Saturday, February 25, 2012

We went to church in the Samoan ward today. They speak Samoan, so we had an interesting time. The Samoan people are very polite and loving. They introduced us in Sacrament Meeting and had us introduce ourselves again in Priesthood and Relief Society. I think the best thing to help us learn the language is the singing. Their language has a lot of vowels and sounds very beautiful. The chapel we met in had no air conditioning. They had fans and windows that were open during Sacrament Meeting. During Sunday School we could hear the Primary and the Young Men and Young Women singing. They sing in all their meetings. The Primary children sing in English. The Bishop’s dog was walking around outside the Relief Society room while we were in church.

They have a church school for children from 7 years old to grade 13 in the same complex that we live. The members send their children to this school and some non members want their children to go to this school. President Leota was telling us that someone called and asked him if they would baptize their children so they could come to their school. We are a little overwhelmed, but know that this will be a wonderful experience. The members live in very humble circumstances. They cook their Sunday meals in a hole in the ground and it cooks all day. We could smell the smoke while we were in church. They eat it again for breakfast the following day.

I will enclose a few pictures of our being greeted by the Mission President and his staff. Oh by the way I am wearing my hair curly today. It is pretty humid here.

I testify that the gospel is true. That President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true.

Friday, February 17, 2012

First week at the M.T.C.

We finished up our first week at the M.T.C. It has been a wonderful experience for both of us. We have loved getting to know the other couples that are serving missions in various parts of the world. There is a couple that are on their fourth mission. In our study group we had a couple going to Russia, Temple Square, and Pennsylvania. In the entire group we had a Chinese couple that were going to Canada and a Spanish lady that was going to Mexico. There were people going to Korea, Philippines, Hawaii, Australia, Ukraine, Hungary, Ghana, France, Puerto Rico, and various places in the states.
In our study groups we learned to give the lessons in our own words and to bear testimony of the principle we were teaching. We had teaching experiences with pretend investigators. The first lady we taught was 70 years old and had been a jockey. She didn’t have a good relationship with her parents, but had found God after an accident. We taught her the first lesson on the restoration of the gospel.

 We later taught a man a second discussion. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation. It was a really good experience too. We learned how to work with the members in the wards by being sensitive to the spirit.

We had Elder Clarke come and talk to us on Tuesday night. He told us that our influence would be great if we love our companion. We won’t have trouble with that one. He also talked about fasting and prayer and counseling with the Lord. He told us that if we were obedient that the Savior’s arms would be around us.

 We have had a very cute young man teach us Samoan, at least he is trying. He taught us how to say the vowels and helped us write out our testimonies so that we can bear them tonight. To say I believe Jesus is my Savior we say: “ ou te ‘iloa o Iesu Keriso o lo’u Fa’aola”. You’ll have to ask us when we get home if we can bear our testimonies.

 The food here has been wonderful. It is amazing to us to see all the young men, sisters, and couples here at the M.T.C. It is a place of much activity and learning.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Mission Address

Samoa Apia Mission
PO Box 1865
Pesega, Apia


Today we enter the M.T.C.  We have had many tender mercies while preparing to serve the Lord.  Bob got a job in Sierra Vista for five weeks and was nervous about telling them we would be leaving sooner.  His boss was very kind and told him that they would love to have him come back when our mission is complete.

I applied for a passport and expediated it so it would come sooner.  We were having our mail forwarded from Mesa to Sierra Vista.  Every day I would check the mail hoping that it would be there.  I left on Wednesday to come back home because we needed to get a police clearance and some blood tests for a Visa application.  Bob checked the mail on Thursday and Friday and there was still no Visa.

Our mail came back to Mesa on Friday and I said a prayer that morning that my Passport would be there with trepidation I checked the mail that day.  To my great surprise the passport was in the mailbox.  The post office had held it until we returned,.  I was so grateful.

The bishop had asked us to bear our testimonies on fast Sunday since they hadn't scheduled a time for us to speak in Sacrament Meeting.  Kevin Kellis, the counselor in the bishopric called to see if he could come over that morning.  As he spoke with us about what they would like us to say, he inquired about our home.  We told him that we would just be locking it up.  He asked if we would be interested in renting it to some people like us that were empty nesters.  We said that we didn't really have time to do it.  He said that he and his wife would be interested in renting our home.

So the next few days we cleared out our dated food storage and sent it home with Heather and gave some to Justin.  We spent all week taking all of our furniture and belongings downstairs so that we could rent the upstairs.  We sold our cars to Justin and Heather.  Bob rented a car for our last day in Mesa.  As we got in the rental car and watched the garage door go down for the final time, we both breathed a sigh of relief. 

Now on to the next adventure.  It is snowing in Utah so I am glad that I brought my coat.  We are anxious for the next period in our lives.  It has been a whirlwind of activities these past few weeks and we are looking forward to this wonderful growing experience.