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 29, 2015

This is how we prepare young boys to be missionaries in Africa!

We let them know they are wonderful.  We show them we love them.  And they come on missions.  Simple formula.

This is Derek Boateng, who will be 12 in June and  who comes to Church alone every Sunday.   After his bishop finishes his afternoon meetings, his bishop gives him a ride home.  His immediate family are not members. (His uncle is a member.)

Elder and Sister Evans Spoke to the Six Week Missionaries at An Area Devotional Today

May 1st 2015 Group of Missionaries after two weeks of study

Left to Right:  Vinsons, Evans, Curtis's, Robisons, Malmroses

All of our two week missionaries left yesterday, but today was the only time Elder and Sister Evans would be in Ghana on this trip.  So they spoke to those missionaries here to learn French or English for six weeks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our new MTC will be completed at the end of March 2017

Elder and Sister Evans, President and Sister Robison

Standing in Front of our New Apartment

Left to Right:  Cyril Mensah, Patrick Appianti, President Robison, Mathias Eguko - in front of our offices at the new Ghana MTC schedule for completion March 31, 2017


African Class! Sister Guei (left) gave a matching dress and shoes to her companion. She just knew she would love her. They are here at the Ghana MTC for 6 weeks learning English. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

On the Second Sunday in the MTC, We Teach About The Law of Tithing

President and Sister Ojo

What happens when you don't pay tithing: President and Sister Ojo, preside over the Nigeria Benin City Mission.  When President Ojo joined the church, his branch president  in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State had an experience he share about one of his members learning the importance of paying tithing. His name is Michael Okafor and he is currently serving in the district presidency. In 1994, Michael was on his way to drop off his tithing at the branch president’s workplace so he would not be tempted to spend the money before Sunday.
Enroute he saw a TV for sale and bought the TV rather than pay tithing.  When he got home the TV would not work.  It was not guaranteed, so Michael took it to be repaired.  When they opened it up, there was nothing inside.  Brother Okafor realized from this lesson that if he wanted blessings, he must pay tithing.
President and Sister Kosin

Blessings that come when you pay tithing:  President and Sister Kosin preside over the Nigeria Calabar Mission and will complete their service, July 1, 2015.  President Kosin was taught the gospel in 1987 and at the time, he and sister Kosin were so poor that they could not afford to send their children to the current term of school.  However, they embraced the gospel and committed to pay a full tithe.  The Church was 8 kilometers from their home and Brother Kosin had to carry their youngest daughter on his shoulders.  After that first Sacrament meeting as members, they paid their tithing and felt prompted that they would never suffer financially again.  On the way home from Church that day, a person came up behind them and called out to Sister Kosin saying that “we want you to come work for us.”  From that moment she had a full-time job and they never suffered financially again.  President Kosin also remembers a moment where he was owed some money, and felt a prompting to call the debtor.  He hesitated at that moment but a little later that day, the prompting came again, equally as strong.  He made the call and was repaid what he was owed. 
The Kosins have strong faith in the principle of tithing and how the windows of heaven are opened as a result of paying tithing.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Work of Salvation!

In 2014 we had 1372 missionaries in the Ghana MTC.  They submitted 3254 names for temple work and 1108 for sealings.  This year through April 3rd, we have had 343 missionaries who have submitted 1074 names for family file and 315 for sealings. 

This effort sets them on the path to teach investigators the importance of temple covenants for not only those of us on earth, but those who have preceded us and those who will follow.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Here are more details about "the Freeze"

Here are many of the missionaries who returned after "the Freeze"

“The Freeze” – Not Unlike the Kirtland Period in Church History

After all the prayers and many years of waiting to have the Church in Ghana, there was a time, when it appeared that the Church had a very limited future in Ghana. It is impossible to tell the story of Latter-day Saints without talking about  “the Freeze.”
In June 1989, under the direction of Ghana’s president, J. J. Rawlings, the government banned all public worship, proselyting, and other activities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members believe the ban was motivated by misinformation about the Church that was widely distributed and broadcast.

In Abomosu, civilian authorities, police, and soldiers escorted President Stephen Abu to the meetinghouse, where everything in the building was inventoried, the keys were confiscated, and he was warned that members were forbidden to use both that property and the Church farm outside the village. Other Priesthood leaders in Ghana had similar experiences.
Worship in the home was not expressly forbidden, and members began holding services on a family basis. “But you could not sing loudly, or you would be picked up,” President Abu recalls. He was among those who were jailed or punished after being accused of violating the ban. Some members were evicted by landlords or otherwise persecuted during the Freeze. Despite the risk, however, priesthood leaders continued in their roles as shepherds, unobtrusively visiting individuals and families to lend them strength.

The mission president and North American missionary couples were given one week to leave Ghana and were required to sign documents to the effect they would never return to Ghana again.   The local missionaries were sent to their homes and encouraged to go to school, learn a trade or get a job. Had it not been for the faithful leaders and Saints this could have been a major concern for the Church in Ghana.   Emmanuel Abu Kissi, a medical doctor who comes to the MTC to visit missionaries serving in Ghana in each new group, was a designated leader (Acting mission president).  What he wrote to the Saints  was reminiscent of the Apostle Paul’s writings to the Saints at Ephesus:

“I am writing this communication to you in order to promote your faith and help strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ during this time of bitter persecution.  It will be one full year soon since we were required by the laws of our country not to worship our God.  The congregational worship of the Saints in their meetinghouses has been declared illegal since then and this has jeopardized the steadfastness of some of the Saints.  Satan has loved situations like this which has removed supervision of the Saints and made them like sheep without a shepherd.”

“In situations like this the Saints should be encouraged to read the scriptures and be reminded of their baptismal covenants and also remember their purpose for coming into this mortality which is our second estate.  In short, we are here to be tested.”
On November 29, 1990, the government of Ghana, under the direction of President J.J. Rawlings, officially removed the Freeze.  The first meetings were held in the districts December 2, 1990.

John Buah, who served as a counselor to two mission presidents, noted: “after the Freeze, good people wanted to know more about the Church.” Curious to find out if things they had heard were true, they asked LDS friends or neighbors—and accepted the resulting invitations to learn about the gospel. Many of these seekers of truth were baptized.

Today, “those who have the opportunity to know the Church, want it in their communities,” said Brother Buah. They see not only its strengthening influence on families but also  as having the solutions to social problems that Ghana is trying to  resolve—immorality and teen pregnancy, drinking and drug use, for example.

When Ghana’s president, J. J. Rawlings, received Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder J. Richard Clarke of the Seventy, Africa Area president, in 1994, members saw this as recognition that their religion is an important influence in the lives of many Ghanaians. It signaled the opportunity at last to display their faith as openly as do citizens of other faiths.

Those instrumental in working with the government to lift the freeze were Elder Robert E. Sackley of the Area Presidency, Georges Bonnett of the Africa temporal affairs office and Emmanuel Kissi, a local respected physician and Church leader in Accra.

Having served 14 months as a missionary couple in the Nigeria Aba mission Elder Grant Gunnell, with his wife Alice, was called as the mission president in November 1990.  Soon after the freeze was lifted the Liberia Monrovia mission became part of the Ghana Accra mission.  This included the countries of Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

At the time of the freeze there had been 76 full time missionaries serving in Ghana. Sixty of those were located,  interviewed, and invited to immediately continue serving their missions.  Some had married; others had moved away however, 57 returned to continue their missionary service.  There was a special outpouring of the Spirit during this time of reorganization.
The experience interviewing the returning missionaries was humbling.  The area presidency had suggested that if the potential missionaries were in school or had good jobs, they should keep that status.  However, when this was suggested their answers were always positive and upbeat.  Without exception none elected to stay in school or keep their job.  One elder who had acquired a taxi during the Freeze said: “Heavenly Father helped me get this taxi.  If I finish my commitment to him, he is very capable of getting me another car when I get back if that is what he wants me to do.”  One young woman said when asked if she had been living the standards of the Church replied: “I was sick.  The doctor recommended for my low blood pressure that I have a little bit of alcohol each day.  I did that for a few days and then decided that I would rather have low blood pressure than break the Word of Wisdom, so I stopped taking it.   Am I still worthy to serve?”

Freebody A. Mensah, president of the Kumasi District made one of the classic statements that seemed to sum up the feelings and attitude of the Saints.  In his opening prayer he began by thanking the Lord for the Freeze.  Later he explained his reason for making such a statement.  “For one and a half years during the freeze we have witnessed fathers taking the role as branch presidents in the family and the sons as priesthood bearers blessing and passing the sacrament, mother playing the role of Relief Society presidents along with the daughters and everyone together for the eternal goal.  There was the family, the first basic unit of the Church in action.”

The Saints remained steadfast and true.  The doctrine taught in the homes was pure.  It is almost unimaginable that the Church would remain so strong with very little encouragement from outside Ghana.  Of the 60 missionaries that were interviewed to return and complete their mission there were no morality infractions.  The three that did not continue were for family and professional reasons.

On April 20-21, 1991, the first two stakes in Ghana were created under the direction of Elders Boyd K. Packer, then Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Richard P. Lindsay and President Robert E. Sackley of the Africa Area Presidency.  It was a time of rapid growth for the Church in Ghana.  Baptisms averaged 130-150 per month throughout the mission.  The numbers were controlled to allow leadership to develop in the wards, stakes, branches and districts.  The retention rate was 89%.

The latter part of August and early September of 1991, special meetings were held with leaders of the stakes and districts under the direction of Elder J. Ballard Washburn of the area presidency. Sister Elaine L. Jack conducted meetings with Relief Society sisters in South Africa, Ivory Coast and Ghana.  She was the first General Church auxiliary President to visit Africa.  All stake and district Relief Society presidents from Nigeria and Ghana met in the mission home during this occasion.   She also visited several homes of Relief Society sisters in these countries.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Elder David Returns to MTC

For our March 20th intake group, Elder David from Nigeria entered the MTC but was shortly thereafter hospitalized with TB of the stomach (not contagious).  He was released from the hospital this week but was required to stay need the hospital to see how he responded to medications.  So he has been staying with Elder and Sister Watson, our family history senior couple. He also has been attending the temple every day.

We are pleased to report that he will reenter the MTC today.  For more details about his hospital experience, see a previous post 2 weeks ago in this blog.

Grahams Are the New Ghana Temple President and Matron - Effective November 1, 2015

Stephen LaMar Graham, 71,  Oak Hills 2nd Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake, was called as president of the Accra Ghana Temple,  succeeding President George B. Afful.  President Graham's wife, Vanessa Jane Schofield Graham, will serve as temple matron, succeeding Sister Victoria B. Afful.  He serves as a senior missionary couple chaplain at BYU-Hawaii. He has served as president of the Tahiti Papeete Mission,  president of the Ghana MissionaryTraining Center, bishop and temple ordinance worker.

Retired associate director of training at the Provo MissionaryTraining Center,  he was born in Rigby, Idaho, to Leonard Everett and Evelyn Green Graham.  Sister Graham serves as a senior missionary couple at BYU-Hawaii.  She served with her husband as he presided over the Tahiti Papeete Mission and over the Ghana Missionary Training Center. She has also served as stake and ward Young Women camp director, counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, ward Primary president and temple ordinance worker .She was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, to John Armitage Schofield and Irene Plumtree Mark Clayton. (This is be announced in the Church News tomorrow, April 18, 2015).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

93 Missionaries arrive today! Are we ready?

Building Progress View of New MTC from Area President's Apartment as of 4-15-15

This view is looking straight into the MTC President's new apartment from the rear of the building

Here is the base of the auditorium at the rear of the complex and the progress of the six story housing unit on the right.

This is an arial view of the new MTC.  The six story building is for housing, the classrooms are at the top of the photo, the Area Presidency apartments are behind the complex on the left side of the photo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

These Sister Missionaries Are Catching On

Two Sister Missionaries in the Zambia Mission

Here is the example they are following:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Have Miracles Ceased?

An elderly gentleman, more than 80 years old, came to the Accra Ghana Temple with a group of saints from Nkawkaw where he lives alone.  The group spent the night in the Temple Ancillary Building, in the rooms available to temple patrons, so that they could spend two day serving in the temple.
On the morning of April 27, 2012, the elderly man was sitting on a bench inside the men’s dressing room in the temple, waiting to do initiatory ordinances.
In a few minutes another man, 54 years old, came and sat down by him.  The younger man had planned to attend the endowment session that morning with his wife and the other members of his ward, but had arrived in the temple too late.  He decided to do initiatory ordinances instead.

The older man asked the younger one where he was from.
“Sekondi,” came the answer.
“Where in Sekondi?”  The elderly one asked.
“In Ketan.”
“What part of Ketan?”
”Where the public schools are.”
“I have children living there,” the older man said.
With a growing sense of recognition, the younger one looked at him intently and said, “You are my father.”
Just then an ordinance worker approached to invite the elderly man into the initiatory booth.  About fifteen minutes later, when he had completed the ordinance work, the older one returned and immediately asked, “What is your name?”
“John Ekow-Mensah,” the younger man said.
“That is my name, too.  You are my son.”

The younger John Ekow-Mensah had been named after both his father and his grandfather; fathers and sons for three generations in a row had borne the same name.  When the boy was very young his parents’ marriage dissolved and the father left.  The boy was four or five years old at that time.  He and his three younger sisters were raised by his mother and her family.  John never saw his father again until that Friday, April 27, 2012, in the temple.  But sometimes his mother, when he was misbehaving, told him that he was “a carbon copy” of his father.

The younger John grew up and married.  He and his wife had decided to find a church that they could join together.  John was away at school at The University of Ghana in Accra when he saw a Liahona magazine on a shelf.  He found himself interested in what it had to say, and noticed the name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the publisher. 

When John came back from school to his home in Sekondi, his wife was anxious to tell him of a church she had learned about from one of her friends.   She said it was called, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  John told her that this was the church he had read about in a magazine at the university.
The younger John and his wife, Deborah, were taught the gospel and baptized in 1999.  In 2009 they were sealed together with the three youngest of their five children in the Accra Ghana Temple.  John works with the national Council for Civic Education, and Deborah runs a shop.

Unbeknownst to the younger John, his father had made his living mostly as a painter.  He had lived in Mankesim from about 1983 to 1989, and operated a little shop.  From there he had moved to Ada, near Tema, close to the salt mines.  While in Ada, he met a woman who was living in a building he was painting.  She was a member of the Church and she introduced him to the gospel.  He was baptized a Latter-day Saint in Asunafu, Ghana, in 1991.

Though their paths in life had separated, the father and his son had both found the gospel.  Twenty-one years after the father’s baptism and 13 years after the son’s, they were reunited in a miraculous meeting in the temple.  After that encounter, they went on a temple session and then sat in the celestial room together, reconnected their lives, and rekindled their love.

What took the older man away from his family, and why hadn’t he tried to get back with or at least contact them?  The day after the father and son were reunited, we interviewed the two men again and, while we listened, the son learned for the first time why his father had left.  In fact, though the son’s elation upon finding his father had been obvious—according to Sister Gaye Briellatt, the temple matron, tears were shed—his joy did not seem quite complete.  Though everything he said and did was respectful and proper, he seemed to us not quite ready to embrace his father wholeheartedly.  We wondered if he might still be harboring some resentment over his father’s unexplained disappearance from his life.

But then, as we talked to them both on Saturday, the father explained to his son what had happened.  Among their tribe, the oldest matriarch held a sovereign power.  Whatever she required, everyone in the larger family was compelled to do.  In this case, that matriarch was the grandmother of the elder John Ekow-Mensah’s wife, and she was violently opposed to his marriage to her granddaughter.  It was her insistence that force separation upon this couple, and made it hopeless for John to attempt continued contact with his family.  Besides, he had to go wherever he could get work, sometimes far away.  Telephones were not available in their time and place, nor was mail service.  In that culture, expulsion from the family severed all ties.  The younger John had known his great-grandmother as a strong, hardworking woman, but not as the power that had deprived him of all association with his natural father for nearly fifty years.
We watched and listened as the revelation of the true story brought the father’s and the son’s rediscovery of each other to a fullness.  The happiness in their eyes seemed brighter than the West African sunlight that bathed the green foliage surrounding us that morning, as we stood together outside of the temple.

Though some would call the Ekow-Mensahs’ meeting a coincidence, we wondered.  What if the older John had not moved to a town and painted a house where one of the few Church members in Ghana lived?  What if someone in a Ghanaian university had not left a copy of the Liahona in a study room? What if one ward and one branch in Ghana, six or seven hours drive from one another, had not planned their temple trip on the same day? What if the younger John had not missed his endowment session?  What if he had not decided to do initiatory work?

Observing the radiant faces of the father and son during the second interview on that Saturday morning, we remembered these words of Moroni, which on this occasion seemed almost audible: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven?...Behold I say unto you, nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men” (Moroni 7:27, 29).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

How are MTC's Organized for Teaching & Learning? - Districts!

Abinadi District - learning French for Six Weeks

Alma District - Les Francais

Ammon District

Amulek District

Helaman District

Moroni District Learning English for Six Weeks

Nephi District Learning English for Six Weeks

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Right Turn That Made All of the Difference

Fred Antwi, April 1986

Last Wednesday, Brother Fred Antwi, a sealer in the Ghana Temple, performed the sealing of the Agyei family which we were privileged to witness.  Brother Antwi himself has a fascinating story.  In his words, here is his story:

Chief Nana Asomobore the second—chief of a tribe in Ghana, passed away. Attending his brother’s funeral was Fred Antwi, who had a year prior been baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The burial would take place in six months, and,unknown to Fred, plans were being made by his sister, the queen mother, for Fred to takeover the position of chief of the tribe. Just prior to the evening of the burial, Fred’s younger sister came to inform him and said, “Do you know what plans the family has for you?” He replied, “No, not until I’m told.” She replied, “You are going to be the next of kin (new chief).” Fred was surprised and said emphatically, “No! My religion will not permit me.

Being A Chief In Ghana
To serve as a chief is an honor. A chief is respected in his villages and is the first contact man for the large extended family. The chief is the overall boss, and when he speaks, the people will do as they are instructed. A chief receives financial support, and whatever he feels he needs, it will be provided to him.

Fred Antwi's Decision to Make "A Right Turn"
Fred relates the following upon hearing his sister's news: “That same evening, I took my car and drove to one of our elders in the village called Anyinamso, in the Ashanti Region near Kumasi, to inform him of what I had heard. He told me, ‘Kofi, I am part and parcel of the plans. I know what they are saying, so there is nothing I can do to take you out from being a chief.’ I said, ‘Well Nana, you know I am a Christian and my religion will not permit me to be a chief because there are a whole lot of things that we do in terms of pouring of libations, slaughtering of all animals and other things which to me might not all go well.’ Nana replied, ‘Well, go back to your elder people and tell them that you are a Christian and from what you have said you can never be a chief.’  “I went back to inform the elders, but they ignored my message. The corpse was to be buried midnight, so around 7:00 p.m. we were on our way from Mpesetia to bury my late brother in Kumasi, at a place called Pankronu. I was driving along with all of the other family members in their own cars, and upon reaching Kwadaso, instead of turning left with he others, I turned right leading to Cape Coast and sped off.” For the first six months there was no contact from the extended family. Fred later learned that had he gone to the burial, he would have been named as the next chief, putting him in a very difficult situation. He learned in time that his nephew, son of the queen mother, was named the next chief.

Conversion:  The Gospel Will Change Your Life For Good

What compelled Fred Antwi to give up this position of honor—one which many may esteem very desirable? Fred had found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Firm in his testimony of the principles and doctrines of the gospel, Fred’s course in life was changed. Brother Antwi had received the priesthood and was fully engaged in his calling as branch president, dedicated to the service of the Lord. Fred Antwi has continued to serve in district and stake presidencies, and as a couple, he and Sister Antwi were the first full-time West African missionaries called to serve in the Accra Ghana Temple. Currently, he serves as a sealer in the Ghana Accra Temple and as historia of the Africa West Area.

Brother Antwi shares his testimony of the Priesthood
“It was in this church that I first heard about this word priesthood.  I was baptized and confirmed the same day, and the following week I was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. When I was ordained, I was given some assignments as a priest and I practiced this until I was interviewed and ordained as an elder three months later. This priesthood of which we are talking is a gift and to me it’s a privilege to have it. This is the priesthood which our Father in Heaven had in creating all that we see here on earth. And the priesthood has helped my family. Whenever any of them gets sick, I lay my hands upon his or her head, pray for him or her, and he or she receives healing. This priesthood is indeed true, and as we remain obedient and faithful, the priesthood is something that, if we truly and worthily administer, will help us in our families.”  One does not have to be with Brother Fred Antwi for more than a few moments before his wonderful broad smile appears. His love for the gospel and the lasting change it has brought to him and his family’s life is reflected in that smile.  Truly, he made the “right” decision.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

General Conference Shout Out to the Assards and the Affoues - Pioneers in Cote D'Ivoire

"The miracle of the Church in the Ivory Coast cannot be told without the names of two couples: Philippe and Annelies Assard and Lucien and Agathe Affoue. They joined the Church as young married couples, one in Germany and one in France. In the 1980s, Philippe and Lucien felt drawn back to their native African country for the purpose of building the kingdom of God. For Sister Assard, who is German, to leave her family and allow Brother Assard to leave his work as an accomplished mechanical engineer required unusual faith. The two couples met each other for the first time in the Ivory Coast and started a Sunday School. That was 30 years ago. There are now eight stakes and 27,000 members in this beautiful African country. The Affoues continue to serve nobly as do the Assards, who recently completed a mission to the Accra Ghana Temple." (Elder Andersen, April 2015 General Conference)

This week the Ghana Temple was packed with faithful saints from Cote D'Ivoire.  They do more family file work than members from any country attending the Ghana Accra Temple according to our family history couple, Elder and Sister Watson.

Bishop Gérald Caussé Shared Story of Faithfulness of African Saints in April 2015 General Conference

A sister missionary told the story of three men she met during a district conference in Africa. They came from an isolated village far away in the bush where the Church had not yet been organized but where there were 15 faithful members and almost 20 investigators. For over two weeks these men had walked on foot, traveling more than 300 miles (480 km) over paths rendered muddy by the rainy season, so they could attend the conference and bring the tithes from the members of their group. They planned to stay for an entire week so they could enjoy the privilege of partaking of the sacrament the following Sunday and then hoped to set out on the return trip carrying boxes filled with copies of the Book of Mormon on their heads to give to the people of their village.

The missionary testified how touched she was by the sense of wonder these brethren displayed and by their wholehearted sacrifices to obtain things that for her had always been readily available.
She wondered: “If I got up one Sunday morning in Arizona and found that my car wasn’t working, would I walk to my church only a few blocks away from home? Or would I just stay home because it was too far or because it was raining?”

(Adapted from Lorraine Bird Jameson, “The Giants of Kinkondja” (article on Africa Southeast Area website, 2009); village in the DR Congo) 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Elder Agyei's parents were sealed today, and then all six children were sealed to them

One of the sweet experiences of serving the missionaries in the temple is helping them with family sealings.  In Elder Agyei's case his parents were not sealed, yet were endowed.  They all joined the Church a little over a year ago.  Now Elder Agyei leaves for the mission field with having all of his siblings and himself sealed to his parents right after they were sealed.  Sitting in on the experience, were Elder and Sister Wilde (Area Executive Secretary and companion), Elder and Sister Watson (family history senior couple), Elder and Sister Malmrose (MTC senior couple) and Sister Robison and myself (MTC President).

We love the temple.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

French Speaking Missionaries Attend Temple This Day

Many of these missionaries are from Cote D'Ivoire and are most excited about yesterday's announcement of a new temple for them (after the mission.)

Look At the Progress of the New MTC in Ghana As of April 7, 2015

Work has now started on the second level

Here are the apartments (residences) of the MTC Presidency

As you can see, the progress as of April 7, 2015 is steady

Monday, April 6, 2015

How Is Easter Celebrated in Ghana?

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!”

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. Many people attend church services only this one time during the year.

People in charismatic churches, on the other hand, dress in bright colors and are in happy moods. They believe that Jesus’ death calls for celebration because He died for their sins. 
Some ethnic groups, like the Kwehus of the Eastern Region of Ghana, see Easter as one of the holidays that they need to travel to their home town to enjoy. A Kwehu-born person will go to any length to travel home to celebrate Easter.
For other Ghanaians, Easter is just one of the many festivals to celebrate. These people do not know the true meaning of Easter; they take it for fun and go to beaches where they drink and do various immoral things. For them, instead of Easter being a time to do some real soul-searching and transformation, this holiday is a season for entertainment and merry making.

On Easter Sunday, Ghanaian Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Country-wide, everybody dresses in white for church. Everyone is in a happy mood.

The Monday after Easter is mostly a public holiday. People go for picnics to various locations, such as beaches, parks, or church premises, or on out-of-town excursions to tourist attractions. Special dishes are prepared. This day is all merry making. To Ghanaian Christians, Easter is a day of remembering what Christ did on the cross for all mankind; not just remembering but knowing that it was the foundation for their salvation. They believe that without the passion of Christ, people would not know that there is a place for them to go after death.

(Courtesy of Compassion International:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Patrick Discovers "This Is The Right Place"

When Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, he was ill and was laying in the back of a wagon. He was helped out of the wagon and looked down over the Valley and said "this is the right place, move on."

Our own Patrick Appianti, who is in Utah for training and for General Conference, paused yesterday at that sight with Lane Steinagel.

Below, Patrick is pictured with the Mills at Easter dinner in their home:

Hurrah for Israel! Third and Fourth French-speaking Temples

President Monson just announced that a temple will be built in the Ivory Coast and in Haiti.  Along with the Paris, France temple which will be dedicated in 2017,  and the recently announced D R Congo temple, that makes four French-speaking Temples.

Abidjan Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) Temple
Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is home to approximately 20 million people, including over 22,000 members of the Church. The Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple will be the first in the country, where missionary work officially began in 1988. Church members in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s second most populous city, currently attend temple services in Accra, Ghana, which is a 12-hour drive.

Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple
Haiti is home to approximately 10 million people, including more than 19,000 members of the Church. The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple will be the first in the country, where missionary work officially began in 1980. Church members in Haiti currently attend temple services in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which is almost a day’s journey away.