Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Winding up, Winding down

For months we have been preparing for this week.  We knew we were going to experience a major turn-over with 18 missionaries returning home Monday, and 10 newbies arriving from the MTC on Tuesday.  And we did.  The disparity between the two groups required the closing of four areas.  This, in turn, created a "domino" effect and impacted nearly every part of the mission.  We had major chaos for those two days at the mission home.  Fortunately everything did work out and everyone got to their new companions and areas safely.

This departing group of non-African missionaries was the largest number we have experienced since our arrival.  (There were a few Africans, too.) Among those returning home, were Elder's Morris and Smith. They were both serving as Office Elders when we arrived last year.  Since we spent many hours with these two, we were able to get to know them better than most of the other missionaries.  So, for us, it was a little sad to say goodbye. On the other hand, we can and will maintain contact with them and hope we can watch, from a distance, as this new part of their lives unfolds.  

 Elder Morris

Elder Smith

This week we also welcomed many new zone leaders to our Missionary Leadership Council. Once a month all Zone Leaders and Sister Leader come to the mission home for training. Elder Falk, in the front, looks quite excited, don't you think?  He is also a former Office Elder.

In this group, we have 9 new zone leaders.  Many of them will be returning to their homes in the next few months.  This will leave a dearth in mission leadership.  But it does provide opportunities for others to step up and develop their skills.  

This weekend we welcomed Jeff and Carol Glanfield from Ontario, Canada, our office replacements.   We took them grocery shopping and gave them a little tour of Accra. (Interesting side note:  The Glanfields originally thought their mission would be helping with construction needs at the Nauvoo, IL church historical site, but visas are difficult to obtain for Canadian residents, so they were assigned to Ghana.  When Jeff served as Bishop in Canada, he helped find an apartment for a couple of young LDS women who were coming from Ghana to attend nursing school.  One of the girls' fathers is Dr. Kissi, one of the original church members here in Ghana.  Now Jeff will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Kissi in person.  Dr. Kissi does a government approved medical physical for missionaries so they can get a residence permit to stay in the country.

We invited the Glanfields to dinner to meet the Jones's.  The Glanfields were doing quite well after only an hour nap and coming from a very long international flight.

Sunday we drove three hours to Dzodze, near the Togo border.  We took the mission van with the Jones's and Glanfields.  Theses are the missionaries who serve in this area.  

We were in Dzodze because President Heid created two branches, Dzodze and Aflao.  Two years ago there were 8 members in this Area and now there are about 100.

 The local tribal chief, in the blue outfit in the center, was a guest.

Group photo of most of the Sunday group.  Several church members were also taking pictures.  Following our Sunday meeting, there were 5 baptisms....three were children of record and two converts.  One of the converts was referred to the missionaries by his father who was also being taught by the missionaries.  The father can't be baptized because he has two wives!  (Remember in Ghana, polygamy is legal up to 4 wives.)

 This is the Aflao Branch.

 This is the Dzodze Branch.

The two Branch Presidents greet each other.

So, this week we "wound" up for the big transfer and "wound" down some and prepared for receiving the Glanfields.  With their arrival, the reality is setting in that this truly is the "winding" down stage of our mission.  It is hard to believe.

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