Sunday, November 30, 2014

The mission is such a cool thing!

I'm pretty sure I'm losing 5 years off of my life from Koko Samoa.

Malo Sofuia Aiga!

Don't get mad, but I really don't have too much to write about this week. I'm surprised that it is already Monday here, the time is honestly flying!

Life is all good. And that's about it.  haha.
I'm enjoying the people in my area. The mission is such a cool thing.  Everyday I get an experience or a story.  Someone once told me if you don't come home everyday with a story, then you aren't working- SO TRUE!  I guess I'm doing well because I have tons of stories!

Thanksgiving was a little depressing. Elder Mo'o and I got the Thanksgiving box from you all though so we had the food. Delicious thank you! Haha we couldn't find a microwave so we just fried it up.
False Advertisment….

 Well, here is a list of things I am very thankful for:

The Gospel, My Family, Freedom of Religion, Hot showers, My bed, flip-flops, washing machines, mosquito nets…the list goes on, but unfortunately I get to enjoy very few of these in Samoa.
 So in the words of John Mayer, "You don't know what you got till it's 

We got the Christmas box too. Sorry we had to open it because there was food in it and the ants here destroy anything with food. Thanks it was awesome!!!

Trying to cool down!

I feel kinda fat and the little girl I live by tells me I'm fat so that's my motivation to exercise haha Idk  I've been jump roping and doing push ups every night. Haven't changed pant sizes though so that's good.

Tell Brother Schwenke he's the man. I can't wait to speak Samoan when I get back :)

I'm doing good, and the work is progressing. One of our investigators says she wants to be baptized so hopefully we can set a date this week.

Elder Mo'o and I are all good, he's honestly a stud. 

So for Christmas, I can skype, however I have to find someone in our village with a computer to let us...which won't happen. So I'll call on the 26th here, which will be Christmas there. They give me 30-40 minutes to call. Looking forward to it :)

That's it for me. All is good here. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you!
Alofa Atu,
Elder Hunter S.G.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Three strikes and I'm Uma!

My New District

Talofa Aiga!!!

It was a good week in Samoa! Some random stuff happened so never a dull moment haha. Here's the update:
-The work is starting to pick up in our area which is cool.  We have really focused on praying for each individual family. 

-I was sitting in a lesson when I felt something on my head. I grabbed it and it was a lizard. I threw it away from me. At the next lesson, another lizard crawled on me... Pretty random but I thought, "What are the chances twice in one day?"

-Everyone asks "Have you got a girlfriend yet?"  Haha, yeah- no.

-I bought a belt made out of a cow from this guy. 
It's really cool looking and I named her "Lola." :)

-I was able to give a blessing to a less-active member which was really cool. She is staying with her uncle right now now who is strong Loku Kaiti (Tahitian Church), so he makes her go there. Once she leaves she says she is going back to our church. It was a cool experience and she says she is going to try and share Le Tusi A Mamona with her family.

Spiritual Experience:

There is this guy named Avii in our village who just got home from his mission in Australia. His testimony was very powerful, and it was very clear that he returned with honor. He said how before the mission, he was a strong smoker and really didn't like the church, but that the missionaries would always visit him and befriended him. He said that they convinced him to go change and to go on a mission. He said it was the best decision he ever made. Everyone in the village is so impressed by how much he has changed, it was really cool!

Funny Experience:
I'm a three strikes your out type of person...So when I found the first piece of hair in my food at a Fofoga I thought, "Oh that's just the mission, haha awesome." 
The second piece I thought, "Man it's just not my day." 
Finally, third piece of hair and I was like 
"Uma."(Finished-done)  haha 

I want you all to know that I love you all very much. The Gospel is so true. I love hearing about home, keep it up! 

Alofa Atu,
Elder Hunter S.G.

Wish List: .....Christmas is coming: Old fashioned rat traps and a Hamilton Sticker

This is a guy in my ward feeding his chickens

Friday, November 14, 2014

Describing Samoa Letter

          Well, I just got a letter from you all with envelopes and stamps, so I guess I have to write back huh?  Ha ha.  Glad to hear all is going well with you all.

Well, here is one of those describing Samoa letters.  At this point, I'm used to the food pretty much.
I'm pretty used to finding flies in my Koko and the occasional hair in my Saimini ;)

         I live in a small house/shack think on a family's land.  Elder Mo'o and my pieces of foam are right next to each other.  We have some mats, a couple of chairs, mosquito nets, a fridge and that's about it.  Food isn't really a personal thing here.  If it's in the fridge, it's fair game!

         Culture is very different.  cool, but different.  For such a humble people, they are also very proud. Walking on someone's land we have to say a speech.  Going into a fale, another speech. After Fofoga, another speech.  Always have your legs crossed, never pointing at someone. When you pass food or go in front of someone you have to say "Tulou" or in English, "excuse me.

         The language is hard...The order doesn't make sense in English.  The translation often doesn't mean the same thing.  Samoan has many words that have multiple meaning for the same word. T's turn to K's when you are speaking in a more informal tone, and you must know when to be formal and when not to. For example,  "Sa ou tala'i i le nu'u a FaleLatai" would turn into, "Sa ou kala'i i le nu'u o Falelakai," depending on who I'm talking to.  I'm getting better, but it's not easy for me like Spanish was.  In fact, Spanish gets in the way a lot haha.  I often try to think of the Samoan word, but the Spanish word comes to mind.

          Missionary service is different out here.  Everyone lets us into their home. But only a few are interested in what we have to say. Difficult sometimes to see if they are actually interested or not.  It is extremely religious here, but there isn't a freedom of religion.  Some villages, it is Fa'a Sa (forbidden) for Faifeau talai (missionaries) to proselyte.  Other villages you have to be Catholic or you can't live in the village.  Frustrating sometimes, but not much to be done.

           I do bucket laundry every Monday.  It's a process, but I'm getting better at it.  Everyone tries to give us free stuff here.  They believe they receive blessing for it.  Service can be difficult.  No one wants us to serve them , so sometimes even if they say no- we do it.

          Days I love it here. Others I can't wait to be home.  But I know I need to be here. By now you've probably gotten my last letter.  i've had a lot of feelings of inadequacy out here.  Mostly language and culture. At times, I can honestly say I've considered coming home. But then, there are those days when I give an entire family a blessing, or when i see the light in investigator's eyes and I think it's absolutely worth it.  I've done hard things before: trek, Hamilton Football, etc.  This is by far the hardest.  However I can say with all honesty that it is the most rewarding.  I want time to go faster, but I know that I need to enjoy this opportunity.

           I love and miss you all so much.  Writing these letters are always very bittersweet for me.  i look forward to the day when I return home with honor-knowing that I truly was an instrument in the Lord's hands.  The gospel is so true.  Go forth and bodily declare it.  Nothing in this life will bring greater happiness.

Ou te alofa ia te outou.  E mumua, ona ou sii le viiga ma le faa'fetai i lo tatou 
Tama Fa'alelagi noa lenei avanoa e fa'asoa atu lenei molimau. Ou te iloa emoni lene: 
Ekulesia. Ou te iloa o Ieso Keriso o le Faaola o le Lalolagi. ou te molimau atu afai outou
 faitau le Tusi a Mamona aso uma, olea outuu mava pota ma mava se laona filemu. 
Ou te ioloa o Thomas . Monson o se perofeta moni. 
Ou te ilou emoni le Togiola ou te molimau atu o le Togiola emafai ai ona. 
Tatau Sa'olato mai agasala. Ou te molinau atu a fai outou usiusitai a le poloaiga, olea outou maua fa'amanuiaga. I le suafa o le alo o le Atua, Iesu Keriso, Amene.

Alofa Atu,
Elder Hunter

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cussing in church

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I can literally play connect-the-dots across my body

Malo Soifua Aiga!

An interesting week, but at the same time not to much to report. 

First though, two big shout outs to my boy Tanner and my sister Rian. HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!!! You two are both huge parts of my life and I love you both!!! Hope it was a good one! Alright, here is the weekly update:

-I get eaten alive every day...I can literally play connect-the-dots across my body and I'm pretty sure it would make a pretty detailed picture...

-I got a little sick this week, I think it was the flu, but I'm getting better.

...And that's about it haha sorry. I'll definitely write a letter home this week. 

On the Spiritual Side:

Since my time in Samata/Fagafau, two people have died. The second just happened on Friday. It was really sad because we were over at a house teaching a lesson when the woman received the call that here husband had died. She lost it in font of us, pounding the floor and screaming, "He was the one who was supposed to strengthen me" and "He didn't even get to kiss his kids goodbye"... It was difficult for Elder Mo'o and I to watch and we tried to comfort her. 

I do know that the Plan of Salvation is so real, and it gave her comfort to know that she would see her husband again. 

I love you all so much. 

If you are a part of this Gospel, stay with it. If you are not, please come, Feel the joy and peace that comes through living it's teachings. 

I hope you all have a great week!

Alofa Atu,
Elder Hunter S.G.