Thursday, 25 April 2013

Entry #26

I just thought I would send a few things that might be of interest to you.

Last February, Dad and I traveled to Accra, the capitol of Ghana, about 4 hours south of Kumasi on the coast. There
we attended the temple – our main reason for traveling down there. At that time, Mary Joyce presented the
temple, specifically Sister Andum, an alter cloth that she had crocheted just for the Ghana Accra Temple. I thought I
would share the story of how it came about.

When we arrived in Kumasi, we were instructed that we were to be in our apartment around 6 pm every night and
not go out because of the mosquitoes which carry malaria. We are taking medicine every day to prevent malaria
but it is only 85 – 90% effective. That means that we had lots of free time every night. After considering how I
could use the time productively, I started feeling a great desire to crochet – crochet an alter cloth for the temple,
something that I could leave behind when we return home. I went on line and searched for patterns that would be
appropriate. Surprisingly enough, I found many that I could use. Then I called the temple and informed the person
on the other line that I had previously made an alter cloth for the Arizona Mesa Temple and that I would love to
make one for the temple here. I also told her there was only one problem – I didn’t have the crochet hook nor the
thread. Was it possible that I could find it there in Accra? The sister asked me for my phone number and told me
she would let me know. Well, I waited and waited. No response.

Then, one day several weeks later, while at the office, Sister Zoll, another senior missionary, came in and said she
had a package for me. To my surprise, there were 10 spools of crochet thread and a package of the fine steel
crochet hooks of all sizes! Where did she get them? The Zolls had been with the temple president and his wife at a
meeting – they had brought the supplies up to Kumasi from Accra. Oh, I was shocked because I had heard nothing – but very happy.

I started working on it. Then I realized that President & Sister Brielatt were being released as temple presidency and
would be going home on November 1st. I called Sister Brielatt before they left for the US and thanked her for the
supplies and the opportunity – that I had been praying for the blessing of making something of value to leave behind in this country. She told me that earlier she had felt the need for new alter cloths and was looking for someone to make some. She said I was an answer to her prayer and I told her she was an answer to my prayer. I was very humbled by this.

Well, I continued working on the cloth, creating and connecting 60 blocks. I started at the beginning of October and
finished in the middle of February. It was something I had worked on that was of value to this country. It was a work
of love for this people.

So, when Dad and I went to the temple in February, I was able to lovingly present the alter cloth to the temple – to
Sister Andum, the temple worker over the cloths. She was very happy to receive it.

Now, I am working on another one – I have 15 blocks completed, 45 more to go. I should be able to finish it before
we return home in November.

Included are some pictures of the alter cloth before it was given to the temple. Also, there is a picture of a couple
of products – an Arizona drink purchased in Accra at the mini Costco (has lots of Kirkland products in it for sale) and some candies given to us that were purchased in South Africa (Maynard being my maiden name).

We are grateful to be here and to work with these wonderful people. They are very humble, friendly and generally
happy. They don’t have all of the monetary comforts that we do at home, but that is most likely the reason they are
humble and happy. You are in our prayers and hope you are doing well.

With love,

Elder & Sister Palmer

As you can tell, we are in front of the Ghana Accra Temple but this picture was taken in August 2012.

This is a close-up of a few blocks of the Alter cloth.
This is the final product. It is washed, starched, stretched and drying on our bed on a towel.

Here is the Arizona drink that we found here in Ghana. It was very good too, but it was made in New York City. The candy was good too. The Holmes gave it to me for my birthday – they are from South Africa. Can’t believe that Maynard is found there!

This little pig is going to market! One of his hind feet had a rope tied to it otherwise it would have been long gone.

There were 4 baby hawks that were hatched on a ledge at the mission home. We watched the mother care for them – bring them lizards to eat. Then they were big enough to fly away. It was very interesting to watch.

Here is a flower shop along the road.

Here is a toy shop along the road.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Entry #25

We have put together a another letter to our Ward to be read in Sacrament Meeting and thought you might
appreciate reading as well. After the letter to the ward we have included some recent pictures also which we hope
you will enjoy as much as we have -

To the Mesquite Ward - from Elder and Sister Palmer in Ghana, Africa (April 15, 2013),

We mentioned in our last communication to the Ward that we had been very busy setting up this new mission – the
third mission in Ghana. Since the work continues to go forward at an accelerated pace, the fourth mission in Ghana
will begin on the 1st of July this year – which you may have noted when the church announced a record number of
new missions. The new mission is the Ghana Accra West Mission. We believe that things are now well under control
here in our new mission after 10 months. We are expecting 14 new missionaries on the 30 th of April and another
13 missionaries in the middle of June so we are opening up areas in the Northern portions of Ghana and placing
missionaries in areas that have never seen and in most cases even heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. Because of the universities that are in some of the larger cities in Ghana, we find a couple of dozen members
of the church in these areas, which form the nucleus for a group of church members to begin meeting. Within a very
short time the group grows to the point that a branch of the church is organized under the direction of the mission.
It is fascinating to see how the Lord prepares people and places for the spreading forth of His gospel. As you watch
the work unfold under the ever watchful eye of our creator you know more certainly than ever before that the
Savior is at the head of the church and guiding its every move.

We have had very few missionaries complete their missions and return home in the early months of our mission;
however that is changing as we see more reach the end of the 2 year or 18 month mission time. Because we have
developed such a great love for these young men and women it is like losing a part of us, when we have to bid them
farewell and proceed in this great work without them. The devotion and faith and testimony and sacrifice of these
missionaries is a testimony builder in itself.

We continue to bask in the love and affection of the Ghanaian people, particularly the children. Last evening as
we walked the streets in the area where we live we were met by dozens of little children who all at once rushed up
to us and hugged our legs and squeezed us until we thought we would never be able to move again. Elder Palmer
loves to wrestle with these young kids and they love teasing him. The parents of these young kids just chuckle with
amusement when we are attacked with such affection.

Our mission has one stake, two districts, and 5 independent branches. There are 27 Wards or branches in the one
stake and the two districts. The missionary work goes forward in these church units at an ever increasing pace. The
baptisms in these wards and branches are always held following the block of meetings each Sunday – due most likely
to the difficulties with transportation needed to get to the church. Very few people own vehicles and transportation
is by taxi and Tro Tros (small buses). Following the third hour in the block of meetings most of the members stay
to be part of the baptismal service that week – with the number being baptized frequently numbering 5 or 6 each
week. While there are young children and teen agers being baptized the majority of those being baptized are in
their 30’s and 40’s and even in their 60’s and 70’s. Last fast and testimony meeting, in the Asokwa Ward, where
we were in attendance, a young mother stood up to bear her testimony, just minutes after she was confirmed a
member of the church. Her testimony was so powerful and full of the spirit you would have thought she had been a
member for many months or even years.

The Lord’s spirit broods over this mission and we are sure all missions. We recently watched a new missionary arrive
with no ability to speak English – only French which was his native language in the African Nation of Cote d’ Ivoire.
This missionary – Elder Anouman, because of his difficulty with English, was told by the President of the Ghana
Missionary Training Center located in Accra, Ghana, that he may want to re-consider his accepting an assignment to

an English speaking mission. Elder Anouman responded, “If the Lord was inspired to call me to an English speaking
mission, then I will learn English and be in an English speaking mission” Miraculously within just a few short weeks
his English is near perfect. He related to us that he was simply amazed how the Lord taught him English. We
subsequently had another Sister missionary – Sister Gogo, who struggled with English initially, but once again the
Lord worked a miracle. She speaks near perfect English and has a new confidence and power that is unbelievable.

We would be lying if we told you that we do not miss our family and the comforts and conveniences that we took for
granted in the United States. However, we once again close with our fervent testimony of the gospel. After watching
daily miracles in the lives of members, investigators and missionaries our testimony exceeds bounds never known
before. We pray that we will be able to have the faith, the humility and the dedication of these wonderful people.
We share with you our deep conviction and testimony of Jesus Christ and our love and appreciation for His example,
His love and His atonement.

With love and appreciation

Elder and Sister Palmer – Ghana, Africa

A scene in front of the post office – lots of stands and people.

We went to the Atonsu group’s meeting and this is one of the cute little girls at the meeting. Those slat windows are like our apartment’s.

This sister has been in the wheelchair Olympics around the world. She is good! Every morning at 4:30 she is working out. She rode with us to her daughter’s baptism (that is her standing with her mom).

This is a fancy lady at the Atonsu group meeting. The fancy scarf covers their unmanageable hair and makes them look nice.

 Children going to school – they really take good care of each other.

This truck has long horned cattle in it. The men just love to sit up high and catch the wind.

A meal with the missionaries after one of the three zone conferences – at the University of Science & Technology (UST) church building.

Here is a lady with some cute children – they are going to their school. In front of the mission home.
                                                 A shot of a funeral in progress. They wear black and party under red and black tents for several days.