Monday, December 28, 2015

The Holidays In Ho

Happy holidays from Africa. We hope you've been enjoying time with family, holiday traditions, and cold, snowy weather (yes, we're actually missing the snow right about now)! It's been a lot simpler, less hectic Christmas season for us here in Ho and we've enjoyed focusing our time and attention on being with our Ghanaian family and friends and the eternal gifts that come thanks to the birth of our Savior. Here's some of what we've been doing this holiday season:

One of the best gifts was the arrival of two of our daughters - Tash and Hillary - and our grandson Krew.
It was so nice to be with them again, and their 11 suitcases. Thanks to all those who worked
so tirelessly to send donations, school bags and humanitarian kits to be used here in Ghana.
Thanks to Zack Thacker's Eagle project, we were able to deliver 50 school kits to the Almighty
Preparatory Academy in Tsito, Ghana. When the headmistress announced that each child
would receive their own bag full of pencils, paper, scissors, crayons and other school supplies, the kids danced
and sang with joy. They also loved playing and talking with Krew, who they called Komla, meaning Tuesday born. 
Our kids were really taken aback by the heat and humidity in Ghana. Luckily, we took a break one day and hiked the Wli Falls, the largest waterfall in Ghana. The mist from the falls reaches all the way into the surrounding jungle, so we were able to cool off once we got close. All of the local kids wanted us to take their picture with Krew.
Between zone conferences, district councils, a Christmas devotional, and Christmas eve breakfast at our
house, we've been able to spend a lot of time with the awesome missionaries from the Ho zone. 
We have the opportunity to participate in a lot of service and humanitarian projects that support the local communities. Here we helped hand out thousands of eye glasses to local Ghanains after doctors from Utah screened their eyes and provided a prescription. Each participant was able to choose two pair of eye glasses from the over 6,000 that were donated. We've also helped on dental, medical and maturation programs as well as teaching English, genealogy and audit training.  
We had an incredible experience as we worked with the young women from our home ward back in Utah to
help send 70 youth from the Ho district to the Ghana Accra Temple. What a wonderful example of following
the 2015 youth theme of "Embarking in the Service" of others. If you're interested in seeing more of this activity,
you can check out the video on Youtube entitled "From Lindon to Ghana to the Temple."
Each of the young women from Utah attended the temple recently and wrote about what the temple
means to them. We shared these letters with their "pen-pal" here in Ghana. The youth here were so excited
 to "meet" their new pen-pal and to write back about their experience at the temple as well. 

We recently experienced a change in our local weather. Every December starts the Harmattan season,
when strong northern winds blow sands from the Saharan Desert all over Western Africa. Here in Ghana,
the sands make everything look hazy and dusty while blocking out the stronger rays of the sun,
making the temperatures a bit more mild. It's cooled things down to a balmy 91 degrees today.
The Harmattan winds blow fine sand and dirt through every crack and gap in our house. This is what our mop looks like after cleaning a 4 x 4 foot section of our bedroom floor.
The cooler temperatures have also brought out more creepy-crawlers, as Sarah learned the hard way. These infected, toxic spider bites on her leg (and one more on her neck) made life miserable for almost 2 weeks. Thanks to quick response of our mission nurse and the area medical doctor, she was able to quickly get on some strong antibiotics.


  1. Those pictures are incredible! The ones of the spider bites gave me the shivers. You are really amazing in all that you are doing. I love that some of your family could come to see you! The descriptions of everything you do, your example of service and what life is like there are so inspiring and also humbling.

  2. Thank you so much for everything you do for Elder Grant and the other missionaries under your watchful care. We sure love and appreciate it. Hope Sis. Bodine's leg is a lot better now. The youth temple trip was just so beautiful to watch. Y'all really are amazing!