We did indeed have our "White Christmas" when Ethel, Paul's wife, was baptized. It was the best way to start Christmas morning and there where many ward members that were there to support her. Paul and Ethel were so grateful to have so many there and were surprised and pleased that we came. I was very impressed with the Bishop of the Adenta Ward. I understand that there were other baptisms on Christmas Day, so it was a "White Christmas" in Ghana.
Brother and Sister Ahadjie are wonderful people to open their home to all the missionaries and what a feast they gave. The shared their conversion stories with us all and to hear how he was called as a Branch President about 2 months after his baptism, says a lot about him. He later served in the Stake Presidency and eventually in the Area Presidency. He is a contractor and is probably the best in Ghana. He wife has a catering school and works in the Area Office in the travel department. They have a beautiful, beautiful home.
We were able to skype with most of our children and grandchildren and it was good to see that they all had a good Christmas. Our little Presli was home for Christmas and is doing better every day. I understand that she was anemic which made her so suseptible to a virus infection, and so finding that out is a good thing. Naomi and family are adjusting very nicely to their place of residence in Provo. It was so fun to see Cooper and Avery playing with their toys. Eden and Davin sent us a package with delightful things they had made and it is was fun to see how Eden acted as we skyped. Nolan had another experience with the motel sprinkling system malfunctioning but had a great attitude about it. The newly weds are doing well and Angela is so happy to be done with school, so now it is Dave's turn. Nathan and family are wanting to send us some of their cold weather as Holly keeps track of our weather down here often. Ryan is doing very well in school and Tammy is hoping for a promotion soon. Jason only has one more semester in nursing school left and then wonderful possibilites should await him and his family.
In Sacrament Meeting today, a speaker,who has not been a member very long, shared a scripture in Proverbs about not withholding correction from a child and if he is beaten with a rod he will not die. I felt he did not understand and was very grateful when the Stake President, who taught the 5th Sunday lesson about the Power of the Word of God, reminded us what the rod in the scriptures represents. I don't know if he planned it or was guided by the spirit, but he brought out very powerfully how the rod spoken of in the scriptures is the word of God and that is what we use with our children. It was a wonderful way to teach this man without criticising him, and I hope he understood.
I just read today the Conference talk by Elder Craig Christensen on the Holy Ghost and so much was added to my understanding. Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith taught "the Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with Heavenly beings." Elder Christensen said we all have experiences with the Holy Ghost, even though we may not always recognize them. This really impacted me to know this as I have wondered how the Spirit speaks to me and if he really does.
The experience with his son as they visited a temple open house, caused me to think of my grandchildren and how I hope they are having experiences with the Holy Spirit and that their parents are preparing them for such experiences.
Elder Avery went today with Elder Christensen and Elder Boateng to visit Peter and teach him and see how interested he really is in the church. He had quite a story to tell and the gospel would bring such meaning and purpose into his life if he will let it. I hope we don't have to be firm with him, as he knows where we live and came to our apartment needing food. We gave him a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread, but need to let him know in the future that he has to strive to be self-reliant and not feel like the world is against him.
Speaking of missionary work; a letter from the missionary department to President Judd said that by February, the count of missionaries will increase to 61,500 and by July there could be 70,000 missionaries, and that new missions will be created in July. I know it sure keeps me busy in the office as I received seven more applications this past week. That makes 9 for Feb 20, 17 for April 3, and 5 for May 15 so far. It is an exciting time to be serving.
I pray that this new year will find us increasing in our desire to share this wonderful gospel!