Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Boa


         The end of November took us to Kpong, another couple of hours drive to the North. This Sunday was an all Africa Stake Conference. Kpong is a District not a Stake so there are branches not wards but no difference the conference was the same. The conference had been prerecorded in Salt Lake and then DVDs were sent to every building on the continent of Africa. What a great experience to hear from Elder Gay; so much of what he said related to the self-reliance program and it's great importance. Elder Bednar and President Uchtdorf also spoke, each in turn giving his message on the importance of self-reliance. There was no doubt as to the theme.

        We were packed in like sardines. The chapel was full, every classroom, and a single row of chairs down the hallway.
        The best part of the morning was that Barry got to personally deliver three missionary calls to three young men. They will each be serving a mission, in three different missions in Nigeria. The families met with the Branch President and opened their calls. When the meeting started, after the opening song and prayer there was a choir of  about 40 youth that sang, then Barry and I got to bear our testimonies and then there were the testimonies of the three new missionaries.

         After conference I had an interesting experience. I have for the most part learned to feel fairly comfortable around most of the people here but I will admit that sometimes you feel that little hesitation. I try to tell myself that everything will be fine. Still, you have to realize this is quite different and that "us white folk" do stick out. Anyway, I was standing outside the church after conference and talking to some of the members and some of the Elders when this man approached and wanted to shake hands. I thought that he was a member, anyway he had on a white shirt. I mustered up my courage and shook his hand, feeling a little uneasy but not wanting to offend him.

        Soon he was out in the middle of the grass ranting on about how awful the Church and its members were and what was going to happen to all of us. Then out of the plastic grocery sack he was carrying he produced a very large Boa Constrictor. You realize I shook hands with him when he was holding that bag in his other hand. It was something that was unreal when you think about it. The Ghanaians are usually terribly afraid of snakes but I guess everyone knew this crazy person and therefore just ignored him. He was asked to leave the grounds but didn't so he failed to make any real impact.
        Happy pictures:
Elder Bautner

Typical village house were Elders Hatch and Payne serve. They love to take the kids fishing on the Volta.

Elders Payne and Hatch


  1. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog!!! I keep you both in my prayers! Sending love and great (((BIG HUGS!!!)))

  2. Snakes. No thank you. I really love reading about your mission. Love and Prayers coming your way.