his last week it was time for 5 of our missionaries to go home. We were able to have brunch with them at President's home, go to the Temple with them and spend some more time with them as they talked about their mission and future and their testimonies. 4 of them all American left that evening on the Delta 10:10 flight and the other one left the next afternoon to Samoa, he had a travel time of 2 days. Elder Mauga on his way home to Samoa.
Last week a friend, that Terry knew for many years before through his employment, was here in Africa, he was taking a group of people to Cape Coast for a day and a half and invited us to go with him. Cape Coast is further west from Accra and much of their living is the Sea. Here is Accra there is no notice of the fact that Accra is right on the Atlantic Ocean. The beach front property is not more valuable, there are not scenic drives near the beach or a beach resort or vacation type mind set here. But in Cape Coast there is, there are lots of boats in the ocean, resorts and a little more touristy feel. We stayed over on Friday night at a place called Elmina Resort. by the town of Elmina. Elmina is famous for a Castle that is more than 5 hundred years old. It took 600 Portuguese soldiers 4 years to build it. Then when the Dutch took over they added more to it. When the castle was first built they used it for trade. The native people traded gold for items like clothe, beads, tools, liqueur etc. That is why the town is called Elmina (the Mine), they soon ran out of gold, what they did have was people. When the tribes got into fights, they took the defeated people as slaves. So the Europeans got right into that trade as you know. We went through the Slave Castle, it was a terrible part of our history, European history and of course to the people who died or suffered through it . Here are a couple of pictures of the town that I took from the top of the Castle.
Later we when inland to a rain forest and you could walk along the top of a rain forest, it was really high, about 250 meters from the ground. The forest was so dense, that you could not see the ground, and we did not see any of the animals, although I don't know if they have a lot. Terry asked a man from Ghana why there were not any wild animals like they have in other parts of Africa, and he said, we ate them. So Peter you don't have to worry about Grandma and Grandpa outrunning the Lions. The people ate all the Lions.
An Act of Faith, Obedience and Love: 11 August 2013 is the first day of our assignment to the Nsawam branch, just outside of the greater Accra area. Four elders and ourselves will be serving with the faithful saints of that branch. The chapel is beautiful and represents the Church well. Two of our missionaries live almost directly across the street from the building. Over the last few years the number of members attending church has become small, small (native) and dwindled to the point that it is now a branch. In an effort of the "Rescue" that President Thomas Monson has addressed in the effort the Lord wants to invite our brothers and sisters back to the fold., our mission President Hill in conjunction with the stake leaders and members have made an effort to visit those who the spark of the gospel may be rekindled and the fire rebuilt. I sat in priesthood, next to the high councilor assigned to the Nsawam branch from Alajo, where he stays (another unique African designation which means where you are currently living, as where are you from means the village you are originally from). As we sat this faithful saint shared with me a visit he made this week along with other ward leaders. A visit to an elderly brother that had not come to church for two years and he had not had a visit. Since there are few street signs and everyone doesn't live on a street anyway, local members must accompany you to the home. In some cases the members do not know where someone stays. But in this case they did. Upon arriving at the home it was discovered that the reason this brother had not been to church is he had had a series of strokes which left his legs unusable and his speech very difficult to understand. In the states that is serious but here where one must walk to church or if one is lucky and has some financial means, they can take the tro-tro or cab one may make it. (Our truck was one of two cars in the ward, so people can not go pick up their neighbors, in many cases the cars could not drive to where the person is because their might not be a road.) In this case there are little financial means and walking is out of the question. During the visit it was discovered that this goodly brother had been waiting and praying for a visit. He expressed his gratitude and told those visiting he had been waiting for two years to pay his tithing, which he gave to them. He asked for a blessing to be released from this life but was given a blessing of faith. We are excited to join with our brothers and sisters here in preparing ourselves and families for the second coming of the Messiah.
It is said of the people here in west Africa they may not have much but they have what counts. They have great faith, love for the Savior and patience. When I ponder upon the saints that we have met and love a scripture comes to mind; Acts 2:17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"