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.