Elizabeth Asor-Kissi grew up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Accra (the capital city) of Ghana, Africa with strong parental examples of spiritual faithfulness. Her father, Dr. Emmanuel Abu Kissi, is a pioneer of the Church in Ghana. He and his wife, Benedicta Elizabeth, were baptized in 1979 in Manchester, England, where he was pursuing his medical studies. This was just one year after President Kimball’s historic revelation “…extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church….” (Official Declaration 2). Elder Kissi was the official head of the Church during the “Freeze” uprising (1989-1990) when foreigners fled Ghana. He later served as an Area Seventy of the Africa West Area. Presently, he is the official doctor for the Ghana Accra Mission.
Elizabeth graduated from Central University with a nursing degree and worked in a hospital in Accra for a few years. While attending an educational fair, she saw an advertisement about a two-year Critical Care and Palliative Care Program at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, Canada. This college recruits internationally, especially in Africa, India, and the Philippines. Elizabeth was accepted into the program and courageously prepared to embark on a new adventure in her life that would require her to leave her husband and two young children behind.
Before Elizabeth left for Canada, her brother found the contact information for the Welland Ward Bishop, Jeff Glanfield, in a Church directory and contacted him. He asked if Bishop Glanfield would watch out for his sister and help her find a place to live. Bishop Glanfield and his wife, Carol, agreed to help. When Elizabeth and her friend Jennifer arrived, they both stayed in the Glanfield home until other accommodations could be found.
After Elizabeth completed her two-year course, she moved to Nova Scotia to work for Bayshore Nursing. Joel Glanfield, Jeff’s son, was serving as a bishop in the Cole Harbour area at that time, and he helped connect Elizabeth with the Dartmouth Ward leadership. They all helped her settle in Dartmouth.
Elizabeth knew that Bishop Jeff Glanfield planned to serve a mission when he retired and would be released as a bishop. The Glanfields kept in touch with Elizabeth and let her know when they had submitted their mission application papers. Brother Glanfield felt quite sure he and his wife would be called to the Nauvoo area because there was a need there for his carpentry and building contractor skills. However, when they received a phone call asking if they would be willing to go elsewhere, both Brother and Sister Glanfield agreed to go where the Lord needed them. They still hoped for Nauvoo.
Elizabeth called the Glanfields on Christmas Day 2016, and in the conversation, she told them that she knew where they would go on their mission. They played along with her and asked, “Where?” She, of course, replied that they would go to the Ghana Accra Mission. Then, they all laughed.
On January 4, 2017, the mission call letter arrived, and the Glanfields gathered their family, through various means, and opened the letter. You can imagine their utter surprise when they read: “You have been hereby called to the Ghana Accra Mission.” Of course, they called Elizabeth, and she was equally surprised, excited, and spiritually touched.
Not long afterward, the Glanfields received a call from the Mission President welcoming them to the Ghana Accra Mission and asking if they had any questions. Brother Glanfield said, “Just one. Do you know a Dr. Emmanuel Kissi [Elizabeth’s father]? The President responded: “I certainly do. He will be the first person you will meet because he is the mission doctor.” Missionaries coming into Ghana have to be medically certified. This detail was especially remarkable to Brother Glanfield because he had recently read Dr. Emmanuel Kissi’s book: Walking in the Sand: A History of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints in Ghana (2004). Additionally, at the age of ten, Brother Glanfield had lived in Tanzania, Africa when his father was a teacher. None of this information or anything about their relationship with Elizabeth Asor-Kissi had been included with the mission application.
This experience has given the Glanfields an even deeper testimony of how much the Lord loves His children, and how much He knows the details of their lives—“…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.” Matthew 6: 8. Elder Ronald A. Rasband recently taught this principle at the October 2017 General Conference when he stated, “The Lord is in the small details of our lives, and those incidents and opportunities are to prepare us to lift our families and others as we build the kingdom of God on earth….” (Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Ensign, November 2017, “By Divine Design”).
The Lord continues to watch over the Elizabeth Asor-Kissi family. Her son and two daughters are now living with her in Nova Scotia. Her husband is a medical doctor who works in Ghana for now and will be joining the family soon.
Joel Glanfield recently baptized Elizabeth’s son and kindly blessed her new baby, which Elizabeth’s mother was able to attend.