Monday, March 15, 2010

#6. February 28, 2010

KAREN: We had a nice visit with some of the family on the skype while they were all at Kimmy’s for Austin’s farewell luncheon today. So I’m feeling a little lonely this afternoon, but it made me realize that I haven’t made any new blog entries for well over a week. We have been truly busy and I’m grateful for it. I don’t have quite so much time to think of home.

We’ve spent a lot of time and effort getting our English class off the ground. The second week, when we went back with the books from the Library and a little more adult help, we actually had a pretty successful class. We divided up the group into four classes: the little kids, who read very little English; the middle school kids, who read fairly well but have a long way to go with comprehension and pronunciation; the high school kids, most of whom read and comprehend quite well; and several adults whose skills run the full gamut but are all very motivated. Besides us, we had help from two elders, and some of the older high school kids helped with the younger elementary kids. We were scheduled to start at 3:30, so we wanted to get there about 3:00 to get everything set up, only to find most of them there already. After a little organized chaos, we got started focusing on the little kids for an hour and it went quite well. The older high school kids did really well teaching alongside us and we were grateful for them. After about an hour and 15 minutes, we invited the younger ones to head home and switched our focus to the older kids. We had about 5 classes going, with each of us guiding the small groups reading stories we’d picked up at the library on several different levels, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We weren’t quite sure what to do for the adults, but most of them enjoyed taking turns reading out loud from some of those mid-range school books. They liked the stories and with a little help from a dictionary were able to understand all that was read. We feel strongly about helping the adult parents, because we picked up some really great books and programs from the Church School over in Pesega that really encourage using the parents in team teaching situations, so that they can work with their children at home.

Today was our first class using those materials and we were surprised at how the adults really wanted more help with the little mini-grammar lessons we taught before we split up the groups. Fortunately we borrowed 9 copies of the same English grammar book from Pesega and were able to have one for every two or three adults. After sending the other kids off to their reading classes, we taught the adults basic sentence structure, subject and predicate, English sentence word order (which is very backward from Samoan) and then went over several exercises provided in the books that gave them practice in each principle we covered. It was so great to see how hungry they were for a better grasp of English, not only for themselves but for their kids as well; but it was also great to have the tools to help them with. If I had to give an English lesson without these elementary books, I’m not sure what I’d do. I can certainly speak pretty correct English, including the grammar, but had forgotten everything I had ever learned about subjects and predicates, word order, etc. I’m actually relearning quite a bit of it myself. The nice thing about this project for me is that I’m not required to know a lot of Samoan in order to make a contribution. The first month of our mission I felt isolated on the outer fringes because of my poor language skills. Even though this new teaching experience is a challenge, I at least feel it is in the range of possibility for me, considering my slow Samoan. Besides the classes on Sunday, we meet at the church on Wednesday afternoons to help individual high school kids with their English homework, which was our first intention when we got started. Even though we were only supposed to have kids come who needed homework help, there were several younger ones there as well, so one of the mothers took them to another classroom and read them stories so we could have peace and quiet for doing homework. It was so interesting to help with homework, because the kids could read well and work their math problems, but they couldn’t understand what all the words meant in the stories or problems (sort of like me with Samoan). We spent a lot of time with the dictionaries. We won’t be living within the boundaries of that ward when we get moved, but will still keep the class going. When we mentioned to someone in our new ward about the class, they asked if we would start one in their ward. We’ll talk to that bishop this week and maybe get another one started. Now that we know a little of what we’re doing, it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming.

Speaking of moving to our new apartment, we were supposed to move yesterday (Saturday). They told us earlier in the week that Saturday would probably be good…..but…..we might want to check back on Friday to see if they were on schedule. Okay, we’re back to Samoan time again. When we checked on Friday, it was obvious that Saturday wasn’t going to work because they were still not finished with the tile in the living/dining/kitchen area, but all seemed sure that Monday would be just fine. Yesterday, however, we got a call from them saying that they were tearing up the tile that had been just about finished because they found out they had been using the wrong glue, and wouldn’t be able to get any more until Monday morning. So maybe Tuesday, Wednesday or whatever. We finished our shopping for the new place while we were over in Apia last week, so we have piles of stuff sitting around waiting for the move. I guess another few days of stepping over it won’t be that bad.
Besides the English classes, we’ve been helping with the Missionary Training Classes that are being held here in the Stake. Most are being taught in Samoan, so I don’t get much out of them, but required to practice giving lessons in front of the group, the girls outshine the guys big time. They are much more confident and better prepared. We did recognize that the girls are two years older chronologically, and like most girls around the world, they are more mature. We really found that to be true at the MTC in Provo. There’s quite a big gap between the maturity of a 19-year-old boy we’ve been asked to give some demonstrations teaching the lessons in English. Some of the kids in the class have received calls to English speaking missions, and though most of them speak fair English, the instructor felt they would need extra help on the lessons. John will be teaching the lessons and I will be acting as the investigator, much the same as I did when I was volunteering at the MTC before our mission. The class is pretty good size and almost half of them are young women. When the trainees are (the age when boys can go on a mission) and a 21-year-old girl (the age the girls need to be). A good many of these kids will likely end up somewhere here in Samoa on their missions. The government restricts the number of foreign palagi (white) missionaries to a small percentage and there are no white female missionaries anymore, because of an attack on some American girls a few years ago. These Samoan missionaries are sharp though, and have great confidence and success. In the three zones on this island there are about 30 missionaries, but only about l/3rd of them are Palagis from America, New Zealand and Australia. Several of the Samoan native missionaries are from the States, where their parents have emigrated, but they are counted among the Samoan percentage.
We attended our first baptism this week, and John was asked to be the first speaker. We can’t take any credit for these baptisms at all. The two elders in the picture—Elder Tuioletai on the left and Elder Lavaka on the right—were the elders who taught them and I think they were as excited as the converts were. There was one other convert, a middle-aged gentleman who was rather camera shy, I guess, because he was nowhere around when it was picture-taking time. He’s not really a shy person, though. He’s very outgoing and friendly and the next day, on Sunday after they had all been confirmed in Sacrament meeting, he got up and bore a very powerful testimony about his baptism. Even though we were not part of the conversion process with these four people, we really enjoyed the baptism and what it will mean in the lives of these new members.

We’ve been to a couple of Zone meetings this month, but this past week there was a large 3-zone conference at a branch north of us for all the missionaries on this Island. The Mission President, his wife and two assistants came over from Upolo and it was a wonderful conference, where they had presentations prepared for us on different aspects of successful proselyting, teaching with the Spirit, baptismal preparation, etc. Quite a bit of it was in English, and what wasn’t just seemed to come through to me.
The meetings were in a lovely little branch house beautifully landscaped, situated among the trees, and up the hill about a mile inland from the coast. The chapel was a completely open structure with a roof and no walls, and several classrooms are in more modern structures all around the perimeter.
We were fed by the local people, which means there was too much to eat, but all of it really good. Because we were up in the bush and they had little, if any, refrigeration, we were given ice cream and cookies first, before the ice cream melted, and then the lunch of typical Samoan fare: baked chicken, pisupo (corned beef), Palusami (a delicious dish made of coconut cream and onions wrapped in taro leaves and baked long and slow and then scooped up with a piece of breadfruit or taro, m-m-m), scrambled eggs with ham, and a curried chicken stew. To drink, we each had a cold niu (a green coconut opened at the top and sitting on a cup or Styrofoam plate section to hold it up straight). The honored guests were the oldest of us, President and Sister Haleck and us—The Halecks because they are important and us because we are old--so we had nice plates covered with foil, while the younger missionaries had their lunch in typical Styrofoam boxes (like doggie bags at home).

In any typical Samoan meal, the guests and adults are served first by the teenagers, who also move around and fan your food, refill your cups and pick up your plates or leaves (or Styrofoam boxes in the case of the Zone Conference). The custom is that you seldom eat all your food, and push it away so that it can be picked up and then the leftovers are fed to the teens and then to the small children, who are kind of kept away until it’s all over. Once the food is removed, the teens bring each person a bowl of water and a small towel to clean up dirty hands after eating, because most of the food is eaten with fingers. The final parts of the ritual are the long and flowery speeches, first from a representative of the guests (in our case that day a young, very vocal native Samoan Missionary, probably destined to become a talking chief) giving thanks for the food, for the multitude of hands that prepared it, Heavenly Father who provided it and the enchanting surroundings, among other things, running anywhere from five to ten minutes long. Then all attending talking chiefs (in our case the local branch president or bishop) give more speeches in response to the guest speech, extolling all the virtues of the guests, the surroundings, the cooks, the Heavens, the earth and everything on it, the sea and every thing under it, etc. and etc. and etc. (this may sound like I’m exaggerating, because you know that I don’t understand Samoan very well, but John has translated for me and I’m really not that far off). That could run another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how many chose to speak, most always just the men. At this meeting there was a final speech from our missionary representative and then the Mission President, who is part German, I believe, and part Native Samoan, and all in accordance with the local customs. I hope I’m not making this sound as if I’m ridiculing their customs, because I am not. These are just such interesting and different customs that I’m not used to and want to share the experience with all of you .
After the Zone conference, the meal and the speeches had ended, there was a typical picture-taking activity. Samoans love to have their pictures taken, as do the elders for that matter, and are willing to stand in the hot sun and be photographed any number of times by any and all in attendance with a camera. I guess we are no different when something special happens in our own families

A Samoan feast is really quite an event. A member missionary fireside we went to a couple of weeks ago, which ran well over two hours just for the fireside part, served as simple refreshments toast and egg sandwiches, crackers, cookies, some little sort of little deep-fried muffin and, hot Samoan Cocoa, which is standard at most meals, no matter the weather. Samoan cocoa is different, but I’m learning to like it, and don’t even mind that it’s hot. It’s made strictly with water, no milk or cream, and has little tiny chunks of cocoa beans floating in it. After the “refreshments” were served, partially eaten and pushed away, they were collected for the teens who were there serving and for the children there with their parents, and then the usual round of speeches began. I think the whole fireside and refreshments and speeches ran over three hours. It was all actually quite enlightening and entertaining.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned in one of my blog stories, along with some photos, that most every home has some sort of grave or tomb in the front yard. As John and I were passing one yard on our way to a meeting one day, I noticed a really fancy tomb that I wanted to photograph, but realized I didn’t have the camera with me. I took note of the surroundings so that I could find it again when I was able to take a picture of it. Unfortunately, when we went past it the second time, there was a whole bunch of people working in the front yard and I didn’t want to look like a pesky tourist by taking the picture of their dead ancestor’s tomb with them all standing there.
A week or so later when we were on our way home from snorkeling with Elder and Sister Montgomery, I asked them to slow down by that tomb, because I wanted to get a picture of it. Before I had even finished my request, I noticed that Sister M. had her camera out and the car was slowing down. She had heard about it, and a story to go with it, from someone a few weeks back. The story is that supposedly the tomb belonged to an old gentleman, who had always wanted a nice truck. When his children grew up and moved overseas, they made him a gift of a brand new truck when he was getting pretty old. He was so enthralled with the truck that when he died unexpectedly a few weeks later of a heart attack, the family buried, or entombed, the truck with him. As you look at the right side of the little tomb building which is all decorated, you can see that it is glass enclosed over the grave. The left side, I believe is where the truck is ‘buried’. The Samoans have a great reverence for their ancestors and many of the tombs we’ve seen are all dressed up even more on Sundays.

There are other customs that are related to Sunday. Everyone everywhere is cleaning up their yards Friday and Saturday. On Friday, we usually see all of the weed-eaters going to town on the grass, almost always with men performing that job. By Saturday we see the women and children out with their special Samoan brooms sweeping up the grass into piles to be burned. The smoke from those grass fires is part of the problem with air pollution on Saturday night. The other reason for the smoke is that everyone has their cook-houses cranked up and burning in order to get everything prepared for the big Sunday feast, most of which is slow-roasted in their outside wood-burning ovens. You can start to see the smoky air hovering just above the ground late Saturday, and by Sunday morning the whole area looks like a Los Angeles smog. We noticed it the first time when we were over in Pesega the first week we were in Samoa. Once we moved over to Vaiola, it wasn’t quite so bad because we were up in the brush, with few cook-houses close by. Now that we’re in town again, we have the smoke and especially the smoky smell that kept us both awake last night. They roast amazing meals in those little outdoor cookhouses, but we all pay for it with the smoke and smell.

JOHN: About 2 weeks ago we joined in an after-meeting Sunday dinner in the village of Fusi. Later we taught an English class there. At the end of this dinner, where all the adults sit around on the floor and each one leans against a pole of the house, it is customary for speeches to be given. The men who are chiefs in the village sit along one edge of the room, the others sit along the sides, and the young people who serve the meal sit along the back. Children are not in the building, but rather are playing out behind the building, until all the adults have eaten, and then they eat the leftovers. This seems unfair, but there is always plenty of food for them. I think it also teaches the kids a degree of respect for their elders that may be missing in our culture. The youth of the villages serve the matais (chiefs), and that is the way they prove themselves worthy to some day be a chief themselves. There is a saying in Samoan, o le ala I le pule, le tautua, which means that service is the way to power. Anyway, at the end of the meal all of the talking chiefs take turns making speeches in which they ask the Lord’s blessings on every one present, and they go on and on, and include references to old sayings, proverbs and an occasional joke. It is really entertaining to listen to them. They use words and phrases that only the most knowledgeable people are aware of plus some things all present can understand (except Karen). I thoroughly enjoy this. Then they asked me to say something, which I did, and then I said my wife will now say a few words. Then I informed Karen she was next to speak. She did an admirable job of saying her thanks and how much she loves the country and the church (some in Samoan, and some in English, which I translated for her). Then an old matai asked if there was anything I wanted, and I jokingly said I’d like a fe’e. Everyone laughed. Then, when we met to eat with that man’s family the following Sunday, I opened the pot in front of me, and there was my fe’e. A nicely prepared octopus, cooked in it’s ink. It was delicious. Karen thought so too, though she admitted to them that this was her first. I asked the man how he got it, and he said he speared it with his speargun just out a little ways from his house.

Just a note here about this matai system of local government. This system has survived for centuries, and it is very effective and efficient. Each village has chiefs or matais who govern the affairs of the village. There are high chiefs (alii) and talking chiefs (tulafale). The high chiefs make the final decisions and the talking chiefs do almost all of the talking. Village policies are made and carried out under the rule of these men. They exact punishment and generally maintain order in the villages. It is really amazing how well the system works. You could go all day here without seeing a policeman, because the local leaders keep things under control so well. Young people are very respectful of their parents and older people in particular. To become a matai you must have served the village as a youth very faithfully, and then be elected by the voice of the people. An incompetent matai can also be removed by the people’s voice. Words of respect are used when referring to a matai. A matais house is different from houses of others in the village. There are common words for their head, feet, arms, voice, etc. and even the way they walk, sleep, and think. To use a common word in those cases would be an offense to him. The talking chiefs are phenomenal speakers, putting together speeches using old parables, and legions, and using words that not everyone understands. Because of the way words are formed in this language, they can actually create new words, which makes it very interesting to listen to.
KAREN: I will now add my 2 cents worth to that last story. I did not say the octopus was ‘delicious’. I was willing to eat one bite. The taste wasn’t too bad—very fishy--but the look of it in the pan was awful. I will probably be able to eat it again just to be polite, but I won’t request it like John did.

The story he told about the earlier meal (sort of like a pot-luck dinner at home where every one brings something and shares it) where we all sat around against the posts of the fale, ate most of the meal with our fingers and then listened to all the talking chiefs give their speeches, was enjoyable, except that my poor old hips don’t sit on the ground very well for very long. It is very impolite to sit with your feet out in front of you, so if you can’t sit Samoan style (sort of like what we might call Indian style) with your legs crossed in front of you, you have to find some other graceful (because you are in a skirt) and comfortable (because you’re 71 years old, and even though you have a brand new hip that is doing just great, it doesn’t flex and bend well enough to sit that way. So… I would bend both my legs to one side with my feet behind me a little, and sit that way for a few minutes, then shift to the other side for awhile. I did try to pull my skirt around me a little and sit with my knees sort of bent in a partial Samoan style squat, but that didn’t last long at all. By the time we had finished our meal and washed our hands in the little bowls of water they brought us, I think my shifting around to get comfortable came to someone’s attention and a teenager was sent to bring me a chair. It was a very welcome change I realized, especially since I would be sitting a lot longer through all the speeches. I wish I knew enough of the language to really understand them, but that will come in time I hope. As our ‘pot luck’ contribution we brought a can of pisupo (corned beef) and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. We had purchased a cookie mix at the store, but the combination of an oven that goes no hotter than 300 degrees and because of that, the cookie dough had time to spread out and become really thin, so the edges were really brown. I wasn’t going to take them because I was embarrassed about how they looked, but John said that they don’t really see homemade cookies much and wouldn’t know the difference. We hadn’t known about this large group dinner and had expected to just have dinner with a family, so I only took about a dozen cookies. By the time the cookies got around to the Bishopric and the other talking chiefs, they were all gone, but they were a hit. Several men asked me to give the recipe to their wives, which really made me laugh and made John say “told you so.” The next week I tried making my old faithful sand cookie recipe, in case we were asked to dinner again. They actually turned out pretty well, in spite of the cooler oven, and were a big hit with the family who invited us to the octopus dinner. We’ve decided that cookies will always be our contribution, because I don’t know how to do anything Samoan yet, and cookies are such an American treat. The only problem with my sand cookie recipe is that I am used to making it with my Bosch mixer, which makes the dough more like sand when you blend the butter, flour and sugar. I had only a fork to do it this time, which took forever, but it actually worked okay. I tried to find a pastry blender at some local stores, but no one knew what I was talking about. When I mentioned it to Sister Montgomery this evening, she said that an earlier missionary couple had left one in her apartment, and she would see that I had it when she leaves in about six weeks. Hooray!! In the meantime, I’ll be blending the cookie dough with a fork.

March 2nd: We finally started moving into our new apartment this morning. Once we got the car loaded up the first time in Vaiola and took it down to the house in town, it became apparent that today would just be the beginning of the move. The bed was there in the bedroom and they brought the stove while we were unloading. The privacy curtains for the many windows were not hung yet because even though they had the cord to hang them on, they couldn’t find any hooks to string the cord from. The refrigerator was supposed to be there later in the day. The landlord was working hard trying to fix a leak in the kitchen sink and the shower tile had still not been repaired. This was about 10:30 this morning. We left and went to buy the two propane bottles needed to heat the water and run the stove. After we delivered the bottles, we went back up to Vaiola to pack up the next carload. We were smart enough to leave sufficient clothes and food back at the old place to take care of us overnight in case they weren’t quite ready for us to stay the night. We didn’t bring the food from the fridge, because we weren’t sure the fridge would be there yet. It was there and had been turned on, but they had just finished repairing the tile, which still needed to be grouted, so we couldn’t take a shower until the next day. Also the privacy curtains were not up yet either, so our thoughts of staying back at the old place one more night were right on target. We are pleased with the place though. It is very light and airy and has been done up with light blue and white paint, blue green floor tile, bordered with light blue. When I first saw the tile, I was a little shocked because I thought he had said the tile was a gray-blue. He said it had looked blue in the store, but it certainly was more green than blue. The decorator in me said “piece of cake. We’ll just find some fabric with those colors in it to tie it all together.” I had actually found a piece that I really liked in town, but I didn’t dare buy it until I had seen what colors were in the sofa cushions. The next day he showed me the fabric they’d found for the curtains and they were a large print with both blue and green in it, even though the blues and greens were not quite right. I’m creating a ‘wall’ at one end of the bedroom to divide off a portion of the room to hang wet clothes in. I can’t trust the rain schedule to jive with my missionary and laundry schedule, and I don’t have a laundry room in this house like I did in Vaiola. I had planned to use the print I had found to make that wall/curtain, but after seeing what their print was like, I settled for a very plain kind of royal blue, one of the colors in the print. That takes care of the bedroom. Now, I wonder what the covers are going to be like for the living room furniture, because that same pattern they are using on the bedroom windows will go in the living/kitchen/dining room as well, where there are windows on three sides. I may have some real challenge ahead trying to make it all work, or I’ll just swallow hard and accept that this is Samoa where everyone uses all kinds of patterns and colors together, so we will too. I assume they’ll have the furniture in when we go tomorrow and hope that we can stay when we do, because we will have emptied the old place completely by then. Tune in tomorrow to hear more of the moving saga

This is Friday of the same week and we are finally pretty well moved in. When we came back on Wednesday afternoon to unload our last load—all of the food, the last few clothes and bedding—we figured we were there to stay, whether everything was finished or not. The privacy curtains were not up yet, but they were sitting on the bed, so we tucked them in behind the top piece of louvered glass and closed them in. The landlord had finally found the right hooks on Thursday and came and hung them that afternoon. So we have privacy at night, and sun control early in the morning all along the east side, and in the afternoon along the west side. After having hung a zillion window curtains and drapes over the years as a decorator, I must say this system is really quite ingenious. I’m tempted to take some of the special cord and hooks home with me. It’s not cord really, but a long tiny little spring encased in a plastic coating probably about 3/16th of an inch in diameter. The ends are open so that a tiny little eyelet screw can be screwed inside the spring on each end and hooked over a hook at the top of each side of the window trim. The cord or covered coil is cut a little shorter than the width of the window so that when it is strung through the rod pocket and attached, it has to stretch a little and holds the curtain nice and snug against the top casing. Ingenious and simple and very functional—that’s really good design in my book. I’m sure that information just really made your day, but I was so intrigued by it that I had to get it in our journal. Sorry.

It’s been a week since that last entry—today is March 12th--and I just have to get this finished and posted.
We started our second English class in another ward this week and had another nice big group, mostly school age kids this time, with two adults. They do pretty well. There seem to be more English speakers in this ward among both kids and adults. This is the ward we just moved into and it’s just about ¼ mile from our house. Besides the English classes this week, we taught the Mutual kids how to Waltz on Tuesday night, and have been singing with the ward choir who are preparing to perform in Stake Conference this Sunday. The Samoans are very robust singers and it’s a joy to sing with them. Gratefully, we are singing a hymn in English so it becomes very comfortable for me. All instructions are given in Samoan, but it’s not hard to catch on.

This will be one last entry before I actually post this segment of the blog. Yesterday, Saturday, we went early to the Fusi Wardhouse, where they were holding Stake Conference this weekend. John had an 8:00am priesthood meeting, so I just tagged along and sat in the car and studied and dozed, and then about 9:00 am the buses started arriving bringing members from all of the other wards in the Stake in order to be there for a 10:00 general meeting. A small percentage of families has cars, so they hire buses to transport whole groups of people from all over the south end of the island for a two hour meeting, which includes speeches and wonderful music. I, of course, understood very little of what was said, but the music was provided by two different choruses from the Vaiola School. Both groups, one from the high school and the other from the primary school, sang their songs in English, so it was a special treat for me. Once the conference was over, all the of members gathered around the grounds and just spent lots of time visiting with each other. Most of them only see each other twice a year at the semi-annual conference so it’s a great time for them. After an hour or so of visiting, the buses started arriving and picking up the groups to take them back home again until the next day, which is today, March 14th, Sunday. After we left yesterday, we headed back home to spend the day doing laundry, preparing for Sunday and then another choir rehearsal last night.

This morning, we got up early so that we could arrive at the church for one last rehearsal before we sang in the 9:00 a.m. meeting. I sat with the ladies, all in our white blouses, and John sat with the men, in their white shirts and ties of course. Our song was performed in English, Ere You Left Your Room This Morning, and I really enjoyed joining the other 50-odd singers from our ward in performing that number. The Mission President was in town for the Conference and was speaking, along with his wife, in this session of the conference. A little while before he got up to speak, I noticed him hand a note to a young man who brought it over the John, who was sitting with the men’s section of the choir. I thought that they probably wanted him to come up and bare his testimony as part of the program. When President Haleck got up to speak, the first thing he did was invite John and I up to sit on the stand. I nearly fell off my seat, fearing that he would ask me to talk too. Now, this happens to missionaries quite often, so I have some little notes in my bag where I have jotted down some thoughts in Samoan, for just such an occasion. I realized, however, that the bag was out in the car and I would just have to fend for myself. Fortunately, an earlier speaker, a very recently returned Samoan missionary, who had served in the U.S., had been asked to speak and he could hardly remember his Samoan after preaching in English for two years, so he delivered his speech in English. I figured I’d do the same if I had to. President Haleck introduced his wife, who spoke for a few minutes and then he called us up to stand by him and introduced us to the huge crowd of about 2200 people, and told a little about what our mission was all about. Then he asked John, and John only, to share his testimony and I sat back down with a huge sigh of relief. John’s Samoan is so good that he gave a great speech and had a lot of good feedback about it later. After Conference we had several invitations for lunch, but we had already accepted one at the home of our Bishop, so after a little visiting around the church, we slipped away, had a nice lunch and then went home and had a short nap before we had to turn around and go back to the church for our Sunday afternoon English classes. So it was a long, long day. When we got home, we decided to have pancakes and just as we were sitting down to eat, the power went out. Gratefully, this has happened enough that we had purchased a nice little lantern and were able to have light in no time. The only problem is that the fans shut down too, so the house heated up quite a bit before the lights came back on again. We survived it all just fine and are just about ready to head for bed before we lose our power again. I’m ready to shut this laptop down too and I promise this is the very end of this blog posting.

Love to all from Elder and Sister Krogh


Silvey Mothership said...

I always look forward to your blog! Thank you for the lessons of culture and how you are serving your mission in Samoa. The pictures are always such a bonus. I feel like I'm reading a good book and can't wait for the next chapter. You are amazing,dedicated, loving missionaries! Thanks again for sharing your blog.

Norm and Heather said...

Hi you great missionaries! We love reading your blog, you are doing such great things and your pictures are wonderful! Norm and I are doing well but we are not busy enough yet! Since neither of us speak the native language, we can't do as much as we would like to be doing. We are still working in it though. Giving talks every Sunday is interesting as we really don't know what is being said on our behalf! Love you guys!

Whitney said...

Sounds like you guys are having an adventure! Thanks for keeping us posted. We are praying for you!

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