Hello family and friends,
We send WARM wishes from Ghana and hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas. Our Christmas highlights include visiting with each of our daughters and son-in-laws over FaceTime and seeing those sweet grandchildren growing up. Big boy/girl underwear was a hit at three of their homes this Christmas!
Last Wednesday we joined other missionary couples at the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Tema, half an hour from Accra. Sixty new missionaries had arrived and we were there to help them create their own pedigree chart/family tree on FamilySearch.org. Of these 60 only 4 were American, the rest were African. Other demographics include their average age being 25 and most have only been members of the Church for one year. Half of them are French speaking and one third of them are orphans. Some humbling, heart-wrenching stories came out of this experience.
we joined another group of 24 young missionaries from the Ofankor zone in the Achimoto mall. Singing Christmas carols and having busy shoppers stop and join in was pretty fun. As I have already mentioned, people here love to sing. Many of the children came up and sang with us as their parents snapped pictures and videoed the experience. Along with the singing, Elder Lambert and I had the crazy "it's a small world" experience of meeting a Ghanaian couple who asked if we were from Utah. What?!!! The wife, a professor at the University of Ghana, had recently returned from Weber State University where she was learning about respiratory therapy. We talked about Utah and her visit, but then they learned I was from England. The husband was born in England, and they have a home in Earley, Reading, Berkshire. I about fainted. This was the town where I was born!!!!!! We are planning to meet with them again after the holidays.
On Christmas morning we attended a brunch and in the evening had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This also served as a farewell dinner for President Hill who will be returning to the States at the end of this week. He is a remarkable individual who faces adversity with a smile on his face and a fierce will to endure to the end. We have enjoyed learning from him.
we hosted 10 other couples for dinner. (We rotate apartments and everyone contributes) They have each impacted our experience so far with their wealth of knowledge and areas of expertise. After dinner I convinced half of them to stay and satisfy my need to play a game. Reverse Charades was soon explained, we broke into teams and then the fun began! Although the Sisters team won, it was the Elders who had us in stitches. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!
Today we invited the Odoom family over for a swim. I showed Regina how to make banana bread, we played "Don't Eat Pete", hide and seek, and the M&M game with their three children and fixed tacos for them to try. Before they left the children sang for us. They are awesome!
This has been an amazing year for us. We feel so privileged to be serving the Lord in Ghana. We encourage all couples to seriously consider joining us in this work. There is such a great need.
We are excited to see what 2016 has in store for us and for you!
With love and warm wishes,
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures #1Caroling, #2Christmas dinner, #3USA, China, India, Europe, Japan, plus more = Africa