|Afalua and I food shopping for the mission|
|Constructing nativity costumes out of items purchased|
at the 2nd hand stores in Apia
The last couple of weeks have been hectic with preparations for Christmas and a 4 day trip to American Samoa with the Callahans. We loved having the chance to visit the Schaefermeyers who are currently serving there. They were great hosts and tour guides, making sure we saw the main attractions on the island of Tutuila. To get there you fly in this little 15 passenger plane that has no air conditioning. If you are claustrophobic this ride is not an option. You have to get weighed before you get on the plane, and your seat is assigned according to how much you weigh. Our other adventures included seeing the flying foxes (fruit bats) hanging from the trees, hiking up a mountain (again a very sweaty thing to do) to see a WWII gunnery post, eating lunch at the Growling Rocks, a dip in the ocean in the rain, shopping at an American store similar to Costco, and drooling our ways through the aisles as we passed by foods we used to enjoy in the states, visiting "Charlie the Tuna" at the StarKist Plant, attending a Zone Conference, visiting with missionaries, and driving from one end of the island to the other. It is a beautiful island with soaring mountains clothed in green, that shoot almost straight up. In the evenings we enjoyed learning a new game "Pounce", playing 5 Crowns, and going to the theater to see "Star Wars." I think we laughed more than is legal, and it was a much needed break from the stress of the office. Life is sometimes tough when you are a senior missionary!
|Thanks to my family, every missionary got a new pair of socks in their gift bag.|
|Live Nativity with Missionaries|
Christmas Eve day our Elders were treated to a delicious dinner of Teriyaki Chicken, rice, fruit salad and a huge array of cookies and desserts provided by the Senior Missionaries. That night they gave an amazing concert of songs about the Savior. At the end of the program a heavily tattooed Santa arrived in a fire engine, to sirens, singing and confetti being blasted out of large tubes. Such a perfect day!
Afalua is the Primary president in her ward. She told me about a family in her ward who has eight children and lives under a tarp. After clearing it with the Bishop, the seniors pulled together and bought food and toys for this family. Even though the family is so poor and has nothing, the kids were happy, and the mother was gracious. They were so excited when we arrived . I can't even imagine how you raise a family in
these circumstances. The ward had recently helped them get a tin roof and mats for the floor so they were feeling very blessed!
|A family of 10 live in this small Fale. It was a pleasure|
to give them a little Christmas.
Christmas was spent with the other seniors. We started with a late breakfast of waffles, bacon, fresh pineapple and eggs. After visiting we went home, (I watched "ELF") rested and came back at 5 pm for finger foods and games. This is being sent today in the hopes that you all had a wonderful Christmas and let us all pray for a peaceful New Year. My Scripture for the week is one of my favorites from the Old Testament, Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.