Saturday, 25 April 2015


      Part C
                                                                                MISSIONARIES !!!
                                        (They are the most intelligent, good looking missionaries anywhere.)

   The next seven pictures were taken at combined district meetings and interviews with the president

Tarkwa.....our Zone in the bush.
              (2 hrs. away)

Part of the Takoradi Zone
With the Assistants: Elder Larsen (L.) & Elder Gqweta (R) who is determined not to smile.

Sekondi Zone.....back when it was still a zone. It was divided and assimilated into the Kojokrom and Takoradi Zones.

Some of the Tarkwa elders at the branch church, which is above the  missionary apartment.

                                                                                 Kojokrom Zone

Tarkwa Zone having lunch during the President's interviews and instruction from Assistants, Zone leaders & Sis. Stevenson.

Takoradi Zone P-Day activity where we went to
a technical college to support a member who was
taking his "final exam" to become a chef. Lunch
was great and he was grateful for the support.

Missionaries watching a movie after eating waffles and fruit at our house
during a preparation day district

Another district activity at our home. We have a projector so they can watch authorized moves on the big screen.

They always seem to leave happy, which is due largely to Sister J making goodies for them.

The Polynesian elders love to roast pigs over an open fire. Our 1st (and most likely our last) chance to experience adventures in Trichinosis.

As an invited guest, Elder J. was "honored" with the tail!

The meat was gently sliced on a table ... with a machete. The missionaries then grab the miscellaneous parts.

Our Polynesian culprits

Sekondi district....our closest neighbors....4 elders downstairs and 4 more within walking distance.

Also.....some of our goofiest neighbors!

Celebrating Elder Wilding's birthday
with "FanIce", Ghanaian ice cream.

                                                  Elders leaving our apartment after a P-day activity.

Lunch with Elders Hannaman & Dearing after Elder J did a baptismal interview

Sister Fani & Sister Udoh rejoicing after a "service project" to visit the "elderly".

Sister J. having an experience in "power" and flowing "city water" appreciation. "I can now say I know what the elders go through to do their laundry. Still, pretty spoiled for a third world country."

An elder....who decided he could survive on minimal water....and didn't like to shave.

Primary in Axim....2 hours in one room with 2 adults!!! How many can you count?

Fun and bright displays at market circle. It's always an adventure!

                           Sister J's patio garden....squash, peppers, tomatoes & beans, but nothing matured!

Preparing to leave for Enzulazu, a "stilt village" on the edge of a lake with our friends, the Smiths, from Accra.

                                                                    The boat ride on a canal to reach the village.

Very small and poor village, but fascinating.

The six senior couples in our mission had a "Goodbye to the Ivies" adventure. This is at the
Alma House, where we stayed, eating breakfast.

Cool view of the greater Accra area as we traveled to Boti Falls.

(Left and below) Boti Falls

             Sister & Elder Ivie, Julander, Miles, Hanlon, Seader (humanitarian) & Pres. & Sis. Stevenson

During the rainy season, the falls are larger and the pool below much deeper....thus, the warning sign!

We always take advantage of being in Accra to go to the temple. The large building to the right and  behind the temple is the West African Area office where many of the senior couples we love work.

Thursday, 9 April 2015


Elder Day getting some blood work done

Sister J. is responsible for taking care of health problems the missionaries encounter. They call her with concerns from ingrown toenails to Malaria and Typhoid. The most common cure she prescribes is "drink more water." The missionaries walk all day in the hot sun, and most don't drink near enough. This creates an environment for many different health issues to occur.

(above and below left) Sister J. instructing

We have the opportunity to instruct the missionaries every few months. We use a curriculum that Elder J. helped develop. 
Sister J. was a little nervous at first, but has
really enjoyed this part of our assignment.

Elder J. discusses eternal values and agency, and Sister J. teaches about creating "SMART" goals and reducing fear.

The response from the missionaries has been very positive. They actively participate, and often ask for us to follow-up with them, either as a district or individually.

Elder J. instructing

It has been one of the most rewarding things we have done here. One missionary is taking the information home so he can teach his siblings and others in his ward.

Here is a picture of the Takoradi District before the instruction.

And here is a picture of the district after our instruction. You can see how enlightened  we are.

We sing to all the missionaries in our area on their birthday. We have written words to a tune we know, and compose a few personal verses for each missionary. Then we sing it to them as close to their birthday as possible.

We secretly collect as much information as possible on each missionary so (hopefully) the verses are clever and specific. Elder Affy (above) is learning English, and had to have one of our verses explained to him after it was over. Then he laughed even harder.

                                            We also give each one a birthday gift. They have their choice of
                                            a CD (Called To Serve by the Tab Choir), or a goodie bag which
                                            contains (among other things) Pop Tarts, a big temptation for some.

In Ghana, the traditional birthday celebration includes being doused with water. Here is Elder Chishinji getting "soaked" from head to toe.


Here we are singing to the "soaked" Elder Chishinji.  We've had a few of the African missionaries tell us this is the first birthday present they have ever received. We love these missionaries, and love singing to them....many their 1st personalized.


We have a Nissan truck which we use occasionally to transport missionaries. Our most and least favorite time to do this is the big transfer home. We take the departing missionaries to the mission home,  then to Accra the next day to attend the temple and then to the airport.

                                                 The "departees" have a final meal at the mission home of their
                                                 favorite food here in Ghana - fufu. This is plantain and
                                                 casava pounded together and served with chicken in Light Soup.

         They have time to relax, get bags weighed, and write in each
         others journals.

Elder Pearmain

We also purchased a journal for the missionaries to write in. Here is Elder Pearmain writing very nice comments in
ours....... or else!


          At the end of the first day, the missionaries get their travel packet, including tickets, itinerary,  
         passports, medication for malaria and de-worming, and some emergency money. Then they bear
         their testimonies for the last time in the mission and go to bed.

Morning comes early, and there are always group pictures to be taken. Each missionary receives a banner with the mission name, their name and the years they served.

You'd think we would get bored doing this transfer after transfer, but we don't. This is the last group we took to the airport.

                                                      We love the Accra temple. It is the most beautiful building
                                                      in Ghana. We are excited that the people in Ivory Coast are
                                                      getting their own temple. They come here by busloads.

Elder Quaisie

It's very difficult saying goodbye to all our amazing missionaries. Especially for those like Elder Quaisie, who we hope to see again in this life, but most likely will not.

Elder Egbert
                                                                 Some we know we will see when we get home.

Elder Odongo

Sister Modimakwani

Elder Omokoh

These are just a few of the missionaries we worked with. We wish we had the time and space for all their pictures.

           One tradition that persists, in spite of the mission president, is jumping off of the temple stairs.
           Here they are in various stages of flight.

                    Here is another favorite site for pictures. This transfer saw six sisters and one elder leave.

            We included this pic, because it is our favorite. Everyone is in the air, and look at the faces......

                                                                       MUSIC IN THE TAKORADI STAKE

                                               Can you find Sister J. in this picture of the stake choir practice?
                                               It's easier than it was when she was in the Tabernacle Choir.

For Stake Conference, we had these fancy choir duds sewn for us. We really had a good time with these people, and love being with them.

I don't know how they looked on us, but they somehow looked nice on everyone else.

The stake music director had us get together and perform a concert of "jazz" songs. The community was invited, and we had a good time. This is the only picture we took during one of the rehearsals. The man, Kwaw, is not a member (but should be), and plays a mean jazz piano.

We have both taught piano lessons with keyboards provided through a grant. If they complete the course and promise to teach others, they get to keep the keyboard. Some drop out when the lessons become difficult, but some have remained faithful. Porshia took several lessons outside the church by emergency light because the power was off. We learned through sad experience NOT to use the truck lights to see.

Sister J. conducting a ward choir rehearsing for ward conference

Sister J. has been called upon several times to assist a ward choir that was struggling. We all had fun, and the choir sounded much better than before she came.


Do you recognize the yellow vest? With around 200 members, we cleaned a section of the city of Sekondi where we live. All the wards and branches participated in the national "Helping Hands" clean-up day.

For exercise and for fun we often walk around the town. There are a lot of friendly people, and some really cool paths we have discovered. It's not unusual to have gospel conversations on our walks.

Our days are never boring, and we never get tired of serving with our amazing missionaries and these incredible people in this beautiful country. We are so blessed!