Kumasi, Ghana - Tro-Tro Bus Station

Kumasi, Ghana - Tro-Tro Bus Station

Sekondi, Ghana

Sekondi, Ghana

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.

just Alex...
(Asuoyeboa apartment - Elders Adu-Gyamfi, Baron, Holmes, and Darrow)

Hello, hello there family!

So I’m sure you’re super busy with Weston, life and all so I’ll keep this brief. Thank you so much for the pictures of him. He’s freaking sweet. He’s a great man baby. Thanks so much for all the emails as well. So awesome to have family who cares so much about my mission and me.

So this Sat. I got the 1-year package from you guys and it was over and beyond. Thank you so much. It was so cool to get cards from everyone. Plz be sure to tell them all that I am so very grateful for them. Tell Nick I got his gift too. It all meant so much. Thank you! Thanks for making all those dad. Ha. You’re too funny. Loved Ryan’s and Lance’s. ahhahahah. Too funny. Thank you!

So before I go on, last week when my mind was all over the place, I totally forgot to tell you about the baptism on Sat. Was a cool ending to my 1-year. Sis Joyce and her daughter doris. Always awesome to be apart of those.

(Sister Joyce)

This week we did have splits with the zone leaders. We got to go with e Adams and we enjoyed that very much. e Adams is a baller and really reminded me of what a missionary should be like. Was a cool day.

We had specialized training on Sat with both the zones and Pres talked to us. In a nutshell the Pres. wants us to focus on the promises and doctrine of Christ. Still teaching when guided by the spirit is always the best way, but it’s usually good to have a game plan and know where you’re going. The spirit doesn’t always give you word for word

So that’s about it on the week. Crazy that March is just about over. Weird. Love you and miss you guys so much! Hope you are all reading your scripts and saying your prayers.

I know God listens and loves us. He does want us to be happy. And I know this amazing gospel brings happiness.

"When life gets too hard to stand, kneel”
-Pres Gordon B Hinckley


elder darrow

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home - Asuoyeboa

by dad

Alex said there wasn’t to much to talk about this week. The work is going well and he doesn’t have any “sweet stories” to tell. They had to drop a lot of investigators this week. They have been instructed by the mission president that they need to teach those who are serious about hearing their message.

He said he had a “little pizza party" for his one year celebration and is still looking forward to mail being delivered to his area. It seems to get there only a few times a month.

He did send home a memory card this week with photos of his new area. He said his apartment is very similar to the apartment in Sekondi, just one less bathroom.

(the apartment compound)

(the front door and hallway)

(main area and laundry room)

(the kitchen)

(the STILL COLD shower and bathroom)

(sleeping area - complete with fan and mosquito net)

Oh, and his sign-off…

love you guys big time

uncle x2 darrow

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Foto - The kids

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weston Michael Darrow

by dad/grandpa

(Weston Michael Darrow 3/20/11)

On Sunday night at 11:34 pm,
Weston Michael Darrow was born. He tipped the scales at 9 lbs 13 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Alex commented in the weekly email…

Mangos eaton since mango season began: 12

Woman seen today
breastfeeding: 6

Nieces and Nephews born that
I haven’t met: 2

Blessing of serving a mission: numberless

He now has a 10 month old niece Morgan, and a newborn nephew Weston.

Ryan (his older brother), Leah and baby are all doing great!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Foto

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It’s 1/2 over?

just Alex...

(elder Darrow -Kumasi, Ghana)

Wow I’m about to hit a year. Crazy right. In all honesty it feels like I have been out here FOREVER but yet I still have a ton left. Maybe its because I have yet had an elder who is younger then me in my apartment. I don’t know. Nonetheless I’m excited that I still have so much time left. Weird to think that it’s 1/2 over? Yuk. Gotta buckle down.

As for celebration… (as only Alex could describe it)

Well, I feel as if the heavens opened up and shined down on me and my life and was blessed with the utmost privileged a man of the world could ask for. Golfing was spectacular... nay, monumental, or may I even say spectacular or even prodigious!? (Yes mom and Leah... even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.) We went with e Adams and e Smith and it was a blast. Such a sweet course. It’s actually owned by the Asante King and it was legit. I used Titleist dci clubs, a Taylor made burner and for a putter, we had a Scotty Cameron. I can’t really explain the confusion that brought to me, but none the less it was awesome. I shot a 50. (just threw up in my mouth a little) but it was SO much fun. Thanks dad.

It was a sweet 1 year celebration and a 21st b-day for e Holmes

(elders Adams, Smith, Holmes, and Darrow)

As for people here, Gabriel’s phone has been off all week and we can’t get a hold of him. Julia was confirmed on Sunday and that was awesome. She was very excited to take the sacrament. She’s really just so awesome in general. I talked to e Matheson in Sekondi this week and found out a few updates. Meshaq, my good bud, got his appendix taken out. I guess he’s up and walking around. Also found out that Patrick got the priesthood last week. So sweet.
All my new converts are still solid so all is well. Really do miss good ole Sekondi.

Not much else is going on here. Just a solid week. I’m still happy and healthy. Still enjoying big time with my comp. He’s a stud. At the end of this transfer he will be 9 months and I’m sure he will go, BUT that’s along way away.

(elders Holmes and Darrow caught in a rain storm)

Also FYI. The next time someone comes up from Cape Coast (a.k.a. mail) is next week Wed or Thur. for leader ship training. No mail in some time now. We really are so far away.

Love you guys so very, very much! Pray for the missionaries. We need your help. Come Saturday I’m over the hump.... crazy talk.

elder darrow

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Foto - When in Rome...

Monday, March 7, 2011

How blessed am I?

by dad

Alex’s weekly email was surprisingly lengthy. He shared his feelings about the civil unrest that is happening in the Ivory Coast. Most foreigners have been ‘chased out’ of the country. The Ivory Coast Mission is directly west of the Ghana, Cape Coast Mission. In the country of Ivory Coast, all of the non Ivory Coast missionaries have been transferred to other missions. Some have been sent to Ghana. Over the past year Alex has been serving with missionaries from the Ivory Coast. In his words he has ‘formed a bond of friendship that I can’t even describe’.

He wrote...

I often get caught up in the work, the people, the environment and such and I often forget where I really am. I forget what life is really like and forget that for me it’s just 2 years. For the people here (in Africa) it’s their life. For me it’s a story I will tell years from now to my kids or in some Sunday School class. To you back home it’s story, something you watch on CNN or maybe even some show on HBO. I’m here and for the people around me it’s reality.

He shared a story of a missionary from the Ivory Coast that will be returning home soon. He just got word from home that soldiers have raided his city and the neighboring city. Everything is shut down and anyone who stays in the city has a short life expectancy. All banks are on lock down. No one is working. Buildings are being burned and normal everyday people are being killed. His family is scattered. No one is in school or working or doing anything for that matter.

How blessed am I? How blessed are we. No, I didn’t write this to scare you. Ghana is the safest country in Africa by far. Everything is cool here. I guess I’m saying all this because I have caught a glimpse of what life is like outside the bubble that I lived in back home. I will never really know what it’s like. I have seen it first hand, how it effects people who are so close to me, but I won’t personally go thru that. How blessed am I?

The real world is scary. There are bad guys who do bad things. There isn’t always a happy ending. I see things like this all the time but I guess when I focus so hard on how loving the people are or how amazing the kids are I look past those parts. I guess I just got a very realistic view this week of what life is like. I’m not sitting here freaking out, I guess I just had to get all that stuff out.

And now missionary news...

Another week gone. I’m safe so no need to worry. Transfers - e Mackay is the new assistant. (no shock to me). No change for our apt. I’m happy with my current situation and I will stay as long as allowed. 
Very excited to stay with Holmes. Just soaking in this awesomeness while I can. Thanks for all the awesome emails

Julia’s wedding was on Saturday and it was a big hit. She was so happy.
What’s funny is that she wasn’t happy about the wedding she was happy about the baptism the next day. She kept saying tomorrow is the real day. Haha. How awesome right? And sure enough Sunday came and she was baptized. She has been waiting for it so long and you could see the look in her eye. The look that tells you she is as close to God as she has ever been. 
“So fresh and so clean…” I just love being apart of it all.

I got to see Mike (McAllen) this week. Man
was that cool. It was hard to find time to go see him. But we got it done. He is still powerful. He is still in his conversion stage but he has a testimony of what’s important and the rest will fall into place. I love that man.

A a quick update on Gabriel. He’s sweet. We went and met up with him this week and I got my Book of Mormon back and gave him his own. He loves the book very much. He tells us with all of his own stress and problems going on, that whenever he sits down to read from it he is at peace. We answered a lot of his questions. Each time we leave we can see the peace that he has from our message. It’s really all so sweet and it’s hard to explain.
(McAllen and Elder Darrow)

I feel like you all got a lot of what’s going on in my mind. I usually don’t just sit down and pour out stuff like that, mostly because I don’t want to worry mom. You know how she gets. Hahah. Hope that was enough info for you.

Love you guys so very, very much. All is well here.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We completed the Goal!

just Alex...

Pricilla was baptized on Tuesday. I got to talk on the phone with her and that was so sweet. Really so cool to hear how happy people are after baptism. It’s no lie when we say “they will be clean”. e Matheson and I were the last 2 elders to complete the baptism part of the goal (close call). I also found out from e math that 2 people we were teaching, Mike and Richard Ainoo, are being baptized on the 15th. e Maths and his greenie are having some sweet baptisms. But then again, all the people here are so sweet. It doesn’t matter where you are, the people are incredible.

So let me tell you a little about a man named Gabriel. Last Monday when we were at the post office this guy walked up to e Holmes and said that he was interested in hearing about our church. He didn’t really seem serious at all but we asked where he lived and he said Tanaso (that’s at the edge of our area close to Abuakwa). We got his number and figured that was lucky that this guy happened to live in our area. Weird? I think not.

So we called him and met with him on Thursday. - Side note - We are really tying to focus on teaching people, not lessons. In doing so, we teach by the spirit, not by a pattern or for that matter in any certain order. Now of course you can’t jump right into the Word of Wisdom before someone even knows who Joseph Smith is, but we are trying to teach what people need and not just get in there door and start with who God is. So...

In the meeting with Gabriel, elder Holmes and I decided to do just that. I will tell you that I have never been guided by the spirit more in my life. What’s sweet is elder Holmes and I are so unified, that teaching goes so smooth. Can’t really explain that lesson with you but I will tell you this. He told us that since he met us he has been writing down questions. He has gone from church to church for years and years trying to find the truth. He had about 15 or so ready to ask.
In the first meeting we talked about; The Godhead, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, resurrection, and the purpose of life (which was one of his biggest concerns. "Why am I here? What is our objective?" Yes!!! Let us tell you!). We talked about exaltation, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end, tithing, prayer, and how to pray and how we receiving answers to prayer. BOOM> sounds crazy right? Ya it was. Absolutely insane.

It was so crazy that I left there giving him my own personal Book of Mormon. We didn’t have an extra one and the reoccurring prompting wouldn’t let me leave without giving it to him. That was a first for me. That thing is like gold to me and just like that, I left it with a stranger. It actually had my funeral slip from g-ma. It’s always been in there and you would think that I would be worried about it. It’s kinda important to me. I didn’t even worry about it cuz I knew it was the right thing and that that book was going to do something special, as it has for so many other people.

We got a call from him Fri. night and he was more then excited. He kept saying how "marvelous" the book was and that he found many facts in there and he has wrote them down.

Sweet right?!?

Ya we were quickly humbled when Sunday he was a no show. We called alot but his phone was off and we had no idea what was up? I’m still without my Book of Mormon but not too worried. We were quickly humbled and again realized what missionary work is, not always a walk in the park

We did call him just a few hours ago and he was very apologetic. He said that he had some problem at the worksite and had to travel to central region. He still seemed solid. He even wanted us to come over tonight but can’t make it. So we will be going to see him on Wed. along with Steven.

Sister Juliana (Kingsford's mom) is still planned on being baptized on the 6th. It’s a big week. 5th is her wedding. 6th is the baptism and 7th is transfer news and stephs b-day. And the 8th. Well the 8th is a sweet day :-)

Crazy to think that the transfer is just about over. Time really has flown by here. I always heard that going from area to area makes time fly. I don’t know if it’s that or if I’m just absolutely loving every second of my time with elder Holmes? hmmm. Maybe both.

Thanks. Really you guys are just too awesome. You do so much for me and I wish you could understand how grateful I am. I’m out here working hard and enjoying life.

Ghana really is so awesome.

Too sweet.



and his thoughts on the Utah Jazz news...

As far as the whole D-Will situation. I don’t even want to talk about it. I may or may not have put my head on the keyboard and laid there and held back tears for a minute or two. I may
or may not have...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet Kingsford.

just Alex…

This little guy is adorable. This week at church as he was chilling with me in the back, he was pretending to be like me. So a little at a time he started taking my things and using them the same way I would. It started with the pen that was hidden behind my tie. Then he saw I was chewing gum and he stole that right out of my mouth. Then he took my nametag, my watch, my ring and my white-hand-book. I fell in love with him. Then he stood back and told me to take a picture. Hahaha. Maybe one of my favorite pics I have taken here! I love Ghana!

(elder Kingsford)