it is so incredibly easy to love the lord and be faithful in samoa. every where you go there is church after church, in fact most villages have 3 or 4 to cover all the different religions. and everyone is respectful of religion. if you are driving through the villages during the nominated prayer time during the evening, there are people standing by the road waving their arms to remind you to be respectful and slow your vehicle during the lord's time. nothing is open on a sunday and in many public places a bikini or the likes is not appropriate, due to it's obvious immodesty.
as we drove through each village i was shocked to see a latter-day saint church in most of them. until mum reminded me what a huge population of members there are here. in fact there are one hundred and nineteen chapels across the two islands. the church has their own college, a temple, 137 congregations between those chapels, a mission and 17 family history centres. in fact 1 in 4 people in samoa are members of the church, compared to the measly 1 in 172 in australia.
the samoans are a humble, god-fearing people, who have great respect and love for the missionaries of the church. what joy it brought me to see my parents loved so very much during our trip. their positions in the school have been such a wonderful experience for them and i am so glad we got to see the world they have loved these past 18 months (well, almost, there's certainly not long until they return home)
what a blessing it would be to attend a church run school. i was the only mormon in my high school and i wouldn't say suffered, but i was often made fun of - asked stupid questions, perhaps suffered does work here... i suffered from the ignorance of others about our church. what a wonderful experience i then imagine it to be, to be able to loudly and joyfully speak of your beliefs amongst all your friends, peers and even teachers... who all are members of the same faith. what a wonderful place the church run schools are!
our trip showed me more than ever, how strong the gospel of jesus christ is in the world and i am so glad to have had the chance to experience that.