Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Missionaries!!!

I just saw last weeks blog, looks like my pictures went a little crazy I didn't know they were like that when I posted the blog.

This week we has fourteen new missionaries arrive, ten Elders and four Sisters. Transfer day is always very crazy, busy and fun. It is fun to meet all the missionaries and hope we remember all the names and faces without looking at their name tags. For me I say, thank goodness for the name tags! (hey that last sentence sounds like Ghanaian English)  I am including this picture of a new Elder, he looks like my 7 year old grandson, or what Joshy might look like when he is 19.

The day before the arrival 3 missionaries left to go home, we are going to miss them a lot they are all three great missionaries. The Sister a cute girl from Kenya was the Sister Leader the whole time and she was always on top of every thing and kept all the sisters organized.

Terry with an Elder  they have their farmer hat on
Talk about funny hats our downstairs neighbor is wearing a Nigerian hat, he got it when he traveled to Nigeria. Both he and his wife are lawyers and they are both retired so they are on a mission as lawyers. With the complicated and different property law they have here we really need them a lot in our mission. They travel all of the west Africa area to do their work. He has lots of hats from all over the world.
Today we visited with Bright's father who is not a member of the Church.  Bright lives in a village about 5 miles from the Church in Nsawam.  He was was introduced to the Church by one of the young women in the branch.  He is a very intelligent young man, who as we traveled with he and some younger children to his home village, he instructed them on the gospel and having a believing heart. Bright is a convert of 8 months, and is a 21 year old school teacher who would like to serve a mission.  After his mission his goal is  to continue his schooling.  Although he may not go on a mission for 2 more years, he felt if we would visit and his father his dad could see he is attending a church that had older white people and his father would feel he was in good hands.  Sunday is the only day we could visit as Bright's father travels the remainder of the week selling automobile parts.  To reach his home on a rainy day we went mud bogging, so grateful for a 4 wheel drive truck. On our way back to Accra we took a wrong turn and ended up lost, but we are always up for an adventure. I asked Heidi how she liked pushing, as we finally found the main paved road, but to reach it we would have probably gotten stuck, we decided to back track.  Next week we expect to visit again with the missionaries and a returned missionary, from the branch, so his father can see what wonderful transformation takes place on a mission.  This experience brought back memories of our friends the Libby's of Doug Libby,  and his parents, Ed and Judy when Doug joined the Church.  What a difference Doug joining the church has made in all of our lives.  We have all been so richly blessed by the Libbys.  Should anyone wonder I can testify that Our Father in Heaven and His son's hands are deeply involved in each of our lives.  We feel we have been called to Western Africa to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters.  We hope that Brights' story will turn out as well, as Doug Libby.   

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weddings in Ghana

This week we rotated all the missionaries into Accra, we had 24-28 per day. In the morning half went to the temple, and the other half had interviews by President and a cooking class with myself and Sister Hill and then Terry did a class on how to take care of your bike and water filter system. The missionaries liked it, they like any extra food they get and going to the temple. Of course they also like to see former companions and friends.  One of the Sisters is making the fried rice made with eggs and vegetables  in it.

One of these Elders is from Ephraim and I said that the beautiful Larsen sisters from Ephraim were going to view this blog. He blushed and smiled. Sister Hill is making a Bisquick mix. I also made some tortillas and they all had to roll out and cook their own. I then had some south-west seasoned beans and rice to put in and they thought it was great. We are trying to encourage them to eat more eggs and beans,because meat is hard to get. Our area Public Affairs couple is a retired podiatrist and he had to do a little surgery on a couple of ingrown toenails, upstairs in his office. Terry went to help and that was his favorite part of the week.

This weekend we also went to a Wedding. This is a young man we know he is a returned missionary and a student. He goes to the same ward as the AP's and he has started working for the mission a little part time. What he does is he goes to the street markets to buy things we cannot get for a good price at Melcom. For instance we used to get inexpensive mirrors for all the bathrooms from the store for about $7.00. then they disappeared and we would have had to buy mirrors for about $40.00. He was able to get much better mirrors from someone in the market for about $10.- and that is with his profit. There are several other items he gets for us. Back to the wedding! We went first to the traditional wedding.
 This is the family of the Groom arriving at the traditional wedding.

This is the happy couple. The Traditional wedding is very interesting. The Grooms family is to bring gifts that are requested by the Brides family, as part of the ceremony they bring in the gifts and if they are not happy the wedding is off. I was worried that they might call it off because the Brides Mother was very unhappy about some of the gifts they received and she even left, but then she came back. Everything was accepted and they were able to go ahead and get married. This is just a drama for the wedding, actually the Bride price is a negotiated and paid ahead of time. I think I already wrote about the Bride Price. Many couples just live together here, because they cannot pay it. Elder Holland and other church leaders have already talked and talked about that this is a tradition that they should leave behind them.   
Later we went to the Church building for the real wedding. Next they will go to the Temple to the really real wedding. It was a very long day of sitting, but very interesting.
This is a very fuzzy picture, but an on going theme of unbelievable things we see on the road. It is a metal box, not tied on, the 3 men are "holding it on". Hope they did not tip over.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

You know you are in Ghana when----

You see these giant ant hills at various places. This is at a gathering place, or park or soccer field in a town. I am surprised that the kids did not kick their soccer balls into it and knock it down. They do not have a lot of parks here, this was one of the few I have seen. Their soccer fields must be private, because the only place I have seen kids play soccer has been on dirt fields. I do see a lot of  soccer teams in uniforms on Saturday mornings, male only ( older teens and 20 some) running, training. Soccer or Football is the national sport here. Their national soccer team the Black Stars  is from Accra they have a big stadium and they might make it to the world cup if they beat Egypt.

It must be Ghana when little children want to run their fingers through Terry's white hair. We had Stake conference today, and this cute little girl who is in my class came up to us to say hi. Terry knelt down to say hi and she couldn't help herself she had to touch that funny hair and then run her fingers through it. If I would
have had a video camera and put it on You tube, it would have been a million hit video. It reminded me of when Jared was in 1st Grade his best friend was a little black boy, Jared was always rubbing Tyrone's head, because he liked the feel of his hair.

 Our Stake Conference was wonderful , the speakers were great and the choir was wonderful. From where I sat right next to them they could have rivaled the Tabernacle Choir. The chapel was full - full they even had local government and media as guests. They have an institute building, it was full and then they had an event tent about 30 feet by 300 feet and it was full. And it was so so hot, but when I got home and blogged the kids and they showed me all the snow falling- it did not feel so bad being in the hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know you are in Ghana when every one has a Poly tank out side their apartment. You never know when the city water is finished so it is nice to have a 800 gallon tank outside. We just got 2 new missionary apartments on Saturday, we are getting 14 new missionaries in 2 weeks. Their is very much a housing shortage here. So 2 good apartments - with Poly tanks or a place to put them is a very good thing.
  You know you are in Ghana when the palm trees are bigger than the ones in California. This is the housing unit we live in that is our back pouch on the 2nd floor. And when you see your first robin in November. And that Robin pales in comparison to all the other birds that are showing up this time of year.

Terry has been in the office this evening with the AP's so he is not going to write. Love You all, send us an e-mail if you like.