Monday, September 22, 2014

Farewell to Kpong...

This week we went one last time to Kpong to make deliveries to our Elders there.  It was hard to think that we will no longer be serving in this area.  We had already grown to love it, the members, and 'our' missionaries.

One last time with our Senchi Elders.
L to R - Elders Bautner, Green, Tukuafu, Kay

AND the Kpong District Zone Leaders -
Elders Ezieme and Southwick

We will miss the mango groves.  Wouldn't I love to have one of these trees in my yard!

We will miss driving over the one-way bridge on the way from Asutsuare to Akuse.  The missionaries say the bridge is 'sketchy', but we didn't mind it at all.  

We will miss the mud huts and thatched roofs.

We will miss the lovely Volta River and its beautiful views.

We will miss all the shops with their fun names.  This is the 'Choose The Right' shop owned by the Kpong District Relief Society President - Sister Adjei.  I didn't even get a chance to shop there!!

And we will miss Samuel at Cedi Beads.  He was so sad to hear we would not be stopping by his shop any more.  We gave him one more Liahona and invited him to church - again.  He told us that by the end of the year he hopes to not be working on Sundays and start attending church in Kpong.  Such a sweet man.

We will miss the beautiful Senchi Hotel.  It's like being in a different world when you stop and visit there - which we have done many times.  We visit the gift shop, walk around the pool, and walk down to the Volta River that runs along side.  

At the hotel is this VERY large and beautiful tree.  

Here we are standing in the trunk of that tree.  You can kind of get an idea how big it really is.

The Senchi Hotel is known for it's wonderful buffets. We decided we'd better stop and see for ourselves.  We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary with the lunch buffet.  We were told to order a drink called the 'Exotic Bongo'.  It was a fabulous drink made with all kinds of fresh fruits.  

  Forty-five years ago who would have thought we'd be celebrating our anniversary in Africa!!
 who would have thought we'd be assigned to yet another mission.  

We realize how quickly time is going by.  Only 6 more Fast Sundays!  Not much time to be in our new area.  Lots of work and so little time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Crazy Mission...

Last week at our District Meeting, Elder Bryce showed us his coconut tree climbing ability.  He's 6' 10'.  We teased him that he didn't need to climb the tree, he could just reach up and grab the coconuts!

This week we were so happy to see Elder Tolar and Elder Bowring, 2 of 'our' Liberia missionaries.  Also, Sister Karngar, a missionary serving from the Logan Town Branch in Liberia.  It was like being reunited with our own children.  They are all working hard as they now serve in the Ghana Accra West Mission.

This week, we had to say goodbye to Elder and Sister Dever as they left for their new assignment in the Kumasi Mission.  They were our Humanitarian Missionaries in Liberia.  We've enjoyed spending time with them in Accra while we were both waiting to leave for our new areas.

This weekend, we were able to be there when Kpong and Ho were divided and the new Ho District was created.  Many changes were made including Elder Berrett being called as a counselor in the Kpong District Presidency.  Here he is with President Tyson, the Kpong District President.

The meeting in Ho was held at the Chances Hotel Auditorium.  
We were able to stay a couple of nights at the hotel.  While there, we were finally able to see some 'wild' animals.  

I think this is as close as we're going to get to seeing wild animals in Africa!

There were also several peacocks roaming the grounds of the hotel.

To get to Ho, you can either sit in your car and ride across the Volta River on a ferry or...

if the wait's too long for the ferry, drive across on the dam.  We've done both.

As we waited in line for the ferry, the cutest little boy came to our car selling 'Sugar Bread'.  We've heard it was good, so bought both loaves of the still warm bread he was selling for 6 Cedis - that makes the cost of each loaf less than $1.  When I asked him what the letters on top of the bread meant, 
he said, "That it's OK bread."  AND, it was!!

While in Ho, we just had to stop and take a picture of this termite hill.  It's the largest we've ever seen.  It was taller than a house.  

President and Sister Heid with the Ho area Elders who were at Sunday's District Meeting.  
Wish I knew them well enough to tell you all their names.  
There are about 176 missionaries in the Ghana Accra Mission.  

On our way back from Ho, we drove through Akuse - my favorite part of the drive.  Isn't it beautiful. 

NOW - for the cRaZy part -  
On Tuesday morning we received a call telling us that President Curtis, the West Africa Area President,
wanted to meet with us.  In that meeting, we were told that our assignment had been changed.  We were now being called to the Ghana Accra West Mission.  That this mission was in need of a Senior Couple.   So, the middle of next week we will be on our way to the Adoagyiri - Nsawam area of Ghana. That's about an hour outside of Accra and is considered 'in the bush'.  
Elder Berrett said, "That has to be a record for the shortest time spent serving in a District Presidency!"  Called on Sunday - released on Wednesday.

Originally we were called to the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission.  That was changed to the Liberia Monrovia Mission.  Then we were evacuated to the Ghana Accra Mission and finally, the Ghana Accra West Mission.  Think we can say we've now been on 4 missions?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

On the way to Kpong...

We're still in Accra waiting for the apartment that's been found for us in Akosomo to be renovated. Once that is done, we will be able to move closer to our assigned area which will include the cities of Kpong, Odumase, Akuse, and Senchi.

Here are some pictures of what we see as we make the 80.5 kilometer drive from Accra to our area.

This sign makes us laugh every time we drive by it.  What do you think it means?  Maybe this is our last chance to get diabetes?  No more diabetes is available on the way to Kpong?  Should we call?  We have decided not stop and find out.  We just take our chance and drive on by…. 

We pass this rock formation on the way.  Elder Berrett, being an Idaho boy, thinks it looks like 2 potatoes standing on end.  So, he's named it 'Two Spud Rock'.  What do you think?

You can stop right on the side of the road and order a casket.  Talk about convenient!

We've made several stops at the Cedi Bead Annex.  We enjoy visiting with Sammuel who works there.  When we talk to him about the Church, he just laughs - so we are not sure if he is a member or not.  We were told he likes to read the Liahona. When we stopped to give him one, he walked out of the store holding a 2005 copy that he had read over and over.  It was in pretty bad shape.  He was so happy to have a brand new magazine to read.

I'm fascinated by these little bundles of sticks that you can see stacked on the side of the road or being taken somewhere in the back of trucks.  No one can tell me what they are used for.  I love how they are so neatly bundled.  It makes me think of the sticks the little pig used to build his house with in the story of 'The Three Little Pigs'.  So far though I've only seen sticks, no pigs!

We attended the Kpong District Meeting this week with the Kpong and Senchi Elders.  
L to R - Elders Southwick, Nondala, Green, Mabizela, Kay, Ezieme.

Also in attendance….. we listened to him make 'rooster sounds' all during our meeting.

After the District Meeting, Elders Ezieme and Southwick- the Kpong Zone Leaders - went on a ride with us to show us where the missionary apartments are located.  Because they were so helpful, we took them to lunch.  Their choice was a Chop Shop where they serve fried rice and chicken.
It is hard for us to believe that we left Liberia one month ago - August 5.  We've talked to a couple of the members there.  They tell us things are hard - that they are 'trying to try'.  Just this week, the Church was able to provide rice, oil, Ebola buckets, and bleach for the members.  That will be such a help to them.  
We hope you will please continue to pray for the people of Liberia.