November 16, 2014
This is a picture of Bob on his van. He is the first thing I see when I open the blinds of our little apartment each morning. I have never seen Bob leave his spot. I have wondered all week if he never got calls to warm peoples' homes or do what ever he says he will do on his van. My Elder Seaman did tell me this morning that, yes, he has seen Bob go out and about. He must get home early each day.
Yesterday on Pandora one of our favorite songs came on, HOME by Michael Buble. I told my Elder he had to turn it off. Well, he did and when he turned it back on there he was again...."feel like I'm livin' someone else's life"...We turned to each other and kinda laughed when we both said at the same time, "That's us!" The absolute best thing about this mission is my companion. He is diligently and kindly making Independence our new HOME. He told me this week that he misses our home ward. Our dear Bishop Kai. His high priest friends. So do I. But we are making new friends in our home ward here. We all thought Bishop Kahau Kai had an unusual name.....our new bishop is Bishop Tuuaga Talimatasi. He speaks with a deep Samoan accent and told us from the pulpit today "We are good to see you." We already feel blessed by his leadership. His dear wife sits on the front row so he can see her. So, for now, Blue Mills Ward is our HOME. Like ol Bob, we all can leave our safe spots on our sidewalk and go out into the world and be at Home because the Gospel of Jesus Christ does that for us.
My love to all of our friends, Sister Seaman
I could not get a picture of him, but in our ward today, there was a non-farewell sacrament meeting for a huge Samoan kid leaving for Auckland, New Zealand to serve a 2 year mission. Maybe I should describe him before I go on. He was probably 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. Black (and I mean black) hair, very dark skin and a built-in scowl that made him almost scary. (I believe he was a football player if that helps you get him in your mind.) He wore a black suit (almost all of the young men in this ward wear black suits) white shirt and black tie. Around his neck was the most beautiful flower and leaf lei. It was huge. Someone really loved this kid to have made that lei for this occasion. When it was his turn to talk he stood and delivered the greatest talk I think I have heard an 18 year-old give. He was so kind, had a tremendous testimony of the gospel, loved the Savior and honored and revered his parents. Wow! There was not a dry eye in the place.
I have been in lots of sacrament meetings, in lots of different wards, and there have not been many that equaled this one. The members love to sing and they belt out the hymns. (I have always thought that you can tell the spiritual temperature of a ward by how they sing.) They have welcomed us, they hug us, they have Samoan names that I will probably never be able to pronounce. They have 2 gospel doctrine classes, one in English and one in Samoan. However, the closing prayer today was in Spanish I think. I was literally reduced to tears by just being there. It was the high-lite of my week.
I should mention that these Samoan people came here years ago to build the temple that was prophesied to be built in the last days. It hasn't happened yet. Can you imagine how they feel now after so many generations. In the mean time they have built their families. It is one of the neatest things I have seen. They have such respect and honor for their families.
My senior companion is acclimating slowly but surely. She doesn't cry as much anymore. She is certainly a great companion (maybe a little bossy) and I love sleeping with her. In fact, all we do is sleep eat, work, eat sleep, work, etc.
The Church has so many break-off factions here that it is hard to keep track of. The Stake President in the Independence Stake is a convert after he started the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after leaving the Reorganized Church (RLDS). He has a reputation of being on fire. Crazy huh?
Love you all,
|This picture was Friday.|
|This picture was today.|