We were also blessed to have cooler weather this week and some rain!! (That was really helpful since the buildings are not air conditioned where we held Zone Conferences!)
We had a farewell dinner for the Heids at Le Magellan Restaurant on Monday evening. President invited his Mission Presidency and their wives. Also attending were the senior mission couples, Area Legal Counsel, and the Cosgraves, the mission president in Ghana Kumasi Mission. They served as senior missionaries in Ho under the Heids before accepting their current assignment in Kumasi.
ur first Multi Zone Conference was in Tema. President and Sister Heid greeted each missionary. The Heid's grandson, is visiting and he got in some handshakes!
Missionaries are settling in prior to the start of the Conference.
The Tema Circle is normally a congested area. However, there is progress in Ghana as this round about is being improved.
Stan is with Elder Schmanski and Elder Robertson in front of their new apartment. It is actually a nice facility, but Elder Glanfield, who is a contractor by trade, had a hard time looking at the crooked door frames, and a drain that was actually the high point in the bathroom floor!
Elder Shorinmade and Elder Basil assembled new fans that we delivered.
Wednesday evening we were invited to dinner at the Munro's home. They are the office couple (at the back) in the Ghana Accra West Mission and wanted to offer their friendship and office "expertise" to the Glanfields. Sister Munro found some raspberry juice for our toast!
Thursday we headed to Kpong for the next Multi Zone Conference. Along this route we nearly always see baboons off to the side of the road.
Missionaries are ready to be instructed by President Heid.
Sister Glanfield has a degree in music and her talents were used immediately at the Multi Zone Conference!
Elder and Sister Jones are always ready to instruct and greet the missionaries. Sister Jones, with her Scottish accent, had the missionaries laughing. She told them that as she was introduced to the church as a young adult, she read the Book of Mormon in bed while smoking a cigarette! She told them she got a testimony of those scriptures, quit smoking and then served a mission in England. (President Heid remarked that it is dangerous to smoke in bed and he was glad she stopped that habit!!)
Connor Heid is President and Sister Heid's 16 year old grandson. He is visiting for two weeks and will fly to his home in South Carolina with the Heids when they leave the mission field on Saturday. Connor is going out with the missionaries to teach and getting a taste of missionary life. His name tag says Brother Heid!!
Interesting side note: The missionary that baptized our new office couple, the Glanfields, in Canada, is now Connor's seminary teacher in South Carolina!
Elder Gamil, from the Philippines, gave this artwork to the Heids. He is quite talented!!
On the way to the Multi Zone Conference in Kpong, our office elders took the wrong turn from the Tema Circle....it is very confusing with the traffic, construction, and little signage..... They realized their mistake and had to take some back roads to get to Kpong. The potholes bounced the fender right off the new mission van. Fortunately, everything was able to be reattached once they returned to Accra.
This colorful "tro tro" hauled missionaries to the Kpong Conference from the Ashaiman Area, about an hour drive. President Heid was impressed it looked so safe, compared to some of the vehicles on the road.
Brother Osei-Brobbrey, on the right, stopped by the Kpong Conference to say hello. He has a sewing business in the Kpong area so he can earn money to attend school this fall. He is a former Assistant to the President from our mission, and he was released in October. He is with a friend, the son of a branch president in the area.
Elder Falk, a former office elder, was at the Kpong Conference. He will be released from this mission on July 25.
Sunday we drove to Koforidua, about 1 1/2 hours away, with the Glanfields and the Jones's. We really enjoy the lush vegetation that we see on the drive.
This day was another milestone for the church in West Africa. Koforidua went from a District, under President Heid's supervision, to a Stake, with its own priesthood leadership. This is the 20th Stake in Ghana and the 80th in West Africa. Francis, who helps with maintenance of missionary properties in Koforidua, was called as the second counselor in the Stake Presidency. It was so busy and crowded, we couldn't get a picture of him.
Elder Vinson, Africa West Area President, and Elder Guei, a new Area Seventy, were in attendance to create the new Stake and call leaders. They both reminded church members that there will be challenges with the growth and to reach out and lift one another through service.
Update on Mali: Elder Vinson also announced that in two weeks he will create a branch for church members in Mali and they will no longer meet in the chicken coop. We understand that four missionaries from the Cote d' ivories Mission will also be assigned to Mali.
Those who follow our blog, may remember that our mission "hosted" a family from Mali last August when they came to Accra to be baptized. At that time there were only a handful of members in Mali. A few weeks ago there were 180 members and nonmembers in attendance at a Sunday meeting.
The choir was dressed in colorful outfits. The men had matching vests and ties.
We arrived 45 minutes early and there were no seats in the building.
Sister Haglund, senior missionary with her husband, in Koforidua, greeted the sister missionaries before the Conference. The Haglunds invited us for lunch at their home following the Conference.
There were canopies set up in the parking lot and in a courtyard to accommodate the congregation. There was seating available for 1300 and we are sure there were about 1200 in attendance.
Our AP's, Assistants to the President, are on the left. They both had served some of their mission in Koforidua and President had them attend the Conference for this special occasion. They stayed overnight with the missionaries in the Area and gave encouragement and support.
This little guy must have "escaped" from his parents during the meeting. He didn't seem at all concerned about being outside the building by himself.
Sister Jones, our mission nurse, was having some "grand parenting" time with Mildred. She is the daughter of our mission facilities' manager. She was only two months old when we came on our mission. The Glanfields are in the background.