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, November 30, 2015

Ghana MTC Relief Society Presidency

You have to wear blue to be in this presidency (just kidding)
Relief Society Photo of the November 26th Intake Group

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oh, and those stories!

Last Thursday we welcomed 94 new missionaries to join those learning a language.  Twenty-four of them have lost a parent and of those 10 have lost both parents.

Here is the story of some of them:

Elder Egede

Meet Elder Lucky Egede

Elder Lucky Egede is from Nigeria and was called to serve in the Nigeria Lagos Mission.  He was born in Benin City on March 23, 1992, the fourth of seven children.  His people come from the village of Agbor where Ike is spoken.  English is a second language for Elder Egede. 
When he was 12 years old, his father was excited to build his family a home on a plot of land that he acquired.  He took his wife and 7 children to walk around the property and examine the foundation.  While they were inspecting the work, a neighbor angrily approached them and said that they were building on her land.  So Lucky’s father measured property again and verified that it was indeed his.  He was right.  However the lady was a very terrible person and one that practiced witchcraft. She told the family to leave or she would do something terrible to them beginning with the father.   She placed poison on the property with what she felt was a curse so that the next time Lucky’s father came to the lot, he would be poisoned, get sick and die. And this is what happened. 

Shortly after that tragic event, Lucky’s mother was poisoned the same way and died.  The children quickly concluded they wanted nothing to do with the property and never visited it again.  After the death of his parents, Lucky and his brother went to live with an aunt, the sister of his mother whose children were all married by that time.  Two more of the children went to live with an uncle.  The rest of the children were old enough to be on their own.  When Lucky was 15 years old his 2nd  old brother introduced him to the Church but he was not interested.  

At the of 21 he became interested in the Church, listened to the missionaries and decided to be baptized in August 2011.  A short time later, he was the Sunday School President, then the Young Men’s President, and most recently the Young Single Adult Rep.  When a close friend returned from a mission, he gained the desire to serve a mission.

Lucky says that when he remembers the fate of his parents, he thanks Heavenly Father that he and his siblings were not killed.  Prior to becoming a member of the Church whenever he thought of his parents or saw parents with kids of their own, he was angry because his parents were killed.  Becoming a member has enabled him to let go and to forget those feelings.

Elder Lucky Egede says that he knows that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.  He testifies that missionary work is divine and that we have a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.  He testifies that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and says he is happy to be a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He prays that Heavenly Father will give him the power, ability and strength to do that which the Lord has commanded. 
Love of the Savior has come into his heart and replaced the anger that he felt from the loss of his parents.

Elder Dailah

Meet  Elder Emmanuel Dailah

Elder Emmanuel Dailah from Liberia was called to serve in the Nigeria Lagos Mission.  His mother Helena Say Keah was killed during the war of 1990 just a couple of weeks after he was born on December 6, 1990.  Rebels killed many people in the village of Sannquille that terrible day.  His father escaped out the building and was never heard of.  Some have told Emmanuel that he too died. All Emmanuel knows is that his dad’s first name was Cedi. 

While two week old Emmanuel was lying next to the body of his mother.  A kind soldier named Cooper Dailah  in surveying the damage came and gathered him up.  Cooper raised him as his own.  Cooper Dailah was very kind to Emmanuel but not so his wife and his children.  They would tell him that he was not really part of their family,  that he was from the ward.  Emmanuel remembers he would often cry as a young child about not having his real parents.
Meanwhile his brother, Hilton Mentor, who is six years older than Emmanuel spent his formative years staying with many different people.  In 2010, as an adult he made a concentrated search to discover the whereabouts of his baby brother, who had been left beside his dead mother.  After considerable search he found Emmanuel and took him home to live with him and pay for his schooling.  Emmanuel was then 20 years old.  Hilton is a Baptist.  He told Emmanuel about his Church but Emmanuel was not interested.  In 2014, Emmanuel was contacted by Elder Hill from the US and then taught by sister missionaries and baptized in late November.
Hilton is under sponsorship of a nice lady from the US named Mary Pay.  She has been kind and supportive to Emmanuel as well.  However, she is a member of the Penticostal Church.  She does not like the Baptist Church nor does she like the Mormon faith.  However, she is fine with both brothers following their own desires about religion.
Hilton’s son is very interested in the LDS Church and will likely soon be baptized due to the teaching and example of Emmanuel.  Since becoming a member, Emmanuel said the members of the Church have made him feel welcome and like he is a member of a family.  He has found happiness in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  He knows the gospel is true and that with the gospel he will be able to meet his parents again by performing sacred ordinances.  He know that they can inherit the kingdom of Heavenly Father and that God lives and Jesus is the head of the Church and that we have a living prophet.

In 2012, Emmuel found the church at the age of 22 and was baptized on in late November.  His bother Hilton Mentor came just a couple of years ago to find out whatever happened to his baby brother.  Had his parents lived, his family name would have been Mentor not Dailah.


Sister Nekesa

Sister Beatrice Nekesa

In her life, Beatrice did not know about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She did not even know where the Church was located.  In 2012 her brother joined the Church.  Seeing those Mormon books at home did not interest her because she had a misconception about what it was all about.
Sister Beatrice Nekesa from Kenya was called to serve in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.  She was born August 19, 1991 in Busia, Kenya into a family of five children, herself being the eldest. Three of the children died when they were still young, so it was Beatrice and her young brother who were left.   When she was three years old her father was killed.  He was just walking down the street and shots were fired at him as a random act of violence.  When she was six years old, her mother became ill and passed away.  Beatrice and her little brother were  raised from that point on by her grandmother.  No one from the extended family cared about them.  Since the grandmother was elderly, the two children had to fend for themselves in getting to school and getting the things they needed.  To the grandmother’s credit, she tried so much to show her love and Beatrice is forever grateful for that love and thanks Heavenly Father for her.  She is a strong lady – one in a million.
In July of 2014 her brother became ill and died.  It was at this time Beatrice came to know about the Church.  It was not easy because people all around her were saying that the Church was for devils and that the members killed her brother.  It was hard for her to know if she should believe the Church people or the village people.
The first time Beatrice went to Church was not to learn about the gospel but rather to know the truth about how her brother died.  She was frightened and thought that if she went there, she might be killed too.  How little did she know that she would be welcomed with open arms.  One day the missionaries came to visit her at her home and taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and about temple work.  This made her ponder and then she knew the Church was true and that she would meet her family after she went to the temple and performed sacred work for them. 
So, yes, she has a testimony of Jesus Christ – that He loves us and even when we pass through trials, he understands us.  He knows each of us by our name and if we trust in Him, He will comfort us.  He will wipe away our tears and we shall be with Him again in the Celestial Kingdom.  She believes she will meet her brother again and knows he is doing missionary work in the Spirit World.

In July 2013, Beatrice joined the Church just after her brother passed away.  She felt happy joining the Church because although she feels alone and her family is not here, she knows she has a place with them in the next life.

Elder Kipata

Elder Mukendi Bonne Nouvelle Kipata
Elder Mukendi Kipata was born the 16th of June 1990 in Kinshasha.  He is called to serve his mission in Lubumbashi, DR Congo.  When he was six years old, there was a major shake-up in the government and his father, who was in the military and a guard for the former president disappeared with the other guards.  There was much confusion and disorder in the Country and it was concluded that the guards had been killed.  Their bodies were not recovered.  Just a year later, his mother became ill and died.  Being an only child, he was then raised by a loving grandmother from the age of 7 to 19.  At the age of 19, he went to a funeral of his 25 year old cousin, who also had taken ill and passed away.  While at the service, he met the first counselor in the bishopric of the local ward who told him about the plan of salvation.  This message touched his young heart.  All of his formative years he had worried about the well-being and status of his deceased parents.  He knew that moment that the message was for him and that it brought him great peace.  The counselor in the bishopric introduced him to the missionaries and a month and a half later, he was baptized.  
As a member of the Church the things that had bothered him as a youth, no longer were on his mind.  He felt great peace.  He says that he is especially grateful to our Heavenly Father for letting him become a member of the Church.  He is sure the plan of salvation is the plan of happiness and that we can return to live in our Heavenly Father’s presence.  He said he knows with certainty that one day he will see his parents and all those who have disappeared.  He knows that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he was crucified for us.  He knows also that our Heavenly Father loves us, that the Book of Mormon contains the world of God, that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.


Elder Mburume

Elder Clement Mburume

Elder Clement Mburume from Harare, Zimbabwe was called to serve the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.  He was born on February 23, 1995 and shortly thereafter his father became ill and died.  When he was three years old, his mother died.  He often asked why but no one would really explain.  He thinks she was sick.

Clement was raised by his uncle (brother of his mother) and aunt, but his brother who was older kept running away from the uncle and aunt, so was sent to an orphanage.  When Clement was 10 he was sent to live with his grandfather for one year and then returned to the home of his uncle.  His uncle was nice to him, but his wife was tough to live with.  She would not listen to him if he told her that their kids were acting up.  Sometimes his uncle would whip him based on false accusations by the aunt and uncle’s children.
During holidays, Clement would go to the home of his other uncle (brother of his father and a member of the Church).  At the completion of high school, he went to the uncle’s home for the holidays and decided to be taught by the missionaries.  Two months later, in February 2014, he was baptized.
Returning home to his other uncle was difficult because the marriage was in trouble.  His aunt was into using African medicines and was acting strange.  She threatened to poison Clement, so he stopped eating her food.  Life was getting more difficult living there and he was praying for the Lord’s help in getting a life of his own in his own place.  Prayers were answered and he was able to move in with a friend and prepare for his mission.
He says life is better now.  He has faith that things will go well after his mission as well.  He has now found peace.  He never wants to depend on someone else again.  He says it is hard to say if his future is bright, but has faith the Lord will provide.