On Tuesday we had the opportunity of meeting Elder Gary Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve, who was traveling with Elder Soares, our previous Area President in Florida, and Elder Davis of the Presiding Bishopric. They had come to West Africa for the annual area review and Priesthood Leadership Conferences in Sierra Leone and Liberia. They were very touched as they met with the saints in Sierra Leone, realising that many of them had been affected by the recent civil war and outbreak of Ebola, and had remained faithful under extreme circumstances. They felt impressed at the end of a meeting there to divide the group among them and give each person a priesthood blessing.
Elders Stanfill, Nash, Davis, Soares, Stevenson, Vinson, and Ampho (our DTA)
Earlier, the Area Presidency and visiting brethren drove to Cape Coast to see the Church history sites and the historic slave castles. The Church in Ghana was started in Cape Coast. Monday was a national day off here, celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the story of Abraham’s offering of Ishmael (as they believe). As our leaders passed one of our chapels, they were thrilled to see a large group of Muslims gathered and worshipping just outside (with their cars in the parking lot). Elder Stevenson commented that it was a great example of Muslims and Christians respecting each other, which is the norm in Ghana.
Sue agreed with a comment by Elder Vinson, our Area President: ”Your eyes change when you receive different callings. You see differently and you feel differently.” That is certainly the case with us in Africa. Although we struggle sometimes with patience, as we identify the traditions and cultural differences of the members, we start to understand their sacrifices and admire their faith. There is much we can learn from these people.
Sue has now mastered the oven in our apartment and has baked some really good things! Cabbage rolls, chicken artichoke, cookies, and today tried her first pie crust. She left all her personal recipes home so is using the Internet to find what she needs.
We were grateful that a minor car accident in the family didn't injure anyone, that a replacement car was found so quickly, and that the financial impact can be handled. We acknowledge the Lord's many blessings to our family members at home while we are here.
The east side of the Africa West Area administrative building, with the map of Africa and the flag of Ghana waving in the breeze