A Shot In the Arm

Learning together in Zone Conferences is always a spiritual shot in the arm. Seeing the missionaries eagerly engaged in the learning process gives us hope for the future. We always have a question and answer session at the end of the conference. We learn a lot from the questions they ask. I often get surprised at the spiritual depth these young missionaries have. I always have said there are those among us who are "old souls." They are those who seem to have wisdom far beyond their years. I think it must have something to do with their experiences in the pre-mortal world. We have many of those in our mission; it is a blessing to be taught by them. 

Upolu Central, Apia and Southeast Zones

Upolu Northwest and Northeast Zones

Savaii West, North and Southeast Zones

Tutuila West and East Zones


  1. President and Sister Tolman,

    Is it true that Manu'a will soon be open to missionary work? Our family is so happy to hear that this area will soon receive the missionaries! Elder Elisala Fanene (Elder Deven Forsythe's great great grandfather) and Elder Opapo Fono'imoana were sent from Sauniatu to Manu'a with one American missionary to serve in on this island!

    There is a written account in the July 1981 Ensign that recounts that King Tuimanu'a heard of the missionaries' intent to preach the restored Gospel, and the king forbade the people of Manu'a from receiving, housing, or assisting the missionaries in any way. For two months they served the area, living on the beaches and subsisting upon fallen coconuts and whatever they could forage. Because they had no fale in which to live, they dug holes on the beach, where they would sleep each night.

    After several weeks of serving under such grueling conditions, they awoke one night to the smell of freshly baked food in a woven coconut basket. The food was still hot. Near the end of their two month stay, an old woman defied the king and brought food to the missionaries. She revealed that she had been the one who had brought the hot food to the missionaries that night on the beach and that she was willing to "die for her kindness" because she did not fear Tuimanu'a (Fono'imoana, Carl. "Opapo: The Power of His Faith, Ensign, July 1981).

    At the end of their two months on the island, Elders Opapo and Elisala spoke directly to King Tuimanu'a and his people. They told the people and the king that if they did not repent and be baptized that they would "feel the wrath and power of God" (Fono'imoana, Carl. "Opapo: The Power of His Faith, Ensign, July 1981). Then, before disembarking on the longboat, Opapo "dusted off his feet as a witness against the island." A few short weeks after their departure, a devastating hurricane decimated the island, killing many, and destroying all of the above-ground crops. Only one house was spared, the fale of the old woman who had fed the missionaries.

    Please forgive the long email. I'm sure that you have heard this story before. Thank you for your inspired leadership as the President of the Samoa Apia Mission. You are truly building this mission to be "the best mission in the world."

    Aloha and mahalo nui e President and Sister Tolman!
    Sister Shellie Naungayan
    Hilo Hawaii Stake
    'Aina'ola Ward

  2. Please Strike "Disembarking" and replace with "embarking" Sigh. So sorry.

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