|New Intake at airport - August 23rd|
|Our boat approaching Namu'a Island|
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!|
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|
|Some of the Elders reading the Book of Mormon for the 1st time|
|Chefs Johansen and Cutler: "Now what do you do with chicken?"|
And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.