May 27, 2014
Talofa! For all of you non-Samoans, that means hello! (I think) The traditional greeting of Samoa (I think) Because I got adopted as a Samoan this week (I 'm pretty sure)......well I got gifted a traditional hair flower thing,. so I'm pretty sure that constitutes a legal adoption....more or less.
I went on exchanges to 29 Palms this week and got to spend about a day in the Samoan branch with a companion that is from real live Samoa! She was adorable, and I absolutely decided that my honorary heritage is Samoan. Lots of food? Lots of hugs? yes, please!
In other and more pressing news, we are having transfers this week! We got the call on Sunday night and...........I'm staying here! For the 8th transfer in a row, mind you. (Where's the Guinness Book of Records guy when you really need him?) Which means that by the time this transfer is over, I will have been here 11 months. Sadly Sister Stuber is moving on to bigger and colder places (namely Redlands) and I am going to miss her. She definitely filled our companionship with plenty of laughter.
On a more serious note, there was a tragedy in our area this week. A teenage boy was killed. He was the son of one of the less-active families here, and it came as a huge shock to everyone. We had the opportunity to visit the family, in particular the mother the day after it happened, and it was heartbreaking to see her anguish. Seeing her pain just made it so much more important to me to share the gospel. Not only so that others can know what happens after this life, but to help take them out of dangerous situations and show them that there is a better way. We don't have to wander around aimlessly in life, or surround ourselves with things that are only going to end up causing us more pain. The answer is found in following Jesus Christ, and it is important enough to God that He sends out missionaries to help people change their lives. As a missionary I'm not here to just say nice things and bring a good feeling for a while. I'm here to share this good news and help people change. We can't have it both ways. There is a clear choice that has to be made, and if you follow Christ, your life will be much more full of joy and fulfillment and peace. Nothing else in the world offers that.
There are miracles happening here. There are so many people that are recognizing the truth of what we have, and are thirsting for more. I can't wait to see the people I know so well and love so much progress this next transfer. I really feel that amazing things are coming.