Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To the Farm

For a service project we drove 10 elders to a recent converts farm in Nyamedom to weed! I wonder if there is a law against giving machetes to missionaries!
Weeding in Africa means getting a sharp machete and whacking down everything but the tree! John Mensah worked hard keeping them sharp by using a rock and little "bowl" of water.

Elder Saunders worked till he had blisters on his hands and was so wet from sweat, I thought someone had poured a bucket of water over him.

Sister Saunders took pictures and waited on a log with the other "Margaret" and her children, Emmanuel and Diana.

The Elders take a quick break to "drink" an orange. They cut the top off of the "yellow" orange and just squeeze the juice into their mouths.

Elder Smith from Ghana shows us how to uproot a cassava plant used in making fufu.

While walking out of the jungle, Elder Togaga'e from Samoa spotted a coconut tree and up he went!
Walking back to the van eating coconuts and oranges. I was surprised Elder Saunders had enough energy to walk back to the van, let alone eat coconut at the same time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wedding

On February 26th 2011 Patrick and Charlotte were married by President Sabey at the Takoradi Stake Center.

Charlotte's Grandmother, sister, little brother, and mother. Like at home, family dresses in their finest for the celebration.

Sunday the newlyweds came over to our apartment for dinner. We then went to theirs where we watched them open their gifts.
On Tuesday, the 1st of March we went with them to the Accra Temple to witness their sealing. Because a temple marriage is not recognized by the country as a legal marriage, the church gives couples two weeks after the civil ceremony to go to the temple for the sealing. If they do not make the trip to the temple within the 2 weeks they must wait the normal 1 year to be sealed. The wedding was beautiful but nothing compares with the beauty of the Temple and being sealed for time and all eternity!

The Engagement

On February 25 we had the privilege of accompanying our dear friend Patrick to Takoradi for his "engagement". Due to culture and tradition, marriages are a little different than in the US. Before the engagement can be official the two families negotiate a "bride price". Before the wedding can take place the families meet together to pay the price and make the engagement official.

After the family accepts the "gifts" Patrick places the ring on Charlotte's finger and it is official!

We love Patrick and Charlotte and are so happy for them. The Church discourages the traditions of the "bride price". Hopefully the time will soon come that members of the church will no longer have the stress of coming up with large amounts of money to pay to the bride's family before they can marry and begin their own family.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lovin' the Missionaries!

There are many things we love about our mission. The list would be long but for certain the number one slot would go to the awesome missionaries we get to serve with. These are pictures of just a few of the 130 missionaries that we have come to love. We recently received word that our mission is going to grow to 168 missionaries in the near future. Bring 'em on!!

This is a picture we took of our Zone on P-Day to wish President Sabey a Happy 60th Birthday! We love being a part of the Cape Coast Zone. It changes a bit every 6 weeks which gives us the opportunity to get to know and love more of our missionaries.

Elder Banda from South Africa and Elder Eldredge from Idaho just live up the street from the office. So we are lucky to have them drop in occasionally on their way to or from their area. "Drop-ins" from missionaries are some of our favorite times of the day!

The African missionaries love taking pictures in front of our car. We joined them for this picture after a special zone conference with visiting authorities. We are with Elder Owusu and Sister Afrani from Ghana, and Elder Fairbanks and Elder Thacker from Utah.

Once a month all the zone leaders come to Cape Coast for Zone Council. Two of our favorite zone leaders (oh alright we love 'em all the same) are Elder Mackay from Nevada and Elder Christensen from Utah. Our missionaries are the best of the best. We consider it a privilege and honour to serve with them in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission!