Samoa Apia Mission - March 2015 - 2017

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Overcoming Disappointment, Interesting Haircuts & Dodging Kisses

Talofa lava family and friends! O a mai outou?

This week we have had some really good experiences and also some disappointments. 

We were able to teach a lot of  people and get some new investigators and also help our current investigators continue coming unto Christ. It was kind of cool because some of our most productive days this week were on P-day and Sunday, days when we wouldn't usually go out and teach as much as other days. In study time my comp and I read in Preach My Gospel that "nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach", we took this to heart and contacted as many people as possible. We were able to find a lot of people who I am sure will be blessed by the gospel. 

Some of my favorite people to teach are those who seem like they will never have anything to to with the gospel, in fact we have got 2 new investigators while they have been drunk haha. I know that these people are just as important to the Lord as I am or anyone else is. My comp said that when he meets someone new he likes to picture them dressed all in white, he said that this helps him see their potential as children of God. 

While the work has been moving forward we have had to deal with some disappointments as well. This week we were expecting to have a baptism and 4, maybe 5,  investigators at church. It ended up that the baptism had to be postponed and we only had 1 investigator attend church. I'm not going to lie I was really put out that we had worked so had but had so little to show for it. It brought me to my knees asking for guidance from my Heavenly Father. As I prayed I realized that these trials are helping me rely more on the Lord. 

I also remembered some inspired words from my branch president in the MTC. He had told me that I was a perfectionist and that I would sometimes dwell on the things that didn't happen. He told me that when I felt down that I should look at all the good things that I had helped come to pass. As I remembered this I looked at my week from a new perspective and I realized that our work had been very blessed and productive. We had strengthened members of the church and we had helped some people continue their journey to Christ and helped others start the journey. We had helped people overcome challenges, addictions, and disbelief. We had given Priesthood blessings and helped people exercise faith in Jesus Christ. We had, with the help of the Lord, accomplished miracles. Even though we might not have met our goals for church attendance or the number of baptisms, we had accomplished what the Lord wanted us to, and that's what really matters.

A few other things I learned this week:
-If a Samoan is going to cut your hair he doesn't ask you how you want it cut, he just cuts it however he wants.
-Some Samoan girls try to kiss palagi elders. (Don't worry, I've been able to dodge them all)
-Crabs are not easy to catch.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015

I'm doing well this week. We have a baptism this Saturday and 3 more sometime soon. 
We got Tinei (AKA Bob Marley) to come to church. We are teaching him the 3rd lesson tonight.
Sorry I don't have very much time to email...we used a lot of our P-day time to teach some lessons and meet some new people.
Love you all!
-Elder Lamoreaux

From Grandma & Grandpa Lamoreaux

Dear Bob & Tasha,

We received this email from the temple recorder.  Thought you might be interested. 

Talofa !!
What a pleasant surprise .. I wasn't at work when our missionary Elder Lamoreaux arrived and attend the temple! I spoke with APs next day and he had shifted to a village on the way to the airport. I wasn't happy [I didn't] get to see him and going visit is breaking mission rules and I didn't want to do that.

This week we had visitors from SLC Temp dept doing temple facilities inspections. Today they rerun home and I wasn't meant to drop them off at airport but last minute I told one of our guys that I will take our guests to the airport & discuss some other items..

Well on the way home from airport I saw these missionaries, 4 elders: 3 Samoans & Palagi with two Samoan sisters ..waiting for a bus. I pulled over picked them up and they started introducing themselves... The Palagi name sound like Lamoreaux from the Samoan elder... I says are you the Elder Lamoreaux he smiled and says Yes! Not a coincidence the Lord knew I wanted to see the Elder...  I was directed to him. Fine looking young man. Had the grandmothers beautiful smile!! ......And the grandfathers handsome looks!!

What a great day I've had today!

Hope yours was also...With much Alofas !

Sunday, May 10, 2015

First letter from Samoa

This week has been awesome. I have arrived safely in Samoa and am going right to work. On the plane ride over to Samoa I sat by a man named Jack. He is a yoga teacher who travels all over the world teaching yoga. He is also looking into a lot of different religions looking for the truth. I had prayed before the plane ride that I would be able to find someone who was seeking truth and I know Jack was an answer to my prayer. He asked about the Book of Mormon and I was able to teach him about it and give him a copy. He was very thankful for it and I am sure that I planted a seed in good ground. 
Over here in Samoa I have been able to meet some awesome people who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it. My companion and I are on the island of Upolu in the area of Faleasi`u. It is a good area but there haven't been any baptisms for a while. 
In my first week here we have got one baptismal date set and we have a couple more people who I am sure will have a date soon. The investigator who has a baptismal date is named Tutogi. 
Another favorite investigator is named Tene. I have attached a picture of him. He brings us koko in the morning and gives us mea ai (food). 
My comp's name is Elder Tutunoa (To-to-noah) he is from new Zealand. 
Alofa atu ia te outou!
Elder Lamoreaux

Monday, May 4, 2015

Safe Arrival In Samoa

5 May 2015

Dear Family

We are thrilled to welcome Elder Lamoreaux to the Samoa Apia Mission. We are grateful for

his willingness to serve the Lord and the people of Samoa. We are excited to watch him

achieve great things. We will watch over him and help him to have faith building experiences

as he invites others to come unto Christ.

Weekly contact from home will be a great source of strength for him. We will keep in close

contact with him through mission conferences and personal interviews. We look forward to a

personal and positive relationship with him. ...

Thank you for supporting Elder Lamoreaux’s choice to serve the Lord.  We pray you will

enjoy the blessings of his service; there will be many.  We look forward to great things and

miracles as we work together in this great effort of building God’s kingdom.

Warmest regards,

President Reed C. Tolman Sister Debra Tolman

Samoa Apia Mission

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Phone Call!

Jace got to call us today after we got home from church.  He was at the airport in Salt Lake, waiting to get on a plane to San Francisco, then he will fly to New Zealand, then to Samoa.  He leaves on Sunday, and arrives on Tuesday, completely skipping Monday because he crosses the International Date Line.

It was wonderful to hear his voice.  He shared with us some of his experiences, how he learned so much as a Zone Leader, learning to rely on the Spirit to guide him.  He counseled our family to make time for the temple, learn about the blessings of the temple, and stay focused on it.

We all loved talking to him, and can't wait to get to talk to him next week for Mother's Day (he is allowed to call home on Mother's Day and Christmas).  I don't know if he will be able to Skype, or just call.  It depends on the area he is in.

He told us that in some of the areas in Samoa, he will have to wash his clothes by hand.

We are so excited for him. I miss him so much.  I was in tears praying for him last night, but I am so proud of him and his dedication and worthiness!

Here is what I wrote to him tonight:

"We have been thinking about you, fasting for you, and praying for you as you fly to Samoa to start your mission.  As I begin this letter on Sunday evening, you are probably in San Francisco, awaiting your flight to New Zealand. 

Part of my heart is with you, and will be going clear across the ocean. I am SO proud of you.  You are an amazing person who I feel so grateful to have been a mother to. The best Mother's day present I will get on Sunday is knowing that you have chosen to dedicate two years of your life to serving the Lord. My boy is a missionary!
I read a great quote today from Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, it was shared by your Mission President's wife (Sister Tolman) on her blog:

"Consecrated missionaries are not content with just conforming to the mission rules. They are not servants who must be commanded in all things. They work with zeal and do 'many things of their own free will' to accomplish the Lord's work.

They are not satisfied with a reasonable effort, but work to the very limits of their strength. They understand that success comes after the trial of their faith, often at the last minute, or at the last door, or at the end of a long and exhausting day.

When missionaries are fully consecrated, they forget themselves. They do not look back to their former lives. They are not casual or frivolous because their hearts and spirits are entirely turned toward the glory of God and the well-being and salvation of others.

Total consecration to the Lord will enable you... to call down the powers of heaven."
My prayer is that you will totally consecrate yourself to this great work. I know you will. How blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives.  How blessed the people in Samoa are to have you, and other missionaries, coming to teach them about the gospel. 
Work "to the very limits of your strength" my dear son! 

I love you!

And from Bob:
"I wanted to add a thought I had as I read the letter from your mom. I hope you remember, although your mission must be a personal consecration that you give to the Lord,  it is not a consecration that you give alone.
In support of your consecration we also consecrate time, income, prayers and our dear son. And we do it because we love the Lord and know that without Him nothing matters in the eternal sense anyway.
We love you and love the opportunity to consecrate with you to this wonderful work.
Work your tail off and always keep the wheels moving so the Lord can steer you.
Love Dad."

Friday, May 1, 2015

Last MTC letter

Missionaries in his MTC Zone

HEY HEY! Talofa lava! O a mai outou?
I will be in Samoa in a couple days. And yes I got the stuff you sent me. :) Thank you so much!

Haha my letters will probably just get worse...Ou te le talanoa fa`apalagi. I don't talk in English anymore because we have 6 Samoans in our zone.

I will get to call home on Sunday some time between 2-5pm when I am at the airport and then maybe again when I arrive in Samoa on Tuesday. I will be leaving Salt Lake at 5:45pm and going to San Francisco then to new Zealand then to Samoa. Pretty cool eh? My whole group is going except my comp because he is going to Kiribati. So there will be 5 of us.

It's crazy and terrifying and so exciting and I can't wait to get there and not understand anything and teach all those islanders who I love so much!

You know whats weird? I am going to skip Monday. I will never have a 4th of May, 2015 in my life.

This week I have given 2 blessings to people, one to a sister in my zone who was sick and another to a girl at the temple. The one at the temple was pretty cool because everything worked out perfectly for us to be at the right time at the right place to be able to give her a blessing of comfort.

I also got to do a lot of classes this week, and teach 4 lessons in Samoan and then also Skype with a guy in Samoa and teach him about church attendance. So yeah, pretty cool week.

Sorry I have to go now. I've used up my hour.
Love you!