Samoa Apia Mission - March 2015 - 2017

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.

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