News Release

Sister Bednar, Sister Kearon, and Sister Godoy meet with Women Leaders in Africa West Area

Church leaders in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria discuss the unique challenges and blessings of serving in West Africa

Sister Susan Bednar with sister missionary at the Accra Ghana Missionary Training Center. 25 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

During a ten-day visit to the Africa West Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Susan Bednar, Sister Jennifer Kearon, and Sister Monica Godoy, met with the women leaders of the Church in Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria. Organization leaders from the Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women, as well as mission leaders, met with the Church leaders to discuss the unique blessings and challenges of the sisters in West Africa.   In Ghana they met with the sister missionaries in the Accra Ghana Missionary Training Center.

On 17 February the sisters met with leaders in Lagos Nigeria.  They were joined by Sister Julia Klebingat. Sister Bednar counseled the sisters to take every opportunity to bless, show kindness, and to help others feel that they are loved and that they belong.

The sisters were asked how the Relief Society had blessed their lives and the lives of those they serve. Sister Klebingat shared that the Relief Society had taught her to make friends with sisters of all ages and backgrounds.  Some of the participants noted that the Relief Society had taught them how to love and be loved, and to see themselves as the Lord sees them.

In discussing the challenges of ministering effectively, Sister Kearon said that “Through the ministering program, the bonds of love and friendship will increase among the sisters, and they will not feel like judging others, but will want to help and encourage.”

Sister Bednar noted that the prophet asked us to minister in a higher and holier way. “I wasn’t sure what that meant at first, but decided to ask those that I was assigned to minister: We’ve been asked to minister in a high and holy way- what does that look like to you?” This way she was able to learn their specific needs and minister to them in an individualized way.

In Cote d’Ivoire they were joined by Sister Lucie Kyungu.  They met with Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women’s leaders as well as mission leaders from the Abidjan coordinating councils.  They discussed with the leaders the blessings of the Church auxiliary organizations and the power of ministering in strengthening the testimonies of the sisters and bringing others to a knowledge of and love for Jesus Christ.

Sister Bednar discussed the importance of the spirit in ministering. “Before a ministering visit, my companion and I meet, pray to be guided by the spirit, and share our thoughts on the service that needs to be performed.”

 As a newlywed, Sister Kearon was far from home, and was thankful for the Relief Society and the friendships she developed.  Sister Godoy shared that she also relied on the Relief Society when living far from home. “Wherever you are, you have sisters, and you have friends,” she said.

In Accra, Ghana, they met with the sister missionaries at the Missionary Training Center.  Sister Godoy shared with the missionaries that they were special in Heavenly Father’s eyes. “You have chosen to serve, it will not always be easy, but you will be blessed because of the choice you have made.”

Sister Kearon reminded the sister missionaries how close they were to the Accra Ghana Temple while in the MTC.  “You are just footsteps away from the house of the Lord.  When you are strengthened by your covenants, you can feel that closeness to the temple always.”

“If you are learning a new language, ask family and friends to pray for you to have the gift of tongues,” said Sister Bednar.  “You will also learn the language of the spirit, and then you will speak with the tongue of angels.”

Sister Bednar added that, “It takes great faith to do the many things that you will need to do on your mission.  Go forward with faith and be women of God.  Pray that you will be blessed with every power to do the needful things.”

The meetings with the women leaders and missionaries were held in conjunction with the Area Instructional Meetings being conducted by Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Patrick Kearon, and Elder Carolos A. Godoy in the Africa West Area.

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