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

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 15 - New Friends

This was an awesome week!

Sister Scripture Study
 It started off with some special guests “popping in” to Sister Scripture Study. Sister Carole Stevens (1st Counselor in General RS Presidency) and Mary Durham (2nd Counselor in General Primary Presidency). They shared with us the shift they have seen in the councils of the church and the tender feelings the Brethren have for the sisters. They said that the sisters need to “awaken’ to their identity and get to work doing the work of the Church. Use your voice Sisters! (see Russell M Neilson’s Oct 2015 talk "A Plea to My Sisters")
Silvia, Sister Lambert, Yami

     On Tuesday we travelled to Nsawam, half an hour north of Accra. Our purpose was to visit a school for beauty therapy and see if it meets the criteria to be placed on the preferred list for LDS students (receiving PEF loans) to attend. The owners, Yami and Silva, were extremely personable and have quite a story. They had lived in England but moved home to Ghana so their children could experience their homeland. Silvia’s father was a Doctor and practiced medicine in both countries. He wanted Silvia to go into medicine but she preferred cosmetology. So two years ago she opened a medical clinic in her father's name and right next door is her school. As we were getting to know them it came up that I went to school at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Yami said "Goldsmith's? I worked at the pub across the road from the college!" Crazy world! We now have some new friends in Nsawam. I told Elder Lambert I want to go back and visit them again in the near future.

     On Wednesday we were buying fruit at our neighborhood fruit stand where adorable two year old Lordina melted my heart. She is a friendly little thing and wanted to hold my hand (some of the children are afraid of us and our ghostly faces!) Her grandma has been so sweet to us as we buy from her. Elder Lambert gave her a sample of banana bread and she now has the banana bread recipe, as does Doris, who has a fruit stand next to her, and another lady who was listening in on the conversation asked for the recipe too!

     On Friday we travelled to Mankessim, on the Cape Coast highway, to share our presentation on four possible business ventures with the members of the two branches there. Elder Lambert did a wonderful job presenting all that he had researched about grass cutters, mushrooms, and snails. The audience viewed some videos and received a summery of the presentation. Sister Lambert demonstrated how to make banana bread and then gave out samples and the recipe. The 28 people present were enthused and planned to meet again according to their interests. At the end of a successful afternoon the Branch President said it was funny that a white man was teaching them how to raise grass cutters! But they are also impressed and so delighted in how this "white man" is eating red-red, banku, fufu, kenki and plantains like a true Ghanaian! They love that he is immersing himself in their culture and as a result a connection is being formed.
Children catching crabs on the beach

     On Saturday we enjoyed a walk on the beach, meeting a group of 10 children catching crabs in the tidal pools. They were super cute and wanted me to take pictures of the crabs they caught. 


Later that morning we traveled 1.45 hours north to Twifo Praso for a My Path devotional, where the people evaluate their level of self reliance and then choose which path to pursue (education, business or job search). This district is led by Brigham Johnson, whose father was a pioneer of the church here in Ghana. Brigham is a remarkable, forward-thinking individual who gave up a successful construction business in Accra to help run a school in this area, but his passion is to help his people become more self reliant. He works with the farmers on crop and animal issues, and he is organizing the women into support groups to help them gain confidence in their abilities to take the SR classes and get a job. 

Mankessim Members
We love this area of the country because of the rainforest and slower country pace of living but the one disadvantage is we don't speak Twi (yet...). We missed out on the discussion and worse yet, didn't get the jokes when they all laughed, but our presence and warm handshakes means so much to them... it's all about just knowing someone cares.

     Because our good friend and travel companion, Michael Odoom was recently called to serve as Bishop of his ward we woke up at 3:45am to travel back to Accra. Michael's ward meets at 8am and we got him back in plenty of time for his first Sunday on the job.
Twifo Praso
     I have realized in writing this weekly letter that it is much easier to write about what we are doing than what we are feeling on this mission. So often we have experiences that pull at our heart strings, humble us, teach us, and are gradually changing us for the better, but finding the right words to express those feelings takes far more effort. So next week you may hear about the lesson of the windshield washer or the faith of Elder Zounmenou.

Be good, Share the goodness.
With love,
Elder and Sister Lambert 

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