Friday, 31 January 2014

28 JANUARY 2014

This week has been pretty eventful. We attended a baptism Tuesday (the 21st) of an older man (around 58) who is so excited to be a member. We met him our 2nd day here on the street and he told us he was "mostly" a member. He is very intelligent and personable, and anxious to learn. When he was confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, he was in tears. He is such a good man.

Our mission president, Pres. Shulz, asked us to go to Axim (pronounced Aux-eem) to look at a building that could possibly be used as a chapel. We experienced road construction most of the 2 hour drive, complete with car-eating pot holes and ruts and all the other things associated with third world road building. Of course, some of the roads are like this even when they're not under construction. It was a long, bumpy ride. We looked at the site, taking measurements and pictures and turned around and drove home (after spending just a little time with the missionaries). We returned in time to eat dinner and make a report.

                      Elder & Sister Schiffman's newly remodeled home, complete with a dog!

On Thursday, the 23rd we rode with Elder & Sister Ivie to a city called Praso (pronounced Prah-zoh) on a pretty nice road - by Ghanaian standards. It was about 3 hours away. Because of road conditions, distances are measured here in hours, not miles. We cleaned, repaired and stocked this home for Elder Richard and Sister Marilyn Schiffman, the new senior missionaries called to serve there. And they are from Hooper! Their home is just around the corner from us. People in the area office are wondering why they are being invaded by people who celebrate the tomato. I guess it's because we are adventurous and like camping. We spent two days there with, and then in the evening went to the mission home to welcome the new couple and have dinner.

(from left), Elder & Sister Crittenden (office couple), Elder & Sister Ivie, a couple of goof-balls,
                                   Elder & Sister Schiffman and President Shulz

We took a picture of the crows that hang out around our apartment in huge numbers. We live on the third (top) floor of our building and this shot is from our kitchen window. The birds are about 25 feet straight across from us. They were hiding, but when we started moving around, they came out to see what was going on. Also, we counted over 30 hawks and kites (the birds, not the paper ones on a string) from the kitchen window. When you see the sunrise picture below, you will know that this window is where it's happening. We live on a hillside overlooking a large area with a valley below. We've seen so many varieties of birds. This morning we spotted one that was red on the top of it's wings and body. Lots of cool stuff.

The Elders just across the court- yard told us about a woman who sells fruits and vegetables not far from our home. We visited her "store" and found a well stocked produce department. People here love to have their picture taken, so we got this shot of her in her mini-market. Her fruit and veggies are the freshest we've found. She calls us "mommy" and "daddy" because we're "old". The average life span here is 57 years.....not very long by U.S. standards, so we have lived beyond expectations.

                                              Seywah, our local "Fruit & Veggie" Lady

We put all of the goodies we bought on the counter in our home and took the picture below. It cost 18 Ghana cedi's (about 9 dollars US). Everything is extremely fresh and in season. We purchased 1 pineapple, a bunch of bananas, 1 mango (the biggest, juiciest and best flavor we've ever seen), 2 cukes, a huge bunch of green onions, 4 apples, 3 large carrots, a head of cabbage, 2 tomatoes,  4 tangerines, 1 green pepper and a bunch of green leaf lettuce. We soak all our produce in chlorox water to kill the order of the mission and in an attempt to live long and prosper.

The 1st week we went to church, Sister J. was in Relief Society where the only language spoken was Fanti. She gathered that the R.S. pres. was announcing who was to give the lesson and the next thing she that she understood was "Loretta". As she was frantically wondering what in the world she would teach, this beautiful young sister got up and gave a beautiful English! So here is a picture of the "Loretta's".

This glorious early morning picture of the ocean was taken, as previously mentioned , from our kitchen window and provides some pretty spectacular "eye candy". We stated in our earlier blog that the winds from the Sahara Desert create a lot of continuous dust floating in the air. Sometimes that can make for some very interesting photos. We'll see how things change during the rainy season. coming up. 

We've decided to end with some random pictures. Hope you enjoy our blog.

Elder & Sister Julander

Sister J. by a really huge, cool tree of undetermined species.

Takoradi Stake Center with equally cool, unknown trees in front.

Our apartment is above, with the little windowed room sticking out to the left. We have the entire top floor, with room for visitors! (hint, hint)                                                                                 

This is a trotro - cheap transportation that will take you where you need to go. 


  1. Ghana looks magical! I bet you are having a fascinating time getting to know the people and your surroundings. How great! By the way, I know the Schiffmans! Richard is from my home ward as a youth, and his father was my parent's home teacher for decades. Very cool!
    love, Robbyn and Dave!

  2. It looks like a vegetarian paradise! Loretta, you look radiant! It really makes me wish I was on a mission. Maybe a decade from now. Right now, I've been spending a lot of time with the elders and sisters. We have both sets assigned to our ward and they seem to like my cooking! I've also been helping them with a musical missionary fireside they are preparing for tomorrow. At first it was just helping the ones from my ward, but now it's the whole zone. It makes me feel really young hanging about with them. And I love the influence it's having on Ellaree. I hope 8th sticks and maybe we could serve a mission at the same time as her. Love you guys. Be safe and wash those veggies well!

  3. Oh I love reading your blog! Makes me so excited to serve a mission with Jordan someday.... Love and miss you both! :))))