This is not Ghana. But I got to use my first Jeremiah Johnson quote on the missionaries this week. We had seven cases of Malaria during November. In an e-mail to the mission, I tried to impress upon them that if they failed to take their daily Doxycycline, it would only be a matter of time before they became ill. "Ya can't cheat the mountain, Pilgrim." I'm told that in the internet cafes throughout southern Ghana, there was a universal look of bewilderment last Monday as missionaries tried to figure out what mountains had to do with Malaria. Only Elder McGuire got it. I guess his dad is a JJ fan too. I'm looking forward to the time that I will be able to fit in my favorite quote, "Elk don't know how many feet a horse has!"
We rummaged through the storage room of the mission home and found the Christmas decorations. We spent Monday morning decorating the tree.
Elder Chishinji and Elder Darlington stopped by to see me about something, so we put them to work for a few minutes. Neither had decorated a Christmas tree before. Elder Chishinji was especially careful to get it right.
It turned out pretty nice.
This was also the week of our monthly Mission Leadership Council. We finished up the work on Standards of Excellence and discussed developing a culture of obedience.
I really enjoy these meetings. We get a lot of great comments and the missionaries usually leave pretty excited. For most of them, it is their first experience with using councils to govern the Church and I want to send them home with a firm commitment to take advantage of the power of councils in their future Gospel service.
On Thusday, we (got to) take our annual driver safety instruction. All the couples and the four young missionaries who drive (got to) attend.
We were instructed by Kofi Bolley, who manages the automobile fleet for the Africa West Area of the Church. There was a segment on avoiding road rage. I needed that part. Everyone was confused when I was chuckling and I had to explain that a few days earlier, during a particularly adventurous drive, I told Sister Stevenson that on my last day in Ghana, I was going to bash into someone. (I'm joking, of course.)
Since we had all the couples together, we used the opportunity to eat pizza and put together the new medical kits for each missionary apartment. Now they will each have a thermometer and the most commonly used remedies for what ails them available to them. They still have to call before they use anything, but it may save a few long nights before the pharmacy opens.
Thanks to Elder and Sister Julander for gathering all the medical supplies for the kits!
On Friday, I drove to Mankassim to meet with a man who is preparing for baptism. We had a very enjoyable discussion and I am confident that he and his family will become members of the Church in the very near future. While I was there, we stopped by the newly completed chapel. All that is left to do is plug in the speakers and we should be able to have the two congregations in Mankassim move in. It will be sweet.
On Sunday, Sister Stevenson and I drove about 30 km north of Cape Coast to attend church service in Abura Dunkwa (not to be confused with Dunkwa-On-Offin, which was last week's adventure). There is a little group of about 30 members who meet in a small schoolhouse each week. There was a nice Spirit there and we enjoyed worshiping with them very much.
I just met this brother today and he was
receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and asked
me to ordain him. It was nice.
You can always tell when Sister Stevenson has been around. Breanne -- we are going to need some more stickers!
Sadly, the missionaries did not get any stickers today (but they deserved them.)
DATE NIGHT: Leftover pizza and Star Trek.
CREATURE OF THE WEEK: