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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 66 - A Series of Unfortunate Events


This week started and finished in grand style, but in between Monday and Saturday we had "A Series of Unfortunate Events." 

On Monday we said goodbye to three missionaries: Elders Desta (Ethiopia), Nyampong (Kumasi, Ghana), and Mugisha (Uganda). It is always a sweet experience to hear their testimonies and counsel them on self reliance before they head home. Elder Lambert gave an exceptionally spirit-filled presentation, and it was powerful to listen to the discussion of the skills and habits these missionaries have developed in the last two years including; greater self confidence, the ability to communicate, making better use of their time, budgeting their money, solving problems and greater faith in the Savior. It's wonderful to see them recognize and acknowledge the growth they have experienced. They are great young men and we love them!

For the next four days we hit road blocks and stumbling blocks at every turn. Meetings and appointments were cancelled, we lost our SR specialist in Abomosu as he was called to be a Branch President, a list of returned missionaries to the area is still not available so we cannot schedule RM visits to the five stakes we have been assigned to, the Temple is closed, and the Munros went out of town, so we couldn't do some work in the mission office. Not really anybody's fault, just a series of unfortunate events..... and the lesson that stumbling blocks may be made into stepping stones as our attitude aligns with God's, we exercise patience, look at what we can do differently, and what we can't change, and then moved forward.

However, the week was not all lost because on Saturday we went to Anyaa ward where we helped Prince and Daniel clean the chapel. Prince told us that he has come every Saturday for the last two years to prepare the building for Sunday, his little helper, Daniel (9 years) also shows up every week. Daniel's family joined the church about a year ago and Daniel comes each week to help sweep, mop, and clean chairs. We were super impressed by this little boy and his willingness to help. He checked up on my efforts several times so I hope I was passing quality control! 

Following the cleaning we visited two member businesses. Sister Irene Totimah has been sewing women’s clothing for 6 years. She does contract work making nurses uniforms but also sews for individuals. In July 2016, she completed Start and Grow My Business. From the program she realized that she needed to keep her inventory of cloth options high. Since she has done so her sales have risen. She has also kept records of customers to encourage returning work. Probably the most important change she has made has been the practice of saving money. She was recently able to purchase a knitting machine (over-lock machine) from her savings and now does work she once had to pay to have done for her. She is also now able to offer this sewing service to other seamstresses who do not have a knitting machine. As Sister Totimah’s business continues to grow she hopes to buy another knitting machine and possibly add an employee. 
Ernest Sakyi- The Slipper Maker (Sandals)
Because of his use of the Start and Grow My Business manual, Brother Sakyi is the winner of Kaneshie Stake’s 2016 “Most Talented Young Single Adult” award. Ernest’s journey to success began when he enrolled in Self Reliance April 2016. At this time he had no business experience, but following the principles of the program he began to look around for something people needed. He noticed how popular slippers were and decided to learn how to make them.  While mastering his slipper making skills he began to work on how to market them. He says, “I found the answer when I reviewed chapter 11 of Start and Grow My Business”. Following the suggestions of the program he did a marketing survey and was led to enquiring if he could sell slippers at various high schools in the area. He now sells to ten high schools with more contracts in the works. His goal is to brand his product and rent a container shop. We learned so much from this young man who is finding success because of applying self reliance principles. Yeah!

A great way to end what had been a discouraging week. 
Feeling blessed,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Pictures:Prince and Daniel
Sister Irene

Week 65 - Business Visits and Golf

Dear Family,

This last week we had a meeting with our Self Reliance manager and team to consider where the focus should be in 2017. We identified concerns and how to address them, and are now starting to implement a plan which will include training for Stake leaders in our area. We work with some wonderful people who are committed and passionate about extending SR principles to everyone.

Sister Scripture Study started up again after the Christmas/New Year holiday. I am excited that we will be studying the words of the Prophet and Apostles from October conference. I was asked to facilitate the first discussion on President Uchtdorf’s talk “Fourth Floor, Last Door.” I used some quotes from the talk and asked the sisters to answer questions about faith and perseverance. We watched ‘Sedrick’s Journey” which beautifully illustrates a young man’s faith to persevere so he can go on a mission. (It’s one of my favorites that we use in SR. Check it out at At the conclusion I related the missionaries experience of knocking on all those doors to the Savior’s atonement. He too was rejected, suffered pains and afflictions even greater than man and yet He never gave up on us. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him..." Rev. 3:20. I testify that is true.

We have been attending Anyaa ward again and love the people here. During the week we visited three Anyaa members who completed the Start and Grow My Business class. David raises and sells chickens. He is a talker and had lots of stories to tell! Kwame is a taxi driver, but unfortunately his taxi was recently stolen. He and Elder Lambert discussed cars and wouldn’t you know it, gas mileage (I’m sure our girls are laughing, they know their Dad!) Our third visit was to my friend, Gladys who rents a container selling new and used clothing. While we were at her shop I helped make a sale by suggesting to a customer to try on a certain dress, she ended up buying it! Since David and Kwame had tagged along with us to direct us to Gladys’s place I brought along some banana bread to share with everyone. These people are so sweet, we appreciate them letting us into their lives and sharing their stories with us. Building relationships really is one of my favorite things about serving a mission. I love these people!

Two weeks ago we learned about an 18-hole miniature golf course not far from where we live. So on Saturday we went on a “date” and checked it out. It was great fun, with some challenging holes and the competition was close until Sister Lambert lost her focus and Elder Lambert edged ahead for the win!

Love our mission!
Elder and Sister Lambert

Week 64 - Afehyia Pa

Happy New Year (pronounced ar-fish-a-paa) 

Dear family,

Another week has flown by and we are alive and well! 

Last Monday was a public holiday and the MTC President invited everyone to join in an African Cultural event at the MTC. Demonstrations were made by James and his lovely wife, Arba in many African traditional ways including how the men wrap 6 yards of Kente cloth around themselves! Arba showed the sisters many styles of wearing a headscarf, how to wrap a baby on your back, and how to carry a load on your head. We were also invited to submit our top ten photos in a contest and viewed a slideshow of all the neat pictures that have been  taken. At the end of the afternoon we visited with the young missionaries and met four who will be joining us at Accra West in another two weeks.

The next two days we did apartment checks, helped hang some mosquito nets, delivered mail and met a new missionary in the Lartebiokorshie zone. I should have taken pictures of the apartments so you can see how the Elders live but let's just say the accommodations are basic. The young missionaries do not have the comfort of air conditioners, but we try to ensure their fans are functioning. We document leaky faucets, sink traps and toilets along with any other needs and report back to the mission office. On this visit we delivered each companionship a juicy pineapple, learned about their experiences and give an encouraging word. Elder Manuel is a Portuguese speaker and is doing remarkably well with the language. He had six books open on his bed; Portuguese and English versions of the Bible, Book of Mormon and something else... so he could cross reference passages as he studied. Elder Bangura has only been a member of the Church for 2 years and a missionary for 5 weeks. He is enthusiastic and has a fun sense of humor. Elder Lambert hit it off with Elder Roberts, who is also an avid fisherman. After several minutes of exchanging fish stories I had to remind them that for the present time they are fishers of men.

On Saturday we joined a discussion with Elder Nash and local educators on how the Church can help in the education of the youth. We discussed "What is a quality education?" "What are the gaps in Ghana's schools?" and "How can the Church help?" There are some exciting prospects on the horizon!

Hey, my repertoire of Twi is growing. If someone wishes you a Happy New Year= Afehyia pa, then you respond "Afi ko ba tu ye" Many Happy Returns!

Love from your favorite Kamasites in Africa,
Elder and Sister Lambert

Week 63 - Back tracking to Christmas - Lessons from Liberia

Kristi here. I forgot to send this letter last month! Enjoy.


Merry Christmas to our dear, dear family and friends,

What a wonderful time of year! Christmas truly brings joy to our lives!

Last Monday during Family Home Evening we had the funnest gift exchange between 60 of us serving here. We laughed as gifts were chosen, exchanged and "locked in" by the participants. A couple of times it appeared a feud may break out over highly sought after gifts, but looks like we are still all friends so no permanent harm was done!

The highlights from this week's experiences have ties to Liberia, another West African nation which has struggled with civil wars and the ebolla epidemic of 2014.  On Monday at scripture study with the senior sisters we celebrated by reading the Christmas story, singing carols and sharing traditions and nativities. Sister Heckel showed us the most unique nativity. It was made from the spent brass shell casings of bullets that were used in the civil wars (1995-1996 and 1999-2003) in Liberia. It was sobering, yet also heart-warming to view something made to cause pain and death transformed into something representing love and peace. 

On Tuesday we attended a multi zone conference with half of the young missionaries serving in Accra West. Everything was going beautifully until President realized he left the external hard drive to his laptop at home. It was needed so we could all watch a movie following lunch. Several solutions were attempted but American and Ghanaian technology isn't compatible. Then two of the Elders remembered that a member in their area had an American laptop with downloaded movies. With the owners permission we took the young missionaries to retrieve the key to his room, then to the room where he lives in the Liberian refugee camp to collect the laptop. We had never been to the refugee camp, but had heard about it many times. It's not a tent city like you might envision from recent news stories, but is a honeycomb of little houses covering a vast area on the west side of Kasoa. It was quite an experience weaving our way though narrow spaces between the homes. This camp is permanent housing for those who fled Liberia during the civil wars. It's a very poor area with people living in close proximity to each other. It also reminded me that the Savior was also a refugee during his young live when his parents fled to Egypt to avoid death by the hand of King Herod. I found it humbling as we walked through the camp. Grateful, never to have experienced the violence and trauma of war. Grateful never to have had to leave my home, not knowing what will happen to me or our precious children, and also gratitude for the safety, peace and security I have always known. Grateful for these lessons learned from Liberia.

Anyway long story short, we borrowed the laptop and then zipped back to the stake center where the missionaries voted to watch "Despicable Me 2" before receiving their Christmas packages. Three cheers to Elders Msomi and Jolley for saving the day! 

Another neat experience occurred when we arrived with the laptop. Six little boys were hanging around outside the building, the missionaries were finishing lunch but there were plenty of leftovers so Sister Munro got permission to invite the boys in to enjoy some rice, salad and cake. We sat and talked with them as they chowed down. Then they helped sweep the floor and clean up, at the same time trying to watch the movie in the other partition of the cultural hall. Again we got permission and with big smiles on their faces they joined the missionaries and watched the show. Children and Christmas go hand in hand, and this was a sweet substitute for being away from the grandkids. I loved being able to spoil these little boys, my grandma heart was happy.

Christmas day was awesome! We love how our African brothers and sisters sing the hymns and oh my, they were in fine form today! It was glorious! And even though our internet was down we were still able to talk to our family, we just couldn't see all their happy faces. Not to worry, there is always the family New Year's Eve party. We sure do love this bunch!

Elder and Sister Lambert

Friday, January 6, 2017

Week 62 - More Goodness to Come

Happy New Year to you all! You are welcome 2017!

Last night as I reflected back on 2016 I was filled with gratitude for all the good in my life and the wealth of experiences we have had this past year in Ghana. Our mission has exposed us to things we had never imagined. It has helped us see with new eyes, and has caused personal growth and greater insight into Heavenly Father's plan for his children as we work with these beautiful African people.

Around this time of year in Kamas we can wake up to a blanket of snow on the ground. Well, on Tuesday morning we woke up to the arrival of the Harmattan season. This is the dry, dusty wind which blows off the Sahara Desert and covers the whole of West Africa this time of year. Much like the inversion in the Salt Lake valley, we won't see the sun again until February. The one advantage is that the temperatures cool to 80 degrees, and the morning breeze feels wonderful!

Two highlights stand out from this week. First, we invited the Adjei family over for lunch and a swim in the pool. Samuel Adjei is one of the security guards at our apartment complex. He has impressed us with his goodness and integrity. In November we took him to the Self Reliance Week of Celebration and ever since then the friendship has grown. His wife, Sarpomaa is a seamstress, their two boys Samuel (11) and David (7) are fun kids. The boys had never been swimming before but jumped in and with the help of noodles, paddled around totally fearless, so we had to watch them pretty closely. We played "Don't Eat Pete" and the M&M game before they went home.

The second highlight was meeting with Patrick MacAidoo, our friend from Cape Coast. He bought his family with him to Accra and little Ivan (18 months) is adorable! Patrick impressed us from the first time we met him almost a year ago when he counseled returned missionaries about the adjustment after serving a mission. Since then he has introduced us to the work he does with street children in Cape Coast, and the schools he has built through his humanitarian organization (PROaid Africa Projects). We are looking forward to visiting one of the schools in a few weeks. Patrick is another example of the goodness in Ghana that we love.

Finally, we were blessed with a good internet connection yesterday and were able to join the family New Year's Eve party in Grantsville, Utah. All five of our girls, their husbands and eleven grandkids reminded us that Lambert parties include morning runs, gymnastics, dancing, toy snatching, cousin hugs, whisker tickles, gingerbread house making, foot massages, and so much more! Thank you for this special treat. We love you all.

Looking forward to 2017,
Elder and Sister Lambert