|Chloe, Connor and Cade Count down the days|
until Nana and Papa are home
Talofa Lava Family and Friends,
It is hard to believe that this will be my last post from the mission office. I will try to post from NZ next week if we have wi-fi. What an amazing adventure this has been! We could have never imagined that a mission could be so much fun, so much learning and so many blessings. I think we knew it was going to be a lot of work, and it was, but never did we expect to totally fall in love with so many people and with this beautiful country.
|Our Farewell Party|
|Elders McBride, Kinghorn and Callahan sporting their new ties|
Thursday night Brent was not feeling well and by Friday he was right in bed with a bad flu bug, I think the same one that hit me a couple of months ago. We had plans for one more beach day on Sat. but Brent was too sick to get out of bed. I did some last minute shopping and worked on packing suitcases. The Senior Missionaries gave us a going away party Saturday night, and Brent did get up to go to that, but after church today he went back to bed. Sister Kalama made me a beautiful floral head wreath from the flowers in her yard. I felt like a queen wearing it. The McBrides had the Seniors each submit a page to go in a memory book for us to take home, a gift that will be treasured! We played 5 Crowns and had delicious turkey soup and homemade rolls. It was a delightful evening! Brent had made new ties for all of the men. Several of them showed up in church today wearing them.
This has been a week of good-byes as we prepare to leave. The apartment is pretty well packed with just a few things left to do tomorrow. After Sacrament Mtg. we were asked to come to the podium. The congregation stood up and sang "Tofa Mai Feleni" or Goodbye my Friend, to us and a young sister who will be leaving for the mission field this week.
|Princess, Nikia, Elder Ellsworth Caylin, Jerry & Owen|
The hardest part of today was saying good bye to our cute primary class. We were not too sure about this assignment when it came, but it has been so much fun spending time every week with these cute kids. Our lessons have been from the New Testament, and I have loved reviewing the stories of Christ and teaching the children the lessons that are embedded in these scriptures.
|Looks like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard ......|
For the last couple of weeks I have felt strong promptings to track down stories of miracles that I have heard occurred here in Samoa. I have had amazing experiences as I have tracked down the people who witnessed these miracles first hand, but was alarmed that none of them had been written down. The Lord has opened doors as I looked for people who had first hand knowledge of these miracles. Tomorrow I am going to Savaii to interview a Stake President who had an amazing experience in 1995. These are very sacred experiences, and President Joseph, another Stake President, will submit them to Salt Lake for the church record once they are completed.
|We will miss the endless beauty of these islands!|
The purpose of this blog originally was to let our family and friends share our mission experience. Now as I look back on past posts, I can see that it is also a wonderful journal. Spiritual and personal experiences have been hand written in a book for my posterity. I have appreciated that many of you have "Liked" a post or left comments on FB, even though I often did not have enough data time to reply. I am old enough to appreciate what an amazing age of technology we live in that allows us to communicate almost instantly. One thing I will not miss is the limited access to the internet.
I cannot end this blog without bearing testimony of the work we have been involved in over the past 18 months. We came on this mission because we know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church of our Savior. It is not a new church invented by Joseph Smith, but rather the ancient church that Christ established, restored in this last dispensation of time to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ. The proof of this truth is not only found in daily miracles throughout the world as our missionaries share their message, but more importantly can be discovered by every individual person if they are willing to take the time to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. I hope if you are reading this, and have not yet found the truth, that you will consider this invitation to listen to the missionaries in your area and to read the Book of Mormon. I will end this mission blog with the scripture at the end of the Book of Mormon where the prophet Moroni also extends this same invitation: Moroni 10:3-5
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Oute Alofa Mo Outou Uma Lava, Patty