This week we were invited to spend a couple of days visiting Elder and Sr. Haglund, a senior couple serving in member & leader support (MLS) in Koforidua. They live about 2 hours away in a large home on the edge of the town of about 130K people. We were impressed that the streets are kept more tidy and clean than those of the capital. The Haglunds have been there for 14 months and have seen the district become a stake recently. Many of the local population speak Twi, but the Haglunds do not, so much of their communication is non-verbal. They had a lot of practice doing that on their previous mission in Armenia.
They are very interesting people, wonderful hosts, and took us to see some of the local sights.
|Boti Falls in the dry season|
|Sue on a branch swing at the falls|
|The canopy walk through the treetops 60 M up|
We were also introduced to some of their friends in the area.
This is Comfort, who joined the church a few months ago. She is 79 years old and lives in a compound with other family members. She was a long-standing member of a local Christian church but didn't feel any love in attending there so she quit going. After some time, she felt quite guilty that she wasn't going to church and decided she really wanted to find somewhere to worship God. One Sunday she dressed in her best clothes and prayed to God that He would help her find a place to worship. Then she called a taxi and rode into town. Eventually she stopped at the local LDS branch and went to the meetings. At the end, the branch president introduced himself and asked if she had come with someone. When she said that she had come alone he invited her to learn more about the church, to which she readily consented. She recently was able to attend the temple to do proxy baptism and confirmation for her mother, who died in 2016 at the age of 103.
As we visited with her (us in English, she in Twi) she asked us to wait while she got some things from her house. She brought back a ziplock bag and proudly showed us her certificate of baptism and confirmation, her temple recommend, the family name slip of her mother, and her record of donations which she received at tithing settlement.
It was eye-opening for us to see first hand both the challenges and also the sweet side of Haglunds’ experiences. We have great admiration for MLS missionaries.
Yesterday we went on an excursion to see the bead factory of Cedi Beads in Odumase-Krobo, also about 2 hours away near the town of Kpong (pronounced “pong”). Cedi is the nickname of Nomoda Ebinezer Djaba, who has been making glass beads about 50 years, since the age of 7.
About 1/4 mile off the highway on a rough dirt road, he has a peaceful compound where he manufactures and sells the beautiful beads. He is known internationally and makes annual trips to the US to show his products in different cities. We were fortunate to have him personally show us the process of making different kinds of beads.
Sue’s favorite was the chevron bead, which has interesting designs that are not painted on, but pigments poured into the mold along with the sand. Here are a couple of examples:
|A friendly Ent|