Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2 Weeks in Samoa

From: Collin Boren
Date: Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 1:27 PM
Subject: 2 Weeks in Samoa

Well hello world! How are you out there!

Ha i'm starting to like this island thing! It's hard not understanding but I can pick out a lot of words! But I can tell I'm getting better each week. We have a lot of pretty views of the crystal clear water. I can't wait for you guys to see this one picture of me and the water! It looks so good! Ha the island is pretty and the people are nice! When we are at church I like it though because I can understand a lot more! Because that's all we learned in the MTC was gospel talk. Noteverday talk. And in church they talk with the T's and N's and not the K's and G's... You wouldn't think it would be so hard to hear the difference. But when they talk as fast as they do, my mind can't register it ha ha. I'm in the village called Tuana'i. My companion said that it's probably the biggest area in the whole mission. We have 3 villages in our area and my bike broke so we either have to walk a really long way or we have to get taxi's to drive us all the way down there. Sometimes we get lucky and the members will see us and give us a ride. Mom yes we have a fridge, shower, and bathroom. We use the church bathroom and our shower is really nice! Nice cold water every night and you get to become well acquainted with the dozens of spiders in their. Oh yea, sometimes you get to see some long centipedes in their with you as well... But it's better than bathing with a bucket right! We soak our clothes in buckets all day with detergent. And then we scrub and rinse them out in the shower. It's fun! But it takes too long! Makes you miss the machines ha ha... We don't have stoves but they are suppose to install stove tops here pretty soon... I don't know where we are going to put it. Our house is so small... Like 8 by 10 i bet... Just big enough to have two small beds and two small tables we use as desks. Oh I thought the beds were uncomfortable in the MTC! Oh my goodness. We have little tiny foam pads as our whole bed. And when I lay on it I am practically laying on the wood... Ha ha but I'm ok! It's making me tougher huh! I don't mean to complain, I actually don't mind this life style!

We are working with a man named Agele and he is supposed to be baptized the Saturday after General Conference. We are excited. He has a smoking problem though so it might not fall through if he relapses.
But me and my companion are working hard. Trying to be as good of missionaries as we can possibly be! We have a really neat family that lives next to us. They are considered the missionary family because
they always have the missionaries over. We go over on Sunday nights and they give us some treats... Ha, its fun and they are trying to help me with my Samoan. Being hear has taught me to appreciate my life
back home, and how good I had it. It has also taught me the value of the things we have in our life. Things we take for granted or think are trash in America, is worth a lot here in Samoa. I have also learned to try and face the challenges I have been given and become stronger from them. I know that if I am obedient and work hard and do the will of the Lord's he will help me become stronger. I know my Savior lives! I know that his sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice! I know that if we follow this gospel of his. It will make us happy. Too often we think Commandments are holding us back. But I have seen already how it is sins that are holding us back. We can't be happy with a sinful life.

I love you all and hope the best for you! Thanks for everything!

Elder Boren

Monday, September 19, 2011

Arrived in Samoa, Week 1

From: Collin Boren
Date: Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM
Subject: Arrived in Samoa

Wow, This week sure has been full of surprises and lots of getting adjusted to!
The culture is completely different! The people are very very poor! The only part that is rich is above Apia and that's mostly the people who work for the government. Anyways! Everyone loves the elders though! Not everyone will listen to us but they all say hi and they all want us to say hi back! Except here everyone say bye ha... This experience is crazy! I don't know anything that is going on, and I can't understand anyone! Ha you just have to tell yourself my time will come! You definately have to be patient, but I know that this experience is helping me to rely on my Lord's strength. Because honestly, I have none! Especially here in a different country not knowing what the culture is like and not knowing the language. So in a way I'm glad for it, but at the same time it's hard! I know the language will eventually come! But I am enjoying myself! The members feed us well and they think it's an honor to have the opportunity to feed us! And at the end of each meal we give a speech that pretty much we are asking God to bless them and their family and they love it! They hold those very special! I did my first one the other day and the father was about to cry because a white person is trying to learn their language and he was asking Heavenly Father to bless his family! They are really nice people! You have to show your respect to them by using very respectful words and they always show the missionaries respect! There isn't very many people that don't like the missionaries! We found one lady though that didn't like us though! She told us the Book of Mormon was evil and she told us we didn't need a prophet in these days. She was a lady in some kind of church that believes they have seen God and they always receive visions. They feel like they are prophets of God. Kinda weird. But I have already seen some people that the Lord has prepared to receive our message. Agale has just committed to baptism! It's really cool! He goes to church every week! But he needs to quit his smoking problem! So hopefully he stops soon! We have a few other investigators that I'm really excited about! Fa`afoina is a 17 year old boy and he was very receptive to our message! But anyways! This has been a good experience! I can't wait till I can talk to people! There is a lot of people here that are really neat! Anyways how is everyone? How is Utah and the USA? Don't take Vernal and Utah and the United States for granted! It really is a wonderful place! Being away from it makes you realize how much you love it! Ha but sorry I couldn't send you a long e-mail today! But I will get one in next week I promise! I know that my Savior lives! I feel his presence in my life everyday! I think that that's the only reason I can continue to go blindly into the mission because of the comfort he gives me! I love you all and wish the best for you!

Tofa Soifua!
Elder Boren

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Arrival in Samoa!

15 September 2011

Dear Brother and Sister Boren,

We want you to know that your son Elder Collin Lyle Boren arrived in the Samoa Apia Mission safely and in good spirits.  We have enjoyed observing his enthusiasm and great desire to do the Lord’s work.  We deeply appreciate his willingness to come to serve our Heavenly Father and…“cause His church to be established” among the people of Samoa.  (D&C 28:8)
Weekly contact through correspondence is a great source of strength to both missionary and family.  We express our hope that it will continue throughout his mission.  We keep in contact with all missionaries through island conferences.  We conduct quarterly interviews as well as personal interviews as needed.
We thank you for supporting your son in the choice he has made to serve our Heavenly Father.  May you find joy and happiness through his service.


President Johnny L. Leota
Samoa Apia Mission

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 9

From: Collin Boren
Date: Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM
Subject: Week 9

How is everyone! I hope you are all doing really well! I'm really excited to get out of here! It's crazy for me to look at how much I have learned here and it is a lot! Who knew when you spend all day everyday studying about this kinda stuff that you learn more!? LOL It's been a neat opportunity but I am excited to head out of here. I'm also nervous, really nervous. Completely different country and culture and all that kind of stuff, but it's been really nice to learn about it here, and now I get to go and live in it ha... I have learned so much in the language since being here but I also know very little about it... We are getting put into this pilot program the church just established. It has the 'greenies' be in charge of a lot of things instead of just being the trainer. The trainer teaches the newbie how to do it and then we have to take charge... It's kind of intimidating, and it's programmed to help us become better missionaries. So hopefully I will take advantage of it! Ha and if the Mission President needs us, we are suppose to be good enough after 3 months to be a trainer. Hopefully that doesn't happen because that would be crazy! Their is a lot of things you have to know about the culture and things like that! You have to give speeches to ask for permission to go inside the home. You have to give a speech to thank them for allowing you to come in. You have to give a speech to let people know who you are and get to know each other. You have to give a very long thank you speech if they prepare a meal for you and it goes on and on... I'm really excited to go experience it finally and go see what real missionaries actually do ha ha... Tomorrow we leave the MTC at noon and fly out of here and arrive in LA at 4:15. So I'll probably call around 6:00. Cause we have a 5 hour layover in LAX, and then we fly to New Zealand and only have a one hour layover there. Hopefully we don't have a lot of winds, because that will cause us to miss our flight to Samoa. Anyways I sent a package so hopefully it gets to you soon...

Elder Boren

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 8

From: Collin Boren
Date: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM
Subject: Week 8

Talofa Lava! O a mai outou? O a mai lenei aso?
Hey everybody! How are you guys? How has your day been?
There has been a lot happening here in the MTC you know! We had Elder Holland come and talk to us at our last devotional! It was awesome! He is by far one of the most powerful speakers there are. He teaches with such love and conviction all at the same time! Anyways his talk really inspired me to get this work done, to do my best and to give it my all! Then this fast sunday we had a Mission Conference and our MTC spoke to us! Right before he got up he had them turn off the teleprompter so he could speak to us from the heart! He told us about a sister in New York that died and the spirit was so strong when he said. I know that Her Savior is happy with her and that she is teaching in the next life. He told us you never know what could happen. We can't afford to continue to think we will get better tomorrow. We have to make our decision to become better now! It really touched me, and it was clear to me that I need to continue to get better. Although, the thing that touched me the most in his talk was when he said. We must REDEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO THE SAVIOR. Starting now I want all of you to give it to our Savior. It made me realize how lucky I have been to come here and learn from these Men of God and how they help missionaries become better representatives of what we are doing. So I wrote this statement on a piece of paper above my desk and I challenge anyone who is reading this to do the same. I can already tell the difference. When I take a minute of my time and look at the paper. Think about what he has done for me and my life, and what I can do to serve him better. I know that Heavenly Father's work is here on this earth. I know that all of the prophets in the scriptures prophecied of the word getting preached to the four corners of the earth and this is the dispensation that they all prophecied. No other period of time has their been such a vast amount of saints. I know that I have been blessed with this gospel in so many ways. Without it, I don't even want to think where I would be. But I do know that whatever problem we have, if we allow this Gospel to touch our life, such as giving a little bit of our time by reading the scriptures and praying sincerly then we can become new people. We will still face the same problems, but we will be able to handle those problems better because we will fall to our knees and ask for the help of Our Father in Heaven. And he will bless us if we are faithful and keep his commandments. I know this because I have found out for myself in my life that he does bless us. He can make us stronger than we are on our own, to face the problems we have in this life. I want to thank all of you for being such great examples to me. I know that I am in a sheltered environment, and away from the real world challenges. It's been nice to not have to worry about the daily challenges. But I have also never worked so hard either! So there is pro's and con's to both but I really am enjoying this experience so far! I hope that I can continue to become a better missionary and I know that everything I have been taught here has been inspired. They have such an amazing schedule and plan to help every missionary be best prepared for the field.
Anyways! How is everyone! I have enjoyed all of your letters! I am trying to get back to you as much as I can! Sorry if it takes me awhile to reply! Has anyone done anything fun lately? Dad and Andrea that is AWESOME! I am so jealous that you both got to see tons of Elk and some Bear! It's been so long since I have seen a bear! Like I think the last time was when I was like 14! And you guys go and see some right after I leave! Geeze Dad! You must be taking Andrea up on the good trails! LOL JK But seriously that is such a neat opportunity! Don't you just love the great outdoors! There is nothing quite like riding up on Hoy Mountain and getting away from the world for a little bit! A lot of favorite memories come up there! Including getting knocked out of the wind and such... Please everyone continue to keep writing me! I love all your letters so much and it is so nice to hear how all of you are doing!
Wow I can't believe that I am leaving for Samoa next week! It's awesome and scary at the same time! LOL I know that the Lord has blessed me with such a neat opportunity! I can't wait to actually get out in the field and see what missionary works all about! But I have come to realize that I am not going to understand them for awhile! We had some Samoan natives come by last night and talk to us and stuff and I couldn't understand a thing! They were talking so fast! And they were talking in the street style! It makes words sound so much different! Especially when they are going so fast! Ha ha but I know that it is what missionary work is all about! You get to have a period of time where you don't know what's going on! My teachers say it's really hard somedays but you just have to work hard and attempt to speak. One of my teachers was senior companion after 5 months! Ha and that's saying something because he had to know all these different speaches and things! In Samoa the whole culture is based on respect! You talk to someone else and show them respect with respectful words. Like you call them Your Heiness and everything about them and what they do you use respectful words and for yourself you lower yourself below them! But I guess they all love the missionaries and hold a lot of respect for them. They know that you are representing Jesus Christ and that you are working for him. So it's cool to go to such a culture with a respect for everyone. I guess some people won't show that respect but you are expected to always give respect. Anyways I love you all and wish the best for you!
Tofa Soifua!
Elder Boren