Saturday, October 15, 2016

There is Beauty all around....

Black Sands Beach - Where else can you have an entire
spectacular beach to yourselves?
 Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
Elder Best shucked the coconuts with Afalua's help.
     Black Sands beach on the south side of Upolu is Brent's favorite beach, and the location of our Senior Sat. afternoon activity.  The road in is a little bumpy (huge understatement) but it is worth it. Life does not get much better than this!  During high tide, there is a strong undertow, but yesterday we hit it a little after low tide and no one came home with a swim suit full of black sand.  Instead we stuffed ourselves with coconuts picked fresh and bananas.  Elder Best discovered that if you chew up coconut and spit it in the water, scads of fish will appear.  It didn't take long until several of us were following his lead, enjoying the feeding frenzy all around us.
    On our way back over the bumpy road we saw several men on their way to fish with the
long poles.  We stopped and talked to a couple of them.  One of them was a return missionary and the other the pastor for another church.  By looking at them, I would have never guessed.
       Last week everyone was busy preparing for Elder Gifford Nielsen's visit that starts tomorrow.  I now understand why the Lord does not tell us when He is coming.  We would kill ourselves working on table settings, decorations, agendas, landscaping, cleaning, menus, repairs......By the time He arrived we would be too exhausted to greet Him.
Patty and Afalua enjoying fresh coconuts and bananas - Yum!
      I have been trying to put together instructions for Sister Deffense, who arrives the day after we leave, to take over my job.  It is time consuming and brain numbing trying to write out directions for everything I do in the office.  Technical writing is not my forte, especially when I have to do it in between regular interruptions and trying to complete what needs to be done that day.
     We decided that since we are so close to New Zealand, and that is one place on my "Bucket List", that we will visit there on our way home.  We have been working on an itinerary that includes both the North and
South Island.  Brent is here in the office with me working on the last details so we can firm up some reservations. We are excited to see this beautiful country and visit with friends from our mission.
Pastor and Return Missionary off to get fish for supper.
Apia Sunset on the Peninsula
     Yeah!  our Golden Plover made it back from the Arctic Circle.  These birds stop to rest at the exact location every year. We were afraid that maybe he/she didn't survive, as it has been several weeks since our first Plover sightings.  After resting here for a few months this little bird will fly back to New Zealand for the summer.
     Elder Nielsen asked all the Seniors to prepare a 5 min. talk on repentance for FHE with him tomorrow night.  My scripture this week comes from my preparation for this talk.  It is found in the Book of Mormon, Alma 34 - 15-16: "    15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
 16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.

Our Heavenly Father knew that all of us would make mistakes during our mortal lives.  The atonement of Jesus Christ covers the sins we sincerely repent of and makes it possible to return to our Heavenly Father after this life.  What a great blessing repentance is in our lives when we take advantage of it.

I send my love and wishes for a blessed week.  Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma Lava,  Patty

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous sunset. Fresh coconuts and bananas, beautiful beaches, good friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ--are you sure you will be coming home in December?