Saturday, March 5, 2016

Savaii Get Away

David (?), Richard Berrett and Jim Winegar all served missions
in Samoa in the 1950's.  Here they are at the RLS Home.
Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
Last Monday started out with an invitation from Jim Winegar for a special tour through the Robert Louis Stevenson home for FHE.  I was exhausted and almost didn't go as I had already been through the tour twice, but it is so beautiful there, that once I was there I enjoyed the company of the other seniors and the beautiful surroundings.  They have invited us back any time to check out a RLS book from their library and read on the veranda.  That is an offer I am going to have to take.

Wednesday night some of the seniors enjoyed a trip to the local cinema to see "Three Wise Cousins."  This movie was filmed in Samoa, and sells out every night it plays.  It was fun to hear the Samoans laughing at themselves, and really was an accurate portrayal of real life here when you get out of the city.  It also had a good moral - You have to work hard to make a good life.  
Amoa Resort 0n Savaii - a lovely get away

One of 5 church run high schools.   It is on the island of Savaii
Thursday and Friday the office was closed for a national holiday - public elections.  Almost everything closed down to allow the people the chance to participate in their local elections.  The Church Pacific IT team took advantage of the holiday to put a new phone system in, so when we could not be in the office we decided to go to Savaii.  The missionaries in Savaii needed supplies and their monthly allowance, and Brent and I needed time away.  The Goodmans told us about the Amoa Resort, so we booked a bungalow and were off mid-day Thursday.   After delivering the supplies we headed to the resort to cool off in the pool.  Our car still does not have air conditioning, and we were both exhausted from the heat.  For over an hour we had the entire pool to ourselves.  We even had lunch served at the swim up bar.  It was heavenly! That evening our dear friends, the Callahans, joined us for dinner.  They are working at the Church school at Vaiola.

Kenny Callahan and Brent throwing coconuts into
the blowholes on Savaii's coast
Vaiola is inland on the island of Savaii.  That hill in the picture is actually a volcano, with stairs that go up to the top.  (We passed) It is a high school with over 100 foreign boarders from the Pacific Islands.  There are also many more local students bused in.  The students at this school get a good education, learn English, and consistently test well in national exams and get into foreign universities.  It is a great blessing for these kids who have absolutely nothing going for them at their home villages in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and other small island nations.  The near-by local village donated the land to the church on the condition they would maintain an elementary school for their children.  This is also a great blessing for the children of this village.  Sister Callahan was an assistant school district superintendent in Utah, and her and her husband Kenny teach college education classes for the teachers so they can become certified.

The perfect place for an afternoon picnic
Friday we spent touring part of Savaii with the Callahans, who made great guides.  Driving along the South coast there are massive lava flows.   Lava tubes have formed underground and make a spectacular show as the water shoots through them, straight up into the air.  Kenny and Brent gathered coconuts and then tried to throw them in at the right time to send them flying skyward.  Thankfully they did not come down on their heads! What is it they say?  You can take the man out of the boy, but never the boy out of the man.  Gwen and I stayed back quite a distance, but all of us were pretty much soaked with salt spray before we left.

Our next stop was a lovely waterfall and pool where we stopped for a picnic lunch.  The water looked inviting but getting into and out of the pool would have been a challenge.  The other small problem is that we were not in our swim suits.
Our Little Blue Hyundai is loaded on the ferry for
the trip back home from Savaii

I am not fond of the ferry ride to or from Savaii.  However, this time we took the small ferry and had a breeze which helped with the heat.  Returning home I was ready to shower and go to bed.  Just about that time the Goodmans show up with an invitation to go with them and their friends from NZ, Tracy and Lee, to a great new bistro they just discovered.  Brent was game, so with wet hair and no make-up I was off again.  Boy, this being on a mission is exhausting!!!

Today is Sunday here.  When I came to the office to write this blog, I first checked the email and saw that there will be a price to be paid tomorrow for our little get-away.  It will take me a couple of days of long hours to catch up.
My Scripture this week is again from our Sunday School lesson today on "Christ invites all men to be saved."  The one thing I love about the gospel is that the God I worship is a fair God, to all people of all times.  He loves everyone.  This mortal life is definitely not fair - so much suffering by so many innocents.  However, God has promised us that in the end everything will be just, and those who have suffered will be blessed if they choose to follow Jesus Christ and keep His commandments.

2 Nephi 26: 24-28:  He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

 25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
 26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
 27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
 28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
It is a great blessing to be serving a mission here in Samoa.  Although we miss our family, we know that they are well.  We were really excited this week to learn that our daughter, Annie and husband Chad, are expecting a baby girl in July.  The amazing technology we have will allow us to see this new little girl shortly after she is born.  I will miss the cuddles, but can make those up on our return. I hope all of you in the States are surviving our national elections.  I just catch enough bits and pieces to make me grateful that I am missing it.  I am sending fond thoughts and lots of love.
Tofa, Patty


  1. I love your posts, and you.

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful get away. I am definitely going to have to return to Samoa at some point with you guys. It looks absolutely beautiful. Good luck this week as you play catch up. Love you!