Sunday, 23 June 2013

Entry #31

The work continues to go forward here in Ghana and we continue to be amazed at the faith and devotion of these wonderful people.  The missionaries are working hard.  One of the elders today was disappointed that he and his companion only taught 6 discussions yesterday – they had 10 scheduled.  He and his companion taught and baptized a family who were a Muslim family last week and have several more baptisms scheduled for the next couple of weeks – probably a total of 10 in a 4 week period. 

A Muslim family that was baptized.  See picture below.  They changed their names from a Muslim name to a Christian name.  Since the Muslim way allows and promotes multiple wives and female relationships, it was a major change for the family, but they are so happy now they understand the eternal relationship of marriage and of the family.  We were in the Daban Group (a meeting group that is part of the Asokwa Ward) today to witness the confirmations of this family and some other confirmations.  There are only a half a dozen of the members of this group of 80 or so that have been members over a year. 

The young man that referred the Muslin family to the missionaries is one of the security guards that works at the mission home.  He took the missionary discussions while working as a security guard (He goes to school at night).  His name is Teddy. He is very polished and has made miraculous changes in his life.  He has only been a member of the church a few months, but taught the Sunday School class today and it was a first class presentation.  You may remember the picture and story we sent about him several months ago.

One of the missionaries that taught the Muslin family – Elder Sagers, lost his football scholarship when he elected to go on a mission.  The football coach was very critical of him when he left, part way through his college program, but after Elder Sagers had been on his mission for a few months he received a letter from the coach apologizing for his inappropriate treatment of Elder Sagers and offered him a new scholarship upon his return home – which is just a couple of months away.  He has had other offers as well.  The Lord is blessing him for his choice to serve him on a mission.  Elder Sagers has lost over 50 pounds since he left the football program and entered the mission field.  He said it was not fat either – it was muscle mass.  He said he is going to have to work hard to get back in shape and regain the muscle and strength. As noted in the picture below, he is still a large young man.

The activity and retention rate here is an enviable record.  I took all of the converts for 6 months in the Asokwa Ward and had the Ward Mission Leader help me check their activity in the church.  There were 40 names on the list.  Of the 40 – 37 are active and fully participate.  Three we were unable to locate, so may have moved or possibly are not active.  We are still trying to locate those 3.  It will not surprise me that they are active, but are living elsewhere.  Another branch in the mission with about 300 members– the Bibiani Branch, when ask for a list of less active members, could only think of 1 name.

Yesterday I (Elder Palmer) was chastened by the spirit.  In this area of Kumasi there has been no water for several days.  Because of the unreliability of the water supply the church installs poly tanks with water pumps for the missionaries so there is a greater likelihood that we will have water.  It works most of the time.  The other tenants in the four-plex we live in do not have a poly tank for extra water, so after several days one of the tenants came to us with their buckets asking for some water.  We provided them with water, but were a bit concerned that we would not have water for showers or washing our clothes because we were depleting our supply .  Then a little 12 year old girl from one of the other apartments – a young girl named Rebecca was coming over just as we were leaving.  She had a bucket, and we assume that she was also going to ask for water.  She lingered at the entrance to our place, so we proceeded to leave.  The truth is that we selfishly were concerned about having enough water for ourselves and really knew deep down what the young girl wanted.  I could not find sleep that night, as the words of the Savior echoed in my mind, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  There was no excuse for not postponing our departure and getting the water she apparently needed.  It was a selfish act which I would love to undo and make things right.  Hopefully a bitter lesson has been learned.

In the morning we will be traveling the Capital city of Accra to take care of mission business, do some shopping and most importantly attend a session in the temple.  It has been 4 months since we have been to Accra and attended a session at the temple, so needless to say we are looking forward to going to the temple.  The trip on the Ghanaian roads is no picnic and it is a four hour plus trip, but it is worth the sacrifice.

As always we love and appreciate you. – Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Rodney, Mary Joyce

Sister Palmer training 5 wonderful Relief Society Presidents from branches in the mission – Bibiani, Agona-Asamong, Mampong, Obasi 1 and Obasi 2.  Sister Darko is the mission counselor’s wife.   (In our office.)

The Sister Missionaries in the Asokwa Ward – Ngwenya, Zeahn, Ogbonna, Omatayo

A family recently baptized in the Asokwa Ward – Taught by Sister Ngwenya and Sister Zeahn

A picture of the missionaries and others after the baptismal service

Elders Otagba, Stenzel, Sagers and Crump at the Palmers for Monday morning breakfast – pancakes, scrambled eggs, sliced pineapple and orange juice.

We love the school children – always in their uniforms.  Here they are crossing a major street.

Empty plastic containers apparently ready to be reused or recycled.  This load isn’t too heavy.

The family mentioned above who were previously Muslims –  Elder Sager and Stenzel

Francis Appiah and his two children – The daughter was baptized last week – the father a year ago.  Like the tie?

Elders Crump and Otagba (AP’s) and Elders Sagers and Stenzel.  We love working with them.

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