Saturday, April 21, 2012

That's Using Your Head

In Ghana one of the main ways of transporting their goods is to carry them on their heads.  They start at a very young age to develop this skill.  We see it all the time, every day, all day long so it has become commonplace to us, but not to those who view our blog.  So we would like to show you some of the ingenious ways they have of using their head.

  She has solved the problem of how to fill 2 water buckets at the same time.

You don't have to own a store or pay rent.  You just take your shop with you where ever you go.
 These are 2 men who sell reading and sunglasses engaged in a conversation about how to expand their business.  We're pretty sure that's what they're talking about.
 Clothing items on the go.

 A bakery.  Bread anyone?

 Plantains a plenty.

 If anyone has need of a cleaning or scrubbing cloth, I'm the person to see.

 FTD florist delivery.

Man Power
 A bag of cement that has to weigh close to 100 lbs.

 I repaired your television, where would you like it delivered?

 Would you, could you, carry the wood?

 Plywood delivery man.

 We like to call these "walking trees"... when you see them at a distance, that's how they look.

 You do not want to turn your head around to look when doing this.

Women at Work
 She looks happy bringing home wood for the cooking fires.

 This caught our eye because she has it perfectly balanced, not centered, on her head.

 Seamstress on the go.

 We see women everywhere, carrying lots of different items, as they go about their day.

They Learn Early
 Transporting a rock, why, or to where, we have no idea.

 He's ready to play football (soccer) after his work is done.

At least she'll have something to sit on when she reaches her destination.

 They learn at a very early age how to market provisions.

Working Together
 Many hands make light work.

 We had these benches made for the missionaries to sit on while they do their washing, by hand.  These are the children of the man who made them carrying them to our truck.

 No item is too big, or too small to transport on their head.  Family togetherness, including the baby the mother is carrying on her back.

 Heading to their farm to do some harvesting.

This is a community working together.  As we saw them walking down the street, they were all singing a beautiful song.  They were carrying water for a kitchen to prepare food for a funeral.

We have seen all kinds of items being carried on their heads.  There are even some we saw that we couldn't get the camera out in time for a photo.  They don't stop what they're doing to pose.  We have seen them carrying a refrigerator, a long table and lots of other things to numerous to mention.  But the funniest one was a mother who had a baby on her back while she was carrying water on her head.  Every once in awhile, the water would spill out onto the baby.  I guess she was bringing water and giving her baby a shower at the same time.  

We will continue to be amazed at the way they use their heads.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Signs Of Spring

 From the dreaded Harmattan, to the welcomed green of the rainy season.

Lambs new, fresh and white, before they start to take on the color of the soil.

 Another mother of a different color, looking out for her young.

 Goats so new they still have their umbilical cords.

 We're even surprised by kittens.  We don't see them very often.

 A unique way for a mother hen to protect her chicks. 

 A mother Mona monkey carries her young one in front.  She was a little leery about coming to get a banana, must have put the safety of her little one above her hunger.

 As in all births, it has to start somewhere.  This nest shows where a lizard carefully dug a hole and laid the eggs.  This nest was discovered by our pear (avocado) tree.

 A new little one about a week old.
 This shows the size of the "very" little one.  She weighed 1.6 kgs which is a little over 3.5 lbs.  The baby is doing very well.  She is the daughter of Gabriel and Faustina and they want us to name her.  We gave them the name of Angelica because she is such a little angel.

 This is baby Mosiah who weighs in at 3.5 kgs or about 8 lbs.  They have a tradition here that they don't name the baby or bring it outside until 1 week old.  They have a party to celebrate that occasion which can be quite expensive, which this family chose not to do.  They just did it the old fashioned LDS way, they brought the boy to church when he was old enough and gave him a name and wonderful blessing.  An interesting side note, Mosiah has an older brother named Nephi.

A newly wed couple as they practice holding someone else's baby, maybe they're getting ready for one of their own someday.

 Sister Avornyo holding her new grandson.

 Loved the traditional look of the grandmother as she holds her new born grandchild.

 Women here carry their babies in the front for the first 9 months, then get to carry them on their backs for the next few years.  I guess that's the way to even things out.

 They do all kinds of things with their babies on their backs from sweeping,
 to laundry,
 or just socializing. 

This couple started their new life as husband and wife this spring.  It's a new beginning for them and they later were sealed in the temple on April 14th.  That is allowed in Ghana because the government  does not recognize a temple marriage as being legal, so they have to do a legal or traditional marriage first.  The parents are dressed in the traditional African wedding style.  The man in the blue also shows by the way he is wearing his cloth, he is a chief of a certain order or clan.

Yes, spring has arrived, even here where the seasons only change from dry to wet and back again.  The sun rises and sets the same time every day, but we can see the changes.  There are changes in the landscape, changes brought about by the birth of new animals, but especially changes in the people.  They seem to be happier and more cheerful than during the dry season.  This is a time of renewal, and it comes at the same time we celebrate the Easter Season.  Our Savior died and was resurrected so that we too may live again and be renewed.  We will forever be grateful for His Atoning Sacrifice that made all of this possible. 
 These are the signs that Spring has officially arrived.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Testimonies Of The Book Of Mormon



Elder Lyon:
That we have the book today is proof of it's existence.  It is either a book that was translated from an ancient record by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God, or it was totally fabricated and written by him.  It is either one or the other, there is no middle ground.  It is either true or it is false.

If the Book of Mormon is true, then the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and showed him where the golden plates were deposited.  If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who translated the Book of Mormon, and Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today.  If the Book of Mormon is true then the Aaronic Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist and the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored by Peter, James and John.  Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey were ordained to both Priesthoods.  If the Book of Mormon is true, then the sealing power of the Priesthood was restored by Elijah in the Kirtland temple and we have the power today that seals families together forever.  If the Book of Mormon is true then the Church Of Jesus Christ and all it's principles and teachings are true.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.  The keystone is a wedge-shaped stone in the middle of an arch, when placed during construction locks all the stones into position.  Without it, the arch falls.  Without the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and everything we believe in does not stand.

I testify to you The Book of Mormon is true.  It was translated by Joseph Smith from an ancient record shown him by the angel Moroni.  What the prophets say is true, it is the most correct book upon the face of the earth today, because it was translated by Joseph Smith directly from the plates by the gift and power of God.  Although the Holy Bible has very many wonderful teachings and prophecies, it has been translated several times, from different languages, by hundreds of different people, so many of the true meanings have been lost.

I also testify to the truth of what the prophets say, you can come closer to God by reading and abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon than any other book.  But to gain a true testimony of the book, you need to read it more than once or twice.  You need to make it a life-long study.  When you read, you read for pleasure and enjoyment.  When you study, you read to learn.  The Book of Mormon is so important that it was the first thing Joseph Smith was commanded to do after his visitation from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  He was given no other gift, other than the gift of translation, until it was complete.  Even the church was not organized until after the translation and publication was complete.  

So it should be with us, it should be the main truth we base our testimonies on, the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It is true, so therefore, the rest of our beliefs must be true.  If you read this, and haven't read the Book of Mormon, as they say in Ghana, "you are invited".  I testify to you it is a book with a promise.  When you read and pray with real intent, the truthfulness will be revealed to you by the power of the Holy Ghost.  It does not replace the Bible, they go hand and hand because it is another Testament of Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon has many of the plain and precious truths that have been left out of the Bible.  If you have already read the Book of Mormon, re-read it, ponder it in your hearts that you may know for a surety that it is true.  Each one of us needs to gain and increase our own testimony that the Book of Mormon is true.  Of these things I testify in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Lyon:
I must first tell you that Elder Lyon bore the above testimony in Sacrament Meeting today.  He bore powerful testimony from his heart, I truly felt the spirit of the Lord as he testified.  I concur with the truthfulness he has shared.

I am grateful for the Book of Mormon.  Many gospel truths have been clarified for me in the power of it's pages. The simplicity and clarity of the book amaze me.  Every time, when studying from the pages of the Book of Mormon I learn something new, something that I need at that particular moment in time.

Many times when reading from the pages of the Book of Mormon I am brought to tears by the truth that is revealed to me on a personal level.  Gratitude fills my heart to know that this book is a divine treasure saved for me, in these latter days. 

I remember the powerful feeling that came upon our young family when we watched conference many years ago, when President Ezra Taft Benson was the Prophet, he spoke of the need for families to study the Book of Mormon together.  All of us, including each of our young children, knew that he spoke the truth.  We began to more often read from its pages as a family.  We grew closer together because of that.  I hope each of our children will take this as a challenge to do the same with their families now.

I gained a very deep testimony of the divinity of this book when teaching seminary.  The warm assurance of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon washed over me in a way that I can never deny and will always treasure.  My tattered set of scriptures from those days is a precious jewel to me.

The Savior is more real, near and dear to me because of the principles taught in the Book of Mormon.  This powerful testament of Jesus Christ, His Divinity, teachings, example and great love for the children of God, touches me deeply in the pages of this treasured book. I bear this humble testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

We Know The Book of Mormon is True!