Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of June 2012

This is the house that our ward meets in,  the garage is the Primary room

By Greg:
We have been missionaries for a month now if you count the few days we were at home and our time in the MTC.  In some ways it seems like only days, and others, a small life time.
This former guest house is the Bishop's and Clerks'Offices and at the back is the missionaries apartment

The Church is not that easy to find, but we know the way!

We attend the Ofankor Ward.  It meets in a rented building that used to be a home.  There is a large room in front that serves as the chapel.  Around behind there are former bedrooms that are classrooms.  The garage is the primary room.  There is a guest house that is the missionaries' quarters and the Bishop and Clerks offices.

They have built this outdoor faunt for baptisms
They built an outdoor faunt.  Baptisms are held here and they just set up chairs on the driveway.

This is the road to the church.  It is under construction.  We take several roads and even a pretty modern (Ghana standards) highway and then we turn off onto this.  We are currently using a motor pool car.  It is a Toyota Corolla.  It is pretty tricky not to high center along this path.  Notice the car coming is way to the right.  There are no established lanes on dirt roads.  It is every car to themselves!

On our Saturday excursion in the mud we came across these four Elders.  Two are from Nigeria, one is from Liberia and one is from Spanish Fork, Utah.  By the way, that is an open sewer next to them.  The rain is cleaning it out. 

This is the chapel these Elders attend.  This is typical of the buildings that the Church builds.  It is very clean and well kept.  There are not very many like this.
These ladies are waiting to attend the Temple.  Sister Haws and I had just returned from the market.  We went to both a store and a street market.  At the street market we bought our fruits and vegetables.  When I saw them I put the basket on my head.  There were others and they all started to laugh.  They thought it was so funny to see a white man carring a load on his head.  One of the other women ran over to me and said, "Oh, that is so heavy, let me carry it for you."  I could not let her do that, but they still laughed at me.
It was a pretty heavy load.  The women have a little cap that they wrap with cloth to shield their heads.  We saw a poor woman who had been carrying eggs.  She had tripped and lost most of her eggs.  It was on a very busy section of the road.  We tried to go back and help her/  She was crying.  She would have either bought those eggs already, or she would have to pay for them.  We said that if we ever see that again, we will stop and give her some money.  It was so sad and we felt so bad for not helping.  They keep telling us we cannot solve all of the problems in Africa.  Well, we could have helped her!
There is a funny story about this couple.  They are French speaking members from Togo.  The man's name is Tojo.  I called him Tojo from Togo.  They are engaged to be married in the temple.  Every morning Sister Haws and I go out at 6:00 am and walk around the Temple for 45 minutes to an hour for exercise.  I have never worn a hat before, and I normally do not fix my hair.  I do wear a white shirt, but no tie.  This morning (Saturday) I decided to wear my BYU cap.  This again was the first time.  Three young adult men (Tojo was one of them) came right over to us and asked if they could take our picture.  Oh, they get up early too.  I soon realized that he really wanted a picture of the hat.  As we stood on the steps of the Temple, I had the idea to put the cap on Tojo's head.  He was so happy and proud and after the pictures said thank you, thank you and ran off.  I had given him my hat!  Soon he came back with her.  Some of his friends wanted to wear his hat, but he would not have it.  ""Elder Haws gave it to me!" Well, he has a future in the Church.  He will marry in the Temple.  He speaks English.  He is currently the Executive Secretary in his branch that one day soon will be a ward and he maybe the Bishop.  So, when he is, he will have a nice BYU hat.
At home, I give my grandchildren candy.  That is what grandpas do.  Well, there are so many children here, especially here in this building.  They come with their parents.  Some to be sealed as a family, some just to come back.  The teenagers do baptisms.  At the store I found strips of 7 suckers for 1.49 GHc (about 75 cents) so I bought 10.  This would give me 70 suckers.  Oh what a scene I made.  I tried to just give them to the children, but as you can see, these young women all wanted to be part of the party.  There were older women who wanted one too.  (Did you notice the Elders were eating a sucker as I took their picture in the mud?)  Oh well, I will just buy more.  I high five the kids and young men, or give them knuckles or shake their hands or all three.
Sister Haws spends a lot of time cleaning our food that we buy at the street market.  First it is rough cleaned--mud and loose stuff, then it is washed in sink water and soap, then in bleach solution.  Hey you former Burger Bar back room workers, remember doing this with the lettuce.  Then we keep it all in the fridge and try to eat it before is spoils. I am so thankful for her hard work and her desire to keep us safe and healthy.

We went for a drive yesterday while they fumigated our building.  We were not lost, but we did not know where we were.  It is amazing that our phones can tell us exactly where we are at all times.  And even more amazing it that the roads are on the google maps.  This is a scene along a typical road.  Again, it is each man for himself.  We had to go to a car wash when we got home.  It cost 4 cedis to hand and power wash our car.  That is less that two dollars!
We do not eat much beef.  Neither do the others in Ghana.  These cows were grazing in what seemed like a land fill.  To be honest, alot of the road side seems like a land fill.  I don't think I will be able to bring myself to eat this cow.
The flowers are so pretty.  These flowers were right by the land fill.
When we got back to our apartment the fumigation was completed but the building smelt like Truly Nolan had been there.  Three other couples were trying to decide if it was safe to go in.  Elder Hussien (pronounced Ho-Zion) can not go up stairs.  He uses a cane.  We never use the elevator to get to our second floor room which is on the third floor as the ground floor is not the first.  But we were persuaded to get in.  Bad decision.  The elevator must have been operated by insects because it was dead.  We pushed all the buttons, even the cool alarm button.  Nothing and nobody.  Our phones did not work in the elevator and we were very hot and after 20 minutes we were running low on air.  The air we had was mixed with insecticide for Heaven Sake.
Sister Hussien suggested we pray.  What a novel idea for eight senior missionaires stuck in a small elevator about to enter the Spirit World.  Elder Powell was selected and gave an very passionate and fine prayer and I am not trying to be funny now.  In just a couple of minutes, the Clines, who do not live in this building and normally would not be on these grounds on a Saturday night, came in the front door.  We could see because we had pryed the doors open just enought to get Elder Hussien's cane through.  That also provided us with some air, though Sister Haws, who was at the back did not get any of it.
In the end, they got security and they got some one else and they contacted someone and they checked with the man that finally gave me my stapler, and we were set free.  This has happened to me before, but then I did not think to pray.  I know this is a little thing, but the Lord blessed us and we are greatful.
Have a great week.
by Debi
We have had another eventful week.  Even though we are mostly doing office work it seems that we have experiences that are new to us and we are totally amazed most of the time.
Yesterday we drove through the streets out by the ocean.  We saw our first african animal.  A man passing us in his car had a monkey sitting on his shoulder and the monkey was leaning out of the window.  The monkey looked just like the one in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Even though the monkey wasn't in the wild it was still very fun to see.
We also drove up a street that we thought would take us to an old castle that the Dutch had built centuries ago when they did trade here.  But we found ourselves driving up to the mansion of the current President of Ghana.  There was a barricade and a soldier at the gate with a machine gun.  Greg thought the guard waved us through and he kept driving.  I thought we should go back.  If you know Greg it probably doesn't surprise you that he kept driving.  I got a little worried and realized we were going into sensitive areas.  Finally Greg turned around and went back.  The guard stopped us and told us that we weren't suppose to be up there and he was watching us.  He wanted to know why we were there and what we were doing.  We told him that we were missionaries and we were in the country only 3 weeks and we were looking for the road to the beach.  He told us how to get to the beach and then told us to move on.  I don't know what would have happened if we hadn't turned around.  He probably would have called in the military to take us out!
We had a good day today at church.  Greg and I met with the ward clerks in the ward we go to.  We asked them questions about their training and what they understand in the procedures of the finances.  They are doing a very good job but they haven't had the training that is designed by the Church.  Hopefully we can acquire enough information that we can prepare a program to train the clerks and auditors in this area.  They also had a fifth Sunday meeting with the Relief Society sisters and the Priesthood brethren.  It was about Welfare.  We surely take for granted our understanding of the Welfare program of the Church.  This was a very lively discussion and the people were trying to understand what was appropriate to ask for when they need help and the process involved.  When it was time to finish the meeting there where still so many hands raised with questions.  They decided that they would have a fireside later and continue to learn about Welfare. It is so interesting to watch the Church in action here in Ghana.  The people are so faithful and have such strong testimonies but then you can see their inexperience and very childlike understanding of the Church's policies and programs. 
We met thesw two missionaires assigned to our ward today.  They are both from Uganda.  The senior companion has been a member for three years and has been on his mission for a year. The junior companion has been a missionary for 3 months but he has only been a member for 1year and 3 months.  That means he came on his mission when he had only been a member for 1 year.  That also means that he had to be thinking about going on a mission and starting to prepare probably when he had only been a member for 6 or 7 months.  I am so impressed with the young men here and their valiant testimonies.  These young missionaries from Africa will be the leaders of the future and they are receiving invaluable training on their missions.  This is how the Church will grow and mature as these young men serve missions and then go back to their countries to help strengthen the Church.
 General Conference is this week.  This will be the first time that we have been out of the country for Conference.  We are going to try and watch it via the internet.  The Church here just holds regular Sunday Meetings.  Then in November the Church sends DVD's of Conference and they play them at the church buildings for the members to watch them.  We are excited to listen to the Prophets voice.  We probably will have to read most of it in the Liahona (That is the name of the Ensign magazine outside of the United States). I hope you all enjoy your wonderful weekend and enjoy watching Conference in your p'j's.  We will be thinking of you!
Until next week.
Love, Debi

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mid-week Upadate Sept. 27, 2012

Sister Haws has a new look!
By Greg

It is hard to believe how fast time is flying by.  We are very busy and that helps.  Everyone wondered what we would be doing, and so did we, but we go to the office everyday and every night we come home with more to do than we had in the morning.

Elder and Sister Miles just arrived

The rest of the Hooper group.  Bybees, Shulz and Haws
This week we welcome Elder Richard and Sister Sharon Miles from Hooper.  They are friends of ours and we used to be in the same ward.  Today President and Sister Shulz came to Accra to get a new truck.  They are from our Muskrat Springs Ward.  They brought Elder and Sister Bybee, who also hail from Hooper, though they have moved on.  And to make things even more interesting, Elder and Sister Asey, the Shulz's office couple, lived in Hooper for a time.  We decided this is "The Hooper Invasion of Africa!" The Miles leave tomorrow for Liberia and the Shulz' Bybees went back to Cape Coast.

We did go with them on a little assignment with Elder and Sister Fife.  They are the Area Doctor, and also missionaries.  We all piled in a van and we were a white people Tro-tro.

We went up into the mountains northwest of here.  We stopped at a wood carving area where they not only sell stuff, but they make it.  It was very interesting.

It was raining so when we stopped and ate our lunch we decided to just stay in the van.  Here we were, five white couples eating in a van, and to make it even cooler, our lunch was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we had packed.  What a sight we were!

The Doctor told us about his work.  He is responsible for the health of all the missionaries in the Area.  He travels and trains the young missionaries and also helps us older ones stay healthy.  When he first got here, he lost a young African to Malaria.  That was really hard on him.  He is very adamant that we take our pills and have "the packet" with us at all times.  Malaria can be cured, but it takes "the packet." It is still the biggest killer of Africans around here, especially the young and old.

We are meeting a lot of wonderful people and we are impressed with their desire and spirit.  Every where we go we talk to people about the Church.  We have not experienced the typical rejection you would get on most American city streets.  Everyone is kind and interested and all wish us God's speed and we part with a mutual "God bless you."

When we were up there we got a look down at the city.  It is a big city with 3 million people.  The smoke is not a forest fire, it is burning garbage.

All these children here need is a ball and a little piece of dirt and they will play soccer.  This is a school group out at recess.

The pile of wood is for sale to the carvers across the street.

We can not get over how these women carry their children.  They carry them until they are pretty big.  Check out this other woman sleeping on the street.  This is right in the market along the highway. 

I am trying to learn a little French so I can read the reports from Cote d'Ivoire and Togo and Benin.  So, auvoir and adieu. 

By Debi:

Bonjour! We have a group of Saints here at the ancillary building (the building we live in and is also like a hotel for those who come to the Temple) from Togo.  They speak french but all of the little children are so excited to say "Hello" to us.  They want to practice their English.  They are very cute and very excited to be here.  We think we get up early to go walking every morning but when we walk out of our little apartment all of the people in the building are up and ironing their clothes for the temple and the children are already dressed for the temple.  It is 6:00 in the morning.  The temple doesn't even open until 8:00 for an 8:30 session.  I asked one of the sisters why the people all get up so early and she said that most people here in Africa go to bed with the sun and they get up very early with the sun. Well, that makes sense.  We are trying to go to bed early because we want to make use of the full time the sun is up.  We are not suppose to go out after dark and it is dark around 6:00 every night of the year.  So from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm we can enjoy the day.

The trees in this area were very green and lush.  These shops are along the highway and filled with wonderful stuff.  They are very talented wood carvers using just a few tools.

 I did ask the doctor today if we could go for a walk in the evenings around the Temple if we wore long pants and long sleeves and used mosquito repellent.  He said that they have really controlled the mosquitoes here in Accra and there really isn't much malaria unless you go out in the country. He said we could walk in the evenings around here.  We are both so excited because we get quite claustrophobic here.

We keep hearing such great stories of faith and dedication. We are so amazed with the Saints of Africa.  Pres. and Sister Shulz have just sent missionaries into a new area that they are expecting a explosion of baptisms. The people are so ready for the gospel and are listening to the missionaries.

We hope you are all well.  We are so excited to be here and the work is starting to really pick up.  We want to work and serve the Lord and serve the people here in Ghana and West Africa.

Love, Debi

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Founder's Day 2012

Thses are our friends the Taylors-note our Founders Day ribbons
Founders Day 2012

By Greg

Elder Taylor took this picture in Boston of Mitt Romney, me and Spencer Stokes  What a small world we live in.
Yesterday was Founder’s Day here in Ghana.  It is like President’s Day in the US.  They have a picture of their founders on their money.    There are six of them. One of them is Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.  He was educated in America and was behind the building of the famous Akosombo Dam, which we have not seen yet, but brought electricity and industry to Ghana.
This is the Independance Arch

 Their last President died in office a few months ago and they are now having a Presidential election this fall.  The former vice-president is now president and is running for election. Their campaigns are all promising liberty and peace, which seems to be the Ghana motto.

Viewing Platform on the sqyare-Hillary sat under the umbrella
They do not campaign for years and spend so much money as they do in the US. 
President Obama came here in 2009 and Hillary Clinton came for the funeral, which was held on Independence Square, outside.  The square is huge, like ten soccer fields, only a hard surface. It is surrounded by stadium seating on three sides.  Did I say the square was huge?
Beyond the View Platform is the ocean.  Behind is the big Independence Square.  There is also big scoccer staidium across the street.


We went with the Taylors for a holiday.  We saw the ocean and the big Independence Square and the Independence Arch. This square and arch commemorates Ghana’s independence, which was obtained from England in 1957.  Ghana was the first country in Africa to obtain independence from European colonization.


We went to the Centre for National Culture area which is also called the Arts Centre.  It is a lot like the International Market in Hawaii only not as nice.  Here, art works are for sale.  It is more like Tijuana, Mexico, only not as nice.

Elder Taylor is the kind of guy that says, “Hey, I wonder what is down this street.” Only the streets are barely streets.  We have done this now, by accident, and so having Elder Taylor as an example has made it not so scary for us.


This is the effort to change the public health code  Fine is 50,000 cedis.  That is $25,000!


Did I say we saw the ocean?  It is beautiful out beyond the beach about a hundred yards.  Actually, the beaches were not that bad.  There was a lot of activity, and we are sure it got busier later on, as we were there early.

A large group is waiting for the fish catch to be divided.



The next day was Saturday.  We checked out a car as they have not yet assigned us one.  We drove to the store and back for some haggling at the Arts Centre.  We took a few wrong turns but we both agreed to just laugh and say that it was part of the trip.  We found a lighthouse by a castle and a really poor beach area.  In the US this would all be private condos and exclusive.

 Those are beach houses.

We saw this lizzard and Debi made me take a picture for the boys.  Pretty cool lizzard don't you think? This is our first wild animal.  It was in the Temple parking lot.

We went to church again today by ourselves.  We drove there only making one wrong turn.  We do have Google maps on our phones but, Debi’s notes were excellent and we found the church, though we were a few minutes late.  Next week we will post pictures of the church.


This pig lives on the beach.  He is just coming out of his beach house to go for a swim?

We wonder how he has got this big without being eaten.  He must be a special pig.

We have been here almost two weeks now.  We have been working with Brother William Sowah, who is the Area Auditor.  That is his church calling. He is an amazing man but needs some help as he has a job and a family and does not have the time to travel and train.  We are working trying to get all the mid-year audits completed and entered.  The due date is September 30, 2012.  Now that I have my own stapler, we will be able to complete this assignment.


We are happy and really feel like missionaries.  We go to the Temple each week and we see members as they come and stay in this building to attend the temple. 

This is the view out our window.  We think these are embassey houses.  This one is just over the wall.  It has a nice swimming pool behind those trees.  There is a road that goes around to these gated homes. 


 I will work for food!


By Debi:

We had a group of members that came to the Temple from Kumasi.  A group of Young Women and Young Men had come to do baptisms for the dead. The first evening that they were here I had walked out of our apartment to do some laundry.  There stood 6 beautiful Young Women.  I asked them if they were here to go to the temple.  In total unison they said “Yes”.  Then I asked them if they were Young Women.  They said “Yes” again in unison.  They all stood before me with the biggest smiles and so anxious to talk to me.  I was so happy to talk to them.  I felt like I was back home talking with my own daughters or granddaughters.  I asked them if they were having a good time coming to the temple.  They said “Yes” in totally unison.  It started to be so funny.  I started to laugh and they started to laugh.  No matter what I asked they all said yes in unison.  They were looking for their room so I helped them find the number on the door.  I asked them if they were going to the temple in the morning.  “Yes” in unison again with the biggest smiles.  I started to call them the “Yes” girls for the rest of their stay.


The next evening after we had been in the office all day we saw the Yes girls as we came up the stairs.  Greg and I got a picture of them because they are so cute.  Greg asked them if they ever said no.  They said “Yes”.  We all started to laugh.  Then Greg asked them if someone asked them to smoke what would they say. All in unison with a frown they said “No”.  Greg asked them what they would say if a wonderful young man asked them to marry him.  They answered with a loud “Yes” in perfect unison.  I told them they should be a choir because they are so perfectly together. We had such a great time this week with this young group.  The youth that we have been privileged to visit are so strong and their testimonies are so bright. They all have smiles on their faces and are truly happy.

We are driving in this.  All of these tro-tros are wild drivers.  Can you see the hub caps on the white van?  They are like Ben Hur chariott killer caps.  We will try to give him as much room as he needs.



We attended our ward for the second week.  Greg suggested that I should visit the Primary.  Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  I came home a little depressed.  The children are so happy and so bright. I couldn’t believe what they know.  The Primary President called 12 children out of the audience and each one took a turn reciting the scripture for one of the months for this year.  The children didn’t know that they would be asked today and they didn’t know ahead of time which scripture they would recite but amazingly enough each child (and some of them were little like maybe CTR 5) recited the scripture when the President told them the month. 


The thing that made me sad was there were no pictures, no piano, no stories, no activities that the children got to be “picked” and no crayons and paper to color a picture.  The sisters were doing the best they can with the outlined program of the Primary but the children do not enjoy what our children at home enjoy.


After I came home and thought about it for a moment a thought came to my mind.  These children don’t know anything different.  They are happy, they have big smiles on their faces and they are being taught the gospel.  They are not suffering.  They are blessed!  The Lord loves these children just as much as any other child in the world.  They just have a different life here but it is still good.

This is a high school band returning from the peace rally at Independence Square.

This is an old weaver.  He makes these beautiful clothes.  We watched him weave.  He uses hands, feet, head and knees.  Look at the wonderful colors.

Yes, we are in Africa and it is different but we are finding out that it is OKAY.


Love Debi and Greg

Elder and Sister Haws

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

By popular demand

Of course, he is facing East

By Greg


OK, we got the message from some of our faithful fans that you want more information about us and Africa.  For those of you that have had enough, you can click forward.
The flowers are so lovely


We are assigned to the Ofankor Ward.  There is a couple from our ward that works here at the Ancillary Building (where we live) whose names are Josephine and Douglas.  They have to get up at 3:00 am and take several tro-tros (those van buses I showed in the last post).  They don’t get home till after dark, but they are so happy to have this great job.  She comes dressed very nice (this is near the Temple) and then changes into her work clothes.  We really like them.

The workers work so hard to make everything nice and clean and beautiful.


A couple of things that I did not expect.  It is cloudy most days but does not rain.  We cannot see the sun.  I have not seen the moon since we left and as I ran my life by the cycles of the moon this is hard for me.  We get home about 6:00 and it is getting dark. It feels like it is winter, but we know it is not. I have not seen any stars either.  Maybe that is why I cannot get my bearings. Perhaps that is why Tarzans family, the Swiss Family Robinson and others crashed on the shore.


Each morning we walk around Temple Square.  We are going to bed earlier and so getting up at 6:00 am is getting easier.  Debi wants to walk faster than I do.  She always has walked circles around me.  They are doing a lot of construction around the Square, but they do a great job keeping it clean and safe.

This is Sister Haws at her desk and new computer, which she loves!

I also thought that maybe the water in the toilet would go in a different direction like Kenny and Wayne claim it did in South America.  Well, we are right on the equator and the toilet just goes straight down.  Thank goodness!  Where it goes from there we don’t ask.


They are building a new building to house the Area Presidency, the Temple Presidency and some others.  When this is done, there will be a “”grand musical chairs” and we will probably be asked to move to some condos down the street.  The problem is that the traffic is so bad it takes a half hour to go just a mile or two.  We asked if we could just walk.  Noooooooo.  So we will drive.

 We are not sure what this Hippo 200 is, but it is made in Ghana and may be the only hippo we see for a while.


We have been watching a couple every morning sitting on a bench in front of the Temple.  He really looks like he wants to ask her a question.  I don’t think he has yet, but he will.


There are not a lot of birds of paradise.  We have seen some small birds, ravens and vultures.  They always seem to be circling above me. Hey, I am not dead, yet! There are great big bats flying around out there, but we like bats because they eat mosquitos.


We are making a lot of new friends.  The men all look alike. Here are three of them.  No, they are not triplets.  They are smart, educated and older than they look.  They are all either Stake Presidents or have been.  They rotate around and one is now a branch president, again. 

Arnold is the head of the Member and Statistical Records Department.  He has a very important job.

Joshua is the assistant controller.  He is also very important.

Another friend is Ruben.  He is an IT guy and we would be lost without him.

There is another Joshua, and a Ernest, William, David, Nicolas and Daniel.

They all have African last names that we are having trouble learning so we call them all by their first names.

Friday is a national holiday.  What a job—we work two weeks and get a holiday.  It is founder’s day.  This is not Independence Day.  It is more like Presidents day in the US.  We don’t know for sure what we are supposed to do.  We just may “go on a holiday”.  Actually, we may go to the office or go visit some of our associates.  We will see.


They don’t measure the temperature the same as we do.  I was trying to convert.  Debi just knows 22 is too cold.  I did some work and the conversion is C=(F-32)*.5555 and F=(C/.5555)+32.  She thinks I am weird.  Oh, our new phones are so cool and the have a world clock so I don’t have to wear two watches anymore.

Debi needs no calculator to convert wash and dry times.  Pretty nice set-up.  This wash room is just across the hall from us.

The Church is learn as they go.  They put these beautiful stained glass windows in the Temple then they covered them on the outside with an opaque glass for security and so someone could not see into the Temple.  What they did not expect was that was like a petrie glass for growing mould.  So they had to fly in a crew from Utah to fix the problem.  The good part is now the beautiful windows are better seen from the outside.


(I saw this little table with a stapler just sitting there with no one around.  But then we saw a bigger and better one)

I have worked most of my life in an office.  I have had my tools ready at hand.  I like things organized where I can be efficient.  We have had the darndest time getting some basic supplies.  We needed a work table and some other things, like a stapler.  Well, they gave a stapler, but it did not work.  We saw this table outside our room and it looked perfect.  No one seemed to be using it, so we “borrowed” it while everyone else was at lunch.  (I have no idea where they go for lunch.  There is a room on the ground floor—not the 1st floors—we are on the 1st floor which is the second level—maybe they go there).  Anyway, when they got back some of the love that they once exhibited for us “was entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions” as it says in the book. Anyway, we tried to apologize and assure these sweet sisters that we would return it soon.


Today I got my own stapler.  In fact, we got two.  Maybe they could all see the stress I was under.


I reviewed over 150 unit audits today and have a lot more to go.  I ended the day looking at some from Cote d’Ivorie (the Ivory Coast).  They are all in French. I guess they are all good.

 This is the guard house and the gate.  We are in a compound and are safe all the time.  Out there the same cannot be said.  We wanted to go and walk down the street.  The security guard would not allow us.  He is not going to lose two whites on his watch.


I am reading a book called Walking in the Sand by Emmanuel Abu Kissi.  It is the history of the Church in Ghana.  We met brother Kissi’s daughter while shopping on Saturday.  This is printed by BYU press and is probably available at Deseret Book or the BYU bookstore or online.  So far it is very good.


One point the book makes it that the “God of Heaven and Earth, moved with compassion, decreed to his prophets that is was the time for this people to receive the healing balm of our Savior’s atonement.  They had suffered enough.  It was time for them to receive the everlasting ordinances of His priesthood and the temple.”  What a blessing this is and I can already testify that these people, so long left in sorrow and misery, this people who have endured brutal tribal wars, the slave trade, devastating diseases and poverty, are grateful.  They are not angry.  They do not call out for anyone to pay them back.  They are truly grateful.  And their land is being blessed.


We are blessed to be among them.