“Two Elders Called from Ghana,” Ensign, Apr. 1981, 78
The first two full-time missionaries called from West Africa entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo February 19. Elder Benjamin Crosby Sampson-Davis, 23, and Elder Samuel E. Bainson, 24, both of Ghana, have received mission calls to serve in the England Manchester Mission.
On February 18, the two new elders greeted Church leaders and missionary couples who had served in Ghana and Nigeria. Their smiles radiated enthusiasm; their gracious manners spoke well of the education they had received in Ghana; and their clearly articulated responses to questions made it obvious that they were ready to serve. Both have already learned the missionary discussions.
“I feel that I have been called by the Lord,” said Elder Sampson-Davis, who passed up a four-year scholarship to an Anglican seminary theological school in Nigeria. The Anglican ministry had been a lifelong dream before his baptism in 1979; but when his call came, he was sure that filling a mission was what the Lord wanted him to do.
He’s expecting to work hard as a missionary. “I want to make sure that those in the homes I approach will hear what the Lord has for them to hear,” he said.
And he’s confident that he will be blessed in his efforts. “I know the work is not going to be easy. But since the Lord has called me, I believe he will help me do it.”
Elder Bainson was sharing the gospel even before he was baptized in 1978. Since then he has taught an investigator class and has been responsible for the baptisms of several friends. On 1 January 1980 he set a goal, praying that the Lord would find him worthy and call him on a mission; then he began preparing himself through praying and through studying the scriptures. In May, Bryan A. Espenshied, president of the Africa West Mission, spoke to him about serving, and Elder Bainson said he wanted the opportunity. “I was so happy and excited when the call came, because my prayer was answered—that if I was found worthy I would be called on a mission.”
His enthusiasm is contagious. “Because I’ve accepted the gospel,” he said, “so many blessings have come to me. Sharing the gospel with somebody that doesn’t have it is a special thing. If I can help someone else accept it, it would be a great blessing.”
Both missionaries spoke movingly of their testimonies. And they see a great future for the Church in Ghana. “It will grow,” said Elder Sampson-Davis. “The people in Ghana are deeply religious.”
Of their own role in spreading the gospel in their homeland after their missions, he said, “I see that we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. By God’s grace, we’ll be able to accomplish what he has for us to do.”
Meeting with the two new missionaries, Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of the significance of the revelation given 1 June 1978 which made it possible for every faithful, worthy male in the Church to receive and exercise the priesthood. The mission calls of Elder Sampson-Davis and Elder Bainson open another chapter in the unfolding of the Lord’s work, he said. “This will be only the beginning. These outstanding young men are the first among many who will go out and help fulfill the charge we have to carry the message and the hope of salvation to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Just imagine what will flow from here.”