Sunday, May 22, 2016

Moving Forward

The weather is changing.  Rains have come this week for the first time since we arrived.  It really pours.  We had thunder and lightning last night, but could walk to church this morning without getting our feet wet.  It’s also cooling off: low of 76 F tomorrow evening and the highs are only 87.  Even though we are north of the equator, July and August are the coolest months.  The hot dry winds come December through February.  But for now the flowers have really blossomed and the trees are doing their “thing” (see the photos).

We had a required exam with Dr. Kissi (the author of “Walking in the Sand, a History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana”) this week as part of our residency status application.  He is one of the pioneers of the Church in Ghana - a surgeon trained and converted in England who returned home and founded the Deseret Hospital.  During the “freeze” he was acting mission president and kept the Church together.   Elder Kissi has also served as an Area Seventy.  He was exceptionally personable and is the only physician who has ever thanked me for taking such good care of my body!  There is a very nice exercise room (air conditioned!) with free weights, a weight machine, treadmills, a bike, and a ping-pong table.  Outside it is about 1/4 mile to walk or jog around the complex if you don’t mind working out in a sauna.

Our sprouts were a success!  Thanks to those who provided us with this gift.  It’s fun to grow something, especially if it is this simple (just add water).  We’re getting better at hunting and gathering - learning the best places to buy different foods.

                                                                                      Our fresh tomatoes, melted cheese, & sprouts, with balsamic vinegar

                                                     This mango was indescribably delicious! And big enough for a meal!!  About $0.87.

Elder Soares, of the Seventy, was here this week and spoke in a couple of meetings.  He and Elder Bednar are assigned to watch over the work in Africa.  He told the story of obtaining the site for the temple in Recife, Brazil when he was Director of Temporal Affairs there.  The property chosen was complicated by having 30 different parcels.  The owner of the largest parcel agreed to sell after all the others had sold, and he agreed to a certain price.  However, after all the other pieces had been acquired, he wanted much more money.  The negotiating team met together before approaching him one last time, and spent 30 minutes on their knees in fervent prayer, asking how to approach him.  As they met, Elder Soares said, “We are men of God, we represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and you should keep your word.”   The man closed his eyes, lifted his head skyward for a few seconds, and then replied, “Your Lord is powerful!” and agreed to the original price.

Elder Soares sees many similarities between the rapid growth of the Church from 1990 to 2000 in Brazil when the church went from 50 stakes to 200, and what is happening here today.  From April through July, it is anticipated that 9 new stakes will be organized in the Africa West Area.  The first branch was organized in Senegal a week ago with 24 members and the first couple missionaries have been assigned.  

Our French-speaking temple patrons this week were from Togo.  Sue is feeling much more comfortable with French ordinances.   Almost everyone we meet here is a pioneer.

Full moon through the fan palms next to the temple doors.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading about your mission adventures!