Ghana has beautiful crafts such as hand dyed cloth. We see many lovely dresses made from these materials. I had a skirt and dress made from some of the material. This is a picture of the dress and one of my senior companion and one of our African friend.
Easter in Ghana
It was enjoyable to spend Easter Sunday with these dear people. Sister Robison and her Relief Society counselor, Sister Obeng and I, were all dressed up for our Easter picture and our Easter dinner.
Family Sealing and FTM Temple TripA highlight for us was when we took them to the temple, which is always a treat. This time it was especially nice, because one of our Elders had his family, who are recent converts, come and meet him. They were sealed together as a family that day, and we were invited into the ceremony. What a joy to see this sweet family come together forever.
The Family, the Robisons, Watsons and our Wilde friends, all shared in the moment.
Our sweet missionaries come in all shades, shapes and sizes. The thing they have in common is their love of the Gospel and of each other.
Group DepartureThe time goes quickly, and before long they are ready to leave us and get to work. Before they go, they love to find opportunities to sing their hearts out; and they sure do that. We have never heard such enthusiasm for singing.
Off they go, after saying their goodbyes and shedding a few tears. Our prayers go with them. The sweet sister in the middle gave us a departing gift of necklaces she had brought from her home in the Polynesian Islands. A great adventure awaits them all.
Calm before the storm (between groups)Every 6 weeks we say goodbye to all of the missionaries, both the 2 weekers and the 6 week language missionaries. When they are all gone, the MTC feels strangely quiet, when we walk down the halls or look into the rooms.
Even our office and our apartment seem quiet. But, we know it won't last long.
Since all our missionaries have gone, the staff uses this time to clean the MTC, so we needed to leave for one day and night. The Watsons were kind enough to offer to let us stay with them. They are Family History missionaries and live in a nice complex close to the temple. We had a wonderful time being with them, and it was a nice change of pace. We went out to dinner with them to a Greek Restaurant and met this man who really needed a hair cut. He kept staring at us. We sure meet interesting people.
This is Elder David, who became very ill his first week at the MTC. It wasn't anything contagious, but he needed to go to the hospital for a short stay. It was a blessing to him to be here rather than at home where the health care would have been unsure. Our good mission doctor, Dr. Hill, visited him regularly, and his MTC district all made get-well cards for him and hand delivered them. He was thrilled that they cared. As he recovered, some of the senior couples in the area, took him into their apartments and cared for him to make sure that he was ready and able to resume his MTC experience. While recuperating, he attended the temple regularly. He returned and completed his stay with us at the MTC, and is heading into the mission field now. What kind people we work with.
New Missionary IntakeWe had the largest intake of missionaries, with this new group. We were close to our full capacity of 100 missionaries. This new group has kept us super busy with all the paper work and other organizational responsibilities. Nevertheless, we are doing fine and enjoying getting to know them.
Vaccination DayAnd of course, we make sure that they stay healthy and give them multiple shots, which they really appreciate. We have a local nurse, who is appropriately named Comfort, and our missionary nurse Sister Sanders, who help us out. Notice how Sister Sanders really really empathizes and communicates so well with them.
They eventually come through the intake experience and before long they are anxious to get started learning what they will need to be effective representatives of the Savior.
Many of our missionaries are the only members in their families. Some of them have only been a member for a short time. Others, have been raised in LDS families and have been planning on serving a mission from childhood. Either way, they are dedicated and unselfish in their desire to serve the Lord.
The sisters are lovely, and it isn't long before they adapt to the customs of the area, as you can see these sisters have done. I wonder where they learn to do this?
Temple TripTemple day arrived again, and we had a great time with our dear missionaries. It is such a privilege to spend this time with them at the House of the Lord. Some of them will not be serving near a temple, so this is one of the few times they will be able to go. They seem to love it too. They often want to do the family history work for their families. Elder Malmrose helps them to submit names, when they have time.
We had two Elders from Tonga in this group. It is always fun to have missionaries from different places all over the world.
New MTC complexThe new MTC will house around 350 missionaries, and then have the ability to go up from there. It won't be completed until after we go home, but we can see it progressing regularly. It should be very nice and is in the temple complex.
The Robisons took a hard hat tour of the new MTC complex recently.
African Crafts:Sister Robison and I had a chance to go with Sister Wilde to one of the local street markets. It was unbelievably busy with lots of vendors and people walking back and forth. What an experience. Sister Robison was very happy to go to several shops that sell the beautiful and bright batik cloth. One is owned by a member of the Church. The dyed cloth is reasonably priced and lots of fun to have. Sister Robison not only makes it into clothes, but also tablecloths, and bedspreads, and as you can see little note-booklets covered in the fabric, etc. etc. etc. She is also having it shipped to the U.S after being made into children's clothing for a company her family owns. It will be interesting to see if it this unique fabric catches on.
Visitors:From time to time, we have visitors from Church headquarters. This nice sister "Kirsti" is from Provo, where she is employed by the Church MTC Dept. and she travels to visit the various MTCs all over the world. She was a delightful and fun visitor, and we really enjoyed having her.
Not to be outdone by the sisters, President Robison and Elder Malmrose are always well coordinated, as you can see by their ties and their file folders.
SightsAs we drive down the highway, we see many interesting things. This is a picture of one of the government buildings during some sort of military ceremony. We do see some police and some military troops, but not often.
We always enjoy seeing the way they do baby daycare here. Note the wonderful fruits and veggies that are available, always stacked just so.
We also see that our daughter Audra's company name, "Autism Behavior Consulting" or ABC, has been copied by someone here. We knew she would be famous someday.
We took this group of missionaries to the temple. The flowers and the grounds were beautiful, of course. It is always nice to walk around and enjoy God's beautiful creations. On the right, is the area office building and the other building houses the distribution center and some temple apartments where members can stay when they travel from out of town.
Farewell:The day finally comes when we must say our goodbyes to many of our missionaries. We do keep the 6 weekers for a few more weeks before we send them off. Once again, they sing to us and give us big hugs as they bid us farewell. Sometimes they even shine Elder Malmroses shoes.
We went out to an Asian Restaurant the other night. I decided not to get the pork dish. I would rather have some of the cookies I found in an American style store.