Samoa's Mormon members remain resilient

Recently, Pacific Area President Tad R. Callister toured tsunami-weary Samoa, visiting the homes of several members who had been affected by the Sept. 29 disaster.

At each home he was welcomed by a Mormon bishop or stake president who was there providing spiritual and sometimes temporal support to the troubled families. For President Callister, such loving shepherding served as a reassuring symbol that needs were being cared for and that prayers were being answered. The physical and emotional scars left by the catastrophe will forever remain. There is much pain — but there is also hope and healing as people work and worship together.

The Samoan members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "have a remarkable faith in the Resurrection," said Elder Callister, of the Seventy. "They have a remarkable faith that God is good. They have a remarkable resiliency to bounce back.

"They have turned to God instead of away from God."

Indeed, with each passing week, life moves a bit closer to normal in tsunami-impacted regions in Samoa, American Samoa and the Tongan island of Niuatopatupu. Accessibility to potable water remains a challenge is some areas, with local members and others having to rely on trucks to deliver drinking water. However, all have access to food, according to Elder Brent H. Nielson, of the Seventy and second counselor in the Pacific Area presidency.

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