Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Month Anniversary

In some ways it seems as though we've been gone for a long time and in others it feels like we left just yesterday. We miss our family and friends immensely but we know we're doing exactly what the Lord would have us do at this time in our lives. We're still adjusting to a completely different lifestyle, but we're grateful for new opportunities that help us grow and learn such valuable, eternal lessons like faith, hope and charity.

We recently spent a few days at a local hospital with one of the missionaries in our area. Unfortunately, malaria is still rampant in this area of the world and, even though the missionaries take medicine every day, most of them end up learning about this parasite the hard way. Sarah and I take our Doxy pills with every breakfast and we pray that we don't have to spend any time in the local hospitals - it was a very sobering and eye-opening experience.

Elder Marsh was admitted but then wasn't checked on for over 24-hours

The admittance and diagnostic process took so long that the blood lab and the pharmacy had closed for the night, even though we arrived mid-afternoon. Knowing what it's like to have a missionary in the field, Sarah went into mom mode and had the hospital staff doing everything they could for this poor elder. They ended up giving us the blood samples to take over to the lab and had us pick up our own medicines from the pharmacy.

Yes, it took a full box of medicine to treat Elder Marsh. After 3-days of care(?) and seven IV's, we pulled him out of Ho and drove him to one of the larger hospitals in Accra.

In between trips to the hospital, we've been able to attend a few of the quarterly zone conferences and monthly zone meetings. This is when all the missionaries in a zone get together for training, teaching, interviews and food (and there's always a whole lot of food). The missionaries love to see and catch up with old companions and roommates and we enjoy seeing how much they love and miss each other.

On top of the training, there are a lot of smiles, laughter and even some good-natured noogies!
Once the meetings are over, the bank is open. We provide reimbursement for monies the elders have spent for travel, power (when it's on), water and even bicycle repairs. Every penny of these sacred missionary funds are accounted for.

We spent 4 days at the mission home in Accra working on transfers as 20 missionaries left (after completing their 2 years here in Ghana) and 23 new missionaries arrived. It's a bittersweet time when these spiritual warriors head home to resume the lives they left behind to serve the Lord, but the excitement and eagerness of their replacements warms our hearts.

Sixteen of the new missionaries arrived from the Provo MTC a bit jet lagged but eager to find their companion and head to their new areas. We also had elders/sister from Zambia, Nigeria and Australia in this MTC group.

We continue to put a lot of kilometers on our truck as we visit each of the branches and groups in our area. We've attended a number of baptisms, firesides, and leadership meetings lately in an effort to get to know these humble and wonderful people better. They live hard and burdened lives but the message of the restored gospel gives them faith and hope to carry on and endure to the end.

These great missionaries taught this gentleman the gospel in sign language. The portable font
gets a lot of use in the branches and groups.

Thanks to some wonderful friends back home (thanks Charole and Lynne) we received a shipment of young women medallions and personal progress books. The young women of the Tsito Branch felt like Christmas came in July as they've been working to qualify for their awards. The love and live the gospel!

Every Saturday we have a group of local kids over to our house. Most of them come from tough family situations and are living on their own. We have them wash the car, weed and sweep the dirt around our house in order to earn some money for food the next week. Sarah washes all their clothes and school uniforms and they iron their church shirts so they're ready for Sunday meetings.

We always have the cleanest truck in town!

While we were in Accra last week, the mission president asked us to head to the market in Jamestown (the largest and therefore the craziest market in the city) and buy 25 white shirts. We took two of the African missionaries with us so that they could bargain in the local languages. Thanks to their hard work, we were able to get 25 new white shirts for 230 Ghana Cedis - that's under $3 per shirt in US dollars.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elder and Sister Bodine, I came across your blog and am having a great time reading it and seeing pictures. My son Keaton Ballard is in the Accra mission and was in the picture of the new elders eating at the mission home. I am so overcome with emotion as I see more of Ghana and read about your adventures--I would love for my husband and I to serve there someday! I am the stake YW president and wondered if there are any service projects you know of that would be helpful to the people there. I am familiar with Days for Girls, and maybe that would be an option, but please let me know if you know of anything else we could do--we have stake camp coming up next July and will be looking for ways to serve. Also, is helping families go to the temple (like you raised money for before you left) still an option? We donate to the temple patron fund through the church, so maybe that's the same thing, but I thought I'd see what you thought. Please give my love to Elder Ballard if you come across him--he's in the Teshie area right now. Thanks for your great blog, and keep having a wonderful time in Ghana!