Sunday, October 26, 2014

And this week ...

Tuesday we woke up to no water.  Our poly tank was empty.  That's not good!  So a quick call was made to have water delivered.

Our 500 gallon poly tank supplies water for our apartment, the Elders next door, and the Branch buildings in our compound.

After filling the tank, there was a little water left in the truck, so we gathered all our buckets to fill.

This week we met with the Adoagyiri missionaries for their District Meeting.  We had a box of Books of Mormon for Elder Leakehe.   He found that it's harder than it looks to balance things on your head.  
Once he took his hands off the box, we had to take the picture quickly - the box didn't stay on his head for very long. 

His companion, Elder Bassey was so good at balancing the box. that we wanted him to see if he could ride his bike at the same time.  He wasn't quite able to ride and balance - yet!

A fun trip to the Plastic Store. 
 Look at all this stuff.  I was in heaven.  So much to look at.  I wanted everything.

I needed colored paper for my new calling in the Adoagyiri Primary Presidency.  So into Accra we went and with the help of some other Senior Sisters I was able to find what I needed at this very little stationery store.  I'm not sure from the picture that you can tell how really little it was.  But, it was so organized.  Whatever we asked for, the shop owner knew right where to find it.  You can't just go to any old store and get these things.  I was glad someone knew right where to take me to get what I needed.

This Sunday, I taught the 4 - 7 year olds.  I was able to teach them to do the 'I Love You' sign. Then they taught me how to say 'I Love You' in Twi - May doe.  (That's spelling it phonetically since no one could tell me how it should be spelled.)  I 'think' the class understood most of what I said.  You never know because most of them speak Twi.  When class was finished and it was time to go into Sharing Time, the kids all just put their chairs on their head and packed them into the Primary Room.  

The Adoagyiri Branch Primary.

You can see what I needed the colored paper for if you look closely at the picture one of the boys from my class is holding.  We made our own Temple pictures complete with an Angel Moroni on top. 

Sister Victoria Yempew, the Adoagyiri Primary President

Three of the Sisters from the Adoagyiri Branch.
L to R - Sister Charlotte Quansah who teaches the Literacy Class and is the Young Women's President.  Her husband is the Branch President.
Evelyn, the newest member of the branch who was just baptized last Wednesday, and Vera who always has a smile on her face.

L to R - Elder and Sister Berrett, Elder and Sister Watson, Elder and Sister Wall, Sister Terry - Elder Terry was in helping the Branch Clerk with computer problems.

This Sunday was Missionary Sunday in our Branch.  Elder and Sister Wall came and spoke in Sacrament Meeting about being member missionaries and teaching your families at FHE.  Elder and Sister Watson taught the combined Relief Society and Priesthood about Family History and helped them fill out their own pedigree sheets.  Sister Terry is helping with Literacy and attended the Literacy class.  Elder Terry is the West Africa computer specialist and once the power came on, was able to help with some computer problems the branch is having.

We were able to have everyone stay for lunch with us.  It was so fun to have visitors!

This is our bed.  Notice, it is two twin beds pushed together with a big foam pad on top.  It's huge!  The sheets barely fit.  We had brought a memory foam mattress pad with us when we came on our mission, but had to leave it in Liberia.  We were sad about that, but this bed is actually pretty comfortable.  You can also see our mosquito net that we sleep under every night. 

We still can't get over how beautiful the drive is as we come into Adoagyiri.  We love being in the 'bush' and away from all the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Elder Berrett earns his PHD….

On Saturday we were able to take Elder and Sister Wall, the office couple for the Ghana Accra West Mission, for a ride to our 'former' area in Kpong.  They leave to go home on November 25th and have been working so hard in the office that they have not had much time to see things around Ghana.  So, we volunteered to take them to one of our favorite areas - Kpong and the Volta River -  so they could see the beautiful scenery there.

Elder Berrett did all the driving that day, over some really bad roads, 
thus earning himself a PHD.  He is now officially a Pot Hole Dodger!

You can't go to Kpong without stopping by the beautiful Royal Senchi Hotel.  While there we decided to take a boat ride down the Volta River.

The weather was perfect - not too hot.  And it was so relaxing to float down the river.

All along the river were children bathing and mothers doing their laundry.

Our boat ride took us to this beautiful bridge that crosses the Volta River at Senchi to be able to travel to Ho.  Too bad it is being renovated and won't be ready for at least 2 more years.  It would save so much time to simply be able to drive over the river instead of waiting in line to take the ferry or having to take the 90 minute drive all the way around - on not so great roads.

Here is the ferry you can ride across the river while in sitting in your car.  Some times the line to ride the ferry can be hours long.

Some of the beautiful scenery along the river.  

This beautiful house, with it's own boat launch,  was located right on the river's edge.

We also saw many 'Fish Farms' where they raise Tilapia.

The boat ride was perfect and got us back just in time for the wonderful lunch buffet at the Royal Senchi Hotel.  It was a fun day.  We really have seen some beautiful places here in Ghana.  We hope Elder and Sister Wall enjoyed the day as much as we did.


On Friday, a beautiful new stove was delivered to our apartment.  I am so happy to have burners AND an oven that work.  You'll notice the lovely board that helps to hold us our sink.  :)

So….how many Elders does it take to put a stove together?  
I guess it's three!!

The electricity here in Adoagyiri is spotty - very spotty.  We never know when OR IF we are going to have power.  When the power's off, we have to start up the handy, dandy little generator.  When the generator's on, we have to decide - do we want lights or water?  Should we turn the air conditioner on and sit in the dark?  Should we unplug the fridge and make a piece of toast?  So many important decisions!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Our first week in Adoagyiri

As promised in last week's blog post…Here is a picture of our 'Next-Door-Elders'.
Elder Sharp and Elder Barnes on Monday's P-Day.

Tuesday we attended a Zone Meeting for the Tantra Hill Zone.  The top two floors of this building are used for the Amassaman Branch.  Look closely on the third flood and you can see the sign that tells that this is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  You can also see some of the Elders waiting for the meeting to begin.  
It was a great meeting.  The new Zone Leader, Elder Bigler, taught us how to mark a new set of scriptures to give to an investigators so that they can easily find the scriptural answers to their frequently asked questions. 

 A small fabric shop in Nsawam Market.  I was able to buy some Ghanaian fabric.  Two yards for 15 Cedis.  That's just over $2 a yard.  You can never have too much fabric.  Right?

Inside the Adoagyiri Chapel - the one right next door to our apartment.  The one I look into from my kitchen window.  Notice there are ceiling fans and light bulbs but not always electricity to run them.  

On Friday, two of the Nsawam Elders - Elder Bowring and Elder Taylor - rode around with us to show us their area.  As we approached this mountain, they told us about a man named Phillip that they are teaching who lives on the other side.        

They asked if we'd like to stop and see if Phillip was home and help them teach a lesson. Sure we would!  We were so glad he was home.  He said to us, "I was supposed to go to work today but for some reason felt like I should stay home and rest.  Then you came.  I think God wants me to talk to you."  I know he does!

Elders Taylor, Bowring, and Berrett outside Phillip's home. 

Phillip with Elders Taylor and Bowring.  Such a sweet, humble man.  It was our first time to help teach a lesson to an investigator. We felt like 'real' missionaries!!   The Elders did a super job.  Elder Taylor's only been out 4 weeks and he did great.  I think his Trainer, Elder Bowring, has taught him well.

On Saturday, Oct. 11, the Adoagyiri and Nsawam Branches competed against each other in a game of Football (Soccer).  These Relief Society Sisters got up at 3am (That's AM!) to begin cooking food for the branch members and players to eat after the game.  
In the large pot on the charcoal burner, they are stirring banku.  It's a thick, thick dough that takes a lot of muscle to be able to stir.  To go along with the banku, they had also made a soup.

Here they are mashing up hot peppers - and I mean HOT! - that you could add to your soup if you didn't think it was spicy enough.

The Adoagyiri Team

The Nsawam Team.

Notice how each Branch's team has their own jerseys.  When the game was stopped because of rain, the score was Adoagyiri 1 and Nsawam 3.  

Justice, on the right, had lost his shoes.  
No problem.  His teammate shared with him.  They each wore one shoe. 

The long grass had just been mowed.  You can see the big clumps of grass still on the field.  Didn't slow them down at all.  I was surprised the ball could even roll along the ground with all that loose grass. 

The Relief Society Sisters were so excited for us to try their Ghanaian food.  They showed us how you make a ball out of the banku and dip it in the soup.  They told us to be sure to give the banku time to soak up some soup.  Then you put it in your mouth and swallow.  Don't chew it!  

I made 'little' balls of banku.  I didn't think I could swallow without chewing anything too big.  The soup was a little too spicy for me.  When I asked what was in the soup, I was told - fish, okra, and cow skin.  They asked, "you know cow skin?"  Yeah.  I know cow skin and I'm done with my soup.

Our first week living in Adoagyiri was a good one.  Met lots of new people and had many new experiences.  I think we are going to enjoy serving here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

And now we are in …...

Our new apartment is in Adoagyiri.
Wish I could tell you the correct way to pronounce this.  It sounds to us like Ad-o-wa-jury.  
We will continue to be Member Leader Support Missionaries for the Adoagyiri and Nsawam Branches  
- that's pronounced N-sa-wam.

This is what you'll see as you get close to Adoagyiri.  It's my favorite part of the ride from Accra. It's not quite considered 'bush' but just very rural.  
There are no grocery stores so we will continue to do our grocery shopping in Accra. 

At least we know that in 45 minutes we can be in Accra and get a bucket of KFC! 

This is our compound.  
Our apartment is inside the same compound as the church.  Don't you love the coral and purple paint.

A couple of our neighbors taking advantage of the shade under our truck.  There are lots of goats in Ghana.  We see them everywhere.  We even see people walking their goats on a leash like a dog.

Elder Berrett unlocking the gate.  

There are 6 little buildings inside the compound.  All very close together.

This is our apartment.  Elder Sharp and Elder Barnes live next door.  
(I'll get their picture for next time.)

You know, I've always wanted a front porch - just had to come to Ghana to get one!

This Ben Botwe who is in charge of maintaining the missionary apartments.  He's giving Elder Berrett a lesson on how to run the generator, just in case the power goes off - which we hear is quite often.   

Here's our living room…..

….with its cute little dining room table.

Try not to be jealous - but the apartment comes with this lovely rug in the living room.
(Sorry, I don't know how to turn the picture around.)  
I'm thinking it needs to go, but Elder Berrett likes it.  Go figure!

The kitchen….
To show you how close the buildings are - when I open the kitchen curtains, I am looking into the chapel!

The bathroom……
The sink's in the hall with the shower and toilet in their own little rooms.

The laundry room…..
My favorite room.  Not only because it has two big windows and is so sunny but I have a washer. No drier, but I've got a nice drying rack.

And, a room that has a closet and chest of drawers.

It's a nice little apartment and I think we will be very happy there for the next 6 months as we begin working with the branches and the members.

Not far from our apartment is the Blue Sky Juice Bar where you can buy a bottle of delicious fresh pineapple juice (my personal favorite), lemonade with ginger, or a mango-orange-banana smoothie.  
I think we've stopped there almost every time we've driven by.

It's a nice place to stop for something cold to drink.  It really is fresh with no preservatives. The expiration date is 6 days after it is bottled.  Don't try drinking it after it's expired!  :(


This is Bernice in front of her shop.  She has purses, placemats, skirts, shirts, and other fun things that she has sewn.  I had her make me an African outfit.

  When I went to try it on, she wanted to show me how to do a head wrap.  
Somehow the effect isn't quite the same as when an African Sister wears it.  

We have loved the two months we were able to live right next door to the Accra Temple.  
When we were in Liberia, we never dreamed we'd be able to attend the Temple in Ghana so this has been a special time for us.

One of the beautiful windows in the Temple.

Every session we've attended has been full and most have been in French so that we have to wear headphones to listen to the English translation.  It's been a wonderful experience for us to be able to go to the Temple while on our mission.

Now it's time for the next part of our mission adventure….Here we come Adoagyiri!!