Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 2013

June 2013

It's been two months since I blogged.  Either I'm lazy or busy - some of each I suppose.  By the time we get home from the office or activities, all I seem to want to do is relax.  But guilt has gotten the better of me tonight.  So, I will share a few pictures and what we have been up to these past 2 months.
We took a nice drive up to the Volta Lake which is the largest man made lake in the world.  It's about a two hour drive.  On the way, we pass a baboon reserve area....not always do we see any, but this day we saw about 30.  Above looks like the alpha male of the group.  He's the biggest one we've ever seen.  . It's difficult to get pictures because they tend to run into the trees if you slow down or stop.  But he seemed content to stare us down.

We have spent a lot of time organizing the training meetings for the upcoming Summit for the 6 stakes and 4 districts in the Greater Accra Area.  It will happen July 12-13.  Part of the training is to organize with them all of the sub-committees necessary such as food, lodging, publicity, registration, materials, facility, games/activities, speakers/workshop teachers.  We had a great day on May 11th where we spent two hours introducing games that could be used during the activity blocks at the Summit.  We had anticipated having100 people at the meeting and were delighted that 116 showed up.  There were leaders and a whole lot of YSAs.  Boy, did we have fun  Below are some pictures I took (staged) for the publicity posters we printed.  These people are YSAs that work at the Area offices and have become dear friends.  I just love them!



We've also been invited to a few Outreach program launches - the Area Institute Director has opened some outreach programs at various ward buildings around where the kids go for socialization, devotional and classes once a week.  We have gone to play games with them and have been the guest speakers at their initial devotional - about dating and courtship. 

On May 24th we went to Cote d'Ivoire to work with the Area Seventy and a Stake President to select a venue for their August Summit.  These two summits will be the pilots - the other 11 areas will begin their annual summits next summer.  We'll be doing some training in those areas in the next couple of months.  We held four meetings on one Saturday with people we just love- not all of whom spoke English.  But Elder Ounleu and President Sahy and the Institute coordinator all did - so our game playing was very fun and we relied on those leaders to help explain the games. 

We will be going to Nigeria in two weeks and to Cape Coast Ghana the week after that.

We are having a lot of changes in leadership here in the next month.  Elder Dickson will leave and become Emeritus as of October conference.  Elder Sitati (Keyna native) will be reassigned to SLC.  Elder LeGrand Curtis who is now a counselor will be the new Area President with two brand new seventies as his counselors.  Elder Vison from Australia and Elder Dube from Zimbabwe.  We will also have a new Director of Temporal Affairs- a heavy duty calling to manage all of the employees, materials, property, buildings, and finances for the Area.  Greg Dunn is leaving and replacing him is Brother Phillipe Kradolfer.....a man born in Bolivia whose father was Swiss.  He married a Swiss woman, Regula, and they have had years of experience.  We have met them and look forward to working with them.

We are just about ready to go live with the Africa West Area website.  We are the  managers and are responsibile to select the stories, articles, news and events that are posted.  You can go to and on the left hand column there is a list of other world areas' links to their website.  Ours should appear shortly after June 10th or so.  This is a much more involved responsibility than we could have imagined - and we didn't know about it until after we arrived here.  We work with Stake historians and reporters from all countries, an editor, a webmaster etc.....but it is very interesting.

The temple patron housing (which we live in) most of the time has groups who come from far away to stay for a few days.  There are usually children and sometimes, this is the first time they've seen white people up close.  The African word for us is 'obruni'.  It is so fun to hear the little ones point and call us that!   One day, as we entered the building, a whole group of children just swarmed us to give us hugs and say "good afternoon" - they were from Cote d'Ivoire and that was one of the few English phrases they knew - just like we know "Bonjour"   So, I showed them my camera and they were delighted to pose for a picture.

Here is another picture I just had to take.  These little babies are so adorable.  Just look at that hair!
Time marches on and we feel so grateful for this experience.  The Church is growing more rapidly here than any other place in the world at this time.  So, there are a lot of challenges -even just keeping up with finding enough buildings to meet in for all of the new units that must be created.  There are quite a few more missionary couples than we had the first mission. We now will have 13 missions where there were only 8 three years ago when we left. 

We love the Lord and His work!