Sunday, January 19, 2014

Samoa in Church History

More early Mormon missionaries to Samoa

Every missionary to Samoa must learn to contend with the mosquitoes. I've written previously about my own experience with dengue fever, a mosquito-borne sickness. Apparently, things haven't changed for over a hundred years.

Mormon missionary Henry L. Bassett tells of traveling to the "west end of the island of Upolu," where he and his traveling companion "stopped en route at many villages and were welcomed everywhere."

Unfortunately for Misi Paseta, as Bassett undoubtedly was called in Samoan, "this district was so Namuia (so numerous mosquitoes) that it was persecuting in its severity."
In my zeal to protect myself I only added to my discomfort. To provide against my tainamu mosquito netting) [sic] working loose from where it was tucked under my sleeping mat, I put several stones to hold it down, but alas for my inexperience, I had used lava rocks that had blow-holes in them like holes in Swiss cheese, which holes were the hiding place for the pesky mosquitos reposing therin, [sic] only to appear rampant upon my retirement to rest or to study the language so necessary in teaching the natives the plan of Salvation. I only learned of my folly regarding the mosquito episode when I saw the natives smiling at the amusing side of it. Although I could not smile with very good grace I 'saw the point'—or might say many of them.

Image courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

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