Saturday, October 22, 2016

 Texas Theme for Elder & Sister Nielsen
Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
We barely survived a very busy week,  that included a 3 day visit to the mission by Elder and Sister Gifford Nielsen, a bad stomach flu, cold, and a farewell to one of our favorite missionaries.  (If you haven't figured this out yet, they are all our favorites!)
      Monday evening the mission hosted a western theme dinner for the Seniors in honor of the Nielsens who lived in Houston, Texas for a good part of their married lives.  Elder Gifford was the quarterback for the Houston Oilers for several years.  This is their second visit to the mission, and nicer people you could never find.  Sister McBride (AKA Martha Stewart in residence) put together the tables complete with tin plates, cowboy hats and sack candles.  There was a wanted poster hung up in the courtyard for every senior couple, with a cute message that matched their position or home town.  The Ellsworths were last seen playing Black Jack in Las Vegas.
Cindy and Rusty Gillette's Poster
They have worked with Vo-Tech Ed
and will be returning home soon.
 Sister Ellsworth cooked sloppy joes and all of the Seniors donated a salad or dessert.  The evening was topped off by an inspirational presentation by Elder Nielsen.
       Tuesday morning I helped Afalua put together lunches for 135 missionaries, and then went for an hour in the afternoon to hear part of the conference.
     Wednesday is our day to go to the Samoan Victims Center to help with school.  I work with the older girls, ages 14-18, with English and Reading.  Afalua takes charge of the younger children.  I have 4-5 sisters who regularly go to help, along with three sister missionaries.  However, I do all the planning and prep work.  I would love to find someone local who would be willing to take over this responsibility, as it took us so long to get our foot in the door.  We are leaving in 6 weeks, and I would hate to see this door shut.
     Wednesday evening Brent and I used our precious internet time to research the local candidates for Nevada and Las Vegas.  We filled in our ballots and sent them off.  The people in this part of the world think that Americans are crazy for having two morally corrupt people running for the highest office in our country.  I'm afraid that I agree. I had to go for "None of the above."
       Thursday evening the Hannemanns treated the office staff to dinner at a Sinalei, a very nice resort.  We were there to watch a beautiful sunset and enjoy an evening together.  Our poor waitress got almost every order wrong, so I think next time we will skip ordering and just say "Surprise Us."
Sister Barnes (Nurse), Afalua (Chief), Sister Anderson
(Bikes and Autos) at Sinalei Resort
Patty and Brent at Sinalei - Unfortunately you can't
see the beautiful sun setting behind us.
        For most of the week Brent was miserable with a bad cold.  His coughing kept him up most nights.  Friday morning I woke up with a headache, and an unsettled stomach.  I went for my usual walk, telling myself that if I just got up and got busy I would feel better.  Wrong!  By 9:00 am every joint in my body ached, I had a fever and my stomach was rolling.  I called Brent and told him I was not coming in.  I then literally slept for the next 24 hrs. except for a few times when  I woke up to wretch myself inside out.  I was sorry that I did not get to see Elder Keller off, but he promised at some time he would make it to Las Vegas to see us. Except for a quick trip to the grocery to get some food yesterday, I pretty much slept that day away also.  Here it is Sunday evening, and neither of us are still feeling great.  The Hannemanns left this morning for a 5 day conference in Australia, so hopefully it will be a quiet week.
      Today in Sacrament Meeting was our Primary Program.  I was so proud of the kids in our class as they did so well with their parts and their song.  Actually the whole program went well.  One of my favorite things about serving in Primary are the beautiful songs the children learn that teach gospel principles.  Instead of a scripture this week I am going to share the words to one of the songs we sang today.
Elder Keller and Brent (I hope he
got the aisle seat we requested for him!)

                     I Lived In Heaven
I lived in heaven, a long time ago it is true;
Lived there and loved there with people I know, so did you.
Then Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan,
All about earth and eternal salvation for man.

Father said he needed someone who had enough love;
To give his life so we all could return there above.
There was another who sought for the honor divine.
Jesus said, "Father, send me, and the glory be thine."

Jesus was chosen, and as the Messiah he came,
Conquering evil and death through his glorious name.
Giving us hope of a wonderful life yet to be.
Home in that heaven where Father is waiting for me. 

Go to to find our more about where you came from, why you are here, and where you are going.  This knowledge brings so much peace and purpose to life.

Alofa Lava, Patty

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