Samoa Apia Mission - March 2015 - 2017

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Obedience is the Key to Happiness

This week we had interviews with President Tolman because this week is transfers. This mission is blessed to have an amazing man as president. He is changing the culture of this mission. When he got here, Samoa was one of the top missions for missionaries being sent home for breaking rules, but with guidance from the Lord President Tolman has changed the culture of disobedience to a culture of exact obedience. The mission has come a long way from where it was, and it still has a long way to go, but it is moving quickly in the right direction.

When I met with president this week, I set goals to become an exactly obedient missionary. I am trying to focus on the little things that might not seem like a big deal, like sleeping in for a few minutes past 6:30, or returning to the house a little bit before 9, or not studying for the entire study time each day. These things are little, but I know if I do them I will be blessed to become a great missionary. My companion always says that good is the enemy of great. I could have a good mission and still sleep in every day or do other small acts of disobedience. It's easy to have a good mission. But the mission is the foundation to the rest of my life, so I want a great mission.

Samoans have a saying "I le fa'amaoni o mea laitiiti, 'o le 'a  fa'atino mea tele" By being faithful in little things, great things come to pass. I know that if we are exactly obedient we will be blessed with happiness and joy and have a great life.

We had 4 baptisms this week. 4 siblings named Tamaapa'a, So'otaga, Sefulua'i, and Blessing.
With young kids sometimes it seems that they don't really understand the gospel when they are first baptized, but when I baptized these kids I remembered the scripture that says "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it". While these kids don't understand perfectly, they know that what they are doing is right, and they will eventually come to know why in it right. In John 7: 17 it teaches that the way to know if something is true is to do it. These kids will be blessed with powerful testimonies as they continue to live the gospel.

Here in Samoa they actually celebrate Pioneer day as well. I taught our whole ward the "Cotton-Eyed-Joe" dance and they did it at the Stake Pioneer Day celebration. They were all really...funny to watch.

Giant okualua (centipede) - Yum.

Alofa atu ia te Outou!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chopping through the jungle

This week my comp and I got to baptize 2 people. Their names are Julie and Tutulu. Julie is 15 and she and her mom are the only active members of their family. Tutulu is 12 and the only member in her family. It is neat to see these two gain a testimony on the restored gospel and act on that testimony. I know that they will face a ton of opposition from family and friends as they remain active in the church, but I also know that they will be blessed by our Heavenly Father for their faithfulness.

It's interesting to see how people come to know of the truth of the gospel and are blessed as they accept it. Many people don't accept the gospel because it is hard to live in accordance with it's teachings. But I know that after this life we will receive a reward of everything that our leader has. There are only two eternal leaders, Jesus and Satan, If someone chooses to follow Satan then they will receive a fullness of everything that Satan has to give them. But if we follow Jesus then we will receive every thing he has promised us. So lets be careful in all of our decisions to follow the right leader.

I have learned this week that its a lot easier to do something hard if its your only option. Haha I thought of that when I was taking a shower, a cold shower because there isn't any hot water in Samoa. I laughed when I thought of it but I found that its a good way to make hard decisions. If you know that the right choice it going to be hard, then just eliminate the other options.  Haha I hope that makes sense, it make sense to me.

Always make sure that yous are doing all the little things, like reading the Book of Mormon every day and saying prayers morning and night. There is no better way to keep the spirit with you. That's the wonderful thing about the gospel, it is really quite simple, but there is no greater reward. 

We baptized 3 primary kids too.
Haha no, I can't get shoe goo here. Yeah my sandals died. I got my replacement shirt. The pants that they sent me  were the wrong ones. They sent me some grey ones instead of the tan khaki ones, its not a big deal... but I really liked the tan ones. ;)

Here's a picture of me doing a small service project of chopping through the jungle.

 Galuega fesoasoani mo se tagata o Samoa. Ou te fiafia tele le fa'aogaina o le sapelu.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Healing Blessing & Another Marriage

This morning we got awakened at 5 in the morning by the 2nd counselor of the bishopric knocking on our window. He said that an elderly lady in the ward was sick and wanted a blessing. We got up and put on white shirts and hurried up the mountain to her house. Her name is Velonita Lotomau Fesola`i, she is the oldest member of our ward and she loves missionaries.

Walking up to her house, I got to reflect on the sacred power of the priesthood and the obligation of those that hold it. When I received the priesthood I promised to live in a way that would ensure that I was always worthy to administer to those who need help.

The priesthood is a blessing to those who hold it only if they honor it by using it to bless the lives of others, and you can only use it to serve others if you are living in a way that you can receive guidance from the Lord. The Lord will not dwell in unclean temples, so if you are not living a clean life and you get called on to exercise your priesthood, then you will not have the guidance, or the power, of God with you. Needless to say that trying to give someone a blessing without the power of God, the priesthood, is 100% pointless.

Anyways, we arrived at her house and talked to her and she said that her entire body was numb. We gave her the blessing and I remember telling her that she would receive strength to her body and peace to her body and spirit. I remember saying that her work on the earth was not finished.

After the blessing she tried to get up, we told her not to but she said "leai,uma le ma'i, malosi a'u"  "no, the sickness is gone, I'm strong now". Pretty cool experience. I'm glad that my comp and I were living in a way that we were able to administer to her when she needed it.

We got to marry another couple this week. The guy's name is File and we will be baptizing him this Saturday. :D

Alofa atu ia te outou!
-Elder Lamoreaux

Sunday, July 5, 2015

3 Weddings!

This week my companion and I married 3 of our investigators. Like, got them married. ;) We have been working with these investigators for a while now and its awesome to see them take such a big step in their journey to Christ.

Elder Tutunoa and I got to be the witnesses for the weddings and sign the wedding paper and all that cool stuff. The couples that we got married were: Fa`aolataga and Sosefina, Mefi and Tina, and Sina and Puasa. We will be baptizing Sina this Saturday. Sosefina and Mefi will be baptized soon as well.

Everything is going well here, the work is very blessed and my comp and I are working very hard to bring people to Christ. I have found that this area has been totally dead as far as baptisms or anything for a long time. It has the reputation of being a very difficult area, but we have found that as we put in all the effort we can, and most importantly rely on the Lord, He blesses us to find  those who are seeking truth. When we give our weekly and monthly reports to the ward and stake, people are surprised to hear how much success we are having. As we have helped the work get up and moving in this area, the ward members have seen what we are doing and they are trying to help us at every opportunity. Almost every day we have ward members show up asking if they can come to our visits with us that day. Its awesome. The more they help the faster the work goes.

One of my favorite things to do is to take the long jungle walks to visits. We get to hack a trail through the jungle with machetes, heh heh. It makes me smile with savage delight. 

Food here is awesome. Funny story, the first day I got here I ate taro, lu`au, and niu. I tried them and I remember thinking that I had never had anything this nasty in my life. I knew that I would be eating these things every day though, so I prayed that I would be able to like them. The next time I had them I was amazed at how good they were. Now I like them so much that I have gained... a certain amount of weight. ;) haha.

Well, that's all for this week. Always remember to read your scriptures and say your prayers every day.
Alofa atu ia te outou!
-Elder Lamoreaux