Monday, March 14, 2016

March - Potpourri

Since moving back to Apia, we have been trying to get "back into things" and so we've been spending time getting organized and training sessions arranged.  There hasn't been any one thing that stands out right now to write in the blog, but there are several things, so, Potpourri message.

Last week we got an e-mail from Adrian that lit up our life.  We love to hear about the family and especially our grandsons who are attending the Temple and doing baptisms for the dead.  We can only hope that our missionary service inspires our family to continue on their eternal paths.  This picture of Taylor and Cameron at the Logan Temple brought smiles and warmth to our hearts.  Proud of you guys!  These are handsome young men.

Then, I begin to suffer through a toothache.  We are truly blessed to have retired American and Canadian dentists come and volunteer at the Pesega Dental Clinic.  Dr. Goodman and his wife are from Arizona and have been on several short missions doing dental work.  Most recently to Tonga and now Samoa.  They come out for 4-6 months paying their own way.  The dental clinic is free to everyone and on Tuesday's it is reserved for missionaries - both here serving and those preparing to go on a mission.  As my toothache wasn't on Tuesday, Dr. Goodman served on his day off (yes, he does go golfing on Wednesdays) and performed a root canal on one of my molars that had a filling and as he found was cracked.  Then the other problem was a top back tooth that was sensitive because of the receding gum (related to old age).  I haven't had this many dental problems in years.  Anyway, teeth are getting fixed by great dentists and I am so grateful for their service.  This is just a normal day at the clinic, they had a family in this day and the kids started massaging the backs of the dentist and assistant.  Although a kind gesture, it doesn't make for steady hands.

Brittney's uncle, Wayne Clayton came to Samoa along with another couple of engineers to install new fiber and upgrade the phone and internet system on the compound here in Pesega. Wayne also delivered a new video projector so we were excited to see him.   Wayne's father who had served a mission here in the late fifties also came and spent days traveling with two of his former companions that were also here.  Theron spent some time watching the guys install the new equipment but wasn't able to help much. Wayne wanted to go snorkeling and had several hours free one afternoon so Theron took him out to see the clams. We also took them to a 'fia fia' (happy, happy) dinner show at Traditions resort; An evening of traditional Samoan foods and dancing was great fun, and the nine year old fire dancer was amazing. I must admit that I also enjoyed being surrounded by young buff Samoan men after the show, even if they were so sweaty it felt like hugging a sponge.  BTW, the one on the right is in a bishopric, on the left if a temple worker, and the one kneeling is meeting with the missionaries. (church parties are more fun down here).

We always enjoy the interesting things we see on the road. The track hoe in the photo below wasn't tied down to the truck, but it was okay since they had a man riding back there (barefoot) to hold it in place. Then just a few blocks later was a car that had a floor jack which was replacing the right front wheel while three guys were pushing it down the road.

Our Marc and Brittney celebrated their 12th year wedding anniversary and we loved this picture they posted.  Have they even aged?  Twelve years, four children, building and remodeling a house, work and school and just plain life - looks really good on these two.  Love them!!!

A couple of weeks ago, Sister Ellsworth of the mission office asked us to give a 15-minute presentation on missionary preparation to a class of middle school students.  We finally settled on what to talk about and went to talk to Sister Ah Hoy about where we would be presenting.  Her reply was that we would be speaking in the Pesega Gym to all 400 of the Pesega Middle School students plus faculty.  Well, that changed everything.  We went in to full preparation mode now that we knew we were the keynote speakers for a Middle School Missionary Preparation Day.  Our presentation centered on a video from Elder Bednar exhorting us to "Become missionaries long before we are called as missionaries" and we used the song, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." of which Theron sang a couple of verses while some of the kids roll-played the teachings from the music. Then we had all 400 sing all six verses of the song while looking at slides we had prepared.  We are so grateful for talented people who write and publish such inspirational music.  This is the only picture I was able to snap as we sat through the introductions. Notice that the students are wearing missionary clothes and many had missionary name tags.

Life here in Samoa goes on, each day is a new adventure and brings new opportunities.  We testify that this is the Lord's Church, the Lord's work and the Lord's way.  Love to all and happy to be serving.

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