The Collegiate Singers from BYU-Idaho held concerts in the Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Ghana Accra Missions. The performed at eleven places in these missions and were well received. There purpose in coming was in praise of faith, country and international brotherhood. I did not know this, but BYU-Idaho operates 80 satellite facilities world-wide, including two in Accra. In these locations a fine tertiary education is available to qualifying students at minimal cost. Called Pathway, this approach to higher education combines secular learning with religious and moral development. A choir of Pathway students performed with the Collegiate Singers one of those nights and it was the night we attended. They sang the Ghanaian National Anthem and also a song in one of the languages, which I think was Twi, and did a great job. They did some numbers with drums which was a big hit with the people. The Impossible Dream, one of my favorite, was sung by all the men of the Collegiate Singers. There were words to some of the songs in our program, as these were special arrangements of scripture. One was the scripture where Nephi says, "O wretched man am I"---Awake, my soul! rejoice, my heart! and let me praise again the Lord my God, who is my rock and stay. Another beautiful arrangement was, "children all over the world, we shall rise up in unity, we shall rise up in harmony, we shall rise up in faith, we shall rise up in love, we shall rise up in dignity, we shall rise up in charity, we shall rise up in faith, we shall rise up in hope, Children all over the world, we shall rise!" Yes, we must all rise to the greatness within each of us made possible through the Atonement of our Savior.
I have a correction to make from my last blog. It is regarding the woman that was Muslim and came to Ghana and converted to Christianity. She came from the country of Mali which is all Muslim and Christians are treated with contempt, even death. In Ghana, there are many Muslims, but they and the Christians live side by side with no hostility. Ghana has many problems, mainly because of political dealings (we know about that, right), but it really is a peace-loving country, especially when compared with some of the neighboring countries.
We have a missionary couple serving as Public Relation missionaries and I was excited to find out that he wrote the book that became a favorite of mine. His name is Terry C. Warner and he wrote the book "Bonds that make us Free." He has also written other articles and I have listened to his lectures on BYU TV. He and Sister Warner were instrumental in organizing the advertising for the Collegiate Singers that recently performed, and are involved with an open house that is held one night every week at the Temple grounds Stake Center. I am always amazed at how small the world really is when you can meet someone, whose work you admire, thousands of miles away in Ghana.
I must share a name I am called by several of the people we work with and have become close too. I understand it is a said out of respect and I feel honored and hope I am deserving. When I first heard it, I thought they were calling me Mame (sp), but found out they were saying Mum, which is the same as Mom. It must be because of the grey hair and all the wisdom that comes with it, ha ha. Anyway, it is a delight to be called that and it helps a little with family so far away.
Primary was all on me today, which was a surprise, but then I shouldn't be too surprised. I need to visit with the others that it is a courtesy that they let me know when they won't be there. The lesson was on the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and sharing time was on the Priesthood being conferred on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. I had Thomas, a 14 year old recent convert, come and talk on the Aaronic Priesthood part, and Elder Avery on the Melchizedek part. Thomas is such an intelligent young man and did a wonderful job. In fact, he pulled out his notes from his pocket but put them back and spoke from his heart. We really praised him! After church today, he pulled Elder Avery aside and told him that he leaves for boarding school soon and that he is sponsored to go and so has his meals provided every day, but on Sunday he is given only a piece of bread. Well, of course, we gave him some money and told him he would need to be wise with it so it would sustain him over a longer period of time. Anyway, there was more to our day than a tired missionary can write, so I will just say it was a good day.
I finished up with the hemming of some curtains for the new apartments we are needing with so many missionaries coming. I also wanted to spruce up our apartment some, much to my companions unspoken reluctance. I found some decent curtains in a cupboard in our apartment, and fixed them so they could be hung and washed the dirty sheers that were already hanging, and even he said it made things look better. I appreciated his help in the project. We also had a bare kitchen window, so I found a sheet in the cupboard that had some vines of yellow roses on it, and cut and hemmed it so it made a nice curtain for the kitchen. That and fixing meals for lunches for the coming week, took all of Saturday, but it was well worth it.
Well, it is getting late and we still need a little dinner. The peanut butter sandwich and apple we eat on the way home from Senchi was hours ago and a little something before going to bed will help until morning.
Sister Avery (mom,grandma)