The first week of May we see a change in the season, it rained twice this week and today there were many clouds. Hopefully, it will continue to rain. The dry season was very long and hot. Sister Russell and I got caught in the rain on an extended walk and we were soaked. Two families along the way invited us to take cover in their homes but we were out enjoying the warm rain.
Each Saturday we clean the chapel. Sister Russell and I are often accompanied by one or two other faithful members of the branch. We sweep every floor after the chairs are put up and then mop all the floors in the classrooms, chapel and offices. It takes us about two hours to do all the work. The last thing we do is clean windows and put chairs back for the Sunday meeting.
Missionary couples have to pay for their expenses. Our budget includes several costs. We pay our mission expense on-line through our ward account in the US. The expense for Ghana Africa West mission is $650/mo which includes our vehicle and housing. We also pay $520/mo for Aetna foreign medical insurance. We are paying half of the mission cost for Elder Alyworth and Elder Baker (our grandsons) another $400/mo. After tithing, FO, and food and living expenses our monthly total is around $3000/mo.
“Lights Out” is the phrase the local people use when there is no electricity. The rainy season brings on loss of electricity. There is often an electrical storm which damages the power supply. We lost power for over 12 hours this week.
We moved the James Taylor family this week from GMAD to an apartment across the road.
The house construction next to our home is undergoing. The hand construction is remarkable and all without mechanical or modern tools. We are photographing the progress of this four bedroom home.
Olivia and Samuel Buffeo are two children we have grown to love. Their parents live in a small one room home with 5 people sleeping inside. Samuel recently joined the church and we see them regularly at our place. Sister Russell and I are of the opinion the government education system is no advantage to their education and are putting them into private school tomorrow. It is not expensive, around $30-40/mo for the two of them.
Next week we start the apartment inspections, 18 in total before transfers coming up. It takes us three full days of driving and carrying supplies to the missionary apartments. Unfortunately, we have to travel through the suburbs of Accra and gave up our “bush” travel to the Hills.
Lastly, I am feeling much better from virus infection that turned into a bacterial lung infection. Fortunately, I had 10 days supply of Ciprofloxin antibiotic on hand.
12 may 2018
Well, poor Samuel could not take the change in schools. He was missing his friends and did not want to change schools. So he is back into his old school. Olivia, however, is very happy to be in a new school, so she is going to continue at the new school. She will have such an advantage over her brother in the future.
The apartment inspection went well, with regards to visiting all the apartments except New Weija. The elders were not home when we could be there. The boot of our truck was completely full of supplies needed by the elders. Even so, we did not have all the items they needed and will have to return in the near future.
This weekend is Stake Conference. We will go to Kasoa Stake tomorrow.
“Transfer Day” – Well, prior to transfer day we do apartment inspections. There are 18 apartments in our three districts which we inspect. Three days time is required to travel to all the apartments. The roads are rough and the traffic is heavy. It takes a toll on my back. Then following the inspections we are very busy with transferring missionaries to their destinations or transfer stations so they can travel by tro-tros leaving our area. On Monday we took three missionaries back to Accra mission office. On Tuesday we moved Breku back to the Buduburam mansion and then Elder Mashos to Bawjiase. On the way we stopped at Kasoa 1-4 , Kaso 2 and Ashtown. We took Elders Staples, Kabaya and Bakam to the Tro terminal with all their luggage. Back from Bawjiase we brought Elder Antwi to Ashtown. By the time it was over we had spent 12 hours traveling the mission.
We have a new district leader, Elder Lundquist. After today’s district meeting we took Elders Davies and Tuatuvuki to teach Balinda in Ojobie. Then we drove to Ansufal to spray an apartment for insects and deliver a package. On the way back we picked up Eric at GMAD and had a birthday party for him. I had cooked goat light soup and bought banku with birthday cake to finish the meal. After taking him home it was way after dark.
This has been an interesting week, especially since we also had to arrange for Samuel to be put back into the better school. His parents insisted he go to a better school. We purchased shoes, backpacks and notebooks for him and his sister Olivia.
The month of May is full of events as usual. Eric from GMAD had a birthday. I took him to Yoo Marta to buy drinks and biscuits for the kids at the orphanage. Then I picked him up on Thursday to celebrate his birthday here at our home. I cooked his favorite food of goat stew and banko. Eric is a paralyzed from waist down from a car accident when he was 3 years old. A missionary couple (Woods) ,have cared for him on their mission.
Kwime and Belinda from Ojobi are our good friends have had us to their farm several time while the family sat for missionary discussion. There is rift with him and the stake president. He claims to have never been married to the mother of 3 children before he civilly married Belinda. We have been in the middle of the debate. Ghanaian laws and traditions make or brake marriages.
Sister Russell and I have been to Swedru on several occasions from assignments from Pres. Simpson. Any time there is a serious sin we have to do a special interview to determine the worthiness for baptism. There have been very special and spiritual meeting with those wanting to be baptized.
Last week was inspection week and transfer day. Wow, busy times! We inspect three districts: Buduburam, Kasoa and Kaneshie. There are 18 apartments so it takes us three full days. Also we arrange to supply them with necessities. Transfer day was sun up to sun down work! We had to move companions in and out of apartments. We had to take missionaries to bus terminals. We had to drive back and forth to and from apartments.
In the middle of inspections and transfer was Kasoa Stake Conference. The meetings are always an opportunity to haul members to Kasoa. We had a load of people in and in the back of our vehicle. There was standing room only. (A lady said this week that our church was a “white man’s” church. Well among the 2000 at conference I counted 7 white people. Every meeting was officiated by our black leaders.
Then on Monday, 21 May 2018 we met with Elder Nash and Elder Soares (our new apostle). We met in the auditorium of the new MTC. All three hundred missionaries (Accra and Accra West Ghana missions) shook their hands. The messages were profound with spirit. Elder Nash was so inspired to speak about Truth-Agency-Integrity and how they connect. Elder Soares spoke about the mission handbook and obedience. It was all very wonderful.
The temple trip this month was a disaster! We were expecting to take two of our friends (sister Linda and brother Daniel) have collected their family members to take to the temple. We prepared indome and egg meals for 50 people. Then Pres. Sackety called the night before to tell us it was primary kids not adults going to the temple. Wow, switch! We ended up taking 9 primary kids to the temple. Five young girls in the back seat and 4 boys in the boot, it was stop to urinate, stop to get food, stop to throw-up. The traffic was heavy and we were late. The meeting with the kids was a walk around the temple, a couple of short talks and then drawing paper to sketch the temple. We were so glad to get home and I had to take the truck down to get it cleaned up.
Our district meeting are in Buduburam every Wednesday at 11:00am. In our district there are two groups. We rotate the two groups of missionaries to dinner each Sunday evening.
This week I had invited the children to cook chicken and vegetables on the cook pot charcoal stove. Then a couple of other kids show up and it ended up in a fist fight and I had to send three boys home.
Samuel and Dennis had hair cuts costing me 3 CDs each. Then I bought an extra two flashlights for children walking home after dark. I also bought notebooks for Dennis and Ivy.
Lastly, I am in the snail farming business. Linda (our friend) has given me a number of snails to raise so we can have a feast. I had to build a box to keep them in and feed them so they will get FAT!
|Building new house|
|Temple Trip with Primary|