Humjibre on an early Sunday morning is about 3 hours southeast of Kumasi. So we awoke very early and were on the road by 5:20 am. We stopped and picked up President Obeng, my first counselor in the mission presidency and then drove the 134 km (83 miles) to Sefwi Bekwai where the Humjibre saints have been meeting as part of the Sefwi Bekwai branch. That is an average of 28 miles per hour due to the traffic (primarily getting out of Kumasi), the multiple speed bumps in every single town and village along the way, and the numerous potholes in some extended sections of the road. However, the drive is actually quite nice and the surrounding plants, hills, and towns are charming and peaceful.
A very unfortunate event occurred on Saturday night. President Fosu’s younger brother passed away. When I asked what happened, he said he had not been feeling well and on Sunday morning he was gone. Such a devastating occurrence for a family. This is the reason the picture of the Humjibre members were so few. Nearly half of the active members stayed in Humjibre to mourn the loss of the boy. President Fosu only came because he knew he would be called, sustained and set apart as the new branch president on Sunday. We are grateful for this faithful man who came to church on a day that was very difficult for him and his family. We look forward to the day that we are able to get the building we will lease remodeled and placed into service. Here is a picture of what the finished floor plan will look like. We are hoping we can get it done by the early next year. Meanwhile the 28 members of the branch will have to continue to make the trip to the building in Sefwi Bekwai. Elder Riggs and Elder Musamukiana will support the branch as missionaries and the work will continue.
The first part of the week was filled entirely with interviews. On Tuesday we did 12 interviews at the University Stake Center for about half of the missionaries in the University Zone. On Wednesday, we traveled to the Dichemso Stake Center and did 15 interviews. The other 2 missionaries in the zone are scheduled after the zone conference next week as they live outside of Kumasi. Thursday morning we drove to Effiduasi and then back to Kwamo and interviewed the remaining 14 missionaries in the University Zone. On Friday we drove first to Atafoa and then to the Suame Stake Center and interviewed 18 missionaries in the Suame Zone with plans to interview the remaining 6 next week after Zone Conference. Here are some of the pictures of these wonderful servants of the Lord. While there is much they have in common, their smiles are the most endearing!
Overall the interviews were so much better this transfer. The missionaries are working hard to be better and keep to the 17 points of consecrated obedience and to love, serve, teach, and baptize converts. They are more engaged in the work and in their personal study. While in most cases I still struggled to stay on time with the interviews, it was usually due to a gospel or investigator related question that kept us talking. And my overages were significantly less than last transfer and in some cases we stayed on schedule for much of the day. We are gratified at the progress we see in the missionaries and in the mission. We still have some companionships struggling with proper use of the phone (overuse of Facebook and chatting with friends and family during the week), but we are even seeing improvement there as District Leaders do weekly phone time checks on social media and chat platforms each week. The new wind continues to blow….
On Wednesday afternoon after the interviews, we stopped at Starbites for an early dinner. I had a pasta dish and LaDawn had a chicken caesar salad. Both were excellent. And then we decided to splurge and order this apple crisp pie like dessert (desserts are not big here) with a custard cream. Okay, that was delicious. I thought I should snap a picture to commemorate the unusual event (us ordering dessert and loving it).
On Saturday, I attended the coordinating council meeting with the stake presidents and our Area Authority, Elder Patrick Appianti. It was a really good meeting. We reviewed the handbook on the role of the President of the Aaronic Priesthood. It is a concept that is not well understood and certainly not well fulfilled. Most bishops and branch presidents spend their time with adults instead of the youth. We talked a lot about the prophetic direction we received from General Conference, talking specifically about President Nelson’s talk, Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, Elder Rasband’s talk, and President Ballard’s talk. It was so great talking about what we learned with these wonderful men. We are working collectively to increase the number of full time missionaries serving from the Coordinating Council. As a mission, we have 21 who are serving from districts and mission branches. That is on par with the two highest missionary producing stakes, but we have twice as many members. So we have work to do there. We also discussed how to prepare the people for the Kumasi Temple so that we have a temple ready people. All in all, it was a great meeting. We started at 9 am and finished at 1 pm. I am grateful to rub shoulders with these spiritual giants.
This week is a short post, as the highlights are meaningful but minimal. We are grateful to work with these missionaries, the members, the leaders, and most important the Lord. We feel His hand in everything that we do. As we seek His inspiration in what we teach, what direction the mission should take, how to encourage and bless the lives of the members, how best to grow the Church, and how to help these amazing missionaries become life long disciples, we feel His keen interest in this work and willingness to take us by the hand and give us answers to our prayers. This is a great work, requiring great faith and great effort, but with equally great (or greater) rewards. We love our assignment as we continue to gather Israel for one last time, Together in Ghana.
One thought on “Humjibre”
Wonderful experience my Leader you are actually doing a great work and you cannot come down
And why would the cease?
Hurray to the people of Kumasimite