Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Out in the Bush, Billboards, and Back in the Bush

Last weekend President Heid asked us to go "out in the bush" to check on missionaries, inspect apartments, and get out of the office for a few days.    We attended church in Dzodze, a community near the Togo border.  (We had been there early in our mission.) We spent a couple of days in the Ho Zone and enjoyed a change of scenery and less traffic!!

Church members gathered after church under a mango tree.  One of  our church officials came on a visit to Ghana last year and "joked" that we didn't need buildings to meet in as long as we had a mango tree!

These are our elders outside their apartment in Dzodze.  The one on the left is Elder VanWinkle, a Navajo.  He loves this area, as it is remote like his home on the reservation in Arizona.
Hard to believe this is one of four major highways in Ghana.  At least there is some progress.  1/3 of the road has been paved since our visit in September!!  However, we still endured about 45 minutes of dirt road full of potholes!! 

We are never surprised by what is carried on top of cars! 

On Monday night we held a family home evening with 20 elders at the senior missionary home in Ho.  Only a caretaker lives here since we have no senior missionaries currently in the area.  Several missionaries had come into HO to enjoy their P-day together and prepare for a Zone training meeting on Tuesday.

The Africans, like our Chinese students, tell us they don't necessarily like sweets, but a 5 liter container of ice cream was consumed, along with many cookies!

 During a break from Zone Training, Stan visited with Elder Nissinen, who is from the Hillsboro area.

 Not all of the meeting was of a 'serious nature".

Several of the billboards we pass on the Motorway have messages below the advertisement.  Some we have noticed say: 
 The Key to a Greener Ghana is in Your Hands
Out of Difficulties Grow Miracles
Dreams don't Work Unless you Do

Sister Heid organized a training meeting at the mission home on Wednesday for all the sister missionaries, 24 in total.  She had the Sister Training Leaders plan the agenda and conduct. They did a nice job and chose topics that were important to them.

There were a few discussion groups through out the day.  Sister Graham, the temple matron, asked the young women why modesty was important in their lives; in regards to their relationships, to their spiritual and physical life, and to their work as a missionary. Interestingly, several of the sisters said sometimes people on the street will stop them and tell them they appreciate that they dress modestly.

One of the highlights of the day was a mock "radio call in show" regarding the topic of gossip and its effects.

On Friday there was a seminar at the bank next to our apartment complex.  Cars were parked everywhere and it was difficult for traffic to pass along the street.  All those cars in the picture are parked over a long deep gutter.  We aren't quite sure how the parking system works.  Some cars were parked sideways over the gutter too!  How do the tires not go in the gutter??

We attended a swimming pool party on Saturday with other senior missionaries and everyone received a mango.  It was huge!!  One of the couples had been near a mango plantation and brought some back to Accra for us.

Sunday we went with the our neighbors back into the "bush" to attend church.  We wanted to give support to our missionaries who are in a remote area.    We went to the Asutuare branch and we dropped the Jones's off at the Akuse branch, about 1 1/2 hours from our apartment. The church units are only about 15 minutes from one another.

On our drive we passed a banana plantation.  There is a blue bag visible just above the dashboard.  It will "catch" the ripe bananas.  (See above)

Akuse and Astuare are near the Volta River.  It is a nice lush area.

 This is definitely a one lane bridge!

The church building in Asutuare has a main room, used as the chapel, surrounded by a porch with open air classrooms.  The branch president owns a school and pig farm that was featured in some earlier blog posts.

This was an investigator class for those who are learning about the church.  Elder Wanjala was teaching and he has only been in the mission field a few weeks.  The gal in front was translating since many of the class members do not speak English, only a tribal dialect. To complicate teaching, many of the those attending also do not know how to read.

Elder Bergeson, from Moses Lake, Washington,  and Elder Wanjala, from Kenya, pose with Stan on the outdoor porch.

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