Thursday, 18 June 2015

Sunday May 10th we celebrated Mother's Day and I was so blessed by talking to every one of our children as I opened the gifts they mailed to me.  We also are attending a new YSA Ward now.  President Balli called us last Sunday and told us he kept having our name come to him and he finally decided that he needed to transfer us to be part of the newly established Auckland First YSA Ward.  We were a little sad to leave our Tongan, Saineha Ward but excited to be part of this new ward. This is the first transfer we have had on a mission.  Thank goodness we do not have to move or get new companions (he, he)!  We have to drive a little farther but it will be great.

Wow!  We were sent to Samoa again.  We were so excited when they asked us to go to Samoa and evaluate the Bridging Program there.

The hard thing was we arrived home from Tonga early Friday Morning and had to leave for Samoa, Monday, May 11th.  We arrived in Samoa at 9:30 p.m. and Elder and Sister Hammond picked us up at the airport, took us to House #22 becoming our new home away from home.   We were so tired we crashed.

Tuesday morning we got up at 6:15 and headed to the high school devotional.  It was ITEP's turn so Elder Hammond had Reed give the thought and I lead the opening song.  Lucky for him we were there to help!  It was nice to see everyone bright and early.  We visited Elder and Sister Hammonds ITEP Class with some of the teachers we taught.  It was so great to see everyone again.  Elder and Sister Hammond took us back and forth to the airport, fed us and took good care of us on this visit.
LDS Church College Pesega hosted some Common Wealth games in January and are hosting some other big sporting games in September.  These are portable showers they brought in for the games in January and are keeping until after the games in September. 
 We had to go see the beautiful stained glass windows in the Temple.  We did not have time to do a session this trip.  Hopefully we'll get to go another time.

Below, Sister Aiono teaching the Year 12 students.  She is such a great teacher and friend.  It was nice to sit through her class.
Sister Moors Year 13 Computer Class.  Nada helping one of  our YSA kids, Star, from the Moto'otua Ward when we served in Samoa before.

These are two of Sister Lesa's children.  This is our Samoan Jane and her brother   She had just come from school and didn't feel very well. 

Elder Elisara teaching the Year 13 Bridging Geography class.  He has his Year 13 day students coming in to help the Bridging kids.  It was great to sit in and watch this tutoring work.
Sister Leavai teaching the Year 12 Geography Bridging class.  Some of these students are mothers, fathers, returned missionaries, one is a Bishop and some younger students.  They are taking advantage of this second chance to finish school.  They were determined even though they are struggling.  Nada was almost tearful talking to some of these students.  They are very grateful for this second chance.
 We love this view and have missed it.  This is a beautiful campus and the clouds and sky here are always interesting to watch.
Brother Lepule's Year 12 Samoan class. He teaches in the Samoan Fale.  The kids were really participating in this class.  You could tell they felt more comfortable speaking Samoan than their English class.
Brother Lepule was so glad to see us and kept asking us when we were coming over to his house.  When he finished class he told us he was going to Fagaloa Bay to get some giant crabs for dinner.  We told him we would come over about 9:00 p.m.
These are some older guys practicing Rugby on the Pesega field (malai) right by where we used to live.  It brought back a lot of memories from when we served there before.
Brother Selue teaching the Year 13 Samoan Bridging class.  We really enjoyed visiting these different classes and meeting with each teacher individually.  These teachers are working hard and really want these students to succeed.  Not one of them complained about not getting paid enough or the extra time they were spending.  They all expressed what a wonderful opportunity they felt this was for these students to have a second chance.  The only thing they did complain about was they felt like they needed longer classes or to meet four times a week instead of three.

My we miss these beautiful sunsets. 

Elder and Sister Hammond had us over for dinner on Wednesday night.  It was very nice and good to be there again.
Wednesday evening the 13th of May we did a little visiting after dinner.  We went to visit Ingrid and her family.  Nada is holding ReeNada here.  She ran right up to her this time and just hugged and kissed her and did not want her to put her down.  When we visited in February she would not have anything to do with either of us.
We gave ReeNada a little Disney Princess ball and we played catch most of the evening we were there.
Nada holding Ingrid's new baby girl born on April 7, 2015.  Her name is Dirgnoel O'redyna.  We will have a hard time learning that one.  She is a beautiful little girl.
This is our Samoan Family.  We love this family so much.  It was Brother Taavao's birthday so we had cake and ice cream with them.  It was so nice to visit and spend time with them. 

Star and Fa'amagalo.  We love these two young men.  Fa'amagalo is back from a successful mission and is interviewing for a job in the morning.  We have since learned he got the job and is working for Digicel, the big cell phone company there in Samoa.

We then arrived at Lepule's just after 9:00 p.m.  They were just getting ready to eat.  We visited for a few minutes, tasted some of these giant crab claws, took a couple of pictures and left so they could eat their dinner.  We never saw any crabs this big before.
The Lepule family is our other Samoan family.  They are great to us and we love them so much.
On Thursday, May 14th we did a little visiting at the school and then decided we were going to the under 18 Rugby game at St. Joseph College.  The first game St Joseph barely won in the last few minutes.
This is LDS Church College Pesega playing and I can't remember which school they were playing.  A big fight broke out between the two schools that played before our kids.  The police finally got it under control but they stopped the game for a few minutes while the coaches went to help get all the students back into their seats.
This is called a scrum.  These kids play hard and fast.  Rugby really is a pretty interesting sport.  We enjoyed watching it and being there with the students again.  We recognized a lot of the students and some we didn't, recognized us and came up to talk to us.  It was great!
Mayloni A'Hoy one of our favourite teachers wanted to do lunch.  We did a late lunch and went to a restaurant we had never been to before.  It was in a hotel called Amanaki's.  It was pretty good food.  The best part were the fresh Nius! 
We took a couple more pictures of the Temple.  This is such a beautiful Temple and we love it.

 These Palmetto trees have all made it back from the cyclone in December of 2012.  These are on the Temple grounds and are very pretty.  There were only two or three branches left on most of them then and now you can see they are all full again.

It was a beautiful sunset again as we were walking over to the Self-Reliance Model Center to attend the BYU Idaho Pathway Thursday night cohort group.  These students are really enjoying this class and are doing well.  We hope to see more students involved next semester.

We walked back to House 22, finished packing our suit cases and headed to the airport.  We had a 10:00 p.m. flight and arrived in Auckland at 1:45 a.m. tired but fulfilled.  What a blessing to be able to see our dear friends in Samoa again.  We loved every minute and came home tired.  We love our mission and were very glad to be able to interview these teachers, students and administrators to help make this Bridging Program more successful for now and hopefully the future.  The Lord loves us all and wants us to become like him.  We need to learn all we can and improve our knowledge and skills so we can take care of ourselves and our families.  We hope you are all well and busy doing great things.  Until next time. 
Alofa atu, Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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