Saturday, November 7, 2015

Giant Clams!

Dear Family and Friends,
Talofa Lava.  That is the Samoan greeting similar to "Aloha" in Hawaii.  Good News!  We got an R.N. to come into the office on a part-time basis starting tomorrow.  She was the school nurse here at Pesega for 15 yrs. and just retired from working at the local hospital.  It will be so nice to be relieved of nursing duty that I am really not cut out for.  That means I won't have to give Sister Asiata her Hep A injection.  (That was not going to happen anyway, even though Dr. Olsen assured me that I could do it if needed.)   Last Thursday afternoon Sis. Hannemann (President's wife) came into the office in a panic.  She had she learned that one of our missionaries was suppose to go to the hospital every 28 days for some kind of injection. Apparently he had had rheumatic fever as a child and had taken them for years before his mission.  Since they were going off island, could I please take him to the hospital the next day for this shot.   The nurse, that left last month, had never followed up on getting him the injections.  He told me that he had been so worried because he had not had an injection since May and he was scared he was going to die.  The Elder is from Savaii (another island in Samoa)  and had never been to the hospital in Upolu.  So, let me get this straight: "I am taking you to a hospital where you have never been before, to get a shot that you don't know the name of, that you have no prescription for, and you might die if you don't get it???"  When we finally found the right clinic, there was a male nurse I had met at the bank a few days ago.  He is a return missionary who went to El Salvador.  He took the Elder right in, ahead of everyone else, and five minutes later the Elder came out happy; he had gotten his shot.  I count that as a tender mercy from the Lord.
The McBrides at Aggie Greys

Last Monday for FHE the McBrides presented a slide show from Saudi Arabia and Oman.  Before coming to Samoa they had lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, working with a multi-national team on securing the oil refineries from terrorist attacks.  While there they took two trips, following a possible trail used by Lehi's family in the Book of Mormon.  It was a fascinating presentation with pictures of what some people believe are the Valley and Mountain of Laman and Lemuel, and also the land Bountiful where there was an ancient ship building industry.

Jacobs Farewell Party - Aggie Greys
This week we said good-bye to the Jacobs.  They were the previous Senior Zone Leaders, and had met all of the Senior couples as we came in, and oriented us to life in Samoa.  They were a great sounding board for us as we struggled through all the changes at the beginning of our mission.  We are all going to miss them!  Most of the Seniors met at the Sheraton's Aggie Gray Hotel outside of town for a farewell dinner on Friday night.  It was such a delightful evening with wonderful friends and an exquisite setting. I brought my Dad's harmonica with me to Samoa, determined to learn to play it. (My Dad was a great harmonica player!)  I try to practice every morning, but even though I am not even close to what Dad could do, my first "public" performance was "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."

Giant Clam Bay - Yes - it is this beautiful!
These trees are actually fence posts that have grown into trees.
The barbed wired goes right through the middle of them.
The Schaefermeyers had come over for the farewell dinner from American Samoa, and so another beach day was planned for them on Sat.  This time we went to a bay where there is a protected area for giant clams.  They were about 2 feet long with scalloped edges and in a variety of colors.  Driving in to the beach area we passed fence posts that had grown into trees.  It is pretty weird.  Everything you stick in the ground here grows, including fence posts.  Also, we are in the season for flowering trees, and we passed some gorgeous trees that have burst into blossoms.  Just when we think it can't get prettier - Voila - flowers everywhere!

Elder Lata with the Branch President & Family
On our way home we stopped at a small LDS Chapel, which is really only a fale.  This small branch has grown to 135 people who regularly attend Sabbath services.  They have to set up chairs outside to accommodate everyone.  Elder and Sister Lata are a senior welfare douple who have worked very closely with this branch.

The Primary Program was today in Sacrament meeting, what beautiful, precious children!  The message was that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.  My scripture for the week is John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  What a wonderful message to end this blog post on.  Have a great week!

Love, Patty

Sunset at Aggie Greys

Flowering Tree on Campus


  1. Like the flower in Brent's hair! The color of the water is incredible! The sprouted fence posts are really something

    1. The flower came in his virgin Pina Colada - that really wasn't very good, except for the bonus flower. The dome in the background is a fale classroom on the high school campus. All of the buildings you see are classrooms.

  2. What is the large dome structure in the middle of the building in the flowering tree picture?

  3. Clam bay does look like paradise.