Intro to May
Springtime is going fast but of course, it is always summer here. Nevertheless, we picture in our minds the beautiful flowers and green grass at home. We continue to keep busy here as our missionary trainees come and go. We love to see them come and are sad to see them go, just like at home. The time comes quickly when it is time for them to move on to challenges of their own. Much like it is with raising a family. That is what mortality is about, progressing. We are progressing through our mission, but are still enjoying our time here with the missionaries, the staff and of course the wonderful members.
This is a picture of a local stake conference. Not too different than what we see and hear at home. It really is a small world.
Beautiful African Sights
We see a lot of colorful sights here, both the foliage, the food. and of course the interesting people.
Utah VisitorsIt is always nice to have visitors from home. This month we had a big group of MBA etc. students from the Marriott School at BYU. They come here as part of their training where they do different projects with the businesses here. They like to come visit us at the MTC, and we love having them. They attended our Sunday meetings and toured our building and just had fun with our missionaries.
Here they are mixed in with our missionaries and with our Relief Society. What fun.
Temple TripAnother sweet trip to the temple. The missionaries are always so excited to go. For many, it will be their first time and it may be several years before they can attend again. Elder Malmrose helps them to do their family history, so that some of them can do the work for their own families. Either way, they love going and we love going with them and our dear senior missionaries, the Robisons and Watsons.
As I was walking around the temple grounds, I heard someone call out my name. I turned around and there were two of our sisters, who are now serving their missions in Accra. It is always fun to see them again. We took a "selfie"together.
How could we not love these good people?
Mathias Eguco's FarewellThe manager of the MTC has been called to be a mission president in Nigeria. We had a great staff farewell devotional for him, to send him off with our love and a few remembrances. He and his wife are in Utah now for some training and sure looks like they had fun at temple square.
Mothers Day DevotionalOur devotional on Mother's Day, was held with our area authority Elder Vinson and his wife. They are from Australia and are most enjoyable. They asked Gerald and me if we would sing for them, so of course we did so during the devotional. She, like we, really likes the African fabrics and often wears dresses made from them too. They are so bright and fun to wear. She is wearing the blue dress in the middle.
I wore some locally made beads for Mother's Day and took this selfie.
FiresideWe had a great farewell devotional, and that is always enjoyable.
During the fireside, President Robison mentioned that we have an Elder Hodson in our group who is the great-great-grandson of Hugh B. Brown. The fun thing is that Elder Malmrose, as a young man, dated Elder Brown's grand-daughter and has been in their home in Pasadena years ago. There is much more to the story, but that is for another time and place. Fortunately for me, he decided to marry me instead.
Missionary DepartureOnce again we say our goodbyes and send them off to the mission field. We get to see some of them occasionally, if they serve near us, but mostly we won't get to see them for a long time. We do love them and want them to be successful and happy. We hope we have helped them get a good start to their missions.
Hike with Doctor HillWe get a short time break between the groups of missionaries, and we try to do some sight seeing at that time. Dr. Hill invited us and the Robisons to come on a hike to the Botanical Gardens at the University here. We had a wonderful time walking in the beautiful countryside and observing nature in all her glory. How refreshing it was, and we are grateful for the change of pace.
As we walk into the park, we see a number of interesting sights. They told us they used to have elephants and other wild animals in the area, but most of those have been moved into reserves elsewhere. We did get to see some of the local resident birds and lizards and of course beautiful grounds. There are signs that tell what the plant species is, and that is interesting.
As we walked along the path we saw many mangoes laying all around. It's the season for them, and they fall off the trees. We buy them from vendors here and they are super sweet, as are the pineapples.
They have insects (termites) that build tall dirt towers. The locals use the mud from these places to build their ovens and other structures. We didn't get too close, but we did get a few pictures of them.
As we moved deeper into the area, we came to a lake, which had many interesting birds and some scary creatures. You decided which is which.
Here are two pictures of the Robisons showing some of what they do best.
The time finally came that we had to say our farewells to the beautiful Ghanaian landscape. Till we meet again, and we will.
We don't have much time for entertaining guests, but once in a while we like to have someone over to dinner. The sweet lady who is in charge of the MTC cafeteria, has become dear to us, so we decided to invite her to dinner with the Robisons. See if you can guess which one she is? Good friends and good food, a great combination.
Most of our missionaries are from West Africa, but we do have some from other places such as Zambia, Madagascar, Kenya, USA and Pacific Islands. We had several missionaries from India recently .
One of our current missionaries is from France. He lives in the city of Clermont-Ferrand that Gerald and his missionary companion opened up for preaching the Gospel, when Gerald was a young missionary many years ago. This young French missionary is not only tall and handsome, but super nice. The blond young man is a hard working farm boy from Utah. We love seeing the different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities. We are so pleased to see the next generation stepping up to the plate to serve the Lord.
We always have a get together to say our goodbyes as our missionaries prepare to depart into their fields of labor. It is usually the night before they actually pull out. They present some musical numbers from each of their different districts. One elder even sang a solo goodbye-song just for us. They sing with such enthusiasm that it makes it so fun for all. Some of them are more talented than others, but the joy they display makes up for the differences.
All the missionaries are a little anxious, but are excited to be heading out to put into practice all they have been studying for 2 or 6 weeks. The language missionaries have made great strides in learning their new languages, and all of them are ready to get going.
And off they go into the wild blue yonder. Look out world, here they come.
God be with you, till we meet again.