Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Mermaid  Lagoon" so named by Elder McBride who swam here
as a missionary 50 years ago.
 To Our Dear Family and Friends,
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: 
If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon," I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.

—Joseph Smith, 1843
Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Episcopals, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans [Muslims], and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration, and equal privileges in this city ...

—Ordinance in Relation to Religious Societies, City of Nauvoo, [Illinois] headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, March 1, 1841"
 Yesterday we escaped the world and visited a beach recently rediscovered by the McBrides and dubbed "Mermaid Lagoon."  Snorkeling here was like being in an aquarium, and you will be excited to know that I found Nemo!

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
I love the picture to the left.  These two 12-yr old boys walk over a mile, one way, every Sunday to take the sacrament to a brother who is too old to get to church.  You see them walking in their jackets, under the sun, taking their assignment very seriously. It makes me embarrassed to think about how I grumbled to myself sometimes, when I had to take our sons around in an air-conditioned car to collect fast offerings.

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  " 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


  1. Hi Sister Ellsworth! Our son, Elder Chandler Lindhorst, is currently serving in Savaii. I love reading your blog. It makes us feel more connected and gives us a glimpse of life there in Samoa. Thank you for the service you and your husband are giving to the missionaries. I have a blog for Chandler, but it is private. Hope you all enjoy the holidays and thanks again!

    Krista & Michael Lindhorst

  2. An interesting article by Hugh Nibley on a comparison of Islam and The Church. Indeed many of the posts on fb remind me of how we treated the Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. Our world is loosing all civility. GOD bless you and Brent and protect you while on His errand.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. You are a wise lady.