This week we passed the six month milestone of our mission. Tempus fugit! It does’t seem like a longtime but we don’t easily relate to our former life. We feel very comfortable here. Lately we’ve noticed that there are anti-littering signs, less trash, and even some filling of potholes and paving of roads in the neighborhood.
We received our absentee ballots for the US presidential election in the mail. It has been interesting to observe this cycle from afar. The internet is both a blessing and a curse - we have access to lots of information but much less wisdom. And we remember the famous quote of Abraham Lincoln that you can’t believe everything that you read there. We do have serious concerns about how the country will possibly be governed whoever wins. Dishonesty, deceit, manipulation, and disregard for the rule of law seem to have infiltrated previously respected government institutions. Failure of discourse has led to extreme polarization on the important issues that desperately need legislative attention. We are becoming a culture driven by tweets and headlines instead of serious discussion. Reading the Book of Mormon suggests that things will only get worse unless as a nation we can determine what we really want and are willing to repent to get there.
Ghana is also holding a presidential election this year, in December. We frequently hear prayers that this country may remain peaceful. In stake conference this morning, our president quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 (Jehovah to Solomon after the dedication of the temple): “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Ghana is not the only country that needs healing.
We are spending more time on companion language study, mostly Sue reading the Book of Mormon aloud in French and then trying to translate, verse by verse. We have made it through two chapters of I Néphi so far. The passé simple makes it difficult but thanks to the repetitive phrases she already has conquered “Car voici”, and “Il arriva que…”.
Sue purchased a new tablecloth for us - it’s actually a woman’s shawl - our first piece of kente cloth. It probably came from Cote D’Ivoire. These fabrics are hand-woven tribal patterns that are famous in West Africa for their designs and symbolism. More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kente_cloth . Several missionary couples collect them to take home. Pres. Brubaker is hoping to use them to decorate inside the new MTC.
As you can see, we eat a lot of fresh fruit. Papaya is now in season and is great with a squeeze of fresh lime. The pineapples here are different from Hawaiian or Central American varieties. They are smaller, much less acidic, whiter flesh, and sweeter.
Many collect these brightly colored hand-woven baskets.