Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What we have learned so far

This is the National Flag of Ghana on the temple grounds


By Greg


Well, we ventured out today and saw a little of this big city.  We have some pictures to share today.


Elder Powell is the couples Zone Leader and also the Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency.  He and his wife picked us up at the airport and today they took us out.  Sister Empey, whose husband is in the Temple Presidency, also went with us.  I know her husband’s brother, Curtis, from Ogden.


Well, we first went to the bank.  Elder Powell suggested that I cash $2,000 US into Cedis.  His experience was that the bank would cash our check without ID—he thought the badge would be sufficient.  They wanted my passport so we had to go back to our room and get it.  It wasn’t that far but it took a long time.  The traffic is very congested.  When we got our money it was in four bundles of 1,000 Cedis per bundle—3,750 to be exact.  Now what do we do with that much money?  I did what any Elder would do in a similar situation; I wrapped it tight in a plastic bag and put it in my companion’s purse.  Yes, she is carrying a purse.


Now to the store with more money than ever, and we don’t exactly blend in the crowd.  The store is in the mall—yes, a real live mall.  The grocery store is ShopRite and was large and felt like a real grocery store.  Debi can tell more.

 The Mall (I don't know how to rotate)

On the street there are thousands of people selling everything you could imagine.  Most of them carry their stuff on their heads.  If you even look at them they are all over you. They will run down the road alongside your car as you drive away. 

This is a street scene at an intersection--they carry everything on their heads.

These shops sell everything imaginable

This brama was just walking in the street with the rest of us

 Another scene of shops

There are a few beggars, but mostly people trying hard to sell things.  We saw a man with crippled legs using flip-flops to protect his hands.  Elder Powell gave him a coin.  He said he always helps the cripples. 

This man just scoots along with no use of his legs

All along the streets are little shops selling everything from TVs to used car ties.  Elder Powell took a side street as a short cut.  We saw miles and miles of shanty houses.  These are a contrast to other areas, not that far apart, with modern houses.

Apartment living-you could call this your home

There is a ditch down there that goes to the sea-and takes a lot with it

Houses with tin roofs as far as we could see

All of the people we have met have been really nice.  The men all have “Christian” names like Joshua, William, Edmund, Felix, Elijah etc.  The women’s names are harder to understand. People just tell us their first names.   At the bank, I asked how to make out my check.  For the life of me I could not understand her.  She was well dressed and nice, but I could not hear Standard Charter Bank.


It may not sound like we are doing missionary work, but we are smiling at everyone and being a “light” to a darkened world.  We had a good interview yesterday with President Curtis of the Area Presidency and we met Brother William Sowah, the man we will be working closely with.  He is tall and looks very young, although he is 49.  He is a banker and his wife is an eye doctor.  We will see a lot more of him.


There are three unusual things that I have noted.  One, at the airport there was a big sign that said, “If you are a pedophile or a sexual deviate, or a drug dealer or a miscreant, go somewhere else, Ghana does not want you.” Second, we see a lot of religious messages on cars and on the street:  “Pray every day” etc.  And, third, nobody smokes.  We don’t think they can afford it, but it is very nice.


I am going to have Debi talk about our shopping trip.


Love to all,



Hello to all!

 Typical baby carriage-their legs are around the mother's waist

We have had a wild day and it is only half over.  Our drive to the grocery store was wild.  Several times I thought we were goners but then Elder Powell would just honk and get around somehow.  We went to the Mall.  We need to use that as a very loose term.  I guess it is their pride and joy. It was built just a few years ago.  Actually I was very glad to see such a nice place.  We were able to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables.  No one buys lettuce because it is so hard to clean.  They use cabbage instead.  I didn’t buy any tomatoes because they were about $6 for four tomatoes.  We bought tuna fish, canned ham and peanut butter for our protein.  We bought some oatmeal and raisins for our breakfast.  The milk here comes in boxes, of course, but we did buy some fresh butter and eggs.  I am not sure what we will cook with the food we bought but I will try my best to make it taste good.  Greg will have to give in and have an egg omelet for dinner once in a while.

The mattress pad is installed

We are so blessed

 All this for one low price

Our office isn’t ready for us yet so we have walked around the Temple grounds and taken some pictures.  We also took some pictures as we drove to the store.  We are still feeling a little off base because of the time change but we are trying really hard to stay awake all day and then go to bed tonight at the right time.  We actually slept really well last night and it wasn’t too hard waking up even though it would have been one in the morning back home.


We have been sad to see some of the living conditions but we haven’t been surprised.  We have studied Ghana enough that we pretty much knew what to expect.


Either way you look the temple is beautiful

Debi and Joshua outside our building

This is the Stake Center next to the Temple

We are going to put on a large amount of pictures.  They will tell the story better than I can.  We are fine and we are anxious to get to work.  Have a great day.

 A truly "Golden"contact-he came out of the temple

Love, Debi
A view from the Stake Center-Debi in silliotte


  1. I love thiis blog - you must be having so much fun! Your apartment looks so comfortable and the streets look so exciting!

  2. Wow!! Your apartment looks really good. I was kind of worried. I still can't believe you are there! Good luck cooking with that food. I'm sure you will work wonders, Mom! We are all loving following along on your adventure.
    I love you,

  3. It's been fun to read your blog. I almost feel like I'm reading a novel and imagining the characters (you) and the new culture you're trying to adapt to. I have loved the pictures and little insights. I agree that your apartment looks nice. Much different than I expected as well.
    Good luck starting the "work" part. You'll be awesome.

  4. So glad you have started your mission safely! Hey, is the area president Lee Curtis from Salt Lake? He was a partner with McKay at Holme Roberts and a good friend of McKay's and I think he was called to Africa as a general authority. He is a wonderful man. Tell him "Hi" Keep the faith and shining your light!

  5. We have ShopRite in CT!! So now when you're shopping you can imagine you are here with me! :) And, I LOVE that last picture. So pretty.

  6. Wow, I am feeling a lot of comfort over the pictures. The apartment looks very liveable. The city is a little crazy, but we knew you would find crazy. I am happy you are nestled in the temple square.


  7. I am so happy as well about the pictures. I love that I got to talk to you yesterday. I guess we will all survive. You both look so good. Thanks for the post. I love you both.