Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby Chickens

Mother hen and 2 baby chicks
I think we've commented before about the roosters and chickens in our compound.  The roosters crow all hours of the day bur rarely at sunrise. I think they still asleep.  This time of year we several families of baby chickens following their mothers around looking for things to eat. The mothers are very protective of their young. It is hard to get a picture of them.  I spent about 10 minutes maneuvering to get this picture of a mother and her 2 chicks.  A movie of me maneuvering to get the picture might have been more interesting.

Last Saturday evening we were walking back to our fale.  There is a long driveway behind the distribution center with a wall about 14 inches high on one side.  There are bushes and trees growing on the other side of the wall in a raised garden area.  Apparently there are things chickens like to eat around the bushes because there was a family of 7 baby chicks rummaging around them with their mother. One of the baby chicks had fallen off the wall and was seperated from his family.  He was running back and forth along the base of the wall trying to find a way to get back up with his family. He was "peeping" to let his family know where he was.  His brothers and sisters were also "peeping" so he would know they were up there.  The young chick made several attempts to fly.  He would run as fast as he could and flap his wings but he couldn't quite get enough altitude to reach the top of the wall.  We watched the scene for quite awhile wondering if there was someway we could help without causing a problem. We were able to guide the little chick around to the front of the building where there is a sidewalk that sloped up into the garden area.  The wise mother brought her family around to the front of the building and the family was united again.

The Malie Zone
This week we travelled to the Malie zone for zone meeting on Thursday.  I learned a little bit about village naming. The name of the village we went to is called Malie but there are actually 2 villages one called Malie Tai and the other Malie Uta.  The suffix Tai means the village is close to the ocean on flat ground. The suffix Uta means the village up on the hills close to the mountains. 

Elder Feagai, who is standing in the back is 6'9".

10 Baptisms in the Pesega Lua Ward
Saturday we took our walk down to the water front and ate breakfast at McDonalds.   We enjoy walking along the sea wall of the harbor. They are getting ready for a festival the first week of September so there was a long boat out in the harbor practicing for the races. Saturday afternoon we attended a baptism in our ward. 10 people wer baptized, mostly as a result of referrals from members.  There are 2 young man that have been called on missions to serve in Samoa. They have been spending a lot of time working with the Elders that are assigned to our ward. They each baptized 2 or 3 people yesterday.

President Leota and Sister Leota came to our meetings today. The confirmations took most of the meeting but there was a little time left over for him to speak.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Joys of a Mission

Elder Roger's Family, Hanson's, Mariner's, me

West Zone
  We have had many wonderful opportunities this week.  On Monday we had a couples Family Home Evening and were pleased to hear from President Leota.  He said when they came they felt impressed that they should encourage the missionaries to bring their investigators to the temple.  We enjoyed hearing the testimonies of some of the other missionaries.
Elder Rodger's family came from Salt Lake and we enjoye meeting his cute little mother, and the rest of the family. They had a great time in Samoa touring Savaii, Upolu, and American Samoa.

We also got a new group of missionaries in this week.  We enjoyed getting to know them and orienting them on their missions.

On Thursday we went to ZLC with the West Zone.  Elder Baird and Elder Popham are new zone leaders and we were impressed with the fine job they are doing uniting their zone.  Sister Heather and Sister Tapumanaia gave the lesson on prayer and committing an investigator to pray.  Elder Baird translated for us so that we could understand what was going on.  They are a fine group of missionaries. 

Sister Leota, President Leota, Elder Partridge, Elder Rodgers, me.
  On Friday we went to the airport to see Elder Rodgers off.  We enjoyed getting to meet his family and bidding farewell to such a fine young man.  He was an A.P. and will be a great leader in the future. He has a great mastery of the Samoan language and is loved by many.

Saturday Elder Partridge and I did our bi-monthly hike to the Robert Lewis Stevenson burial ground. (It is great exercise) That evening we had a couples progressive dinner.  It was fun to get better acquainted with some of the missionary couples that serve here.  We played some fun getting acquainted games and the food was wonderful.  We are having life changing experiences in Samoa.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Manuia le Aso o Tama

It's Father's day in Samoa.  Celebrating Father's day twice another one of the many perks of serving here in Samoa.  Yesterday we attended a baptism in our ward.  10 people were baptized. It took most of Sacrament meeting today to confirm them all members of the Church.  Friday night we went to a Father's day Fiafia at our ward.  They did a lot of dancing and there was lots of food; corn beef, roast pig, shrimp, lobster, taro, pusami, egg rolls and cinnamon buns.  I guess you'll never guess who made the cinnamon buns. They had a relay race where the men put on women's shoes and ran accross the cultural hall.  Then another man put on the shoes and ran back.
The shoe relay race

I received a father's day lei at the fiafia and 2 more at church. One made out of candy and one made with spider orchids.

We discovered a new favorite pizza place. It's called Matai pizza and is just down the road.  It is structured more like a Little Caesars than a sit down resturant.  They do have 2 tables outside so we sat at one of the tables and ate our pizzas.  President and Sister Ho Ching, our neighbors, told us about it.  They have gone home for awhile to deal with some medical issues and they have been eating there 2 to 3 times a week. We will do our best to make up for the lost business but will probably only eat their once a week or maybe once every other week.  It will be up to others to pick up the remaining slack.

Saturday we walked to McDonalds for breakfast.  Then took a nice long walk along the water front.  We wanted to find a resturant we were told about that is right on the water.  We found it and so we will put that on our list of places to try. It's accross the street from a resturant we like to eat fish and chips at.

We bid farewell to 14 missionaries this week as they finished their missions. As a result we had a big transfer this week since 7 of the missionaries were currently serving as zone leaders and Elder Rodgers, the Assistant that picked us up at he airport when we arrived almost 6 months ago. This made Wednesday a hectic day since the president was busy interviewing the 14 missionaries and the transfer was going on at the same time. This next week we will receive 7 new missionaries so that will make this week busy. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Home Again

 It is good to back in Upolu again.  We had a lot of work to do to catch up from our little holiday in Pago. I had 53 baptism records that needed to be entered into the convert data entry. We also had ZLC to prepare for.  There are things that we find we need to stress quite often and we try to think of creative ways to present them.  I noticed that many of the baptisms that came in were young children between the ages of 9 to 15.  So, I decided to do a graph of the ages of new converts for last month and insert it into my Power Point presentation.  It turned out that 52 of 92 converts were young children.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and this certainly got the point across.  I talked to them of the importance of teaching families and to include the parents when they teach the children.  Elder Partridge talked to them about cell phone usage and the importance of keeping the mission rules and being obedient.  President Leota was very happy with our comments and thanked us.

We have a new missionary couple that has connections to Payson.  Elder and Sister Spencer are from Ogden and will be teaching at the Pesega College.  His grandfather used to live next to Peteetneet where I went to elementary school.  I remember visiting his grandparents with my parents.  (I think they home taught them)  His grandparents were Albert and Lois Bowen.  It's a small world. We went out to dinner on Friday night with four missionary couples from our mission.  It is good to have nice people to associate with.

Bob and I enjoyed driving around the island on Saturday.  The tide was out, but as always it was a peaceful and beautiful drive.  We love our island home.