Friday, December 31, 2010

Celebrating the New Year In Abakrampa

The party begins around 9:00 am on December 31st when the women gather to prepare food for everyone. This group of sisters are pounding fufu to feed the crowds. While they pound, the men and children play games, visit, sleep, and watch movies across the street at the church.

Another group of women are cooking over hot fires, making rice, soups, and stews. This is Mary checking the rice with Beatrice standing on the left and Vida standing on the right.

Later when the Elders arrived they gave the sisters a break and took over the fufu pounding. In the process they quietly taught a great lesson to the young priests in our branch who quickly followed their example and also helped with the pounding.

We had over 140 people join us to celebrate the new year. There were games, music, dancing, visiting, and plenty of food for everyone. A few street vendors and lots of children stopped by to see what all the noise was about. They were all welcomed and fed. We love the wonderful people in the Abakrampa Branch. They have become our family here in Ghana.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wild Christmas Party

On Christmas day we met with the couples in the mission home for a delicious feast. We had turkey, brisket and all the trimmings. Honestly one of the best meals we have ever had! Dave is wearing an apron because he is the official dishwasher at all gatherings! After Sister Lamb's incredible apple pie, the party became a little wild when Sister Sabey brought out the crowns and the poppers.

The Sabey's began the celebration by pulling the strings and beginning "the wave" so they popped all around the table. As they popped open, out came a prize and a joke!

There was even a joke from Alaska for Sister and Elder Kiffer! What do you call a cow in Alaska? An Eskimoooo!! Yep, the jokes were simply hilarious! However, the crowns were very appropriate for these wonderful couples. They are certainly royalty in our eyes and the eyes of our missionaries!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

We spent the Holiday with the other couples in our mission. The Kiffers, the Sabeys, the Lambs, and the Bennetts. We had Christmas Eve dinner at Coconut Grove, a beautiful resort in Elmina. As the sun set, I gazed out at the ocean and felt the sea breeze on my face and realized I will probably never have another Christmas Eve quite like this one. I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the beauty around me and love for these dedicated and faithful couples. Our time spent with them has greatly enriched our lives.

Earlier, the Abura Sisters came over to our apartment and performed the dance that they did for their Christmas gathering. They also sang a Christmas carol for us in Fante. They are amazing young women and very talented! We love the sisters and enjoy it when they come to our apartment to visit and entertain us! L to R: Sister Anyango from Uganda, Sister Evans from Ghana, Sister Mafabi from Uganda, Sister Afrani from Ghana and Sister Izidor from Nigeria.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Christmas Gathering

This year for Christmas the Sabey's held 4 separate Christmas gatherings. Two were held in their home, one in the Bennett's apartment in Suyani, and one in the Lamb's apartment in Sekondi. Here we are in the mission home, with Elder Smith and Elder Meinzer. They are the first full time proselyting missionaries to serve in Abakrampa! We are all standing by probably, one of the only Christmas trees in Cape Coast!

We met with the Cape Coast and Assin Foso Zones. President Sabey gave an amazing presentation on the First Christmas using his Ghanaian Nativity set. We sang songs, ate good food, received gifts and just enjoyed the Christmas spirit together.

A week earlier we did spot this Christmas tree in Accra! Looks a little out of place with blue sky and green grass! And the decorations....well we can only imagine the time and planning that went into decorating this tree! :) Hey and why not use it to do a little advertising?!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Departing Elders

At the Accra Temple with six departing missionaries. From left to right, Elder and Sister Lamb, President and Sister Sabey, Elder Hill (Utah), Elder Ayim (Ghana), Elder Balyejusa (Uganda), Elder Ajeifio (Ghana), Elder Valentine (Florida), Elder Isikor (Nigeria) and Elder and Sister Saunders.

With Elder Hill who served as an Assistant to the President.

Elder Ajeifio, who happens to be one (we have many) of our favorite Elders.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Visit to Takoradi

On our preparation day we visited Takoradi so Sister Saunders could shop for some fabric. We had a blast visiting the busy market. She shopped and I sat on the curb visiting with whoever I could get to stop and talk. Very few spoke English.