Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Intake at airport - August 23rd

Our boat approaching Namu'a Island
 Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
         Well, we survived another transfer week - "Hell Week" as Elder Ellsworth refers to them.
Besides the 26 missionaries that arrived from Provo and NZ MTCs, we also had a local Elder show up that we were not expecting.  These young missionaries arrive, exhausted, excited and clueless.  They have to be housed, fed, trained and oriented to mission life.  The next day 26 seasoned missionaries arrive who are going to be their trainers and companions.  Count them - that makes 52 plus the office staff to feed, train and then get sent off to three different islands, via vans, ferries and planes. One of Brent's jobs is to buy transportation tickets for the planes and ferries, which would be much easier if things were planned in advance, but somehow he gets the list of who needs to go where at the last minute, which equals stress on steroids.  This transfer it was decided to send the missionaries going to Tutuila on the ferry.  That is like 8 hrs on an amusement park ride, that leaves at 12 midnight and arrives at 8 in the morning.  McBrides made sure they all had motion sickness tablets to help them with this ordeal. Because the ferry only leaves on Thursday, we had bodies to feed and house for an extra two days.  Thursday and Friday the missionaries finishing up arrived at the mission home.  Nothing went as planned, but somehow we got through it and they all got off safely. Throughout the entire week, there were people in and out of the office, and they all needed something - right now!
Namu'a Island Beach Resort - Just what the doctor ordered!
        Wednesday morning I was not only dealing with transfers, I had to be at the shelter to teach school at 10:00 am.  I made an early morning run to the store for the 160 hot dog buns, when I accidentally locked the school lessons, my purse and keys in the car. I was pretty impressed that I did not roll into a ball at that point and start crying, but somehow I held it together for 40 min. until Brent came and rescued me and the buns. We finally got in touch with Brother Su'a, who took me back to the store with the extra set of keys, to get the car. By some miracle I arrived at the shelter on time for school.  I love being with the girls and helping them with reading and English, but the preparation time is a real killer.  Gradually I am finding resources that work well for the multiple abilities and ages of the students, and I am currently looking for a local sister who can take this over.  Last week Sister Best went with me, and she was a great help.  It is my hope that she will be able to continue to go, as her mission is self-reliance, and education falls under that calling.
     Friday morning we got a call that Brent's sister's son had died unexpectedly.  It was quite a shock, and we are so sad for Linda, Bob and their family.  It is times like this when we most feel the need to be home.
     By Friday afternoon Brent and I were both ready  for a major break.  We left the office at about 1:30 pm and headed over cross-island road and then to the far eastern edge of Upolu.  There we loaded a small aluminum boat with our week-end supplies and headed off on a 15 minute boat ride to an island paradise where we met 5 other couples who had left Fri. morning.  This island has no electricity, and the accommodations are Samoan fales, with a foam pad on the floor and a mosquito net for sleeping.  Meals were provided but there were no other amenities.  However, how can you go wrong with great friends, a campfire, s'mores, a ukulele, goofy songs, Canadian Fruit Salad and other games, good food, great snorkeling, turtle sightings, hiking, naps, good reads, pentapuses (actually we thought we had found an octopus, but it only had 5 legs so we realized it was a star fish), crabs of all sizes, and the cherry on the top of this weekend was a spectacular clear night sky with zillions of stars and the Milky Way.  We returned home rested, relaxed and ready for another week.
Enjoying lunch at Namu'a Beach Resort
       Returning to the office Sunday (Today) we found eight pairs of missionaries still here reading the Book of Mormon.  President Hannemann has decided that no missionary goes into the field unless they have read the B of M, felt the spirit of the book, and are able to discuss the main doctrines.  I have to tell you that there is a strong spirit in that room as these missionaries are going on day 3 studying and reading.  They have also been fasting today, so I am impressed with their dedication to complete this assignment.  They will be powerful missionaries who can testify of the truth of this book!
Some of the Elders reading the Book of Mormon for the 1st time
      Elders Johansen and Cutler have the assignment to fix them dinner when they are ready to break their fast tonight.  There was chicken defrosted, but they didn't have a clue what to what to do with it.  Sister Ellsworth to the rescue - it is now marinating and will be ready to bake in about 1 hr.
Chefs Johansen and Cutler: "Now what do you do with chicken?"
       Reading the scriptures everyday has been a part of my life for the past 40 years.  You would think that I would have learned most of what is there to learn, but every day I get a new insight.  I am loving my study of the Doctrine and Covenants and have taken my scripture from my reading again this week.  D&C 88:77-81
 77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
 78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
 79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—
 80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
 81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warnhis neighbor.
These young missionaries who are sent all over the world, have a message you should listen to.  I hope you will invite them into your homes and at least give them a chance to tell you what we know to be true.  God Bless you and keep you throughout the coming week.
Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma!  Love, Patty

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Old Nikes - New Nikes
 Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
     It's been a pretty stressful week.  The Hannemanns have been in the office taking care of missionaries who have a hard time following mission rules.  By far, the majority of our missionaries are amazing, but unfortunately the few bad ones can cause a lot of drama and damage to the missionary work.  President Hannemann brings them into the mission home for "Spiritual Bootcamp" which is about much fun as it sounds.  After every effort to help, there are still some who get sent home, which is always sad.
Gorgeous Full Moon
     I bought new walking shoes right before leaving Las Vegas.  Brent has epoxy glued them back together for me 3 times, but when my toe started poking out the top he finally insisted I get new shoes.  There were not a lot of color choices in my size (1 to be exact) so now I am the proud owner of new ugly walking shoes for a mere $260 WST ($103 USA).
     Thursday Robert and Laura Foley arrived from Vernal, Utah.  They know my cousin, Clay  (Small world).  I spent the better part of Thursday and Friday getting them oriented, getting drivers licenses, shopping, showing them around and Friday we took them to dinner at the Swashbucklers.  Our table was right next to the ocean, and just as we were leaving I saw a small orange sliver on the horizon.  We waited for a few minutes and were treated to a spectacular moon rising - the bright, orange, full moon put on quite a show.  As we pulled into our driveway the moon was just by the temple.  I know it is the same moon that everyone else sees, but somehow, here in Samoa, it is just more beautiful.  The next morning on my walk, I was treated again to the same moon setting in the west.
The tie-making wizard
     Last week I half kidded that Brent was taking orders for ties.  I think Island Fever has hit him bad, because all he talks about now is different kinds of polyester, patterns, pins....he has more orders here than he has time to fill. Last week he spent as much time with Afalua's sewing machine as he did with his office computer.  Hey kids - guess what you are all getting for Christmas!
     Yesterday, after our weekly shopping and house cleaning, we took the Foleys up to Saniatu to check out the house where they will be living. We then joined several other Senior couples at the Piula Cave Pools.  These pools are right next to the ocean, so you have your choice of warm salt water or cool fresh water.  We chose the fresh water, as it was hot outside.  The cave goes quite a ways back and then there is a tunnel to a smaller pool.  Brent
was the only senior who dared swim through the underwater tunnel.  I was relieved when he
Senior Missionaries enjoying the Piula Cave Pools
re-emerged.  We were told that there are large eels that live in the pools, and if you take food into the water you can feed them. That was just a bit more of an adventure than what I wanted. There were enough people in the pool, that the eels stayed out of sight.   We have such a good time with the other senior missionaries on these outings.  Next week we have a big adventure planned - so stay tuned.
      My scripture for the week comes from my reading in  D&C 82:10 - " I the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."
I know that probably some people look at keeping the commandments of God as restrictive, but I see them as a way to receive blessings and to avoid the problems people get into when they don't follow the rules.  I am eternally grateful for the guidelines the Lord gives us to protect us and to help us find joy in living while we are on earth, and what we need to do to get back to live with him in heaven.  If you want to know more about what the Lord has revealed to us about finding true happiness, go to, or look on youtube for "Man's Search for Happiness."   I send my love from this beautiful country of Samoa.  Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma Lave, Patty

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Happy Father's Day - Samoan Style

Colbie Kingsley on her way home.
 Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
       The highlight of our week was knowing that Colbie Kingsley is now safe at home with her family.  Although we were not there to hold and love her, we did the next best thing and Skyped with the family the day after they got home.  My sister Shauna came to Las Vegas last week to take new born pictures.  She was explaining to 2 yr. old Cade that she was Nana's sister. "Do you know where Nana is?" she asked. Cade ran over and pointed to the computer, "Nana is in there!"
       It's Father's Day here in Samoa.  It is not only a one day celebration but started Friday afternoon and will continue through Monday, a National Holiday honoring fathers.  I count as one of my great blessings having a father, Paul R. Milligan, who took the time to teach me important life lessons that continue to bless my life.  I also was blessed with an amazing father for my children, Elder Ellsworth, the love of my life, who taught our kids to work hard, and who has always had an unwavering testimony of the gospel.  To our three sons, and one son-in-law, Happy Father's Day to you!  I love you for the great care you take of our grandchildren, for your hard work to support them, and for teaching them the gospel and correct principles that will bless and protect them.  You are all truly amazing fathers!
Brent, Elders Powelson, Roberts, and Patty
 The Seniors celebrated Father's Day with a steak dinner at Kokobananas.  The highlight of Brent's celebration was learning how to make men's ties with Sister Gillette.  I am pretty sure he will be a trend setter with those bright colors when we get home.  Please feel free to put in your order.  I have also promised him that I would make him a nice dinner tonight, but tomorrow life goes back to normal.
       As mentioned before, one of my favorite things about working in the office is getting to know the missionaries.  Friday we said Tofa to Elders Powelson and Roberts.  They mentioned that learning to love people unconditionally is one of the lessons they learned serving a mission.  If they just take that home, their time was well spent. I love them and wish them the best.
Brent's new occupation - Tie Maker

      President and Sister Hannemann were off island all week, but we did enjoy the company of the office elder, Elder Cutler, and the APs, Elders Johansen and Tuimanga.  All three of these young men have heavy responsibilities   helping to care for the other missionaries, and assisting President Hannemann.  Even though I give them a hard time, I truly admire and love them.  I work closely with Elder Cutler and have been amazed at his patience and intellect.  There is a giant spirit and a lot of brains in that short body.                                       I have really enjoyed my scripture studying this week from the Doctrine and Covenants.   I am understanding things that I never did before.  My scripture for the week comes from a really amazing section of this book, D&C Section 76: 5-10.

For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.
 10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
Elders Tuimanga, Powelson, Cutler, Roberts, Johansen.
All amazing young men!!!!!
Having easy access to the word of God is a blessing that I do not take lightly.  I hope that if missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knock on your door, you will listen to their message.  I know what they teach is true.  Happy Father's Day to all of you amazing fathers.  I don't think 3 days of celebration is adequate to say thank you for all you do.  God Bless you and keep you this coming week.
Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma Lava, Patty

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Feeling Blessed!

Grand Baby #16: Name is Pending
Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
        Most of the past week has been filled with anxious feelings for our daughter, Annie, and the birth of our 16th Grand child.  Baby Kingsley was born on  August 4th at 11:30 pm.  We had friends over for dinner and games when the call finally came.  We have been ecstatic as we have received pictures of this beautiful little girl.  We are feeling so blessed that Mom and Baby are both doing great.
           I am still trying to figure out the best way to approach this opportunity at the "House of Hope" where we have arranged to go on Wednesday mornings for two hours and teach English and Reading.  Sister Tuivaiti and a sister missionary are covering the younger children, while myself and another sister missionary are taking the older girls. Sister McBride and Sister Anderson are going to go for one hour the same afternoon to present a spiritual activity.  The main challenges are the differing ages and levels the girls are at, and the lack of resources.  Sister Callahan gave me some materials from ITEP that I am going to review this afternoon.  My main goal is to have a program in place that can be continued by others when I leave.  I wish students in the USA could see how hungry these girls are for any kind of learning.  Don't ever take education for granted!
Approaching the Island of Manono
Drying Pandana Leaves on Island of Apolima
         The Callahans came over from Savaii for a few days this week - always a treat! They are always good for a game of "5 Crowns" or our new favorite, "The Great Dalmuti."  However, Kenny had not been feeling well so after consulting with Dr. Olsen in New Zealand, they went to the hospital for an EKG.  The lady at the desk asked "Is that something to do with your heart?"  After determining that was the correct test he needed, he was taken into a small room. A large bag of rice and box of noodles were removed from the bed, the sheet turned over, and he was told to lay down.  The bottom line to this story is that he finally got his "ECG", saw a doctor, was charged 10 WST (about $4) and sent on his way with a clean bill of health.
Patty and Rubber Tree on Apolima - Now I understand the
"High Hopes" of the ant 
        Saturday we had a great adventure to the islands of Apolima and Manono.  Elder McBride did a great job arranging boats, a guide and permission to tour Apolima, which is generally closed to tourists.  Manono is a small island west of Upolu, and can be reached in a 20 minute boat ride.  There are no cars, roads, horses or dogs on the island, and they only got electricity in 1995.  It is home to about 1,000 people.  Our guide was the mayor and highest Matai on the island.  Elder McBride remembers serving as a young missionary there in the 1960's, and healing a young boy who was near death.  We do not have missionaries on this island today, as the Congregationalists hold the power and refuse to
 let us hold meetings.              
Internet picture of only entrance into Apolima (Where is
Elder Schaefermeyer when I need him???)
         We visited Apolima first, which was about another 15 minutes via boat from Manono. Visiting Apolima was a real treat as very few people get to visit this small island, home to about 100 people.  Most of the adults go to Upolu to work during the week, and the children all go to school in Upolu, returning home on Fri. afternoons. This island is literally an old volcanic cauldron, with very steep sides except for a small inlet where boats can dock on a sandy beach.  In the 1800's there was a civil war in Samoa.  Women, children and elderly were brought here for protection as it was easily defended.
     When we arrived on the island, our guide had to go and negotiate a fee with the chief Matai for us to tour the island - 10 Tala/person.  After the tour, which included the solar power cells, we were invited to the home of the Matai and treated to Nius (Coconuts to drink) and bananas. There were little naked children running around, curious older children peeking from around corners to get a glimpse of the strange Palangis, and an older, very ill person laying on a bed in the next room.  A woman was there constantly fanning, and caring for her. (Pink bedspread in background)   The home was beautiful and noticeably cooler.  They were very gracious and it was a pleasure to visit with them, even though we didn't under-
stand what was being said.
Apolima Matai (R) and Manono Matai (L)

Today in Church there were several visitors from all over the world.  They had come to Samoa for family reunions, vacation or funerals. We also had people who were investigating the church.   There were people there from SLC, London, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands....just to name a few.  As I was sitting there thinking, I was amazed at how the church has grown since I was a girl growing up in SLC.  Today, the majority of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints live outside the United States.  It is indeed a global church, with a membership of over 16 million.  When you think that it all started with a 14 yr. boy in upstate New York less than 200 years ago, it gives reason to pause and ask - how? The answer is simple - it is the true gospel of Jesus Christ that has been restored, and the Holy Ghost manifests the truth of the gospel message to everyone who asks sincerely through prayer.  My Scripture this week is from Moroni 7:35-37:

"35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.
Today I am feeling especially grateful for the blessings of the Gospel, of Family and Friends.  Have a Blessed Week!
Oute alofa mo outou uma lava, Patty