Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Aug 21, 2017 - Travels

Another tragedy hit Sierra Leone last week when there was major flooding with mudslides in the capital that killed 500+ people and left many others homeless.  We are always impressed by the members who come to the temple from there because they have lived through a civil war and the Ebola virus in the last 10 years.  The day after the flooding began we had 9 patrons from Sierra Leone in the temple for their own endowments and sealings. 

We had an opportunity to meet Elder Renlund and his wife and hear them speak to the missionaries of the Accra Ghana Mission.  He is an inspiring and humble man and concluded his talk with his testimony of Jesus Christ, where he said, “He loves to heal, to mend, and to repair.  He will lighten your burdens by making you strong.”

Saturday was the continent-wide Africa Day of Service so the temple was closed.  Pres. and Sr. Graham suggested that we and the Piersons take the weekend off and go to Cape Coast, where the church was first established in Ghana. We booked into an older resort on Elmina Bay where we sat by the pool,  walked on the beach, and listened to the crashing waves.  Our culinary treat of the weekend was hot pineapple fritters with ice cream.  Very therapeutic!  We watched a most unusual bird, about the size of a hummingbird but with tail feathers ten inches long.  His body was black and white with a red head and it looked like he was courting as he chirped merrily and chased a similar bird without the tail.  We found his picture on-line:  a pin-tailed Whydah.  What a relaxing day!
Walking past the hotel at sunrise on their way to market - 6 miles away.

Carolyn and Sue walked up the beach to a fishing village where this man was taking lobsters from his nets.

Pin-tailed Whydah


Sunday at church all four of us were invited to share our testimonies.  The ward seemed very stable and mature (Ola University Ward).   After, we visited the Cape Coast slave castle.  The museum there gave a very good history of Ghana and its people.  It is estimated that between 12 and 24 million slaves were sent through the slave castles on the African coast in the 200 years between about 1650 and 1850.  About a third went to Brazil, a third to the Caribbean, and up to 2 million into North America.  The conditions in the castle were deplorable and many died.  More died crossing the ocean.  The castle is preserved as a monument to man’s inhumanity to man.  A sobering afternoon.  Although nothing can undo those terrible events, it is gratifying to be part of the effort to bring hope for a better life to Africa.

We arrived home today to prepare for the busy week ahead with patrons from the Cocody Stake in Ivory Coast and the first intake of the new MTC.
Our favorite palm tree at the resort

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