|"Mermaid Lagoon" so named by Elder McBride who swam here|
as a missionary 50 years ago.
Talofa Lava from Samoa. Living here we are removed to a large extent from the happenings in the states and the rest of the world. It is almost like living in a bubble, which has been a nice change for me since when I am home I never miss watching and reading the news. However, I have become aware of a troubling trend through social media, that has even made its way to the islands, and that is the hate language against Muslims. Some of the posts sound more like Nazi Germany than the freedom loving people we are. Be reminded that the very first right in the Bill of Rights, even before the freedom of speech or press is the freedom of religion. In defense of my Muslim friends, I just want everyone to know where I stand. I am including a recent statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints concerning religious freedom that I support 100%:
"SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in regard to party politics and election campaigns. However, it is not neutral in relation to religious freedom. The following statements by Joseph Smith from 1841 and 1843 are consistent with the Church’s position today:
While we were there, some kids on summer break joined us. One of the boys, about 10 yrs. old, climbed up a huge coconut palm and pulled down fresh coconuts for us. The coconut milk is delicious and very refreshing.
This next Thursday we will be traveling to American Samoa to visit the Schaefermeyers and to pick up supplies for our missionary stockings. We will be returning next Monday. This week is going to be very busy as we prepare for Christmas. Last Friday President Hannemann informed us that the mission is putting on a live nativity for 8 nights, beginning on the 17th. (It would have been nice to know this a couple of months ago!) Since we will be gone from the 17th - 21st, everything needs to be ready before we leave. I delegated costumes to 3 sisters, and the President delegated the stable and animals to others. Besides Mary and Joseph he wants 3 shepherds, 3 Magi and live animals. Since pigs and mangy dogs are the only animals that are plentiful around here, I am not sure how that is going to work - it might be the first nativity in history to feature pigs dressed up like sheep.
|Deacons taking the sacrament to a shut-in in Savaii|
Brent has stayed up until 2-3 am for several days last week, reading "The Great and the Terrible." I am half way through book 5 of 6. Again, this series grabs you and takes you on a crazy ride that will give you plenty to think about. You can see how fragile our freedoms and lifestyles are, and how quickly our lives can be drastically changed.
I started the Book of Mormon again this week, as this book is the anchor to my testimony. The title page in part identifies that the purpose of the book is "...to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations..." I never tire learning from this book, which I consider to be a gift from God to all mankind. My scripture for the week is from 1 Nephi 10:19 "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in to to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round."
Alofa atu, Patty