Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Sunday March 27,2016


It was SUPER fun not having email the last two weeks. At least it went fast. Nothing crazy happened the last three weeks other than we had 7 baptisms.

This week is gonna be a lot of "door knocking" but Samoans don't have doors so we'll figure something out. We need to find some new investigators.

Transfers are in a few weeks. Time goes so fast. By the end of this transfer, I will have been in Faleasi'u for exactly 6 months. 26 weeks. I love this ward so much. We've had so much success and it's mostly because of the ward. They want to help us so much. Some members come up to us at church on Sundays and tell us that either they have someone for us to teach or that they are looking.

Malu and Vaimoa. Vaimoa in Samoan translates to chicken water so some people at church would kinda chuckle when we would say that's one of our investigators names. He is super cool. He's 13 and he got the priesthood this Sunday.

This photo is with our ward mission leader's mom. She is the best. Her son (Temple, our ward mission leader) took the picture and she said, "Hey, take a picture with my sons!" Their family makes "ice cakes" at their house which is flavored syrup and water in a styrofoam cup and they freeze it. They are only 50 cents and we get one almost every day. They cool me down for approximately 30 seconds.  

I'm thinking I'll probably get transferred this transfer. I've been here a while, so I'm ready for a new challenge and something different.  Part of me wants to leave but I know the second I leave, I'm going to want to come back. Saying goodbye to these people is going to be really hard...

 I have to go! The internet should be good for a pretty long time. Love you!!

In this picture with our baptisms, you'll notice my forearms are super shiny. The font was a little too full so we had to get a bucket and scoop out some water. Then we went straight to take the pictures and I was sweating soo bad.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday, March 20th - internet at church still not working

Justin and friends hamming it up.  Those are some happy faces. 
Love that lava lava on Justin.

Another week in no man's land not hearing from Justin directly.  We're hoping he'll give us three week's worth next Sunday.  However, I'm sure he'll still be brief.  Thankfully, Justin's ward mission leader sent us a brief update and some pictures.  Here is the message we got from Justin's ward mission leader this evening:


Hi Sister Sterner well I emailed again because elder sterner called me again that he will not email due to the internet problem at the chapel, but want to let you know that he's doing great with his companion and so sorry for the problem hope I can help but I'm in work but will let him use my laptop next week so they can email you cos I'm in work now, we have 3 baptisms this week, I love working with your son and his companion since I'm the ward mission leader I want to say thank you for raising a caring and a great son and also a hard working elder in our ward, sorry this is my email at work but hope you and the family will have a great Sabbath day and he's sending his love to all of you, hope to see your reply so I can let him know,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Monday March 14th - Luke & Morgan's Birthday

Note from mom and dad -
Apparently the internet wasn't working at the church there on Monday so Justin wasn't able to email us as usual on Sunday. (He's a day ahead of us)  His mission leader let us know that we wouldn't hear from him that day, but he did send along this photo which sure made us all smile!
Until next week...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 6...Will hit my 6 month mark this week

Malo lava le soifua maua ma le lagi mama!

This week was awesome. I can't believe it's been six months this week. It's going so fast.

Tuesday night was the best lesson I've had on my mission so far. It was with one of our investigators named Junior. He is the uncle of Matthew and Sharon the kids we baptized a couple weeks ago. We had visited with him last week and he wasn't sure about things. He didn't feel ready. I was pretty bummed but we just invited him to pray and promised him he would receive an answer. I had been praying for him every day and I had a good feeling as we went to visit with him on Tuesday. We started the lesson and we just asked him if he had prayed. He said he did but he didn't really elaborate much. We were there with our ward mission leader. The three of us bore testimony of the gospel and prayer specifically. The spirit was so strong. Then my companion asked how he felt as he prayed. I couldn't believe his answer.  

He shared that he prayed all night about the church and baptism. He couldn't sleep because he was thinking so much about it and praying all night. He said after praying for a while Heavenly Father's answer came to him and he received an answer that went something like, "You're ready. I've done my part. What are you waiting for? Get baptized." He went on to say that he's ready to get baptized and he will do whatever he needs to do.

I'll be honest. I shed a tear. Sorry, the spirit was too strong. It was funny, I looked to our ward mission leader cause I couldn't believe what he said. He looked at me and said he didn't know what to say either. So we just kinda sat in silence for a bit just trying to comprehend what just happened. We set his baptism for this weekend and invited him to continue to pray for guidance and help.
Then this morning as we were planning to teach him, I remembered Enos in the Book of Mormon and how he prayed for forgiveness of his sins. Enos's experience is the same as Junior's and I can't wait to share it with him tonight.

We have a total of six baptisms this week. I'm so excited. Prayers have been answered and everything is working out. It's just more and more obvious that the hand of the Lord is in this work and the fact that He's doing most of it.  I must admit that it's very humbling to play a part in it.

On Thursday we helped build a Faleo'o which is those Samoan houses with the poles and the roof is made out of leaves. It was really fun being able to help. I learned how to weave the roof. They finished the house in a single day. When I was weaving the leaves for the roof, I felt like Elf when he was in the North Pole making the etch-a-sketches. Everyone else would have 3 or 4 done and  I would still be working on my first one. I got the hang of it after a while, but I was still really slow.

This week is gonna be really busy just preparing all of our investigators for baptism this Saturday. Can't wait.

alofa atu outou

-elder tana

This is my handiwork for the roof.  I was really slow, but it was a lot of fun.

Here we are working on the Faleo'o.  How do you like my companion representing Dana Hills Baseball?  I got him the shirt for his birthday and he loves it and wears it a lot.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Monday February 29th...Leap year!

Hello everyone,

This week was really productive. We had a lot of really good visits and we have a lot of investigators progressing towards baptism quickly.

We started teaching these four kids. Their parents are less active so we are hoping to get them back to church. They know their kids need to get baptized which is good but that doesn't mean once you're baptized you stop coming to church. We've been working with the parents as well as the kids and we hope we can get the entire family back to church. I love teaching kids. Not only are they easy to teach, but they are funny and are eager to learn. We taught the first lesson and it was just the four kids. There were a lot of other kids around the house and they heard how much fun we were having learning about the gospel and I could tell they wanted to join us. So we came back the next day and there were about 7 or 8 kids there. The four that started are the only ones old enough to get baptized but it's still nice having other kids wanting to learn about the Savior. We invited the four kids to be baptized on the 12th and they accepted. We also have another baptism set for the 12th. It's a girl who lives with members but she turns 9 at the beginning of March so they just want us to teach her and do her baptism.

We have another investigator we are teaching and he is really good. He is sincere and has a real desire to learn about the gospel. We invited him to be baptized and he said he wants to but he wants to pray and be sure about it. That's the best answer because we want him to be sure too. One, he wants to be baptized and second, he understands the importance of baptism and what it means. We invited him to be baptized this Saturday but if he wants to move it back, we definitely will. He is so prepared I just don't think he has realized it yet.

On Wednesday we got the news that two new missionaries will be living with us. It's been interesting mainly because our house is barely big enough for just two of us. I think we're the first and probably the last missionaries in the Samoa Apia mission to have two companionships living in the same house. One is a palagi from Utah and the other is from Tonga. It's funny when my companion and him talk, I can kinda understand what they are talking about because Samoan and Tongan are so similar.

On Sunday the Young Women's President invited us to a devotional that the youth were putting on. The focus was service and missionary work. One of our very recent converts had a part in the program. She bore her testimony and was so nervous but she did such a good job and it was so awesome! She even gave us a little shout out haha. Then during the devotional, a parent saw that their kid was on his phone and he happened to be sitting in the front row. So his dad got up walked to the front row, in front of the person speaking and smacked the kid in the head with a hymn book. I was dying. I couldn't stop laughing. I just didn't expect it at all but that's Samoans for ya - I loved it.

Hope you all had a great week!!

Alofa tele ia te outou uma!!

-elder tana

 This is just my attempt at trying to take an interesting picture. 
Nothing like spending two years in paradise.

These are all of the kids I wrote about.  They are so fun to teach and be with (as you can tell).

Justin's ward mission leader sent us another e-mail (below).  It is so fun to hear from him and what they're up to.  He also is able to send us more pictures (if that's ok with those reading this).  We love pictures!  We're so thankful that Temple has taken the time to do this for us.

So glad you received my email, well he's a strong missionary and he's one of the longest missionary in my ward. Everyone loves them cos they are great and hard working missionaries. Well yesterday we spend their pday at the chapel creating some cover for their Preach my Gospel and planners i will send some pictures :)

We had so much fun last week in missionary work and every time working with elder sterner and elder fifita always made my day and make me want to go back to mission.
PS: the last picture of me holding a cucumber its huge :)
Have a great week and God bless :)

Temple Leaupepetele.

Justin said the ice cream is ok, but it's cold so he gets it a lot.

Who knew Justin was so "craftsy"?

This is having a snack at someone's house.  He said the water from
these young coconuts (nius) is delicious and refreshing.

Temple wasn't lying in his email when he said the cucumber was huge.  Holy cow! 
How would that fit in a salad?