This past week the new full-time temple staff (the assistant reorder, and the two clerks) were being trained by the recorder from S. Africa. We have known two of the three since our arrival in Ghana and they will be very helpful workers in the office. One starts officially on Tuesday while the other two start November 1, so we will still be needed to assist for a while. As many questions came up about procedure and policy, typical in training situations, it became clear that with these full-time workers the temple will make great gains in consistency and stability, and we are excited for this new era to begin.
Sue had a wonderful experience this week. In the group from Sierra Leone there was a man whose young wife had died a couple of years ago, to whom he wished to be sealed. Sue represented her in an endowment session and also in the sealing session. When we have groups that come from far way, we usually hold a group sealing session, rather than doing one couple at a time. For that group we had six families, more than normal, and there were many jubilant smiles as they exited the sealing room together.
A tragic story also came from this group. One young returned missionary came with his parents to be sealed to them. He had been job-sharing in a factory with his cousin who was married and with his bride was expecting a baby in a few months. The night of the terrible rains and mid slides in Sierra Leone, his cousin and pregnant wife were killed. When one considers the wars, disease (Ebola), and other tragedies that these good people have endured, it makes us grateful that the Lord provides a way for families to be together forever.
Today with our normal Sunday meetings canceled due to General Conference we had a pancake breakfast for the temple president and matron and the other three temple missionaries besides ourselves. One of the counselors in the presidency had given the matron a fruit (unnamed) which we were advised would taste good if we cut it open and ate it. Many of you may recognize it. We didn’t at first. Here are some pictures:
This is of course a coco fruit, from which chocolate is derived. The outside looks a bit like a squash and is very tough. The inside is full of seeds joined in a gelatinous white mass in a clove shape. If you suck the seeds they have a sweet citrusy flavor that doesn’t last long. If you dry the seeds and take off the hulls you have the coco bean, which can then be ground into raw coco, very bitter but the base for chocolate. You can see all three aspects here.
We really enjoyed the first session of conference yesterday afternoon and are looking forward to the rest later today. Happy October!