Sunday, January 8, 2017

January 8, 2017

Sue: Here are two experiences that I would like to share .  There is a blind woman who attends the temple regularly. Unfortunately, in the last six weeks, her spouse died and she has not come as often. Friday, she was in a session with me and needed to go to the bathroom.  I helped her to the hallway where another worker took her to the bathroom and brought her back to the door.  I took her arm and guiding her back to her chair, whispered  “I’ve got you”.  As she sat down, she breathed out, “Thank you my dear sister”.  Immediately I could hear Christ repeating those words to me, to us, who are sometimes spiritually blind  “I’ve got you” . Hopefully our response can be one of gratitude:  “Thank you my dear brother.”

 I met an older woman in the temple whose face beamed with light and whose eyes sparkled kindness. The women here tend to be very harsh and are the disciplinarians of the children.  I asked if she had been a member of the church in Ghana a long time?  She smiled and replied, yes.  I responded “ It shows in your face”.  She humbly said  “Thank you”.  I believe the saying that as you age you get the face that you have earned.

I tried a new banana cake recipe  this week - same ingredients as banana bread but cooked in a cake pan and cooled in the freezer 45 minutes direct from the oven. It was very moist and yummy.  It was supposed to be frosted with cream cheese icing but the cake was eaten before the frosting was made.  5 stars online:  Banana Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.

Tom:  I was a substitute teacher this morning in our adult Sunday School class and couldn’t help but notice that the area presidency were all in attendance.  That is a very unusual event since they are usually assigned on weekends to stake conferences, mission tours, creating new stakes, etc. etc.  It was a lesson from the introductory section of the Doctrine and Covenants, where the Lord says that the “weak things of he world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones”, and that “the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.”   

The presidency shared that they felt like the weak and the simple, and that they recently met with the president-elect of Ghana.  He was very gracious and interested in what the Church was doing and in maintaining contact.  Yesterday was his inauguration.  They also commented that out of the 14 countries assigned to the Africa West Area, the Church has established units in only 8 of those - but that this month they hope to organize branches in two more countries.  It speaks to the wonderful men that they are to say that they made great contributions to the class without intimidating in any way.

We also met Elder and Sr. Parke this week, former temple missionaries here and now assigned as the first missionary couple in Senegal.  The Lord has provided them with many contacts and helpers in their work to strengthen the fledgling branch there and to also gain official recognition for the church so that full-time missionaries can be sent.  It reminded me of the story of Demoine (Grandma Zona’s nephew) and Joyce Findlay (still serving as senior missionaries) who opened Togo in 1999 (see details here: https://history.lds.org/article/pioneers-in-every-land-togo-dieudonne-attiogbe?lang=eng ).  A stake was organized in Togo in 2016.  

We are still seeing church history unfolding before our eyes in this part of the world.

One of many pubic expressions of faith, this one covering the side of a modern building near the busiest street in the nearby Osu neighborhood.

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