Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Time

I had better tell you about Christmas, before going on to the New Year. It is so strange to get reports from our children about the snow, cold , skiing and sledding that they have been enjoying ,or not, when we are so hot here. The larger stores are decorated and they even have some red and green decorations out. The stores are playing Christmas music, and I have to chuckle when I here "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" or other songs like that. Almost every night for about a week before Christmas to this time between Christmas and New Year. We have heard large outdoor parties going on in the neighborhood. They like to play the music really really loud and the parties are always outside.  This is picture of a couple of our missionaries that built their own Christmas tree out of branches that were being trimmed from a big evergreen, they did a pretty good job.

 Our mission had a fun Christmas Conference with 1/2 of missionaries one day and 1/2 the next day. We did a lot of singing, heard an inspiring message from President Hill, had a talent show, we had some good musicians and as you can see some of our Island and New Zealand Missionaries did the Hawkua  for us. They were very good. We also had a good lunch and gave all the missionaries some small small presents and a phone chip with 35-40 minutes on it so they can call home on Christmas.
On the 24th we did our last mail/cookie - run before Christmas. We went up to Oda and Asamankese, an Area about 3 hours drive time away. ( This is where the Nielson's were before they had to go home because of Sister Nielson's illness. They were never able to figure out what she had in Salt Lake Hospitals either. They are at their home and she is recovering.) We met another missionary couple from Abomosu, the Daltons ( 2 hours further  from where we were in Oda, and he picked up all the mail for the missionaries in the Abomosu area. We then drove on to Nsawam and delivered more mail and cookies. We had started out at 6:00 A.M. and got back about 5:30, just in time to go to a very nice Christmas Eve dinner with the 20 other couples that are here in the Area office and the other mission. It was at a very fancy Hotel and one of the best dinners we have had eating out.
On Christmas Day the Senior Couples took our a nice
Brunch to the MTC to share with the missionaries

that were still at the MTC over Christmas. We also played funny games and had a white elephant exchange with them. We went home at 3:00, just in time to Skype with our children and grandchildren and enjoy their Christmas with them.Thank goodness for Skype but we still missed a lot. Hope you had a great Christmas. Love, Terry and Heidi

Saturday, December 7, 2013


This blog is a little late for Thanksgiving "the day" mainly because our computer has not been working for the last couple of weeks , but it is never the wrong day to give Thanks. When we go walking in the morning at 5:30 we pass quite a few people who are on their way to work, we always greet them and ask them how they are doing, they always are very positive and tell us they are fine and they add by His Grace, or By the Grace of God. They are always acknowledging the presence and blessings of the Lord in their life. I am grateful to have that example of Gratitude in my life .

I am grateful for all the other people that bless my life, especially our family. It takes all 5 of our children to take care of us while we are on our mission. We are also grateful for friends who send their encouragement or a couple of cans of pumpkins & a box of Stuffing or some special soap. We spent Thanksgiving with our 40 some friends that are also Senior missionaries here in the Africa West Area . It was fun spending time and eating great food,(best coconut cream pie I ever had) even turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. It was fun to spend time with some of the couples that have different responsibilities then we have and find out what they are doing or what is happening in their area.

 This is our 2nd Thanksgiving Dinner - we went up to Abomosu - about 3 1/2 drive through some rough road. The Daltons arranged the dinner, These are 5 interns from Utah State University. They have been staying here for 3 months, and been teaching a business class or micro - businesses. This  week was their last week and anyone that finished the business class, had them turn in a business plan and if it was a sound plan  then they were given a micro-loan for that business. Hope the businesses are all successful!!
Of course we had the 6 missionaries that are there- what great missionaries, only the best go up to the bush, or else they get to be great missionaries while they are up in the Bush and mentored by Elder and Sister Dalton. We only got 3 of them on the camera, maybe the others were preparing their mashed yams and no-bake pan- cookies. We were also joined by friends and ward members from Abomosu. This building is where World Joy ( a non-profit)  does some of it operations out of. They help with schools and medical care in this part of Ghana.
Guess who was the Birthday Boy that day! Elder Dalton baked Terry a Ghanaian Chocolate Cake, it was delicious!! Elder Dalton is the one on the left and behind Terry is the West Africa Area Dr.

This last week was very sad for us we had to say good-bye to Elder and Sister Nielson - they are our good friends and the Bush Couple up in Asamankese and Sister Nielson developed a problem with her joints and legs, it progressed so fast. They were down here for blood tests ( they never did find out what it was) but whatever it was, was progressing fast, so we flew her home. They got to Salt Lake yesterday and we hope to hear what is happening in the next couple of days. I do want to tell you this story about Asamankese. They had a King die there a few weeks ago (they sometimes wait months to have a funeral and bury someone) and they could not bury him because, they had to have some heads (human) to put under his coffin, so it would hold up his coffin and it would not touch the dirt. Anyway, people in the town were very worried they told the missionaries and Elder and Sister Nielson to be very careful and not go out by themselves and not go out at night. The Nielsons, told us that everyone in the town was very worried about and even one of the missionaries from Ghana was very worried about it. I just told the Nielson's that they should just tell the missionaries to not say where or why they had gone, (everyone knew who the Neilson's were because they are the only white ( Obrunis) in town, and then every one in town would assume that the King had 2 of the 4 heads.
 This is just a path to someones home, reminded us of Hawaii. If you have a car and live in a village, many times you cannot get it close to your home or compound so you might get your car stolen the first night, so you might as well not get a car. You have to pay it all up front, 3/4 of the US might not have a car if that was the case there.
 These are our great missionaries from Amasaman, it is on our way to our Branch in Nsawam, so almost every Sunday we stop and deliver, mail or something to these Elders .
Apartment Inspection in Tantra Hills, they have by far the best out door space of any of our missionary apartments, the problem is the land lady won't let them sit on the grass, but it is very pretty.
This is in case you have not had any stomach problem, just have some Banku here.