Monday, December 22, 2008

The Asamang Branch

Today we woke up early (7:00 ish) so that we could get to church in Asamang in time for it to begin at 9:00. Of course we had to take a taxi and since he drove us straight to the church we got their almost ½ early. That is so typical here in Ghana-you never know if you will be late or early depending on the transportation.

The branch is held at a Secondary School and it is nice. There are benches and hymn books. I got to meet the Branch President and let him know that I had brought clothes and things for the members from America. He was very happy and we will distribute the things next week following the meetings. Chelsea & Mike were asked to speak next week and I was asked to share my testimony and explain the things I brought and why. It should go well next week.

I was also asked to lead the music throughout the church blocks since Chelsea volunteered me. This means a bit more than just leading like in the USA. This entails the Branch President choosing a hymn, announcing it to the congregation, then I stand up and sing the first line (yes as a solo) and then everyone joins in at the beginning with me. It was very interesting but worked wonderfully well. I even got to teach them 2 new Christmas hymns this way. They pick up the melody very fast!

Most of church was in Twi (pronounced Tchwi) so I didn’t understand a great deal. One of the missionaries (visiting the area) shared his testimony in English so I could understand that. Also Mike was asked on the spot to teach the Elder’s Quorum. The Women also joined and didn’t separate so I understood his lesson. He did a great job of talking about giving were you are able. He also shared about how Americans celebrate Christmas and asked how they celebrate Christmas in Ghana.

They also give gifts, they have big group gatherings, many of the Ghanaians get drunk, they have lots of food, and so forth. Mike explained the Christmas tree, the gift giving, and the Christmas feast. At one point during Sunday School or Mike’s lesson the Primary children were outside and they started to sing, “I am a Child of God” and I loved it! I could understand it and it was beautiful being sung by these little Ghanaian children.

After church we were invited to one of the member’s house, the Secretary of the Branch Presidency, to eat dinner. He and his sisters fed us Red Red and it was wonderful. After we finished eating he and his sisters dressed Mike, Chelsea, and I up in the official Ghanaian clothing that would be worn to ceremonies, funerals, etc. It was fun to get all dressed up!

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