This blog covers the years 2014-2016 when we (the Robisons) were at the Ghana MTC. To see the blog covering the period 2016-2018 click on this link:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How Do They Do It in the Congo?

My friend Bryce Cook and his wife Karol, are serving in the DRC where he is the mission president.  President Cook served with me as a young missionary in France.  For every door we knocked on in Paris, they baptize a person in the Congo.  How do they do it?  They baptize 51 at a time as you can see here.

This morning we said goodbye to our missionaries.  Seventeen of them were headed for the DRC.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ghana MTC Slideshow of 18 June 2014 Group

       They Truly Are the Army of Helaman and Sisters in Zion

Gabon Opened Up for Missionary Work Last November

Here is a landmark photo of a baptism earlier this year in Gabon.  One of those baptized had waited 16 years for that ordinance.  Gabon was just  barely opened  last November, when Elder Bednar came to dedicate it.   It has taken this long to get visas for  missionaries to get into Gabon and to get a portable baptismal font.  

The DRC Kinshasa has 6 countries: Republic of Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic ( no missionaries yet but has been dedicated in  2013), Cameroon, DRC and Equatorial Guinea (not yet dedicated - no missionaries.)  This mission  was just divided effective July.  A major reason for the split is that the people of this area are very receptive to the message of the restored gospel.  Everyone will talk to you about the Savior and want to come to Church to see for themselves.

All of the outlying countries are now in the new Brazzaville mission with a native mission president from Lumbumbashi.  It is in this new mission where only American missionaries will serve.  Kinshasa has 7 stakes and a branch in Matadi DRC.  The current mission president and his wife, President and Sister Bryce Cook,  travel 50% of the time to  care for the branches and missionaries. (He is pictured in the baptism photo).  Only the local missionaries serve in Kinshasa (120). 

This post is made because often more missionaries trained in the MTC at one time are from the DRC than any other country.  Although this mission is not in the Africa West Area, it plays a significant role in the program for this missionary training center.

Note that Gabon is just to the South of Cameroon and is located on the Coast of Southwestern Africa.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Elder Vinson Visits Ghana MTC

Yesterday, Elder Terrance Vinson and his wife, were the speakers at the Area Devotional.  Elder Vinson is the First Counselor in the Africa West Area Presidency and was called to be a General Authority in April 2013.  Each group of missionaries has a General Authority or Area Seventy speak to them on their first Thursday in the MTC.  This group has 76 missionaries.  Sixty-eight of them entered the MTC on April 18th.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Triplets Enter the MTC

Two of the triplets entered the MTC last Friday.  The one in the center enters a week from Friday.  All three have the same last name, the same middle names, and their first names are Dick, Dicken and Dickson.  Yes, they are wonderful.  (Each will be serving in a different mission, but while in the MTC, the two here now are companions).

He Knows Each One Of Us!

Today in Sister Robison's journal, she noted:  Tired and missing home today. I spotted this very active butterfly flitting around and I kind of begged/whined/prayed to see it up close. A few minutes later it landed right at my feet and just stayed there letting me soak in its beauty.  

This is a similar experience to the one we had in the West Indies on April 7, 2008.  "A similar experience happened in French Guiana when a sea turtle came up on the beach late Sunday afternoon. We had been sad that there was no time to go see the sea turtles lay eggs. So when we took a walk between meetings, that day, there it was. It laid eggs and then swam back out to sea."

We are given reminders, kisses from heaven, that let us know He is there and He is listening, if we look and listen.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 18th Group Relief Society - 20 Strong!

On April 18th we received 68 new missionaries to join our six-week missionaries.  Included were 20 sisters.  Sister Acquaye's daughter is one of them (pictured in the back on the far right).  Also pictured  is Sister Michelle Acquaye, a future missionary, and Sister Watson, who with her husband, helps us do family file work during our regular temple outings.  (She is on the far right.)

Don't you love the African style for dresses?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sister Marlene Acquaye Enters Ghana MTC

President and Sister Acquaye dropped off their oldest daughter yesterday at the Ghana MTC.  Sister Acquaye will serve in the Nigeria Lagos Mission.  Her older brother just completed his mission to Cote d'Ivoire.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Friday in the MTC

Easter is celebrated across the board in Ghana. It is celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians alike, but each group has its own interpretation and activities to mark the occasion. For Christians, the celebration starts well before Palm Sunday, but Palm Sunday is the largest, most widely known event before Easter. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem before His crucifixion, death and resurrection. It is important to Christians all over the world, and Ghana is no exception. In Ghana, Palm Sunday is celebrated by various church congregations with processions through some principal streets. Paraders wave palm branches and handkerchiefs and sing “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!” Celebrating the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem gives Christians the hope to seek God’s kingdom. The next important day of the Easter season for Ghanaian Christians is Good Friday. Nearly everyone tries to attend church on Good Friday because they believe that their sins from the year are crucified on the cross with the Son of God. In most orthodox churches, men and women are dressed in dark-color mourning clothes and are in solemn moods.   But what of the Latter-day Saints?

The Prophet Joseph Smith once declared that all things, “which pertain to our religion are only appendages” to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 1 Elder Holland in a major address to missionaries throughout the world prior to Easter a number of years ago said "in like manner and for the same reasons, every truth that a missionary or member teaches is only an appendage to the central message of all time—that Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, the Holy Messiah, the Promised One, the Savior and Redeemer of the world; that He alone burst the bands of death and triumphed over the captivity of hell; that no one of us could ever have those same blessings without His intervention in our behalf; and that there never shall be any “other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, [except] in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.  (Elder Holland, March 2001 Ensign)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet Patrick Appianti-Sarpong

This is a big month for Brother Patrick Appianti-Sarpong.  His wife just had a baby on March 27th and this week he graduated in accounting from Methodist University in Tema.  Patrick supervises all the teachers at the Ghana MTC and is critical to the overall success of the day-to-day operation.  The staff, teachers, and missionaries love working with Patrick.  He also served a most successful mission to Nigeria.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ghana MTC Slideshow of 4 April 2014 Group

Bring Pedigree Charts to the MTC

On the first Friday in the MTC, missionaries work on family file for their excursion to the Ghana Temple the following Tuesday or Wednesday.  This effort is most gratifying.

Total Names Submitted:

2/7     21
2/21  135
3/7     84
3/21   63
4/4    118

YTD  449

For sealings:

2/7      6
2/21   59
3/7     33
3/21   28
4/4     47

YTD 174

We had 70 missionaries enter the MTC last Friday.  When 22 submit family file, that represents 32%.  Think of what would happen if each missionary brought family file with them on their missions.

First Convert From Comoros, Now Serving As Senior Missionaries

In 2001, Sister Mariama Soulet Changuama was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Antananarivo, Madagascar.  Sister Chanaguama was raised Muslim on the island of  Comoros, but she very much disliked the prevailing belief of polygamy.   Her father had five wives and children were raised in several different locations.  While attending school in Madagascar, she was approached by two Elders in the street, who asked her if she was Christian?  Years early, she had met her husband, a policeman, and in 1972 they were married.  He was of the traditional religion, a protestant.  She responded that yes she was indeed a Christian, had the lessons and embraced the gospel.  A year later, her husband, Justin Rakotoarisoa was baptized.  

When Mariama and her husband were married, she was disowned by her family because she was Christian.  For 15 years, they would not speak to her.  Finally at that end of that period of time, they softened but when they learned that she was Mormon, they continued to not speak to her for another 10 years.  But then something happened to soften their hearts – they observed the blessings of the gospel that had come into the Rakotoarisoa home.  You see, the Rakotoarisoas raised 8 children: one boy and 7 girls.  All but one have married in the Church.  Two have served missions.  They have been blessed with 16 grandchildren.  They were all sealed in the Johannesburg, South Africa temple on August 22, 2008 at 2:05 p.m.

Brother Rakotoarisoa has served as an Elders Quorum President and as a bishop for seven years. He recently retired having served a stellar career in the police force in Antananarivo. They have just completed their training at the Ghana MTC and now return to Madagascar, where they will serve as an MLS couple in Fianarantsoa, about 400 km South of Antananarivo.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

26 - Record Number of Ghana MTC Sisters!

Our 26 Sisters are ready to enter the field and hasten the work!  We have never had such a large group.  What a great spirit they bring to the MTC!

Today at the Area Devotional for the April 4th Group, our speaker was Elder Ben Davis, an Area Seventy from Cape Coast, Ghana.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2 New Missions For Ghana's MTC

Two new missions | Deseret News

Two new missions of the Church are being created in Africa. The Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan West Mission is being created by dividing the Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan Mission. The Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission is being created by dividing the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission. (April 5, 2014, Church News General Conference Announcement)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Soccer is a World Wide Cultural Experience

This has so many teaching applications for the Ghana MTC.  They can do impossible things.