This week we were privileged to have a visit from an apostle of the Lord. Elder David A Bednar came to Accra and answered questions from Young Single Adults throughout West Africa via satellite broadcast. The broadcast was initiated from the Christianborg stake center at the Temple site here in Accra, Elder Bednar invited his wife and the Area Presidency to assist in answering questions such as: How can I best prepare for Temple marriage? How do I forgive? How do I overcome feelings of entitlement? How do we deal with the conflict of the Bride Price and the teachings of the church? I can forgive, but how do I forget? and How do I overcome feelings of inadequacy and not measuring up? One of my favorite questions was: What is similar about the Sabbath day and the Temple? The answer? Both are set apart from the world/consecrated. Both lead to thoughts of God. One is a Time, the other is a Place yet both enlighten and elevate. How we use them is an indicator of our love for the Lord.
The theme running throughout the meeting was that we need to learn to act and not be acted upon. (Sounds like self reliance to me!) We know that there is opposition in all things and that we are free to choose good or evil, but "the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward" D&C 58:28. Elder Bednar finished with the challenge to read the Book of Mormon and underline all the verses that say,"..in the strength of the Lord" or "the Lord strengthened us.." He taught that the Book of Mormon is the key to the Restoration and reading it will change your heart in powerful and simple ways. The Atonement will strengthen you as new creatures in Christ. You will see through uncertainties. You will ACT and be agents unto yourself. The YSA's expressed gratitude for Elder Bender's visit. They told us it strengthened them and answered many of their concerns.
So, the devotional was on Thursday, and on Friday we travelled to the University of Education at Winneba where we, and the other members of the SR team were invited to another Q&A symposium with YSA from the Accra West Area at their Regional Conference. In the afternoon about 500 YSA's attended three rotating workshops on missions, marriage, and money management. We assisted with the money management class and it went OK, but the learning environment was somewhat challenging to say the least. The classroom was HUGE and was so crowded with chairs that movement around the room was difficult. Hearing and answering questions in a room filled with a hundred and thirty plus students meant Elder Lambert had to snake through the openings to stand somewhat in the middle of the room just so both ends could hear him. It was not ideal but we did the best we could. More activities followed in the evening and the next day, but we headed home after the workshops.
We sure feel blessed to have these experiences, and this week we had the opportunity to talk to each of our daughters too! Icing on the cupcake... it doesn't get much better than that!!!!!!!!
Elder and Sister Lambert
The Self Reliance team- David Mensah, Michael Odoom, Alex Tandoh