This week, we receive 20 missionaries from North America and again in 2 weeks. We thought it would be helpful to post some answers to frequently asked questions about coming to Africa.
Question - do I need money from home?
Answer - no, but if you want something from the distribution center, bring a debit card to allow you to access local currency. The service charges for exchanging US cash are horrible.
Question - do I need mosquito netting?
Answer - this is provided in the mission field.
Question - what will my airport experience be like in Ghana?
Answer - DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OFFERS FOR ASSISTANCE. If a missionary allows someone to left or carry a bag, they will be asked for money. Do not do this. We have a person from the MTC waiting in Arrivals, holding a white sign with blue letters than says MTC. He will be dressed like a missionary.
Question - what is this confusion all about with regard to the number of suitcases?
Answer - There is no one suitcase rule. It is merely counsel. All Africans arrive with one suitcase. Suits are no longer required. You can buy more things that you can imagine in Africa, so ask questions. Other than Benin, you will need to bring sheets. They are difficult to find in Ghana.
Question - is Ghana safe?
Answer - If you check it out on google, it is Africa for beginners. It is the most Christian nation in the world. There have not been any cases of ebola in Ghana.
Question - just how large is Africa?
Answer - you can fit China, India, the United States, and Europe within the continent of Africa and have room to spare.
Question - is the food and water safe?
Answer - the food is properly rinsed (fruits and vegetables) and the water is purified. You will being a personal bottle for purifying water on your last Monday in the MTC. The water sold on the street in little sachels is not safe to drink for North Americans.
Question - will I attend the temple?
Answer - you will attend the temple on your first Wednesday in the MTC (unless we do not have many French-speakers - then it might be Tuesday). Please bring a blue card for performing an endowment of an ancestor. It would be best to do the baptism and initiatory at home.
Question - how many pairs of garments should I bring?
Answer - in addition to the garments you bring from home, you will be given three extra pair of garments after you attend the Ghana Accra temple.
Question - when will I send an email home?
Answer - you will send an email home on Friday (our intake day) and on the day you go to the temple.
Question - what will I need at Immigration to enter Ghana?
Answer - You will need a yellow fever card in addition to your passport. (Also please bring your record of immunizations so that you are not given a shot you have already had.)
Question - what about malaria or typhoid?
Answer - we have never heard of anyone getting typhoid fever. We do not even give that immunization in the MTC. We do give every missionary a doxy pill to be taken at supper time with food. When a missionary gets malaria, in the vast majority of the cases, they have not taken their doxy pills. They will also be given these in the mission field. A great tip is to take garlic pills. Mosquitos hate garlic and this really does work.
Question - what if I have additional questions?
Answer - email me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Question - are there any other suggestions to help me prepare?
Answer - read carefully the mission president letter of what to bring and also check out a group on Facebook called "Elders in Ghana." Much valuable information is shared there.