On May 6th, 2003, I arrived in the United States for the first time as a missionary for my church. My 23-hour flight from Accra, Ghana landed at LAX around noon, and I was plunged right into the heart of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. It was my first time on a plane and my first experience outside of Ghana. I had turned 19 earlier that year and had completed my freshman year of college. I expected to experience some culture shock but did not know exactly how it would manifest.
I was greeted at the airport by the husband-and-wife patrons of the California Los Angeles mission, along with another young, white man, who was much taller and larger than I was but who was only