Friday, February 19, 2016

January, 2016 (Final MTC monthly blog)

Welcome 2016.

Because the MTC was closed for a short time, we attended the ward that meets on the property.  We meet this sweet couple, a brother and his younger sister, and talked with them.  We decided we wanted to know more about them, so we invited them to dinner.  They are not members of the Church as yet, but are very interested.  He attends a tech school and was home for the holiday break.  She is still in high school.  We had a great visit with them and hope to keep in touch from time to time.  I have to say, I was a bit surprised that they both had red hair.  I asked him where they got it and he said it was from his grandfather.  Genetics are such fun, even in Africa.  Thanks grandpa.

Special Branch President

We attended the temple with our missionaries and met some very nice local members.  This brother is severely handicapped but is a great example of someone who has learned to cope with his circumstances.  We met his wife as well.  He serves as a local branch president and has a great, friendly personality.  His handicap makes it necessary to crawl around on his knees, but it doesn't seem to slow him down physically or emotionally.  We can all learn from this good brother.

Yes, that is one of his legs.

January Temple Trip

Some of our missionaries attend on one day of the week, and the rest on the next.  We love um all, short and tall.

Building Window Cleaning

We live on the 3rd story of the MTC building.  They sent up a window washer to clean our windows the other day.  I was impressed with his ability, but it made me a bit nervous to see him hanging out the window without a safety belt on.  We are such wimps!  Oh well, all is well that ends well.  I have clean windows now and didn't have to take him to the hospital.

Senior Couples Pot Luck luncheon

 A highlight of our month was the couple "thank you" pot luck meal given in honor of our MTC President and Sister Robison's wonderful efforts during their mission here.  They head home very soon, and we will miss them.  The only thing that makes it bearable is the fact that we leave shortly after them and our dear fiends, Dr. and Sister Hill are close behind us.  Maybe we can get through the next few weeks with that in mind.  We will truly miss them and the other wonderful friends we have made here.  It's like we want to go home, but we don't want to leave.

Our great area presidency attended, our temple president and a number of the senior couples and staff as well.  What fun we had.

Aba, our kitchen queen, and her husband came too.  She is usually busy organizing the food for every event, but this time because it was a potluck meal,  she only had a little to do, so she could enjoy being with all the grown ups in the dining room.

Doctor Hill and Cyril of our staff, tied one on, matching no less. There are no coincidences.

And, speaking of no coincidences, Sister Hill and I had on almost identical dresses for the event

.  They called us the bridesmaids, so we got a picture of us and Sister Robison as the beautiful bride.

We had a nice program with poems, music and sweet words, as we said goodbye to our dear friends.

Our Area President, Elder Curtis, and his wife, along with the Robisons:

The head table group.

Everyone had a wonderful time.

New group of MTC missionaries

This new group of missionaries has quite a few missionaries from the U.S.  The tall dark elder on the left is from, guess where?   OK, now guess....He is from Provo, Utah.  What fun it is to have some many from so many different places across the globe.

This is one of the last groups of missionaries that we will see, before we head for home.  We shared a nice devotional with them and Elder Patch and his wife, on Sunday.  The missionary singing was great, as usual.  We will truly miss the enthusiastic singing that they do here.

Last Temple Trip for Robisons

The temple trips are always a joy as we enter the Lord's House once more.  There is always a sweet spirit there and among our dear missionaries.

This is likely the last time we will be able to attend the Ghana Accra temple, so I took several extra pictures from the stake center balcony next door.

The new MTC continues to grow.  It is situated by a Stake Center building, on temple square.  This shows only part of the buildings that are being built.  It is quite a complex of buildings that will house from 350 to 500 missionaries.  We won't see it completed, but will keep watching for the dedication.  It looks like it will be super nice.  The Church is growing in west Africa, faster than any place in the world.

I was wondering if that crane, as it was swinging around,  was going to hit the steeple but it didn't, at least while I was watching.

African Perspective

This gives you some perspective of the size of Africa.

We will miss things like the beads, the fabrics but most of all the people.

You'v heard of the bird and the beads or something like that haven't you?  Well, here you go.

It's dry season, so the birds love to get into the sprinkler on our sports field.

And the beautiful colors and variety of the hand made beads.

And colorful fabrics of all kinds.

Maybe they get their color ideas from the wildlife?

We love seeing the beautiful children here.  They have ready smiles for us, no matter where we see them.  Some of them even like ice cream, after the shock wears off and they give it a try.

Robisons' Departure

The time was fast approaching for the Robisons, to head home.  We all enjoyed meeting the new MTC President Brubaker and his wife Rebecca.  The Brubakers had only one day of training, and then we had to say goodbye to our dear Robisons.  Having served so closely for 18 months and seeing each other almost every single day, we became good friends, now and forever, that's for sure.  It was also a signal that we would be going home soon.

Having dinner together with our dear staff helped us all to feel better, no duh.

 How I will miss my sweet African Relief Society sisters. Sister Acquaye and Sister Obeng.

And of course my beautiful African sister missionaries.

I was able to say goodbye to Sister Vinson, the wife of a member of our area presidency.  She is from Australia and is a delightful lady.

The time came that we had to say our final goodbyes to the Robisons.  Thanks for the memories!

The new MTC Presidency

The Tibbitts (our replacements) arrived to start their training as the MTC mission couple.  We were able to work with them for over a week and they are doing just fine.  We can leave in good conscience, now that we know things will be in such capable hands.

We were invited to a farewell lunch with our dear senior missionary friends.  They all will be greatly missed!

 The Brubakers and the Stutzs.

The Tibbetts, Cyril Mensah, the Sanders, the Hills and of course President Brubaker all joined us at one of our favorite eating spots.

Our dear friends Aba and Ishamel from the kitchen staff came to say goodbye to us.  Until we meet again.....

And of course, my dear sisters had to say goodbye to me.  What love they show us.

Our GoodBye to our friends

We also said our goodbyes to our friends at the Max-Mart store not far from the MTC.  Store manager, Kamal, and his helper Sammy (both originally from Lebanon) have been so nice and helpful to us during our regular food shopping visits.

Our departure

It's hard to believe that it is time to say goodbye to the MTC staff, but we are so grateful for the experiences we have had with these wonderful people.  We will never forget them.

We are looking forward to seeing our daughter Audra and hubby David, who will be picking us up in Seattle very soon.  That being said, we are sad to leave these wonderful people, whom we have come to love. 

 But now is the time that we must be GHANA!