Thursday, July 24, 2008

Samoa 18: Changing of the Guard

After three months of serving together in the Pesega area, Elder L. was transferred to American Samoa. I stayed in Pesega on Upolu where I was joined by Elder W., or Uilifoti as we called him, also from Arizona.

Uilifoti and I were mission companions in the Missionary Training Center for two months. Of the eight of us in our batch, only Uilifoti and I began our service in the field on the big island of Savaii. Due to my bout with dengue I only spent three months out there, but Uilifoti stayed, primarily on the very culturally strong west end of Savaii, for six months--one quarter of his mission time.

When we were reunited, the assistants to the mission president gave us the instruction that neither of us would be the "senior" companion, a break from tradition due, in part, to our being batch-mates. We were told that we were on equal status with each other because Uilifoti had better Samoan and I knew the area.

Thus began our service together in Samoa which, unfortunately, would only last for one month's time. But it would be a period of rapid growth and many adventures.

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