Saturday, October 8, 2016

Rat Goes Home

White Sunday at the Wharf

Talofa Family and Friends,
     It is White Sunday here, so that means lots of smoke as families prepare their food in the umus, children get to eat first, and every one gets new white Sunday clothes.  This is a big holiday here celebrating children.  It started yesterday and continues through Monday.  Sister Barnes got this picture early this morning down by the wharf as people were traveling to the large cathedral downtown.  
MTC Missionaries at the Airport
     Tuesday we picked up missionaries from Provo and New Zealand MTC.  They were excited to finally be here in Samoa.  Transfer week is always exhausting, but this week went pretty smoothly.  We have about 5 missionaries with their trainers still at the mission home, while they read the Book of Mormon.
     Elder Wood from Spanish Fork, Utah is in my niece's ward.  He helped me bid a fond farewell to Rat, outfitted in his new lava lava designed and created by Brent, before he was boxed up to send to Samantha in Spanish Fork.  Rat was discovered in my suitcase at the Provo MTC 15 months ago.  Since then he has been hanging out in our pink tile bathroom.  However, he has been complaining that it is too hot and muggy here, and he wants to go home.  Rat has been traveling between Sam and I for 16 yrs. now.  He's happy to be going home.
Elder Wood and Patty bid a fond farewell to Rat
         This week I was infuriated when I discovered that my new ugly Nike walking shoes had been stolen off my front porch right in the middle of the day.  We live in a walled compound with security at every entrance.  I never feel unsafe, but now know not to leave anything out.  Luckily my daughter sent me my old walking shoes from home a couple of months ago, so I did not miss a morning walk.  I have since learned that President Hannemann's running shoes and Sister Barnes flip flops also disappeared off of their front porch.  I think I will post a reward for the shoe thief.
Senior Missionaries at Matareva
   Saturday the Seniors enjoyed an outing at Matareva Beach.  Its white sands, warm aqua blue water and coral reefs full of every kind of fish you can imagine is hard to beat.  Throw in beach fales and a bonus male streaker and you have a great day.  There are not a lot of things that Brent and I share a love for.  We don't like the same kind of movies, hobbies, restaurants, but one thing we enjoy doing together is snorkeling.  I probably like it more than Brent as he pulls me along, but it has been so enjoyable exploring these amazing reefs together.  I surely am going to miss that!
Afulua and her Mom
     We made it make in time from the beach to shower, dress and get to the church for the baptism of two sweet young women.  Both testified of how their lives have been blessed by the restored gospel.  Elders Stevenson and Ete live across the street so I see them often.  I love their testimonies and their willingness to work hard.
        I started reading the New Testament this week.  These are stories that I've heard my whole life.  I am so grateful that we took the opportunity to visit the Holy Land a couple of years ago.  Now when I read the Bible I have images of places and a feeling of the space and context of these scriptures.  My scripture for the week comes from Matthew 5, and is from the the Sermon on the Mount.  I can easily visualize the place where this took place.  If you haven't already been, I would put a trip to the Holy Land on the top of my "Bucket List."
Matthew 5:14-16:

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Matareva Beach - Gorgeous!
 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
  The light of the restored gospel is being taken around the globe by young LDS missionaries.  If you have not listened to their message or read the Book of Mormon I would urge you to do so, as I know it is the true word of God.

Tomorrow our new little Colbie will be blessed at church.  How we would love to be there!
Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma Lava, Patty

Elder Stephenson (R) and Elder Ete (L)


  1. I notice that Elder Stevenson got two different spellings of his name. Glad Elder Wood arrived safely. I imagine that you told him the whole history of t be rat. I will be looking forward to seeing him again!

  2. Ahh...where will Rat appear next? In your Christmas tree, perhaps?

  3. Sure wait till we leave then visit the good beaches. Why was Brent streaking? Sorry I wasn't there to control him.