Just to let you know that the Samoa Mission Mail Service is alive and well. We had a lot mail coming and going this week. The US mail and packages come by airplane on Fridays and are ready for pickup on Monday. It's great, we walk in to the package retrieval area and they know us and our box number; the canine unit (even though they have no dogs) and customs officials wave us through; we feel so taken care of. We bring these packages home and put four flat rate boxes into a larger box and pack things around the edges to make it ready to ship on the plane to Apia. This past week, we sent 6 large boxes (24 flat rate boxes and other assorted things) to Apia. We also received 7 large boxes from Apia that we unpack and after entering all of the information in the USPS web site, printout and put US postage on them to ship to the US and other places around the world. Then we travel back to the Post Office and give them to the postal workers for shipment.
Taking care of the mail and visiting each missionary companionship on Tuesday (West Zone) and Wednesday (East Zone) takes up a big part of our days and weeks.
This week we had a tsunami watch created from the earthquake in Chile, so we were on the phone to elders who live by the water and getting them prepared. Nothing happened except for some high surfs mostly caused by the winds from a storm. The surfs came in at low tide, so they were pretty benign.
In Apia, the new mission president and his wife arrived - President Arthur Hannemann from Hawaii. He served a mission in Samoa and is now back as the leader. The Saunders left on Saturday, Apia time. President Saunders 65th birthday was on Saturday and we understand the senior couples gave him a little party. When he arrived here, it was Friday, so he had a second birthday on the flight home, Thus, he is now 66 and has served three years as mission president during his month in Apia. That was the sign we made to welcome him at the airport - a little fuzzy math. Some days it gets crazy trying to decide which day it is in which island. We don't work on Sunday which is Apia's Monday and we work on Friday which is Apia's Saturday so really we only work three days out of the week??
We were able to pick the Saunders up from the airport, take them to dinner at a nice restaurant along with Ropeti Lesa (mission president counselor and supervisor of the PBO office here) and his wife. They are the best and will be missed.