Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy Birthday To Me...

I'm told there is a custom in Ghana to throw water on someone to wish them a happy birthday.  Sister Stevenson set me up with the missionaries, but she paid a heavy price for her conspiracy.

We did get a nice pancake breakfast in the deal.

We continued our mission visits and missionary interviews.  This week we were in Takoradi (two days) and Axim.

The "dry season" isn't always.

We spent Tuesday night at the Julander's home and had dinner at my favorite restaurant here.  I don't even know the name (I call it the Bombay House), but they have wonderful Indian food.  I had the lamb sag with naan.

The next morning we were off to Axim.  The road to Axim is barely even an adventure anymore.  It used to be a 4x4 brain scrambler, but the paved sections are longer than the dirt sections.  Even the dirt is not too bumpy.  We can make the drive from Takaradi to Axim in 2 hours now.

Still a little fun.

We had planned to visit Tarkwa the next morning so it was "necessary" that we stay the night in Axim at the Beach Resort.

On Thursday morning we drove the two hours to Tarkwa and got within 4 km of the city when we turned around and headed back to Cape Coast to handle an issue that came up.  We were sorry to miss them, but we have rescheduled for next Friday.

The next day, we were back in Takaradi.

Saturday, I had my quarterly Coordinating Council Meeting with all of the stake presidents in the mission boundaries.  Elder Davis, the member of the Seventy that presides at our council meeting always gives me 45 minutes to speak with the presidents.  We have a great partnership and much of our success comes from the cooperation between the members of the Church and the full-time missionaries. Currently, about 75% of those that join the Church in our mission were introduced to the Gospel by a friend or family member.  I am grateful for the faithful members in Ghana and for their support of this work.

MR is Member Referral; PM is Part Member Family; GC is Gospel Conversation with the missionaries; SR is Self Referral (those are cool); and OR is Other Referral (someone outside the area has introduced us.)

Last Sunday, I mentioned attending a Sunday School class with an impressive group of investigators in Winneba.  I asked the missionaries about one 22 year old young woman who seemed like she had been a member of the Church for years.  They told me she was the oldest daughter of a family of nine.  The mother and the seven children were preparing for baptism and were very committed.  The father was working in Nigeria.  The mother was so excited about her newfound faith that she called the father and encouraged him to find the missionaries in Nigeria and listen to them.  Two weeks ago, he called back and asked the mother to join him in Nigeria so they could talk.  We never baptize one spouse without the consent of the other, so we were very afraid that the father would be angry and not allow the rest of the family to move forward.  The missionaries prayed and prayed for this family.  On Sunday, they got a call from the mother who told them that she and her husband had been baptized that day by the missionaries in Nigeria!  When she returns home, the rest of the family will join them in the Gospel. Everyone was very, very happy.

Today we attended the two branches in Mankassim.  Its about a 45 minute drive from the mission home.

The sound system was out and during the closing prayer it began to pour down rain.  The roof has skylights so it was impossible to hear the prayer over the pounding.  We just kind of kept peeking to see when she was done and at the end, the congregation shouted "Amen!"  It was pretty cool.  I think they heard it in Heaven (and the Methodists across the street may have even heard us).

Later tonight, I will be speaking at a meeting for members and investigators at the local ward (we call them Firesides, but there is no fire).  I haven't done a lot of that here, but I have two scheduled this month.  We'll see if I get invited back.



Last week, we had a red flowing tree.  My sister-in-law, Ann Marie, mentioned that there was also a yellow flowering variety.  Sure enough...

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