FACES THAT SMILE WITH ME....I LOVE THE FACES THAT CARRY A SMILE TO FEEL!
Saturday, November 28, 2015
TO GO TO LIBERIA AND FIND OUR FRIENDS THERE, was a blessing that we know the hand of God has placed upon us. To both be serving missions, and come to the same land for a short period of time is like embracing heaven as you hug one another. The Hezseltine's were good friends of ours as Elder H did an Ironman for my non-profit organization Africa is Life Changing. From that bond to their mission ending and being asked to come back for 4 months to our meeting them in Liberia let's us know God is a God of miracles. If anyone would of said a few years ago that we would all be missionaries and see one another, I'm afraid my earthly mind would not be able to trust those words. On the ground with Elder Terry doing training with computers, and I'm training teachers for literacy, we meet them and smile at the favors of heaven upon us.
A PRICELESS PICTURE IN THE YEARS TO COME TO ADD OUR GRATEFUL HEARTS TO SEE AND SERVE WITH ONE ANOTHER.
THIS WAS THE TREE IN THE LOBBY OF THE HOTEL WE STAYED IN LIBERIA, AND SISTER H AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE OUR EYES.
MY WALK ON THE BEACH THERE TO COLLECT SEA GLASS, AND I SNAPPED THIS PICTURE OF THEM ON THEIR STROLL UP THE BEACH. SISTER H FINE TUNED MY EYES, AND NOW I WILL BE ON THE HUNT FOR SEA GLASS AS WELL.
THIS BEAUTIFUL ROOM OF WOMEN LEARNING TO READ WITH SHANNON THE TEACHER THAT I MET AND FELL IN LOVE WITH. MY FIRST TIME TO TRAIN SOMEONE NOT LOCAL, AND IT WAS ONE OF MY TOP EXPERIENCES. OH HOW SHE LOVES THEM, AND THEY LOVE HER.
SHANNON'S HUSBAND AND THIS LITTLE GUY THAT DIDN'T LEAVE HIS LAP THE WHOLE SACRAMENT MEETING. HE WAS SO AMAZED BY RYAN'S BEARD. RYAN SAID, "HE IS MY BUDDY".
ELDER TERRY TRAINING MORE STAKE TECHNOLOGY SPECIALISTS. HE IS IN HIS ELEMENT.
MOVIE NIGHT OVER THE MISSION PRESIDENT'S HOME.
ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE PICTURES OF A MISSIONARY STUDY TABLE IN THEIR APARTMENT. THIS TABLE SPEAKS VOLUMES TO ME!
OH, THE MARKET WHERE WE STOPPED TO BUY SOME FRUIT, AND THE CHILDREN SURROUNDED US. I LOVE THE FEELING OF BEING SQUEEZED BY THEM. SISTER H HAD A GRANDSON THAT HAD A PROJECT IN SCHOOL TO TAKE THE GINGER MAN ON A JOURNEY. I BET NO ONE HAS HIM IN LIBERIA. I LOVE THAT EVEN IN HARD TIMES THESE CHILDREN STILL HAVE SOME SMILES TO SHARE WITH US.
THIS LITTLE ONE JUST COULDN'T SHOW US HER TEETH, BUT SHE WAS CARRYING ON HER HEAD SOME FISH SHE WAS SELLING. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CHILD OF GOD!
HAS IT BEEN A YEAR SINCE OUR LAST THANKSGIVING ALREADY? One day our Area President's wife asked a group of us if any of us were pie makers. The room went silent you know in that awkward pause, and no one was raising there hand or speaking up. I raised my hand and said I will. She slide over a can of pumpkin pie filling to make two pies. Before I could put my hand down, I had somehow signed up to bake 4. Mind you in America that would not be a big undertaking, but here I have no pie tins, and the filling for the other two pies I had no idea. Then it struck me that I didn't even have a rolling pin. My pie baking adventures began as I started to ask around, and before I knew it I had my pie plates, and finally a rolling pin that someone hadn't used as a hammer. You know that pies are somewhat akin to the Turkey, because you don't want to have them turn out bad. My oven decided to play thermostat war, and would jump to hot to warm and back up to hot again. At the end of the morning, I layed the pies on the counter and counted my blessings to have them. As we gathered this year, my mind briefly went to a year ago and the lump that formed in my throat. This year was a gathering of some of my finest and truest friends without a lump. Home is where you bring even your best offering of pies, and no one even says a word about the burnt edges.
I HAVE TO SAY I DID THINK ABOUT MY TWO OVEN BACK IN MY HOME IN AMERICA.
NOW, OUR PLATES ARE WAITING TO BE FILLED AS OUR HEARTS ARE ALREADY. I LOOKED AT THIS PICTURE AND WONDERED WHERE MY TAG WAS. SOME DAYS YOU JUST WEAR IT IN SPIRIT, AND THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!
WE WERE ABOUT 70 IN TOTAL, AND WE WERE KNEE TO KNEE AND HEART TO HEART!
BRING YOUR OWN PLATES AND UTENSILS, AND WE FOUND FOOD ON OUR PLATE THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN SINCE WE ARRIVED HERE. WHAT A FEAST OF FOOD AND FRIENDSHIP!
AS WE WERE COMING OUT OF THE AREA OFFICE, I noticed a man wrapping what looked like Christmas Lights. Now mind you, it's very HOT here, and the wrapping job I had to get real close to determine if my guess was correct. We haven't seen them turned on yet, but I'm thinking that the wrap job on a palm tree is a little different here than the ones on Temple Square. When the switch is turned on, I'm sure that the light of His birth will shine upon us all.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
JARS TO GO TO THE TEMPLE....SISTER BINGHAM FROM ABOMOSU HAS COME UP WITH AN IDEA TO HELP THE SAINTS IN THAT AREA TO GET TO THE TEMPLE. SHE CALLED ME THE OTHER DAY AND ASKED IT I WOULD SAVE MY JARS FOR HER, AND GET ANY OTHERS SISTERS I COULD TO DO THE SAME. HER AREA IS ABOUT 3 1/2 HOURS AWAY FROM ACCRA AND IN THE BUSH. SHE DECIDED THAT SHE WANTED TO GET FAMILIES TO SAVE THEIR CEDIS TO COME AND GO TO THE TEMPLE. I LOVE THE SMALL AND SIMPLE WAYS HERE IN GHANA. SO, ALL OF THE SISTERS STARTED SAVING THEIR JARS, AND THEY HAVE MADE THEIR WAY TO ABOMOSU AS BANKS. I LOVE THIS IDEA THAT EVEN A JUST A FEW CEDIS CAN EVENTUALLY GET THE TRANSPORTATION MONEY TO ENTER THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. AS THEY SACRIFICE, THE LORD WILL GRANT UNTO THEM THE DESIRES OF THEIR HEARTS.
WHAT WAS ONCE NUTS, COCONUT FLAKES, PEANUT BUTTER JARS WILL BE THEIR HANDS AND HEARTS IN HIS HOLY HOUSE SOON! WAY TO GO SISTER BINGHAM....
MORE LEARNING TO READ THE WORDS OF GOD.....AS THE GOSPEL LITERACY CLASSES CONTINUE HERE IN GHANA, WE SEE THE MIRACLES OF THE GIFT OF READING THE SCRIPTURES IN THE LIVES OF THE LEARNERS. EVERY SUNDAY I HAVE THE HONOR OF SITTING IN CLASSES THAT SO MANY OPEN UP THEIR WORKBOOKS TO LEARN TO WRITE EVEN THEIR OWN NAME. WHEN I STEP BACK AND SEE THE LOOK ON THEIR FACES WHEN THEY SEE IT WRITTEN, I KNOW THAT HEAVENLY FATHER IS POURING DOWN HIS SPIRIT TO FILL THEIR MINDS WITH HIS WORDS. THEY ARE WAITING FOR THE SCRIPTURES TO BE OPENED UP UNTO THEMSELVES AND FILL THEIR HEART.
BEGINNERS LEARNING TO WRITE THEIR NAME!
A DAY WITH FRIENDS IN THE THROES OF LET'S MAKE A DEAL.....THERE IS A PLACE HERE THAT IS CALLED THE ART CENTER, AND IT IS WHERE MANY OF THE MISSIONARIES GO TO BUY LOCAL ARTS AND CRAFTS. ELDER TERRY IS WELL KNOWN THERE, AND I'M NOT AS RECOGNIZED. THE OTHER DAY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS WIFE OF THE MTC WANTED ELDER TERRY TO SHOW THEM THE ROPES OF THIS INTENSE BARGAINING SHOPPING. I WAS NOT SURE I WANTED TO EXPERIENCE IT AGAIN, BUT DECIDED TO BRAVE IT ONE MORE TIME. MY DEAR FRIEND ASSURED ME THAT IT WOULD BE FUN. I WAS SO GLAD I DID. ELDER TERRY GAVE A QUICK TOUR AND TURNED US ALL LOOSE. IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG FOR EVERYONE TO SWAM YOU AND FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BEING SMOTHERED. SISTER ROBISON HAS THE MOST GIFTED EYES FOR BEAUTY I'VE EVEN SEEN. WE STARTED SHOPPING FOR VINTAGE KENTE CLOTHS AND CAME HOME WITH SEVERAL PIECES. AS WE WERE GETTING READY TO LEAVE, A MAN BROUGHT OUT A STUNNING PIECE THAT WE COULDN'T BELIEVE. WE LEFT HEAVY HEARTED BECAUSE WE HAD ALREADY BOUGHT OTHER ONES. AS WE WERE AT LUNCH, THE SELLER KEPT TEXTING PRESIDENT ROBISON COMING DOWN ON THE PRICE. SISTER ROBISON AND I LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND SAID THAT WE WOULD BUY IT AND HALF IT BETWEEN THE TWO OF US. THE DEAL WAS STRUCK AND THE CLOTH NOW BELONGS TO BOTH OF US. I LOVE THIS LADY AND WE BOTH TALKED ABOUT HOW WE WILL HAVE THE MEMORIES OF SHARING A PIECE OF VINTAGE GHANA KENTE TOGETHER. VINTAGE KENTE STRIPS ARE SMALLER, MADE MANY YEARS AGO BY WEAVERS THAT ARE NO LONGER LIVING WITH PATTERNS THAT ARE NOT WOVEN ANYMORE. THE PATTERNS ARE VERY INTRICATE. WHAT AN HONOR TO HAVE THIS PIECE IN THE YEARS TO COME TO KNOW THAT MY GOOD FRIEND HAS THE OTHER HALF. YOU MAY WONDER WHERE ELDER TERRY WAS....HE WAS IN THE BRASS SECTION WHERE HE LOVES TO FIND HIS TREASURES. BY THE TIME HE CAUGHT UP WITH US WE HAD STRUCK THE DEAL ON THESE WEAVINGS.
ALL HAPPY WITH OUR TREASURES OF COLORS. JUST PULL UP A CHAIR AND EVERYTHING IS BROUGHT RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
SISTER ROBISON AND I WERE GIVEN OUR CHOICE OF CHOOSING A NECKLACE FOR FREE. WE DECIDED HOW COULD WE CHOOSE DIFFERENT ONES. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY WITH A BEAUTIFUL FRIEND.
OUR VINTAGE KENTE IN ALL IT'S SPLENDOR!
THE SEAMS ARE HAND STITCHED BETWEEN STRIPS SO HALVING IT WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM. UNBELIEVABLE HAND WORK!
ELDER TERRY WITH THE MEN IN BLACK.....ON FRIDAY'S HERE AT THE AREA OFFICE IT'S CALLED AFRICAN DAY. EVERYONE IN THE OFFICE WEAR EVEN MORE OF THE BEAUTIFUL AFRICAN CLOTHING ON THIS DAY. LEAVE IT UP TO THE ICS TEAM, IMO AND ELDER TERRY TO PUT THEIR OWN SPIN ON IT WITH ALL OF THEM SPORTING BLACK SHIRTS. EVERYONE TAKES THIS DOUBLE LOOK AT ELDER TERRY WITHOUT HIS WHITE SHIRT AND TIE. IF ANYONE CAN PULL IT OFF I WOULD SAY HE COULD. SO FAR SO GOOD!
IMO IS ELDER TERRY'S BOSS HERE, AND THEY MAKE A GREAT TEAM
EVEN ELDER TERRY CAN SHOP FOR FABRIC HERE. THOSE BOLD BLACK PATTERNS ARE HIS PICK FOR HIS SHIRTS HE WANTS MADE. I THINK WE HAVE A BLACK THEME GOING ON HERE. WHEN THEY ARE FINISHED, WE WILL PUT HIS NEW LOOK ON FOR YOU TO SEE!
A FULL MOON....BLANKETS MORONI AND THE TEMPLE HERE IN GHANA. WE ARE EVER GRATEFUL THAT THE TEMPLE IS WITHIN STEPS OF OUR OFFICE HERE. WHEN NIGHT COMES AND THE MOON IS FULL, WE FEEL HIS HOLY TEMPLE IS GLEAMING IN HIS HOLY MOON BEAMS. HOW CAN LIFE EXTEND ANY MORE PRECIOUS BLESSINGS?
HOLD YOUR BREATH AS WE VIEW THE HEAVENS OPEN IN SUCH FAVOR!
THE GREEN LIGHT IS ON FOR SIERRA LEONE....PRESIDENT AND SISTER CLAWSON ARE SMILING HEART TO HEART, BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE GO AHEAD TO HEAD TO SIERRA LEONE WITH AN EBOLA FREE COUNTRY. THEY HAVE BEEN WITH US AROUND 3 WEEKS IN HOPES THAT THE LAND OF THEIR MISSION CALL WOULD OPEN UP UNTO THEM. WE WILL MISS THEM, BUT SEND THEM ON THEIR WAY ON TUESDAY TO THE FAITHFUL SAINTS THERE THAT ARE WAITING WITH OPEN ARMS.
GOD SPEED TO OUR FRIENDS!
RIGHT OUTSIDE MY KITCHEN WINDOW.....I REMEMBER THIS TIME LAST YEAR WHEN WE HAD BEEN HERE JUST ABOUT TWO MONTHS. THERE IS A TREE AT MY KITCHEN WINDOW, AND AS IT DROPS IT'S LEAVES THE BLOSSOMS ARE BUDDING AT THE SAME TIME. NO WAITING FOR A WINTER HIBERNATION. THAT IS WHAT IT IS LIKE HERE IN GHANA WITH ONE CONTINUOUS SEASON IN BLOOM. NOW THAT IS REAL BEAUTY....
AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF BLOOMING!
IT GIVES SUCH A BEAUTIFUL HINT OF THE CREATIONS THAT HEAVENLY FATHERS HAS BLESSED OUR EYES TO BEHOLD.
I WASN'T DREAMING......I THOUGHT MY EYES WHERE PLAYING TRICKS ON ME AS WE LEFT THE TEMPLE GROUNDS THIS DAY. HERE WAS A PACE LINE WITH BIKERS AND SKINNY TIRES. THEY EVEN HAD BIBS NUMBERS SO THEY WERE IN A RACE, AND THIS ONE OF THE BUSIEST ROADS IN ACCRA. WHO DID THE RACE COURSE ON THIS RACE?I'M STILL SHAKING MY HEAD. BUMPER TO BUMPER TRAFFIC AND TIRE TO TIRE BIKES! NOT A GOOD COMBINATION IN MY BOOK!