Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hurricane in Samoa...week 6


This week all we got was rain. All day. Everyday. I haven't seen the sun all week. Apparently there was a hurricane that came through on Saturday. It was category three. The worst is six I think. But it was super windy and an umbrella is no help since the rain is coming at us completely sideways. Saturday afternoon we got a call from the zone leaders saying everyone needs to be in their houses. As we got the call, we were hiding under a tiny store 20 minutes from our house. So the walk back was wet and windy. Sometimes the wind was so strong we'd have to stop and get a good footing so it wouldn't blow us over.

We are teaching a lot of people who are interested in the gospel. One is Faleolo. He's 29, married and has two kids. We visited with him last week and invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about our message. When we followed up this week he said he did and he received an answer! I was so stoked and it was good to know that people who really do pray and read will receive an answer. He now wants to get baptized. All you have to do is read and pray!

Sina, one of our other investigators had her baby and is doing well. She still hasn't named him yet. We've been telling her Tana (which is how my last name is pronounced here) would be good. We set her baptism for the 12th. She's great.  She even joked about how it's going to be easier for me to do the baptism now that she had the baby.

Matthew is one of my favorite investigators. He's got the biggest smile I've ever seen and he's always smiling. He's 11 years old and loves the church. He comes every Sunday and he really wants to get baptized. He loves the lessons we do with him and he's completed the collection of lesson pamphlets. It was funny, during one of our lessons with him this week, his Dad was sleeping in the fale probably like 20 feet away and he was snoring so loud.  Some Samoans are really good at snoring.

The stores here are just little rooms in the front of houses that don't really sell much. One thing they usually don't have is water. Samoans think cold water is bad for you so whenever we ask for some water, they give us soda...

One thing that makes it hard for us to use our time wisely is that all Samoans are extremely respectful to missionaries. Even if they don't want to listen, they'll still let us in. It's wonderful to visit with them, but it can be frustrating because we could be somewhere else where the people actually want to listen.

We find a dead cockroach in our house everyday. It doesn't really bug me anymore which is kinda bad I guess. And like at home, if I saw a lizard in the house, I'd do everything to get it out. Here, there will be like 4 lizards crawling around and I don't even care.

I'll leave you with a scripture that I really like. It's a revelation Joseph Smith received when he was a prisoner in the Liberty, Missouri jail.  It's D&C Section 122 verse 7-9

 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

 8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

 9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

When nothing seems to be going our way and we don't think we can overcome hard trials, it's so comforting to know that Jesus Christ knows exactly what you're feeling. Hold on thy way for God shall be with you forever and ever.

Love you all!

Elder Sterner

Downtown Apia with the Clock Tower in the center.

Here is a picture of the coast.  Just to the right of the tree you
can barely see part of the other main island of Samoa, Savai'i

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