Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dearest Children, God Is Near You

 I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear. 
I am a child of God, and so my needs are great; help me to understand His words, before it grows to late.
I am a child of God.  Rich blessings are in store; if I but learn to do his will, I'll live with Him once more.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.  Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him someday.

He sent me here to earth, by faith to live His plan...
Lullaby my little one...

Heavenly Father knows them; He loves them, every one...

 To shine for Him each day...

 Oh hush thee my baby...

 Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too...

 I'm sure He'll call His little ones, to gather round His knee...

 I'm trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say...

 Heavenly Father are You really there? And do You hear and answer every child's prayer?

 I need my Heavenly Father to help me every day...

 I lived in heaven a long time ago, it is true...

 I'm glad I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me...

 Jesus loved the little children, little ones like me...

 How dear to God are little children...

 Come little child and together we'll learn...

 Lead me, guide me, walk beside me...

 In every way try to please Him, at home, at school
 at play... 

 When we're helping we're happy and we sing as we go...

 Teach me to walk in the light of His love...

 It's fun to have a friend who will play with you...

 Children are singing a happy song, singing together the whole day long...

 He whose heart has joy and song, gives joy to others too.

 A smile is like the sunshine, it brightens up the day...

As you can probably tell, we have used phrases from Children's Hymns for the captions.  We love the children here and it makes them happy when we take their photo or talk to them.  They want to walk with us, hug us or hold our hands.  It makes us happy too.  The children of Ghana bring us joy every day.  We enjoy it when we hear a child's voice call out "Yavoo", which means "White Person", (at least that's what they tell us).  Then they smile and wave...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mission Conference With Elders Holland And Snow

Sorry we've taken so long to update our blog.  Our Internet has not been working so well lately, we've been busy.  Let's see, what other excuse can I come up with.  We had the pleasure of going to Accra to a mission conference to listen to Elder Holland and Elder Snow, their wives and members of the Area Presidency.
The gathering of missionaries has started.
 President and Sister Judd surveying the missionaries as we gather on the steps of the temple for a mission photograph.

 The chairs in front are reserved for the special guests.  The missionaries are anxiously awaiting Elder Holland and Snow's arrival.

 The special guests in their chairs.

 President and Sister Judd giving some last minute instructions to the missionaries, telling us to be on our best behavior, how great we look and how much they love us.  Oh, and no taking photos of the General Authorities.  But he did give us permission because he said we were supposed to document special occasions in the mission and this is certainly one of them.  So, Elder Lyon got to take photos after all.  Thank You.

 Sister Holland and Curtis enjoying a moment of peace and quiet on the temple grounds before meeting all us rowdy missionaries.

 Sister Holland is giving us her love and greetings.

 Having finally arrived Elder Holland has his arm around Elder Dickson, President of the 
West Africa Area.

 "What, I said no photos".  
Not really, was just surprised when the photos were downloaded and there was one of him looking right into the camera.

 After the grueling session of 2 photos, Elder Holland sweetly escorted Sister Holland away.

 Sister Judd with her childhood friend Sister Snow and of course, Elder Snow

 Group photo of the missionaries of the Ghana Accra Mission and our distinguished guests.

We felt especially blessed to shake the hands of Elder and Sister Holland, the rest of the General Authorities and their wives.  They were so sweet and kind.  President Holland asked us if we ever thought on the day we got married we would end up on a mission in Africa.  Sister Lyon got emotional when she met Sister Holland and Sister Holland told her she was sweet and has a tender heart.  (Especially when it comes to people and things she cares about.)  Then she thanked us for our mission service. It is our pleasure to be here and serve!

Favorite quotes of the day:
  "And thus in Africa we see that the Lord has poured out his Spirit upon the land". 
 -Sister Curtis
"We have on the earth again the sacred choir of Apostles" 
 -Elder Curtis
"Missionaries are messengers of truth, standing on sacred ground, changing peoples lives".
 - Sister Dickson
"Being teachable requires that when you walk out of this meeting you apply what you've learned on your mission and beyond".  
-Elder Dickson
"Remain faithful, be true, after your mission you'll be so much better and stronger for your service.  Stay in the Lord's way!"
  -Sister Snow
"Most of us do not understand the extent of our privileges, we live way below them".
"This is most likely your only chance to serve the Lord full time, don't leave anything on the table".
-Elder Snow
"Thank you for the privilege of looking into your eyes, the windows of your souls, I can tell you love the Lord.  Do you know how much he loves you?"
"I have seen him talk to God as though He is in the room with us."
"I know that he is a Apostle of Jesus Christ, he is a man who has dreams and visions and was prepared in the pre-existence for this calling."
  -Sister Holland
"Love what you are, if you are half a loaf, then love that half a loaf."
"The universal symbol of the church is 2 missionaries walking the streets or riding a bicycle.  If people know nothing else about the church, they say 'I have seen your missionaries'."
"After the Prophet, you missionaries are the most prayed for people in the church."
"Don't think when you go home you are going back to real life.  This is real life."
"Whenever assignments come up I say, I want Africa!"
"Cowboy up, be big people.  The work of salvation has never been easy.  It's hard because salvation is hard.  There is no such thing as cheap grace.  The road to salvation goes through Gethsemane."
"Don't whine and whimper about hard days.  There are no easy missions.  You are here because the Lord wants you here."
"Emulate Him, walk His path.  Embrace, Love and Honor your mission.  When you come home, have no regrets". 
 -Elder Holland

President Judd asked all to write a paragraph about our feelings after we listened to 
Elder Holland.  This is what we wrote:

"There are no adjectives, that haven't been overused, to adequately describe the feelings we had when listening to Elder Holland as he spoke to the missionaries of the Ghana Accra Mission.  His words created within us great contrasts of emotions.  He is humble though powerful in his testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.  He's passionate about what he knows, nevertheless displays a calmness when expressing his beliefs.  He is gentle but bold, meek yet forceful.  Not afraid to show emotion while still being unshakable in his faith.  We could feel the love and appreciation he has for us as missionaries, while powerfully giving us courage to be even better.  When listening to his address, it gave new meaning to the phrase in the Book of Mormon that states, "yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn".  His talk makes us want to be better missionaries and members of the church.  We will work our hardest so that when we go home, we will have no regrets."