Sunday, March 27, 2016

Back to the Western Region

Can you find the awesome missionary sharing the Gospel in this picture?

It is Sister Stevenson!  She always goes down to the Ola Beach when she has to wait for me to finish up with the missionaries after a meeting.  She almost always comes back with a few names of people who want to meet the missionaries (Sometimes, they just want her shoes, like the girl in this picture).

We have had a nice week.  We finished up the last of the zone conferences for this quarter.  We started at Elmina, then on to Takoradi, Tarkwa and Kojokrom.  

Elmina Zone:

Takoradi Zone:

Tarkwa Zone:

Kojokrom Zone (which is being renamed the Mpintsin Zone since it serves the new stake):

On Saturday, we were in Tarkwa for Priesthood Leadership Training for the four remaining mission branches in the Western Region.  

This young man came to the training with his father.  He was pretty excited when it was over.

After the training, I interviewed a new Elders Quorum President for the Axim Branch and conducted a baptismal interview.  Then, on the way home, I stopped in Tanokrom and did two more baptismal interviews.  

On Sunday, we attended services in Axim.  Sister Stevenson says I gave a nice Easter sermon.  We set apart the new Quorum president and Sister Stevenson helped in the Primary.  I also taught the Priesthood Meeting.  

The Quorum President is on the left.

The Axim Branch Primary

This young man was the chorister in Sacrament Meeting and did a great job.

The Axim Missionaries.

Date Night at the Paragon Grill.  The food was OK but the company was great.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

An Apostle and Mpintsin Stake!

We have had a busy and wonderful week.  I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking.

Sister Stevenson and I enjoyed attending the Mission President Seminar for the Africa West Area. The meetings were held in Accra and Elder Ronald Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spent part of each day with us.  We also received instruction and encouragement from our Area Presidency.

On Thursday, we hurried back home because Elder and Sister Rasband and Elder and Sister Vinson were going to stop on their way through Cape Coast to join us for lunch at the mission home.

The Hanlons got things set up for us while we were traveling.

We were also joined by Thomas Apiah, who is a former stake president in Cape Coast and whose youngest son served his mission in New York when Elder Rasband was the mission president there. It was a nice reunion for them.

My Grandma Heywood was once promised by Elder Boyd K. Packer that she would go to the Celestial Kingdom because of her awesome roast beef.  Elder Rasband had thirds of Sister Stevenson's white bean soup, so I think we are going to be OK.

On Friday, the entire mission gathered in Takoradi to meet with Elder Rasband and Elder Vinson. It is very seldom that the whole mission will meet together.  You should have heard them sing "Rise Up Servants of God!"

On Saturday and Sunday, we attended the Takoradi Stake Conference.  Elder Rasband had the assignment to divide the stake into two stakes.  The new stake is called the Mpintsin Ghana Stake. Two of my mission branches were included in the reorganization, so I no longer have ecclesiastical responsibility for the Agona Nkwanta Branch or the Daboasi Branch.  They will be under the stewardship of the stake presidents now, but I can still visit them as the mission president.

There was a cultural celebration on Saturday evening in honor of the new stake.

Sunday morning, the stake center was packed.  These pictures were taken 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.  The chapel is completely full and the classrooms and tents were nearly full.  They estimated that over 2,000 people would be there.

I spoke in Priesthood leadership meeting on Saturday and Sister Stevenson spoke in the Saturday adult session.  We were able to relax and enjoy the meeting on Sunday.  It was a wonderful week. Now to apply the things we learned.

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