We saw the following sign on a wall in the West Africa Area offices when we visited the temple there a couple of weeks ago and thought we would include it here, since it rings very true in our ears.
Mis-sion-ar-y (Noun) – someone who leaves their family for two years so that others can be with their family for eternity.
Time continues to fly by as the work steadily moves forward. We just finished another round of zone conferences with the missionaries. The doctor assigned to the West Area office was with us for the zone conferences this time and spoke to each conference on how the elders and sisters can avoid malaria and other sicknesses. The key to staying well here is to drink plenty of water and never miss taking your daily anti-malaria pill – doxycycline. He talked about how to avoid or deal with diarrhea or as they call it here – “runny tummy”. Hopefully all of the missionaries took note of his counsel, since staying well is a big chore here with the mosquito population and the unclean food and water supply. Staying on top of the missionaries’ health is one of the biggest concerns here in Ghana.
Speaking of health we just recently had to send a sister missionary home due to health issues. (We referenced her in one of our letters home, a couple of weeks ago - along with a picture.) She had only been in the mission a few weeks, but was experiencing a blood disorder. She became very ill and spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital with the blood disorder that required several blood transfusions. She is from Kenya and she was broken hearted that she could not finish her mission. In contrast to this situation we had another missionary who likewise had only been here a few weeks, but he missed his friends and his good life in America and accordingly requested to return home. He was not dissuaded in his desire to go home pre-maturely, even after parents and the mission president encouraged him to stay. The two situations are a sharp contrast. This sister would have given anything to have the health of the Elder and been able to serve her complete mission.
We mentioned before that we opened up two completely new cities in northern Ghana a few weeks ago. One (Tamale) is progressing slowly, but has had 4 baptisms. The other city – Techiman has just been opened to missionaries three or four weeks and there are 20 baptisms scheduled for next Saturday. There were approximately 25 investigators there on the second Sunday there – only 6 or 8 members, and of course 8 missionaries and two adult couples. The Ghanaian people are so ready for the preaching of the gospel and eager to have the plan of salvation explained to them.
We are back to weather that we experienced here in Ghana approximately a year ago – cooler temperatures and lots and lots of rain. While we still have frequent power outages and lack of water, this time of year the outages do not last quite as long – maybe 4 to 8 hours instead of 12 hours and maybe 2 or 3 times a week instead of 4 or 5. We look for a silver lining, wherever we can find it.Brooke may be interested to know that when the African missionaries speak Twi to us (and we cannot understand it), we respond in Spanish, to let them know how it feels to not understand what is being said. Unfortunately our Spanish is not as good as Brooke’s.
We missed the 4th of July celebrations that we are used to in America, but it was interesting to us that their independence day was celebrated here on the 1st of July – they call it the “Republic Day”. We guess that is when they established their independence as a republic – we think around 1960.
As mentioned in separate emails we have made a reservation at Rockin R’ Ranch in Southern Utah for a June 2014 Palmer Family Reunion. A long ways away, but it secures us a reservation – June 2th-June 5. In the months ahead we will do the planning. There are tons of things available to do at this location, so finding things to do will not be a problem.
We love all of you and our prayers continue to be with each one of you.
Love Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Rodney, Mary Joyce.
Ghana Accra Temple President and his wife (President and Sister Afful) with Elder and Sister Palmer
African landscape outside the entrance to the Ghana Accra Temple
Picking up postal packages for the missionaries – The African man in the picture has been very helpful to us and is the one that named is recently born son “Palmer”. He calls is new born son our “Grandson”
Elder Sagers and Elder Stentzel with two young men baptized last week
Almost every car has a religious slogan on the back window or back bumper
When you see the temple gardens you forget that you are in Ghana – absolutely unbelievable