Tom: besides our usual work here in Ghana, the week was dominated for us by the news of the US election results and the arrival of Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the USA) - an interesting juxtaposition. A good friend had commented to us that he was voting for the second most odious person in the country. Probably most people in the country thought they were voting for the second most odious person, but the electorate was clearly divided almost in half about which candidate that actually was.
So about half of the country is happy that the most odious person didn’t win, and the other half are upset that the second most odious person (based on the electoral college) did. And now we hear about demonstrations turning into riots, fears of racism, etc. etc. It reminded me of the comment made by Rodney King, the black resident of LA who was brutally beaten by police during an arrest. When their acquittal on charges of excessive force led to riots in LA in 1992, he said. “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? …I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out.” If he could say that, can’t we?
We have started listening to one of the Great Courses, on archeology and history of the Middle East - a very interesting series of lectures. We heard this week about Alexander Jannaeus, one of the Hasmonean kings who reigned from 103-76 BC. He incurred the ire of his subjects when he broke Jewish law by becoming king as well as the hereditary high priest. During the festival of Sukkot in Jerusalem, when he poured the water on the ground instead of on the altar, the pilgrims at the festival showed their displeasure by pelting him with citrons they were carrying as part of the celebration. In his anger, the king killed 6,000 of the pilgrims. At least things aren’t that bad.
Sue: Two women made this week memorable for me. I met “Eve” of Adam and Eve in the bathroom of the women’s changing room. I had seen her in the temple every day doing ordinances and finally asked who she was. She introduced herself as a member visiting from Nigeria. It took a while for my mind to compute that she must be one of the Nigerian team who were recording, in Igbo and Efik, the voices for the newest films to be used in the Aba Temple. There are now 39 Stakes who that temple serves. The technical recording team came from Salt Lake City but the voices came from Nigeria.
The second woman had come to the Accra Temple for the first time and is a member of a new Stake which was organized last Sunday. She was the skinniest woman I had ever seen and I found myself hoping that she was not starving to death. She had a beautiful face but her bones, especially clavicles, were very prominent. It made me grateful for my lentil soup at home in the crockpot and my understanding that she was learning to know her Savior.
I put a new app on my phone this week—the Book of Mormon in French and English side by side. I have a goal to it read in French by June. It is very hard work but I can do hard things.
I was also asked this week to lead the organization and planning of Thanskgiving dinner for 60. That will take place at our usual Family Home Evening on Nov. 28th. We have found 7kg Turkeys for US $60 each. We may be having chicken instead!