Sources of Strength

All of our sister missionaries gathered this week for training. We currently have twenty-six sisters in the mission. They spent a few hours together being instructed by the Sister Training Leaders. It was conducted and taught in Samoan, so I was in the dark most of the time. The sisters engaged in some good discussion. Even though I could not understand what was said, I felt their strength.

Twenty-four of our sisters are local Samoans. The other two are of Samoan dissent and are from New Zealand. We just got word this week that we will be getting North American sisters! The complement will be fifteen local sisters and fifteen foreign sisters. We receive our first North American sisters in May and June. We love sister missionaries!

We also held our Mission Leadership Council this week. I wish I could articulate what this experience is like for me every month. These mission leaders are powerful examples to me. They do the hard work of studying and working in the extreme heat and humidity, but because they are aligned with the Lord they are happy and energized. These are the kinds of missionaries who make the world feel balanced. They bring a feeling that all will be well and that together we can accomplish what God has sent us all here to do. These missionaries lay claim to the blessings promised to another of God's army, "And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." (Helaman 10:5)

We enjoyed a visit from our area medical advisors, Elder and Sister Brown. They toured medical facilities on the island, examined a few missionaries, and spoke to our Mission Leadership Council. Sister Brown reminded us to remain optimistic and find joy in the journey. Elder Brown instructed the missionaries on the giant threat of the mosquito. I say that with tongue in cheek, but this is nothing to take lightly. Currently, there is a mosquito that carries a human virus called chikungunya. It causes a high fever, rash and severe body aches. This disease is not for sissies. We estimate that sixty-percent of our missionaries have had chikungunya. Even though it knocks them down for a few days, they don't give up, give out, or give in. The Browns strengthened us and our missionaries by their short visit. We are grateful for their consecrated service!

As you may remember, we asked our missionaries to think of a theme or phrase that would guide their year in Samoa. I thought you would like to read the ones that we have collected. Some of them are phrases, some quotes, some scriptures. I have not heard them all yet, but am pleased that at least some of them are giving thought to it.

"O be wise, what more can I say?" Jacob 6:12
"We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, so let us reach out and rescue someone." President Thomas S. Monson
"Earn your pillow."
"I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, throughout His infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on His name to the end." Moroni 8:3
"For in His love, He caused the storm; t'was He who set the sail." Unknown
"Decisions determine destiny."
"Be still and know that I am God."
"Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord they God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
"Do not expect to become perfect all at once; if you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you were today." President Lorenzo Snow
"Preaching and talking mean but very little unless our lives are lived in perfect harmony with our teachings." President Heber J. Grant
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:21
"Pe a faigata le ala, taumafai"
"Pray always."
"Every thought."
"I don't give in, I don't give out, I don't give up."

Don't you agree, we have some incredible missionaries? I will continue to post these as I hear them; I hope you have chosen a phrase for your 2015! Thanks again Emily for inspiring us and our missionaries!

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