Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Out in the Bush

This week we were “out in the bush” on two occasions.  On Tuesday we were invited to attend a Zone Conference in Senchi, about 1 1/2 hrs. northeast from Accra, along with other senior missionaries.  This was to allow the young missionaries to meet together with the mission president and be instructed.  These missionaries did not have an opportunity to hear from Elder Rasband, the visiting apostle, who was in Accra last week.

In addition to gospel topics, one of our Assistants to the President, is from Ghana and gave a cultural lesson.  We learned:

….you greet people in a line going from right to left

….it is ok to tell a vendor that you are not buying it

….when you first meet someone and they are older, you can call them Grandma or Daddy, but you would only call them brother or sister when you are more acquainted with them

 A baboon along the road to Senchi.
 About 70 young missionaries gathered for the Zone Conference in Senchi.  Yes, it is a rented building and there is a wall dividing the main meeting area.
 You will note that the US Missionaries are all smiling.  The Africans, generally, do not smile for the camera much.

 These are the Taylors, a senior missionary couple, from Ogden, UT.  Their assignment is in the bush-KoforiduaThey have stayed with us when they come to Accra

After the conference, all the Senior couples and mission president met at the Royal Senchi Resort for lunch.  The setting is beautiful.

This boat was hauling logs along the  Volta River.

Road trip back to Accra.  These scenes are what we see and experience on this major highway.  It nearly always gives Stan a headache.

 Note the extra passenger on the top of this Tro Tro? (a goat!)

The view is often quite "interesting."  It is obvious how hot it is here all the time...notice the sweat line!!

 A market scene along the road.

We were also “out in the bush” for our Sunday worship in Mamfe, a community about 1 hr. 20 minutes directly north from Accra.  The 4 young missionaries are working diligently in a beautiful lush area in the hills on the edge of the city.  They have many people who are interested in the gospel, but the challenge is that most cannot afford the taxi fare to church and live too far away to walk.  We were impressed by the articulate branch president who spoke about Easter and also taught a combined relief society priesthood lesson.  There were several investigators who were also visiting.  Sometimes we had difficulty following the messages since there would be English and Twi spoken together.  After church there was a baptismal service for two young men who are 21 years old.

Photo taken from the top of the hills near Mamfe.  It is actually "cooler" in Mamfe.

 Saturday we attended a baptismal service in West Adenta, about forty minutes from our apartment. The baptismal font on the left of the building had a leak so they called a water company to come and fill up the font. 

This was the baptism service at the West Adenta Ward building

On our way back to Accra on Sunday, we gave 4 young adult members rides to their communities.  All had been members less than two years and are the only members in their family, except for the mother of one young man.  Three are in school and one is working in Accra. 

We also learned that when people say “Akwaaba” (welcome), you respond according to age.  So, if we want to communicate with someone younger, we would say “yen ea”.

During our travels this week, these are some of the signs we noted on vehicles, buildings and signs. They are appropriate for the Easter season, but are permanent all year:

Still Unshakeable Jesus

To God Be the Glory

Angelila Villa

God’s Favour

Enoch Fitting Shop

The Set Time Church (maybe in reference that Africans come when they please to church, etc.)

Oil Ministries with a picture of olive oil

Zion Enterprises

Blessed Assurance

Trust in God

Glorious Furniture

Let Us Pray

Life Assurance Ministries, amidst a pile of tires

Grace Enterprises

Rapture Mission Church

He is Mighty God

Trust in God Metal Works

God First

Uphold and Defend the Constitution (well, it is the political season here also!)

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, Keep Ghana Clean (wish people would pay attention to that admonition!)

We thought this was the best:  He died for me.  I must live for Him.

As mentioned previously, we have a generator here at the apartment as well as the mission office.  This week we did not have city power for over 24 hours at the mission office and the generator was on for almost that same amount of time at the apartment.  However, we didn’t notice that our neighbor’s city power did not resume operation like ours did. The neighbors had gone on a short get away after the Senchi Conference and were not home.   It was 20 hours before we realized nothing was running at their place and we called the electrician to get everything on again!  Fortunately, the refrigerator was still cold.  We now hope all the electrical issues are solved for our two apartments!

We are amazed at all the issues the mission president deals with constantly…helping companions get along, encouraging those who are struggling in a new culture, overseeing church administrative matters, checking on the progress of the mission office “annex” remodel, meeting with church members, assigning new missionaries coming to the mission, etc.  We try to offer any assistance that we can so he can focus on only the matters he can handle.

This is Elder Smith, one our two "Office Elders."  He and Elder Morris are critical in helping President Heid run the mission.

 We have also had many sick missionaries lately, some with just a temporary illness.  One elder was fine one moment and the next was being taken to the hospital for a kidney stone!!  There was a marked change in his appearance once he got relief!  We have an elder having digestive issues for a few weeks and really not able to function as a missionary.  He was still not better after having some tests and following a strict diet at the mission home under the nurse and Sister Heid’s direction.  Finally, the church medical doctor felt it best he return back to the US for diagnosis and treatment.  Our neighbor, Elder Sanders, will be taking another long flight this week as his escort.

The mango trees are so pretty.  This does look tropical, doesn't it?

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