Working in the Trenches of Missionary Service

This week started with a big and wonderful service project which helped our Branch President who is a principal of the school. He kept expressing how grateful he was and was so touched by all the work that got done. We had two zones involved with about 60 missionaries. We started with deep cleaning the Branch church building and cutting the field down outside the branch. As the work at the church was going on, truckloads of missionaries and supplies were traveling to the Branch Presidents school. At the school water lines were put in to their wash rooms/bathrooms. We had to dig a long trenches through the school compound and out through a field. We dug the trench, leveled it out, and placed in the pipe. This service work was worthy of the number helping. I thought it went very well. We finished sooner than expected. Then we were given lunch afterwards. Because of all the missionary couples that traveled to Tema New Town for this project our apartment was also up-graded. The missionary couples had room in their vehicles to bring our apartment a microwave and a table to eat on with new folding chairs. Our apartment also got a cool solar light for when the power goes out. This was all on New Year’s Eve so New Year’s Eve ended up feeling more like Christmas then Christmas did. New Year ’s Day felt normal.

On Friday we had a planned exchange and I was working with Elder Aloysius. While on this exchange I received a call from President Heid. President Heid began by saying, “I heard you are on exchange?” I said, “Yes.” He replied by asking, “You are with Elder Aloysius right?” I again said, “Yes.” Then President Heid told me, “Well, you are now with your new companion.” He explained that there will be a small transfer and that Elder Jensen is being moved to a new zone that was just created. He also informed me that I will be with Elder Jensen’s companion (Elder Aloysius) in his area on the other side of Tema New Town and that Elder Jorgensen would be receiving Elder Burr for Elder Burr’s last month. I will still be part of the same Branch. So, that was some interesting news that made the week kind of exciting. Yesterday I was transferred to the other side of the apartment. I just took all of my things and moved them from one room to another. One of the simplest transfers I think I will ever go through.

Oh, I also got Joey’s package yesterday. Tell him thanks for me. Everything made it safe. The microwave brownies were a great idea and well timed so thank you, thank you. That was supper nice.

Sister Heid shared this quote from President Boyd K. Packer that I really liked. I thought I would just pass it on.

“We live in a day when the adversary stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems. We are indoctrinated that somehow we should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some become quite anxious – and all too frequently seek relief from counseling, from analysis, and even from medication.

It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal. Teach our members that if they have a miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life.”

Hope you have a good New Year – Elder Orton

Two Zones of missionaries participating in the Tema New Town service project at the church and the Branch President’s school

Two Zones of missionaries participating in the Tema New Town service project at the church and the Branch President’s school


Cleaning off a school door

Cleaning off a school door


Digging the trenches

Digging the trenches

Working with and preparing the water pipes

Working with and preparing the water pipes

Helping the water be reach the school

Helping the water be reach the school


Doctrine and Covenants 88:51 “Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.”

Doctrine and Covenants 88:51 “Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.”


Finding beauty among the rocks of Ghana

Elder Orton finding beauty among the rocks of Ghana


Interesting plants or weeds in Ghana

Elder Orton found this interesting plant or weed somewhere in Ghana

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