Samoa Apia Mission - March 2015 - 2017

Monday, August 31, 2015


Sometimes I wish people would just start to understand how amazing this gospel is and that it is the only way to gain eternal salvation. I understand Alma when he says "Oh that I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart..." he says he wishes that he could declare repentance with a voice of thunder. Sometimes it seems like only a voice of thunder will make some of these people realize that they need to come to the fold of God. It makes me sad that so many people use their agency to make wrong choices.

So many people here chose not to accept the gospel because of worrying about what people would think, or because the family Mati or chief would get mad at them. I have seen a lot of people gain a testimony of the gospel only to turn away from it because "the Taiti church is the church of my family" or "I am a Mati in this village and it wouldn't be good for people to see me changing churches."

I know that I can't do anything about their agency, but I can still do all I can to help them use their agency properly. On the other side of things I have seen so many people use their agency to make the right choice and accept the gospel even though they have every reason not to. There is one girl who chose to be baptized even though she knew her family would not like it. The Sunday after her baptism she came to church crying because her family had turned on her and beaten her badly for choosing to join the church. Despite her trials she has stayed strong in the church and been a good example to her family. We are now doing lessons with her older brother. We had another boy get baptized even though his father said he would disown him if he did. Another lady lost her job. These people understand the importance of the gospel. They might not understand all the details of the gospel yet, but they know that things of this world are not nearly as important as the blessings of the gospel. Nothing brings me more happiness then seeing these people come unto Christ.

Apparently these things live here

This was the size of my palm
Alofa Atu,
Elder Lamoreaux

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ezekiel 34:1-16

Making koko samoa
This week we had a zone conference with our mission president right before he left. We focused on Ezekiel 34:1-16. It talks about how the shepherds of Israel are feeding themselves instead of feeding the flock.

We talked about how as missionaries we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and we are His shepherds taking care of his sheep here on earth. We are given the responsibility to care for the flock, bring back those that are lost, bind that which is broken, and heal the sick. But many times we focus on ourselves rather then the flock. We get lazy and think of our own needs before those who we have responsibility to care for and watch over. When the shepherd does not care for the flock it scatters and the sheep become prey for the wolves who try to destroy the flock.

This parable is about missionary work. We are given the responsibility of taking care of God's children here in Samoa. Every day we have countless opportunities to either take care of the people here, or to take care of ourselves. Even little things like sleeping in for a few minutes extra, leaving the house late, coming home early, listening to worldly music, and not preparing properly for lessons are things that someone who really cares for the people would not do.

Satan does not take days off. He and his followers are trying 24/7 to scatter and destroy the flock of the Lord. If we are lazy for a day, if maybe we are too tired to go out and proselyte, then Satan gains ground. If we are too busy feeding the natural man to do the work of the Lord then we are not doing our duty.

I know that after this life I will stand before God and He will ask me where His flock is. If I have done my duty and cared for them then I will be rewarded. But if I have to answer, " um... well I was busy eating and then Satan came and took them. So I'm not quite sure where they are right now... maybe Satan took care of them...?" Then I will definitely not be rewarded.

All of us as members of the church of Jesus Christ have the responsibility to find those who are lost and bring them back. How do you want to answer to the Lord when He asks where they are?

Alofa atu ia te Outou,
-Elder Lamoreaux

Friday, August 21, 2015

New Mission Presidents

From Sister Tolman's blog:

"We sadly announce that we have been given a medical release by the Church. President Tolman has struggled for many months with health issues and has developed a new condition that cannot be diagnosed or treated here. There are not words adequate to express the sadness we feel leaving these remarkable disciples. We love every single one of these missionaries. We know they have great things to do and to accomplish here in Samoa. They will continue to have our hearts and our prayers.

An interim mission president couple has been called. Elder and Sister Saunders have been serving for 15 months in American Samoa. They have run the mission office there and are extremely capable. They know most of our missionaries and already love them. These missionaries will be well-cared for and will continue to grow under their inspired and loving leadership.

A new mission president is being called. We do not know the timeline for their arrival, but I am sure they will bring wonderful things to the Samoa Apia Mission.

It is in times like these where nothing seems to make sense that the only thing we can do is to trust in God. I read a quote a few months ago. It went something like this, "When trials seem unbearable, do not trust your feelings. The only thing you can trust is the doctrine you know about God." Trying to find the whys in a situation like this only leads to unproductive places, so we have chosen to trust the doctrine we know about God. We know he loves us and is working in our lives to bring about change and growth. That doesn't mean that sometimes it won't hurt. One of our missionaries said this week at zone conference he believes God does His best work in times of darkness and despair. I think that says it all. We are deeply grateful to have spent time with your sons and daughters. We feel privileged to have cared for them and loved them!

If you wish to continue to follow the happenings of the mission, you can do that on the Saunders blog. It can be found at"

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Letter from Elder Tutunoa (Jace's first companion)

Thank you so much for the email, it really means alot. Leaving Elder Lamoreaux was really tough, its only been a week and I already miss him so much. Would just like to take this time to thank you both for raising such an amazing young man who loves the gospel and the work of the Lord. I am proud to say he is a true Samoan and a worthy servant of God. I can truly say that Elder Lamoreaux has had a huge impact in my life and my mission, he is truly going to be a great leader here and in the future. I will never forget my days with the great Elder Lamoreaux

Serving with him has also made me want to go to the beautiful IDAHO, I pray that one day I can taste the beautiful potatoes he speaks of. Thanks again for this very thoughtful email have an amazing week. 

Alofa atu,
Elder Tutunoa  

Monday, August 17, 2015


Well, this week has been one of the hardest on my mission. I've been trying to get my comp used to the area and the investigators and ward members and I been trying to do that in a language that I don't know. Its been kind of hard and I let myself get pretty stressed out. I know that's a sissy thing to do, but I did it anyways.

On Sunday after church I was sick of being worried and stressed, I was doing my personal gospel study and thoughts just kept thinking "why isn't there just a book or something on how to adjust to all the new things I have to do as a missionary? Why can't someone just tell me how to take care of this all?" and then, guess what I found? A book called "Adjusting to Life as a Missionary". Dandy. Haha I laughed at myself and read the book. It helped me re-focus on what is most important and help me not to expect too much of myself.

I know that right now I am where I am supposed to be, I am comps with the guy I am supposed to be comps with, and I am being given the trials I am supposed to be given. I know that I am given this mission to lay a foundation for the rest of my life, and I am given specific trials to lay a foundation for the rest of my mission.

I know that the only way to improve is to keep working. We can pray and study and make all the plans we want, but without the work there is no point. This work is called "missionary work" because that is what it is, work. Work is not easy. If it was easy then there would be no point it. Work is hard, and we are put on this earth to work.

Hey if you could all remember Mission president Tolman and his wife in your prayers please. They both have to go home because of medical conditions. So we will be getting a new mission president soon. 

Well time is short,
Love you all and I hope you have a good week.
-Elder Lamoreaux

Monday, August 10, 2015

Companion Transfer

Elder Tutunoa and I

Wellllll.....An emergency transfer happened this morning and [Elder Tutunoa] got transferred to the other side of the island to be a zone leader! I'm pretty proud of the little guy but I'm gonna miss him a ton. My new comp is elder Laulu from Salt Lake City. An American! Wow. He's an awesome Elder and I'm going to learn a lot from him.

This week I learned that if you get comfortable on a mission then you had better watch out because the Lord is going to throw something at you. I was comfortable as Junior comp, in an area I am used to, my comp does most the talking, I'm used to my comp, I'm comfy. Boom. ET. New comp, I do most the talking, I don't have that senior comp to rely on anymore, I'm not used to my companion. 
I was thinking about this and I realized that the mission is laying a foundation for the rest of my life. If I become spiritually strong on my mission then I will be spiritually strong after my mission. 
Our bodies won't get strong if we don't exercise them and when you are exercising it hurts, it's not comfortable, but you are growing stronger. The same is true for our spirits. If we are spiritually comfortable then we will now be growing. This doesn't mean that you should always be uncomfortable, not at all. If you exercise 24/7 then it wouldn't be good for your body. But every day we should do things that are hard for our bodies if we want them to be strong. Once again this it true for our spirits. Every day we should do things that are not easy, reading the scriptures, saying thoughtful prayers, being kind to everyone, etc.
The trick for strengthening your spirit is to do spiritual things even when it is inconvenient. We are not physical beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience.
Stay strong, faamalosi, be patient, onosa'i, and always do the things you know you should, taimi uma fai mea tou te iloa e tatau ona tou faia.
alofa atu,
-Elder Lamoreaux

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Attacked by dogs

Talofa lava mai Samoa, le nuu sili ona lelei!

We had 3 baptisms this week and it was the most spiritual baptismal service we have had.

The baptismal service was amazing and the spirit was really there. After the program when we were doing the baptisms the spirit was even stronger...I've never felt the spirit stronger in my life.

When I had this experience I wondered why the Lord would trust two young men to take care of the salvation of His children in this area. I don't have an answer, but I know that this mission is converting me just as much as the people I am teaching. Right now my testimony is stronger then it ever has been before, and its still growing.

I am humbled that I am given this opportunity to become totally converted to the gospel and help others start on the same path. I know that the baptism is the first gate to the kingdom of God, but baptism by itself can not save us. People can be baptized and have a strong testimony and still fall away from the gospel. But if someone is truly converted to the gospel then they will never fall away.

This week my comp and I have been talking a lot about how we don't care how many baptisms we get in our missions, but we do care how many souls we convert. But then we realized that we can't convert people, only the spirit can. People have to chose to become converted. I can say that I have had one convert on my mission so far, myself.

 Anyways, I've started working out more to I don't get so fat. I've gotten kind of chubby I think.

Another fun thing that happened this week, my comp any I got attacked by a pack of dogs. We're alive and well though. We saw the dogs coming as we were walking to one of our visits and so we started throwing rocks at them and that kept them away for a while, but then we ran out of rocks and they tried to eat us. They didn't bite us a lot because my comp is Samoan and he is pretty good at punching dogs. We got away because we ran across the road as a bunch of cars were coming so the beasts couldn't follow us.

Just the everyday view, no big deal.

So yeah, that's the life right now.

Alofa atu!
-Elder Lamoreaux