We so need couple missionaries, and I am sure this is true all over the world. This coming Tuesday, we lose Elder and Sister Lyon (our African lyons) who have served in Ho, and on May 16th, we lose Elder and Sister Dalton who have served in Abomosu. The Daltons' have been instrumental in many couples receiving their Temple Endowments and being sealed as families. They even have had children named after them, which says a lot about their service among the people. Elder and Sister Scoville have only been here since September, a month before us, but recently returned home for medical reasons that were just not being resolved here. They plan to come back and we sure hope so. That leaves only Elder Avery and I, and President and Sister Judd. We do have the Nielsons who are coming on June 3rd, and the Cosgraves' who are coming August 11th. However, we are moving farther north in Ghana, and more will be needed in the future, plus there will be the Ghana Accra West Mission on July 1st.
I have been busy getting all the paper work done for missionaries being released May 14th. It requires arranging their flight itinerary, letting parents and mission/stake presidents know of their release date, and preparing their release certificates and letter to their priesthood leader. It was a bitter/sweet moment for these missionaries when I first called them a month ago to arrange the airport closest to their home. It becomes a reality at that point, and is exciting, yet also a time of wondering how their mission went so quickly. It will be nice to not have any missionaries going home in June, as we have 27 that are coming in June, but that just means more apartments to acquire and furnish. In other words, the work continues to move forward and we are needed to move with it. It is not about our being left behind if we don't move either. It is simply that we must move and do all we can, and trust that the Lord will strengthen us, give us ideas, and make it all possible.
We had a wonderful District Conference in Kpong today (k is silent). (For those who may not know, Branches are under the leadership of a District President and the Mission President is over all the Branches and Districts. There are many Wards and Stakes, but they are in the Greater Accra Region. The Branches are in the Eastern and Volta Regions.) I am so amazed with the spiritual knowledge and understanding of these leaders. We were taught to strengthen our families in the gospel and for love and harmony to permeate our homes. One young women was asked to share her testimony and told us of an experience she had with her co-workers where she bore testimony so strongly of chastity and the word of wisdom. I was so emotionally moved by her strong conviction or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Another young father talked of how the very chapel we were meeting in was built on marshy land that no one else wanted, but because it was reinforced and built on a good foundation, it is secure and strong. He compared that to building our families on a sure foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,..." whereon if men build, they will not fall." Another spoke of being one with God and with each other. A counselor in the District Presidency spoke eloquently on the Law of Tithing. Sister Judd spoke on the Gift of Christ's Atonement and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. President Judd had a lovely women and her child come to the front where he told how he met her. It was when Elder Scott Grow was here visiting and being shown the areas in the mission. President Judd saw this women in a crowd of people and felt he needed to make contact with her. When he stopped the car and asked her to come speak with him, he found out that she came from Tamale (t is silent), a land far north of us. The northern part of Ghana is predominately Muslim. Anyway, she had left her homeland and converted to Christianity. Because of this act of President Judd's she is now being taught by the
missionaries. (Our Elder Amumi and Elder Royce, of the Senchi Branch, are also teaching a mother of two young children who is Muslim. Her family is angry with her about this choice she is making and she doesn't know what the future holds for her if she joins the church.) President Judd finished his remarks by saying that the way is opening for the gospel to go forth among this people and we need to spiritually prepare ourselves more deeply. He expressed his love for the people and reminded them that they are a great people, that Ghana is a choice land, and that they must not let the spiritual decline that is happening in his own country, happen to them.
We have an easier apartment inspection tomorrow which I always welcome. We will just inspect the apartment of the Assistants, Office Elders and two other Elders that live in the Mission Home compound. We just have to walk across the courtyard so I am a happy person already.
I was delighted with the scripture bag made out of Kental that arrived to our Xander in plenty of time for his birthday. He just turned 8 years old and will be baptized and was delighted with the colors of his bag. Brother Attisso did a great job choosing the colors for this fun-loving grandson and Xander can say it came all the way from Ghana Africa.
Sister Avery (mom & grandma)