Sunday, 1 September 2013

Entry #36

Dear Family and Friends

Another epistle from Ghana – we trust that if you have had enough from Ghana that you will delete the communication and move on.  We understand if that which has become very meaningful too us may have limited interest for you.

It appears that our return home is becoming more concrete and you may not have to endure these letters too much longer.  As it stands right now we will be returning to the United States in approximately 2 + months.  While not completely set in concrete it appears that we will be flying from Ghana Wednesday evening – November 20th arriving in Phoenix Thursday evening – November 21st.  It appears that we will be flying via London on British Airways. As travel plans are finalized we will provide additional details.  It will truly be with mixed emotions that we will leave the wonderful, humble and faithful people here in this part of Ghana.  Probably the hardest part of leaving will be the smiling, loving and playful children.  They can really melt your heart.  On the other hand we are more than anxious to see our family and friends again, including babies born in our absence and others that were wee ones when we left, and are now walking.

We continue to make weekly trips to Obuasi which is south of Kumasi, helping these two branches of the church prepare for divisions – making 4 branches, and creating a district.  Some pictures below show the Obuasi chapel and baptismal font.  Also shown below are some of the wonderful people of the branches that we have fallen in love with.

We attended the sacrament meetings (fast and testimony meeting) for both Obuasi branches today.  We were overwhelmed with the quality of the testimonies of the young boys that were about 9 to 12 years old.  They were dressed ever so sharp and quoted memorized scriptures and bore fervent testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel.  They were so dignified in their presentation.  They generally begin with words like – “Dear brothers and sister, I am so thankful for the privilege I have to stand before you and share my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon”  and then they would go on to add items to their remarks.  They would put most adults to shame. They were powerful.

We have also been impressed with the little choir that one of the branches has put together – only 10 or 12 members, and more important than the music they presented was the tremendous effort they made to present their number – absolutely incredible.

We have the luxury of having our own vehicle here in Ghana, a luxury that very few Ghanaians have here.  As we have reported before, most transportation is by taxis or Tro-Tros (small buses).  It is more than an adventure to use the taxis or Tro-Tros, but we ventured out to have that experience – for two reasons – (1) to just have the experience,  and (2) it is about the only way you can commute to the crowded central market which Sister Palmer wanted to visit.  You have to be there to really know what is involved since there are thousands and thousands of people with little or no room to walk or move because of the crowds and narrow walk ways.  It is literally impossible for private vehicles to make this trip into the bowels of the city of Kumasi.  You feel relieved when you return that you still have life and limb. Below are a few pictures of that experience, but the pictures do not do justice to crowding, pushing and haggling that goes on.  Andy, a young man in the Awokwa Ward and our neighbor, took us otherwise we wouldn’t have made it – we needed a native to be with us.  MJ found some black soap and pure shea butter made by the natives, some fabric and jewelry.  We really enjoyed visiting with the shop owners too.  They were very fun to talk to.

As always our prayers and thoughts continued to be for you and your families.  Our prayer is that the Lord will bless you as much as he has blessed us.

With love,

Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Rodney, Mary Joyce

The chapel at Obuasi 30 minutes before the meeting.  It will fill up quite rapidly.

Before the meeting

Sister Bawa and three youngest of 6 daughters – Pres. Bawa’s wife

Three missionaries and three ready for baptism.  Elder Okoro (left) rode back to Kumasi with us because he leaves for Nigeria on Tuesday morning.  He is very anxious to see his family again who are members.

The Obuasi baptismal font.

A baptism.

At the Kumasi central market – fabric area.

Cutlasses for sale –and these are verrrrry sharp.  They even mow their lawns with these.

You can get anything here - sooo many little shops - - -  We wish we had gotten a picture of all of the fish just laying out to be sold.

Corn, coco, coffee, ground corn, etc.  They even make shoes right there in the market!

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