As we anticipated in last week’s entry, we were very busy this week in the temple - but that’s becoming a non-newsworthy thing to relate. Our patrons from Ivory Coast left a day early to allow room for 150 youth from there and Ghana who came for Elder Renlund’s Face to Face broadcast. The youth stayed in our building for three nights and presumably had a youth conference experience during the daytime. They were very noisy and talkative in the halls when coming or going, but at night they quickly settled down. When dressed in their Sunday best they were beautiful and clean in body and spirit.
They came to our Sacrament Meeting this morning and sat in the back of the overflow area. The first sacrament prayer was given in French by an Ivorian youth. Sue was sitting on the same row as Pres. Assard, whom we consider as the grandfather of the church in Ivory Coast, and noticed that he was silently weeping as it was read. She thought that surely those were tears of joy and gratitude from remembering how far the church in Ivory Coast had come from the day in 1983 when there were only two active families there. The sacrifices made by him and his family and the other pioneers there sowed the seeds that have brought the happiness of the gospel to tens of thousands.
We met Elder Burfeind in the temple this week! He is an outstanding young missionary from Jacksonville now here in the MTC studying French in preparation for service in Réunion, part of the Madagascar mission. Who would have ever thought that we would meet again in Ghana?
Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit the Goethe Institute market, which is held once a month. It is an eclectic collection of food, souvenirs, arts, cloth, etc. that is all for sale. The event attracts many senior missionaries and other expats and is a fun social occasion. The Grahams gave us the day off because we had finished our office work and the patrons were few because of the broadcast. We enjoyed buying some spicy sausage which we have not enjoyed since leaving the US.