I think we can safely say that the rainy season has begun.
The rain makes Sister Stevenson very happy. I don't think the missionaries share her enthusiasm.
The day after Easter is called "Easter Monday" and it is a legal holiday here. In the south of Ghana, the people swarm to the beach. It was so nice shopping in town on Monday because we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
On Tuesday, we started the missionary interview cycle. I have asked them to bring in their personal study journal and share something with me from their scripture study. I have loved the discussions we have had.
The Elmina Zone was first and we had them come to the Mission Home. In addition to the interview, they received instruction from Sister Stevenson, their Zone Leaders and the Assistants to the President. We also let them watch the film, "Meet the Mormons". It came out in theaters last year while most of them were on their missions, so they were anxious to see it.
Wednesday was the Mission Leadership Council.
We discussed ways that we can be more effective in teaching the Law of Tithing so that our new members will understand the blessings and importance of living this commandment. We also reviewed our progress on our Standards of Excellence as a mission for the first quarter and discussed ways that we could improve in certain critical areas. I also presented some instruction on how mission leaders can help other missionaries deal with the stress of missionary life.
Thursday we were back at the mission home with the Yamoransa Zone.
Meet the Mormons
On Thursday night, I drove out to Hemang (Praso Zone) to do something that I have wanted to do since I got here -- 24 hour Mission President Visits. My plan is to do these once a month and spend a full day with a companionship. I think it will make me a better mission president and I hope it will be a good influence in the mission.
Dinner was chicken hot dogs with bread, ketchup, grilled onions and Fanta. All the basic food groups were represented.
I brought a mattress, sheets and mosquito netting. The power went off at 12:30 a.m. so I lost my fan, but luckily it was not a terribly hot evening, so I slept well.
A beautiful morning.
These clowns were my wake up call.
I was impressed that they shined their shoes since they would be dirty in the first few minutes of the day. I like that.
I knew this was going to be physically uncomfortable for me. I was either drenched in sweat or in rain most of the day. Still smiling.
Unplanned service (while I was conducting a baptismal interview.) The women kept trying to get the knife away from Elder Barrett. I think he was doing it wrong.
Shelter from the storm.
My first taxi ride in Ghana. (I also rode in a trotro). Still wet and still smiling (kind of).
The baptism was wonderful even though the water was green.
It was a great day. We taught three lessons with a member present, two lessons to recent converts, ate fufu and baptized two people. I got home at 10 p.m. exhausted but happy. (And promptly took a hot shower.)
While I was in Praso, Sister Stevenson also spent most of Friday with the sister missionaries in the Cape Coast area. They were a little disappointed that she wasn't going to sleep at their apartment, but they had a great day together.
Saturday, we held training for about 50 of the priesthood leaders from the mission branches surrounding the Cape Coast area.
Sunday, we divided the Abakrampa Branch into three Church units. We organized branches in Abura Dunkwa and Asebu. We had all three groups meet together to make the announcements and sustain the new leadership.
The weather made attendance difficult today. It rained very hard and it is not easy to find a taxi or tro in the rain. This was the chapel at 9:10 a.m. (the meeting was scheduled to start at 9:00). It reminded me of the stake conference in Lake Oswego when I was released and the snowstorm hit.
Eventually, people began to arrive and we ended up with a nice group.
We trained the new branch leadership.
It has been a wonderful week.
We enjoyed a brief visit from our Area Medical Adviser, Elder Hill and his wonderful wife. They have been so kind to us and help us take good care of the missionaries. They came to visit some of the medical facilities that we use and so we took the opportunity to gather our local senior missionaries together and go party. We went to the Coconut Grove Beach Resort, which is about 30 minutes from the mission home.
We enjoyed a very nice dinner together. Sister Stevenson, of course, had talapia and rice. I had curry goat. After dinner, Sister Stevenson took the opportunity to swim for an hour with Sister Hill. She was in heaven.
CREATURE OF THE WEEK;
I can't figure out if this is just a pretty housefly or something exotic. Sister Stevenson found him and took the picture. She said it was about an inch long.
There were a ton of lizards in Hemang, including this watchman on the tower.