Monday, June 15, 2015

The Field is White and the Sky is Grey.

We've had another nice week in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. 

Tuesday we were in Winneba for Zone Conference.

In the evening, while I met with the zone leaders and the stake president, Sister Stevenson went out teaching with the missionaries.

On Wednesday, we had zone conference for the Elmina Zone.

On Friday, I spent the day with Elder Stulce and Elder Hounkpe in Yamoransa.

Yamoransa is a very hilly area, so they gave me a good workout.  We were pretty sure we were going to be soaked all day.  While we were in companionship study, it was pouring down rain.  Elder Hounkpe is training, so we had two hours of companionship study and by the time we were done, the rain had stopped.   Elder Wright and Elder Lagaiti, who share the apartment, were not so lucky and went out an hour before us into the storm.  

I have been very proud of the missionaries as I have seen them out in the rain.  It reminds me of a story that Elder Marion Romney told in General Conference while I was on my mission.  Elder Romney was interviewing a missionary and asked him to share an experience from his mission that had made a significant impact in his life.  The young missionary said that he and his companion were living in the home of a non-member family.  The wife and children had seemed very interested in hearing their message, but the father had said no.     

One day, the missionaries returned home for dinner during a terrible storm.  It was cold and seemed to be raining sideways.  They saw the man sitting alone by the fireplace and had a great idea.  They approached him and pleaded with him to let them teach him, because if he didn't, they would have to go back out into the storm.  He reluctantly agreed and the missionaries shared our message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They explained how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ had appeared to the young prophet, Joseph Smith and began the process of restoring truth and authority which had been lost from the earth.  They shared the Book of Mormon and bore testimony that it is another testament of Jesus Christ.

At the conclusion of their lesson, the man asked them, "Do you really believe the things that you have told me tonight?"  They assured him that they did.  "Then you do not understand your message," he said.  "If you believed that God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and did the things that you say They did, then no storm would keep you in."

I have never forgotten that story.  That's why I like to see wet missionaries.

We enjoyed fufu with palm nut soup and fish for lunch.

We had a wonderful day.  We taught several great people, including a family of seven, who had just walked into church last Sunday.  A family member is a bishop in the Takoradi area and suggested that they go to church, and so they did.  They are very excited about the Gospel and it was fun to teach them.  We sat down in their little home and I was looking forward to a peaceful discussion, but there was distraction after distraction -- always at important parts of the lesson.  A neighbor woman kept coming over and wanting things from the family's farm.  She was very insistent.  But we got through it and the family loved the message and accepted our invitation to prepare for baptism.

Saturday and Sunday we were in Tarkwa for their branch conference.  It was such a great experience. On Saturday morning, I met with the branch council and gave them some instruction and then sat in on their council meeting.  

The Branch Council

Then, I interviewed nine men who were prepared to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  One of them grew up in the Church and is completing his preparations for a full-time mission.  The others are all recent converts -- all very sharp and excited to be a part of the Gospel. (The picture is of eight of them with the branch president.  The ninth was sick, so I met with him on Sunday morning.)

Since there were so many of them, we spent some time as a group and discussed the responsibilities of the priesthood, then I met with each of them individually.  It was very fun.

Sister Stevenson and I spent the night at the Best Western Hotel in Takoradi.  It is a nice place and we had a great view of the ocean.  We had dinner at the hotel with the Julanders that evening.  They are completing their mission this month and it was nice to spend some time with them.  It was seafood night, so Sister Stevenson was in heaven. (She also got to swim for an hour!)

Sunday, we had a nice group for church services.  We had to set up chairs on the balcony and open the windows so everyone could sit and hear the meetings.  The rain started again toward the end of the meeting and trapped everyone for about an hour afterwards.

The drive home takes about four hours, but generally good road.  We saw a few pot-holes.

This is what missionaries with a "no storm can keep me in" attitude look like.

No Creatures this week -- but here are a few more pictures.

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