Monday, January 30, 2017

January 29th...FINALLY, we hear from Elder Sterner!

Note from mom...we didn't hear from Justin the last two Sundays, so we were anxious to hear from him today.  Since he is back out to the more remote areas of the island in Western Samoa, the internet connection is often hard to find.  We were so grateful to get his email and read that he has been really busy, and is SO happy.  He loves Satapuala!  And mom is happy because we got three weeks worth of photos! :)

 Lots of fun with the kids

 Just a little hot & sweaty...ha ha

Hi everyone! The past three weeks have been really good!  I have a new companion, we have a new house, we just had two baptisms and we have three more this Saturday!

The work is really good.  Our area is pretty big so we've been busy getting the people we are teaching prepared for their baptismal dates and not much time for tracting.  This week we hope to find a lot of new people to teach.

We're baptizing a couple this weekend and honestly, the first time I met them I never thought they would be interested in our church or getting baptized.  The gospel changes people and the change that takes place is amazing.  The Church is the best!!

I think I've lost weight too which is good...

 sugar cane


 our new house...BEFORE

our new house...AFTER! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 8, 2017 - Satapuala

o le au boiz + Sara

Family Home Evening = FHE

Things are good in Satapuala. We have 4 baptismal dates for the 28th and could be adding a couple this week. This area is kind of a gold mine right now because the past missionaries that served in this area covered two other big wards and weren't able to do much work here.

The ward here is really cool. I think they're especially happy to have missionaries assigned just in their ward. We've been able to faamasani with about all the ward members. 

One thing that I love about kids here in Samoa is that they never know their own birthday but if you ask them who their Savior is, they know it's Jesus.  If you ask them who struck the rock they know it's Moses.  If you ask them who ate the apple, they'll say Adam and Eve.  I love it!

We did a family home evening with a great family. It was really fun and most of them were at church yesterday. That's one thing that we're trying to do here; every Monday night, have a family home evening/FHE with a family in the ward and have them invite a non-member to join us if they want.

The work is super good and we have a young man we go on splits with almost every day.  He's preparing to go on a mission also and he's been super helpful. 

Sorry not so much to share today but will try to get some good stuff for next week.

Alofa atu!

o le au boiz + Sara

Family Home Evening fafaga

Question and answer session from dad:

I’m anxious to hear about your new place.  I’ll ask my questions in simple form so you can answer them quickly:

1.       Is the city in the boonies, or in a populated area?
I cover the airport.  It's pretty populated and we cover a lot of jungle too.

2.       What is the ward like?
The ward is good. We have a kid that we go on splits with a lot.  His family is really cool too.
3.       Are you getting to speak a lot of Samoan?
Yes, more than usual.
4.       How is P90X3 going?
I haven't really been able to do it because of our living situation but we're moving tomorrow to the other house so I should be able to start this week.

Mom's questions of the week:
What is the Samoan translation for "Latter Day Saints"?  We had discussed this on Christmas with Justin and Jeff and I thought it was really cool, so we wanted him to clarify it again.  This was his response:
"o le ekalesia a iesu keriso o le au pa'ia o aso e gata ai"
The "au pa'ia" part is saints, but "au" is team and "pa'ia" is holy, so I like to say it is the Church of Jesus Christ of the holy team of latter days.

faamasani = get familiar with

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!


Talofa mai Satapuala! This week has been crazy but also really good. 

Even though I got transferred, leaving Tafuna wasn't as hard as usual.  I guess I'm getting used to it and I'm really excited to head back to Upolu.  It was hard to say goodbye to our baptism from last week.  She is so cool.  I gave her my facebook so when I get back, we'll stay in touch.

We flew to Upolu Wednesday and crossed the date line.  I am no longer in American Samoa and it was only a 25 minute flight. Then I stayed with elders in an area for the night and then the next morning we went to the office to get my trainee. We had training meetings with the president and APs. Then we headed to our areas. As we were driving, the APs called and made a fa'afuase'i change. I'm no longer training (after a lot of training) but I am going to be companions with a native from Savai'i. 

When we got to the area, we went and met with the ward members. The ward is awesome. There are a lot of youth we've been able to do splits with who are preparing for missions.

The area we're in currently doesn't have a house that we can live in because before we got here, the other missionaries covered other wards with missionary houses.  Since we've only been assigned this ward, we are currently working on finding a house.  Right now we are living with a family that is outside our area.  There is a small house at the back of the chapel that only has four poles holding it up, so we are really pushing to see if they can get it walled so that we could live there.  It's so much better when we are able to live close to the chapel. 

It's going to be pretty cool to be in this area because there haven't been missionaries here for a while.
We got the bishopric action list yesterday and there are 23 people who aren't baptized in the church computer plus a few others that are in the area book so LOTS of work to do. Super excited.


 The road in fagaloa that we drove on all the time


We got to skype with Justin for about 3 hours on Christmas which was the best!
He's doing great and was waiting to hear if he got transferred to a new area....