Walking in the Sand

Well this week was great. We found more great people to teach, I got to go through the temple, and saw the coolest lighting storm with the craziest thunder.

On Monday we got to the Botanical Gardens in Aburi. The coolest thing was something called the strangler ficus tree maybe you can just look it up. A plant of some sort took over the tree so now the tree is hollow all the way up to the top. It still looks like a normal living tree. It is big enough that you can step inside. We also saw a really old broken down helicopter. I thought the whole place was pretty cool.

Thursday I got to go to the temple with all the missionaries that are going home on July 20th. We went a week earlier than the standard schedule because the temple is closing for cleaning and won’t open again until August. While I was in the temple my companion, Elder Hall, was in a meeting. For the last four weeks of his mission, he will serve as a trainer. That is actually pretty cool because not many people get to end their mission that way. After going through the temple we were invited to have a small meal and lesson with Sister Asanti who is in our ward. The lesson went well, near the end she asked if I had heard of the book Walking in the Sand. I said, “Yes, but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.” She replied, “Oh, I think I have one.” She then stood up and went into the other room and came back with a copy. She gave the book to me. I opened it and saw that it was signed by the author Emmanuel Abu Kissi. I asked her, “Are you sure you want to give this to me?” I showed her the front page. She said, “Yeah, of course. I can get another one any time. My dad is the author.” Then she said, “Do you remember the doctor at the Ghana MTC?” She then describe how he looked. I said, “Yeah, I remember him.” She then told me, “That’s my dad.” She proceeded to tell us a few stories about his experience as a MTC doctor. Before we left I thanked her again for the gift. Then we biked home.

[Family note: Another story about Emmanuel Abu Kissi’s work during the Ghana Hunger Crisis is called, The Windows of Heaven. It is an humbling experience to read about.]

Friday we had a few lessons planned that we were sad did not work out. We had biked to one of the extreme ends of our area and sat down for a lesson. It began to pour. After the rain stopped we went to another lesson. When we sat down the storm came back with twice the strength. There were a few times the lighting struck less than a mile away. The thunder was strange though. It was not the normal rolling thunder I am used to but it sounded like an explosion with an echo. Once the rain let up again we quickly biked towards our next appointment. As we were travelling I looked up and saw what I am convinced had to be the coolest lightning strike ever. Of course something that cool is hard for me to describe. It looked like the lighting strike went sideways across the sky and branched out seeming to go in a really big oval. It looked like the lighting was going in circles. That is not a very good description but trust me it was cool.

So there is a little about my week. I hope everything is going well.

Love, Elder Orton

A parasitic plant took over a larger “Afzelia Africana” and successfully ‘strangled’ the tree.

A parasitic plant took over a larger “Afzelia Africana” and successfully ‘strangled’ the tree. Picture from http://www.flyingfourchette.com/2013/10/03/aburi-botanical-gardens/#/.

What’s left of the tree looks hollow and is big enough for you to step inside.

What’s left of the tree looks hollow and is big enough for you to step inside. Picture from http://www.flyingfourchette.com/2013/10/03/aburi-botanical-gardens/#/.

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