The time is sure getting close as to when our mission will be split. I only see a portion of what has to be done to make that all happen in the short time we have left. President Judd and the Assistants have so many decisions to make, in regards to placing Elders and Sisters, so that the new mission has strong missionaries to begin with. This needs to take place on this next transfer, which is the 15th of May as well as the 26th of June transfer. We have 16 new missionaries in May and 28 new missionaries in June. Because the Ghana Accra West mission will have different transfer days than us, that has to be a deciding factor also as to where to place the missionaries that are completing their mission in August. The 17 missionaries scheduled to leave in August will need their flight plans started very soon and that is one of the factors that makes this transition to a new mission challenging. If they are put in the West Mission, I arrange according to those release dates. If they are still in our mission, then I arrange according to our release dates. Needless to say, we pray for President Judd a lot!!
I keep wondering when the cooler weather is going to start, or if it will. Once in awhile, when it rains, I have hope, but it doesn't last long. Everyone here carries a cloth with them to wipe the sweat off them as they go about their daily activities. Yet, I see people wearing suits which I wonder how they can do it. Then there are those, that ride motorcycles, who wear coats on those days when the temperature is a FEW degrees cooler. But then when I think how they are wrapped in a cloth and carried on their mother's backs from the time they are first born, it makes a little more sense.
I feel grateful to have nice flowers, trees, and grass around our apartment. When I look out our kitchen window, to what could be called the back yard, it is interesting to watch the washing of clothes and hanging them to dry by Bubba mostly. His little room doesn't seem to have a place to cook, so from my observation, I believe the woman tenant cooks for him and he washes her clothes. She has a car and goes every morning at 6:30 to some kind of work and he takes care of the washing. I feel grateful also that we are on a city water line and our poly tank gets filled automatically. Many places have to have water delivered to fill their poly tanks and that it the cause of much of our missionaries water problems. The other is that we have to have pumps so that we have some water pressure so the water can flow into our apartments. Even though it is so different than home, I am so grateful for what we have.
Today was the Sunday that I think all of Ghana, if not more countries, watch a session or two of General Conference. The wards and branches receive a DVD and we watch a portion or all of the Saturday afternoon session so we can do the sustaining of the Church leaders, and then watch the Sunday morning session. It didn't quite go according to plan in Senchi, but it all worked out. We agreed with Sister Adjei that they should stop the English recording and do it in Twi so the people could understand better and that soon was taken care of; I think they were doing it just for us. After the session, we had a baptism of 2 boys and 2 girls from the same family. The parents had not had their interviews yet, so hopefully their baptism will be next Sunday. Princilla and Joy are the two girls and are in primary. I want to get them a CTR ring, Book of Mormon, and a Gospel In Action booklet to keep them moving forward in the Gospel. It happens a lot in these small branches where the programs just don't quite function as they should. I am trying to help change that, but it is a gradual process for sure.
Next Sunday after the meetings, we need to travel about 45 min. to Tsito to pick up one of Elder Thompson's suitcases so he doesn't have to pay an extra fee on the trotro. He completes his mission on the 14th of May and his father is coming to pick him up. His Dad is a brother to Jayne Smith who is our late Donna Avery's daughter-in-law. He said because we were practically family, he would bring me corn tortillas so we could make some real tacos. I wonder how it will all work, but I am so glad he is willing to try. Anyway, I am wanting to take some more pictures to put here, as we should see some more interesting country as we travel further north.
Speaking of the north, I had one of our missionaries call me and want me to find a branch in Tamale (taw-maw-lee, correction from an earlier blog). He has an investigator who will be returning to her home there and wants to connect with the Church. I first got on the Church's site to find if we even have missionaries there and we do. Tamale is in the far north of the Kumasi Mission and as of a couple of months ago, 8 missionaries were sent into that area. There is not a branch, but they have what is called a Group. This happens quite often, I guess, where the membership is so small. Anyway, I think it is exciting and I was able to email the Kumasi Mission and get a phone number of an Elder White that was transferred to Tamale. The missionary that asked me to find all of this out, actually knows Elder White and was excited to contact him about this investigator. I continue to be amazed at all that is taking place with the gospel filling the earth, which brings me to a neat part I found out about Tamale. It is a predominately Muslim country but because there are no militant groups occupied there, and no Islamic control in the government, there is no danger to Christians there. Exciting stuff!
Well, we are back to apartment inspections tomorrow and one of the apartments is in a new area and we do not have coordinates in the GPS for that one. We will really have to rely on the missionaries to come meet us at a spot that we can get to, so it could get interesting. Happy trails to us!!
PS Our Xander was baptized and confirmed yesterday. We are so proud of him for accepting this wonderful ordinance. Our Jason graduated from Suu with honors. We are so proud of him!
Sister Avery (mom & grandma)