Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sixty-eight Missionaries.

This was a nice week for us -- a little exhausting, but very pleasant.  We stayed in the Western Region and interviewed the 68 missionaries serving in the Takoradi and Mpintsin Stakes and the four Axim / Tarkwa mission branches.  It is always a great feeling to finish the interview cycle.

Elder Aniwa is not smoking.  He is enjoying the lollipop Sister Stevenson gives out after the interveiws.  (like a dentist).

While we were meeting with the sister missionaries in Tanokrom, we met a group of young people preparing the tee shirts for the multi-stake youth conference coming up next month.  They were silk screening the shirts by hand.

I thought they turned out nicely.

Thursday was our longest day.  We started at 6:30 a.m. and collected Elder and Sister Clements and drove to Agona.

Then we drove to Tarkwa

Sister Clements gave a piano lesson to one of the members of the Tarkwa Branch while I was interviewing missionaries.

Then we continued on to Axim.

We finished in Nkroful where we met the four missionaries there and interviewed three people for baptism.  We must not have had any brainpower left because we failed to take a picture of that group.

We dropped the Clements off at their home and got back to our hotel at about 8:30 p.m.  Sister Stevenson fell asleep immediately and slept in her clothes that night.

The last four interviews of the quarter!

Transfers are next week and we always announce the changes on the Saturday before so the missionaries can say goodbye to the members at church on Sunday.  I was making changes up until about 4 p.m. on Saturday before everything felt settled. This transfer will be unusual because we are not receiving any new missionaries, but will send home 10 -- so we have to close several proselyting areas.  That is always hard.

The Transfer News and Transportation Planning Meeting included breakfast burritos.  

Elder and Sister Durrant joined in for the cooking.


We attended church today in Abura with Sister Monjei and Sister Apio.  Sister Stevenson and I were both invited to speak.  I think I have given a talk in church each Sunday since I got here.  Sister Stevenson has missed a few, but not many. It is nice.

Tonight, we have been asked to speak during the third hour of our home ward's meeting by Skype.  That should be interesting.  I hope our bandwidth holds up.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Akwaaba! Elder and Sister Durrant

We were grateful to have Elder and Sister Durrant begin their mission with us this week.  They will serve in the office.  They are experienced missionaries having completed a mission in Poland last year.  We are excited to serve with them.

With three lefties, everyone has to be on the same side of the table.

The Assistants and Office Elders getting to know the Durrants. (Elder Bennion was passing through to renew his Non-Citizen Identification Card -- just in case his mother gets confused by this picture.)

Sister Stevenson received fabric for two head-dresses from Sister Monyei's mother.  So on Monday, she had them tied for her.

She is getting more African every day.

We completed the missionary interviews in Mankessim, Saltpond, Abakrampa, Asebu, Abura Dunkwa, Abura, Green Hill, Cape Coast, Hemang, Praso and Dunkwa-on-Offin.

This is the new chapel at Asebu.

The two non-full time missionaries are the branch president and one of the members of the Abura Dunkwa Branch.  Both awesome member missionaries.

Elder Day completed his mission this week.  He was a couple of weeks off-transfer for school purposes, so we had his final interview and dinner in Praso at the Hanlon's home.

None of us knew how to make fufu, so we had southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes (American Fufu), corn, rolls and...



Apple pie is kind of a big deal for me.

It was an awesome celebration.

The next morning, Elder Day was off to the airport with Elder and Sister Hanlon... 

...while Sister Stevenson and I drove to Dunkwa.

We only encountered one small problem on the trip.

Saturday, we attended the wedding of Sister Tawiah, one of our returned missionaries.

In Ghana, you are required to have a civil ceremony before being sealed in the temple.  The ceremony was held in Winneba, which is now just outside our mission boundaries.  I was invited to speak at the wedding, and received authorization from the Area Presidency to leave our mission to participate in this great event.

Sister Asare, who was Sister Tawiah's missionary trainer, was one of the bride's maids.


We had a nice time.  I got to use one of my favorite quotes in my remarks, "Wheresoever she was, there was Eden."  (The Diaries of Adam and Eve, by Mark Twain)

On Sunday, we got up early and drove to Takoradi for the Kojokrom Ward church services.  Sacrament Meeting starts at 8 a.m. there.  The ward had made a special effort to invite friends and family to attend with them.

The Missionaries.

The bishop gathered the guests and recent members of the Church for a picture.

These are the investigators who came today.

Plus this brother, who missed the first picture.

We enjoyed the services very much.  Both Sister Stevenson and I were invited to share our testimonies of the Gospel at the end.  It was a nice conclusion to a wonderful week.