Saturday, February 27, 2016

Where There's Smoke there's SupperMy

My Tacos did not turn our so good.  That's
what happens when I am trying to do too
many things at once.
 Talofa Family and Friends,
Well, I am glad to report that Brent and I both survived a very hectic, crazy transfer week.  President and Sister Hannemann were stuck in Manoa (thanks to Cyclone Winston) so the APs and us managed the transfer of 26 missionaries.  For those of you who are not familiar with what this entails, it basically meant that we were trying to lodge, feed and train 26 new misssionaries, plus 19 missionary trainers who came into the office all at the same time. One night we had 50 people here.  We put out sleeping mats everywhere, including our office.  The next morning when I walked in I was almost bowled over with the smell.  I forgot what teenage boys shoes smell like - a smell I had happily forgotten.  A generous spray of Lysol and a lot of airing out, and it is almost gone.

The week started off last Sunday night with a potluck Mexican dinner for the Seniors that the President was supposed to host, but which got switched to us when he was not here.  Thirty six taco shells were pretty much incinerated while I was trying to get everything organized to serve.  No big deal, we took the other fixings and made taco salad, which turned out to be a big hit.  Mexican food is one thing I have really missed, and so kudos go to the seniors who found the fixings to make enchiladas, Mexican layer dip with chips and Mexican Wedding cookies for dessert.
Missionaries returning home.  Boy, I sure do LOVE
these amazing missionaries

 Monday and Tuesday the new missionaries showed up from the Provo MTC (Mission Training Center) and the New Zealand MTC.  Both of these groups arrived at the International airport which is about 40 minutes away.  Two large vans were required to transport them and their luggage back to the mission home.  Tuesday  there was training and a welcome dinner for the new missionaries.  Sister Afalua always works so hard to prepare traditional Samoan dishes.  These dinners are always a real treat.  Luckily President Hannemann was able to get home Wed. night.

Thursday morning the missionaries returning home arrived.  Elder Europa (purple tie) was the only member of his family.  While he was on his mission his family joined the church in Savaii, and he was able to go home and baptize them.  Sister Oteomoa, green shirt, was a recent convert when she decided to go on a mission.  Elder Samaseia (Far left) held a special place in my heart as he spent some time in the MRC with Dengue, and later food poisoning or bad water.  No matter how bad he felt he always kept a good attitude.  Again Sister Afalua made an amazing farewell dinner, and then we were treated to a very spiritual testimony of each of the returning missionaries.
Elder Frazer (AP) with Elder Ainoa
      It is always a tear jerker when the local families drop their missionaries off. Most of these missionaries are only 18 years old (19 for the Sisters) when they arrive.  For many it is the first time they have left home.  They are leaving behind families, friends, school, and a lot of freedom.  Once on a mission they are not allowed to watch tv, get on the internet, use personal cell phones, or call home.  They commit to sleeping on floor mats, waking up early, many hours of daily study, many more hours of proselyting and teaching, hours every week of service, hours of rejection, learning to live with companions, and all of this living in less than ideal circumstances. (I think most parents would have a heart attack if they saw some of the places these young people live).

Sister Oteamoa with the return missionary who
baptized her.  He was here to congratulate her on
a job well done.
 Then there are even more tears when families pick their missionary up two years later.  All of these young men and women have endured challenges and experiences that have turned them into spiritual giants.  They have all gained a strong testimony of the gospel and of their Savior Jesus Christ. Their families are so proud of them. I also have so much love and admiration for each one of them.  They will be a great blessing to their families and communities as they return home.

My scripture for the week comes from 2 Nephi 15:26, where Nephi is quoting from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah: And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth; and behold, they shall come with speed swiftly; none shall be weary nor stumble among them.

This scripture refers to the people in the last days (our day) who listen to the message of these young missionaries, and recognize that their saving message is from God.  It is such a privilege to serve with these young warriors of God.  I am blessed!  Have a great week.  Love, Patty

1 comment:

  1. You are the perfect person to be hosting/cooking for 50 people Patty. Glad you got through it smile intact! :)