the most amazing experiences here in Ghana. I am so grateful to be able to be with these people. I hope everything is going great back home!

Love you all,


Elder Knecht


Hey mom I just wanted to let you know that I have made it safely to the mission home! This place is breath taking is all I can start with. It stinks because the pictures I know I will send you will never be able to fully depict what this place is like. It is amazing. My PDay is on Mondays so I will write a full email describing this experience to the best of my ability. This is just a quick email to let you know how I am doing but my mind is blown with what I have seen. Talk to you on Monday!
9 American Elders that arrived from the Provo MTC to Ghana Cape Coast Mission. First group to come from the Provo MTC since the Ghana MTC has been built .   

7 Ghanaian Elders and Sisters that arrived the same day from the Ghana MTC.  It was too crowded for the Provo MTC Elders to go the Ghana MTC. 

First time Eating FUFU!!!



The Elders and Sisters who are heading home that we replaced.

Eating breaking with the President before heading out.

Provo MTC (Sept. 7, 2016)
Hello back home! This past week has been crazy with all the new things I’ve learned. First thing, my companion and I got to teach a couple more lessons to a mostly “real investigator” named Rod from Chile. (Most likely he already decided to join our church and is getting baptized soon.) It’s so crazy to think that in one more week I’ll be doing this in Ghana! We taught him the main three lessons and got him to commit to prayer and reading the scriptures. The best part about our lessons with Rod was getting him to commit to baptism. The feeling of using the baptism invitation to get someone to commit to baptism has such an awesome spirit to it!
The next big thing was at dinner last Friday. Our DL surprised us all with our flight plans to Ghana!!! This next Tuesday at 8:30 am we are all headed to New York, and then from there we are going straight to Ghana! Our 18 hour flight is coming, haha!

We are all so pumped up at the MTC. I just can’t wait to get out there and begin teaching! It’s weird to think that the next time I will be writing home I will be in Ghana. It is just the weirdest thing to comprehend right now.

I was reading in the scriptures and I came across one that really hit me with my time right now being on a mission. It’s in Ether 12:6, and it is… "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." I like to think that my trial of faith was deciding to come on my mission. I can honestly say now that I have received a witness everyday here at the MTC that this gospel is true. I am so glad I am here and I can’t wait to get out into the field and be a witness to everyone that this church is true! I miss and love you all back home.

Elder Knecht

Friday, September 2, 2016

Provo MTC (Wednesday, August 31, 2016 4:17 PM)

Hey guys the MTC has been so amazing so far! At first obviously it was a little tough because I miss you all, but little by little I have been working on moving past that. I got to meet my district and companion the first day, and I'm so grateful for the people I get to spend time with in the MTC! My district has 12 people in it, and we are all going to Ghana. I have discovered that there are 33 elders all headed to Ghana and that Ghana is in desperate need of more elders because of all the growth of the gospel. So that's why we all got the call! It makes me so excited to finally get out there! In the MTC me and my companion have been killin every fake investigator lesson, and we feel the spirit in what we are teaching already even though they are not real, haha! Next week we will get to start teaching real people that the MTC brings in, and I am so pumped! Our teacher is honestly so cool! Like I don't know how to explain him. But basically you should all be jealous you don't get to hear his lesson, and he's going to be a prophet some day! He's that amazing! I'll tell you more about him next week! The food is a lot, but it's been giving me some major gas! I feel I am getting used to it more though... so I am good haha! I am honestly so happy to be here, and I feel the spirit everyday! It's so crazy, I wake up so ready to go learn more, and I don't want to stop! I love it so much!!! I wish I could explain all the feelings I am having! I miss you guys, and I am so grateful for all your support! I love hearing from all you, it's my favorite part of the day to open up letters!!! I love all you, and I can't wait to tell you about all my new experiences next week! It's hard being far away from you and in two weeks I'll be even farther! I just know I need to be here, and I feel that confirmed everyday through the Spirit!
Miss and love you all,
-Elder Knecht

I'M HERE!!!! (Aug. 24, 2016 11:45 am)

Hey guys I just wanted to let you all know that i made it to the MTC safe and sound! So far its been actually pretty cool! it seems like everyone is loving me just because of my orange dot. its pretty funny though and super cool! I cant wait to get started and to meet the rest of my district and my companion! Miss and love you all
Elder Knecht