Date: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM
Well to be honest... This has been a crazy week. Yesterday was White Sunday, which is Children's days at all the churches, and they take off monday so the whole town shuts down... So that means we don't get to e-mail. And President doesn't want us to e-mail another day in the week so we can work. So sometimes I am not going to be able to e-mail every week, but don't think I'm dead or somethings wrong... Just remember it's the island life and they take any excuse to get off of work... LOL But my Companion is legit and has a uncle here and got the hook up to let us e-mail today. I don't know if we can do this everytime but it's nice that I can now!
Anyways, DAD HAPPY BIRTHDAY! How are you Pops? Did mom spoil you? What did you do? The new bailor sounds like it works a lot better! Hopefully it still works when I get back so I can try it out, ha ha. But, I wish I could be there and give you a big hug and spend some time with you! You are the best dad I could have ever asked for. I was thinking the other day that I couldn't have been raised in a better environment. I couldn't have been raised somewhere else and enjoyed it as much as I did with you and mom. You're the best parents and I love you dearly.
So, It has snowed in Utah huh. Wow that's crazy to think it's freezing there and it's hot and humid here. I went into the office today and the President's wife came up to me and said, "Elder Boren, You've gotten a nice tan already." Ha ha, when you are out in the sun almost all day you start to get darker lol. It's a nice missionary tan! LOL Elbows down and from the chin up is dark, but the rest of me is pail white lol... We live right next to this family, and the father of the family is the mayor of our village. They are all really nice and they are all trying to help me with my Samoan. I can tell It's starting to get better. The people don't sound like they are talking Chinese anymore, but I can actually pick out the words. They are still too fast for me to understand everything and I don't have near the vocabulary but It's getting there. I'm studying diligently to learn and learning another language is a process. You learn a lot from this experience ha ha. You guys are probably sick of hearing me complain about the language so I'll stop now. The food is usually really good, sometimes you look at it like really, you want me to eat that. But it's neat, the people really try to provide the missionaries with the best they have. Even if it isn't much they still try their best to provide us with the best. You feel bad that they are sacrificing to feed us but you realize the Lord does bless them for it. You start to love the people for all they try to do for us. They are stubborn though, ha Samoan people are funny. The church here isn't as strong here as it is in the U.S.A. Like the people have callings and stuff but sometimes they don't really magnify it. Like the Ward Mission Leaders, hardly do anything, usually because they are lazy or they have like 5 other callings. Ha, but it's good, you realize that all you can do is worry about yourself. The people are willing to give us referals, but most of the time they aren't willing to come to the lessons with us. They say, you're the Ministers! We don't need to help... Ha ya in Samoan missionaries are called Ministers that Proselyte. And EVERYONE believes in God so they respect us a lot. Most people anyways. And if a White Person knows how to speak the language, they all are surprised ha ha. Because there isn't very many white people that speak the language. I mean there really isn't much of a point for a white person to speak it, because the only white people here are working for the government and in Apia a lot of people speak English, so when white people can speak the language, they love it! I think that's why white people get called here, people are willing to pay attention to them, because they want to hear the Palagi speak the language. And I stick out like a sore thumb lol. You get used to being the only white person ha ha. Like the other day at church I was at church and we were singing a hymn, and I looked over and everykid in the whole dang chapel was staring at me lol. Ha ha. But a lot of members like the Palagi missionaries and the Samoan's from outside of Samoa, because they are the ones who usually work harder and obey the rules. The Samoan's from Samoa, most of them are disobedient, they are in their own country and everything they are used to doing just sticks with them. It's kind of sad that you hear Samoan people saying that about the Samoan missionaries, but hopefully it will get turned around. President is trying to put the best missionaries in the mission as Trainers. I think its a great idea! My companion is helping me a lot, and this new program that they gave us is helping me a lot too! I think it's another inspired program the church has developed. I hope that with these advantages I can be that much better of a misisonary. I want to be the missionary that always haves the spirit. After only being on a mission for 3 months. I can already see the changes it has made in my life. I think I was a pretty good person before my mission, but this mission, if you allow it too, can teach you so many things! One thing I have learned is don't let a day pass without reading the scriptures. To continue to have a strong testimony we need this daily scripture study. Like they said in General Conference. Scriptures are like packets of enlightenment! Those 4 books are the most sacred and most important things we have in this world! We shouldn't take them for granted. By being on this mission, I have come to realize even more. The happiest people in this life are the ones who serve others. The most miserable people, are the ones who always think of themselves and what things can make themself happy, but happy people are always wondering how they can help others to become happy and then act on it. Don't be afraid to share your testimony! Everyone is worried that others are going to think they are weird for bringing up religious topics, but if you really love them, you will tell them about this gospel and how it has helped you be happy. People aren't going to be mad if you ask them how they are doing, what church do you go to, oh really, well I attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder-Day Saints and we believe that... God has blessed us again with a living prophet, or hand them a Proclamation to the World and tell them how it has blessed you and your family. You don't have to go all gospel on them all at once. But take small steps, every now and then bring up the topic of God and your religion. Why is our church unique. I know that this church has blessed my life. I know that my Savior loves me and you. He loves us so much that he provided us with this plan. This wonderful plan that most people don't know about. I give you ALL a CHALLENGE... Ha, Please read Preach my Gospel Chapter 3. The chapter with the 5 lessons. Read them and read all the additional scriptures. It might take awhile, but if you read it everday for 30 minutes, then you could get it done in 2 weeks. And I know that God will bless you! You will have a stronger testimony! I think everyone should read preach my gospel, especially Chapter 3. It states what we believe simply and I promise you if you read it, you will learn something. I learn something new everytime I read it and I know that he will bless you for your efforts.
Love you all.