This is the first time Stan and Nancy have gone to the Ghana MTC to pick up new missionaries. The office elders drove most of the new missionaries to the mission home in our new 12 passenger mission van. We took three sisters and half of the luggage. The Jones's also assisted.
Two sisters are from Togo and are French speakers with little English. Fortunately, they are in the same apartment with two English speaking companions and can help each other "adjust". The sister on the right was quite sad. Two members of her family in Uganda....called 'cousin" sisters... have only been members of the church for a couple of years and all decided to serve missions about the same time. They actually were in the MTC together and headed to the Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Accra missions in Ghana. So, it was a day of separation. Many tears were shed, but by the next day, our sister missionary was all smiles and doing well.
Here the departing and incoming missionaries are enjoying a chicken and rice lunch together.
Elder Burdick on the right is from Albany, Oregon! He was looking forward to training a new missionary.
uesday we attended a Zone training meeting in Adenta, about a half hour from our mission office. This is where the Zone Leaders pass on information they learned at last week's Missionary Leadership Council, plus instruct on anything else they feel their Zone needs to hear. During this country culture activity, all those from Nigeria stood and sang their national anthem.
Yes, Ghana finally had their elections on Wednesday, but it took until Friday night to announce the results!! The two mission presidents in the Ghana Accra and Accra West mission had their missionaries deep clean apartments on Thursday in case there were any unexpected problems. We were out to dinner on Friday night and people were in the streets celebrating. The opposition party won by about 9 percentage points. A new president will take office in January.
This artwork was on display at the Accra Mall this week. We think it was made out of sand.
Sunday we were driving to the church in Koforidua..in the bush. There were many people celebrating that the New Political Party had been elected. We thought there would not be a problem going down this street, but the crowd became larger and actually surrounded our car. We just put on our flashers (government people do this to get through traffic quickly), smiled, waved, and motioned for the crowd to part to let us pass. Fortunately, everyone was happy and peaceful.
We attended Sacrament meeting in one ward and then went to a baptism for another ward in another part of the building. The husband is from Ghana and lived 12 years in Spain where he met his wife. He is a member and speaks English, Spanish and Twi (the local tribal language). She only speaks Spanish and has been attending church here for many months. She decided to join the church before they move back to Spain in the near future.
Our new senior missionary couple is Gwen and Howard Haglund from Pittsburgh, PA. They are the parents of six children. He had a career purchasing jet fuel for airlines and she was an interior designer. They arrived Tuesday evening and stayed with us for several days; getting over jet leg, receiving instructions from our mission president, and stocking up on supplies. Sunday, we, and the Jones's, took two trucks to drive them to their new home in Koforidua, about 1 1/2 hours from Accra, where the third mission truck was waiting. Their assignment is to nurture missionaries and members. They previously served a mission in Armenia so they will do great helping in Koforidua.
Small world note: The Haglunds came off the plane and announced they were acquainted with friends from our BYU days; Chuck and Heidi Glauser, who also lived in Pittsburgh for many years. Chuck was in the Broadcasting program with Nancy and Heidi was on tour with Stan with the BYU Ambassadors.
On the way back from Koforidua we saw this truck loaded with tubers.
We are always amazed by what we see on the road!