EachI look back on our experiences of the previous week and am grateful for the opportunities that come our way. Sometimes our calendar is pretty empty, but then the phone rings, we meet people, or invitations are made to train, and when comes around again we have had many wonderful experiences. "And let us not be weary in doing well: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:9-10
Last Monday President Simpson invited us to the last supper and family home evening for eleven of our Accra West missionaries who were heading home the next day. Of these eleven four are American, one is British, two are from Ivory Coast, one Nigerian, one from Democratic Republic of Congo, one from Vanuatu, and one Ghanaian. We felt privileged to share this time with them and teach self reliance principles. For the Africans and islander we gave additional information on education/PEF loans and Pathway so they have some tools to transition with when arriving back in their native countries. Following our presentation the missionaries shared their testimonies of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful experience!
However, returning home for some of these young Elders and Sisters is not always a joyous time. Some come from humble circumstances, for example: Sister Garea lives on the island of Ambae (the legendary Bali Hai from South Pacific) a volcanic island with less than 10.000 people, she will probably have to leave her home to pursue education and work opportunities. She is nervous because her future is uncertain. Later in the week another departing missionary, Sister Mensah e-mailed the mission to say that her father had died two hours before her plane landed. She was so sad but because of her testimony of the reality of the resurrection she is coping and trusts in her Heavenly Father"s plan.
On Thursday we attended the first Pathway graduation of 80+ students in Ghana. In addition, five students received on-line degrees from BYU-I. It was quite an achievement for most of these young people.
Cape Coast was our destination for Friday and Saturday, with SR training for the stake leaders. Gratefully we were only stopped once at the several police checkpoints along the way, and after they saw our missionary tags they grinned and said, "Oh, you are Latter Day Saints!" and waved us on. I love to wear that missionary tag!
Being fast we had prayed for the leadership in this area, and opportunities to testify of self reliance. So receiving an unexpected text message on our way to church from a member of Ofankor stake presidency was an answer to that prayer. We quickly called him, turned the car around and headed in the other direction ready and willing to train eight SR ward specialists after church in Ofankor stake. We loved it because this brother truly wants his members to understand self reliance and he had made huge efforts to make this meeting happen. At the conclusion of this training we expressed thanks to Heavenly Father for answering our prayers and for President Daniels' commitment.
I can testify to the counsel of Gary Stevenson at April's General Conference when he said, "To help you become all the Lord wants you to become, kneel each morning and night in prayer to your Father in Heaven... Study the scriptures each day and apply what you read to your life... Strive each day to be obedient... In all circumstances follow the teachings of the prophets... Be humble and willing to listen to the Holy Ghost. As you do these things, the Lord will make much more out of your life than you can by yourself. He will increase your opportunities, expand your vision and strengthen you. He will give you the help you need to meet your trials and challenges. You will gain a stronger testimony and find true joy as you come to know your Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ and feel Their love for you." We have definitely experienced this on our mission!
Elder and Sister Lambert
Pictures: Departing missionaries
Sisters enjoying Sister Simpson's cheesecake
Elder and Sister Ridges- Pathway missionaries (an awesome couple!)