Sunday, 22 July 2012

Entry #4

Another very busy week here in Ghana – and we appreciate more and more the everyday conveniences
that we took for granted in the great United States of America. The power goes out almost every day
and sometimes will be out for 8 hours – even this evening we had to turn off the air conditioning unit
because we were running the clothes dryer. The fluorescent lights wouldn’t start up because there
wasn’t a sufficient power available. So, we choose our battles.

Food is always a challenge – finding something that approximates what you may be used to in the
United States – and when you do it is generally pretty expensive. Water is always an issue - requiring a
separate pump to get enough pressure to shower or flush a toilet, since the water lines have limited and
inconsistent pressure – then any water to be used for drinking or consumption has to be run through
triple filters. You also have a special Poly tank to pump water into so that you have a supply of water to
be used.

There is no TV or radio in English. To avoid the mosquitoes and resulting Malaria you are advised to not
be outside after dark and of course we have to take daily pills to fight off the Malaria potential. We,
along with the mission president met with the church Area doctor this week and he indicated that each
mission runs about 15 Malaria cases a month – so it is not a casual matter and we are stocked with
medications in the mission home to prevent and treat Malaria. The inadequate hospital and medical
professionals is a story in itself. If you can get treated it will probably take 12 hours of waiting. Since
most medicines are over-the-counter here in Ghana the Senior Couples end up being extensions of
the Area doctor (who covers 10 African Missions). Under this doctor’s direction medicines are freely
dispensed by the senior couples - and amazingly the Elders and Sisters survive and the work goes
forward. The Lord is very definitely protecting them if they are obediently taking their medications.

On the more spiritual side we attended a baptism at the chapel where we meet for meetings. The
baptismal font is outside in the courtyard area of the church. The baptismal service followed our block
of meetings and was a very uplifting experience. (Pictures below). These African brothers and sisters
are so faithful and so converted. We love being around them and they love to be around us. They are
so willing to help with any need that we have. In the mornings some of the young boys run to open and
the big gates to our compound area when we are ready to drive out and close them for us. When we
thank them they walk away with a big smile knowing they have helped somebody.

We presented a program at the ward building on Wednesday evening. The bishop asked us to help the
ward members catch a new vision of home teaching and visiting teaching. They are eager to do better
and we had a great attendance come to a mid-week program. The power was off so we wondered how
it would go, but we were the only ones that worried. They are used to no power and had their battery
powered lamps ready to go. They always have games (interesting) at the beginning of their programs,
so we played the game similar to the one played at our family reunion with the little kids – like musical
chairs and where the one in the middle is trying to get one of the chairs when a statement is made
identifying those that have to change chairs. We probably had 50 or 60 adults, youth and kids at the

program and they had tons of fun before we presented a program. We believe it went pretty well.
Mom made some popcorn balls which they gobbled up after the program we presented.

Saturday afternoon, while working at the mission home Dad was notified by the guard to the mission
home compound that some people outside the gate wanted to talk to him. He went out and was
introduced to four or five African teenagers who wanted to talk about the church. The conversation
ended with them asking if they could come to church this Sunday. Of course the invitation was offered
and they said they would be there and they knew where the church was. By the time he parted there
were approximately a dozen young people participating in the conversation. These young people are
so polite and very spiritually oriented. They absolutely melt when you smile at them and engage in
conversation. The young ones always want to give you a “high five”.

There also had a funeral “Party” outside the mission home on Saturday. Funerals are big social event
and are generally, if not always, on Saturday. There is music, food and festivities that last for 12 or more
hours. There is a good chance you will get a headache from the music before the day is over – since it is
very loud and it is non-stop. We had headaches at the end of the day. Everybody is dressed up for the
funerals and it is one of the major social outlets for the Africans – both in and out of the church. So, you
know that when you die there will be a large celebration. I think people look forward to your death.

We think of all the members of the family and our friends often. We have posted on the wall of our
apartment all of the pictures of the family members that were taken at the reunion held before we left.
We printed the pictures off and laminated them with a laminator that we have at the mission office and
filled one side of our apartment with pictures. When somebody comes by – for social or other reasons
they are overwhelmed with all of the family represented by the pictures.

We had one of the sets of full-time elders over for a meal on Monday night (planning the program
mentioned above). The elders loved Mom’s meal that probably surpassed anything they have had since
they left home. One of the elders was from South Africa and the other from Malad, Idaho. We ended
the evening playing “Uno” – the culture here is to always play some games when you get together.

There is an elder who really needs our help. Elder Tlathi had to fly to Johannesburg, South Africa to
have eye surgery. Today the mission president told us that the situation is so bad that he may even
loose his vision. He really wants to return to his mission. So here is where we need your help. He is
having his surgery on Thursday. Would you please remember him in your prayers that the surgery will
be successful and that he can return to finish his mission? We will tell him that our family prayed for
him if he is able to return and hopefully we can send a picture of him to you. Thank you so much.

We sure love you and miss you. However, we are here to help the people and are ready to serve them.
We are praying for you and we need your prayers too. Stay strong and happy - - -


Mom and Dad

Missionaries and those being baptized. The AP’s are from America - Briggs & Wheeler.

 Missionaries and family members recently taught

Program before baptism – notice the lady in the back with her son on her back just sitting there – no AC just fans & open windows

Cute little guy in the traditional back pack
Another cute little guy in the traditional back pack. Notice the shoes. These babies just love this position and go to sleep here.

And another – just love those little babies. Just glad they aren’t ours – we’re just in the admiring stage. The mothers just wrap a blanket around the baby then tuck it in the front. Smart way to keep their hands free and not chase after the child. Some mothers even carry things on their heads with their baby on their back. Result– great posture – try carrying something on your head.
And another at P.O.

 And another – all cute

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