Monday we had an outing to the Tema market. The MTC is located in Tema, about an hour away (20km) - because of traffic. The goats didn't slow us down...although they graze along Independence Avenue - the main road in Accra.
Sue went looking for fabric with Srs. Brubaker, Tibbetts, and Anderson, with Selassie - the MTC housekeeper - as the guide. The sisters would have been completely lost without her although the market is much smaller than the one in Accra. Sue came home with four pieces of fabric and some small, sweet pineapples that cost $0.25 each.
We enjoy the pizza and good company at Nicolino's, an open air restaurant in the Alliance Francaise. They also have the best $3 green salad in town.
Ebenezer, our server, knows we like crispy crust on our ham and fresh pineapple pizza.
This was the last week for several months that the majority of patrons will be French. There were three women - a grandmother, mother, and adult daughter - who came from a district in Ivory Coast to be endowed. The grandmother only spoke a tribal language. Sr. N’goran, another temple missionary from Ivory Coast, could speak a different tribal language that the grandmother could partly understand, so she assisted her with the ordinances. The next day all three were in a session where Sue was the only sister worker and they needed a great deal of help. Instead of being frustrated, she assisted them with as much compassion as she could muster. Her reward at the end more than compensated her efforts - a big smile from the grandmother. There are more ways to communicate than with words.
We were made aware this week (thanks to Ben) of this interesting interview with Daniel K. Judd, former (2011-2014) mission president of the Accra Ghana Mission, published in the Winter 2016 edition of the BYU Religious Education Review. (Here is the link: https://rsc.byu.edu/sites/default/files/review/Review_9.1_web_0.pdf
The interview begins on p. 24.) He describes some of the unique cultural attributes of Ghana, the Church’s cautionary approach to rapid growth, and the role of the temple and temple ordinances in retention and real growth. Also interesting is his description of their missionaries: they came from 24 countries and yet worked together in harmony.
Not much has changed since his service here in terms of goals and methods, but the church has grown organizationally in a big way. There are lots of new branches, wards, and stakes, bringing the church closer to the people. That is helping to resolve one of the big issues in activity - time and money to travel to meetings.
We are now reaping the blessings of prior work and activity in having priesthood leaders trained from their missionary service to be able to lead. The stake president here this week - the first SP in Benin - is 30 years old but a returned missionary and a young father with a two-year-old. He and his wife are bilingual university graduates. The temple and its ordinances have been crucial to the spiritual maturation of the members so we feel part of this.
The palm trees received a blunt cut this week (the pods, not the branches). Compare with the photo in Moving Forward, in May, where they hung down to the ground cover, next to Tom.