Saturday, October 17, 2015

Talofa Lava,
It's hard to know where to start this post this week.  I haven't posted about the drama with our mission nurse, who finally had a mental breakdown and was sent home a couple of weeks ago.  The bottom line to this episode is that we not longer have a mission nurse.  This past week the Hannemanns have been in Savaii, so voila, guess who's the new nurse.  I think I have ringworm down, a pretty common ailment here with the humidty.  I also treated a cold, a stomachache and an Elder who cut his foot.  I have 24/7 access to a doctor in New Zealand by phone and the phone numbers of local doctors.  Today a sister called with symptoms of Dengue Fever.  I called the doctor and he told me what to do.  I will check to see how she's doing tomorrow.  My Mom would be so proud of me.  

This week we have transfers, that's when we have different people coming and going and it gets pretty crazy. New missionaries arrive from the Provo MTC tomorrow night and the New Zealand MTC missionaries arrive on Tuesday.  After orientation, interviews, pictures and training they are sent on their way on Wed.  Thursday all the missionaries returning home come into the mission home for interviews, pictures and a nice farewell dinner. Elder Cutler made this awesome board that shows all three islands and pictures on sticky tape of every missionary and where they are serving.  It really helps when you are trying to keep track of 165 people all coming and going in different directions.  

I had this preconceived notion that living on an island in the middle of the Pacific that we would be eating fresh fish everyday along with exotic fruits.  Well, as you can see by the picture, the roadside fish stands leave a little to be desired.  Even the big fish markets just have 5 gallon plastic buckets full of fish - the problem being you don't have any idea how long they have been there without refrigeration.   So far we haven't dared chance it.  As far as fruits go, pineapples are coming into season and they are delicious!  Mangoes are also coming into season, but they are not a favorite.  As far as the other fruits go they are exotic but also require an acquired taste.

When we go to the market there are a lot of fruits and vegetables that I have never even seen and wouldn't even have a clue what to do with them.  The ones we have dared to try are slimy inside and not very tasty.  So much for our exotic fish and fruits.
Elder Anderson and Elder Tupuola enjoying a pancake and egg
breakfast on Sat. morning.  I love these Elders!

One of the changes President Hannemann has made is he has called 6 Assistants.  (There are usually two)  All 6, plus one on special assignment, moved into the nurses vacated apt. next door.  He also called 2 Sister Leaders for a total of 9 missionaries at the office.  Today after church none of them had planned for anything to eat. (Sacrament Mtg. was on Self-Reliance :) We took pity on them and told them to come over. Putting together food for 9 missionaries who were unplanned for took a little doing.  President Saunders had left us two boxes of Chef-Boy-R-Dee (sp?) pizzas that we made up. We added to that left over 3 bean salad,  7 cans of tuna  two loaves of bread and candy popcorn left over from Senior  game night at our house.  I don't believe that any of them left hungry.

My little front yard friend.
Another misconception I had before we arrived, was I thought there would be parrots and exotic birds. Wrong!  The most common bird here is  the Myna, similar to the Starling in the States,  They are not native and are now a threat to the native birds. On the bright side there are no pigeons.  This little speckled guy showed up on our front lawn a few weeks ago with his lady friend.  I enjoy watching them dart around the lawn.  Sorry I couldn't get a better picture, but they are too quick!

We are for sure in the wet season.  Samoa has two seasons - wet and dry.  Last week we had huge deluges of rain every day.  Similar to what we get in Las Vegas a couple of time a year during the monsoon season.  I understand that I should expect more of the same through March. It's like breathing pea soup when I walk in the morning, as the air has so much moisture in it. I'm hoping I don't grow webbed feet!

Last week when we had the opportunity to listen to General Conference we were challenged to memorize one scripture a week.  I kind of cheated and chose my favorite scripture for this week which I already had mostly memorized. (I wanted to perfect it)    Isaiah 12:2 -" Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."  I finished the Book of Mormon along with its commentary.  This book is an additional witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ.  I am now working on finishing "Jesus the Christ" by Talmage.  I love that I have time to read and ponder the scriptures. They have always been a great source of strength to me.

I understand fall has arrived in Las Vegas, that is my favorite time of year.  Enjoy the cool weather and the welcome break from the heat.  Love and God Bless!  Patty

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