Sunday, March 30, 2014

Our Final Week!

Tuesday we spent the first night of our 15 day stay in the Anchillary Building, which added another unique experience to our mission. The Ancillary is where the temple missionary couples live, as well as some of the other couples, and is located on the temple grounds. Patrons coming to the temple from Ghana stay here as well as those places in West Africa that do not have a temple. Our room is the size of a motel room with a double bed and is wall to wall with our luggage, etc. The kitchen we share with Sister Martin (temple worker from Nigeria) is located off the dining room down the hall from our room. There are two more kitchens that the patrons use when they come to the temple. It was a busy time with the Saints that were there from Cote d' Ivoire, which is the country Ivory Coast. As I prepared some of our meals, I enjoyed listening to the singing of these French speaking people as they sang the hymns and shared testimonies in what seemed to be a devotional meeting. These dear people travel 3 days, with their children, on a bus to go to the temple. They spend a week or two doing temple work, and then travel back to their homes. They bring their own food with does not need refrigeration (Sister Judd said what this was but I did not write it down), and work together to make this a spiritual experience. I believe they do this twice a year and I call this truly honoring the covenants they have made in the temple. I would not be surprised if, in the not too distant future, they will have a temple built in their land.

We have had a busy four days since Elder and Sister Crisp arrived.We have shown them shopping places but mainly have been teaching what their responsibilities will be in the office. They are very willing but definitely feel over-whelmed, which I so understand when reflecting on the beginning of our mission. They will have their first experience at apartment inspections tomorrow and then more office work. I know the Lord will bless them and once we are gone and they rely on Him, they will be able to remember what they need to do and be a great asset to the mission.

My companion was released today in Senchi as the counselor in the branch presidency. Brother Amake (sp) was sustained and will be a great asset to the branch. He and his wife have invited us to eat with them after meetings next Sunday, and was surprised that we travel to Senchi from Accra every Sunday morning. We don't feel that a big deal should be made of this but it gets mentioned quite often. I again express how blessed I feel to have had this opportunity. I told the children that I will remember them and say prayers for them and I encouraged them to stay strong in the Church and serve missions and be good mothers and fathers one day. There is so much more I could share but I am just plain tired tonight.  One more quick thought, because the water was off in Senchi and in Kpong, we had to go to Kpong for the baptisms today where a water truck brought water to fill the font. There was seven people baptized from the Senchi, Kpong, Odumase, and Akuse Branches which is a reflection on the great missionaries we have and the dear people who recognize this is the gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the earth.

This is Millicent on the left and Comfort on the right. I have really enjoyed this girls and was tickled how Comfort just cuddled right next to me.

This is Emmanuel who has been dear to my heart since the first time I met him. He listens to carefully each Sunday as I teach.

This is Patrick who I have been teaching piano to in Senchi after the meetings.
This is Brother Okuna showing proudly his church keys. He is a dedicated man who is at the church when we arrive at 8:00 am with the CD player going with music, makes sure the building is ready for the Sunday meetings, and prepares the Sacrament when the young men are not there.

These are Elders: Vernon, Strong,(on the left) and Turley, and Brighton on the right. I didn't realize that Brother Okuna also got in this picture too. Good for him.

This is Simon, Kenneth and Patience (Juliana) with Elder Avery on the baptism day of Patience.
She is the one we bought fruit from and the whole family has joined the Church and is preparing to be able to do baptisms in the Temple. A great family.

Well it has been a good Sabbath Day and we are always richly blessed. I have always found that when writing down the happenings of the week (daily too) I look at them from a better, more positive perspective than when I was experiencing them. I guess I recognize my blessings more clearly during the process.

With love,
Sister Avery (mom, grandma)

1 comment:

Chad said...

Way to make me cry! :-) I couldn't keep back the tears as I looked at those pictures and read your expressions of love and respect and gratitude for all of them and the time you have spent with these precious people. I know it is the Spirit That is powerfully witnessing to me that you have done a great work there, a work that will bless you and your posterity as well as these choice and wonderful people. I understand exactly what those are feeling as they express gratitude and deep respect for your willingness to drive all that way each Sunday. It is a great sacrifice of monumental significance that you have given to these precious children of our Heavenly Father. I have so very proud of you and John L. I also felt a strong impression that our parents have rejoiced in which you have done there and the wonderful woman/daughter that you have become. I love you so very much!