Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wendy Nielsen, Brent & Gifford Nielsen talking politics
Talofa Family and Friends,
The Nielsens and Patty at Mermaid Beach
     We have had a couple of remarkable weeks as we prepared for, served and recuperated from the Christoffersons and Nielsens visit.  For those of you who are not familiar with the organization of the LDS Church, it is the same as the Church Christ organized when he was on earth. Just like Christ had twelve apostles to help him, we have twelve apostles who serve today, who we believe were called by God.  There is also a prophet on earth today, Thomas S. Monson, who leads the church.  Elder Christofferson is one of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Gifford Nielsen is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.   It was a great honor to be able to meet them and personally serve them for five days.  If any of you are sports fans, you might recognize Elder Nielsen as an All-American Football player from BYU and he also played for the Houston Oilers. Nicer people you will never meet!  When the Nielsens arrived a day earlier than we were told, and President and Sister Hannemann were off island, it fell to us to entertain them.  When they said they would like to go to a beach, we knew just the place.  Several senior couples joined us for swimming, snorkeling and a picnic at "Mermaid Beach."  It couldn't have been a more perfect day.

The purpose of their visit was Priesthood leadership training, and their schedule was pretty tight.  It was up to me to make sure that their rooms were ready, and meals were planned and served on time,  Thank you to Sister McBride, who is a talented decorator and made sure the table setting was gorgeous and the presentation first class.  Some of the Senior couples had the opportunity to come and serve meals also, and ward members supplied beautiful flower arrangements, so it was definitely a team effort.  Sunday night was Elder Christofferson's Birthday, so we had to have cake and balloons.  He was a good sport, as it was his 2nd or 3rd cake he had received.
Elder Christofferson's Birthday

When I think of all the amazing experiences we have had on our mission, I can't understand why every Senior Couple in the church is not signing up.  We are getting close to being half way done, and a part of me never wants it to end.  Definitely the best part of serving a mission as a Senior Couple is the opportunity to meet amazing people.  We said good-by to Bob and Jan Lorenz the same day we said hello to the Nielsens.  Maurice and Alecia McBride have been amazing as they work so hard to improve housing for our young missionaries.  They have also taken the major part of health care off my shoulders, which I appreciate.  The Gillettes are always willing to go and fix anything that needs to be fixed anywhere on the island. We were glad to welcome back the Schaefermeyers this week, who have been serving in Tutuila.  Their job is to set up online services for wards, and train leaders how to use the new technology.  We enjoyed going to a youth activity Friday night with them, where they taught swing dancing.  I even got Brent up and dancing!  There are the Callahans who help certify teachers, the Whittles who teach English and Self-Reliance, the Aveis and Kennerly's who serve as auditors, and many others who work in the temple and other support roles.  It is amazing that every person has received a call that best uses their talents. (My talent is telling other people what to do:)
Bob Lorenz, Sister Hunt & Jan Lorenz - Forever Friends

Afalua has worked in the mission office for years under 7 mission presidents.  She has won our hearts as she serves long hours to make sure everyone is taken care of.  During the days when the General Authorities were here, she was in the kitchen at 4 am and often did not go home until after 9 pm.  I take her food shopping for the mission several times a week and it is always an adventure.  I will try to remember to take the camera next time and document it.

My Scripture for the week is Amos 3:7 - "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Sis. Ellsworth, Elder Christofferon, Afalua Tuivaiti
The Articles of Faith are 13 statements of basic beliefs of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Number 6 states: "We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth."

The message to the missionaries at our conference from an Apostle of God was to study the Book of Mormon to strengthen our testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am happy to be able to serve  as a missionary, and with all my heart I urge you to read the Book of Mormon if you have not yet done so.  It is a message of hope and will put your life
Elder and Sister Christofferson & Patty & Brent

in a new perspective.  You will learn that there is a purpose to your life, that you just didn't pop into existence from nowhere, but that you are a child of God.  That there is life after this life and a plan for all of us to be together with our families and friends.  And all of this is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and a Heavenly Father who loves us.  For more information about this plan, go to mormon.org.

Sending my Love and Warm Thoughts,
Patty

2 comments:

  1. As always your blog is one of the highlights of my weekend. One of my grandsons celebrated his 9th birthday today so you do have some competition. I'm glad that your mission is going so well. So many call serving a sacrifice, but my experience has been that I have been so richly blessed that It doesn't seem a fair trade for just a little bit of service. GOD bless you and keep you safe.

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