Sunday, October 25, 2015

Safe Arrival in Samoa after 29 hours of travel...

Taking a selfie and sweatin' like a champ!  (No, I'm not scared, just focused on the shot)
After a total of 29 long hours of traveling, I have made it to Samoa safe and sound!! If you think you've been in humid weather, come to Samoa. The second we walked off the plane and down the little staircase thing because they don't have terminals, I instantly started sweating. It's so humid but it's good because it cleans out my lungs and all my phlegm and junk.

We arrived around 9pm and the mission president and the AP's were there to pick us up. The Mission President and his wife are so nice. He's a big time surfer from Hawaii so we talked about surfing for a while. We went to the mission home where they talked to us for a bit and then we got to sleep. Where we slept the first couple days is called the MRC (missionary recovery center). It's just a big room of bunk-beds.

The next morning we just kinda went through a big orientation and made sure all our information is up to date. Then I met my companion, Elder Powelson. He's from Arizona and has been out for 14 months. His Samoan is crazy good. We're serving in Upolu which is the main island on the Northwest side. The ward we're in is Faleasi`u Tai. The Bishop and members are so nice. One family even does our laundry for us so I'm gonna have to wait a few months to do laundry out of a barrel. One great thing about serving on the same island where the temple is located is that we get to go once a month which I'm stoked about. That night, we drove to our areas and started being real missionaries. Our house is a little thing behind the chapel. It's tiny.

We went out with the ward missionary to get familiar with the area since we were both new to it. We met with a bunch of members and they gave us a bunch of referrals. I have no idea what's going on during lessons which is a bummer but I totally feel the spirit. I don't know if I'd be able to do it if I couldn't feel the spirit. During lessons, I write down words that I don't know and study them. It's starting to help. Throughout our lessons with investigators the past couple days, we have had three investigators commit to baptism which is awesome. I really hope I get the chance to baptize someone in the ocean!
One thing I love is when we're walking around, the little kids probably around 2 or 3 just sit out in their fales' and will yell "faifeau tala`i" (missionary) and then "fa" (bye) in the cutest little high-pitched voices.  I love that.

During lessons my companion has me bear a simple testimony and say the prayer sometimes. On Sunday I had to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting which was really scary but I did it. All the members had the biggest smiles on their faces because they knew I was brand new and I was speaking the language the best I could.

The fafaga's (dinners) are interesting to say the least. The main thing they eat is Taro which is a plant from the ground that has no taste and the worst texture. Apparently it's super good for you, so I choke it down. They also give us a lot of meats and BBQ which is really good but it's pretty bland. I like spicy stuff so it's gonna be an interesting adjustment. The drinks though are super good. There is this drink called koko Samoa that everyone always gives us and it's so good. I recommend everyone getting their hands on it however possible. They also do the coconut water straight from the coconut that is super refreshing. My favorite though is when they get fresh fruit and make it into juice and it's the best.
I still can't believe I'm here. It's so beautiful. I love you all so much and think and pray for you guys constantly!

 Alofa ia te latou!!

 Elder Sterner
Walking down the highway with the beautiful ocean to the side.

Our sweet pad.  It's right behind the chapel.

Samoan sunrise with the Apia Samoa Temple in the background

A typical Samoan home

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