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, April 26, 2016

Week 26 - Remember

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a busy week with an Area Conference for senior missionaries with President Curtis, two Returned Missionary Orientations and three Self Reliance committee meetings. We also attended a ward conference at Mataheko, where our good friend Michael Odoom serves as Bishop.
What did we learn?...


The word Remember is mentioned 424 in the scriptures, as connected with covenants- Remember the sabbath day, remember the poor, and always remember Him, to name a few.
President Monson said, "Remember who you are and what you are to become." I love the principle of "remembering" because it implies an action will follow (if you remember the cookies are in the oven you will take them out!) Sometimes however, we remember and then choose not to act because the action is unpleasant, or not what the natural man/woman wants to do. That's when we need to "remember" to submit our will to the will of the Father. That's what covenant-keepers do.


Sister Curtis shared a favorite hymn performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need."  We learned this is Issac Watts' interpretation of the 23rd Psalm. It's beautiful music and yes, brought tears to this missionary (but I was not alone!)


In 2015 we learned that 143 new wards/branches were created in the Africa West Area, but only 16 new buildings were constructed. This year it is predicted that 16 new stakes will be organized.


At Cape Coast we learned more sweet stories of the members here. Honestly, I absolutely love asking them to tell us about their conversions and lives. They all elude to how hard life is and share some of their challenges. "My progress is not easy" and "the struggle is still on" but within a minute they will say "things are looking up!" and "so my story continues...." I love their courageous positivity!


At Assin Foso we were impressed by the Stake leadership and organization of both the RM orientation and the SR committee meeting. We learned they are planning a business fair to be held in May. This is exciting news since it is an opportunity for us to see the impact of SR principles in the lives of those who participated in the program, and to meet more business owners.


Bishop Odoom taught his ward a wonderful lesson as he described visiting a palm oil plantation. The trees that produce palm oil are hardy, and resist most diseases. However when they become infected with disease their productivity and usefulness is diminished.  Bishop Odoom asked what diseases hold us back and hinder our progression? Has the disease of laziness, pride, ingratitude, selfishness, indulgence, worldliness, or entitlement crept into our lives? The only way to be cured is to turn to the Master Healer... "And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of disease... and they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God" (1 Nephi 11:31)  I have just summarized it, but it was such a great talk!

So, let us work a little harder on preventing those diseases that hinder our progress and let us "always  remember Him, that we can have His spirit to be with us"  this coming week.

We love Ghana and her people. It is a life-changing experience!
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures: Beautiful Assin Foso chapel
RM's and leaders at Assin Foso
Jed, can you identify this lizard? A friend for Jasper? ( Jasper is a Bearded Dragon residing at the Hatch's home)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 25 - Another week of goodness

Hello everyone,

Here's our week in review....

On Monday we ventured into a very poor area looking for a member business. Gosh, if we hadn't had Michael with us to give directions to Six Point I don't think we ever would have made it. We still got lost and walked down a little lane where we witnessed poverty as great as we have ever seen. Truly humbling, and left us with more questions than answers. We learned Brother Samuel Lampety actually lived on the other side of the main road so we back-tracked and were soon learning about his life, conversion and small business making sandals, and sharpening tools. 

On Tuesday evening we were excited to meet the new Kaneshie Stake SR Specialist, Bro. Anthony Mills. He is awesome! I had told President Mensah we were praying that he would find the right person for the job and he surely did! The reason for our excitement is because the SR Specialist is the link between the leadership of the Stake and the SR programs in the wards. Without him the SR program has little momentum so Bro. Mills is a key player in moving the initiative forward. 

On Wednesday we met with 23 year old Samuel Adewole, a Pathway student from Nigeria. We quickly realized this young man has a genuine desire to give service, work, and pursue an education in medicine. He has a challenging, upward climb, but is so positive and was encouraged by our counsel and suggestions. So many of these wonderful young people just need to know someone is rooting for them and is interested in their progress.

At the end of the week we joined the Potheirs (SR volunteers from the US) and visited the International  Sunbeam School. Let me clarify that this is not a school for multi-national 4 year olds. Haha!!! Instead it is an accredited university run by an LDS couple; Emmanuel and Natasha Asare. Besides classes in nursing and computers they also offer hands on experience with smarter ways to be self reliant by raising cows, rabbits, chickens, and goats. They built a hydroponics system for growing vegetables, using water made nutrient-rich by the 4000 tilapia that live in the raceway that surrounds the garden. The tilapia are now being fed with the manure from the goats rabbits and cows They also have a soy cow (machine that makes soy milk). It was quite the tour! Elder Lambert found it fascinating. Best of all for me, was meeting their kids; Denta -7, Iris -5 and Rayna - almost 3. They reminded me of our sweet grandchildren back home as we flew paper airplanes and practiced winking at each other. They made my grandma heart happy :)
Elder Lambert and I are reading "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad Callister during our study time. Let me close by sharing some powerful thoughts from it with you ... "A cathedral without windows, a face without eyes, a field without flowers, an alphabet without vowels, a continent without rivers, a night without stars, and a sky without a sun- these would not be so sad as a... soul without Christ" The contemplation of such a world as this would be the most despairing thought that could ever darken the mind or sadden the heart of man. But fortunately, there is a Christ, and there was an Atonement, and it is infinite for all mankind." 

May I add my testimony that Christ is our Savior, I love Him, and have a growing appreciation for the great gift of the Atonement. 

All our love,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures: Bro Lampety
               With the Asare kids
               Monkey on a motorcycle or Goat on a motorcycle. Which is your favorite?!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 24 - Patience

Dearest Family and Friends,

I believe the theme this week was "continue in patience..." I had to go to Preach My Gospel to remind myself of this wonderful Christ-like attribute as we waited in traffic, learned of postponed meetings, waited in traffic, dealt with some other trials and wait in the traffic some more. (I am kind of a time freak, so the traffic one gets to me if it looks like we won't get somewhere on time!).  PMG says: "Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated or anxious. It is the ability to do God's will and accept His timing. When you are patient you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith - you must wait for the Lord's promised blessings to be fulfilled. You need patience in your everyday experiences and relationships, especially with your companion. You must be patience with all people, yourself included, as you work to overcome faults and weaknesses." I love that great counsel, and have to remind myself to breath and that everything will work out.

We have been working on some fun ideas for a Pathways devotional. Sister Ridges (Pathway missionary) said the students like hands on activities even better than discussions, so we have created a memory-matching game with a twist. The students will match a Foundation Principle card with an Activity card, but they will have to do the "Activity" before the next person has a turn. 

We invited Augustine, who works for the property management company responsible for our complex to our apartment for a gospel discussion. He wants to learn more, so we gave his contact information to the sister missionaries in the area.

On Thursday we enjoyed some time at the MTC, helping missionaries log onto Family Search and enter their family history. Elder Francis from Nigeria and I shook our heads and laughed as we fumbled through the process of entering his names. He was quite unfamiliar with using a lap top but wanted to do it himself so I had to give step by step instructions and we giggled as he repeatedly made small mistakes and I said  "No problem Elder, it's a good thing you know how to repent!"  and then he would hit the delete key! He was easy to joke with, the learning curve came quickly, and it was a precious hour to help him feel the spirit of Elijah, and see his heart turned to his fathers (Malachi 4:5-6).

On Saturday we went to Kasoa stake for a SR program graduation, and the launch of a business council. Some sweet testimonials were born of how the program has impacted their lives. Here are a few quotes...
 "I have learned to keep records, relate better with my customers, and I can still take care of my children. Heavenly Father has blessed me."
"I have learned to persevere through the ups and downs of business. When I get money I pay my tithes every week."
"It has helped me identify my potential. I have gained a testimony of prophets."

On Sunday we began attending the Odorkor ward. We will assist in the Temple prep class and continue to support those in the self reliance groups that were formed a few weeks ago. I know I've said this before but I just love how the saints here sing the hymns; no piano but beautiful voices harmonizing together. It always gives me goose bumps and Elder Lambert and I just look at each other and smile. We love it!

What area of your life can you become more patient in? I challenge you to work on the first thing that comes into your mind this week.
With love,
Elder and Sister Lambert

With Elder Francis
Refreshments after graduation at Kasoa
Only saw one white man here!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Week 23 - The Last Great Race!

Hello Family and Friends,

Yes! We were able to watch part of General Conference and have new appreciation and gratitude for those who spoke to us and taught us, those who set up the system to view conference in the stake centers here for the first time, and for the wonder of the internet to be able to view church leaders talking to us 7000 miles away...within seconds of it happening! My cup was filled! Learn, Listen and Walk and Always Remember Him were two of my favorites.
This week we learned the effects of communications not shared = no returned missionaries to teach! I can't really complain because the leadership here is impressive but this week a communication glitch resulted in a couple of poorly attended RM Orientations. The good news is that two sister RM's and another group of five got some very personal, one on one attention from us. It has been such a privilege to work with these valiant individuals. They are now all registered for "Education for Better Work" SR classes and on Sunday we sat in on one group meeting with some of them. We were happy to see how quickly the groups were formed and got started.

Elder Lambert has been especially industrious this week as he downloaded all the SR videos and then burnt them onto discs for the SR groups we are working with. The videos capture key points in each lesson using personal examples and many of them were filmed right here in Accra. It is so much more enjoyable to watch these videos than simply reading the script. So his effort has been a blessing for the members since internet access can often be spotty or non existent, and we want to set them up for the optimum chance of success.

On Wednesday the Area Exc. secretary and his wife hosted a "While the cat's away, the mice play!" luncheon. Haha!  Since the Area Presidency is out of town, Elder and Sister Webster (from Sydney, Australia) had a little time to relax and invited the Area missionaries to join them. The featured presentation was a slide show given by the Area Doctor, Elder Anderson, who hails from Alaska.  No, he didn't give a lecture on malaria prevention or safe food preparation, instead we listened to a fascinating presentation on the Iditarod dog sled race; "The Last Great Race."  Elder Anderson has mushed a team of dogs for 3 years in this grueling race which covers 1,000 miles over the course of 8-10 days from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. There are 26 checkpoints on the trail and mandatory rest stops. When the race first started in 1973 it took teams 20 days to cover the distance but as with all things we do as humans in these physical endeavors the question was asked "How can we improve?" So, lighter sleds were built, breeding produced a better racing dog, food and supplies were fine tuned, and last month the fastest time was clocked at 8 days 11 hours.

 I began drawing parallels between the Iditarod and the great race of taking the Gospel to the whole world. "How have we improved?" Missionary teams are being trained earlier by better prepared/ more experienced "mushers" (Dad and Mom/ priesthood leaders), equipment is ultra light and portable (cell phones, mini DVD players, on-line tools). Spiritual food must be eaten daily to keep the teams strong. We have 150 operating checkpoints. The trail is rough, the weather is unpredictable, but mandatory Sabbath day stops rejuvenate us. The clock is ticking, we still have a ways to go, but it's a great race to be a part of!

We love you,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures: Sister RM's Esther and Hannah
Chicken and rice lunch with Tesano RM's