Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 memories

At the end of October, we helped with the "glasses for Ghana" project.  Some members from Utah bring thousands of glasses along with their expertise, to examine and give the people the glasses they need.  They stay all week and work very hard, and help out many folks that would not have the opportunity to be able to see and read properly.  Can you imagine the organization that goes into an event like this?

 The patients come from the wards and branches all over the area, and the glasses are matched with a prescription the doctors have given them.  They line up for hours, to be blessed with this opportunity.  It was quite a day for all of us. We take so much for granted, don't we!

It took a lot of volunteers, including many missionaries, to pull this off. 

Red hair or black hair, or in between, we appreciate the help.

 It was a total success and there were many grateful folks, young and old.

Now, maybe they will be able to see their cell phones better.

We were so pleased to have Elder and Sister Bednar and other general authorities come to visit Accra.  There was a mission president's seminar.

Sister Bednar held a special little meeting with some of us senior sisters, during what is usually scripture study class.  I was blessed to attend and spend some extra time with our dear friends the Sanders, who drove me around and made it possible for me to attend.  What wonderful friends.  We sat around the table with Sister Bednar and asked her questions.  I asked the first question about how she makes time in her busy life, for herself, her husband and her family.  She gave us some good ideas on how to make sure that we don't neglect ourselves or our family.  It was nice to visit with her and the other sisters in such an informal setting.  As she was walking out, I was next to her and I took my bead necklace off,  that I had made that week, and put it around her neck.  She seemed pleased.  I thought that she would like a  little souvenir, from the missionaries in Ghana.

Elder Sanders kept busy with his pet giraffe, while we sisters were at the meeting.

The senior couples and the area presidency, had a farewell dinner for the newly released  Accra temple presidency.  It was a sweet evening of testimony and goodbyes.  We welcome President and Sister Graham as our new temple president and wife.  President Graham served as a past MTC president; so it will be nice to share some experiences with him.

October 30 Group Arrival

Our new missionary cycle has begun again.  We have quite a few from the U.S.  What an experience lies ahead of these dear folks.  It doesn't take us long to learn to love them.  They have many differing personalities, cultures and talents, but they all love the Lord and are anxious to make the walk down the long road of service.

We know how to keep them happy from the beginning of their stay.

But then reality hits.
Since it was near Halloween, Elder Sanders decided to introduce the non-Americans to the fun tradition.  We're not sure they appreciated it as much as the rest of us did. At least, he started it off with Sister Sanders, just to be sure it worked OK.

"Can I trust You?"

"This is fun?"

"I just go to my happy place. Try it."

"It works"

"I know what you mean!"

"Or NOT!"

"I was OK until you showed me that."

"You can't fool me"

"On second thought"

""Easy for you to say!"

"You'r all a bunch of babies"            We're not sure who is more fun, Elder Sanders or the missionaries.

The next day when Dr. Hill and the nurse do the shots. Things are a little less exciting, but we get them done anyway.

"I am dignified!"

Now that we got that over with, it is time to get to work, as classes and training and devotionals continue!  Sister Robison conducts one of the training sessions.  She is a great teacher, and we appreciate all that she does to help our missionaries to get started right.

Practice, practice and more practice.

President and Sister Curtis spoke at our devotional and gave us great spiritual messages.

Then we get to take the missionaries to the temple.  

The Temple is always beautiful, even when the skies cloud over.  It is always bright inside.

Day or night, we love being there.

Departure comes before we know it and off they go into their mission fields.  

Our Utah visitor Elder  Mills, who supervises the world MTC's,  was here.  Good thing we had steps, so he could be included in the picture. .  We love um all, short or tall.

 Elder Malmrose and his "District".

They are each very different, but we come to love them and appreciate their different personalities and talents.  How could we not love these sweet people!

Short or tall, we love um all.

Who says we have fun in the MTC!  Missionary work is serious business.

We even allow a few redheads to serve here.

One last farewell song from each district is sung at the farewell devotional .  The singing here is incredible.  It never ceases to amaze us how they sing with such enthusiasm.  

They seem really sad  to be leaving us.

Then, off they go the next day, to many different counties in Africa.

November 12 Group Arrival

We welcome the next group, with the help of some of our senior couples and get them started with family history.

Our family history senior missionary couple, Elder & Sister Stutz.

 Then, of course, their favorite thing....Shots.

They always give us a big smile, AFTER it is over!

Our wonderful kitchen staff is always ready to make sure the missionaries never go hungry.

So begins another cycle.  We have lots of Nigerians this time around.

We take them to the temple during the first week they are here.  The flowers and the people, were gorgeous as usual.  And it's almost winter here, can't you tell.

We celebrated Gerald's birthday as well as the other senior missionaries who have birthdays in November, Sister Stutz and Sister Robison.  We went to a local buffet and had a fun time.

Our own MTC missionaries sang Happy Birthday to their beloved Elder Malmrose, and nearly blew the roof off.  It made him a little less homesick to have such sweet wishes.  He did try to lead the singing, but fortunately he didn't do his famous dance.

We had a little private birthday dinner with the Robison's.  Our sweet kitchen caterer Aba and her assistant Ishmael, came by to bring a nice birthday gift of a beautiful wooden bowl and a card.  What thoughtful people.

 Africans aren't the only talented ones in this place!

I wonder where he got that idea from???

Sister Robison made this picture of the Ghana temple and this cute card with Gerald as her model.  She is so talented, that she can design beautifully, even with her eyes closed.  Notice the snicker-doodle cookies on the table.  It was my gift to him.

  Our Thursday devotional was with  Elder Stanfill and his wife from Montana.  He is the newest member of the Area Presidency.  It is neat to get to know these folks and hear their sweet testimonies of the Savior.

Then, for a special treat, we had an additional Devotional with our new Temple President Graham and his wife.  As I was talking with him, I learned that he grew up in Rigby, Idaho during the time that I spent many summers there visiting my family, the Eckersells.  That was fun.

We said our goodbyes to almost all of these missionaries.  We keep the 6 week language missionaries for two more weeks.  In March of next year, there will be a change.  Instead of the 11 days we have to train the non-language missionaries; they will stay for a full 3 weeks.

Time to Dye

They make many interesting and bright fabrics here, as you can see from our pictures.  There is a dye shop across the street from the MTC, where they actually do the process.  Several of the senior sisters came with us to give it a try.  The owners showed us how, and then let us do some of our own work.  It was labor intensive, but turned out very nice.

 This man is making the sponges that we used to imprint the design on the fabric.  Then we dyed it by hand and dried it out in the sun.  No electricity anywhere in the process.

My helpers.

Dye, dye!

Dye, Di!

The owner's wife and one of the fabrics.  Notice the old bathtubs in the background. Part of the equipment.

The finished products.  What fun!


The senior couples were invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with the Area Presidency and other staff.  They served a delicious turkey dinner with all, and I mean all, the trimmings.  I don't know where they found cranberry sauce and pie crusts, but we had all the traditional dishes that we love.  It was great and we were truly thankful.  We had fun being with these good people.  

They took the opportunity to say the official goodbyes to some of the couples who will be heading home soon.  One of these days, that will be us, but who is counting?

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  We are truly thankful for the many blessings of dear family and friends that we have.