Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brent counting out missionaries monthly allowance
Tolofa Lava Family and Friends,
Between Thanksgiving, Zone Conferences and our first cyclone of the season, we have had a pretty full week.  This was my first Thanksgiving away from family, but luckily we were so busy I didn't have too much time to  feel sorry for myself.  Elder Haleck, from the week for a mission tour so the president was gone for almost the entire week. (Due to the area presidency, was visiting the mission this storm he is still gone - stuck in American Samoa.) The big chore in the office was making sure all 167 missionaries got their monthly allowance of $130 Tala (Less then $60).  Brent always gets pretty stressed over this, as he is still dealing with a lot of money, and he does not like to be one penny off.

Sisters Satieu and Callahan stuffing turkeys
Sitting Down for Thanksgiving Dinner - 2015
Even though we are in Samoa,Turkey was a must for Thanksgiving!(Even at $200 Tala /ea) Luckily Bob Lorentz convinced me that we would need two, as there was not a single bite left off of either 24 lb bird at the end of the dinner.  I'm not sure if there is even enough meat left on the bones to make soup.  Sister Satieu, from New Zealand, had never cooked a Turkey before, but did a great job helping to prepare and stuff both Turkeys.  Callahans came in from Savaii, and between the three of us we managed to prepare, stuff and get the birds in the oven on time. (I sure missed my sister Shauna, who has helped with getting the Turkey ready for years!)   Everyone had signed up to bring something, and I started to panic when the couple who had signed up for pie, showed up with one pumpkin pie, and the couple who signed up for potatoes, showed up with a small pan.  I made a mad rush to one store to buy potatoes and carrots, and another where we buy brown sugar, all in pouring rain.  Brent stayed at the apt. and made a large dish of candied carrots (Which were a big hit) and I came back to the mission home and started peeling/cooking 4 bags of  potatoes.  I then went home and made pumpkin cake.  It was good that I did as 26 adults and 15 missionaries showed up for dinner. As it turned out we had a lot of food, but at Thanksgiving you just have to have enough potatoes and gravy! This was also the first Thanksgiving with zero leftovers.

A Few of the Missionaries Enjoying Thanksgiving
At home, after Thanksgiving, we always play the Ricky-Ticky Bear Cup Game.  It was a smashing success with the seniors and missionaries.  Since the seniors had done all the cooking and preparations, the missionaries offered to clean up.  (I think they wanted to pick over whatever was left).  While they cleaned some of the seniors played Right, Left, Center with a bag of candy the Callahans had brought.  It was a fun way to end a very busy day.

Friday started with an internet message of an approaching cyclone - category one.  It has been raining for almost a week solid, so I could not imagine there could be more rain - but believe me- there is more rain than you can imagine that comes with tropical storms!  The ward Christmas Party on the beach was cancelled because of the storm, and it was too stormy to be out, so I threw a senior Cyclone Party together.
Nativity made by Sister Hunt
The sisters were invited to our house for a craft activity and the men went to the Lorentz home to watch guy movies.  We had planned to all go out to dinner, but by 5 pm the storm was really raging and so that was cancelled. Everyone just hunkered down at their own homes to ride out the winds and torrential rains.   According to the global meteorologists, we are in an El Nino year, so they are predicting more and stronger storms than average through next April.  After seeing a category one, I am definitely not interested in seeing a category 3!

With Thanksgiving over, that means Christmas is right around the corner.  I think my only decoration will be a small nativity I purchased from a sister in the ward.  December is going to be a busy month with the missionaries involved in community service projects, and musical programs.  I don't think I will miss the stress of shopping and wrapping.  Hopefully I can enjoy a simple Christmas.  My scripture for the week is Psalms 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving." We all have so much to be thankful for!  My greatest blessings are my family and friends, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the understanding I have of Heavenly Father's plan for each of us.  Love and Best Wishes!


  1. Your years of experience at feeding the 5,000, or at least the 30-50, pays off again. I love your can-do spirit.
    Your scripture reflects one of mine: Ephesians 5:17, 19-20 "Be ye not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God...Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
    Be safe. Tofa.

  2. Glad to here u made it through that storm good. Sounds like thanksgiving was a hit also. We miss u tons and think of you both often.. A couple in our ward are leaving on there mission to Samoa in Jan. I Wonder if u will meet. We love you both

  3. That is a lovely nativity! The perfect decoration if you have to pick just one :).

  4. 6:23pm PST. Just finished reading your post with the family. I'm glad Thanksgiving turned out. Sounds like it could of been a disaster. We love and pray for you guys.

  5. What are the chances that you would find Mrs Cubbison's dressing in Samoa?!? I missed helping you stuff the turkey too. We will plan to do it another year.

    Love the little nativity!

  6. Will you get me one of those nativities? I'll deposit the money in your account for it. :-) Love you!