Saturday, September 26, 2015

The MTC experience is coming to an end..

Well, we are going to have to enjoy these as much as possible.  Chris will leave the MTC on Tuesday, just about four days away, and fly to Kumasi.  Wifi will be scarce.  Electricity will be spotty.  The next time he will be able to write is the following Monday, his first p-day in the field.

The more I learn about the challenges these elders face while trying to share the Gospel with the people of Africa, the more I feel inclined to ask you for your prayers on behalf of Chris.  The MTC has been a bit of a bubble of comfort, food, and companionship.  It has probably been as American an experience as one can have in Ghana.

However, the transition to the field and the realities of the challenges in food, culture, attitudes, and living circumstances may be a shock.  Missionaries routinely experience negative encounters with people, even to the threat of their safety.  This is true throughout the world, not just in Africa, mind you.  Prayers would be helpful for Chris, and all of these elders, to aid them in the next big transition in this time of service.

I have no doubt that the Lord takes care of those who serve Him.  I have experienced that first-hand.  I don't worry about his safety.  I will be praying for his heart to be comforted and submissive to the promptings of the Spirit and that he will have the wisdom and perspective the Lord has on his situation and the people he encounters.  Please include him in yours as well.  Thanks!

So, apparently, the first thing on his mind today was food because these three pictures above came first.  He is able to add a little bit of text using his camera, but obviously not much because these read, "Foo foo and 'domestic' chicken".  Now, I know that foo foo is a very common side dish in Africa, made from a root vegetable if I remember correctly.  However, I am not sure which of the above side dishes are the foo foo. :)  I LOVE that they make authentic food for these boys so they can get used to the culture before they are immersed in it.  The Church is amazing.

Love how these boys are holding the flags of their countries.  Makes me wonder what was going on that day to allow them to have their native flag in hand.  

The shirt Chris has on in these pictures is his "Mission Ready" shirt.  It is from a week long conference of the same name that is held at BYU during the summer.  He attended this year as part of his mission preparation.

The symbols on the shirt represent the Plan of Salvation.  The first circle represents our pre-earth life wherein we were in the presence of our Heavenly Parents and our Savior Jesus Christ.  The line just after that first circle represents birth, the end of that pre-earth existence.  That second circle has a little star in it and those words below all these symbols say, "You are here".  That second circle represents mortal life here on earth.  The next line signifies death. After death, and before the final judgment, we either reside in a state of paradise where we get to enjoy the presence of our Savior and serve our living relatives from the other side, or we reside in state called "spirit prison" where learning and teaching need to happen for us to be able to progress.  How we have used our life here on earth will determine how we spend our time just after we leave this life.  Finally, after all is done that needs to be done here on earth, there will come a final judgment.  We then will inherit one of the three degrees of glory, as Paul talks about in Corinthians.  Thus the three lines at the end of these little symbols.

Well, apparently the MTC is a "thumbs up" experience.  I don't know if I've seen this boy so happy...ever.  He did write a friend and tell her that he knows he is where he is supposed to be and that he is supposed to be there at this time.  The Lord does have a way of making paths clear when we rely on Him!

I think we should have a contest on the best suggestion on a caption for this picture.  Any takers??

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