Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gillette's Farewell Party (Rusty is next to me in the
red shirt, and Cindly is kneeling in front of him)
Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
Our Cute Primary Class
     Yesterday the Senior Missionaries met at Matareva Beach for Rusty and Cindy Gillette's Farewell Party.  It was a perfect beach day, with overcast skies, great food and a well deserved recognition and celebration of all the service the Gillette's have given over the past 18 months. They are from Gooding, Idaho where they run a large farm growing beans and beets.  Over the last 18 months they have provided service to Pesega high school where they worked in the Vo-Tech program.  It has been a challenging calling, but their love for the students has left an impact on many, many young people who will always remember them
fondly.  I would often see Rusty in the welding shop at 6:00 am, helping young men who wanted to learn how to weld.  Cindy went regularly to the Victim Support Center and taught the girls there how to sew.  If you needed something done that involved a tool, Rusty and Cindy were there.  Yesterday someone said they were afraid that Samoa might literally fall apart when they leave; I think that is a valid concern.  They are dear friends and we will miss them terribly!
Satiu's Pineapple Plantation in our front yard
      Every week in Primary the kids want to know if this is our last week.  They are worried that we they won't see us again.  We have grown to love these kids, and it is going to be hard to say goodbye to them also.  Today this is the conversation with Owen (age 8):
Owen: Is this your last Sunday?
Sis E.: No, Owen.  We are here until December.  I will let you know when it is our last Sunday.
Owen: Are you ever coming back?
Sis E: I'm not sure.
Owen: Will we ever see you again?
Sis E: If you come to Las Vegas on your mission, then we can see you.
Owen: Won't you be dead by then????
      Hopefully in ten years I will still be chugging along.  I am planning on living to be 100, and glad to say at this point I am feeling great.  Brent and I are pretty much over our illnesses, with the exception of Brent's lingering cough.
Papayas in our front yard
      While driving cross island yesterday I was again amazed at the amount of food growing all over this island.  Just in our front yard alone we have pineapples, papaya, coconut and avocados.  The Satius, a couple serving in the temple, would stick the top of their cut pineapples in a cleared area on our front grass.  They have returned home to New Zealand, but their efforts will not be wasted when we share the pineapples in a couple of weeks.  In the back of our house we have lemon grass that makes a delicious herbal tea.  You would really have to try hard to starve to death on this island.
     Last week was relatively quiet with the Hannemanns attending a conference in Australia.  I made some headway with my instruction manual for the new couple, and got caught up with other tasks that had been side lined.  This upcoming week will not be so quiet with Missionary Leadership Conference (MLC) and getting several missionaries ready to depart.  A couple of weeks ago we were released from being Senior Zone Leaders.  After serving for over a year, it has been strange not to have to worry about FHEs, Senior Activities, and emailing updates, now all we have to do is show up. (And that is even optional) It will be really nice not to be in charge of Thanksgiving right before we go home, and not to worry about what to do for 200 + missionaries for Christmas.  We gladly have passed the torch to the McBrides who will do a fabulous job.
     My scripture this week comes from the New Testament in Mark 2:27-28:
"27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."
The Sabbath is a great blessing! It is indeed a day of rest when I can focus on my spiritual well being.  I love going to church and then having time to read, take a nap, and refresh myself for the upcoming week.  It is a great gift from our Savior and Heavenly Father.   With our own departure date nearing rapidly, my thoughts turn more often to home and the family and friends who are there.  It will be wonderful to see everyone again.  God bless you and keep you throughout the coming week.  Alofa Tele, Patty

1 comment:

  1. You've done such good work. Very excited to see you at home, continuing your good work but among different people. Much love, Marleen