Saturday, September 29, 2018

September 2018
Beginning September we were busy. The first event was a zone activity at Kasoa Stake Center. We provided the food for all 30 participants. Fried rice and vegetables, chicken from Yoo mart, hard boiled egg and Shito of course, all was served in a plastic food container with fork and napkin. We added sachet water for all. The missionaries played football and Sister Russell taught some to play Skipbow.

We took Elders Curtis, Helu and Alton to Accra for updating their non-citizens cards. We ate lunch at Burger King in the Accra Mall. Later I took them to the Kaneshie Mall to buy Kente cloth.
For two days we did not have adequate current so our refrigerator defrosted. This is a common recurrent problem and the solution is to replace a booster so we get all phases of the electrical current. Some day!

The workers next door completed the tile work and installed the two doors today. Looks like they are getting ready to put up the blocks on the upper floor.

Rain came today in a good shower. This is the rainy season and so far we have had little rain. Today was promising.
The work goes on. We had a discussion on our front porch last night with Patrick Adioo and his brother Bright. Elder Memmett and Elder Adijka taught a lesson after dark. We have 7 large portable washing machines on our front porch ready to be distributed to our missionary apartments, no more washing by hand (until the machines no longer work!). We are doing apartment inspections this week prior to another transfer day. The day after transfers we are having a mission tour meeting with Elder Kacher( the first counselor in the West Africa Area).

Now a report on our students: Olivia and Samuel are back in school. We paid for another semester (850 cedi = $250). They are our special children. I also supported Grace and her sister Barbara by paying for the entrance fees for her secondary school at a boarding facility (1000 cedi = $300). Lastly, I bought notebooks and supplies for Dennis and little Ivy in grade school (70 cedi = $15). It could never end if you don’t limit your assistance. However, education here is so much less expensive than in the states.

There are workers building the home next to us. They come each day early and leave late. The house is being finished on the bottom floor and nothing is done on the second floor.

I have something new to report on for the week. On Sunday night we smelled something burning. In the laundry room on the wall is the main electrical supply box. It was hot to the touch and burning inside. I called our maintenance person, Ben and reported the find. He had me talk to an electrician and was told to take the fuses out of the main box on the front porch. Isaac and an electrician came out and opened the box to find melted wires. It was quickly repaired but had to by pass the control box.

On Monday we took Elder Lundquist (district leader) and Sister Akofu to Accra to prepare to travel home. They have finished their missions. We stayed the night with the Simpsons and slept on the floor of the mission home office. In the morning I was told by Elder Dalton my right front tire was going flat. He directed me to a tire repair shop so I spent the morning getting the tire fixed. A small wire had penetrated the tire and caused a slow leak. I also had the vehicle serviced while in Accra.

We picked up Rx for Elder Adjida who has a heart condition. I have been monitoring his blood pressure which is consistently very high. His father just passed away this week (probably high blood pressure).

To finish our day in Accra before coming home, Sister Russell had her hair cut then we shopped at the Marina Mall and had lunch at KFC. Our trip home was uneventful.

Tomorrow we meet with the multi-zone missionaries and Elder Ketcher, a member of the Area Mission Presidency.

It will be noteworthy to mention “Lights Off” for the last two days. Following a busy day of travel and interviews we came home late and just before dark.  The missionaries left our home and on their way to catch a Tro-tro to their apartment a transformer blew up right in the middle of town.  Electricity was off so I cranked up the gas driven generator. It operated for 15 minutes and started to choke. On inspection the fuel added to the tank was diesel not petro. So we spent the evening and today without power. This mission is preparing us to live anywhere with or without electricity.
Four elders were here today for dinner and we prepared a spaghetti dinner. Using our propane stove without the aid of electricity is becoming a way of life. We also store water since the bore hole can and has gone dry. Also, we have no water when there is no electricity.

Tonight we are so fortunate to have the air conditioner on once again. Sundays are very busy for us. We both have preparation for teaching in our branch.  Plus we feed missionaries every Sunday along with a couple of kids that drop in.

Closing in on the end of the month, today I was in Ashtown helping the elders put together working bicycles. I took four bicycles from Buduburam apartment and took parts for the elders in Ashtown. Bicycles are a constant concern for us. We take in the worn and spoiled bikes to Accra Mission Office and leave them with Isaac (repairman) and pick up replacements. There is little maintenance done by the elders and they are rode hard and put away wet!

This week we traveled to Brakwa (250 KM round trip) to do a special interview for Comfort. In order for her to be baptized it is necessary to assure she has overcome any serious obstacles. She was delightful and had repented and no reason not to be baptized. I asked about her testimony and she told me she had a dream (I have heard from others that dreams are a media in which they get inspiration). The dream put her in darkness then led by a person into the light and given pure “living” water to drink.

It followed a truth to assure her knowledge of what it was to repent.
Samuel the map man

My passion fruit

Cash Shepard eating quail eggs

Lunch at Connies in Winneba

Baracuda at Big Milleys

Buying paintings at the beach

Sorting fish on the beach

Interview in Braku with Comfort!

Our backyard

Finished first floor of new apartment

Our daily bred of Ghana

Driving over the barrier

Multi-zone mission tour

Dumping garbage in Awutu Breku

Something new every day. A man dressed as a woman selling popcorn

Sunday dinner with the Taylor boys

Dawn and friend

My favorite fruit stand

Dawn finished her wall hanging

Samuel Boefo

Ivy with her mother Gorginia

Sister missionaries

Going home after 2 years in Ghana

AP Nebortski

Ghana men!!

Friday, August 31, 2018

August 2018

We, the missionaries of Ghana Africa are engaged in bringing souls unto Christ. This is our mission and the doctrine of our Savior to teach faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. 

Each Wednesday we meet in district council and recited scriptures we have memorized. 3 Ne 5:13 states our purpose for being on a mission to Africa and it is working. We have attended several baptisms at the Awutu Breku branch since we have been here. Faith is a way of life for the Africans living in Ghana. They read the Bible, they pray naturally, there are many Christian churches in our community. Gospel discussions are easy to come by here in our community. It is not just women and children but men will listen and participate in discussions. The last shall be first and the first shall be last and it is Africa’s turn to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored by Joseph Smith. 

Transfers! This week is transfer week. We took Elder Antwi to the mission home so he could join with 16 others on their way home. Elder Clawson, Cottle, Hall, Walton and many others we have known while here in Ghana West mission. It is busy time for us since we are assisting in the movement of elders and sisters. Elder Collins was the only missionary transferred from our district.

We have cleaned the house and getting ready for the Simpsons to stay with us this week on Thursday since he wants to stay over due to Winniba Stake conference. We enjoy hosting them whenever we can. A rousing game of dominos always brightens up their stay.

Construction on the 2nd home adjacent to our living quarters is continuing to advance, but slowly. There was a great effort in getting started, as Bishop Heagan excitedly told us they would have the house finished in 3-5 months. This is the fifth month since construction began and the first level is still incomplete.

Last week we returned from Sunday worship to find a fractured pvc pipe for the fourth time. The poly tank (13,000liters) emptied again. As a result I purchased 40’ of heavy duty ¾” pvc pipe and replaced any inferior pipe.

This week I have contacted my mother several times by Skype because she had an ablation of her atria to prevent atrial fibrillation. She came through the procedure fine and seems to be doing better.

 We took Elder Antwi and his luggage and Sister Awgu luggage to the mission home. They are going home after finishing their mission. There were 17 missionaries leaving this week for home. Then again another 16 are slated to arrive for this transfer.

President and Sister Simpson have been staying with us for the last three days. He is involved with selecting leadership for the Winneba district. Elder Nash and Quasie are also in Winneba selecting the stake presidency for the new Swedru stake. Pres. Simpson will be the ecclesiastic leader for the Winneba district. We will be in the new district under Pres. Simpson.

We are heavily involved with supplying materials for our missionaries within the three zones (Buduburam, Kasoa, Kanishie) assigned to us. In addition, both Dawn and I prepare lessons for the primary and priesthood each week. All this keeps us busy.

Today we spent time with Elder Orton and Dzah at Borteanor and after we covered their table in new plastic and installed a cook stove we went to the beach. I took them and the ward mission leader (David) to Big Millies beach resort for lunch. We had a good lunch and pleasant conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. I met three ladies from Germany that were just back from surfing for the first time. They said their stay was pleasant and inexpensive. We hope to invite the Hills to stay with us on an occasion that we can take them to Big Millies.

Samuel, Olivia and their mother Sarah were here today visiting. Samuel is working for us to earn money for a bicycle. I also took Dennis to buy him shoes for his birthday while little Ivy stayed behind with those in the house.

This week I drove to Swedru for a special interview with a man named Isaac. His brother, from Spain, referred him to Elder Baumbrough and Elder Dawson. He was exceptional. Not to mention his sincere repentance but his eagerness to become a member of the Christ’s church. He is a working man and has a good family. His son, Junior will also be baptized this coming Saturday.

We drove to Accra today with three elders (Tuituvuki, Sakato and Adizkaka). Our elder Tui’ is transferred to Asimakesea. He has been with us since we got here.

I picked up 5 bicycles and delivered 4 to elders on our way home. Oh, by the way, today was very pleasant driving to Accra. It was a national holiday (Moslim) Eid al Adah and there was very light traffic!

Tomorrow we are having our Wednesday district council meeting. Sister Russell leads the music and then we do recitations (Missionary Purpose, The Standard of Truth, 3 Ne 5:13, 3 Ne 27: 13-16, DC 20:37, DC section 4 and DC 121: 34-46). Then a selected elder gives a review in the Missionary Handbook. Following that are announcements from our district leader and then Roll Play on PMG standard of TTIFP. Lastly, are the companion reports for the week on Baptisms, Baptismal Dates, Sacrament Meeting Attendance and teaching New People.

This week I took Daniel, Eric and his sister Linda to Kantanka manufacturing. The industry is unique for several reasons. The founder since 1988 has developed manufacturing of cars both electric and fuel driven. There were solar energy systems as well as electrical sensor devices for fire warning and voltage regulators. All the equipment was very old and everything was hand developed and rough cut. The vehicles were built individually and custom designed. Rather unique place not to mention the personal zoo.

Today we attended sacrament meeting and then I taught the Teacher’s Quorum age young men. The boys want to become Priests and are attentive during the lesson presentation. Each meeting I give a 5 point quiz, more for attendance than score. Some boys do not speak English so it is hard for them to understand the questions.

The last day of this month 31 August 2018, Sister Russell and I spent delivering supplies to our missionaries and then did shopping at the Kasoa market. We bought light bulbs, broom, mop, padlock and a light blanket as supplies for the mission. It was very crowded since it is a national holiday (for what, I do not know)! Once we got home I was exhausted driving in heavy traffic. An oncoming vehicle hit my mirror while coming toward me. Then having to crawl with traffic through the Liberia junction for one hour, I was glad to turn off the Mitsubishi and unload the car and long for a nap. Good by August!

Sunday dinner with the Elders

Elder going home!

Sister Simpson, Georginia and Dawn at school

Roadside repair

Darts with Samual
Cattle in down town Accra

Celicia and family

Big Millies beach resort 

Boys swimming at the beach

Antoinette and mother doing laundry at GMAD

Ghana lunch with Eric

Tankanka with Eric

Linda cutting up mud fish for palm nut soup

Monday, July 30, 2018

1 July 2018

Today we are half way through the mission. Also, I was able to talk to Julia through Skype. She is struggling with heart compensation and atrial fibrillation. Aging rapidly, she is slow to get around and still has much of her mind. We see she has lost weight and is very weak.

Our fast and testimony meeting was rather exciting with 60 some young people from GMAD. The chapel is filled with new recruits at the orphanage. We have talked with the branch president about what can be done because we have no room for investigators.

Our family from Senya continues to come to our meetings. It is quite remarkable because they live so far away. We also went to Fetteh last week and taught lessons to two contacts. There is one member living in Fetteh and we talked with her on the cell phone. We needed a member who is a contact. Just before we departed a man approached me introducing himself as a member from Cape Coast but his father lives in Fetteh. We hope a group would be started there soon.

Just a note as to what we did today. Sister Russell and I spent the day in Accra at the mission office. We got started on publishing the Accra Ghana West Mission cook book. We nearly assembled sixty copies. The goal is 200 so we have a ways to go. The next multi-zone conference is on the 17th of this month. We hope to have them completed by then.

There is life after the recipe book! We hosted the Wood family while they were here visiting Eric. We have assisted them with Eric by taking him to the Winneba hospital .

When we went to the chapel on Saturday to clean there were three rooms at the chapel flooded due to an overflow on the toilet. It took 4 of us an hour scooping the water off the floor of three classrooms.

We had the missionaries over for Sunday meal. We try to rotate the missionaries between Breku and Buduburam. Since it was the 4th of July we spent time talking about our freedom and independence. Several of the African missionaries told about their countries independence.

On the 10th of July we took the Ballsteadts and Sister Simpson to dinner at the Cantonments Chinese restaurant. The food was delicious and we wanted to treat the office help since we had used their facilities for the cook book.

Each month I am privileged to escort Sister Russell and Sister Acoletche while they minister to sisters in our branch. Cecilia and her three boys live in Ojobi not far from Breku. They are anticipation a move into our town. We travel to Bontrose and south Breku to visit sisters in our branch.

We escorted Sister Acoletche and Sister Sacketi to the Accra temple. We did sealings before the session. There were 40 people in the sealing room and they had provided their family names. The sealer spoke in English and French when appropriate to those family members at the alter.

As always we deliver supplies and pick up spoiled bikes and fans to our missionaries.

I did a special interview to Jacob in Winneba. Pres. Simpson askes me to preform interviews for the candidate have had serious sin. Nearly all the interviews are associated with abortion. It is so common for women to have an abortion when not married and not able to care for young babies.

Brother and Sister Hill visited us and we spent time at the beach. While we were there I helped the local fishermen pull in a large net. I worked for 45 minutes and the buoys were still a long ways away. Everything is done by hand here. The Hills stayed overnight and we had a wonderful time with them.

We have had a multi-zone conference here in Kasoa. Sunday we had branch conference with visiting stake officers. The chapel was completely filled but mainly with children from GMAD. Pres. Simons attended the Teachers Quorum meeting. We had a great time.

Water Woes! Sunday we came home to a water spray behind the house from a broken water pipe. The poly tank was empties (13,000 liters) again. I was disturbed and Monday I replaced any of the inferior water PVC pipe with quality pipe. This is about the fourth time we have had pipes broke.

Sister Belinda was finally baptized after months of disputes over whether they were married legally. After evidence was presented to allow her to be baptized, they were relieved. 

We have started apartment inspections again before the 6 week transfer. There was a twist to apartment cleaning since Pres. Simpson sent out instructions to all missionaries of “Deep Cleaning Monday”. He presented an extensive list of things to clean including windows, cabinets, interior and exterior apartment structures. Sister Russell and I assisted the Awutu Breku elders in cleaning for several hours on Monday.

We are finding about half the mission apartments are being cleaned thoroughly.

Today we treated the Winneba elders to dinner at Connie’s. The 8 of enjoyed our meal while our vehicle was being washed across the street. Oh Happy Day.
Ministering with Sister Cecilia

Meals with the missionaries

My new scorpion

The Wood family visit

Dawn's wall hanging coming together

Playing Ludu with Senya locals

Belinda's baptism

Visit with the Hills

Sunday, July 8, 2018

06 June 2018

06 June 2018

Today, I just finished burying a young African cobra found dead in the flower bed. Our gardener, Linda, found it and was terrified. This is the fourth venomous snake we have seen in our neighborhood. The first was a carpet viper on the trail above our home, the second was a green mamba across from the Odoben chapel, the third was a puff adder at the GMAD school and today a young cobra, which gives us cause to be cautious when out and about.

Fortunately, the folks in our community are so kind and gentle we have no problems with our neighbors. It is such a delight to live in Ghana.

This week was the multi-zone conference in Kasoa. Each conference is filled with instruction and the spirit of revelation. Our missionaries instruct as well as our mission president. We were also shown a video of Pres. Nelson’s conference talk on “receiving revelation”. In addition, we also saw Elder LeGrand Curtis’ talk on the Book of Mormon and the church established in West Africa.
Also, we just returned from a three day stay with the Hills in Oda. We left our home due to the fumigation efforts of our apartment managers using Dursban organophosphate insecticide. The agent is too powerful for us to stay until it is diminished.

Oda is higher elevation and slightly cooler. We visited the community of Kokobeng, where there is a group started attached to Ansini branch. We attended the baptism of two new members from that area on Saturday. We visited the bakery, market and the beautiful Oda ward chapel. On our way home we stopped to see the West Africa Giant Tree.

Dawn is struggling with sleep issues. I am very concerned since she cannot get good sleep and is very anxious during the day. Her problem comes from using other sleep agents that begin to show serious side effects and then withdrawals follow. She also suffers from the heat and humidity common in Ghana.  I seem to do better.
There is much more to be said about the growth of the church here in our part of the mission and the business of caring for the missionary needs. This is regular service for us and it has become routine.

There is another part of our living here that I can mention that takes up much of our time and resources. The children and some adults that are in need, tend to congregate at the Russell’s home. We feed them, work them, care for their school needs and often clothes that need repair or replaced. Care for the poor and needy is truly a part of this mission that needs to be managed well.

Moving right along in mission progress, next week is inspection week and then six week transfers once again. Progress has been made on the mission cook book. Sister Russell has refined it for printing after including all the recipes received from our missionaries. There are some eighty pages of fine entries. Now we have to print it and assemble it before delivery. Pres. Simpson has encouraged us to follow his directions in putting it together.

We visited Sena Breku with four of our full time missionaries. The community is about 40 minutes toward the ocean near Winneba. We have taught two lessons to a family and talked with several others in the community. We are hoping to start a group meeting soon. In Senya there is an old Dutch fort, Fort Good Hope. The facility was used to collect slaves and considered one of the nicest holding on the African coast.  So sad to think what happened in the slave trade here in Africa.

The construction of the second home on the property is still underway. It will not be too long and the second story with be constructed. We hope it will be complete before we leave.
I returned from a long trip with Solomon, social worker, to Krobo to visit with Martha. She is doing well and we continue to support her care and medicine needs. The success lies in the fact the family are pleased to have her back and functional and Martha is as happy as can be expected.

Between our recent multi-zone conference and district meetings we get to be among the greatest missionaries in the church.

The beginning of another week here in Awutu Breku serving in the Accra Ghana Africa West mission and we are busy supporting the mission. This last week we visited all the apartments in our assigned three zones. There were 18 in all. We are still unsure of the locations of the apartments in the Kanishie zone. It is so difficult to find Gbawe ( Weija) and New Gbawe because the streets are not marked and are not streets but auto paths. Our GPS will indicate a road and there is no road.

This week is transfers and we assist missionaries in coming and going in our assigned area. Besides picking up elders and sisters we pick up spoiled bicycles and take them to Accra.
Brother and Sister Wood are here from New Zealand and will be staying with us for two weeks. They are arranging to move Eric (a crippled young man). They were missionaries in Kumasi for nearly two years. A lesson to be learned, whenever you assist anyone here it never ends as to the amount of help they need. We are assisting three young people with their education expenses. It will not end until we leave Africa.

Home! All is well with Julia and Ben to date. We want so much to have their health sustained while we are away. We put their names on the temple rolls this month. On the other hand, Joshua has caused us considerable grief. He is accusing us as abandoning our responsibilities as parents and grandparents to him and his children. It stems from his misfit ideas on the importance of families above all else in life and in church doctrine. He is disgruntled with the bishop of his ward and has withdrawn his support and trust. He has established strict belief in what members should do to preserve their families and excluded or altered doctrine to support his new beliefs. As a result of our serving a mission and not being there for his family, we have been labeled neglectful. Robyn had similar feelings but seems to accept us more for our service here and not so much as being neglectful. All the other children seem to be OK with us being here.

The end of June marks the half way mark in our mission. We have been here 9 months and 9 more to go. I am concerned because it is going by way to fast

Yoo Mart lunch!

Senya family discussion

Elder Tualuva and Davies at Fort Good Hope

Snail ranch!


Oda hardwoods

Oda chapel

Giant tree of West Africa

Senya proselyting

Contacts at Fort Good Hope

Martha is doing well!


Linda cutting the grass

Mission 2018