Saturday, October 10, 2015

One month ago today I reported to the MTC...

Flight Plans.  What happened to October 18th?!

Malo soi fua!! 

First off, shout out to the bro for verbally committing to the Y!!!! So stoked we're gonna get to ball out together in college!

This week was exciting. Getting to watch conference at the MTC was a great experience. I think this was the first conference weekend in my life I watched every session and I loved it. One of the main things I took away from conference is what President Uchtdorf said in the very first talk of conference. He talked about preaching the gospel plainly. I feel like this applies to everyone, not just missionaries. A lot of people have a lot of questions about our church and if we just give them simple answers, it will help them understand what we believe.  I feel like this will be pretty easy for me in Samoa cause I can only say simple sentences and concepts. That's just one thing that stuck out to me and made me think about how I can make it easier for the people I teach to understand the gospel.

On Monday we got our flight plans!! So stoked! We leave Saturday the 17th. Fly to San Francisco then to New Zealand which is an 11 hour flight. During the flight we will have skipped October 18th completely. We have a 10 hour layover in New Zealand.... Then we have a 5 hour flight to Samoa!! I'm a little nervous but I'm so excited. I still can't speak the language but I'm so excited to get there! I've been exploring on google earth the past few days and it's so beautiful. I still can't believe I get to preach the gospel in such a beautiful place for two whole years.

In class the past few days we've been learning about the fa`asamoa (samoan culture). In the Samoan culture, missionaries are considered to be higher in the order of rank than High Chiefs who are in charge of a tribe usually containing 200 people. I think it's cool that we get that much respect but I'm scared if I do something dumb they won't respect me. Another thing about the culture I think is interesting is say my companion and I were riding our bikes to a visit, we can't just pull our water bottles out of our bags. We have to get off our bikes, squat and drink the water. Apparently it's super disrespectful to eat and drink standing. You always have to squat.

Thursday, we had to teach a lesson to a native Samoan over skype. It was really tough. I already struggle enough to understand what someone is telling me in person using hand gestures. The guy we taught was super cool about it though. He totally understood what we were going through. He said his family lives in Samoa and that we have to find them and teach them.

The temple this morning was awesome. I love that I get to feel the spirit there so strong. I know that it is the house of the Lord. The breakfast there is pretty great too. I've about had it with the cafeteria food here in the MTC.

I can't believe I'm out of here in 8 days! It's gone by so fast! 

Fa`afetai lava! Alofa ia te latou!!

Elder Sterner
(Below:  One of the missionaries brought this mini ping pong table set.  We play it every night and the tournaments get pretty competitive and heated.)

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