Saturday, June 25, 2016

Samoan Rugby

Spaghetti Dinner with Elders
Tolofa to dear Family and Friends,
     It has been another week of hellos and good-byes. We added a much needed office worker, Sister Darla Anderson.  This is her 2nd mission to Samoa.  She just happens to be the sister of Elder McBride who is also in the office.  It will be wonderful to have another set of hands to help stay on top of the endless tasks that need to be done.
     We also welcomed Kent and Sandy Davis from Escondido, Calif.  They are a volunteer Dentist couple who will be here 6 months.  These volunteers pay all of their own expenses plus bring supplies.  We have also had the Blacks and Bills on island this week, so it has been fun to meet new people.  Elder Black is an attorney from the Pacific Office in Sydney.  The Bill are from Sarotoga Springs, and are here to work at the Pesega school campus.  As an added bonus the Jordans have been here visiting from American Samoa and the Callahans from Savaii.  These two amazing couples are pretty isolated from the rest of the senior missionaries, but work hard at their assignments in Institute and at the Viola High School.  It is always a treat to visit with them!
       We always love having the missionaries over for dinner, and they always love spaghetti, which is good as it is something we can fill their hollow legs with, and not break the bank.  Elder Brown, on the left, had never had spaghetti before.  It is pretty funny to watch the Samoan elders, as they are not sure they want to try those strange, noodles.  With a little coaxing they will take a little bit on their plate, but usually end up having a couple of big servings, after they realize it isn't so bad.

Fond Farewell to the Satius

Monday night we all gathered at the Orator Hotel to honor Elder and Sister Satiu who will be leaving this week  for their
home in Auckland New Zealand.  They are finishing their 2nd two year Temple Mission.  I have so much love and respect for these two good people.  I wish them the best as they return home.  Sister Satiu helped me stuff the Thanksgiving Turkey (her first) last November, and that will always be a great memory.
         Monday Brent and I, along with Sister McBride and President Hannemann had the opportunity to tour the Victim Support Shelter for abused and neglected children.  The children put on a beautiful program of singing and dancing for us and we had the chance to hug each one of them.  To see children with no light in their eyes is heart wrenching.  The purpose of our visit was to try and set up a service opportunity for our young sister missionaries to go in once a week and give a gospel message and hopefully tutor some of the older children in English, math and reading.  Sister Gillette has gone in for the last several months every week and taught sewing classes for the older girls.  There is so much that needs to be done there, it is overwhelming when I think of it, but hopefully we can set up something that will make a difference.  The two sister missionaries who we arranged to go in starting Tuesday both have viral pink eye, so I am afraid it will have to wait a week.

The Seniors enjoyed attending the Samoan vs Tongan Rugby Game yesterday.  Rugby is a national passion, and yesterday there were flags flying and a lot of excitement surrounding the game.  I finally figured out what was going on, thanks to the Callahans who knew the rules.  That was something on my bucket list to do while I was here - so check that off.  I think next time I will save myself some money and watch the game at home with air conditioning.  However, we had a great time and I am glad we went.

It is time to go to Choir, and then I promised peach cobbler to the elders tonight so best close.  My scripture for the week is a reoccurring theme in the Book of Mormon.  Our country will be secure and prosper as long as we keep the commandments of God. (Think of the 10 Commandments - how do you think we are doing as a country?)  Alma 44:4

Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.

We booked our flight home this week.  We will be returning Dec. 18th, just in time to enjoy Christmas with our family.  Love and hugs to all of you.  God Bless you in your daily lives, and remember that keeping the commandments of God will bring peace to our lives and our country.
Love, Patty

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