Thursday, May 18, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!!! We finally hear from Elder Sterner!!! May 14, 2017

Note from mom...So we haven't heard much from Justin in almost 6 weeks, but I was trying to be patient knowing we would get to have our phone conversation for Mother's Day.  It was so wonderful to hear his voice and he sounds so happy and busy!  We all talked with him on the phone for about an hour and a half.  It was great to get an update of what he has been up to and also look ahead a bit to what needs to happen when he gets home.  As much as I miss hearing from him each week, when I heard how busy he's been with the work he's doing, I now totally understand.  I couldn't be prouder of him for how hard he's working and all that he's doing.  Then when I think about him only having 3 months left, I know he feels a sense of urgency to get all the work in until the very end.  He also mentioned that he doesn't have any time to sight-see and explore on his "P"day (personal day) since he has too many things to take care of.  I guess he gets to see  and appreciate all of the beauty around him each and every day.  He and his companion usually have to get up at 3am and drive to the harbor to pick up or drop off missionaries, take care of paperwork, do their laundry,  shop for food, and take care of other things.  He's using that as his excuse as to why we don't hear from him as regularly as we would like.  That just makes me think that we will definitely have to find a time to get back to Samoa with our family and explore it together!  Justin mentioned that he just got his 3rd companion in this area as a zone leader and the focus in this more remote area of Savaii continues to be the Sunday School class on the beach.  He was pretty happy that they had 51 people there last week and usually Justin and his companion are in charge of leading and speaking at these meetings each week.  He says it's pretty stressful, but when he sees how the numbers are growing, he knows they are making a difference.  He said he's taken lots and lots of photos and has been pretty good about keeping a journal.  He also said he's eating healthier which was nice to hear and often it's fish that fishermen pull in right off the shore.  He said it's orange season and there are oranges everywhere and that everyone is always giving them more oranges, so we know he is getting his vitamin C.   We hope he will be getting his travel arrangements for his return in August in the next week or we will keep you posted!!!

And I've put in a request for him to translate the Samoan when he puts it in his blog posts, so hopefully he gets back to us on that!

A little dark for the baptism...

Malo Soifua. Faamalulu atu ona leva ona le toe faia se imeli umi...


Life is busy. We had a marriage for our investigator, then her baptism right after.  It all went really well.  The wedding went a little late so that's why it was dark for the baptism.


The Sunday School is going well.  My companion and I are still leading it.  I have a new companion too, Elder Tua from Utah.  Mother's Day at church was an interesting Sunday.  We invited 3 men to give talks about mothers...but let's just say it didn't go how I expected and was kind of interesting.  A story for another day.....  The Sunday School is close to becoming a branch and that's pretty exciting.   There were 51 people at church this Sunday so it's so awesome to see the numbers growing.  We are still working to help build our numbers....


Life is good and time is going too fast. 


alofa atu

-elder sterner


 Chillin on the boat

 Sweet kids.  I love the Michael Jackson overalls.


Island Paradise