Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter Monday Holiday and Organizing a New Stake

For Elder Pace, this week began with a trip to the Accra Country Club at 6:30 am for some golf practice with President and Sister Heid and Ryan Richards, (Area Legal Counsel). It was Monday, P-day, but it was also a holiday. (Easter Monday).  The course was overflowing with golf enthusiasts.  It was slow going and took nearly 5 hours to play 18 holes.  Stan thought he drank plenty of water but found himself questioning whether he was going to finish.  He was light-headed and thought that he might pass out.  He doesn't ever remember a time when he sweat so much.  (He doesn't remember the last 5 holes either). He was drenched from the top of his head to mid-thigh. It took a good 3 hours of water guzzling before he felt like lifting a finger and chewing some food.  He said, "We've got to get an earlier start!!"

His caddie this time was Wally.  He was a nice guy and very helpful.  Stan was so glad he didn't have to carry his clubs in these hot weather conditions.   Don't let this picture deceive you.  It didn't feel as good as the course looked.

Tuesday, Sister Heid and Sister Pace attended the Burma Hills District Meeting.  After the meeting, refreshments were served.  It was yam (a potato) with egg stew.  Egg stew is made from tomatoes, onions, powder pepper seasoning, and when the stew boils, eggs are whipped into the mixture.  It was actually ok... maybe a little spicy.  We shared with Elder Afoa, the Islander in the picture below, who can never get enough food!

Elder Lyman, with Elder Afoa, is from the US and has been in Ghana one week.  He is getting used to the culture quickly.

Sister Monday is from Nigeria.  She was the cook for the egg stew!

On Tuesday, President Heid set apart Morrison Godson Halm from the Kpong District (Asutuare Branch) as a missionary.  Then he headed to the Provo MTC for training prior to going to the Georgia Atlanta Mission.  Morrison received his call to serve in November.  We wondered aloud if he would get a visa to the US in time to report to the MTC in April, but he was blessed.  This is one of the few African missionaries we know who have been sent to the US.  We tried to prepare him for culture "shock" and told him about Georgia peaches, southern drawls, and peanuts! We would love to be a fly on the wall when he returns to Ghana in two years and tells about his experiences.

On Thursday Sister Heid invited the Sister Leaders and their companions to the mission home for some training.   While she instructed the STL's, the companions watched an LDS General Conference video from a few weeks ago.  Then they all had lunch at the Area office cafeteria and attended a temple session together.  Sister Heid said that in the three years she has been mission mom, there has not been a better group of sister missionaries!   

Saturday we attended an afternoon adult session of Stake Conference at the Stake Center building on the temple site.  (You can see President and Sister Heid seated on the front row, left hand side.)  This was a combined meeting for the Christianborg and Tema Stakes.  A third Stake would be formed on Sunday from these two units.

Elder Vinson, the Africa Area West President and a General Authority Seventy, presided. He said that he and his wife have been here in Ghana for almost four years.  When they arrived, there were 38 Stakes in West Africa and it that short time the number has doubled to 76.  During his remarks he commented that he has felt an urgency to extend the gospel blessings to the other eight countries in Africa West Area.  The church is not legally recognized there and many are Muslim countries, so the church proceeds cautiously.  He talked about Guinea and Mali (remember our experiences in August with a Mali family coming to be baptized) and the desire that people have to learn about the church.  

Elder Vinson also said that he knows that we all struggle to not have "other gods before me", as in reference to the Ten Commandments.  In ancient days there may have been idol worship, but now we need to avoid the trappings of materialism and holding on to traditions like extensive and expensive wedding ceremonies, when we should focus on the temple sealing where families are united for eternity.

Elder Vinson also asked the congregation to not just pray for the sick, poor and needy, but to seek them out and offer comfort.  

Sunday we went to the Ghana International Conference Center for Stake Conference.  It is in a nice setting, only a few blocks from the mission home.

Nancy is about to enter the main hall, but there were not any seats, so we headed up to the balcony area.
The venue holds 1600 in theater type seating and it was close to capacity. 

 The Paces and the Jones's are among many Africans!

During the meeting a new Stake (Teshie) was created from the Christiansborg, and Tema Stakes, including adding two units from the neighboring Ashaiman Stake.  The presiding authority, Elder Vinson, talked about how the church operates differently than a change in governments. Elder Vinson said sometimes the "obvious choice' is not the one who is asked to be a Stake President.  He reminded members that there was no election, no ballots and no politicking for a position. After interviews, the Lord made known his choice through revelation to the presiding authorities.

Elder Egbo, just called as an Area Seventy, said he was told that at least 50 investigators were in attendance at the meeting.  He then bore his testimony and related how the church is different from other religions....priesthood authority, the gift of the Holy Ghost, etc.

 There were even additional seats set up in the foyer of the main hall.

The crowd exiting after Conference

After conference, we were invited, along with President and Sister Heid, and the missionaries in the office, to dinner at the Jones's.  We had a hardy beef stew over potatoes and Nancy provided lave cake for dessert.  

The office elders and assistants to the President anticipating dinner to be served.  Elders Sebuliba, Magda, Anusiem and Bailey.  Elder George was just out of the picture.

 President enjoyed some "lighter" moments and shared some family activity pictures.

 The kitchen was a busy place

Bon appetit!!

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