When I feel the sweat run down the small of my back, I know what is coming. We will probably have a couple of weeks more with some rain, but then it will be as I remember it almost one year ago. It amazes me how much we have adjusted to this land and its climate and culture. The horn honking doesn't even affect me any more and I no longer have a desire to roll down my window and scold the trotros and taxis as they try to get ahead of us on the road. I will add very quickly, however, that I will not miss it either.
What a great group of missionaries we greeted on Wednesday. They were full of enthusiasm and ready to go to work, even when I told them I looked forward to seeing them washing their clothes by hand when we inspect their apartments. We had one missionary that had to go to the Provo MTC because his visa had been delayed. He was the first new missionary, that I know of, that got to eat the farewell dinner of missionaries going home. He arrived the day before the missionaries come from the Ghana MTC, but he will adjust and fit right in very quickly.
We have had missionaries lose family members this past week. Some were expected losses, but not all. A missionary, that arrived in the August transfer, had his father pass away very suddenly just this week. I am sad to admit it, but I have been in the learning process of the purpose of trials and affliction for much too long. Since we received this news, I have been reading even more about the tests of this life. I appreciate the words of those who have greater faith than I do, and I long to be as they are. These wise words say that God in His omniscience knows what is in our heart, but we need the same knowledge for ourselves. Elder Orson F. Whitney said, "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our heart, expands our soul, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God...and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven." This total trust and acceptance is what I diligently strive for each day. I do not know if this young missionary will go home or if he will stay, but he first response was to stay.
Elder Curtis, West Africa Area President, and his dear wife visited Senchi today. They travel to Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and other West Africa countries often, but when they do not travel they like to visit a ward or a branch. We were blessed to have them choose to visit us today. Sister Curtis came into sharing time and I was so proud of the children as they said their parts for the Sacrament Program and sang as I have never heard them sing. I told them last week that a child that sings is a happy child and I asked them if they believe they are happy children and they all said yes!
Our program is not until October 27th, but when children have not done a program like this before, I felt we needed to start early (we have District Conference one of the Sundays). These children do not seem to get bored with repetition as that is the way they are taught in their schools. We will practice in the chapel (you would be so grateful for the chapel you have) one of the Sundays and the children are excited to speak into the microphone. Stay tuned to the final report on the 27th, and maybe you will pray that all will go well right along with me.
Well, earlier mornings to Senchi, now that my companion is in the branch presidency, make one tired couple by this time of day. We have apartment inspections tomorrow and some more catching up to do this week. We are skyping with our Shelton family in a few minutes. Some missionaries just came into the office and said couples get quite a few 'perks', and we said it would be something for them to look forward to some day; sure are delightful young men.
Sister Avery (mom, grandma)