It has been a great week. Tom started out preparation day with an early morning round of golf at the Achimota Golf Club with Elder Wayne Jones. The course is beautiful. Carts aren’t allowed and caddies are required. It was actually kind of fun to have a caddy to suggest what club to use, and where to aim to get back on the right fairway….The morning was cooler than expected. Needless to say we are going again tomorrow and might even keep score this time.
Friday evening at the weekly sealing session for the missionary couples we had Bro. Amonoo officiating. He is well over 80 years of age, one of he original seven sealers called for this temple, and a patriarch who has been reactivated to give blessings for the missionaries at the MTC. The session started with him formally welcoming us to the sealing room of the Accra Ghana Temple. He was friendly, humble, very dignified, and powerful as he repeated the ceremonies in his strong Ghanaian accent. It was privilege for us to be there and feel the conviction that he had for the words of the ordinances.
Humility before deity is one of the exemplary character traits of the members we have met here. In a session at which Tom was asked to officiate, a sister who was serving as witness for the first time knelt on the floor (rather than the cushion) when invited to come to the altar. It was a touching experience.
Today we had an exceptional Sunday. We met with three combined wards whose boundaries were being changed to produce three wards and a new branch. We met in the La chapel. Sue and I were singing in the combined choir and that itself was inspiring. We could hear roosters crowing as we sang “Come, Come’ Ye Saints” for the opening hymn. The words are just as relevant to the saints in West Africa as they were when William Clayton penned them while crossing the plains.
The bishop of the Tradefair Ward was released and spoke briefly. The Lord does not call leaders based on their age or experience in the Church. Rather, he qualifies those whom He calls. He joined the Church 9 years ago as a single man. Someone quietly suggested that he should marry, which he did several months later. Someone else suggested that he and his wife should prepare to go to the temple and be sealed there, which they did. Three years after baptism he was called to be the bishop and has served for six years. The new bishop, who is 28, called on his congregation to humbly kneel before God and plead for their needs.
As the stake president reorganized the new bishoprics and the branch presidency, he testified that we were seeing the fulfilment of Joseph Smith’s prophecy that the Church would fill the whole earth, that this was happening in West Africa, and that we should fast and pray for our new leaders that the Lord would endow them with power. He also told the story of a man he had interviewed who had not paid his tithing in the past. The man reported to him that he and his wife had a conversation just the night before, and that they had committed to pay tithing in October. Pres. Quaisie was inspired to ask him how much income he had each month. Then he asked, “If you pay your tithing, will you have enough to feed your wife and family?” The man answered, “Yes, but we may need to fast and pray often.” We greatly admire the faith of the saints here.