Saturday, 17 November 2012

Entry #16

We have been doing a lot of traveling through the treacherously rough roads of Ghana in recent days. Last weekend we traveled to Sunyani, about 3 hours northwest of Kumasi for a Branch Conference. We have 5 branches of the church in the Sunyani area and were able to have a branch conference for the Penkwase Branch. Sunyani is more rural and much less congested than Kumasi, so we enjoyed being in an area where the beauties of the African Jungle were more visible and inviting. The jungle along the road is very lush and largely undisturbed. It is interesting to go to these branch conferences and realize that nearly all of the members have only been members of the church of two years or less. They are so receptive to your teaching. I think the Young Women’s President , who was just called had only been a member of the church for a few weeks, and that was about the same with every leader in the branch. There were a couple of return missionaries, one of which taught the gospel doctrine class and did a marvelous job. Mom did some training for the Relief Society Presidency and Dad trained the Elders Quorum Presidency. They are so eager to learn and do things right – they love the gospel in their lives.

This coming Sunday we will be traveling to Bibiani for a branch conference there. This village is about two hours drive west of Kumasi.

One of our greatest joys is rubbing shoulders with the young missionaries – both elders and sisters. They are so dedicated and seem to really enjoy being around the two of us. Our reputation for providing breakfast on Preparation Day has spread through the mission so we have some elders that invite themselves to breakfast and then travel for two hours to get to our place, just to share some time with us and have some American made pancakes. Last Preparation Day we had 4 elders drop in on us and they didn’t want to leave. They were with us for a couple of hours and enjoyed some of Mom’s banana bread. They just love telling us about their missionary work and talking about their families and their plans after their mission. Of course we love to tell them about our family and show them the dozens of pictures we have of the family – pasted all over the walls of our apartment.

We particularly enjoy the Zone Leaders when they come in for their Zone Council training. They love to joke around with us and we think we provide a welcome relief from the rigors of missionary work. They love to tease and Dad loves to tease them so we have an enjoyable time. Below is a picture of them in our office as they were getting ready to depart and head back to their respective areas of labor. Some of them have 3 or 4 hours by Tro Tro (bus) to get back to their area.

On November 7th we had 9 new missionaries arrive in our mission and we have 10 more scheduled to arrive on December 19th. There are only a couple of missionaries returning home during this period, so you can see our numbers are quickly increasing.

We were caught in downtown Kumasi a couple of weeks ago due to their celebration of Veterans Day (African Version) and caught a few pictures below of the military formations and drum beating and dancing.

The pictures below are a little misleading. It looks like white people are in plentiful supply. The truth is that you seldom see a white person and about 80% of the missionaries are Africans.

As most of you were, we were very disappointed about how the US presidential election turned out. I’m glad we weren’t home, even though we voted on line, because then we didn’t hear all of the spin of the results. Oh, my, it’s too bad.

Mom and Dad

Veterans Day Military Formation – we happened to be down town at the post office – this was in front of the post office.

The drum section that accompanied the dancing and marching during the Veterans Day celebration
Two dancers – an African lady and an abruni (white man) – quite a spectacle – dancing to the drums in the street. The umbrellas in the back all are stands where people sell various items.

This is a stand in front of the post office during the military show with some good fruit. After we go to the post office(sometimes twice a week) we cross the street to the store called Opoku Trade Supermarket –has some American food.

Missionaries that just dropped by our place on Preparation Day – Elder Sagers (Utah), Elder Succo (Utah), Elder Obisike (Africa) and Elder Reid (UK) – and some old man on the end. They were here on P-Day celebrating Elder Reid’s 19 th birthday and dropped by to give us a visit. We really enjoyed it.

The traffic on the way to the post office and the bank in Adum in Kumasi, downtown – usually worse than this.

Zone leaders in our office following Zone Council – great young men!

A typical logo on a Tro Tro. Every vehicle has some slogan or biblical saying.

Here are the new Sisters and Elders and their companions with the Assistants and the Holmes out on the back deck. We had 3 new Sisters – all African – and 6 new Elders – one American, one Australian and four Africans. It’s a very busy time in at the mission home and in our office when they come in. They are flown up here from the MTC in Accra and stay in the mission home one night, meet their trainers the next day, are fed well and then are sent out to do missionary work. Good looking group!

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