Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Skype

We had not one, but 2 wonderful Skype visits with Elder K on Christmas.  We have a long standing tradition in our house where right at 6am - on the dot - we go up to see what Santa brought for Christmas.  Elder K had planned on Skyping with the whole family around noon, but just after 6am, my phone rang with a number from Ghana!  It was Elder Barfuss who told me that Sean wanted to set up the Skype call now and surprise his brothers and sister when they came up to see what Santa brought.  It was a little too late to surprise them they way he wanted to, but I guarantee - we were ALL surprised!!  He looked and sounded wonderful!  He took us on a tour of his apartment, bore his testimony, spoke some Twi for us and smiled the entire time!  Even when he cried, he smiled.  He said that this was the best Christmas he has ever experienced!  It was great to have that precious time with him.  He then set up his later Skype for 1:30pm

We had everyone who wanted to come over for the second Skype call and it was wonderful!  Jeremy's family was in Mexico, Jeff's family was in Portland and Josh's family was at Christmas lunch in Sandy, but we were able to get them all on Facetime and had a great visit that spanned the globe!  We ended our visit with a prayer offered by Sean.  I'm pretty sure we all cried.  He has grown so much.  We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas gift!!

Gavin has had a terrible toothache.  We were pre-occupied with getting him comfortable last night and I forgot to write my email to Sean.  At 6am I jumped up and ran to the computer figuring I'd be OK because we've never gotten an email from him before 7:30am.  Nope - he beat me to it.  Darn!  I sent him a response, but I guess that means he'll have 2 emails to read next week.

Dear Mom, 
I have some big news. Elder Barfuss got emergency transferred and Elder Wokporka went home, so now Elder Kaelin is my companion and we are the only Elders in Kwabeng. It was very all-of-a-sudden. He got the call Saturday night.  He's going down closer to the coast.
I will most likely have the baptism this week but I'll see on Sunday. I miss you guys and I loved seeing you on Christmas. My talk in church went well.  I shared my temple experience and I bore my testimony of the Savior.
Not a lot to report so I'll see how this week goes.
I love you all soo much and I'll write you next week.

Love, Elder Seanshine Keddington 

We are so grateful for the incredible trainer Elder Barfuss was to our boy!  He helped Sean through some tough bouts of homesickness and I'm sure has become a life-long friend.  We made the connection that he is from Aloha, Oregon and is in the same stake as Jeff and Janet, so we'll be able to stay in touch.  We will pray for his continued success!  

Sean seems more determined than ever to do the Lord's work.  I Love It!!!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Week

Dear Mom, 

Merry Christmas! I miss you guys more than ever, but I have some great news! The mission is letting us Skype, so Barfuss and I bought a Galaxy Note! I'll be able to Skype you guys on Christmas! I'll be able to see you guys on Christmas!  It will probably come in the afternoon and I'll only be able to for 40 minutes.  Our plans for Christmas are wake up, open presents, do a white elephant, then caroling all day until the evening.  We'll come home and call you guys then have a Christmas dinner.  We will be in Kwabeng. 

Today we went to the Bingham's for a Christmas party.  they are the sweetest people.  We roasted a pig on a spit (a full pig, we killed and gutted it) and had a Christmas brunch.  We then had a secret santa.  I gave a nice belt and got bottle rockets! Christmas is when they light fireworks. Then Sister Bingham gave all us Elders a hand stitched African design stocking filled with caramel, popcorn and other cool stuff.  I love them so much. 

Next, my toe is fine. I've got something called plantar's wart. It's painful, but should go away within the year.

Third, YOU ALL ARE SO GENEROUS!! Thank you and thank everyone for the money, I have some ideas for what I will use it for. I will definitely put it to good use. Several people have put money into his account so that he can use it to buy some Christmas for people in his mission who need some help.  He has been really excited to do this!

Happy Birthday Hunter! I still have the luggage tag and I love to show the members him and our family.

So, I saved the best for last.  Last week we got to go to the Temple in Accra.  We did an endowment session and afterward I had a long heartfelt prayer with Heavenly Father in the Celestial Room. I asked for strength when I'm missing you guys on Christmas and almost immediately a feeling of peace and comfort came into my heart. I know it was the Spirit of the Lord and I know that he loves and cares for me. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I then realized that I was the last one in the Celestial room. :)

I love you So much mom and everyone. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and that He lives.

With all the love I can give,

Elder Seanshine Seaner Big Brother Keddington

PS: I heard Josh Groban on a cd singing Believe from the Polar Express and it made me think of you

He makes me cry.  I love this boy so much and can't wait to actually be able to "see" him on Christmas!  He is getting it!  He is learning to lean on the Lord!  He's exactly where he needs to be!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lots going on

Dear Mom, 
This week was a long one and a lot happened in it.  So, we got a new brother, Brother Wokporka (work-poka) he is a 20 year old Ghanaian and he is super cool. He is from the Volta region of Ghana and speaks English, Eywe, and Twi.

This week we decorated the house with copies of The Liahona. We cut out all the green we could find and taped it on the wall to make an 8ft tree. It was a ton of fun. We also cut strips and made a huge paper chain all throughout the house.

We finally got Kojo ready for baptism and he will be baptized this week. I will do the baptism.
We visited a brother in the ward who was hit by a car that swerved in Accra and broke his leg in 2 places. Doctors said it would be a 3 month recovery, but when we visited him he asked for a priesthood blessing. I gave the blessing, its my first blessing for the healing in the field.  We visited him yesterday and he said that the bone was healing at such a rate that it would be a 1 1/2 month recovery.

We taught a record 9 lessons this week.

Yesterday after church we came home and found a 3 1/2 foot green mamba on our porch. It got away before we could kill it, so we are on the lookout.

So, we go to Accra tomorrow to be checked out by the doctor.  There is a painful growth on my left toe that is growing under the skin.  Hopefully it's nothing.  After that we go to the President's house to stay the night for the Christmas program. Our zone is singing "Silent Night" in Twi.

So that's My week.  I will be calling you soon so I will look forward to that. I'm starting to fall into the rhythms of Ghana and its starting to speed up. I've lost 27lbs!

Love You With All My Heart, 

Elder Seanshine Keddington 

 PS; I also tried lizard this week. It was good, but a very tough meat. ;)

Ummm - a little worried about the toe, but I'm sure he'll be fine.  This kid is changing!  He is becoming more a missionary and less a tourist and I love it!  I'm so glad that he is finding his groove.  I also love hearing that they are getting into Christmas however they can.  Sure do love this guy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Pictures

With Elder Lords

Elders Barfuss, Lords, Kaelin and Keddington.  Quite the team

Monday, December 7, 2015

Getting Brave

Dear Mom, 
I can't wait to talk to you guys on Christmas. I'm probably gonna cry as soon as I hear you guys. Well, Elder Lords left this morning and it was very bitter-sweet. We will miss him here in Kwabeng, but he's going to Liberia finally. Elder Barfuss and I are staying together for another transfer, so if one of us leaves at the end, we will have been together for 4 1/2 months. Elder Kaelin is getting a ward missionary as his new companion so we will see how that goes.

I got my packages! The elders were especially happy about the beef jerky. We finally got invited to a members house for dinner and you know what, Fufu is actually very hard to eat. But I bucked up and ate an entire ball of it, plus the super spicy soup and made sure I didn't offend the member who made it. I was a little proud of myself. Also we had chicken and the only meat on my piece were the lungs. I ate both of them. :)

We weren't able to baptize this Sunday because Kojo went to a funeral. We will get it this week though. I taught my first lesson on my own and answered their questions with what I knew and with the help of the Holy Ghost.  Besides that, the work goes on.

When i call you guys it will either be in the morning or afternoon. I will call either your phone or the home phone, depending on where you are.

I love you all Sooo much and I will go forward in faith. I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love, Elder Seanshine Keddington  

Oh my heart!  I'm having kind of a tough time with him being gone this Christmas season and it sounds like it's not as easy for him as I was hoping it would be.  I'm sure some of it has to do with Elder Lords leaving.  The four of them have gotten pretty close.  

I have to say, I'm proud of him for eating the food without complaint.  For YEARS we have told him that he needed to try new things and not complain because "when you go on your mission..."  So glad to know that those words stuck in his head ;)

We are looking forward to talking to him and will continue to pray for strength for him, especially this time of year.

BTW - for anyone who doesn't know, my mom has called him "Sean-shine" since he was tiny.  It's funny to see him using it as his sign-off.  :)