Sunday, January 20, 2008
OUR FINAL GROUP
Two years later and a lifetime full of memories our day of departure has arrived. We waited to take this photo on the day that both the incoming President and his wife (Harmon from Provo Utah) could be here and the departing President and his wife (Nielson from Canada (Mt. View) could both be in the picture. The second reason it is so late is that our three missionaries from Sierra Leone did not arrive until Tuesday evening being five days late for the beginning of our program. Coupled with that we were able to go to the Temple twice this week as it won't be open for the balance of the month ... but at any rate, here they are - 25 missionaries and one volunteer (Sister Wellington)who was willing to come (she's waiting for her call to come) so that Sister Oweseni could have a companion while she was here. The group is made up of six french speakers (4 from the Congo and 2 from Ivory Coast) and 20 english speakers hailing from: United States (2), Sierra leone (3), Ghana (9) and Nigeria (6). We have grown to love them in the 9 days we've been with them and I know the Harmon's will also love them when they leave in 10 days. We are grateful for this experience - we have trained over 800 missionaries in the two years we've been here and go home with a bit of trepidation in regards to keeping busy, doing meaningful things, and -20 winter conditions!!!! This is a great country with good people whom we've grown to love very much.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Imagine our surprise to learn that the young couple that had come from Ivory Coast with no appointment and no family to be sealed to each other, that everyone was rushing about to accomodate, was our very own Soeur Kouadio. She began her mission April 24, 2006. She certainly is one of the very best of the Sister missionaries that we have seen. The families of the couple were giving much opposition to their marrying so soon after her mission...so they finally came to Accra...were married and came immediately to the temple to be sealed. We were able to stand in for her family...and as things turn out...the newly arrived couple from the US, Elder and Sister Cobb, were working in the temple office and realized that they had taught and baptized the young man that would eventually find Sister Kouadios husband in Ivory Coast and lay the foundation for his conversion...so he felt like he had someone to stand in for his family. The sad part of the story is...that she is now in Ivory Coast and he is looking for work in Ghana. We don't know if they have told their parents or not yet. We do know it is not good for young couples to begin their married life apart...hopefully things will work out quickly for them.
Our Christmas Group - two photos for the price of one
This is what they looked liked the first Sunday they were with us - fourteen wonderful young people - two from the United States, one from England, one from Sierra Leone, one from Togo, four from Ghana and five from Nigeria. Sister Nielson had had a day's experience with our Elder from Togo ( Elder Abangbeji) - although a french speaker he has been called to serve in an English speaking mission ( Nigeria Lagos East ) - but the day Sister Dil and Sister Nielson spent shopping in Togo, he was their translator and guide -- so it was wonderful to welcome him here at the MTC. Christmas followed hard upon the heels of their arrival and so we had to have our celebration two days after the above picture was taken - so here they are (below) resplendent in the Kente weave ties and scarves that "Santa" delivered on Christmas morning. It is a welcomed, small group and will be the final group that we send out into the mission field as the next incoming group will be sent out by President and Sister Harmon. We'll only be with them for 7 days.
Editor note - sorry this was so late posting - it has been almost three weeks since we could access the blogger spot on the web and down load pictures!!!
Monday, December 10, 2007
November 30 Group
Sorry this posting is a little late - our missionary from South Africa missed his initial flight and had to wait two days for another - hence he wasn't here for a group picture on the first Sunday, so we waited and took it on the second Sunday the group were here. Those following the blog will recognize that the setting for the picture changed - No, not that we wanted all to know and see that we have a Christmas tree set up, but rather because this group earned the prize for the world's best squinters!!!! Our outdoor picture (even though we took four) found the majority of the missionaries with their eyes either fully or partially shut - so we retook it indoors where open eyes were the order of the day. This group is composed of 5 missionaries from the United States, two of which are of Tongan roots, one from New Zealand (going to President Dil's mission (they are from New Zealand also)), one from South Africa, four from NIgeria, three from Ghana, and four french speakers- three from the DRCongo and one from Rep. du Congo - a total of 19 and quite a relief after having had the large group of 41.
Monday, November 12, 2007
This Is the Biggie...
Here we all are...the greatest number of missionaries we have received thus far!! However, these 41 missionaries only represent 6 countries. Some of our smaller groups have had missionaries from up to 12 countries represented. Our largest contingency is from Nigeria, accounting for 23 of the group. After that we have Ghanaians, Americans, 2 from England, 1 from Liberia and 1 from Sierra Leone....so we are hearing English with several different and distinctive sounds emanating through the halls.
These missionaries continue to amaze us at their ability to come together and be congenial and to live together in harmony. Too bad we can't put the Middle East in an MTC and ease things in that part of the world!!!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Coming and going ... Busy time at the MTC
All good things must come to an end, but sometimes the end can be quite unique... As we prepared to launch our latest group of missionaries, it became clear that it needed to be done in a different and interesting fashion. Because the Mission Presidents seminar commences on Thursday...it was necessary for all missionaries headed for Nigeria to fly out Monday morning so that their Mission Presidents would still be there to receive them. However, for the Cape Coasters, it seemed best for their Mission President to greet them, interview them, orient them and then send them directly to the areas that they would be working. President and Sister Dil were just returning from Togo and Benin with 11 missionaries on their way home. We were able to host them all and it was a good time...watching the "old timers" interact with the "newcomers". The top photo is President and Sister Dil with the "newcomers." The bottom photo is the same group with the addition of the Elders that are just finished their missions. Quelle qualite !!!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Primary Presentation in the land of Togo
We were able to visit Togo with President and Sister Dil of the Ghana Cape Coast Mission. It is a French speaking country. While there we visited two branches on Sunday. This is the primary in one of the branches and they gave their Sacrament Meeting presentation that day. Formidable!!! Each one was well prepared and most gave their part from memory. Their group was small...but they sang with all their hearts. The music was led by one of the small girls. It confirmed what we already had learned...that Primary helps develop confident, able children, who love their Heavenly Father, all over the world.
You may not recognize this motley crew out of uniform(white shirt and tie). They are in order: President Nielson, President Dil, Elder Gillis and Elder Bayly. Elder Findlay chose not to brave the blistering sun to chase a little ball. The Dils felt a little outnumbered...as they come from New Zealand and the other four couples come from Alberta, Canada....so mostly, we were speaking Canadian...EH!
Cape Coast By ways - and Hi ways
Sure was glad we had a good car to take us back to Tema - as we put the suitcases in the trunk, a group of "friendlies" had gathered in the neighborhood. The most friendly ones found a perch on the roof of some of the bungalows - the more shy ones remained in the tree - a little farther away. These are the turkey vultures - about as ugly a bird as you can imagine - and not one (or more) than I would particularly like to let too close to. This is part of the highway going from Cape Coast to Busua - you can see that Ghana does have some very nice highways - their main drawback is that they go through every little town and as you enter there are two or three sets of speed bumps and as you leave there are two or three sets of speed bumps - so you go pretty slow through the towns - the other are the police with their radar guns - they seem to know just where speed can turn to profit and so driving requires being alert at all times. Actually Sister Nielson took the picture for the great African trees that we see everywhere - they are beautiful.
SOME RESTFUL TIME - VERY RELAXING
Some of the other couples had talked about Busua - in fact the Area Presidency had planned once to have the Mission Presidents' Seminar there - but it is about a 4 - 4 1/2 drive from Tema - too much travel - we didn't think we'd go either BUT a decision was made to fumigate the MTC - having lived through that a couple of times already, we knew we needed to be gone for a couple of days - local hotels were pretty expensive - in fact one night was the same as two down at Busua - so we took the long drive. The resort is right on the beach - the first picture is from our little cottage. Here Sister Nielson is standing on our little veranda - staying our of the rain because it rained for most of our time there. The Hotel was very clean and pleasant - but the restaurant a little expensive and not particularly good (according to others who had eaten their - so we walked about a half a block over to the a little hotel and restaurant run by a couple - he came from Saskatchewn - she is Ghanaian - we did meet her, but her husband was back home taking care of the harvesting there. Sister Nielson wanted everyone to know I was still alive and for only about the fourth day in 21 months, was not wearing a white shirt and a tie. Other than that there isn't much to react to in this picture except for the pleasant calming influence of the ocean. We had a very relaxing time.
WLI FALLS (AGAIN AT RAINY SEASON PEAK)
We thought Carolyn ought to see this waterfall - and the hike in and out also. Ordinarily we would not publish another picture, but the difference in the waterfall from July until October was unbelievable (check July 12 blog I believe it was). As we neared the falls this time we could hear a great roar and even while we were two hundred meters away the spray and moisture were so evident - we didn't even have to get close to get completely soaked - in the picture you can see the bridge leading closer to the pond at the foot of the falls - but we couldn't get much of a picture closer because of the mist and spray. Given the temperature was mid 30"s (95 F) - it was a very welcome feeling.
Our Present Group - 31 of the best!!
Initially our sincere apology for being so slow - we have struggled since October 3 (our last post) to get the Blog spot working - Even the past three days we've continued to try with no luck on our own machine. This hopefully is being published through the office machine - and to this point looks like its going to work.
These missionaries arrived on October 19 - to a well painted, well cleaned, well equipped
facilityand newly refreshed Mission President and Wife. The break (and we'll publish a couple of blogs if this continues to work) was wonderful, but we are so grateful now to have missionaries back in the MTC
- truly it is these young people that make this place so wonderful.
This group comes from: United States (5) - Elder Simmonds (Utah), Elder Morriss
(Washington), Elder Waite (Nevada), Elder Merrill (Utah), and Elder Hurst (Utah); Ghana (2) - Elder Mereku
and Elder Asamoah
; Nigeria (5) - Elder Etefia
, Elder Essien
, Sister Ohagwasim
, Sister Omokaro
-Benson, Elder Odigie
; Togo (1) - Elder Djoka
; D.R.Congo (4) - Sister Kakudji
, Elder Kankonde
, Elder Pala
, Elder Mbayo
; Cameroon (1) - Sister Gweth
; Ivory Coast (10) - Sister Kakou
, Elder Adou
, Elder Koffi
, Elder Gba
, Elder Tchimou
, Sister Irie
, Elder Loukou
, Elder Niambe
, Elder N'Dri
, Elder Bah; South Africa - Elder Moloi
, Elder Musetsi
, Elder Mogodi
. Within the group we have three Elders (Waite, Essien
) each of which comes from a different country (America, Nigeria, South Africa) - we call it our "Mini UN". Because of the odd number (31) - they are serving as a threesome and what a great adjustment they have had to make - each from a different country, speaking English with a different accent, having completely different cultural backgrounds and tendencies
, and yet as missionaries and servants of our Father in Heaven, they have achieved a unity and respect that should be admired by all. We appreciate them all and feel a great deal of potential and cooperation evident in this fine group of missionaries.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007