We are having lots of heavy rain lately. I feel for the people who make their living by selling on the streets. Even though the rain comes and goes during the day, they certainly can't be making as much money as when they can be selling without having to stop for the rain. I also wonder about how weather proof their little shacks are. Last evening, we took Linda home after her piano lesson because the rain was so hard. As we traveled to her home, we had to go through an area that is called Zonga (slums). Apparently this is a term that is used for many of these kinds of areas. It is many different ethic groups, but mainly Muslim, that live in this area. I thought I had already seen the worst living conditions, but this topped all I have seen thus far. There was garbage everywhere and the rain just made it look so much worse. There was a large,deep,cement culvert with "shops" lined on both sides, that was flowing fast and deep with dirty water mixed with garbage. Most of the time there is much greenery that I can concentrate on so I don't focus so much on the poverty, but there was none to experience there. Oh how grateful we should be for what we have even if we feel we don't have much. There definitely is wealth here, but sooo many live pretty much as I have described.
We recently received instruction from the Missionary Department that our mission is to act as the parent mission for the new Ghana Accra West Mission. That means that the missionaries that are being assigned to that mission need to have a welcome letter and it has to come from us. The new mission will be official on July 1st, and then the new mission president will be responsible for contacting the missionaries. Until then, it has to come from us and so I have been doing letters for all of them as well as our own. I am always so grateful when missionaries have email addresses to send the letters, but the African and Island missionaries don't and it is difficult where to send them. I cannot access their contact information to find a branch, stake, or mission president to help send the letter through pouch, because it is not our mission. I am mostly having trouble with some of them from Nigeria. I have emailed the Nigerian missions but only heard back from one of them and will need to follow up with them on the urgency of this matter. Wow, does a mission every stretch a person. I am sure there are other mission secretaries out there doing the same thing and I guess that somehow helps to think that.
I am so proud of my companion and how he takes all these calls from the missionaries about their apartment, phone, and money problems, and does it cheerfully. I am the one who says "if we get one more call about a problem, I will not answer the phone." Oh it can be over-whelming, but he never acts like it and handles each one with love and encouraging words. He does challenge them, at times, to think how they can solve the problem themselves when he thinks that is possible for them.
Senchi was good today, although I had primary by myself again. My companion came in again to sit with Nelson and Cephas and feels they are doing better. They don't have a father figure in their life and I think they just need the attention and, of course, discipline. We had a branch council meeting after the block and much was expressed about how the new converts need to have a calling. We talked about how training can take place and that they can learn and grow as they serve. It is a concept that our branch presidency are not sure will work because some of the people don't read and write.. I was sad to hear such feelings expressed. Yes there will probably be many times that people will not accept,or even if they do, not be committed to the work. But what if that is just what they need and they blossom because of the opportunity. One certainly doesn't have to read and write to go as a home teacher or visiting teacher to love another person and encourage them, or use a talent they have with them There is so much potential in everyone and we must allow ourselves to see as the Lord sees. After this we went to visit Julana and Nelson and Cephas. When she joined the church, that put an end to having a place to live. She asked an old man to let her and her boys live in a portion of his place. I saw the mat that they sleep on on the cement floor with no blanket for padding or warmth during the rainy season. We will be taking things to her next week for sure. We then visited a counselor in the district presidency and his wife and daughter. Because of all the rain, we choose not to take our vehicle all the way to his place, so we walked a good distance to get there. I have the beginnings of a blister on the bottom of my foot from not having the proper shoe for the walk, but it was worth it all. His wife is the teacher for the primary that has not been coming and I hope our coming to visit made a difference. I told Elder Amumi that he was inspired to take us there. Brother and Sister Boateng and Heidi-Lynn were pleased that we came.
Well it has been a long day so I will close and express how grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. This, of course, includes all our siblings and their loved ones. They are always in our prayers.
Sister Avery (mom,grandma)