Sunday, February 22, 2015


Our mission here is somewhat different than other senior missionary couples.  Most couples are assigned a specific ward or branch where they teach Temple Preparation or some other assignment within that ward.  For Sister Terry and I we get to visit a different Ward or Branch every Sunday to provide training – usually unannounced.  Right after Sacrament Meeting I round-up all the Clerks I can find and spend an hour or two providing them with hands-on technology training while Sister Terry works with the Relief Society and Adult Literacy.  We have had some of our most rewarding experiences during these Sunday training visits. 

I've meet with Clerks who have been keeping paper records for months because they don't have the technical skills to resolve a virus problem or some other PC issue.  I've seen Clerks who have been without network connections for months – and every Sunday they unplug their Branch PC and transport it miles to another unit where they can get a network connection to upload their tithe and fast offering records.  When I'm able to teach them how to remove the virus or fix their network connection, they are so grateful!  Because most meetinghouse network connections are less than 1 Mbps they cannot effectively access the technical training content found on our usual LDS sites.   Because of that I usually leave them with a DVD that contains training and informational material to assist them in their training after I am gone.    (You can see one of my classes in the attached photo). 

It seems to me that all Church members here have an extra measure of spirituality that drives them to magnify their callings beyond what I've experienced in the US.  They absolutely thirst for that knowledge and are always so grateful to have information that will help them in that regard.  With very little of the technology we take for granted in the US, they continue to achieve extraordinary growth and accomplish so much with so little!   

Life can be hard here, but when Sister Terry and I see how our efforts change the lives of so many it just makes all that "hard" fade away!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


HERE IS JUST a snapshot of some of the leaders of the Tema Stake in one of the Literacy Leadership Trainings. I walk into a room where anywhere from 16 units to 9 units with Stake Presidency, Stake RS Presidency, Ward RS Presidency and Bishops are in attendance. I would say that its good that I'm not concerned about what I know, but what the spirit can bring into the room. I marvel that they sit here with the vast amounts of spiritual knowledge and life experiences to listen to a white woman. I don't know why that stick in my thoughts at times. I look at what is added between us, and draw them into the world of literacy within their Stake. I'm humbled to feel of their love, their participation and their testimonies. They are on the front line of the church here, and will be the spiritual anchors that hold this program into place. Strong leadership will always equal CHANGE on their level of dedication.


IT DOESN'T TAKE a lot of overhead to open up your stand to sell anything here in Africa. Their ways of trying businesses that are portable and needed amaze me. Selling meat pies, fruit or a Jamba Juice stand they are trying to bring home whatever they can. Many times we buy from them and bring items back and give them to the guards that are security for our apartment complex. One day we bought a whole stalk of plantains for less than $8, and the guards were all smiles when we handed it to them. It's in moments like this that its not about needing it, but they desperately do!


A DAY TO CREATE your own pattern and design. We were able to go and learn the art of batik. It is a bit daunting to walk in and see a whole wall of sponge African stamps to create anything your heart desires. The process was amazing to be part of. From dyeing your fabric any color you wanted, to pressing your stamps in the wax, to the boiling pots of water built in the open with wood, to just using the African air to dry our cloth. There were 7 of us and I'll get the picture of all of our designs, and send it in our next blog. The bluest blues and the brilliant sunset oranges you can imagine. Who needs a dryer when you have the grass and the warm winds of Africa.


SO VERY THANKFUL for the crayon box of unlimited colors that Heavenly Father has blessed us with!


ELDER TERRY is smiling for a reason....can you guess? Look closely at the picture, and see if you can figure it out.


A BEAUTIFUL BRIDE and a wonderful day with friends.





WE MARVEL at the building up of the MTC right on the grounds by the Temple and Area Office. The MTC will not be completed before we return home, and we wish we would be able to see the missionaries streaming in from all over the world. What a holy site that will be to see them coming and going, visiting the Lord's house and receiving their training before they march out into the world. And to think that not that many years ago the church was told that they would never be given ground to build any structure here in Ghana. Even this land is leased, and yet fulfilling the special witness of Jesus Christ with His fullness and glory.

Here are the stats for 2014: This past year they trained 1374 missionaries from 37 different countries throughout the world. Nigeria provided 392, the DR Congo sent 274, Ghana gave us 256 and the next four biggest suppliers were: Ivory Coast - 85; US - 79; Madagascar - 43 and Uganda - 40. The rest of the 205 were spread out over 30 different countries.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


THIS PICTURE IS MY SCREEN SAVER at my desk in the Area Office. I love looking at it because it is a gentle reminder of how He feed all those that came and sought him. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He performed so many of His miracles. In the background, you can see the glistening of the seashore of HIS COME AND SEE. We have so many moments to COME as we serve here in Ghana. It is a prayer that we will leave our nets straightway, and follow Him in anything we are asked to do. It seems to be the harder ones that we have felt the greatest gift of becoming something more.

The bottom picture are just two loaves and no fishes. Some are bread makers and without my Bosch I don't think I would do very well with just my hand mixer. One Senior Missionary Sister does use hers, and she has already burned it up. So, I decided with all the bananas that I buy on way home every other day that I would become a banana bread maker. I can't seem to say no to the 12 bananas that the woman with a smile comes running to my car window for me to buy. So every other day, I buy and bring them home. And every other day, I'm baking bread to take to people. I love slicing pieces off at work and handing them out, maybe slices them into 1/3, or those that get a whole loaf are so very thankful. Relationships are being formed over a couple loaves of banana bread, and we come and see one another as He would with LOVE. I have two pans and a oven that takes my constant eye to regulate the heat. We will perfect one another in this great work between the loaves we will carry by the sea shore.


I HAVE BEEN TRYING WITHOUT SUCCES to have Elder Terry buy one of these shirts that the men wear here. So far no luck. His birthday is coming up, and maybe I will surprise him. The bottom picture is a group of men from the Area Office that went with Elder Terry to train in Cape Coast. It is truly amazing to see how they each have such skills, and how they are all united in the same great cause. As you can see from the top picture, they have marketing in the trees down here in Ghana. You will know if I've been successful to have him wear one if he get off the plane with one on. I wouldn't wager quite yet.


MAKOLA MARKET is the biggest market in Accra. I'm convinced you can find anything you want here if you just know where to look. And believe me most of the time it isn't where you think you would find it. If you want a long sleeve white shirt to wear in the temple, you go down the street and the women will start pulling out blouses from a gunny sack. If you would like a few more dish towels, you can stop at the women's pile and start picking what color you want. This day I asked her to pick out the color for me. She looked puzzled at first, and then I explained that I wanted to remember her in my kitchen. The blue one in the picture below is the one she choose. You have to be very careful and keep your money tight and go with someone that can navigate its vastness. Bernice has taken scores of us here, and you give her a list and she can go right to most things. Truly, I feel if I went without her that I would be lost and never return. This is Elder Terry's paradise. It's my worst nightmare. He thinks its so much fun, and I'm just wanting to see a little, get things on my list and find my way back to some sort of order. There are those that wait to carry your load back to the car and will follow you as a way of earning money. One day, I would like to trade with them, and carry their load. I would call this place an African Costco on steroids.


THE TEMPLE OF GHANA is so richly beautiful. These are pictures from a Sister Scripture Study of the interior before it's dedication. We have the privilege everyday to walk past this House of the Lord. As we come and perform those sacred ordinances, we come as brothers and sisters in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm still in awe each time we enter and we are the minority of white and they are the majority of dark chocolate. No more beautiful color exists in the world than to see the mingling of our brothers and sisters in doing the Lord's work. The Temple is now closed for a couple of weeks for renovation, and we can't wait to have the doors open unto us once again.


IT DOESN'T TAKE a lot to wrap ones service around a calling of those that desire to read and write. My experiences have been varied as the stars in the heavens, and each one I choose to look upon brings me a deeper desire to be a guide in the darkness of their moment. To even see your name on the chalkboard for the very first time is such a humbling moment to witness. I will never tire of being in the classrooms across Ghana and seeing these women and some men fulfill their dream of opening up the scriptures to read the words JESUS CHRIST. The first pictures below is the curriculum and some of the materials for classes. The bottom picture is a graduation in Abomosu that I show when I train and mention that we must keep the end in mind of classes celebrating their graduations. It will be a great day to see class members stand before the congregation and bear testimony of their Lord and Savior, and give their talk for the very first time. My heart is over everyone of those that chose to come to sit and read the word of God.


A DRESS SHOP among the trees. I love how ingenious many of the women are here. It doesn't take long to figure out a way to display your dresses for others to come and buy. Others might have to go to a mall to dress shop, but here you just have to look up and go from branch to branch.


IT FASCINATES ME every time I go and see the weavers here. The art of making cloth with such patterns and designs is so intricately beautiful. This was in a shop in Kumasi whereby you could come and watch them make broadcloth. The skills of this craft have been passed down from generations, and I often stop and think what am I passing down to my love ones. We are all part of a tapestry of this gospel, and when our threads unite us, they weave a pattern of our own design


OUR LIVES.....sometimes can be captured in a picture or a moment. I would say that as a mother, sister, aunt, niece, grandmother or just a friend this is a reminder of the work we have within us here upon the earth. Our rewards will be brought to us at His coming with the little ones we have safely tucked within our love and example. AT THE SAVIOR'S FEET.....


SO TODAY AFTER SACRAMENT MEETING.....I'm standing next to Bernice, a woman that I so admire, and a woman comes up and hands her this adorable baby. I couldn't help myself, and took this bundle of joy into my arms. Life doesn't get any better than these moments when Heavenly Father looks from heaven at the hunger within your heart and fills it up with a baby's love. My grand daughter, Vera, was 3 months when we left, and by the time we return home she will be walking. Sending her my love through the cheek of her baby sister here in Ghana.


ELDER TERRY TRAINING is something that I always marvel about. We come to church each Sunday in a different ward, and after sacrament he goes to the Clerk's Office and I head to the Literacy Class. It is truly wonderful how we have two different assignments, but we are able to perform our duties each Sabbath Sunday. When I come into the clerk's office, I find him surrounded by those who want to learn all he can share with them. He is a wonderful teacher, and the members here love all they are being taught. He is finding that this mission is just what his gifts and talents need, and he offers it so willing to so many. Love the smiles that come from even a short visit with this faithful servant of the Lord. The clerks all over Ghana will never be the same again.


WHAT A PICTURE taken by another Senior Missionary couple here at church. I've always admired the closeness of moms and their little ones here. The testimonies of faithful saints here commit us even further to share the light of understanding on so many different levels. I know I will never sit in a sacrament meeting again and not feel the songs, prayers and testimonies of these completely faithful saints. Their little ones are in such great care.


WHEN WE WERE in Abomosu we received a call to inquire from the Mission President if we could give a young missionary a ride back to Accra. He explained that he had been playing in a match of soccer and did a face plant. Mind you where we were to where he was is not on smooth highways. As we maneuvered our way to his destination, it always is a marvel that we find our way around on these dusty roads. What an adventure and prayer that we would show up at the right junction and see two boys in white shirts and ties. Indeed, we did and we loved having them in our car for the 3 hour ride back to Accra. The spirit of our conversation put a light on things that really matter to the work we are all involved in. These young missionaries really live in the bush with just bare necessities. They are our heroes. When we came closer to Accra, they kept commenting on all the tall buildings and the smooth roads. It was another gentle reminder that we do live in very favorable circumstances. Nothing escaped their gaze outside the window, and any food we had was eaten including the crumbs.

Didn't have to find the Doctor cause he was calling us for updates, and when we arrived at our apartment complex this fine Elder went right up to the third floor and got 7 stitches. It was wonderful to feel and see how everyone from the Mission President, the Doctor and the AP's were tracking his progress. When a mom and family prayers go out for missionaries across the world, they are answered in a car that can become an ambulance for a son of a mother who prayed for him that very day.


YOU NEVER KNOW what you will see out your window as you are traveling down the roads here in Ghana. There are so many times that you will hear the echo in the car, "Oh that would of been a great shot." By the time you get out your iPad or camera the shot has long passed. I've learned to leave my iPad on my lap so I can capture shots that I can see coming down the road. This picture was taken on our way to Kumasi, and I could see the huge plume of smoke in the distance for a while. When we came upon it, we found it to be just an old tire store burning tires. At first, we thought the whole village was on fire. It is never a dull moment as you survey the landscape outside our car window and have countless reminders that you are in Africa, and Africa always shares a smile with you. We love this land.