Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Changing of the Guard

We welcomed our 25 new missionaries this week from the Ghana Missionary Training Center.  This is the largest new group in my experience and they certainly brought a lot of energy to the Mission Home.  

After getting to know them, feeding them, instructing them and letting them get a good night's sleep, we sent them out to their new assignments.  We were able to add a few new proselyting areas in the mission because of the size of this group.

As soon as they left, we welcomed our 12 missionaries who were completing their service and returning home.

Theresa's fufu is always a highlight.

On time for breakfast (6 a.m.)

Off to the temple.

We happened to run into the Area Presidency at the temple. 

They were very sweet and spent some time visiting with the missionaries.

This transfer marks the end of an era for us.  Just over a year ago, we were joined by 21 missionaries evacuated from Liberia and Sierra Leon due to Ebola.  These elders are the last of that group to go home.  We will miss them all.  At the temple, Elder Curtis expressed his appreciation to me for being willing to send five of our wonderful missionaries to start the work in Liberia again.  I told him it was the least I could do since I was on the receiving end of that trade last year.

This weekend, we enjoyed stake conference with the Takoradi Stake.  I spoke in the Priesthood and Adult session on Saturday, and both Sister Stevenson and I spoke in the general session on Sunday.  

 This is a big stake with 16 units.  We expect that the stake will be divided early next year.  The chapel was completely bulging and several overflow areas were set up in classrooms and even outside.

It was a very nice conference.

Miscellaneous Stuff:

In Ntranoa...

Banana bread at the Mission Home.

Meanwhile, in Paris, Tennessee, Elder Stevenson and his companion enjoyed a shrimp boil at the home of a member there.  He is enjoying his mission very much (and not just the food).

We've started a preparation day run with the willing missionaries who serve in the office.  We do about 5 miles.  It's been fun, but even at 6 a.m. the humidity sweats the fufu out of us.

I've been trying to get outside for runs during other times of the week as well.  I'm bored with the treadmill and running the dirt roads here just feels like a better workout.  I certainly feel it during the day.

Sister Stevenson and I got a package from home this week.

Among other things, we got two bags of chocolate chips, which we are putting to good use.  (My dad would have said, "Why don't you have a little apple with your chocolate chips?")  


On one of my runs this week, I came upon a large column of black ants.  It looked like a long snake going across the dirt road.  I stopped to take a look and was amazed to find that on both sides of the column, there was a line of ants standing butt to beak to form guard rails for their buddies.  I had never heard of anything like that before.  Our grandson William may be able to help me out with the details.  I wished that I had my phone to take a picture of it.  I mentioned it in one of my talks this weekend and suggested that as leaders of the Church, we out to be like those "guard rail" ants and provide support and direction for our members.


  1. Thank you President, we enjoy your posts!

  2. I love the spirit of your message!
    Paula Hester

  3. I love the spirit of your message!
    Paula Hester

  4. We pray for you, your missionaries, and the work in Ghana. May the Lord bless!