Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our New World

Our apartment is the bottom floor of this old office complex. We have to unlock seven locks and lock five to get in and out of our apartment. Yes, we feel safe but it is quite the process. If the locks are not enough the nails sticking up on the wall and the metal bars on the windows and doors should discourage any intruders!

Compare our lovely home with a typical home in downtown Elmina, a fishing village just outside of Cape Coast.

Every day life in Ghana.

Our first Zone Conference with Elder Cardon of the Seventy. He is the President of the Area Authority for West Africa. This is five zones and more than half of the missionaries are from Africa.

Elder and Sister Saunders with some of the members of the Abakrampa Branch. We will be members of this branch while we are in Ghana. We attended last Sunday for our first time and were welcomed with opened arms. We may not speak the same language but we certainly feel the same spirit. They have a keyboard and were thrilled to learn that I could play. So I guess I have become the branch organist. I know my skill is very limited but even if I need to play with one hand they will be thrilled to have music at their meetings. We look forward to working closely with the members to help the branch grow and teach the gospel to investigators. Some of the younger members speak a little English and we can use an interpreter to teach and communicate. Maybe we will even learn a little Fante along the way!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our 9th day in Ghana

It has now been 9 days since we arrived in Ghana. It is very hard to post anything to the Blog, due to the Internet constantly going down. It is down more than it is up. We are just now getting use to the culture. Very different, but the same in a lot of respects. We still have a hard time with the depth of the poverty that exists. Its beyond words. They eek out a living by selling and buying every kind of thing you can imagine. They stand by the side of the roads and sell rats, rodents, crayfish, fish, fruit, vegetables, and everything possible. All for about $ 500 us dollars per year. As we drive by their little rickety stands they wave for us to stop. When there is a intersection with a stop sign they walk between all the stopped cars trying to sell you items. Lots of pineapples, banana's, apples, mango, papaya and vegetables are available. They sell a lot of boiled eggs from off their heads that they crack and peel for you. As of yet, we have not tried the eggs.

We are starting to grasp the office duties that we are responsible for. The mission is really spread out, so getting the mail and funds to the individual missionaries can be quite troublesome. The mail for the entire mission is delivered here to Cape Coast. We try to get the packages and mail to the missionaries when someone is traveling to the village or town. Tomorrow we will have our first zone conference in a little city called "Ola". There will be five zones come to the conference, thus we will be able to deliver a lot of paperwork, mail, packages etc. We have a general authority who is here touring the mission. Elder Cardon is the President of the West Africa Area and will be at our zone conference tomorrow!

We Have Arrived!

This is our second week in Ghana! The Internet has been down most of that time and when it is working it is very slow and I have not been able to download pictures. But today is a good day so I will give a quick update before it is down again!

The flight was long and crowded. We are still adjusting but each day becomes a little easier. We are living in an apartment that was once an office building. There is a long wide hall with offices on each side that have been turned into a kitchen, bedrooms, living room, and bathroom. We do have air conditioning in our bedroom and living room but we need to keep the doors closed to keep the room cool. So the rest of the apartment is hot and muggy. We do feel safe however, we have to unlock 13 locks counting the fence and double doors to get in and out. We have a nice vehicle to use and spend our days at the mission office trying to learn our many responsibilities. Everyone we meet are friendly and welcoming. Little children love must be our shiny white faces!

We attended our first church services on Sunday. For English being the official language not many speak it and if they do I'm not understanding it very well. I do however recognize the spirit and it was very strong at the meeting. The members have strong testimonies and our very committed to the gospel. Dave and I attended the investigators Sunday school and the room was packed. I love being a missionary and look forward to many future adventures!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Last Day at the MTC

We leave tomorrow morning at 5:00 to begin our journey to Ghana. I have had very mixed feelings today. No fear but extreme excitement for new adventures and opportunities, some sadness in leaving my family and the country I love and an overwhelming love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to share it with the people of Ghana.

I have loved my experience at the MTC. Being surrounded by young men, women, and couples who have chosen to sacrifice their time to serve the Lord has been in itself a privilege and honor. We have met some amazing couples and have become great friends in a short 2 weeks. Today we met a couple who are also going to Ghana but they are going to the Accra Mission. This will be their forth mission since they were our age. AMAZING. My next post will come from Cape Coast GHANA...things should get a little more interesting as we begin to adjust to a new culture, new country, and new way of life! Stay tuned,the best is yet to come!