Malo lava le soifua! Hope all is well back home! First of all due to the over all level of concern I want to inform you all that my foot is better! Haha thanks so much for your prayers and worry as of late. Everything is good to go! The second bit of news is that I’m headed to a new area in a more remote part of the island. A village named Siumu. My new companion is an Elder from New Zealand. They say he sings really well and can play anything on the guitar. Should be fun!
So this past week was mostly trying to get people ready and committed to being baptized. There’s a baptismal service this coming Saturday so the Elder that’s replacing me better be happy about that haha. I also had my 19th birthday and thanks for all of the love sent my way! I really appreciate it. My companion managed to tip off the family that was feeding that night to get a cake as well! So all in all a great birthday. Now I just get to spend my entire 19th year of life serving the Lord! It’s a great feeling! I’m sure I’ll learn lots. Please feel free to write me any time with some of your favorite advice.
Not much else of note happened. Oh I got to meet up with Elder Vaai this past week! His companion had to do something at the hospital for his foot so we went and paid them a visit! It was good to be with him again. We actually split for a minute and visited a family we were close with. I’m going to be in the same zone as him too so I’m excited. He’s a great guy. He’s going to be training again this transfer so I’ll have a brother in the mission (trainers are your dad and then it goes from there).
I love you all and wish you the best of valentines. I hope you find someone special to spend your day with. I haven’t decided if I want to spend my day with The Woman at the Well or Queen Esther yet. Any suggestions?
Love you all.
Quote of the week: “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir
Hand-written Letter from Doran to Becky for her birthday…
There is an older man here who is almost deaf and just talks even if no one is engaging in conversation. My companion and I had our back to him, sitting at the table during a feeding, and out of nowhere in English he says, “Americans never die. Americans never give up! The Alamo!” We cracked up! And then the other day a woman who speaks no English spilled some drink during a feeding with us and exclaimed, “Son of a gun!” It’s just so funny to hear these people who don’t speak English say stuff like this.
For me, the language is finally coming! I am able to get by and understand and have conversations! The language is really tough though. Some words have five or six meanings so it makes context difficult.
Because you just had a birthday, I will tell you about my Samoan mother, Sister Malifa. Like you, she served a mission back in the day, here in Samoa, and she is incredible. If I need anything at all I know I can go to her. She helps me when I’m sick, hungry, thirsty, anything! It really is amazing because when I first got here my Samoan was about as good as her English – not good. But she took me in anyways, and now I call her mom and kiss her on the cheek, a cultural thing. Don’t get jealous, though. I can’t wait till the day in the ATL airport when I get to give you a big kiss and hug. Only 18 months now! Not that I’m counting but the time truly does fly by.
You would really like it here. People are great and mostly nice. The weather is warm all the time and the place is beautiful. People just do their chores and then chill and sleep. O se soifua faigofle — it’s an easy life.
And as for scripture insight how about Alma 5:45-47
45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by theHoly Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.
47 And moreover, I say unto you that it has thus been revealed unto me, that the words which have been spoken by our fathers are true, even so according to the spirit of prophecy which is in me, which is also by the manifestation of the Spirit of God.
We all have questions. We all need answers but sometimes we aren’t too sure how to get those answers. Alma once again teaches us clearly what it is we need to do. Alma is one of my favorites. Going from being a wicked high priest of King Noah to baptizing hundreds and being one of the best missionaries to date. And also raising a child that was just as horrible and great as he was. Incredible.
Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for all of your patience and love. Thank you for letting me exercise my agency. Thank you for everything! O te alofa lo’u tina — I love my mom!