Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Apostolic Visit and Conference

The major event for us this week, was the visit of Elder Stevenson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He was accompanied by Elder Soares, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  They were making various stops in West Africa.  They requested that all the missionaries of the Ghana Accra and Ghana Accra West missions be in attendance on Wednesday.  A complication and challenge with that opportunity was the fact that we received 7 missionaries on Tuesday from the Ghana MTC and then on Wednesday received 9 more missionaries from the Provo MTC.  The logistics of having everyone, including the Bush areas, come into town, interviewing and calling new trainers, arranging "Bush" elders a place to stay, getting everyone from the airport, etc. to their correct destination and having a major transfer was daunting.  But, President Heid is a master of this kind of challenge.  Everything came off with very few problems.  It was a miracle!!!

On Monday, we also bid farewell to 5 missionaries who returned to their homes in Nigeria and the D.R. Congo.   Well, they were taken to the airport, but the Nigerians had to wait until Wednesday afternoon to leave.  Arik Air had fuel issues.  Fortunately, there was an alternative housing option that Church Area Travel provided, as we were overflowing at the Mission Home.  These were all great elders and we wish them well upon their return home.

This was at our farewell dinner.  You will recognize Elder Osei-Brobbey on the left, (AP).  Elder Ajayi is on the right.  Great young men.

At the departure dinner we also honored our mission nurse, Sister Meg Jones.  It was her birthday and that was a large "candle"!

On Tuesday we welcomed 4 new African Sister Missionaries, along with 3 African Elders.

 The next photos are from the Conference with Elder Stevenson.  It was quite an event.

The elders in the front row had just gotten off their international flight from the US two hours earlier.  They were still awake.  Elder Vanwinkle, on the right, is from the Navajo Indian reservation.
 Elder Stevenson, taken from the very back of the chapel.  He reminded the missionaries that we are all in the "sweet spot" of our mission, whether we are a new missionary, a 12 month missionary or a finishing missionary.  He encouraged the missionaries to invite those they meet and teach to make a commitment - like praying 3 times a week or to read a few scriptures - and that there are promised blessings for keeping such commitments. 

At the end of the meeting, the visiting church authorities shook all our hands.  We feel privileged that we have been on our mission 8 months and have seen three of the twelve apostles in Accra:  Elder Rasband, Elder Bednar and Elder Stevenson.

 After the conference, we were served lunch.  It was quite good.  It was the feeding of the 300!! 

 The Elders got full!! 

 After the Conference we sent these elders back to their Area, so we could concentrate on helping the newly arrived US missionaries get adjusted to the time difference and a new country.

 For a couple of days, we seemed to have extra missionaries in the mission home courtyard.

 You have to look closely, but Elder Pace is on the left grilling hotdogs with the assistance of Elder Jones.  Sister Jones is holding her phone to "shed light on the situation". 

The newly arrived US missionaries probably thought they would not see a hot dog for two years!  Fooled them!!

 Elder Osei-Brobbey being himself.

 Some of the new missionaries who came to our mission this week.

 Elder Hayes from Gilbert, Arizona.  He is friends with a family who live near our son, Tyler.

It was Elder Falk's birthday on Friday.  Nancy baked muffins.  (Because of the busy week, President  Heid postponed Monday Preparation Day and told the office elders and AP's to take Friday off, so it was casual Friday!!)

Saturday we noticed a crowd marching down a ramp.  We didn't get the best photo but some of the participants were wearing T shirts that said, "No War".  We don't know if the rally was to encourage restraint for the coming elections in December or a reference to some other situation.  We see world church security reports everyday and we are grateful that peaceful Ghana never makes the news!

 We attended church in a location along the beach area of Accra.  This ward was just formed two weeks ago.  In Relief Society there was a tablecloth listing the names and positions of those who were serving in that organization.

When we exercise each morning we pass Isaac, who works as a security guard at a bank on our route.  He is always so friendly, smiles and greets us.  Stan felt like he might be interested in what the LDS Church has to offer, so Stan shared a pamphlet and Book of Mormon with him.  Isaac had some questions, so we met with him Sunday afternoon and then took him back to his home and met his wife and children.  He lives in very humble circumstances.   Isaac is religious and already has a marvelous understanding of the scriptures and believes in Jesus Christ.

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