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:

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Dress Code in the Ghana MTC?

No, actually this is an "agbada."

agbada (plural agbada or agbadas) - A long, flowing robe with wide sleeves worn by men in some parts of West Africa, often decorated with embroidery.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ghana MTC Slideshow of 19 September 2014 Group

Ghana MTC is one of fifteen Missionary Training Centers located throughout the world

Every week, close to 500 young men and women between the ages of 19 and 25 from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leave families, friends, school and careers and travel to one of 15 missionary training centers (sometimes referred to as MTCs) around the globe.

Before departing to a training center, missionaries receive a letter of assignment from the president of the Church in Salt Lake City telling them where they will serve for two years (for young men) or 18 months (for young women).

About 80 percent of missionaries are trained at the Church's largest training center in Provo, Utah. It is home to an average of 2,700 missionaries at a time or 24,000 over the course of a year.

At training centers, missionaries receive religious instruction and language training and learn teaching skills. They also develop a respect and cultural understanding for the areas and countries where they will serve before traveling to destinations in more than 120 countries. Training lasts from three weeks to three months, depending on language needs.

There are a total of 15 MTCs in nations throughout the world, in locations in addition to Provo, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Where do you get your haircut at the MTC?

An earlier post tells prospective missionaries that there is a barbershop across the road from the MTC.  This photo of Sister Malmrose, who is serving with her husband in the MTC, reminding "him" that his hair is getting a little too long was too good to pass up.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Elder Ben Davis Addresses Record Number MTC Crowd

Yesterday, one of our Area Seventies, Elder Ben Davis, addressed our 17th group to enter the MTC since our arrival.  They started out 96 strong and came from as far away as the United States and Zimbabwe.  We get to keep 33 of them for 6 weeks as they learn English or French.  Also seated in the chairs with us and Elder Davis, are Elder and Sister Malmrose, our senior couple serving in the MTC.

August/September in Ghana Features Many Festivals

August and September in Ghana is the time for the annual festivals.  A week ago, several senior couples traveled four hours to Ho to witness the Festival in Ho.  Pictured above are photos taken by Brother Kradolffer of the Kente Festival in Agotime, Ghana as well as a shot in Elmira.

The chiefs and people of Agotime traditional area, a few kilometres east of Ho, who are called Ga-Adanbges, celebrate their annual Kente festivals in August every year. The Agotime people introduced the art of Kente weaving to Ghana and mark this event with a colorful festival culminating in a parade of chiefs and subjects as well as various types of Kente cloth put on display.

How Do Fishermen Cast Their Nets?

This is how they do it in Takarodi, Ghana on the Atlantic Ocean.

Matthew 4:18-22

18And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

They answered his divine call. "And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."
The Savior's invitation to "follow" is ultimately a challenge to become like Him — to develop His characteristics. Such an invitation applies as much to us as to the Apostles of old.

In our previous mission to the West Indies, which was settled by the peoples of Africa, we were able to capture these fishing shots early one morning before Zone Conference in St. Lucia.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Elder Ndunduma's Journey to be Sealed

Yesterday Elder Tatenda Ndunduma was sealed to his parents with Elder and Sister Malmrose standing in as proxy.  The day before Sister Robison and I performed the baptisms for his parents in the Ghana Temple.

Elder Ndunduma's journey began January 26, 1994 when he was born in Mabvuku Harare Zimbabwe.  When he was three years old and his brother was seven, his father became very ill.  At the peak of his sickness, he could not stand or eat, and could hardly breathe.  His mother entered his hospital room and upon viewing her husband in that condition collapsed to the floor and died.  His father was not aware that his wife died and he died a couple of days later.

Tatenda was sent to live with his aunt (sister of his father) and his grandmother.  Two years later his grandmother passed away.  His aunt took on part-time work to provide food and often her two children and Tentenda were left alone.  None of them knew how to cook.  When he was in grade 5 his aunt took him to a small town called Bindura where he finished primary and secondary school.  At the age of 16 his aunt died and so he was left to live with her husband and a son who was his age. Life was hard and often he would cry wishing his parents were alive.  He was sent back to Harare to live with another aunt and got to be reunited with his brother who was 20 at the time.

He knows that this move was also for a deeper purpose.  The son of his aunt, who was now grown up was a member of the Church and invited him to attend.  His name was Simbarashe.  Tatenda was also introduced to the missionaries and had the lessons.  However, it was not until he heard the lesson about the plan of salvation that he was converted.  It was the sweetest message he had ever heard and changed his tears of sorrow to tears of joy.  He had thought that he would never see his parents again.  Feeling the Spirit of the Lord, he asked to be baptized on November 17, 2012.  From that point on, he was a changed man.  He knew it was his responsibility to see that they were baptized and sealed. Now that dream is a reality.

One of his goals was to be a full-time missionary.  Three wonderful lady golfers, Lolly, Reeve and CC helped him accomplish that goal.  He entered the MTC on September 19, 2014 and will serve in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.  His desire is now to bring many souls unto Christ to enjoy the joy the same blessings he is enjoying.  He also said "I know the Lord will always watch my back throughout."

Treasures Found in the Koforidua Bead Market

Koforidua is known for its bead market on Thursdays.  This incredible find is over 800 years old.  Yes it is headed back to Utah.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here is a Painting-like Photo of the Ghana Temple

This could pass for a painting.  It is a photo of the Ghana temple taken today as we accompanied one half our largest group of missionaries from the MTC to the temple.  We will bring the rest of the missionaries on Wednesday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Where Do Golfers Go in Ghana?

There are 15 golf courses in Ghana.  The closest to the MTC (pictured above) is in Tema.  The photo below shows President Heid and his caddies at the golf course in Tefo.

This makes for a great preparation day outing.  The course in Tefo is tropical and one of the most luscious green golf courses you could imagine.  It is a three hour drive from the MTC.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pathways Leaders Visit Ghana MTC

What does a returned missionary do after his/her mission?  A well-kept secret, unintentionally, is a program called "Pathways."  This past week, Pathway leaders Gene Hayes and Corey Christensen visited Ghana in an effort to expand the reach of this incredible opportunity.

Pathways was designed to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in their lives.  It is a one-year educational program, coordinated entirely in English.  Since this is the language of business, its students' academic and professional prowess are enhanced.  It blends only U.S. college courses with weekly, in-personal academic gatherings.  Upon successful completion of the program its students have one year of college credit from an accredited University and have specialized in business, web design or information science.

This program started in 2009 with just three locations to an out reach program of oever 120 sites of which 49 are outside of the United States.“This program resembles the hope and excitement the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to people, regardless of their cultural mores, native language, or the alphabet they might use,” said Gene Hayes, International Pathway director. “Whether we bless 15 or thousands, we are changing lives.”

The primary objective of Pathway is to “get the gospel down into students’ hearts.”  Program facilitators accomplish this through weekly gatherings, fellowship of other participating Church members, and courses taught within the framework of the gospel. Although Pathway is an educational opportunity, its participants  grow spiritually and socially as well. And it’s not pnly the students who benefit from Pathway: institute instructors, family members, local priesthood leaders and Pathway missionaries are impacted as well.

Opportunities for Pathways in Africa are unlimited.  This is the fastest growing area of the Church in convert baptisms brought about by a tremendous surge in the number of missionaries called to labor in this area.  Pathways gives these missionaries as well as new converts in this age group a viable opportunity to serve as a spring board in their personal lives to greater success.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ground Broken for New MTC

 After months of anxious anticipation, the ground for the new Ghana MTC was broken this past week.  The new MTC will:

  • Have 120,000 square feet
  • House 320 missionaries with flexibility to expand to 500 in next building phase
  • Teach in 32 classrooms
  • Host missionaries in 80 bedrooms (four to a room)
  • Be comprised of 4 buildings (6 level residence hall, 3 level classroom building, a gymnasium/auditorium, and a cafeteria)
  • Contain 3 chapels, a barbershop and a bookstore
The building will take 2 years to complete.  The work of the Lord is hastening in Africa!

So what will the Ghana Temple Square look like?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ghana MTC Slideshow of 5 September 2014 Group

This slideshow features our 16th group of missionaries who have entered the MTC since we arrived last January.  They enter the mission field on September 16th - 52 strong, trained and ready to serve through Western and Southern Africa.

Cyril Taki: He Was Searching for the True Church

Meet Cyril Taki, one of our senior instructors at the MTC.    He was born 28 years ago in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and was raised there as one of 10 children.  In April 2007, he had a friend who was also looking for a Church to join.  This friend was a friend of a member.  When these two young men met the missionaries, they knew the Church was true and both were baptized on June 16, 2007.

Here is the Abinadi District with their instructor, Brother Cyril Taki.  Left to right:  Elder Jorgensen, Elder Walls, Brother Taki, Elder Bailey and Elder Jackson. (He has taught them French for the past 6 weeks.)

Cyril's parents are not members, but both are now very interested.  Cyril's father had always wanted his son to be religious because he thought it would be good for him.  He was therefore, quite pleased when his son joined the Church.  However, he was not happy about his son being called to serve a mission in Nigeria.  He had heard alot of dangerous things about Nigeria in the news.  So Cyril implored of his church leaders to speak with his father and permission to serve was granted.

The story of his mother was a different case.  She had heard rumors about the Church and was given Anti-Mormon information.  However, when the Sister Missionaries spoke with her, she changed her mind.  Now today, both of Cyril's parents are supportive of his activity in the Church and say that one day, they too will be members.

It is interesting to note that after the 9th child was born, Cyrils' father was about to take another wife.  She was the mother of his 10th children.  After learning about the Church, he decided not to marry a second wife.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Elder Koranteng Spoke at the Area Devotional to the September 5th Group

Elder John Attah Koranteng spoke at the September 11th Area Devotional.  Elder Koreanteng, an Area Seventy who was sustained April 6, 2013, joined the Church on April 6, 1996.  He has served as a Stake President and in other leadership capacities.  At the present time, he is the Area Self Reliance Manager for the Africa Southwest Area.

Elder Koranteng speaks seven languages fluently including English, French, Norwegian, Swahili, Twi, Ewe and Nkonya.  Prior to working for the Church, he and his twin brother Paul founded and managed an interpretation and translation services company.  With his wife Cynthia, they manage a basic school called Jakcint Academy which they founded.  They are the parents of two foster children.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What is your Ghanian name for the day of the week you were born?

Ghanaian names are based on ethnic groups including Ga, Akan and Ewe  names. Most of them base the given name (first names) they give to their newly born children on the day of the week on which the child has been born with the family name  (surname). The Akan and Ewe people of Ghana frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These names have spread throughout Ghana as follows:


  •  Monday: Kojo, Kwadwo, Jojo, Joojo, Cudjoe, Kudjoe, Kodzo
  • Tuesday: Kwabena, Ebo, Komla, Kobena, Kobina, Kobby,
  • Wednesday: Kwaku, Kweku, Kwiku, Korku
  •  Thursday: Yaw, Ekow, Yao, Yokow
  • Friday:  Kofi, Fiifi, Yoofi
  • Saturday: Kwame, Ato, Atoapem, Kwamena, Komi,Kwami
  • Sunday: Kwasi, Akwasi, Kwesi


  • Monday: Adwoa, Adzo, Ajoba, Ejo, Adjoa, Awuradjoa, Awuradwoa
  • Tuesday: Abenaa, Abla, Araba, Abina, Abra
  • Wednesday: Akua, Akuba, Ekuwa, Kukuwa, Aku
  • Thursday: Yaa, Aba, Ayewa, Yaaba, Yaayaa, Awo, Yawo, Baaba
  • Friday: Afua, Afi, Afia, Efie, Efua
  • Saturday: Ama, Amma, Foowa, Ami, Awurama
  • Sunday: Akosua, Esi, Kisi

Characteristics of each day

  • Monday's child is the father or mother in the family; nurturing in nature, dependable and organized, and protective of his/her family.
  • Tuesday's child is the problem solver and planner of the family. They are structured in nature, neutral in all matters and never take sides.
  • Wednesday's child is fully in control of every situation, does not want to be told what to do, knows it all, is spontaneous, vibrant and cordial.
  • Thursday's child is quiet in nature and incredibly observant. They are generally listeners, not talkers, and analyzes situations very well.
  • Friday's child is a leader, not a follower. He/she is very temperamental but has a big heart. Generally the instigator of everything.
  • Saturday's child likes to take control of family situations. He/she runs the show and make the rules, but will go out of his/her way for others any time.
  • Sunday's child is the general leader, sensitive to family situations and warm member of the family. He/she tends to be shy and likes to keep to his/her self, but is very aware of his/her surroundings and usually is the secret keeper of the family.
So what is your name.  I was born on a Tuesday.  So was Brother Eguko.  We are therefore: Kobina
Sister Robison was born on a Wednesday.  Her name is Akua.

Michael Sapaku, MTC Teacher Extraordinaire

Just like the story, of Patrick Appianti-Sarpong, Michael Sapaku, one of our illustrious MTC teachers, joined the Church after high school.  In his case it was a few years later.  He lived with cousins who were members and every Sunday the family would go their own way.  Michael noticed in them a certain peace - a joy in life that he was not experiencing.  He concluded that it must be their Church, so he asked if he could go with them.  This was in February of 2006.  In March of that year, he was baptized.

Three months after he was baptized, he was called to be the ward clerk and invited to attend a missionary preparation class taught by Brother Solomon Aliche.  The bishop had put him on a list of prospective missionaries and he had decided that he was not going just because someone else wanted him to.  However in this class of Brother Aliche, every single member of the class ended up serving a mission.  In Michael's case it was to South Africa from 2010 to 2012.   As with the experience of so many, Michael traces every good thing that has happened to him back to his mission.

After his mission, he met a young lady named Grace Tetteh at a Stake Single Adult Fireside.  She was on a date with the young man who had baptized him, but he had a feeling that he would marry her.  And he did.  They were married on December 26, 2013. (She is from Accra and joined the Church the same year he did.  He is from Tamale, a village up North).

Interesting that Brother Eguko was fascinated by this young man and his passion for missionary work.  He asked Brother Aliche to give him a reference about Michael Sapaku, and of course the recommendation was glowing.  (Brother Sapaku has now taught at the MTC for the past 16 months).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Patrick Asked the Golden Question to the Missionaries

The way the missionary program works is that missionaries approach people not of our faith and ask them the golden questions.  What do you know about the Church?  Would you like to know more?  In  Patrick Appianti-Sarpong's case, he asked them?

 Mathias Eguko and Patrick Appianti-Sarpong (Patrick is Mathias's assistant at the MTC and supervises the teachers and arranges for all the missionaries' needs - an essential job)

Here is his conversion story:

Patrick is from Kumasi.  At the end of three years of boarding school he went home to Kumasi and saw a new church building being constructed near his home. He approached the builders and asked them what they were building.  He thought that was nice and that he would like to attend that church.  He was with two friends, so they all concluded that it would be great to have a church nearby where there is alot of singing and dancing (as they do in other churches)  Well when they finished the Church and when he passed by, it was quiet inside even though cars were parked outside.  Patrick had researched a little about the Church and knew to wear a white shirt.  So he visited the Church and because of his white shirt the members did not know he was an investigator.  He approached the missionaries because he thought they were resource people with name tags.  (Elders Lawson and Thomson).  Because he did not stay all the time in Kumasi (his Dad lived in Tema), he lost contact with each pair of missionaries that taught him and in two years went through 4 or 5 sets of elders.  He did read up to Alma 5 after his first meeting with the first two missionaries because they gave him a Book of Mormon.  In Tema while driving down Hospital Road, he spotted the Church in Tema and was pleased to have found the Church in Tema as well.

Patrick was baptized in 2005 after having been proactive and having introduced himself to missionaries each time he got back to Church.  He was finally taught by Elder Wama and Elder Terangi (who performed the baptism).

As a young convert preparing to serve a mission, Patrick accompanied the Elders to visit recent converts.  One of them had a less active daughter named Elizabeth.  Not only did he reactivate her, but wrote her on his mission and they were married on January 1, 2011 (sealed on January 4, 2011).  His mission was from November 2007 to November 2009.

Patrick and Elizabeth have a 5 month old son named Yaw (he was born on a Thursday).  Yaw is the name of Patrick's father, so the baby is called Papa Yaw.

Elizabeth, Patrick and Yaw

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

And the Congolese Missionaries Are Off!

Here is the group going to the DRC Lubumbashi Mission.  The Congolese always dress sharper than the other missionaries.  (They love to leave the tags on their suits.)  Each Congolese group loves to sing and this one was no exception.  We loved every one of them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What About Haircuts for MTC Missionaries?

 Across the street from the MTC is a barbershop called "Smart Cuts."  Haircuts cost 15 CD (equivalent of $5 US).  When you enter the shop, you are asked if you want your hair "dressed up?"  That means do you want a haircut.  If you said that you are anxious about having your hair touch your ears, the response is "Oh, you don't want to worry your ears?"  Say "yes, I don't want to worry my ears."  And voila, now you are trained in the art of receiving a haircut in Tema.

Christopher Mugimu, Uganda Pioneer

In 1992, Christopher B. Mugimu, an educator who ran an academy in Mukono, Uganda, passed a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse and began investigating the Church. After the second discussion, he knew what he should do. “It seems I found a good Church,” he told the missionaries.
He was baptized; a month later, his wife, Susan, followed.
To attend Church meetings, the couple put their children on their backs and set out walking at 6 a.m. from their home in Mukono to Kampala, Uganda. They would then take a taxi into town and walk to Church. The entire process took three hours.
“It was miraculous,” Brother Mugimu told the Church News. “Every Sunday, we had the money for travel. We did that for almost six months.”
Then the Church formed a branch in Mukono; Brother Mugimu was made branch president, his wife Relief Society president. Soon he was serving as the Kampala Uganda District president (“‘Long journey’ to continue in Uganda,” Church News, Jan. 15, 2005).
July 24 is a state holiday in Utah, a time when thousands line the streets of downtown Salt Lake City to celebrate — with parades, rodeos and speeches — the lives and sacrifices of the pioneers who more than 150 years ago settled what would become the state.
By extension, Church members also celebrate each July the accomplishments of modern-day pioneers — like Christopher and Susan Mugimu — who carry on today the values the pioneers exemplified.
President Thomas S. Monson said, like the Mugimus, we can all be pioneers in courage, in faith, in charity, in determination.
“We honor those who endured incredible hardships. We praise their names and reflect on their sacrifices,” he said during the April 1997 Young Women general meeting. “What about our time? Are there pioneering experiences for us? Will future generations reflect with gratitude on our efforts, our examples?”
President Gordon B. Hinckley said it is proper to contemplate the pioneers’ arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. “The tremendous progress of the Church in which we, as all members, share today is but the lengthened shadow of the faith and sacrifices of those devoted early Saints,” he said in a July 1984 address titled “The Faith of the Pioneers.”
“It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future,” he said. “It is good to look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect upon the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous example can become a compelling motivation for us all, for each of us is a pioneer in his own life, often in his own family, and many of us pioneer daily in trying to establish a gospel foothold in distant parts of the world.”
After Christopher Mugimu joined the Church, he continued to pioneer. With his family, he traveled to Provo, Utah, where, as a BYU student, he became one of the first people in his country to earn a Doctorate in Education.

They lived in the United States five and a half years. In addition to supporting her husband in gaining his education, Sister Mugimu received training in the culinary arts from Utah Valley State College. Their children found friends; two had already forgotten their native language. The family was happy in Provo, but they had come to the United States with a single purpose: to gain an education that would help them build the Church and the community in Uganda. So they pioneered again and returned home.
In Uganda, the family opened a bakery and a school, and Brother Mugimu worked as a lecturer at a local university.
“Our Heavenly Father wanted us to go [back to Uganda],” said Brother Mugimu. “Nobody is going to come and make our countries better. It takes people like me to go back and share the knowledge we gained from advanced countries. Also, it adds strength to the Church” (“Returning home is blessing to family,” Church News, June 2, 2007).
Speaking of LDS pioneers in all nations such as Brother Mugimu, President Uchtdorft said:
“I have a feeling they will be pleased far more by our performance than by applause, praise or parades. They will want to know if we gained anything from the hard-won lessons they learned through tribulation and trial. They will want to know if their sacrifice and endurance made a difference to us and our children.”

May we all do more than watch parades and attend rodeos to honor the pioneers of yesterday. Like the Mugimus, may we honor them with our lives and commitment, our sacrifice and our faith.

Meet the Cape Coast Mission President Couple - The Stevensons

President and Sister Stevenson, from the Portland area, now preside over the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.  Today we turned over 14 of our missionaries to their loving care.

What Is It Like Serving A Senior Couple Mission?

It is pure joy.  This photo says it all.  It was taken last night as the missionaries sang a hymn in farewell to each other prior to departing to the field.  (Elder and Sister Malmrose have now been serving in the Ghana MTC for a month).

Monday, September 1, 2014

Who Performed the First Baptisms in Ghana?

Yesterday, Elder Russell and Sister Michelle Cannon presented a Devotional at the MTC about the senior couple mission to Africa of his parents, Edwin and Janath Cannon. His parents along with Rendell and Rachel Maybey were sent by the First Presidency in 1978 to establish the first official branches of the Church among the people of West Africa.

Elder Edwin and Sister Janath Cannon, 1978

Despite the setbacks in formal missionary work, unbaptized converts in Africa received Church literature and inspired direction through the years until 1978. Often these devoted people went to great lengths to communicate with Church headquarters and its missions. Their faith penetrated the spiritual darkness as they shared their newfound knowledge and conviction generously with neighbors.
One such pioneer in Ghana was Joseph W. B. Johnson. Brother Johnson was converted after prayerfully reading the Book of Mormon in 1964. He relates that following his conversion “one early morning, while about to prepare for my daily work, I saw the heavens open and angels with trumpets singing songs of praise unto God. I heard my name mentioned thrice: ‘Johnson, Johnson, Johnson. If you will take up my work as I will command you, I will bless you and bless your land.’ Trembling and in tears, I replied, ‘Lord, with thy help, I will do whatever you will command me.’ From that day onward, I was constrained by the Spirit to go from street to street to deliver the message that we had read from the Book of Mormon.” When the Cannons and Maybeys arrived fourteen years later, there were already many unbaptized congregations that Brother Johnson had organized, calling themselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these early converts later rejected official membership in the Church, but many accepted it. A foundation had been established upon which later missionary work would build with increasing success.

Elder Cannon and Elder Mabey with Anthony Obinna and family at the first baptism in Nigeria
Photo Taken at Baptism in Nigeria Four Months After First Baptisms (March 4, 1979)

Another early African convert and pioneer who was baptized by the Cannons and Maybeys was Anthony Obinna in Nigeria. He related the following story that occurred in the late 1960s: “One night I was sleeping and a tall man came to me [in a dream], took me to one of the most beautiful buildings, and showed me all the rooms.” In 1970 he read an article in an old 1958 Reader’s Digest titled “The March of the Mormons,” which included a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. “It was exactly the same building I had seen in my dream,” he said. Brother Obinna wrote to the Church for LDS literature.
In 1978, when the Obinna family learned of the revelation on the priesthood, they wrote to the First Presidency: “We are happy for the many hours in the upper rooms of the temple you spent supplicating the Lord to bring us into the fold. We thank our Heavenly Father for hearing your prayers and ours. … We thank you for extending the priesthood, … to prepare us to receive every blessing of the gospel.” When the missionaries arrived in Nigeria, they found many people prepared for the gospel as a result of Brother Obinna’s teaching and leadership. The first LDS chapel built in Nigeria is near the Obinnas’ home in Aboh Mbaise, of the Imo State.  

A young couple and baby at the first baptism in Ghana (October 21, 1978). 
The baby is now a bishop in Cape Coast.

Now about those missionaries and their connections to history: 

Elder Russell and Sister Michelle Cannon, called to serve in Africa 36 years after Elder Cannon's parents

First our devotional presenter, Elder Russell Cannon,  is the son of Edwin Q. Cannon.  He and his wife are serving a senior couple mission for 18 months in Accra with responsibility for perpetual education.  They have six children and soon will have their 16th grandchild.  And Elder Cannon's father and mother, the couple who opened up West Africa were responsible for the first baptisms in West Africa along with another senior couple, the Maybeys.  Elder and Sister Cannon had much experience in the Church and a rich heritage.  They were the mission president couple presiding over the Switzerland mission in the early seventies and at that time Elder Cannon had responsibility for outreach areas as far south as Africa.  They also later served as the President and Matron of the German Temple.  In August 1978, Elder Cannon and Merrill Bateman (Dean of the BYU Marriott School, later of the Seventy and BYU President), were sent by the Church on a fact-finding tour of the groups of people preparing for the gospel in Nigeria and Ghana.  It was upon their return, that the First Presidency sent the Cannons and the Maybeys to establish the Church in West Africa. (late 1978).

Earlier in the direct ancestry line was George Cannon, great grandfather of Edwin Cannon, who was a sea captain of a slave trade ship along the coast of Africa in the early 1800's.  His ship stopped at many of the same ports of call where Elder Edwin Cannon would years later stop and establish the Church.  Sea Captain Cannon was killed at Sea in 1810 by a mutiny of his men on board ship and tossed into the sea.  His grandson  was George Q Cannon and his daughter Leonora Cannon was the wife of John Taylor the third president of the Church.
What an irony it is to think that the great grandson of George Cannon the slave trade Sea Captain, was (along with his wife) one of the two couples responsible for the baptisms of 1723 people in Africa.
(Based upon notes during the Aug. 31 devotional and an Ensign article by Dale LeBaron)