Friday, December 5, 2014

November 2014 - Update

We are still super busy as we welcomed in a large number of missionaries.  The intake days were exhausting, but we got it done and they are settling into the MTC routine.  We have missionaries from all over the world, but mostly Africa.  We have representatives from Benin, Botswana, Congo, DR Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Philippines, Samoa, South Africa, Togo, Tonga, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia,

What a wonderful time to be here in Africa as the Gospel spreads across the continent.  There are wonderful true stories of the early pioneers in Africa and as time goes on we will share some of those histories.  The Lord is truly hastening the work here.  We did not realize what a big continent this is, until we saw this picture.

  Africa map

    It seems that we just get through the training and other things to get our missionaries prepared, and off they go and we start over again.  Gerald is very busy with all the technical needs, family history, temple preparation, etc. etc.  I continue to help out with their medical needs.  They really enjoy coming to visit us on immunization days.  That’s our friend Doctor Hill, doing what he does best.

We were asked to get a little group together to sing at the devotional on a Sunday evening.  We had attended the French sacrament meeting that morning, and I noticed how enthusiastic they sang “Secret Prayer”.  So, when I was asked to find a number for the devotional, I asked the pianist to get his district to sing while he played the piano.  Gerald and I did the first verse in English, and then they joined in for the rest of the verses in French.  When we were done, the congregation broke out in enthusiastic applause (a cultural thing).  They sure make it fun to serve here.

Sister Robison and I, along with two other senior missionary sisters, took a morning off and went to a very well-known open air market in Accra.  It was quite an experience.  There are so many people all walking around and squeezing around each other.  Some of these folks have heavy stacks of goods balanced on their heads.  I tried really hard to stay out of their way as we hurried up and down the streets looking in the booths.  We all came out OK, but I did get hit with someone’s elbow to my head.  It wasn’t bad, but could have been.  We were mostly looking for the beautiful dyed material they have here, so that we could make or have made (in my case) clothes. 

Also, we found a couple of ladies who sell blouses really cheap, so we stopped there and got some. While I was standing by the street and the other ladies were shopping, a young fellow around 12 years old, came up to me and looked me in the face and said, “Salt Lake City, Utah” and then smiled.  I looked surprised at him and said, “Are you a member of the Church?  He said yes, both he and his twin brother, who also came up to say Hi.  I asked him if he was planning on a mission, and they both said yes.  Who would have thought that we would meet some members among such a crowd.  What fun!

So, since November is Gerald’s birthday month and it is also Sister Robison’s, we decided to go to one of the hotels that has a really nice buffet.  We don’t eat out often, but this was a special occasion.  A number of our senior couples came too.  Sister Hill is next to me.  She helps us out when her husband, our mission doctor, comes to the MTC.  My plate is full of one taste of each of the neat desserts that I wanted to try.  It’s amazing how fast one bite can fill up one plate J

A happy birthday week for our dear Sister Robison.  She deserves it!

The Elder at the far right of this picture, reminds us of Noah with some of his expressions.  Both Gerald and I noticed it separately.  Maybe he’s a long lost relative or maybe we are just homesick.

Thanksgiving Celebration:

Since November is our Thanksgiving holiday month, we did celebrate it here with the other senior couples.  We had a nice potluck dinner with turkey, no less, and all the trimmings at one of the mission homes.

To help our USA missionaries not to feel homesick, our wonderful cafeteria manager Margaret, set a beautiful table with tablecloths, bubbling soda and some of their favorite dishes.  For the Americans, she served them mashed potatoes and chicken and served the Africans some of their favorite dishes.  It was neat to see how excited they were.
An African Thanksgiving feast.

Manager Margaret and her grateful friend

Thanksgiving is nice!

This is the tall and the small of it.  And the in-between.

Our Friend Patrick

This is Patrick Appianti, who is the chief technology specialist, office manager and supervisor of teachers for  the MTC, with his new statue of Joseph Smith.  He has been immensely helpful to us.

This is Patrick's son with his favorite grandma.

On one of our errand days, Patrick took a side trip so that we could see the beautiful coast line and warm ocean.

GHANA Temple Trip
On my birthday (November 18), we decided to go with the missionaries to the Ghana Temple. 
  Ishmael Assan is washing the van in preparation for the temple trip.

The elder who is on the far side of the van seat is Elder Broadhead.  In talking with him, we discovered that he is the great-grandson of Dakin K. Broadhead who was a counselor to our Pasadena Stake President, Howard W. Hunter when I became active in the Church.  Not only do I remember President Hunter who helped me come back to the church, but I also remember President Broadhead and the other counselor Richard S. Summerhays.

We love this view of the Angel Moroni at the Accra Temple.

And she is an angel also.

This is a nice place to spend my birthday morning. 

My Lorna and her Ghanaian hat.

Closing photos of some departing missionaries:

The American missionaries still love Pizza and hamburgers. Notice the background gentleman; almost everyone has a cell phone and/or a tablet.

This is the end of November.

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