While everyone at home is looking forward to spring, we are looking forward to what would be called winter here. I don't think the people of Ghana actually refer to their seasons like we do, but I sure am appreciating so much more the change of the seasons that we have at home. We had two nights this past week that the power was off and sleeping is very difficult when we can't run the fan in the bedroom. We each bought a fan that we use at church meetings and this is what we each used to help us fall asleep. I think it would have been comical to watch us as we would fan ourselves, dose off, and then come to enough to fan ourselves some more. We also slept with our heads at the foot of the bed trying to feel the air-flow from our bedroom window to the window in the room across the hallway. One night we were lucky to have a breeze which we considered a blessing. Needless-to-say, we have put ourselves on the list to get our generator in working order.
Last Sunday, which was Fast Sunday, we were in the office doing our email and blog when Elder Gurr came into the office. I have spoken of Elder Gurr before and what a dedicated missionary he is and how we have had baptisms from the referrals I have given him. Anyway, he bore his testimony in that meeting about his mother being an alcoholic when he was young and how she had been excommunicated and now has become sober and has returned to activity and is waiting for her missionary son to come home and baptize her. He shared more of the story to us of how his parents had divorced, remarried and have kept in touch with each other. Both sets of parents have asked permission to come to Ghana in August to pick up Elder Gurr and I just received information that they have been granted permission. This is certainly one of the many blessings of serving a mission. President Judd knows many missionaries that have come from similar backgrounds and worse and are faithfully serving the Lord. It really humbles me to think of their sacrifice and willingness to serve, especially when my part has been so much easier.
As we travel, whether it is for apartment inspections, grocery shopping, or to and from the office, we often see handicapped people who try to learn a living and not just beg. There are quite a few of them that do beg, but I really applaud those who peddle a bike with an awkward load attached and are able to only peddle with one leg while the other hangs loose, or use a single crutch to balance themselves while they sell goods on the streets. That is how many of these people make a living and are called hawkers (sp), which is not a negative thing here. The items that are sold this way are so many that it would take a long time to list them but just think of everything that you can buy at a 'flea market', and then some, and it is right at your car window at every stop light. It is quite a sight to behold but honorable, none-the-less.
Peter Kofi Angmor was visitor to our door one evening in December. We were skyping with our family in Michigan when he knocked on the door. We had visited briefly and then let the missionaries know that he was interested. It has been a long couple of months with John L visiting him and the missionaries, encouraging him to come to church. With the invitations, we volunteered to go to his place, which is basically a shack, and give him a ride. Last Sunday he said he had a swollen knee so he couldn't go. This Sunday he wasn't ready, so John L said he would take me to the church so I could play the prelude music, and then would come back for him. When John L went back he still was ready, but this isn't the end of the story. We feel that because John L went back that it showed he was a man of his word and that it caused Peter to stop and think about his own words of telling us he would be ready and wasn't. Anyway, as we finished the three hour block of our meetings, who should we see coming down the stairs from the Jamestown Sacrament meeting but dear Peter. He looked so nice and radiated as we expressed how wonderful it was to see him. Elder Boateng and Elder Chaffetz stayed and went to the rest of the branch meetings with him even though they had already been to their meetings for the day. We pray that, since he has finally taken the first step and felt good about it, that he will continue to come. He has a friend named John that expressed a desire to come, so we will see. At the beginning, it seemed like Peter was wanting to contact the church because he wanted a hand-out from us and we just kept telling him that the gospel of Jesus Christ will do more for him, in the long run, and that we were not in a position to help him in that way. It has been a great experience to be involved in the missionary work in a different way than we do in the office every day. We see many that come to the office with the missionaries for special interviews for baptism with President Judd and hope to see Peter here some day.
We have a full week this next week with Elder Quentin L. Cook coming for a visit and I look forward to sharing what we hear from him. I am amazed how many General Authorities come here and what a blessing it is to be here experiencing it all. It all helps to make the nights with no air-conditioning a little more bearable.
Sister Avery (Mom, Grandma)