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.

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