Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lost in the Bush...

It's always a little nice to have the holidays over and get back to a normal schedule, but I couldn't let it go without showing off the very long shirt (I don't know what they are called) that I received.  Sister Stevenson hired a tailor to make it for me.  I have been commenting when I see the men wear them that they look so comfortable, so she got me one.  I will never have the guts to wear it outside, but it is fun to sleep in!

Here is what I got for her:

Last week, I dropped in on the Yamoransa District Meeting.  After the meeting, they wanted to take pictures in their matching ties (the Zone Leaders gave them as Christmas gifts) before transfers scattered them.  

They let me be an honorary member.

This was transfer week.  We received three new sister missionaries and one elder.

We had a nice Talapia Stew dinner with them on Tuesday evening.

I had three Assistants for the day.  Elder Omokoh is being transferred to Swedru and Elder Gqweta will be the new Assistant.  You say Gqweta by clicking your tongue off the roof of your mouth and saying "GWETA".  I can't do it yet, but he is being patient.

We will get two more native French speaking elders on the 20th who are now finishing their MTC training in English.

On Wednesday, we sent the new missionaries out to their first areas and welcomed our seven returning missionaries to the mission home.  

I had received a screening copy of "Meet The Mormons" earlier in the week from the Missionary Department, so we watched that before the fufu feast.

On the way to the Temple on Thursday morning, we stopped in Winneba for a stretch and got a salute from the Winneba District.  (They always seem to know when we are coming.)

We spent an enjoyable day in the Temple with these wonderful leaders and then had to say our goodbyes.

Coming home from Accra turned out to be more of an adventure than we planned.  Just as we were entering the mission boundary, but still about two hours from home, the highway was blocked and all traffic was at a stand-still.  At first we thought is was some kind of trucker protest because we could only see parked trucks in the lane for as far as the eye could see.  The cars behind us started to come around, so we did what you do here and went with the flow.  When we got as far as we could go, a police officer directed us onto a dirt road leading into the bush.  We followed other equally lost souls around in the dark for a while until everything came to a halt as cars were trying to go both directions on what was little more than a goat path.  The villagers were doing their best to untangle everyone and after a while we were moving again, but in the direction of Accra.

So we made a u-turn and before we knew it we were all alone in the middle of nowhere on jeep-track roads.  Totally dark.  Amazingly, our Google Maps still had a fix on us and even had the trail we were on.  (I am amazed at how much the Google Maps app has improved just since we got here.  We couldn't get it to navigate within Cape Coast a few months ago.  Now we get help on goat paths!  It's still not perfect, but it has saved my bacon a few times.)

After about two hours of wandering, we made our way back to the highway on the other side of whatever it was.  (A police officer at one of the checkpoints told us it was an overturned tanker, but that is doubtful based on our other drivers' experience.)  At first we were the only ones on the highway, but after a few minutes, cars and trucks were zooming past us again, as usual.  Other mission drivers that came through later that night and the next day said there was no indication that anything unusual had happened on that stretch of road.  So, we might have been better off just parking behind the other trucks and waiting -- but what is the fun of that?

With a new transfer cycle, the interviewing of all the missionaries begins.  We started with the Cape Coast District on Friday.  We are having the missionaries in the three zones nearest the Mission Home come to us for interviews.  It's a treat for them (air conditioning and food) and convenient for us.

 While I am interviewing, the District holds its weekly meeting. Training is given by the District Leader, the Assistants and Sister Stevenson.  This time, Sister Stevenson is focusing on health and safety.  We have discovered that the missionaries are not changing their water filters as scheduled.  So she had Elder Hackmeister and Elder Odongo demonstrate.  It was fun.

Sister Stevenson cleans her plate.  Before you get too impressed, the head was not included with the meal.

We've been having trouble with the battery on our car, so I had to drive the "yellow bomber" this weekend.  Really cramps my style.

On Sunday, we drove to Daboase for church services.  It is one of my mission branches.  They currently meet in a school, but, hopefully, we will begin work on a new chapel there this year.

This is the restroom for the school / church.  It has a peaceful view as long as you don't think about the fact that everybody knows what you are doing in there.

Elder Cardon and Elder Okehi and Sister Julander were able to teach a discussion to an investigator after the services.

Sister Stevenson entertains her posse while Elder Julander and I were in a meeting.


This beautiful Kingfisher has been visiting our backyard for the last few days.


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