Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fear Not, I Am With Thee...

I was asked in a letter from a missionary parent if I had ever been in a situation where I felt fearful for our safety in Ghana.  I can honestly say that we have never been uneasy around the people (the drivers are a different matter).  Today, on the way to Nkroful, we were surrounded by a large group of youth who were dancing down the center of the road.  I'm not sure what they were celebrating at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning in the middle of nowhere, but several of them were dressed in the "chicken" costumes of the holiday season.  They surrounded the car and were pounding on the hood, but it all seemed in good fun.  We drove slowly through them and continued on our way.

We kept the windows up, though.

We have had a nice week.  We didn't have a lot scheduled, so we were able to catch our breath a bit and catch up with some of the administrative things that have been a little behind.

It was a nice week for our assistants too.  One of their investigators was baptized.

Sister Stevenson and I were able to watch some new training for mission presidents and their wives from the Missionary Department.

Both of us were also asked to speak at a fireside for all of the members of the Assin Foso Stake who had been to the temple and received the Endowment.

As is his custom, the stake president, President Fokou, invited us to enjoy a meal with him prior to the meeting.

This time, we had fufu in groundnut soup with "cow meat."


We were also invited to attend a ward activity in Cape Coast.  They let us sit at the "High Table" for the dinner.  Some of the children danced for us.  

We were very happy to see one of our oldest friends in Ghana at the activity.  She has a little fabric store in Cape Coast and we met her when we first arrived.  Just before Christmas (when I was doing my last minute gift shopping), she told us that she had attended church and met the missionaries.  It turns out, her mother is a member of the Church.  We are hoping she will continue to investigate the Gospel.  She is such a lovely person.

I went out to Abura Dunkwa to do a baptismal interview.  Afterwards, the Elders showed me the new chapel.  The branch had been meeting in a school, but just moved into our own building a few weeks ago.  It is very nice and will give the Church a real presence in the city.

Date night was a banana bread baking activity.  

And it was time to change the water filters...

Good as new.

As you already know, we drove to the far west outpost of the mission (Nkroful) on Sunday. 

Sister Stevenson left her mark on the Primary. 

I was able to interview four men to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  I also did a baptismal interview for a woman who will be baptized next weekend and called a new financial clerk for the branch.
As I was visiting with one of the men, he shared with me how he was introduced to the Church.  His mother rented out rooms in their home.  He had to clean out a room after a boarder had left and found a discarded copy of the Book of Mormon.  He looked at it with some curiosity and was particularly impressed that it claimed to be "another testament of Jesus Christ."  It sat on his shelf for some time until he met another man who had one of our "Restoration" pamphlets.  He saw the picture on the front and asked to see it.  On the back, he read the information on the Book of Mormon.  He decided to start reading the book to see what it was all about.  As he was reading, he happened to ask his grandfather if he had ever come across the Book of Mormon.  The grandfather said he had a copy a long time ago, but the pages were spoiled and he could not read it.  The grandfather was able to show his grandson where the Church meets and the young man walked in one day and introduced himself to the missionaries.   I really like that because I am always after the missionaries to not be stingy with the Book of Mormon.  Even if the person that receives it doesn't appreciate it, the Book finds a way into someone's heart.  

We attended the baptism of this young man.  His father performed the baptism and was one of the men who was ordained an Elder today.  It was a big day for their family.

It was Elder Peterson's birthday, but we didn't realize that until we got home and Sister Stevenson checked her list.  So, he got "Happy Birthday" sung to him over the phone like everyone else.

On the way home, we stopped in Kissi, where I interviewed two young men who are ready to serve full-time missions.  They were both very sharp and have been a big help to the Elders working there.

I used to think that my dad was the best at packing a car, but it is a whole different league here.  Welcome to the show.

And finally, to our friends in the Lake Oswego Ward, thank you for the wonderful Christmas card and your good wishes.  We love you!


  1. i love you updates please keep updating more information about Greenhill and winneba i miss those places. Lots of love

  2. Mark & I certainly have NOT been good at keeping in touch with you, BUT we love looking at your Blog. We DO think of you and miss you!!! Wishing you a wonderful 2016!!! Mark & Ane Hornibrook

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