Bishop Mensah works at the MTC and is the supervisor of the support staff. He is bishop of one of the two wards that meets on the MTC property and is pictured here with his wife. They are the parents of three beautiful children.
Today Elder and Sister Vinson addressed the missionaries about the importance of the Sabbath Day during the Area Devotional. "Far too often, missionaries in the field are more focused on waiting for the late arrival of their investigators for Sacrament Meeting, than they are about the real purpose of the meeting. This is also very distracting to the members, " said both Elder and Sister Vinson.
Last Friday, we endowed 38 French-speaking missionaries after having taught them temple preparation lessons the evening before. Monday, all of the English-speaking missionaries had temple preparation class and today 50% of them participated in an endowment session in the Ghana Accra Temple.
Bring your immunization record and yellow fever card:
You must have a yellow fever card to enter the country. "We need a copy of the list of their immunization dates - here's the ones we check at the MTC: Yellow Fever (they need the original card), Meningococcus, Tetanus, Polio, and Hepatitis B (3 vaccines). I like to double check these for each American elder. Thank you! We have 40 Americans coming in the next group (double the amount we've ever had) - and it takes time to track down missing vaccine dates. We want can't wait to meet the next group - we love your missionaries." (Sister Robison) Bring a name to perform work in the Temple: "Our son's call came in the mail back in June and listed in the items to bring was the name of an ancestor to take to the temple. My husbands side has been done back really far and he has experts that work on it leaving none for us😉. Anyway we wanted our elder to have a name to take and my side has been stuck for 100 years at great great grandparents that came over from the old Czechoslovakia. What to do... Never been good at family history in English much less in Czech😁 so we prayed for some help and prayed some more. A miracle happened...a relative (non member )from the other side of the country contacted my dad and said they had recently took a trip to Czechoslovakia and found some info about our ancestors. Long story short It took some deciphering and some work but I just printed off a temple ordinance page with 25 ordinances that need to be done from baptisms to endowments. How wonderful it is that a loving Heavenly Father loves and cares for each of us so individually that he opened up this opportunity for our seemingly small insignificant family. How I love this beautiful gospel and eternal families. Miracles are real and the spirit of Elijah is powerful." (Sister Daina Jindra Walch) Consider bringing extra white shirts:
We have had missionaries in the past two groups wanting to send things home because they overpacked. Please think through this carefully. One possibility is to ask member of your ward to help you gather some extra short-sleeved white shirts and send your son with two suitcases and a carryon suitcase - one with white shirts to leave behind and the other to carry his personal belongings. Many local missions come to the MTC with very damaged suitcases. If you sent a used suitcase that could be left behind, it would be put to good use.
These two missionaries are among the 97 outstanding missionaries currently preparing in the Ghana MTC to enter the mission field next Tuesday. They will be serving in the French-speaking nations of the DR Congo and Kinshasa. Elder Hakaizimana's path to the Ghana MTC is quite sobering.
After theFirst World Warand Germany's defeat, it ceded the territory toBelgium. The Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as a European colony known asRuanda-Urundi. Their intervention exacerbated social differences between the Tutsi and Hutu, and contributed to political unrest in the region. Burundi gained independence in 1962 and initially had a monarchy, but a series of assassinations, coups, and a general climate ofregional instabilityculminated in the establishment of a republic and one-party state in 1966. Bouts ofethnic cleansingand ultimately two civil wars and genocides duringthe 1970sand againin the 1990sleft the county undeveloped and its population as one of theworld's poorest.
Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocides in the country.The demographics of Burundi through the 1960s and 1970s were roughly 86 percent Hutu, 13 percent Tutsi, and 1 percent Twa (Mann, M., 2005. The Dark Side of Democracy, p. 431). For most of this period, the Tutsi maintained a near monopoly on senior government and military positions. Small bands of Hutu and Tutsi 'gangs' have consistently fought both in and around the capital, Bujumbura, often growing into larger groups armed with machetes and attacking each other. Tensions finally reaching the boiling point on 21 October 1993 when President Ndadaye was assassinated, and the country descended into a period of civil strife. It was on April 8, 1992 that Elder Lasare Hakizimana was born in Bugendana in the Province of Gitega. He was the 8th of 10 children, 7 of whom were living at home with their parents when tragedy struck. The family is all Hutu. Late one night in 1995, a band of Tusti pounded on the front door and fired shots in the air. Lasare's father refused to come to the door, so the unruly band burst open the door and came into the parent's bedroom and murdered them both with knives. Hearing the commotion, the seven children ran out the back door into the forest, terrified for their lives. They went to the nearby home of Lazare's oldest brother for refuge. The next day his brother told the younger children that their parents had been wounded and were in the hospital. He did this to help calm them down, but they quickly learned that their parents were brutally killed. For the next year the seven children lived in very difficult circumstances with their older brother and his wife, who had three children of their own. Conditions because so rough supporting 10 children that the seven were put in an orphanage where they could stay until they were 18 years old. Lazare left the orphanage when he was 16 and went back to live with his older brother while he pursued his schooling. When Lazare was 20 years old, a close female friend invited him to her church. He politely turned her down a few times, but she persisted so he accompanied her to Church. It was there he felt a wonderful spirit and readily accepted the invitation to be taught by the missionaries. Shortly after the lessons, he was baptized. (This was 3 years ago). He said that in gaining a testimony of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he learned to forgive. There came upon his mind and soul a peaceful spirit that rested in his heart. After he finishes his mission, his dream is to become a doctor.
Here is my MTC Photo, taken in June of 1970. (I am the second from the right. My companion on the far right next to me is a lawyer in Wisconsin and the man in the center, was just released as the mission president in Benin. Who would have known that 45 years later we would be speaking French and serving in Africa.)
And here are the collector photos for the future missionary journals of the August 21st group missionaries: