December is when the mango trees start producing this delicious fruit, and goes for three or four months. I am not fond of papaya, so I am enjoying this additional fruit to our already abundant pineapple and bananas. Vegetables are grown year round here and we go every Saturday to a large outdoor place and can choose from a great variety of produce. I have been very pleased with what we have been able to buy here in grocery stores, as I thought it would be very difficult finding items to fix meals. I want to taste more of the Ghanian traditional foods, but one time with fufu was enough for me.
We started our Saturday by attending a baptism of two young men and a women. One of the men, Sylvanus Sabah, was a referral that came from the Referral Center in Utah. I get these referrals pretty much every day and assign them out as soon as I can. Elder Gurr and Elder Probst, in the Cantoments area, were the two missionaries who taught him. It is so rewarding for me to refer someone and a month later to participate in their baptism. I was able to play the music for the baptism, and Sister Judd and I sang a duet. President Judd baptized these three choice people, and it was touching to watch as he showed them how to plug their nose and bend and sit to make the baptism easier. Miriam was nervous but President Judd has a way with people and he is a very loving man. It truly was a choice experience to see the fruits of a simple phone call and to have the missionaries act on it and do what they committed to do. It is one I hope to see again, although some of the areas are so far from us, that attending baptisms will not always be possible.
We had a wonderful Christmas Conference this last Thursday. We enjoyed great food, a testimony meeting and instruction from Pres. and Sis. Judd, as well as a talent show by many missionaries. The Island missionaries from Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, did (I can't remember the name of it) dance that Elder Avery and I saw in the Polynesian Center in Hawaii years ago. All 158 missionaries were in attendance and that includes four couple missionaries and Pres. and Sis. Judd.
We have transfers this coming week with 3 missionaries (one Elder and two Sisters) going home and twelve Elders coming in. Four are from the USA, four from Nigeria, one from Fiji, one from the UK, and two from New Zealand. We have missionaries serving already from these countries and it is delightful to hear the New Zealand and English accent. Transfer days are very busy but yet very rewarding. Elder and Sister Dalton will be staying with us a couple of days as they will be bringing Elder Henderson in so he will be able to fly home. They serve in Abomosu (a 'bush' area) and have quite the experiences to share.
We added two more clothes lines to a room where we hang our clothes, etc., to dry. One side is actually just window type screens with the tradtional metal bars so intruders can't break in. Even with the humidity, things dry quite fast. We have an interesting dryer in this room, but we try to save on the power and very seldom use it.
We were blessed last Saturday to have a man at a grocery store tell us we had a low tire. As we looked closer, we found a screw in our tire and were able to get it fixed. We probably would have notice it but not in time to make it as easy of a fix as it was. With apartment inspections on Monday, I am very grateful it didn't happen then because those inspections, and the travel to get to them, is stressful enough.
I have to admit that I am quite home-sad this time of year. When we read of all the family things on facebook, it tugs at the heart-strings quite a bit. I then look at all the missionaries and how they just press forward, as they certainly must miss their families too. We pray always that our family will be blessed, and if they had time to tell us more often, I am sure we would see that they are. This mission is increasing my faith every day and I am grateful for that.