Sunday, July 21, 2013

Returning with Honor!

Whenever I get over-whelmed with mission life, I remind myself that I want to do the very best I can each day; even to return with honor. I have been reading, a loud, the Conference issue as we travel to Senchi each Sunday. I was strengthened by the words of Elder Scott and Elder Cook when they talked of peace. Each shared important personal insights that I will reflect on each time I need to be reminded of who is in charge. "When you feel that there is only a thin thread of hope, it is really not a thread but a massive connecting link, like a life preserver to strengthen and lift you. We need not worry if we can't simultaneously do all the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He ha spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time."  Ugo Betti said: "To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises." I admire people who express that the challenges of life come as wonderful surprises. In spite of the those occasional times of weakness, I know that the greatest assurance we have for peace is to live an obedient life, firmly rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have in our mission, two dear missionaries by the name of Sister Kalola and Sister Quattara. The first is from Namibia, and the second is from Cote d' Ivoire. Sister Quattara has a beautiful French accent and Sister Namibia is a very striking, tall, woman who is dreadfully afraid of lizards. In describing that their apartment has lizards in it (that puts it mildly), that have not appreciated my companion's humor when he says to make dinner out of them. I gave the suggestion that maybe some of the children in their ward could come and catch them and they liked that better. It was also suggested that they find every possible opening and stuff it with plastic bags or paper. It will be interesting to hear of the outcome of this adventure that adds 'spice' to our mission life.

Elder Caleb, who is from Samoa and helped me with contacting Elder Mauga's bishop, loves to sing and has a good singing voice. One day I surprised him and started singing the Hawaiian Wedding song and in a few seconds, he joined in. I told him that I sang it at my wedding reception, although the setting was not Hawaii. It was delightful few moments in reflection of 44 years of marriage and more to come.

Friday night we enjoyed a meal with missionaries from the area office, the two missions, and the MTC. There was good soups, rolls, and desserts that we all were assigned to bring. We were introduced to the new Director of Affairs and his wife, and President Hill and his wife of the new Ghana Accra West Mission. I was amazed and humbled at the experience these couples have had, and their desire to continue serving the Lord in whatever way they are asked. It was good to have a little diversion from the normal routine and enjoy good company. We also found out that Tema (MTC is located there) is considered the center of the earth. Someone must have done their research because I don't understand all of it. It has something to do with the Equator and that when the two dividing points of the earth meet, it is considered the center of the earth and that is in Tema. I didn't explain that very well, but I challenge my grandchildren to check it out.

We had 4 baptized today in Senchi. I was humbled by a more mature woman, who struggled from the effects of a stroke, climb those steps and then down steps into the waters of baptism. She had those that were helping her, of course, but I feel it took a lot of courage and a love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The missionaries questioned themselves, as well as the branch presidency, as to whether she should go ahead with her baptism. They were wondering how she will get to church each Sunday and so she would just become another inactive member. Elder Avery reminded them that that is not a reason to deny someone of the blessings of entering the Lord's kingdom by being baptized. He also reminded them that someone on the branch could be given a specific assignment or calling to bring her each Sunday. Brother Adjei brought her today, so the branch presidency needs to follow through on that. It was a tender experience and the Heavens smiled down on her.

Primary continues to have its challenges(part of why I struggled today) but we will continue to press forward. I have submitted a script to consider for a Sacrament Presentation in October and need to keep encouraging the leaders as well as the children. I think language is still an issue but I keep praying that the Spirit will teach them and they will grow in the gospel. The branch is definitely growing and with that comes needed improvements in the old building to allow for that growth. It is good to be a part of it all and to have the opportunity to continue to better myself in the process.

With love,
Sister Avery (mom,grandma)

1 comment:

Chad said...

Like you, I have found the Conference talks to be full of so much good meat for the soul. They always bring me so much comfort and strength, like they are written exactly for the things I need when I read them. Good stuff! I love your descriptions of the missionaries, the things they are experiencing and your associations with them. I love hearing all of it and thank you for taking the time to share such good stuff. I love you!