We had transfers this past Wednesday and with it came ten new missionaries; two from Australia, two from Sierra Leone, two from Liberia, one from Kenya, one from Nigeria, and two from USA. Sometime I want to read the history of Sierra Leone because it is a miracle that missionaries are coming from a country that suffered for ten years with 'civil war', and now the church is growing so much there. Anyway, when we reviewed the transfer in our weekly Friday Office Council meeting, we all felt that there were ways we needed to improve. The new missionaries were still well taken care of and were not aware of anything not working well, but we know that with twenty five new missionaries coming the third of April, we need to be more efficient in the whole process. Our missionaries numbers are at 168 (not couples) and will climb to about 200 before we split the mission in July. May and June transfers dates are gaining more missionaries regularly, and keep us busy planning for them, as we have to make sure we have apartments and that they are fully equipped. The news of 58 new missions throughout the world and three of those are in the West Africa Area, is exciting indeed. It is wonderful to be a part of it all.
Today we attended the Senchi Branch with President and Sister Judd, which is where we are being assigned. It takes 1 1/2 hours, one way, to drive to Senchi which is what we will be doing each Sunday for probably the rest of our mission. We saw a family of Baboons along the road, so I will need to get pictures for another blog. We go through two toll booths on the way there and two coming back,so at 1 cedi for each, that will add up. This has been a struggling branch for some time, but they still had about 65 in attendance. After Sacrament Meeting, I went to the primary and enjoyed the sweet children. I was able to help with the music and felt a part of the branch right away by doing so. We are not sure what the branch presidency will have us do for sure, but I would enjoy working in the primary. The two missionaries there are, Elder Nyarko and Elder Amumi and they have their apartment on the upper floor of the building they use for a church. I told them I could play for the meeting if there was a keyboard to use, which they said that there was. The singing without a piano was still very nice so we will see what happens for next week. I felt sad about leaving the Cantoments Ward and having to tell Brother Mensah that I would not be able to play the organ anymore, but that is what serving is all about.
I was able to contact the Church Music Department and apply for a keyboard for Linda. They agreed to send her one and it arrived this past week. She was so excited when I handed it to her at the piano lesson. I was required to have a contract written up that she and I signed indicating that it was just a loan and if she finished the entire course and if she agrees to teach others to play, she could apply to have the keyboard for her very own. She has a very willing spirit and now with a piano to practice at home, she should be able to progress well.
For some time now, I have noticed the young man that comes to take care of the yard at the apartment complex where we live. He has such a friendly welcoming smile and there was just something about him that impressed me. I approached him Saturday and learned that his name is John, that he goes to his family home in Nsawam on most weekends, and that yes, he would take the Book of Mormon to read and be willing to have missionaries visit him. I will send his information on to Elders: Bates, Owino, Bagazwaga, and Mea and see which set of missionaries will be in his area to teach him. I am really praying to be able to open up more and share this great message that we are privileged to have.
Well it is Sister Judd's birthday today and she has invited us and the missionaries that live in the Mission Office complex to have cake and ice cream with her and President Judd. It is always nice to socialize a little to break up the routine a bit.
Sister Avery (Mom, Grandma)