From a land far away from the complete and utterly useless hype and hysteria of American pop culture, I have received another uplifting email from the Moncurs. They continue to have incredible and faith promoting experiences in the West Africa Ghana Mission. Elder Moncur describes in this email his personal encounter with skin cancer. He is doing well; but, prayers are always in order. Their email and photos follow. You can read the prior posts of the West Africa Ghana Mission here. Scroll down to see all the posts.
UPDATE FROM ELDER MONCUR 4-13-07
Dear Friends and family, I hope all is well with you. As I look at the list of people receiving this email, it makes me miss you all the more. I’ve have so many fond memories of all of you. Thanks for being such good friends, and thanks for your prayers and support.
We had a small problem the other day. During an electrical storm there was a large power surge in our house that “spoiled” (the Ghanaian word for things that are broken) a bunch of circuits, cords, and power strips, knocked out the air conditioning, blew out the lights, and set the dryer on fire, and destroyed a few other things, making the house basically uninhabitable. We have temporarily moved to Accra until our new house, pictured below, is ready for occupancy. The white circle with the squiggly line in it (just above the column) is the African symbol for “grace.” The house is in Nkawkaw which gives us immediate access to our branch members and investigators. We can hardly wait to get in so we can continue the work.
I had some small surgery on my head to remove a skin cancer. The hospital experience was interesting, but not quite up to what you would expect in a U.S. hospital. Yesterday we got the lab results and the margins were clear, which indicates they got it all. There are a few other problem spots, but they haven’t progressed yet to the point where immediate action is necessary, so I hope I can hold off on treatment until I finish my mission.
Our new house
The view from the porch of our new home.
While walking on the beach during a senior couples outing, we saw about 15 men straining to pull in a large net that extended about 200 yards into the ocean. I joined them in this task until my legs ached, which took all of about two minutes. It took them over an hour to get the net in, and was very hard work. After a considerable expenditure of time and effort, the net was in and I was expecting a large harvest. Such was not the case. There were about three small fish and one squid type creature in the net, hardly enough to feed one person. I felt sorry that these men worked so hard for so little.
Their puny catch lying at their feet, these fishermen were not happy with the end result of their work as you can see by their facial expressions and body language. There would be no fish to eat or sell on this day.
I’m holding our branch mission leader’s one day old baby boy. After the photo, Michael informed me he named the baby after me, Grant Obeng Agyei Moncur (Grant is my middle name). I was quite touched and honored.
The village kids are always happy and rival any kids in the world for cuteness! I have a great fondness for the villages and prefer working there over anywhere else, in spite of the absence of modern conveniences and facilities. The village people are just unique. They are hard working and exceptionally friendly. I like them a lot. It will be very hard to say good bye to them.
PARTING SHOT: These are the senior couples of the Ghana Accra Mission on a couples outing we went on this week. We have grown very close to these couples, all of whom have village assignments. It is difficult to understand the significance of a village assignment unless you experience it by living there. To our left are the McDowells from Mesa, Arizona, the Greys from Pine Valley, Utah, and the Calls from Pocatello, Idaho. Missing are the Sudweeks from Idaho who had already left. Except for us, all are on their second missions.