Saturday, December 29, 2012

The week between Christmas & New Years

Our missionaries have been working on cleanup projects all week long except for Christmas day.

Christmas Eve we had a family home evening with the couples.  We sang and had a white elephant gift exchange.  We ended up with a pudding mix and a piece of coral.  On Christmas day we got up early and went for a walk down Vaitele street, which is the street the mission home is on.  There was quite a crowd gathering including several parked cars on the other side of the street.  We thought maybe people were gathering for a church service but it turned out they were waiting for the Apia Bottling Company to open.  Christmas was definitely different in Samoa.  We had brunch with the senior couples in the morning and then had 2 of the single sisters that are serving in the temple over for dinner in the afternoon.  They are both from Australia and each had served as a proselyting missionary in Samoa previously.

Elder & Sister Partridge, Sister Moaga & Sister Tavete
Christmas Day 2012 in Samoa

Wednesday the temple opened for the first time since cyclone.  The attendance was down a bit which is understandable.  The new missionaries and some of the not so new missionaries attended the 7:30 session.

Thursday, Sister Partridgve & I made a water and mail delivery to the Elders serving on the east end of the island. Some of the cellphone towers have been destroyed on that part of the island resulting in a significant reduction in cell phone service.  Elder Tingey, one of our zone leaders, demonstrated what they have to do to get cell phone service where they live.  For their Christmas calls home, he climbed up on top of the water tanks and his companion climbed a nearby tree.

Elder Tingey finds cell phone service
Saturday we decided to try climbing Mt. Vaea to see how Robert Louis Stevenson's grave was doing.  Most of the big trees had been uprooted.  The bathing pool where Mr. Stevenson's family went to cool off had a large tree in it.  There are some boulders in the river you can walk across.  They were obscured by a large tree.  We decided to wade across the river and try to find our way up the mountain.  We had to give up because there were too many trees blocking our path.  We will try it again in couple of months maybe.  Tusitala is on his own for awhile I am afraid.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

To the Rescue

What is the difference between a cyclone, a hurricane, a typhoon, and a Tsunami?  If a storm is in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, it would be a hurricane.  A typhoon takes place in Japan, Guam or the Philippines. A cyclone takes place in the South Pacific and is characterized by strong revolving winds and rains, a Tsunami is caused by earthquakes below the ocean and are destructive sea waves.

This week was devoted to rescuing and rebuilding Samoa.  The Mariner’s went to Savaii to take Christmas packages and supplies to the missionaries serving there.  Savaii had very little storm damage and all the missionaries are doing fine.

The Hanson’s also went to some of the missionary areas taking food and water.  Sister Leota had groups of zones that had been hit hardest by the storm come into the mission office to be showered and cleaned up.  She sent them home with food, water, and Christmas packages sent from home.

Elder Partridge and I also went to check on missionaries and take food, water, candles, Christmas packages, and phone batteries.  All of them were in good spirits and said the members were taking good care of them.  A few of them wanted supplies, but they all seemed to have weathered the storm well.  A lot of Upolu is still without power, but it is slowly being restored to all areas of the island. 

We had ten missionaries that finished their missions this week and were able to return to their homes in the United States, Tonga, and Samoa.

Elder and Sister Watson, our area authorities came and toured the island.  In the areas that were hardest hit, members are staying at the churches.  They all had smiles on their faces and were happy to be safe.  Last night Elder and Sister Watson spoke to the senior missionaries about the true meaning of Christmas and thanked us for our service.  We have enjoyed being able to serve the missionaries and members that needed our help.  Several of the senior missionaries have prepared lunch and dinner for the new missionaries that are staying at the MRC. The new missionaries have cheerfully worked this week to help the people in Samoa.  I am sure that this will open up opportunities for teaching and their lives will be blessed for their service. 
Elder Partridge on Banyan Tree
 We have found that the people in Samoa are very resilient.  There was a huge banyan tree that fell over in the mission compound by Pesega College.  They immediately started to cut up the trees that fell, so we decided that we better hurry and get a picture.  As you can see it has very little root, but is very large.  It took three pictures to get the entire tree. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cyclone Pictures

New missionaries cleaning up Upolu
The storm is over in Samoa.  We had 14 new missionaries come from the New Zealand M.T.C.  Today they were put to work helping to clean up Apia.  The Leotas' bought gloves, water bottles, hammers, and the tools that they would need to assist in their clean up.  They came home tired and dirty but very happy to be serving the people in Samoa.  The people here are very impressed to see these young missionaries volunteering to help clean up the city. 
Tree in front yard at beginning of storm             

After the storm was over, same tree
 When the storm started last week, I took a picture of the tree in our front yard being blown by the storm. 
 As you can see by the picture above, the tree was destroyed.
The following pictures were taken when we went to pick up mail at the Fagaali'i airport.

car destroyed in storm

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Savaii Trip a little late

The bay by our hotel

We promised that we would take pictures of our Savaii trip for our faithful missionary moms and dads. So this email will be mostly pictures. The Savaii trip was a lot of fun. The missionaries were in good spirits and loved getting together for our Christmas Zone Conference. We started with a devotional and then watched a movie that the A.P.'s put together of all the zones singing Christmas songs. We then watched skits, had a wonderful luncheon, and the missionaries played games under the guidance of President Leota. The favorite game was dodge ball.
Sister Hanson, Sister Mariner, Sister Tuivaiti, Sister Partridge
Since the cyclone hit, we wanted to let you know that all of the missionaries are safe.  They are currently serving the people.  Many homes are filled with mud and trees have been destroyed.  They are doing their part to piece together the community.  You can  be proud of your son or daughter for the service that they are giving in Samoa.
Savaii Missionaries and staff

Elder Fisher and Elder Swenson


Elder Stevens with his lunch

More skits

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Cyclone is over and we are well

All missionaries are safe and accounted for.  They were contacted Thursday morning an instructed to either stay inside or go to a place where they would be safe, in most cases the local chapel. Their zone leaders check on them periodically and report back to President Leota.

The Church is working on addressing the needs of the members and the missionaries.

As I was running on Thursday morning, the day the cyclone hit Upolu, I experienced a pretty good headwind as I was running around the track.  At first I thought of it as resistance that added to my workout.  Then the thought occurred to me that if I am experiencing a headwind on one side of the track I must be experiencing a tailwind on the other side.  As I ran around the track I payed more attention and sure enough there was a tailwind on the other side.  We have been on our mission for 10 months now and hadn't payed much attention to the tailwind that blew us along.  Thursday we experienced a headwind.  The headwind is now over and the tailwinds have begun again.

Sorry no pictures.  You may visit Pacific Mormon Newsroom:

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Fagaloa Bay
 This week my husband and I decided to go to a zone meeting in Fagaloa. It is quite a drive there including a steep dirt rode down the hillside into the bay. We weren't quite sure where the chapel was, but turned to the right. It was a beautiful area with only a few homes all around the ocean bay.  We were expecting to run into the church along the main road, but it was actually a dirt road that finally led to the gate of the church yard.

Missionary quarters
We usually see the zone leaders van when we get to the church for zone meetings, but there was no van there and we were a few minutes late. So, my husband decided to knock at the door of the missionary apartment. At first he couldn't get anyone to answer the door and  finally an Elder came to the door in just his underwear. We found that the zone meeting had been cancelled, but it still made us wonder why the missionaries weren't up studying or getting ready to teach.  They have a perfect setting right next to the church with the ocean not far from their view. They also have a basketball stand and volleyball net for exercise. Even though the ride was unfruitful for having a zone meeting, we had a beautiful drive.  We found out later that the zone leaders were at the temple and that was why the zone meeting was cancelled. 


There were some children playing next to the ocean and in the fale's there. 


I thought that it was very amusing that the cows were laying on the beach next to the water.
We are preparing for Christmas in Samoa.  Last Sunday my husband and I got out our Christmas decorations.  We have a small tree that fits on a table.  It is a beautiful little pre-decorated tree.  The lights come on in patterns going from red, to yellow, to green to blue and then all the colors.  We have enjoyed watching this cute little tree.  We watched the First Presidency Devotional last Sunday on BYU TV.  Tonight they are going to be showing in in the Pesega Stake in Samoan and English.  We had stake conference today.  In Samoa you don't see all the commercialization of Christmas.  There are a few shops that have Christmas decorations, but not nearly the hustle and bustle you see in the states.   They have several groups singing Christmas songs and our stake had a Christmas program last Saturday.  I think I'm going to enjoy spending this Christmas in Samoa.  We will miss our family, but it will be nice to have a simple Christmas. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

O Le Pupu-Pu'e National Park Coastal Walk

We started the week with a Thanksgiving dinner for all the seniors in the mission.  This included the counsellors in the temple presidency, those that are serving in the temple, as well as the CES missionaries.  After dinner we walked over to the temple for a group photograph.  We were able to get everyone since Elder & Sister Jordan, who serve in Tutuila were here for CES meetings.

We received 2 new missionaries this week. They will be with us temporarily while they wait for their visas.  They will eventually serve in Australia when their visas arrive.

We have been intrigued with trying this walk along the south side of the island.  The gate is locked due to problems with illegal logging in the National Park.  We finally decided to try it yesterday.  Judging by the height of the grass between the wheel tracks I don't think very many people have driven into the area. In face I'm not sure very many people have been there.  The sign by the road said it was 4 km to the trail.  It seemed more like 4 miles probably because it was very hot and humid.  We did make it though.

The hike along the coast is about 1 km.  The coast on this part of the island is entirely lava.  Some how trees grow out of lava, I'm not sure how. 
The top of the cliff we walked along was about 25 feet above the ocean but the waves crashing against cliff gave us an occasional spray of salt water.

Over the years the waves have created several natural brides and islands in the lava.

We eventually came to a large lava field. It was interesting to see the folds in the lava almost like cake batter.  We tried a few self portraits. Someone had sunk a pillar into the lava which was perfect for setting the camera on.
It was a little tricky setting the camera up, keeping it from blowing over and then scrambling across the lava so I could be a part of the picture.
It was a long walk but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Thanks

I was thinking about our blessings today as we attended church in a building that didn’t have air-conditioning.  How many times have I complained because I was too cold in our nice air- conditioned building in the states.  As I think about our lovely home in Mesa Arizona and then drive by the Fale’s that the people live in here with no air conditioning, I again contemplate why I am not more grateful.  Then as we drive in our nice air-conditioned car, I see people walking in flip flops wherever they go and riding in crowded buses with no air conditioning and see their happy spirits.  I wonder what is it that make these people so happy.  Even though they have humble circumstances, most all of them will greet you with a smile and be more than happy to be acknowledged by us as missionaries.  They faithfully attend their churches on Sunday closing up the shops for most of the day.  They love the Lord and are a kind and gentle people. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to rub shoulders with the people in Samoa.

High Priority
We have had a good week in the Samoa Apia Mission.  We have been very busy this week creating missionary files, arranging travel and shipping boxes for the missionaries.  My husband had so many boxes in front of his desk to mail that I had to take a picture.  We are starting to get Christmas packages in for the missionaries.  My husband went to the airport several time to pick up the packages and they weren’t there even though the couple serving in Pago said that the packages were sent.  We finally figured out that it was because so many people were traveling to Pago because of graduation from High School.  They weigh all the people first, then luggage, freight is sent last.  Many Samoan’s are very heavy so this accounts for the wait.
We worked in the temple on Tuesday night and we had a  large group of members come from Pago.  A couple received their endowments and were later sealed to their little family.  I went in the area where the children were waiting and had a very enjoyable time talking with the children.  The older two children were nine and ten.  The girl who was nine said, "Your eyes must be really fun to color, my Dad has light brown eyes and my mother has dark brown eyes."  This made me smile.  I talked with them about writing down what it was like being in the temple and told them about my baptism and that I had to be baptized twice because my toe stuck up.  The little girl asked what a toe was.  They were so cute.  Finally the little boy asked me how old I was.  When I told him, he said "You aren't THAT old!"  It was  pretty funny.  I then got to help them go to the seaing room where they met up with their parents and all the ward members.  I told them to look at the pictures of Jesus.  It was a very special evening.

Elder Fitisemanu, Elder Kokkola, Elder Vaeagi, Elder Ieremia, Elder
Leamanaia, Elder Kinnison, Elder Mackey, Elder Too-
faalogo, Elder Ormsby, Front: Elder Tafitit, Sister Losi, Sister Tapusoa, Elder Solo
We went to a zone meeting in the Apia Zone this week.  This is a large zone with 13 missionaries.  We always have an enjoyable time seeing the missionaries.  Elder Ormsby and Elder Tafiti are the zone leaders and are doing an excellent job serving the missionaries in their zone.  Afterwards they had song practice.  We are going to be having Christmas Zone Meetings in December so the missionaries are practicing songs and skits for that.  We will have the opportunity of participating in the Savaii Zone Meeting as well as Upolu. 

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Samoa, but the senior couples are going to have a dinner on Monday.  We look forward to a nice evening with them. We went over to the Hanson’s home for birthday cake last night.  There were several couples that came and we had a nice visit. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mr. Burger doesn't serve Hamburgers

One of the food items I have not had since being in Samoa is a hamburger.  Of course I didn't eat a lot of hamburgers when I was home.  I usually only ate my own barbecued hamburgers which start out with Costco sirloin patties or an occasional hamburger at Fuddruckers.  I have contemplated eating a hamburger in Samoa and thought maybe I might try one at Mr. Burger's, a new restaurant I watched take shape during my trips up and down Vaitele road.  I happened to mention that Mr. Burger's was now open to the Assistants on our way to the airport this week.  They informed me that they went there and found out they don't serve hamburgers.  Saved me a trip.

This week was fairly busy as we trained the 11 new missionaries that arrived on Friday night and finally got the last 5 sent to their areas in Savaii on Wednesday afternoon.  We also held Zone Leader Council on Wednesday morning.  There were a lot of new faces sitting around the table.  One of the joys of working in the mission office is observing young missionaries step up into zone leader and trainer positions.  In my mind zone leaders and trainers are equally important positions with trainers being slightly more important since they have the opportunity of influences a string of missionaries for good.  A good trainer will prepare the missionary they are training to also be a good trainer.  The influence carrys from generation to generation of trainers and new missionaries.

Wednesday we bid farewell to Elder and Sister Harker.  They completed their mission and are heading back to Canada after a short visit to New Zealand.  Monday night we had a farewell dinner to honor them and took this group picture of the Senior Missionaries. 

We also got to do some real missionary  work on Wednesday night.  We have started attending the English speaking ward in addition to the Samoan ward we have been attending.  The ward mission leader asked for people to work with investigators so we volunteered. We met with a woman named Tara on Wednesday night and showed her around the temple grounds and answered some her questions about the temple.  We enjoyed it and she seemed to enjoy also. We saw her at church today and things are going well for her.

Saturday we went for a walk with some of the other senior missionaries to high ground so we would know where to go is a Tsunami ever hits Samoa.  The villages all extend up to the mountains so the local people head to the higher ground in their village. We are members of a village so we had to find high ground on public property.  Elder Hanson, our emergency preparedness expert, located a spot on a sports complex which is near enough we can walk to it.  We are following up with a family home evening in December to learn more about it.

We also took a ride to O le Pupu-Pue National Park on the south side of the island.  There is a Canopy Tree walk we have been interested in taking for sometime. But the gate is always locked and it's 4 km to the walk and since we had already walked about 10 km during the morning we decided to postpone.  Besides it had been raining a lot and we forgot our walking shoes.  We did take a short hike to Togitogiga falls, which is a beautiful water fall located in the park.
We haven't been able to attend a zone meeting for awhile do to office commitments. We are hoping to attend one this week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rainbows and Missionaries

Rainbow on Vaitele Street
 We are always amazed at the beautiful sky in Samoa.  We are in the rainy season now which means it usually rains at least once a day. Sometimes it rains all day.  This means that we have lots of humidity.  The plus side is I don't ever have to use lotion.  The down side is that my hair is always curly or frizzy.  I started to wear my hair in a french braid or with a large clip once in awhile and have received tons of compliments.  Samoan women mostly wear their hair in a pony tail braid or a clip and many of them have very long hair. 

New Missionaries
On Friday evening we went to the aiport to meet the new intake of missionaries.  Their flight came in at 1:00 a.m.  President and Sister Leota had been to New Zealand for a mission president's seminar and they all came in on the same flight.  We enjoyed driving President Leota's car to the airport and meeting the new missionaries.  They came from the Provo M.T.C. and even though they were very tired, they were enthusiastic about being missionaries in Samoa.  This will be the last day that they wear their suit coats until when they go home in two years.  It was very warm at 1:00 in the morning and they were very happy to take their coats off.

Elder and Sister Fife, Elder and Sister Partride, Elder and
Sister Harker, Elder Gertsch (his wife took the picture)
Elder and Sister Roth, Elder and
Sister Osborne
We have a missionary couple (Harkers) that will be going home next week to Canada.  We had a couples party on Saturday to wish them well and enjoy the movie Charly.  Some of them had never seen the movie and didn't realize it was a sad movie.  Sister Harker had movies, spices, games and card making supplies to give away to the other senior missionaries.  We all enjoyed the movie and good company.

Next week will be very busy because we have new missionaries, training for the trainers, and Z.L.C.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween in Samoa

We traveled thousands of miles to a tropical island thinking we would get away from the pagan US holiday of Halloween.  Two wards in our stake asked if they could bring their children around to our houses so they could trick or treat.  I asked them why they wanted to corrupt their children by having them participate in this pagan american custom.  Their answer was one word, "CANDY".  It actually turned out quite well. We got together with some of the senior missionaries for a Halloween party and the children from the 2 wards came by the party to collect their treats.  The only casualties were a couple of the senior brethren coming down with a bad case of food poisoning which they blamed on the pizza.  Sister Partridge and I survived admirably. 

The next day, Thursday we said goodbye to some of our Elders who were returning home.  I might be the 2nd tallest one in the mission now since Elder Liebregts was one of the Elders that went home.  We are pictured here. The tallest is Elder Feagai who is 6'9".  We were hoping to get a photo of the 3 of us but the timing didn't work out. Elder Liebregts is from Upolu.

We also said goodbye to Elder Bonar, who is went home to Utah. Elder Bonar has been a zone leader on the South East side of the island since we have been here and was a very dedicated missionary.

This next week will be very quiet.  President & Sister Leota are going to New Zealand for the Pacific area Mission Presidents seminar.  I joking tell them, "So you are going to New Zealand to play with your mission president friends?"  They roll their eyes at me.  The assistants are going to American Samoa for the week to split with missionaries there.  So they've left the office to us.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Temple Service

This week we had a very busy day at the temple on Tuesday.  We had a large group of patrons show up for the 4:30 sesssion, so they were carried over to the 5:45 session.  So, we consequently also had a large 5:45 session.  Every locker on the women's side was taken and some of the sisters had to double up.  The Samoan people are very patient, they just went and waited in the foyer for the next session.  We often have wards come and stay in patron housing.  They stay all week and do as many sessions as they can. They can do two sessions in the morning and two more in the evening, since the temple is closed after the 10:00 a.m. session until the 4:30 p.m. session.  It's always wonderful to be in the temple.
Apia Samoa Temple

I often thing about the parable of the rich man that had a man named Lazarus at his gates begging for food.  The rich man did nothing to relieve him, but the dogs licked the sores on his feet.  When the rich man died he went to hell and he looked up and saw Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham.  He called out and asked Abraham to have Lazarus come and serve him.  He was told no, this man had a tough life and now he was bing blessed.  I often think of the Samoan people and how they have so little, but are very faithful.  I know that they are very loved by the Lord.

spring flowers
We went to the Upolu FS Zone this week for their zone meeting.  Elder Taue and Elder Lesa are the zone leaders and their entire zone is Samoan.  They had us each share a few things.  I talked about anchors in their lives such as the scriptures, their testimonies, the way the dress, the mission rules, and their missionary name tag.  I talked about how these anchors help them to stay true and not drift out to sea.  Bob talked to them about President Packer's talk from conference.  He said that they are the light to the people they are teaching.  We took them some Oreo's for after their meeting, which they enjoyed.  It is the rainy season in Samoa now.  Leaves have fallen from the trees and we are seeing beautiful spring flowers everywhere. 

Elder Taue, Elder Lesa, Elder Tamai, Elder Ale, Elder Fuimaono, Elder Sitivi


Saturday, October 20, 2012

White Sunday - The next generation

Last week was White Sunday in Samoa, a day special to children.  Since we viewed General Conference last Sunday we had our White Sunday program in church today.  It was the primary program.  How appropriate.  The children did a wonderful job giving their speaking parts and singing their songs, some in Samoan and some in English. They like to sing a verse in English and then the next verse in Samoan.

Last Monday was a holiday since it was White Sunday.  Everything was closed as it was on the day after Mother's day and the day after Father's day.  I needed some things for the mission so I took a ride downtown to see if anything was open. Nothing was open.  There was a large cruise ship in port and hundreds of tourists wandering around town looking for something to do.  I was wondering is there was a correlation problem between the cruise line and the chamber of commerce but evidently the passengers knew that nothing would be open.  They did pull up anchor and set sail about 5:00 pm which is much earlier than usual for cruise ships.  They usually leave around 10:00 pm.

It was a very quiet week since President Leota and his Assistants when to Savaii on Wednesday to conduct training and do interviews.  Sister Leota and Pearl left on Friday to join them for a stake conference this weekend.

On Thursday we decided to visit the Apia West zone meeting.  It was a good experience as always. The missionaries are working on their communication skills and so lesson was on the "parroting" technique where you repeat what the investigator says to make sure you understand what they are saying.  I remember learning this in a class I took at BYU many years ago from Steve Covey.  We were practicing in class and after one student paraphrased back to him what he had said to see  if they understood he said, "Yeah...What's wrong with the way I have been saying it."
The Apia West Zone - Elder's Amituana'i, Lui, Sisters Faumui, Tapumanaia, Elders Huber & Mu

Saturday we hiked up Mt. Vaea to see Robert Louis Stevenson's grave.  We try to go every other week.  I'm not sure if we will do it during the rainy season.  With the help of my GPS unit I made this map on Google Earth to show how we go.  The direct route takes us about 20-25 minutes and is fairly steep in some places.  The longer route is the path the Samoans built during the night so they could carry Robert Louis Stevenson's casket up to it's final resting place. We came down that way once just for fun and so I could map it on Google Earth.
After our hike Sister Partridge went over to a Relief Society crafts day at the Stake Center. They were demonstrating things you can make from a coconut.
Then Saturday night we went over to the south side of the island for dinner with some friends, Elder & Sister Harker, who will be going home next month.  They put on a show of traditional Samoan singing and dancing after dinner.  The highlight is the fire dance. The girl on top looks like she couldn't be more than 11 years old.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Joy in the Journey

As I was listening to Elder Uctdorf's talk about having joy in the journey, I couldn't help thinking of the many times I have thought when something is over I will be happy.  I remember when we had a busy family with six children, I thought when my last child was out of diapers I was going to celebrate.  When that day came, I didn't celebrate because part of me was sad that I didn't have any more babies.  I remember when we had a young family, I thought that when they were older life would be better.  Now they are raised, I wish that we could have them back again.  I was thinking about conferences in the past when all the little children would have their coloring pages from Primary and we would all sit around the television and watch conference.  When our children got a little older they would play with legos or puzzles while we watched conference.  As teenagers, they would each grab a comfortable chair and sometimes fall asleep.  A couple of years ago Megan and I made cinnamon rolls for conference.  All these experiences created memories for us to reflect on.  The important thing is that we were all there and enjoying the words of our prophets and apostles.  Now our children are spread out living in Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Washington, and California.  How wonderful it would be to have all of them together again to listen to conference. 

We have had a good week.  On Tuesday we worked in the temple.  The session was small this week, but the Samoan people are all so friendly and so appreciative of being in the temple.  Elder Partridge and I always have the duty of escorting the four blind Samoan's from the veil to the Celestial Room.  This is always a choice experience.  Many of the Samoan's will shake our hands before entering the Celestial Room.  They are a lovely people.

South Zone

We went to a zone meeting in the South zone this week.  Elder Kepu and Elder Stevens are fairly young zone leaders, but they do a good job guiding the missionaries in their zone.  President Leota has been speaking to the missionaries about the importance of staying with their companion.  Elder Partridge and I took a turn speaking to the missionaries about this important topic.  Elder and Sister Mariner also came to this zone and brought cookies.  They had no trouble at all putting them away.

Spring Flowers

We had President Leota over for dinner on Saturday night because his wife is out of town.  We fixed chicken enchilladas which he had never tasted before, but loved.  He is a wonderful president and so kind to everyone.

I have really enjoyed seeing all the spring flowers and buds on the trees that are now coming to life.  We are seeing many varieties that we haven't seen before.

Spring Buds

One thing interesting about confence in Samoa is that our church building doesn't have air conditioning.  They have window slats that we open up for air and ceiling fans.  Of course everyone brings their Samoan fans too in case it gets too hot.  On Saturday, we had two birds that were flying from window to window and sat on top of the pews in the choir loft.  I'm sure they were wondering why so many of us were gathered on this occasion.  There is much joy in the journey.  We love working with the Leota's and the missionaries.  This is truly a wonderful opportunity to labor in such a beautiful land and with such lovely people. 

It's Spring in Samoa