Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 6th...about 2 more months to go!

From mom...a random person texted me this photo on May 23rd and I just now saw it on my phone as I was deleting texts!  I love getting photos of Justin and appreciate people sending them along!  If you ever have a chance to take a missionary's photo and send it to his mom or family, they will be very grateful just like me! :)

Samoan kids are the best!

Another Samoan sunset...they don't ever get old.

This last picture was after Stake Conference on Saturday in my last area, and right when it finished the "sa" started (that's the 30 minutes where everyone in the village has to do prayer time with their family that I emailed about before).  Just about everyone got stuck on the chapel grounds waiting for it to be over which was pretty funny.

This is Elder Bickmore, the Savaii king who is finally leaving for Tutuila.  Elder Bickmore was on Savaii his whole mission and his last transfer he got transfered to Tutuila.


This is where we did our zone meeting with president

So...I was kinda surprised about getting transferred.  They called Sunday afternoon and said I was gonna get transferred to the backside of  Upolu to be a zone leader.  So I was really excited for that. Then they called again around midnight and said I'm going to Sili, which is where I am now.  It's the zone right next to my old one.  We only have 4 companionships but we're having a lot of success with the work, which has been great.  Hopefully we can get at least one more companionship at the upcoming transfer to add to the numbers in the zone.  After this week, my last full transfer begins. Crazy.

I'd be shocked if I got transferred again and think I'll for sure finish here.  I'm not doing the Sunday
school anymore since I'm in a new area.  That was a really cool learning experience, though.  If I got one thing from it, I gained so much respect for Bishops and leaders of our church.  I was dealing with 50 people so I can't imagine having to deal with 500!

My new companion is a native and he's great.  I'm glad I get to finish with a native to make sure my Samoan is good.  It's pretty funny...Yesterday, we visited a recent convert and she was trying to set me me up with her husband's sister who lives in Apia.....hahaha.  Then at fafaga, the mom was kinda shocked at how good I was speaking Samoan and was like, "I know the reason you have good Samoan.  You have a Samoan girlfriend!  Now you need to find a new one since you switched areas!"  Obviously, that's not true, but everyone always asks the white missionaries if they have Samoan girlfriends.  I'm pretty used to it by now and I've come up with some pretty good come-back answers to give... ha ha.

We cover 5 wards and a branch so we're pretty stretched.  I feel like I'm always busy with zone leader stuff and teaching lessons, so it's good.  We should have at least 4 baptisms this month which is exciting.  We live in Sili and cover Satupaitea, Satufia, Papa, Gautaivai, Gataivai, and Sili.  I live in the area I was talking about before where if you don't go to a church on Sunday, you get fined.  But in Satufia, Papa, and Gautaivai, if you want to change churches, you get fined $300.  In Gataivai, our church is 100% not allowed and if we try to proselyte there, the chiefs in the village chase us out...
Very interesting.  Life is great in Samoa.

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