Sunday, January 19, 2014

It was good to be with the missionaries as we were taught by Elder Vinson this past Tuesday. I did not bring my notes with me as we came directly to the office from Senchi, but much was spoken on the importance of obedience and teaching by the Spirit. I was reminded of President Ezra Taft Benson's words, " When obedience ceases to become an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power." The wonderful gift called agency sure finds a lot of us making excuses for ourselves more often than is wise. I am grateful to be continually taught by the scriptures and by those called to strengthen us.

We went to Kpong on Saturday for leadership training meetings and these branch leaders are being given great instruction. I was able to see that many of these great people do understand and want to follow the policies and procedures of the Lord's Church. I had my first experience with what could be very annoying yet was comical at the same time. A sister who seemed to need to contribute (that's what they call giving a comment) quite often would say as she raised her hand, "I have my hand up". It continues to be an interesting experience serving in a culture so different from what I know. It was disappointing that President Ampomah could not be there as the Senchi Branch still has so much growing to do. The guidelines from the Church Handbook was stressed often and that is what my companion has been striving to get the leaders in Senchi to do. I think of how the Lord is 'Hastening His work' and they are holding the work back in their little spot in His vineyard.

There is a segment on the Church website called "Patterns of Light". One message was on how the Spirit speaks to us and was given in such a simple understanding way. Example:God will not send angels to tell us to pray when we forget, but teachings from our parents or others will come to our minds that remind us we need to pray. I especially appreciated the words that "God trusts us" and we do not need great manifestations to remind us continually of what is important in our lives. The scripture say that, "Everything that invites and entices us to do good is of God." That is how we know if our lives are on the right course.

Transfer days are this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. We have 5 missionaries completing their missions and 5 new missionaries coming. Our numbers have become much less since our big growth after the mission split in July. We have only one from the US and the others from Africa. One Elder is from Angola and has been at the Provo MTC learning English as he spoke only Portuguese. Since the first of the year, the MTC here in Ghana have added English and French to be available for the missionaries. There is to be a new MTC built right next to the Accra Temple, which will be a wonderful addition. It will probably take a long time to build unless the Church doesn't have the local people do it. That may not sound very nice, but building is such a slow process here. The church brought in contractors from the States when the temple was built, and we were told that people kept asking why it was not built with bricks as they had never seen such a process before.

We are anxiously looking forward to Tuesday as our daughter Ruth will be giving birth to a baby girl to be named Jovi. As is always the case, it is such a relief when news comes that mother and baby are doing well. We will have to wait until we can skype to see how Cooper and Avery respond to her, so in the meantime, I can only imagine how sweet and tender this will be. It is so fun to have babies still coming to our family. I am so blessed!

With love,
Sister Avery (mom,grandma)

1 comment:

Chad said...

Reading about what you guys are doing there coupled with how the Church and its members are there is most fascinating! That it works, that the Church continues to grow, that the work rolls on year after year, convert after convert in spite of our weaknesses and follies is truly a miracle! By the standards of corporate America or any successful or fast growing business in today's world, it doesn't seem like it would work, or that it's moving too slowly, or that things need to be speeded up, etc., etc.. But the Lord loves us, and he will never violate our agency, and he works by different means—means that the world really doesn't understand—to accomplish His glorious purposes. I really see our role as nothing more than humbly, patiently, submissively, adhering exactly to that principle you shared in your opening statement about obedience. And when we do that, the Lord can work His strange act—His miracle in our lives and the lives of all of His children—one at a time, here a little and there a little until He has reached all of His children. Wow, how awesome it is to be a part of it! Thank you for setting such a good example for the rest of us. I sure love you!