Cyril MensahCyril, one of the staff members, drove us into Accra. His wife and baby boy rode along, so we got to see them too. What beautiful children they have here.
Ghana Temple Square VisitHere is a picture of the ancillary building, with a new children's play yard. The group that was visiting the temple from the Ivory Coast, had lots of children with them, and they loved playing in the yard. Our room was directly over the play yard, and we got to see them having hours of fun, while their parents were in the temple. We notice that here, there is often an older brother or sister who is responsible for the care of younger siblings. They seem to take it seriously.
The area office is also on the property, so we get to visit with some of the senior couples who have become such good friends. The only problem is that the trees are always trying to get into the picture or maybe that's batman.
Nevertheless, the grounds are always beautiful, as it should be for the House of the Lord. The Angel Moroni, is calling us all to come to the temple as often as we can, and we do.
I was able to get a few night pictures, on our evening temple walk. It shows the beauty of the stained glass windows.
While we stayed there, two of our sister missionaries, whom we knew from the MTC, came running over to say Hi to us. They said they are having a wonderful mission and are grateful for the good start they got with us. Such sweet people we work with.
New intake dayOnce again, intake day has arrived, and we are ready. This is a smaller group, but it is the calm before the storm. This group numbered in the 30's, but the next group we will get, will be almost full capacity at around 100.
We have a number of the senior couples, who come down from Accra to help us with family history at intake. Many of our missionaries have not had the chance to do much in that area, so they are excited to learn what they can while they have access to the computers. We are so grateful for the unselfish service of these good couples.
Some of them are downright fun to work with!
These Elders are from the U.S. Elder Sewell,on the far right, has Samoan parents, but they all live in Utah now. He loved to sing. and even treated us to his falsetto voice. What talent.
Immunization Shot DayAs always, they get their immunizations, if they didn't get them before coming to us. It is always a memorable time to all, thanks to the Sanders.
Not to worry, mama Sanders is near.
Now let me think about this.....
What do you mean I get another one? Oh well, go ahead!
Well, I am so brave, that is if I don't look.
All in all, we came through it and are still smiling.
Area DevotionalHere is our whole group at our Devotional with Elder Davis. A small but very sweet group.
Temple TripIt was time to take this group to the temple. A special time for all.
Family History BlessingsA special thing happened to Elder Malmrose with this Elder Lindley. He was helping him with Family History, and as they worked on it together, he saw that one of the family names, Boudrero, in his line was the same as a family in Elder Malmrose's line. They are related back a few generations. You have to be nice to people, because you never know to whom you are related.
And now we know where some of the red hair in our family comes from.
VisitorsWe still have bus loads of youth, come to visit and tour the MTC. They seem so clean, well dressed and well behaved. It is fun to see them come from all over west Africa. A great way to encourage our future missionaries.
As they file past our office, they usually say Hi.
How could we not love these people!
Service DayThey held a special "helping hands" day here, and our missionaries and the senior couples as well, participated and helped to clean up and paint the local hospital. They worked hard, but we're sure it was greatly appreciated.
Sister Robison couldn't make up her mind which department she should visit, the Female Ward, the Maternity Ward or the Mortuary. We think she made a good choice, because she came back to us.
Priesthood ClassElder Malmrose really enjoyed his Priesthood class. He said that they had such sweet testimonies of the Savior and the Church. They will make great missionaries.
Departure PrepThe Sunday before they left, we took a few pictures. This is our Oreo cookie picture.
This is one of our sweet sisters. Sister Osagie. I think she has one of the most beautiful smiles I have seen.
Relief SocietyI think someone must have sent out an email that assigned certain colors to be worn on Sunday. We had the following:
And the Browns.
Some of our sweet sisters came by our office to say goodbye, as they head out into the mission field. They are really ready to go serve the Lord.
Once more, it was time to say our goodbyes. We hold a farewell devotional the day before they leave. Each district sings for us, and their instructors say goodbye. President and Sister Robison and we, also take a few minutes to encourage them and share our testimonies and of course a poem or two.
And before we know it, off they go into a new adventure for them. We are happy to send them off, knowing that they are well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead of them. They are never alone. They know who is always standing behind them.
New Intake DayAlmost as soon as we say goodbye, we have another group arriving. This new group has many Americans included, and is a much larger number.
Our intake day is greatly helped by the wonderful senior missionaries who come from the Area Offices in Accra, to help with getting our new missionaries started on their family history. Even our own Area Presidency's wives, Sister Curtis and Sister Vinson, volunteered to help us out. What unselfish people we work with.
We are blessed with new missionaries from all over the world. We have several from England, some from Kenya and Liberia, as well as a number from the Pacific Islands and of course African countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast and DR Congo. Within a very short time, they all mix together nicely in the Gospel culture of love.
ImmunizationsOf course once again, we start off the new missionaries with their favorite thing, immunizations. We call them, "the little gift of health". They don't seem to think that it is such a small thing, but they manage to get through it.
We usually let the Sisters go first, so they can show the Elders how it is done. There isn't too much screaming going on.
You can do this!
I promise, it won't hurt much.
It only hurts for a little while....
It doesn't hurt as much as football (soccer).
Area DevotionalAs usual, our Devotional with an area authority, this time with Elder Vinson and his lovely wife, were outstanding. They always seem to know what each group of missionaries needs to hear. Hmmmm, I wonder how that happens?
Class PreparationThey are studying hard, so that they will be well prepared to preach the Gospel.
We even let a few redheads in, just to keep things interesting. This is Elder Nissinen. He knows our grandson's mission president in Oregon. He said he heard him speak at their stake conference, and that he gave a very spiritual talk. It makes us so happy that our grandson, Elder Jensen, has such a wonderful mission president.
Who says they don't have fun at the MTC?
Another beautiful temple trip.
Truly, the Army of Helaman.
And that's the end of our temple trip.
CulturalThe fruits here are delicious and not expensive, so we eat a lot of them. The pineapples are the sweetest we have ever tasted, even in the West Indies. We particularly like the mangoes. Here is a before and after picture. Yummmmm.
There are some unusual sights here in Africa. We never know what we are going to see. It adds new meaning to the saying, "hang on".
Once again, it is time to say our goodbyes to the two week missionaries. We keep the language missionaries for another month. It's a great time to get some pictures to add to our memories. What's not to love about these folks?
We love them all, big or small, short or tall. They are all wonderful.
I get the feeling that some people don't want to be left out of the pictures.
We have a farewell meeting which includes lots of music from the missionaries and goodbye sentiments from the leaders. They sing with such enthusiasm, that it is very memorable.
I give our traditional "Return with honor" poems, and Elder Malmrose gives some grandpa's advise for a successful mission.
Then, before long, they are off to their mission fields. These missionaries are going to the Ghana Accra mission.
"Watch out world, here we come", is their theme.
We were invited by Elder and Sister Wade, to join them to try out a German Restaurant in the area. We liked the name of it, so we gave it a try. Who would ever think we'd find a restaurant named "Brandenburg"? They must have named it in honor of Gerald's sister Ginger and hubby Joe Brandenburg.
All in all, this has been another busy but productive month. We are healthy and happy to be in this interesting place. We have seen wonderful things happen with our new missionaries, and we know that it is only the beginning. They have sweet testimonies of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and they are willing to share it with others. We know that they will have challenges, but we also know that they will be guided and blessed as they serve unselfishly.