Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chapter 3 - Apia Samoa - Island of Upolu

Our flight to Aupia, Samoa left about 8:00 that night (Friday).  We landed about 11:30, went through customs and out into the lobby with all our luggage -  and there was no one there to meet us! We kind of stuck out like sore thumbs!  We had at least 4 or 5 ask us if we needed a taxi.  We enjoyed ourselves people watching...  Finally about 12:15 we heard someone call our names.  It was Sister Laota, our mission president's wife and two other senior couples.  President Laota was on another island.  They gave us a traditional Samoan welcome, loaded us in the van and we drove about 30 minutes to mission headquarters.  All of the senior missionaries have nice homes in the compound - two or three bedrooms and quite modern (for Samoa).  We stayed with Elder & Sister Harker (they are in charge of training ward clerks on using the computer and audits of the wards and stakes).  He travels about 1000 miles a month to each of the wards.  Sister Harker keeps herself busy helping in the mission office, mission medical office, or whatever they ask her to do.  She calls herself the mission fluff because she does not have an actual assignment.  One of the challenges with senior couples is when they call one of them for a specific reason,  making sure their spouse has something productive to do.  Our mission nurse is one example.  She has lots to do and it keeps her busy, but they have to find things to keep her husband busy and productive.  Sister Harker is another example.  Her husband is very busy, but she is not.  But all are happy to serve and do whatever they are asked.  
The next morning - Saturday, we went to the temple.  What a great experience!  It was all in Samoan, so we used headsets.  

Jordans with Elder & Sister Partridge
(they are in charge of the mission office)
 Saturday afternoon we toured the island with the Harker's.  We had our first experience of wading in the ocean and collecting seashells.  The water is about as warm as a bathtub.

The next morning (Sunday) we were scheduled to fly to the island of Tutuila (American Samoa).  We questioned why we would be flying on Sunday and would have to miss Sacrament Meeting.  We were reminded that Tutuila was a day behind - so when we got there it would be Saturday.  
So between Monday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 29th we had no Tuesday and two Saturdays and Sundays!  No wonder we were tired and didn't know what day it was for a couple of weeks....

Dennis & Susan in front of the fountain at the Apia Samoan Temple

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