Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nov. 26, 2016 - Still Giving Thanks!

On Wednesday morning in the temple, we had very few men workers and about 25 missionaries from the MTC scheduled for their own endowments during the shift.  As we were preparing for the 8:30 session I offered a brief silent prayer asking the Lord if it were possible that he send us just one more male temple worker to help out.  15 minutes later one walked in the door and went to change into his white clothing.  I told him he was an answer to prayer.  Later, when I realized we were still stretched very thin, I thought, ”Oh ye of little faith.  You should have asked for three!”  

It is still Thanksgiving in Ghana even though the holiday doesn’t exist here.  We actually took our ward missionaries out to dine at a local establishment (burgers and fries were chosen by 3/4 of the diners).  It was very fun getting to know them better.  One has home base as Columbia, SC although he was born in China and raised mostly in China and Malaysia (father is with the state dep't.)  The other is from Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  His father joined the Church in 1984 before the Church officially came to DRC so this missionary and his 7 sibs were raised in the Church.  Both missionaries were very impressive and  seemed to have a lot in common.  It was fun to chat with them about their area and the ward.  They make a lot of contacts but have trouble getting people to teach since a lot of people who work in our boundaries live elsewhere.

Thursday we slept in, did some exercise, and took it easy during the morning. It actually felt like a holiday.  Our regular shift started at 1:15 pm.  Our official Thanksgiving dinner will be on Monday at home evening with the other senior missionaries, the temple presidency, and the area presidency.  The menu is actually coordinated,  and has some of the traditional things like turkey and dressing.  The group consists of people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and England in addition to the Americans who traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving this week in November.  We always enjoy getting together!  We hope you all had a memorable day with family and friends.

Today I had the opportunity to chat in the temple with an elderly man from Cape Coast, in western Ghana.  He was in the temple for only the second time and said he really enjoyed being there.  As we visited he told me some of his story.  His wife and daughter joined the church in the late 1970’s and were among the first to do so in the country.  He is a retired school teacher, headmaster, and preacher for another Christian denomination.  He said he would occasionally use the Book of Mormon for the basis of his sermons (without attribution) and that when he did the sermons were always well-received.  He finally decided to join the church just over a year ago and is very happy that he did.  He is 87 years old.  I wish I had been able to capture more of his life story.  He has seen a lot of change in Ghana.  

Sue has just about finished her latest read which she highly recommends.  “Planted  — Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt” Patrick Q Mason.  It was given to us by Ben before we left and is written by the chair of the Mormon Studies Dept. at Claremont Graduate University in California.  He has some fascinating insights into our age of faith crises and even if you don’t agree with all he says, it is worth reading.  Wendy Roth, sorry I forgot your birthday.  Happy almost December!

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