Samoa Apia Mission - March 2015 - 2017

Monday, January 11, 2016

Transfer to Savai'i

Cool bird. I think it is a Kingfisher. But I am sure it is a blue and white bird.
Well, I have been in this area only a short time but I just got the call yesterday that I will be getting transferred to...... SAVAI'I! :D I have wanted to go to Savai'i my whole mission and now I finally get to go.

My new companion will be Elder Ekuasi from here in Samoa. He actually came into the mission the same time I did so we are both new guys. I am super excited to go to Savai'i.

I will be going to Fagamalo Savai. I'll still be a Zone Leader. I will go over sometime this week, still trying to find a flight. Haha I should have a real house... I hope. ;)

This last week has been busy and I haven't spent a ton of time proselyting in my area because I have been doing exchanges with other Elders in their area. I have done a 4 day exchange with Elder Lealaiauloto in his area. Its been nice to speak Samoan again because my area is an English speaking ward. Elder Lealaiauloto's area is called Mapusaga and it is one of the strongest wards in Samoa. They get heaps of help from the ward in missionary work and last transfer they had about 15 baptisms. It was awesome to see how when the members are involved the work goes so much faster.
Sorry not a very long email this week. 
Love you all!
-Elder Lamoreaux

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Schaefermeyers blog notes

From Tasha: We just learned about a blog from a senior couple serving in American Samoa. Their blog is great, and there were several pictures and notes about where Elder Lamoreaux is serving.  (All the following letters and notes are from the Schaefermeyers blog:

In our front yard we had a banana tree that had a large bunch of bananas that was ready to harvest.  We cut them down a couple of weeks ago and then let them hang to ripen.  Bad idea in all sorts of ways, all the bananas ripened at the same time so here we are with 30 or more ripe bananas.  When  a full bunch of hanging bananas ripen, you make banana bread.  I invited the zone leaders, Elder Faletoi on the left and Elder Lamoreaux on the right, over to help and we made six batches.  We could not find small aluminum baking pans so we made our own from aluminum foil.  When resources are lacking, you have to figure out a way to make it work.  We baked 35 or so loaves, I lost count.

December 23 was set aside on our island for all the missionaries to gather together and celebrate.  The zone leaders organized a service project of cleaning a large yard and arranging for the missionaries to play rugby, table tennis, and water balloon volleyball on the cleaned yard.  

 We then had some "silly" stuff like moving an oreo cookie from your forehead to your mouth without hands.  The 10 second rule for cookies that hit the ground was applied by most of them.
Elder Faletoi and Lamoreaux, the zone leaders for the West Zone, designed the green shirts.

In the interim, Theron and I set up the cultural hall to serve the missionaries lasagna (I made 4 largeeeee ones), garlic bread, green salad with grapes in it, and cocoa Samoa brownies with cocoa Samoa hot fudge sauce.  We set up a gift table in the center of the tables and after eats we gave them each their gift bag.  Then, after they had eaten, they started giving back - best Christmas presents ever (well except for our son Marc).

The West Zone Elders performed a haka dance for us which i believe is the Maori way of saying We are the most fearsome and aggressive warriors on the island, however, for us it meant 'we love you' and 'thank you'.   (click to watch the video)

Saturday, December 5, was our ward Christmas party, now this isn't your typical ward Christmas party because  it's held at the beach and the temperature outside is a balmy 85 degrees with sunshine.  The Relief Society sisters were asked to bring salads and desserts...  On the table was a LARGE white cooler full of barbecued chicken and as we settled in eating our salads and chicken, the pick-up with the umu cooked pig arrived.   Three men with woven baskets carried it to the table and began pulling it apart - there was a rush for the skin!  You don't use knives but hands to pull a pig apart.

 The mothers are sitting on the rocks talking and the men are sitting making the big decisions and serving others.  I really enjoy watching these large men take care of the food, pick up the garbage and do all the cooking.  This is so great!  The more they can do the better the party.
After the talk and food and swimming, someone notices the kayak approaching the shore - it's Santa.  Yep, in Samoa Santa arrives in a kayak. Somehow it's really no more strange than when he arrives on a fire truck. Please note the boots he is wearing.  They're quite appropriate for a Samoan, kayaking, Santa.  Because the kids are all wet from swimming, no one sits on Santa's lap - Santa's worst fear - a wet lap from a three year old.  All the kids get a sack of some treats and a small toy.  How great to see the children so happy; the more the kids enjoy themselves the better the party.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year

I hope all of you had a great year last year and a good new years celebration. I don't have very much to write this week, it has been a pretty normal week.

This last week we didn't get a p-day because we had a meeting on the other island so our p-day was spent flying over there and getting ready for the meeting. The meeting was a good one. I got to see friends that I hadn't seen for a while and I also learned that my favorite investigator in my first area just got baptized. Yay!

When we were leaving to come back to our island we got to the airport at 3:30 because our flight was supposed to leave at 4:30. The airport is SOOOO ghetto. They don't have x-ray things for your bags so no one gets checked and anyone can walk behind security. But anyways... we sat in the airport till 7 when our plane finally left. The plane seats about 20ish people and they make all the fat people sit at the back so the plane will be balanced. When we were leaving the pilot turned around in his seat and said to us "well the flight was a bit rough coming over, there is a life jacket under your seat just in case but please don't touch it unless we tell you to. will you all pray that Heavenly Father will get us there safely?" It was really comforting.

Other then that its just been normal stuff every day.
Sorry not a very long email.
Alofa atu ia outou!
Love all of you,
-Elder Lamoreaux

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Hello very much!
I just wanted to write about a few blessings that I have seen while on my mission.
When I was set apart as a missionary I was blessed that I would be kept safe from injury and illness. A while back I did get sick, I caught the Dengue Fever which is a sickness from mosquitoes. Basically what happens is that it attacks your joints and makes them very painful every time you move and every time you don't. It also thins your blood to the point where you have internal bleeding which can get very serious. It usually takes a month or two to recover from it. When I had it I was worried because the bleeding was getting pretty bad pretty fast. However, I recovered within a week and was able to get back to proselyting. I know this was because of the blessing of protection I received before my mission.

Another miracle was told to me by a man that I met a while ago. He told me a story about his mother. She and her family lived in a village called Seetaga here in Tutuila. There was a hurricane while they lived there, a very bad one. Everybody started getting out of the village because the village of Seetaga was going to be the main impact point of the hurricane. This old lady did not leave though. She told her family that if they had enough faith then  they would be alright. The family tried to get her to leave but she wouldn't. They finally left and she stayed. She prayed and then sat to wait out the hurricane. When her family came back they said that there was not a house or tree or anything standing because of how bad the storm was, except for the house that the old lady was staying in. He said that this experience is what keeps him strong in the church.

Another miracle I have seen was back while I was in Upolu. I was with my companion Elder Laulu. We were going to pick up and investigator for church (pick up means walk to his house and then walk to church with him) and he told us that he would not be able to come to church because his son was very sick and he was going to have to  take him to the hospital. We offered to give the little boy a blessing and they said yes. I was very humbled by how my companion went about giving the blessing, I was kind of thinking that we should hurry up to try to get the blessing done so that we could get him to church, but my companion took his time getting ready. He first said a prayer and then he washed his hands. After he had washed his hands we reverently gave the child a blessing. As we started the blessing the child was crying and had a bad fever. As we gave the blessing the child stopped crying and fell asleep after the blessing he woke up and smiled at his dad. They later told us that he was no longer sick after we left. This was a big testimony builder to me.

Those are just a few cool experiences that I have seen on my mission.

Sorry this email is a bit late, my companion and I had to go over to Upolu for a meeting so we had to change our p-day this week.

Love you all and have a happy new year!! Manuia le tausaga fou!!
Alofa atu!
-Elder Lamoreaux

This is our island activity we did on Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Dec 21

I did remember you birthday, I even wrote it in my planner yesterday. :)
Thanks for the update on the family. I enjoy reading it every week.
Haha I am trying to gain weight but its kind of hard because I am in a white person ward and they don't really feed us very much. And a lot of times we will not have a dinner appointment so we will have to buy dinner, which is also hard because I am out of monthly money already. But I am managing. My comp and I always just ask other elders for food when we visit them so we are not starving most days.

I got your Christmas packages! I will be careful with them and try not to snoop or anything.....but the temptation is very strong.

Yes I think I got somewhere to skype... what is your skype address again?

Send my love to the family!
Alofa atu!
-Elder Lamoreaux
Just a cool under-water pic
(disclaimer notice: I did not go swimming to get this picture)
🎄Happy Christmas!!! Its been another great week this week and I hope all of you had a great week as well. This weeks activities included: Organizing a Christmas party for all the missionaries on the island, talking in church with a member of the first quorum of the 70, sending a missionary home on medical leave, getting rid of the cockroaches inside our car, going Christmas caroling, getting pulled over by a police man (my companion, not me), and of course good old preaching the gospel to white people (I'm still not used to it).

Not a ton of other stuff happened this week. We have been staying busy and I probably just forget a lot of things that I could write about because I didn't do that good at writing in my journal this week. 

We went caroling as a zone this week and that was pretty fun. We had each companionship pick one of their investigators for us to go sing to. We sang Po Filemu (silent night) and read the Christmas Story in Luke 2 to all the houses we went to. I thought we did pretty good, we would sing the first verse and then hum the second one while Elder Hingano read the story and then we would sing the third verse. Then we would give them some cookies and go to the next house. It was a good spiritual experience and we made someone cry at every house we went to, Still not sure if they were crying because of the spirit or because their ears hurt.... but lets hope it was the spirit.

I also got to have the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting this week. My comp and I were asked to speak about Christmas and Jesus Christ and we were sitting on the stand waiting for the meeting to start and then in walks President Halleck, one of the members of the fist quorum of the 70. It made me nervous because I was having to do the talk in English and I would much rather do it in Samoan, but it went well and he said I did a good job so that's good.

Well thats all for this week! Alofa atu ia outou!
-Elder Lamoreaux

Dec 14

This week has been busy and full of excitement and rain. Its crazy how fast time goes out here, it seems like we just barely had p-day and now its p-day again. I feel like I am tired 24/7 now and I love it! I enjoy being able to lay down in bed at night and think back on the day and know that I did all I was supposed to.

My new comp is awesome, his name is Elder Faletoi - he is from Utah. He has been out for just about a month longer than me so we are a pretty young companionship. He also has a full ride scholarship to play football at some collage after his mission. He has been waking me up at 4:45 each morning to go play basketball and lift weights, but other then that we get along fine. ;)

The work is going well in our areas, we are actually covering 2 areas right now because there is a shortage of missionaries here in Samoa. I am actually still covering my old area I was in before this transfer as well as my new area. It's a nice busy life covering the two areas because they are on different parts of the island. But despite the hardships we are having success in both areas. We are staying busy trying to organize a Christmas program for the missionaries on this island.

Sorry I don't have a bunch of time this week, but I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Alofa atu ia outou!
-Elder Lamoreaux
[Bob emailed Elder Lamoreaux and found out he is a Zone Leader now, that's why he has the new responsibilities] 

About the family Christmas picture - "Wow, tell Spud that he better not think that just because he is tall he is buffer then me..... tell him I could still take him."

Dec 7

Elder Faletoi & Jayden
This has been a very very busy week. My new companion is Elder Faletoi from Utah. He is Samoan but his family moved to Utah. He and I cover the white person ward here on this half of the island.

Honestly I feel kind of like I am starting my mission over again because now I have to learn how to speak English again. I thought it would be really easy to be teaching people in English but then in our first lesson with a white guy I realized that it is very very hard. I have been so used to only teaching in Samoan that all my English skills are totally gone. The struggle is real haha.

Because we are the only ones with a car on this half of the island we are the ones that get to go and do all the chores that people need done. But hey, I like this life. We are always busy now and I really like it. The days are going by so fast that it seems like... I'm actually not sure what it does seem like but its crazy anyways. ;)

So right now my companion and I are "white washing" as we call it here. We are both transferred into this area at the same time so nether of us know the area. It is actually pretty fun because we get to go and try to find all the people who the old missionaries were teaching. This week we have been teaching a little guy named Jayden. He is 9 years old and he is planning on being baptized this Saturday. We have also been teaching a guy named Tuliese, he is a Samoan guy but he doesn't know a bit of Samoan so we have been teaching him. He is pretty cool and we are trying to get to know his family as well so that we can baptize them as well.
Other then that not much has been going on this week. Just busy doing chores for people and trying to learn English. ;)

Well I love you all and I hope yous have a wonderful week.
Alofa atu,
-Elder Lamoreaux