Our flight to Accra was pretty rough—-10 hours with a screaming baby behind us. We came through customs very easily and were met by Pres.and Sister Graham and Sis. Carter, a single widow who is also a temple missionary, lovely people and lots of experience.
We are used to our little apartment with the internet not working; we love our 5 gal. water dispenser although tap water is triple-filtered. We found a bakery with great whole wheat bread (sometimes they have samosas) and an outdoor market with superb tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, and mangoes. The fruit is like nothing Mom has ever tasted, and the vegetables are just like those from JO's garden. She found skunk in the meat dept of the grocery store. It was a wake up call about buying ground “meat”.
Pres. Graham, who we like a great deal, set us apart Tuesday morning and gave us very sensitive blessings. We have worked four days in the temple - lots of own endowments and live sealings, and sweet experiences. We have a new appreciation for the burdens that these people carry. Several American couples on other mission assignments work one temple shift a week. Everyone has been very friendly and helpful.
This week our patrons are from Benin (French-speaking), where they are creating the first stake this week-end. The members are very excited. I spoke with a young branch president who is a junior professor in math and admin (kind of MBA-ish). He remarked how much the Church has changed him for the better, saying before he became a member he was very "dur (hard)" and didn't care much about his students. He seemed a very warm and caring man during our conversation.
The children come with their parents, of course. There is a small playground with some astroturf near our building, where they can play. We saw a 10 or 12 year old shoeless boy sound asleep on the top step of the temple, another in the waiting room sprawled across the carpet; and the bus driver asleep on the pavement next to his bus under a mosquito net.
Sue completed her first ordinance in French without assistance and was elated.
We tried washing a load of clothes and found the temple laundress scrubbing and bleaching Tom’s shirt. She said, “Please leave it here. I would be happy to finish for you.” She was using our laundry room because the temple laundry next to the baptismal font is closed this week. That space has been turned into a recording studio to capture the African dialect Twi for the newer films.
These first weeks are said to be the honeymoon of a seniors mission. Maybe we can make it last 23 months.
Ancillary Building (housing) with temple to the right out of view
Home way from home