Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter in Samoa

We've had a busy week. The BYU Global channel is an over the air channel in Samoa amazingly enough.  So we watched conference in our living room. The only problem is that after living in Arizona for the last 15 years we aren't used to changing our clocks. We got up at 4:00 am Sunday morning to watch the first session of conference which started at 5:00 am local time. So we laughed, had our showers and got ready for church and enjoyed the Saturday morning session of conference. Our ward meets at 7:30 am so we finished conference just in time to make Fast & Testimony Meeting. We decided to go home and watch the Saturday afternoon session of conference after our Fast & Testimony meeting instead of staying for Sunday School and Priesthood. We watched the Sunday morning session Monday morning at 5:00 am but didn't get to watch the Sunday afternoon session since we had to be at work in the mission offices at 8:00 am.  I downloaded and watched Priesthood Conference on my Android Tablet. It was wonderful. Our stake in Samoa has chosen to watch Conference next weekend since this week is Easter. They will do a Saturday & Sunday schedule similar to what is done in the United States.

This week was Zone Leader Council where all the Zone Leaders get together to be counciled by the Mission President and his assistants and the office staff. I have been a little concerned about the lack of obedience by some of our Elders & Sisters so I tied some thoughts into my presentation which .  I was reading in Helaman chapter 10 and was inspired to share verses 4 & 5 with the Zone Leaders and asked them to share it with those they serve. It seemed to be well received.

During Zone Leader Conference a man appeared at the Mission Home and wanted to talk about some issues with his son who is serving on Tutuila (American Samoa).  The man lives on Savaii which is the larger of the two main islands that make up Samoa. As we discussed his concerns I realized he is the father of one of our BYU football players. I was able to share with him some things since I had visited with his son when he arrived in Samoa. Not because he was a BYU football player but because he is big and kind of quiet like me. And I know a little bit about BYU football. I asked him, "Do you know what the football coach at BYU is most proud of?" He said "No".  I said, "It's not winning bowl games, conference championships or having winning seasons. He is most proud of a board outside his office at BYU that shows the pictures of all the football players, including your son, that are serving missions." The father was dutifully impressed. One of his other concerns was that he hadn't received a letter from his son. There are no street addresses in Samoa so mail is hard to deliver. In fact the post office doesn't deliver mail.  While I was working in the office later in the afternoon I felt prompted to write to the Elder and tell him of my experience and suggest that he write a letter to his father and so I did.  I told the Elder he could do what other Missionaries do that are serving from Samoa. They can address their letters to the mission home with the name of their parents and their ward on the envelope. We give the letter to the Zone Leaders that cover that ward and they deliver it to the missionaries in the area who deliver it to the parents.

Easter in Samoa is celebrated for 4 days. The Friday before Easter and the Monday following Easter are National holidays. Most everything is closed including the Church Service Center and Distribution Center. It's kind of nice. There are no Good Friday sales and no Easter sales. The people spend the time with their families. President Leota said we could take Friday afternoon off. So as obedient missionaries we did. It was a beautiful day so we drove towards the East end of the island. The tide was out a little so we found a nice sandy spot across the street from the Upolu North Stake Center. So we parked and waded in the ocean. The temperature is about the same as our swimming pool in Arizona in August. We enjoyed sitting on the rocks and watching the waves.

I guess I need to buy a Samoa shirt
In the evening we went to Choir Practice in our ward. They are singing several songs in English and the "The Spirit of God" in Samoan.  Which translated is "O le Agaga o le Atua".  After Choir Practice we went out to dinner with our senior couple district to celebrate Easter.

Today is the day they announce the transfers. We are reasonably certain we are not being transferred.  We will be getting a new assistant though since Elder Funaki is going home in 2 weeks.

Elder Funaki
Assistant to the President

1 comment:

  1. We enjoy your posts a lot. Happy birthday and happy anniversary.