Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ta'alofa Lava

Every once and a while, out of the blue, a long standing prayer gets answered. It is one of life’s tender mercies and brings with it unexpected blessings and strengthens faith. For almost two years now since the missionaries started living here, during every transfer I have requested a trade in for a Samoan elder. Over time and realizing that there are only two Samoans in the mission I had given up my hope of swapping silly Samoan songs with a native speaker and having someone verify that the gibberish I often spoke when I tried to communicate with an Hispanic face in a foreign country was real. But the Lord has listened and decided to bless our home with a genuine Samoan elder.

I know he is a real Samoan because he recognized my tapa cloth wall hanging, loves to sleep in, likes all kinds of physical activity, laughs at my silly jokes and stories, likes to tease his companion, and cooked his companion a dinner of canned mackerel with onion and rice. It filled the house with that unique fish smell for a couple of days and I thought I was back in the Islands.

Now I’m embarrassed with my weak language skills and fumble through a mix of Samoan and English to tell a story but it is so fun to have a “Faifeautala’i” in our home. He has been so kind to play along that he understands my diminished word selection and talks very slowly with me. I get a few of his words and it sends my mind back to sweaty hot days, walking dusty roads, fighting off mosquitoes and bugs, eating fish heads, and teaching the gospel to the most beautiful faith filled people on earth. The Lord must love me a little to bless my life with this spot of fun and joyful memories.
Thank you for answered prayers. Tofa Soifua.


Tracy Barrand said...

I am so happy that you finally have someone to be Samoan with. It's been since we were dating 30 years ago that you pulled out those wonderful stories and experiences. Lalei.

Van Dyke said...

Oh dad that is so fun. Have you sung him the only song you know in Samoan?i remember you running into a Samoan lady in a grocery store and you were like a little school boy.

funny thing here is i speak and hear West Virginia talk all the time:)

Danica McDonald said...

I'm super glad you got a somoan. Dis you ever think all those years ago that you would have a somoan living in your house?