Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pago Weekly Review - September 8-14 - Transfers

Monday morning at 6:45 a.m. we were setting out English muffins and bagels for the missionaries who were leaving this morning for Apia.  They were either going home or being transferred to another area.  Here at the airport, you must be checked in one hour before the plane leaves.  They were leaving at 8:30 a.m.  So, first time we have done this, turn out onto the main road (there is only one main road on the island) and traffic is backed up almost from our house to the turn for the airport.  Slow, slow, slow.  We try the cutoff traveling down an unfinished road for about half a mile and then hit some pavement.  The speed limit is 25 mph, so you can't hurry very fast.  Needless to say, the two elders with us did not get on their flight.  They were assigned standby two hours later.  You don't leave the airport because of the one hour rule, so we sit around the airport waiting for the next flight.  We get four of the ten elders onto the first plane, two on the 10:30 plane and two on the 11:30 plane (which was their flight anyway).  The two trainers who were just going to Apia to pick up their new companions, didn't make a flight at all.

Elder Forsythe, who was going home, got on the second plane and we were told later that he didn't even have a ticket.  We had to purchase this the next day.  How's that for running an airline?

We received elders Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; a total of seven new elders.  The new elders are:
Elder Daley (from Tooele, a brand new elder from the MTC).  He is with Elder Harn his trainer.

Elder Keller and Daley just arriving in Pago.
Elder Keller (a transfer from Upolu who is about 6'10")
Elder Manumaleuga (a seasoned elder from Apia sent to replace a zone leader who was changed to a trainer assignment)
Elder Speakman (from Idaho via the MTC)
Elder Reid (from American Fork via the MTC)
Elders Erickson (trainer), Speakman, Reid, Bybee (trainer)

Elder Lamaroux - right (from Idaho, a trainer who has only been out 4 months, we met him in the MTC)
Elder Larson - left (from Idaho via the MTC) - His is a great story.  He get motion sickness very easily and the small plane ride from Apia to Pago was very rough.  He got sick and the fellow behind him kept handing him barf bags and patting his back.  When we met them, the Samoan fellow who had been behind him came up and asked, "How you feeling Kolipoki."  It was so cute.  Well, he was green all day.  We finally got him and Lamaroux to their home on the far west end of the island.  This is an area they whitewashed so they are both new to the area.  It gives us something to do, to keep in contact with them.

Wednesday evening it was taking Larson and Lamaroux to the west side and then taking some supplies to another set of elders who live on the far east side.  It was a drive of extremes going from side to side of the island.  It was late when we finally arrived home.  We also missed driving through areas that they close for half and hour starting at 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for prayer time in most villages.  Really don't know how we missed that one.

In addition to getting elders settled, we have been imaging new computers for the PBO office and have had a steep learning curve.  We got it done along with imaging and installing two new computers at the S&I offices.  We have also met with two stake presidents and are finding ways to get our training materials printed.  Needless to say, it's been a busy, busy week and it went by so fast.

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