Upolu Interviews-Round One-and One New Missionary!

We started our interviews with the Upolu missionaries this week. We will finish up next week. Most of our missionaries are here. There are five zones here, two in Tutuila and three in Savai'i. It is always  a happy day when we spend it with missionaries.

President Tolman sent each missionary a copy of Elder Lynn G. Robbins talk, "Which Way Do you Face," from the most recent General Conference. He asked them to consider which way they each faced. He has said it has been an inspiring experience to listen to their insights as they have studied Elder Robbins talk. We believe his words have the power to change our mission and missionaries. As a follow-up President Tolman shared more thoughts in our February newsletter:

"Thank you all for reading and studying Elder Robbins’ talk, “Which Way Do You Face?” As you know, Elder Robbins suggests we must always face God and not fear men. The fear of men often manifests itself in the temptation to love and respect others by following traditions and culture even when doing so is inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is particularly hard here in Samoa, where culture and traditions are so strong, but being hard is no excuse when we’re asked to love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength. To do so clearly includes facing God even when it’s really hard. When we give in to the temptation to compromise our standards in order to win the love and respect of others, we do the work of Satan. When we do that, Satan laughs and his angels rejoice. (See Moses 7: 26.) In His ministry, the Savior often challenged the traditions of men. Hypocrites is what Jesus called those whose adherence to traditions kept them from keeping the commandments. (See Matt. 15: 2-3, 6-7.) Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “There is a unique Gospel culture, a set of values and expectations and practices common to all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Gospel culture or way of life comes from the Plan of Salvation, the commandments of God, and the teachings of the Living Prophets.” Let us all evaluate our own traditions, whether they come from our families, friends or county in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and adhere to the culture of Christ in all we do and no matter how hard it is. In doing so, we must resist the concern that we have to reject or dilute Samoan culture. It simply requires us to appreciate and maintain the good traditions and reject those inconsistent with the Gospel. Samoa is rich with wonderful traditions, such of friendliness, love and support of extended family, generosity to visitors, etc. But Samoa also is burdened with cultural traditions that weigh it down and prevent spiritual progress, such as lying and stealing, unnecessarily burdensome and expensive faalavelaves, drinking kava, and inviting missionaries to break rules. As we begin to live the Gospel in its entirety, while embracing the good parts of Samoan cultural and rejecting those that are spiritually harmful, we as missionaries will develop stronger faith and begin to reap the rewards that come from facing God at all times. Just as importantly, our examples will bless the lives of others as they see the spiritual growth that inevitably will follow as we keep God's commandments and honor our covenants."

We received a new missionary this week. He is a local Samoan who has been called to serve in Papua New Guinea. His VISA did not arrive yet, so he has been temporarily assigned here. His sister also is in our mission! This is our first time receiving a temporary assignment missionary. We would love to keep him and will miss him when he goes! 

Elder Te'o with his trainers

1 comment:

  1. The photo bombing missionaries in the first picture are awesome! Also, love your skirt! xoxo