Friday, May 21, 2010

Saying Good-bye

We love getting to know and working so close with our missionaries. Which makes it hard every 6 weeks when we need to say goodbye again. We have had the opportunity to get to know Elder Haslam from Hurricane Utah. The Friday before he left we took him and his companion to lunch at the Cape Coast Castle Restaurant. Elder Saunders complemented his companion, Elder Adijefio on his "good looking tie". Instead of the usual "thanks", Elder Adijefio offered to give it to him, which Elder Saunders declined. After we dropped off the Elders I noticed something was left behind in the back seat.

On Saturday, we attended Elder Haslam's last baptism. Elder Saunders wore his new tie!

There is a special bond between Elder Saunders and Elder Haslam. We said our final good-bye to him at the Accra Temple after attending a session with the departing missionaries. It is a privilege to get to know and love so many amazing young men and women serving in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lasting Friendships

Sister Saunders enjoying the beautiful children in the village of Pra-Ewusi. We had come to visit our dear friends, Francis and Alice Aikins. As soon as we pulled the car up in front of the Aikins home, the children from all over the village began to gather around us. When we greeted Alice, she looked around and said to Elder Saunders "your people have arrived". We love the children here in Ghana, they have become our greatest teachers. They love freely with no judgement or prejudice. They are filled with innocence and wonder for the simple things in life.
We had taken some soft drinks (minerals) to share with the Aikins family. To keep the drinks cold we had put a bag of ice in a small cooler. After sharing two of the drinks with the children, we soon discovered that they wanted the ice cubes. Alice passed out one cube to each child. We watched them in wonder as they enjoyed their cold treat. On some occasions the ice would slip to the ground. No problem. They would just pop it back into their mouth. The ice seemed to be a real fascination with them and made us wonder if they had ever seen or held an ice cube before.
Sister Aikins is showing Margaret how to cook Palm Oil soup with chicken in her kitchen. She prepared soup and rice balls for us to take home. These people are so Christ-Like. They don't have much in the way of material possessions but what they have they are willing to share. We feel their love for us and the gospel of Jesus Christ and consider it a priviledge to know them and to love them.
Behind Elder Saunders and Francis is an open air oven. Alice bakes bread that she sells to other villagers in this oven. It had been about six hours since she had finished baking, yet when I peered inside, the heat was still very intense. She gives us a loaf of bread and a large bowl of oranges nearly every week when we take them home from church.

Elder and Sister Turner preparing to leave Ghana after finishing their mission. This picture was taken as they were getting into the Presidents car for the trip to the airport to return home to California. Sort of a forlorn feeling saying goodbye to our dear friends and fellow couple missionaries. It gave us a small taste of what it will be like when we have to say goodbye to all of our wonderful friends here in Ghana. We are blessed to know that friendships last through eternity. We treasure the daily associations we have with the incredible people we have met here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Waters of Baptism

We "hiked" over to the beach from the Moree Ward to witness some baptisms. It was hot, rocky, and tiring but we were so grateful that we made the effort.
Before the baptisms, Elders Lewis, Strong, Hill, and MacKay performed a special musical number. Thay sang the hymn, Nearer My God to Thee. The song was sang perfectly and with the ocean as the background it was awesome. The musical number invited the spirit and prepared all to witness the sacred ordinance of baptism.
Elder Adams did the baptising and Elder Lewis and Elder Hill were the witnesses. After a few tries Elder Adams was soon able to time the baptism perfectly between oncoming waves. All of the wards and branches in our area, have access to a baptismal font. Thus there are very few baptisms in the ocean anymore. This could be the only one we witness our entire mission.
Brother Pratt, a counselor in the Bishopric welcomes the new members to the Moree Ward. This is Elder Mackays' and Elder Adams area. We were so glad that they had invited us to witness this event.
Elders Lewis, MacKay, Adams, and Hill with three of the four converts baptized in the ocean Sunday. Two of the six baptisms were children of record. We love the gospel of Jesus Christ and am so grateful to be a part of helping others come to the waters of baptism.