Sunday, October 7, 2012

By Satellite Transmission

By Greg

It is true, we take our pills everyday
When I was a boy, my Dad, my brothers and I would go to the Ogden Tabernacle and sit with all the other brethren there and “listen” to General Priesthood meeting as it was “piped into the building on a closed circuit telephone line.”
Later, they always welcomed those who were receiving this "by satellite transmission".

We have come a long way since then.  We joined the other couples in the conference room in the administration building and watched the first two sessions of conference.  We saw the first one live from 4 to 6 and the second one from 8 to 10 pm.  We did not stay up to watch priesthood.  When they welcomed those who tuned in on the internet, we felt welcomed.


Elder Robert C. Gay, who spoke Saturday afternoon, was a former president here in Accra.  We all enjoyed his comments about Ghana.  He is also a former partner of Mitt Romney and a supporter of a foundation that is doing good things here.

A small biscuit for some wonderful children
I ran out of suckers and so I had to find something else to give the children.   I gave some of them a biscuit.  Now that sounds like feeding a dog but they call crackers and cookies biscuits.  Some of our fellow senior couples told me that I should not do that because it creates a dependent class of children and also some of the kids were actually going up and down the halls knocking on doors like it was Halloween.  I felt bad for causing trouble, but I felt worse feeling that I had lost my connection with the children. 


After several hours I came to the determination that I would set the standard and if others could not meet it, well, I am sorry.  I bought 10 more strips of 7 suckers and I am armed and ready for the children.  As they talked about children in conference I thought, “Suffer them to come unto me."
These children are from one family that was sealed this week.  They are from Kumasi.  The boys are named Brigham Young, (J) Ruben Clark, Benjamin (Steed) and Elisa (Snow) Bououchouchoo, or something like that.  They sang “I am a child of God” for me and then I gave them a biscuit.  I knew the tune but the words were a bit different, espeically the little one who was saying what he thought the words were.  I hope that they have fond memories of the day their family became eternal and the big white headed white Elder who gave them candy and biscuits.

When we came home from shopping, we again were loaded down.  Debi had this goal to carry all our stuff in one trip.  Two men, older Africans, who had been to the temple but were waiting for their ride back home, came to our aid.  They carried the basket of fruit and vegetables (not on their head, however) and lightened our load.  As we walked up the stairs I looked at their shoes and noticed that they were really worn out and one of the brothers did not have any socks.  When we got to our room I told them to wait. 

Mr. Mac sold me the wrong socks.  They are not the normal “gold toe” socks that I am used to.  They are also one size too small.  I had three pair that I had not worn.  So I gave them each a new pair of socks.  They made a temple with their hands, bowed and thanked me.  That was nice.  But as they walked down the hall I heard one of them say to the other, “See brother, if you are willing to help others, Jesus Christ will bless you.” What a blessing it is to help others and see Jesus get the credit, which he so deserves!

 There is also a general election here.  Many days there are marches and bands.  The theme is peace.  They want peace more than anything.  We saw a man at the intersection near the mall.  He looked like a super hero.  He is a political advertisement.  If you look closely, he only has on a pair of underpants.  They rest is his skin, painted of course.

When we went to the conference the elevator did not work.  This is not the same one we were locked in.  Brother Houssian (Ho-Zion) was so sad.  He just cannot do stairs, especially four flights.  We said, “Hey, let’s carry you up.” So we did.  Elder Klein and I did a Boy Scout chair and carried this man up four flights.  It was more than we had bargained for and I am feeling it in my back today, but we made it.  Luckily the elevator was being worked on and it was fixed to go down and for the second session.



By Debi: 

We have had a very eventful week and once again we have seen new things and experienced Ghana in some ways for the very first time.

This is the famous table that we "found".  We also found the white board, the file cabinet"and a couple of chairs.
We have worked very hard in the office.  Greg prepared a letter and some reports for all of the Stake/District Presidents in the Africa West Area.  There are 72 and that is a lot of letters and reports.  Greg is a very visual person.  Actual both of us are.  When we first arrived here in Ghana we couldn’t even find a paper calendar that we could hang on the wall.  We almost felt lost because we didn’t even know what day it was.  Well, we got to work and tried to get everything either written in our records binder or Greg has put the information on our wall.  It is now our wall of fame.  We have pictures of the Area Presidency, Area Seventies, and the Mission Presidents.  We also have their areas printed next to their pictures.  We even have maps to show us their assigned areas that they cover.  It has taken Greg a lot of extra time but both of us feel like we know a little better what is going on and we recognized names and places better too.



We received our vehicle that we will be using while we are here in Ghana. It is a Ford Everest with four wheel drive.  We are excited but feel a little guilty because it is a very nice vehicle.  The nice thing is it will keep us safe while we drive on the very rough roads here.

Yesterday as we were out shopping for our food I took a picture of the one grocery store that we go to.  It is very busy on Saturdays.  We notice that a lot of people who are not from Ghana shop at this particular store.  It is right in the Mall.  We have also found several other stores that we like to visit.  This is Shoprite.  It has almost everything we want, even though some things cost a lot.


As we were driving around yesterday I saw two signs on the back of the Tro-Tros that I really liked.  One said “Every problem has an expiration date!” and the other said “Satan hands off, I am sold to Christ.”

If we could all take these sayings into our lives, it would serve us well.  We also saw the name of a hairdresser shop.  I just had to take a picture.  This is just a sample of all of the names the people in Ghana name their businesses,  “The Anointed Hands”. 

Today we visited a branch out in the Mamprobi area.  The branch President, Pres. Arnold Odonkor, works in the Church office building and he invited us to come and visit with his clerks today after church.  The Temple President, Pres. Breillatt and his wife came with us.  They go and visit a different ward almost every week.  They have been here at the Ghana Temple for 3 years.  They are going home in just a couple of weeks. They are wonderful people and we have enjoyed getting to know them. They are from Chicago and they are excited to go home to their family. 


We had a wonderful visit with the branch and this was our first Fast and Testimony meeting here in Africa.  The members are so strong and they bore such beautiful testimonies.  The Branch President has 5 children.  His three daughters are very educated and beautiful.  The one in College is studying to be a lawyer and her emphasis is in civil rights and domestic violence.


We have been nothing but impressed with the strength of the members here.  They are valiant in their testimonies and are so anxious to learn and understand the workings of the Church.


We are so blessed also this weekend because we have been able to watch Conference live from the Church office building here on our Temple square.  We are going to go in just a little while and watch the two sessions today.


Maybe for just a few hours I will know that I am watching, listening, and seeing the same things as my loved ones at home,  truly a modern day miracle.


The Church is true and the Gospel is true.  Love, Debi


  1. I loved your post. Dad that is so sweet that you gave the men the socks. I thought your statement about giving Jesus the credit was so cute. "If you love me, feed my sheep." I am so proud of you and mom. Conference was wonderful and I am so happy to know that for a moment we were watching the same thing at the same time. I love you!!

  2. Greg and Debi, I lover reading the blog! It doesn't matter what kind of day I'm having it always puts a smile on my face. I feel bad that I can't be there for some of those adventures.

  3. Mom and Dad, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. It means a lot to me to be able to see the pictures and "hear' your voices! I never really thought about the fact that Dad is so visual, but seeing that wall reminds me so much of how he is. It looks so great! I'm sure you guys are so fantastic at what you do. Dad, I love the story about giving to the children and also about the socks. I've watched yours and mom's charity my whole life and it has left a huge impression on me. I know you two would give everything you have...and for the next two years, that is exactly what you are doing. Thank you for being such great examples. I love you both!

  4. Greg, Remember when you were first made bishop and we worked for many days getting the ward list on the wall of your office. I hope you have a good executive Secretary (Debi).
    It was good to talk to you. See you soon. Wayne