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


  1. Patty, you did it again--made laugh and cry in the same post. Have a blessed week.
    I love you, sister.

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