Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Samoa Apia Mission Memories - January 2016

NOTE:  This is my original entry of June 26, 2016 - that I thought I had lost when I went back to add to it...  So some of the information is duplicated...  DUH!!!!!

It is amazing that we have been back in American Samoa serving for almost 6 months.  We can't believe how fast the time seems to be going.  As we look back on events that have transpired since our arrival, we are awed and humbled at how much we have been blessed.
We spent five awesome days in the MTC in Provo, Utah.  The second time there was just as amazing as the first time.  We met many new friends and had some incredible experiences while we were there.   This is a picture of us in the MTC with the missionaries that flew to Samoa the same time as us.
We flew from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles on Monday, January 11 and arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on the 13th early in the morning.  The flight was approximately 13 hours.  Because we crossed the international date line, we didn't have a Tuesday.  We left Auckland and arrived in Apia, Samoa in the early evening.
We met our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Hannemann, as well as several of the other senior couples serving in the mission.  Elder and Sister Ellsworth, the mission office couple, Elder and Sister McBride, in charge of housing, and Elder and Sister Gillette working at the school.  They are all so delightful - more new friends.
When Dennis mentioned that it was my birthday, they said they would have a birthday cake for me at our dinner meeting the next night.  We met with President Hannemann and Sister Hahnemann Thursday morning to get better acquainted, and President Hahnemann, knowing it was our second time here, thought it would be fun to have lunch - with traditional Samoan food in the park.  It tasted so good, but both of us got sick and couldn't attend the welcome dinner planned for us that night - no birthday cake for me...  We went swimming on Friday with some of the other seniors.  It was really great to feel the warm Samoan waters between our toes again.  It was raining, so we didn't do any snorkelling.
We flew to Tutuila, the name of the largest island in American Samoa, on Sunday - after attending church (7:30 block) arriving on Saturday - crossing the international date line again, so we had no Tuesday, two Saturday's and two Sunday's that week. -  The Schaefermeyer's met us at the airport.  They are the couple that were doing missionary support until we arrived.  We bonded right away - more new friends...
We spent several days with them - visiting and meeting the missionaries and learning where they all lived.  Some of the places they lived were the same, but some were new - and since there are no addresses on the island, we had to learn landmarks to know where to find them.
Monday morning we met with Sonny Aiono, Seminary and Institute director for American Samoa.  It was so great to see him again.  He gave us our class schedule for the semester and we prepared to start teaching the next day.
We taught 4 classes - twice a week for each.  Doctrine and Covenants, Part 2, Book of Mormon, Part 2, Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel, and Foundations of the Restoration.
Needless to say, we hit the ground with our feet running!  We took this picture during one of our classes.  We love our students...

Because one third of our mission is over, and this is my first post, there are lots of memories to share.

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