Moroni 7:47

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
-Moroni 7:47

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 4 - Bowl of Spaghetti


We survived our first week here! Some of you are wondering what we are doing in Africa so I have included a brief summery of the program we are involved in.

Our purpose here is to be advocates for Self Reliance. The program the Church has established is founded on the principle that the spiritual and the temporal are one. Those interested in improving themselves start with a self evaluation, answering 15 questions about their lives. If they want to improve their SR then they chose to join one of three groups: Education for Better Work, Find a Job, or Start and Grow My Own Business. Twelve spiritual messages parallel twelve lessons in each of the three areas. Students have the opportunity to apply for a Perpetual Education Fund loan at the end of the 12 week course which will help them pursue their goals. Our purpose is to teach them self reliance by helping them teach self reliance to each other. Does that make sense?

Here are some Week #1 adventures.

Missionary Name Tags
After some SR training on Monday we decided to explore a nearby shopping area. Walking back to the apartment we passed a crash between an bus and a car. No one appeared to be injured, but the traffic was backed up for several blocks so we started letting people know what the problem was so they would have the option to turn around. As we talked to drivers we noticed that they would look at our missionary name tags. it made us realize that we can always be an influence for good.

On Tuesday we travelled to the west side of the city. (We live on the east side, by the airport.) Kaneshie Stake has a SR Center and Michael, a volunteer at the Center is training us. Michael has a wife and three children. He graduated from college in Business Marketing but doesn't have a job right now. Our goal is to meet as many Bishops and Stake Presidents as possible, so we can be a resource for them. There are 5 Stakes and 2 Districts in Accra West Mission.

Lost and Found
We met some leaders Tuesday evening but as a result we had to drive home in the dark. No GPS, no compass and no phone. Just faith and a very general map of the area. We thought we were doing pretty well until we hit a construction site and a major bus terminal with literally thousands of people. We got turned around and pretty soon we were officially lost!!! 
How do I explain getting lost in Accra? It would be like being thrown into the bottom of a bowl of spaghetti and being told to find the noodle that takes you to the top of the bowl.

Then a tender mercy from the Lord, as a young couple noticed us looking at a map (no one uses maps here), they led us through the spaghetti bowl to a major road, where we were able to find our way home. A great example of how the Lord protects his missionaries. And a wonderful example of the Goodness in Ghana.

During our companion scripture study the next morning we read in Alma 37:42 "therefore they tarried in the wilderness or did not travel a direct course and were afflicted with hunger and thirst because of their afflictions..." That was us, we had a good laugh!!!! Actually verses 40-47 teach some great truths about faith leading to miracles.

Saturday we attended the Temple here. It is hard to express what we saw and felt. The Ghanaian Saints are so faithful and humble. It is a privilege to be here and learn from them.

The Companionship
We work out every morning.  I am grateful my comp will turn around and jog back to me, so I don't get too far behind him... I don't want to get lost in that bowl of spaghetti again! 

The pictures show two example of how Ghanains do business on the street. They are so skilled at carrying heavy loads on their heads. We find it quite entertaining to watch as we sit in the traffic.

Love and sunshine from Ghana,

Kerry and Annie

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 3 - Toto, We're Not in Kamas Anymore!


We are definitely not in Kamas any more!!!!

On our path down the yellow brick road we have had some wonderful experiences at the. MTC and the training we received at the Church Office Building. We left, knowing that The Lord is directing this great work in His way and in His time. The power of the Spirit testified the importance of the work of Self Reliance. As the Brethren were working on this initiative President Hinckley would ponder the progress and then say "That's not how I saw it" so they would go back and rework the initiative. It's an interesting problem- how to get people to help themselves.....

So, we have finally arrived in Ghana, 5 months after receiving our call.
First impressions.... Hot and humid, traffic jams, colorful flowers, many people selling a large variety of items on the streets,
Now 48 hours later we feel a little more knowledgeable to add to that perspective.
On Friday after meeting President Hill (our mission Pres.) we went to the Area office, adjacent to the Temple, and met several people we will be working with. We were given keys to a car and the office couple, the Keeles took us to our apartment. From there we went shopping with another couple, the Binghams to gather some basic supplies for the pantry and fridge.  The couple missionaries are so supportive.

What you need to understand about the roads here is that there are no real traffic laws which are obeyed and its "all for one and one for all"! With motorcycles weaving through traffic and people selling their wares between the lanes it makes for adventurous navigating! 
On Saturday we attended a mission Conference, which was also a memorial for Sister Hill, the President's wife who died last Sunday due to complications during surgery. It was a tender meeting with President Hill sitting between his AP's, arms wrapped around each other. He comforting them and then they in turn supporting him. Sister Hill was loved by everyone and I am sad we never had the opportunity to meet her. Her motto was "I can do hard things" (sounds familiar!) She will be buried in Ogden, Utah this coming week, then Pres.Hill will return to Ghana and finish his mission in January.

Today we attended a branch of the Church in the community of Adoagyiri, an hour from Accra.  I met Jerry and George, pictured below. It was an interesting experience because they sing the hymns in English but most of the talking/discussion is in Twi (tribal language) with the occasional English sentence thrown in to keep us informed as to what is being discussed.

Tomorrow- we have meetings at the Area office and I will attend a scripture study session with all the wives.

Cultural Highlights:
  • Akwaaba = welcome
  • It amazes us what they carry on their heads. I will have to take pictures...
  • Tro-tro is the name for vans which are used as public transportation. there are LOTS of to-tros!
  • "Obrornie" = white person

Goodness in Ghana:
  • The Ghanains are a handsome people, the children are so beautiful
  • Their smiles light up their faces
  • Everyone is friendly
  • I love the colors of the women's native dresses

The companionship: (Elder Lambert writing now) This is certainly not Kamas any more and in some ways is as strange and scary to us as the land of Oz was to Dorothy. It is good to have my source of strength and stability by my side. Your mom has been awesome as usual. I will let you decide if she is the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, the Good Witch of the West or the Wicked Witch of the North. 

Spread the Goodness!
Elder and Sister Lambert 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 1 - The MTC


We have just completed our second day at the MTC and I think I am as tired as when we have all 10 grand kids over!

Yesterday we had several talks and met the MTC Presidency. Dad was "volunteered" to be a district leader and we have eight in the district This is the largest group of Senior missionaries to go through this year -178 of us! We have met some awesome couples. One is going to India and another is going to Jordan (Humanitarian work). Zambia, Rome, Brazil and some island off the coast of Spain are also receiving some great couples. The older single sisters inspire me with their willingness to serve. Most will be serving in SLC -Family/Church History, but two Sisters are going to the Czec Republic to copy records and histories.

We watched an amazing talk recorded four years ago, given Christmas Day by Elder David Bednar on the Character of Christ. Beautiful.

This morning we started working on teaching from Preach My Gospel, and will be teaching investigators tomorrow.

Tonight's GA speaker was Richard J Maynes and his wife Nancy. They have a home in Oakley. Most insightful talks on the purpose of missionary work and fulfilling that purpose. Great spirit here. 

We sit with he young Elders and Sisters at meal time and thoroughly enjoy them, but occasionally we think we are walking the halls of some random High School in Utah!!!!! Pretty funny.

The companionship is working well together. No contention .... yet (haha). In fact, I would have to say I love my comp more than ever!

Thanks for the warning about the Cafeteria. The food is AMAZING! We are working to control ourselves and are working out in the gym each morning to rectify the damage done the previous day. However, we hear tomorrow is BYU Creamery Ice Cream bar, with all the toppings for dinner so we will have to use extra restraint. I know now how the Brothers bond so well over a trip to the Drug Store, it reminds them of their MTC days!!!!

Love to you all, will keep you posted.
Elder and Sister Lambert (aka Mom and Dad)