Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ninth Week of Heat

Monday was a holiday.  Easter in Ghana is big and is actually a 4-day break, although the mission office was generally "open."  However, we were invited to join three other couples, including the Mission President and his wife, and went to the movies.  We saw “Miracles from Heaven.”  It was enjoyable at $4 admission.  It was a high price for Ghana, but reasonable in the US.

This Sunday, we returned to Mamfe, where we attended church last week.  President requested that we return to deliver some medication to a “struggling” missionary, and some other missionary materials.  We enjoyed driving again “up” to Mamfe and for the second week, to enjoy very pleasant surroundings and bearable temperatures.   Since we attended the baptism of two young men last Sunday, today we were able to witness their confirmation.  They demonstrated such humility and gratitude for having the gospel of Jesus Christ introduced into their lives.

During Sunday School we talked about the Creation.  At one point, the teacher asked what creations were we thankful for.  One of the young men mentioned how grateful he was for women.  All of the women in attendance giggled and the other men smiled.  The teacher shook his head and said, “Yes, we are thankful for women, but they are sometimes ‘troublesome.”  We are not sure exactly what he meant, but we enjoyed the comment in the way that it was used.

Signs we noticed as we drove this week:
......Take Life as it is
......No Jesus, No Life
......Jesus Power

Since we had a missionary that needed to go home for medical reasons (digestive issues) this past week, we were curious about how many missionaries, mainly non-African missionaries, have a difficult time with the food and sanitary conditions.  Surprisingly, there really isn’t a major problem. Many health issues are more related to personal cleanliness practices and not following mission protocols, like using bleach for general cleaning and washing fruits, veggies and dishes.   Missionaries still have their free agency, so there will still be some minor problems in spite of all the precautions that they are instructed to take.

After the movies we made a "colorful" purchase for our Master Bedroom!

This is Elder Annan who returned from his mission in the Ghana Kumasi Mission.  He needed to be released from his mission by President Heid, since he left from our mission area.  He was traveling back to Koforidua, but he has no family there.  When asked what he was going to do, where he was going to live, etc., he said he didn't know, but he had faith that Heavenly Father would help him find his way.

Elder Nissinen is from Oregon, in fact from Hillsboro.  His father owns a landscaping company and they are caring for our yard while we away.  Elder Nissinen was being transferred from the Greater Accra area to the "bush" in Ho so he stopped by the mission office to get transportation from another senior couple who live in Ho.

 We joined other couples at "Mama Mia's", a pizza parlor. 

Mama Mia's, according to Trip Advisor, is one of the top restaurants in Accra.  Pizza in Africa?  Go figure.  Everything was prepared right before us and baked in a brick oven.

On Saturday, we located a popular market at the Goethe Institute not far from our apartment.  Each month African artisans set up booths and show their wares.  We were impressed.  They also had freshly baked bagels for sale that we found to be outstanding.  Additionally, one can purchase a Bratwurst and trimmings.  A little taste of Germany right here in Africa.

This carved bowl and stand were particularly noteworthy.  We are usually very careful about purchasing souvenirs, but we have to admit, we were tempted.  We have a long time before we return home.  We will look hard, but exercise patience as we consider purchasing things that will remind us of our experience in Africa.

We took a selfie before eating our special "General Conference Dinner" in our dining room. 
In April and October each year, there is a television broadcast and we can listen to our leaders from Salt Lake City. (Normally in the US and those countries in "reasonable" time zones, church services are cancelled so members can watch the broadcast at the church or at home.  In Ghana not every church building has the capability to receive the broadcast ,so Sunday services are held as usual and some members can find a place to watch the broadcast later in the day.  Most wait until DVD's are available or the church magazine publishes the talks.)

We watched both Saturday sessions and surprisingly, had pretty good internet reception. 

This week we received a "care package" from our son and daughter-in-law in Arizona.  The oven thermometer was a special request.  Nancy's first attempt using it was a glorious success.  Everyone at the mission home enjoyed a new banana cake recipe that a friend recommended. You actually put the cake directly from the oven into the freezer for 45 minutes!!

 This week President Heid made some changes in mission assignments and transferred some missionaries to new areas.  Elder Kofotua, a Tongan from California,  has assisted the mission president for a few months.  His new companion is  Elder Quarshie, who is from the Cape Coast area in Ghana.  These Assistants to the President (APs) are invaluable in helping solve problems with the missionaries, going out with them on missionary exchanges, etc. and helping the mission president with organization in the mission.

Elder Morris on the left has been in some pictures in prior blogs and is an office elder.  His new companion is Elder Falk.  Both are from Utah and "wizards" at computers and graphics.  This week the mission implemented a new "reimbursement" policy to encourage the missionaries to purchase cleaning supplies and hopefully be more healthy.  Elder Morris organized everything regarding the paperwork for this process.

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