What an amazing week!
It started last Sunday as our Primary children sang "Gethsemane". This inspired music brings the spirit like nothing else! We stopped several times during the singing to explain words and gospel concepts as the children grew in understanding the message of the song. I love how powerfully music teaches the doctrine of Christ. Following church Elder Lambert and I divided up to sit in on two SR groups and gave them some support and direction.
(Kristi here. The video above is the song my mom was referring to. I love this song. Especially this version. Brings me to tears pretty much every time. God is good.)
On Monday we attended a gathering of SR/Pathways leadership to organize SR devotionals for Pathways students for the next semester, starting in April. Getting everyone on the same page felt so good. President Monson has said,"When we work together cooperatively, we can accomplish anything." We believe the combined efforts of SR and Pathways will strengthen these students and better prepare them for life. Following this meeting we had a farewell for the Wades, who like us serve as SR missionaries, only they serve in the Accra mission. With them leaving we would be the only SR missionaries in the whole of area.
However, last week a new couple from the US arrived to serve as volunteers in SR! We actually met them in the Temple and teamed up immediately to learn how we can help each other. The Pothiers are here for 6 months and this is their fifth visit to Ghana. We feel so blessed for the opportunity to learn from them. Their focus will be to help church members develop small businesses and to work on agricultural projects. In May they will host some interns from BYU-I who will experience small business development in Ghana.
From here the week just got better and better as we travelled to Takoradi, where a new stake was created over the weekend, under the direction of Elder Rasband. The new Mpintsin stake will have nine units, as will Takoradi. Our purpose was to meet with 33 returned missionaries and ensure they have all the tools necessary to move on with their lives. As a result of this meeting we gleaned some great stories to add to our collection of conversions and life lessons.
Lucy Acquah- Sister Acquah is 23 years old and has been a member for 3 years. She first heard about the church when a lady living in her compound said she belonged to the true church. Lucy was curious. She asked her mother if she could attend this church and although it would mean she would be neglecting her responsibilities at the market, her mother allowed her to go for two hours. Lucy was gone much longer and as a result her mother was angry and gave her no food on her return. However, over time the missionaries came to her home and taught her the Gospel. As a result she joined the church and is a great asset to her ward. She is now preparing to leave for a mission to Liberia in June 2016.
Sister Acquah never knew her father, and an abusive step father left their family several years ago. This left her mother to support their family of 5. To help with the finances Sister Acquah learned, from a friend, how to do beadwork. She now sells her beaded creations to members and friends. Taking the “Starting and Growing My Business” course helped her to keep track of her income and expenses so she knows the profit she has made. This allows her to budget money for the support of her family and still have some left to save for her mission. By using a missionary planner she organizes her day so she can accomplish chores, attend Institute, make and sell her bead products, study Preach My Gospel, and help teach investigators with the missionaries. Desiring to keep her covenants has led Sister Acquah to participate in temple work. Researching the names of her great great grandmother and other ancestors, she has performed baptisms on their behalf in the Ghana, Accra Temple. This faithful sister says she always strives to live her life so the Spirit may be with her.
She is now teaching her non-member mother how to do bead work, and manage her business with the hopes that the business will still be functioning when she returns from her mission. Upon her return she plans to go to school but also continue to expand her beadwork to include fashion design which is her desired course of study.
Isn't that great?!!! I want to adopt this angel too! ... and when she comes to Accra we plan to get together again. What a sweet girl!
On a rainywe returned to Accra, stopping along the way to buy some snails which Elder (Ghanaian) Lambert ate for dinner. Yuck! His reaction was, "No wonder the French cover them in garlic and butter!" I am still working on eating fish eyes so eating snails is way down on my list of becoming a true Ghanaian!
In this chapter Moroni records the words of his father (who could be speaking to the people here in Ghana) ...." peaceable followers of Christ ... obtained a sufficient hope ...for if their works be good, then they are good also." I love verse 13..."But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." and 23-24..."And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come. And behold there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come to unto them." In verse 29 he asks, "Have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men." Verse 33 speaks to the Ghanaian people, "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever this in expedient in me." Mormon continues with a be beautiful discourse on faith, hope and charity, ending with, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. wherefore cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail- 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. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen"
I testify that this is what we are here to learn through this journey called life; to have our nature changed, to see through new eyes, to love as the Savior loved, to become pure and good. I know our Savior lives. I have felt his love.
God is good = Nyameyie
All our love,
Elder and Sister Lambert
For the Bleazard boys!