Saturday, November 12, 2016

Talofa Family and Friends,
      Boy, what a crazy week!  I am glad that we are in Samoa and insulated from the majority of chaos that seems to be exploding in cities across the country - at least that is what the media here is portraying.  Election night I was glued to the TV watching Australia and New Zealand News as they reported the results.  It made me realize that the whole world was watching this election. When they signed off I had to come to the office and watch as the drama continued on live streaming.  I watched in complete surprise as the center of the map turned red - even Arkansas!  Even though I am not a Trump lover, I was encouraged by his acceptance speech and at this point I feel hopeful for our country. There definitely needed to be a change - and Hillary was not the person to bring it.
Farmers Festive Reindeers - ugh!
     Here it is the middle of November and most of you are preparing for the holidays.  Except for the very festive reindeer display at Farmers and the Christmas decorations popping up at other stores, I could easily forget that it is almost Christmas.  There are many things I love about Samoa, but I have to say that they have the Ugliest Christmas Trees I have ever seen! (And the reindeer are pretty lame too).  Please, my Samoan friends who read this, don't be offended, don't protest outside the mission's just my very humble opinion.
The Gillettes Ready to Go Home :(
      Friday we borrowed a 15 passenger mission van to take Rusty, Cindy and their visiting family to the airport. I think between them they had 15-20 pieces of luggage, and then when we got to the airport Cindy realized she had left Rusty's carry-on in the back bedroom.  A quick call to a friend and the problem was solved.  The Gillettes have been dear friends, and it was so hard to see them leave.  I'm sure there will be a trip to Idaho in the future to see them again.
     We have loved having Miriama take the missionary discussions in our home.  She is a beautiful, smart young woman who wants to join the church for the right reasons.  She has asked Brent to baptize her next Saturday, which will be a great way to end our mission.
Taumeasina Island Resort - Book Now!
Elder Vahai's carving
  Last week, when we were taking Miriama home, I noticed a sign for a resort that I hadn't heard of before.  We took a detour to explore the new Taumeasina Island Resort, and found a 5 star resort hotel about 15 minutes from our apt.  When we found out that they have a local day pass for $40 WST that includes a $40 voucher for food we knew where we would be spending our next Sat.  Several couples joined us yesterday for a swim in the pools, snorkeling in the ocean (only steps away) and kayaking out to the reef.  Afterwards we enjoyed a leisurely lunch which was delicious!  Brent forgot his camera yesterday, but he did snap a picture on the day of our discovery.
        President and Sister Hannemann were off island all week, so again Brent and I held down the fort.  This upcoming week is our last transfer, and I have the schedule done, so hopefully the President won't change too many things at the last minute.  At FHE last Monday Sister Starke conducted a very interesting activity where people identified their personality type.  I learned that I am mostly West and Brent and President are mostly North.  That means I like things organized and they just push through like bulls in a china closet.  It helped me understand why we knock heads a lot.
     Elder Vahai (Tongan) was Elder Cutler's companion last week, so while Elder Cutler worked on computer tasks, Elder Vahai carved hymn books.  He is an amazing artist! Several missionaries know how to carve the books, but he is the best I have ever seen.  He comes by his talent honestly, as his father carved the King of Tonga's official chair.
     I have loved teaching the New Testament in Primary this year, and am enjoying just reading it through again.  It is like spending time with an old friend.  In reading John this week this scripture stuck out.  The LDS Temples that are now around the entire globe exist to help save the dead who never had a chance to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These scriptures refer to to this doctrine of saving the dead. John 5:24-29:
 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
      It is a great blessing to understand the plan that our Heavenly Father had for every person ever born on the earth - a plan that is totally inclusive.  If you want to know more you can always invite the missionaries into your home to share this message.  I send my love to you and look forward to seeing you soon. 
Alofa Tele, Patty

1 comment: