Last night, after we left the office, we took a trip to Sam's Club to buy a new paper shredder for the office. When Elder Adkins put it out today the bin was almost impossible to open and it made a funny jingling sound so Elder L took Elders A & W with him to exchange it. The new one still jingles (apparently that's normal) but it opens and actually shreds 20 pages with staples just like it says on the box. That's not the point of this post. While they were out of the office for 1 1/2 hours I visited the whole time with Elder Asuoa and learned a lot about him and about American Samoa.
American Samoa is a US territory but self-governing under their own constitution. The capitol is Pago Pago, and the main island is only 76 square miles. Before Elder A came on his mission he was going to school and working as a tour guide, which he really enjoyed doing, but said that he was limited to what he could do or sometimes needed an interpreter because he had limited English. The tours went around the island to some of the historical sights, a pond where a shark and sea turtle live together (I need to hear more about this story) then ended at the large hut, the fale o'o, to have a traditional Samoan meal which would include roast pig, rice, and lots of tropical fruits. Sounds to me like Samoa would be a wonderful port for a cruise!!
The Temple is in Apia, which is the capitol of Samoa, an independent country. It used to be called Western Samoa and gained independence from New Zealand in 1962. Elder A says his ward takes temple trips during the summer. They're on the same seasonal schedule as the US even though it's always summer there! They fly to Apia, about a half hour flight, then stay in Samoa for a week and do several sessions.
After Elder Asuoa returns home in May from his mission he'll go back to college and possibly study computer science. He'll also be a great leader in the church! Have I mentioned how much I love our missionaries?