Research Updates    New Ancestors    New Stories    Surnames A-L    Surnames M-Z    Home
      Ancestor Pages -  knowing my family
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Ivan Merriman Lewis  -  Journal  (Mission to Samoa 1934-1937 - Part 2)


Island of Tutuila 1935

Wednesday [Jun 18] morning we again went up on the roof and finished the west side of the roof ready to paint. As soon as we had finished the scraping, Elder Bandley brought up the paint and we proceeded to put it on. About one o'clock our aso arrived so I brought it upside under the roof. It consisted of a bottle of 'Meti' and some Isa'ka and we added the "ia sardine.' Not bad, considering the fact that Elder Pace tipped over a glass of water and my cup of 'meti'. We got about half of the west side done and the paint ran out so we were forced to quit.

We then went up to the cricket game. Had only been there about half an hour when the ball was knocked out into the vao and could not be found so that ended the game. Quite a busy day. For some reason I didn't feel like a million dollars today so I didn't go up to help the finishing of the painting. Tried to get some material today for a speech for Sunday but had to give up because my eyes hurt too much. Elder Gambles came up on the six o'clock bus. The Yankee baseball team invited us up to the Ma'ataua Boys School for a fast to celebrate their victory last Saturday over the other three teams. They also had a short fiafia after the mea ai. We left early as we were all tired out and wanted to get some sleep.
Friday [Jun 21] morning I became industrious and decided to prepare a speech for Sunday. I found some good material on "Faith and Works" so wrote mine on that material that I found. We Elders were all down on the lawn in the morning and spied a pig that should be penned, so we began to throw rocks at it. Elder Gambles jumped the hedge by the path and wrenched his ankle. Seems as though he is getting his share of bad luck.

At four o'clock Elder Bandley and I went up to Api's place to visit as his wife has very bad eyes and they had been fasting for her. We administered to her and then Api broke the fast. We also had dinner, which consisted of talu, palusami, shrimp soup; it was pretty good.

We came back to the house where Tuloto was preparing some cakes, etc. for a party for Lila whose birthday is today. We had supper up here on the floor in the dining room. Lealao and his wife Ioesi. Luteru and his wife Siasaga. Elders Pace, Bandley and I and of course Lila, the guest of honor. Elder Gambles was unable to come in to supper because of his vae mapeva. We had a short room. I played my accordion for a while then we played the phonograph. I surprised natives by making a paper horn sticking a phonograph needle through it. We had quite a lot of fun.
Saturday [Jun 22] morning Sianiva translated my speech into Samoan for me. I spent a good share of the day studying on it. We sat out on the porch for a while and read in the Tusi a Mamona. Then we had a contest looking up passages up in the Tusi Paia. The Samoan Bible is quite easy to find passages. It is the way it is constructed, having the number of the verse on the outside of the page. Elder Gambles had some old Samoan Doc working on his foot and it seems to be doing some good.


Sunday [Jun 23] About the same as usual. Had three good meetings, a little better than usual. After Sunday School we had visitors, Pele and Fualuga, nurses from the Navy Hospital at Fa'agatoga. We played the phonograph for while, then I played a few selections on my accordion, then Fualuga played the guitar and sang two or three songs. They are quite a pair of kids. They stayed till time for Church. The officers had to sing a song for Mutual. We were fealolo. Not a bad Sunday for a change. It looks like this will be my last Sunday in Mapusaga for a while. Our aiga had a fono for all concerned.

Monday [Jun 24] Elder Pace and Tina went to Pago Pago. Also Lausi'i went down and brought up some food for us. Elder Bandley and Viali went to Pavai'i to get the census. They came back just before supper. We had a very good supper tonight. We read in the evening for a while and then read our Patriarchal Blessings and discussed the signs of the last days.

Tuesday:  [Jun 25] We did some studying in the morning. Not too much to do as it's vacation time. This is village inspection day, so about four o'clock we started out to look around. What I mean is Mapusaga is a clean village. There were only three dirty lots in the whole village. When we got back we ate the sugar cane we got on our "asiasiga." Then we decided to pay off for the copra. So we called the village and paid them off.
Wednesday was spent in getting ready to go to Pago Pago. It doesn't seem like I'm going, but just as though I was going for a trip. It's almost like leaving home. I did get quite a bit of visiting before I left. We did some studying and mostly did nothing in particular. We had a short ball game in the morning.
We were all waiting to go to Nu'uuli at noon. The bus came along about 11:30 so we caught it down to Nu'uuli. We had a very good Priesthood Meeting and afterward we had a car hired to take us home. It came late so we visited at Saliai's place till after 6:pm.
Thursday [Jun 27] We came on down to Pago Pago where I will live for a while. It's not a very welcome looking place. We didn't do much of anything in the morning, but read.

In the afternoon we decided to go out to the Seth Parker to asiasi. We had some cold watermelon and quite a visit. There was a lot of activity aboard as they are preparing to set sail and go to Honolulu sometime in the near future.

The Seth Parker, last voyage 1935

We came back that evening, all decided to go to the show "The Sin Ship." Not so hot. It must have been one of the first talkies ever made. When we got home we discovered that we didn't have any water.
Saturday was spent in writing letters and getting things ready to send on the mail next week. I also did a bit of studying. I am going to put in all the spare time I have from now on trying to learn this language so I can speak it like I really knew something about it.

Our water is still very scarce. In fact we didn't have enough to take a bath in. So we waited till after dark and then went up in the "vaitafe" and had a "tiale." It was O.K. lava. We are having quite a time with the water off. It's about as hot and dry as I ever hope to see it. Hope the world isn't going to catch afire. I am afraid it would start here.

Tuesday:  [Jun 25] We all attended Sunday School in Pago Pago. Afterward Elders Gambles and Bandley and Viali and Lausi'i went up to Mapusaga. At Church in the afternoon I presided at the meeting. I also spoke. After Church, Pele came up and visited. We were all ready for dinner, so she waited and ate with Tina. Afterward I challenged her to a contest looking up passages in the Samoan Bible. We had it around and around. She was the best at first but when we quit I could beat her. She stayed till after Mutual.
Monday morning I finished up the mail and then did some studying. I am not getting very far or very fast in this language. I am trying. Success to me. We did a little checking on records in the evening. Also had a bath in the creek.


Chapel in Mapusaga

Tuesday:  [Jul 2] Started out by chasing down to the post office and getting all of the mail posted. The boat will be in tomorrow and we don't want to be late this time.
I came back only to go down to Aua to get the census there. I found Pasia painting his bed, but he quit to help me visit the Saints, help me get the desired information. In a couple of hours we had all the village finished.

After a small Samoan meal I pedaled the old bicycle back to Pago Pago. After a short rest I persuaded Toso to go with me down to Fagatogo and Utelei to finish up there. We went down and got all of Fa'atogo except Moi'ini's place. We had to go away down to the other end of Utelei for one family. We came back up to Moi'ini's but they had already had supper so we were disappointed.

It was after dark when we started for home but we stopped in at Tuli's place and finished up. Did some studying in the evening. Thus ended a pretty good day.

Wednesday:  [Jul 3] Today is boat day again. President Tingey and his family were on the boat (steamer). Also Elder Bott is returning with them. Sister Tingey and her young daughter were unable to get off the steamer, as the daughter was ill. The President and two young sons came up and we had a little visit. We went out and had a drink of "ava" as is the custom.
He had just left when I received a letter from Elder Gambles at Mapusaga asking us to get something from the canteen including ice cream, candy, etc. for tomorrow so you can guess what we are planning.

I ran on to President Tingey and Elder Bott again and so we looked over the "Market." Both wanted to get a grass skirt and other curios so I got one for President Tingey. They gave him another as a "Mea Alofa." After getting some other curios they went down to the wharf and then they went back to the steamer. I came home and did some writing and then some studying. Sa vaivai tele a'u ua le le a'u tele galuega fai a'u i lenei aso.
Thursday the great day, July 4th. I made a dash to the station and caught the ice bus to Mapusaga. Elder Gambles was down in a fono and Elder Bandley was reading. As soon as the "Fono" was finished we went up and started the baseball games. They were pretty good. The Yankees came out winners over Fagatogo and Faleniu. We spent the rest of the day in eating ice cream, etc. Quite a different 4th than what I would have spent had I been back in the U.S.A. We had a snoring contest at night, as usual.
Friday morning we all came down to Pago Pago where we began to try to straighten out those census papers and check them out. Boy, it's no snap of a job. In the late afternoon Toso and I went out and got some more papers to fix. What a day!
Saturday was spent in much the same way as yesterday, working on census papers. Today is also mail day. We weren't much interested in the mail till we had finished. I only got five letters from home. None from her. We went to the show to cool off our brains.
Sunday was spent in Pago Pago. There were three Hawaiians there from Honolulu. A woman and a girl from our Church. The man belongs to the Methodists. His name is Mr. Grace. The woman is Mrs. Emma Mossman. Mrs. Mossman gave a very good talk in Sunday School, in English, of course. They all went up to Mapusaga with the other Elders, Gambles and Bandley.

After Church we had other visitors. Pele from the hospital was up for a short visit. We have a lot of visitors to Mutual now. The meetings are pretty good. Tonight was conjoint night and of course we had a program consisting of several short talks and some songs. Everything is going on pretty well for Pago Pago.

Monday morning Elder Pace and I went downtown. I got some money out of the bank for President Sears and also got all our checks cashed. Then we came over to the post office and got out our packages. Had to do a lot of running around before we got it all through. We should have had a package from Montgomery in Lutero's name but they didn't have the mail sorted so I left it till tomorrow. A common custom in Samoa.

We then came back to Pago and I did some good hard studying. Afterwards did some writing, then Toso and I went visiting. It's too hot to do anything today. Looks like we're going to have some rain. It hasn't rained for about a week, and that's something unusual for Samoa. Maybe the "fire" is going to start here.

President Sears with sharks

Tuesday:  [Jul 9] In the morning I went down early to the station to do business. I was down there about 7:30, as I wanted to be there when the canteen opened to send some "mea ai" to the Elders at Mapusaga. About the first thing I did was to see President Sears, who had gotten off the Ontario.

Tina took care of his things and they went on up to the post office. I went on over and waited till the canteen opened and got our stuff. Then back over to the customs and paid our duty on last month's bill. After I had gotten the things off to Mapusaga I went back up to the post office and found that we had a COD from Montgomery there. So then I had to get a release and pay duty, etc. then come back to Pago Pago, leaving President Sears in the library to wait till the bank opened. I got home about 11:00 and had breakfast.
After President Sears arrived the day was spent mostly in visiting and talking. In the evening Sister Mossman and Mr. Grace came over for a visit. We learned of the new stake and of the men in each position from her. President Sears knew most of them personally. He surely knows a lot of people.

It was a beautiful moonlit night, so we went for a row in the bay. Toso, Asuega and Tina rowed. We had quite a long row and a good visit. Mr. Grace sang several songs. He is quite a good singer. We got back before 10:00 and thus ends another day.
Wednesday Elder Gambles came down in the morning as President Sears sent for him. They went downtown and traced up the census papers. They were still in the post office. They went from there to Mapusaga. I spent the morning studying. In the Afternoon Toso and I visited the hospital. Va, Solai's wife, is still in there.

From there we went on down to Fagatogo and spent the afternoon visiting saints there. We got back before prayer time. The evening was spent in singing.
The next day was about the same old thing. Studied in the morning. President Sears came back from Mapusaga this morning. He got ready and left for Upolu about 3:30. It is trying to rain, hope it succeeds. It's surely hot in the evening. We did about the same old things as usual.
Friday it did rain, all day. The Malaga o le Ao Alofa came here this morning. Fofo and Lagi were with them. Also Laita and Viali, boy did they look good.

In the evening they had a fiafia. Lefaga came up and sat on the porch for a while. Pasia came up and borrowed our catalogue. About 11:30 I decided that Lefaga had stayed long enough and proceeded to try to get rid of her but succeeded in only making her angry and then she stuck like a leech. I finally went to bed but she still stayed with Misi Pesa. I think she left about 1:00.
Saturday:  [Jul 13] Same program in the morning. Studied nearly all day. Tina saved us in getting us a barber. He was a pretty good one, too. Oh yes, the Seth Parker pulled out again for Honolulu or rather the Ontario pulled her out. Hope she doesn't find her way back again for a while. It seems, though, as if part of the bay were gone since it pulled out. The moon was pretty tonight, with trees waving in the moonlight. So we sat out on the porch and talked and wished.
Sunday:  [Jul 14] we had some more rain for a change. We rang the bell for Sunday School but no one came except Asuega and the two from Honolulu and Gus Hanneman. There were only about eight to it. It let up in the rain long enough for the people to get to Church so we had a pretty good turnout. I spoke, also took charge. We also had a very good Mutual that night. There were a lot of visitors. As usual, Pele was up again. I have a hunch that she will be baptized next conference. Hope so.
Monday we had visitors. Asuega came up too and brought a package from Upolu containing two back Era's, A Way to Perfection, Modern Miracles and a Book of Mormon Dictionary. They were surely welcome as we had been out of two of them since Elder Watson left.

In the afternoon Toso's cook shack that we had purchased walked off. We went to see about it. The fellow claimed he had bought it off another fellow who had previously bought it. We had it around for a while and so I asked him to come up tonight and fix it up. So he came up and I told him he would have to wait until I got word from Aupiu. All is quiet. We went down to Toso's for prayer. Also Pele came up this way for some unknown reason. I like her company but hope she don't make too much of a habit of it.

Getting a haircut

On the porch
I'm at left, Pres. Sears at right
then Sis. Sears sitting

Tuesday:  [Jul 16] We took the morning off to read the Eras that President Sears sent over. Through some mistake we haven't had ours for three months. We went up to Hanneman's in the afternoon. We stayed there about an hour and had a good visit, also some fruit and crackers. We then went on and visited different houses until dark. We went over to Asuega's in the evening for prayer but he asked us to go up to his brother's place to have prayer so we did. His girl was sick.
Also this morning, the John Williams, the pirate ship came in today. It is the London Mission Society's boat that comes in twice a year and gets all the money of the church and takes it away. They say it gets enormous amounts of money from these Samoans.
Today it rained so we did not get any visiting done. Did quite a bit of studying, though.
The gas freighter 'Carriso' came in today with gas and oil for here, also a little mail. None for me, however. Studied, read, visited and did the same old things day after day. Seems as though we're not making much progress here. They go through the motions on Sunday, that is, part of them do. Otherwise one couldn't tell that they even belonged to the Church.
Friday Elder Gambles and Bandley came down from Mapusaga. We talked things over and had quite a visit. Also did some studying and preparation for our 'Malaga.' Tina had bought phonograph from Harrington's place and we just about played the thing to death. In the afternoon who should appear but Pele who stayed until evening.

The kids all went up to the dance with Fiso. I caught the 11:00 bus to Mapusaga. While I was waiting at the customhouse for the bus a sailor came along and we had quite a talk. When I told him we paid our own way down here he about fell off his bicycle rack that he was sitting on. He rode on to Leone.

I went up to the house and there disposed of my things, then paid a visit up to the Penina and went up to the Ma'ataua and played baseball or practiced, rather. Pasia and Tauali'i came up as far as Nu'uulu on the bus, and then came on up to Mapusaga in the evening. They are the Samoans that are supposed to speak tomorrow.
Sunday morning I attended Sunday School. Anther which I had Taumafataga down in the teacher's house. I had just got back upstairs when Amelia came down and said that I was invited up to Uivas for a birthday dinner given in honor of his boy about a year old.

By the time I had gotten through with that, it was time for church. After church Tina and I caught the bus to Pago Pago. We were joined by Elder Pace, in Nu'uuli, who had been there for speech day. We arrived in Pago Pago just before Mutual time. Had a good meeting, so that ended a good day.
Monday morning after I finished studying, I decided that the old bicycle needed a working over, so I proceeded to put on my old clothes and tore it up. It was surely dirty and there was quite a difference when I finished. I finished working on it about 3:30 and took a bath and got ready for dinner. Just as we sat down, here came Aukuso and so he had dinner with us.

Our house in Pago Pago.


Our front yard.

In the evening someone threw some rocks at the house so we stormed out of the house to see who it was but couldn't find hide of them. Just as we got up and started back to the house, here came Elders Gambles and Bandley who had just arrived from Tula, in a boat. We had just said "Hello," when here came another rock. We stampeded out of the house but couldn't see anyone; so all we could do was cuss and let it go.

We all had a good supper after the Elders had a bath and then we went in and talked. They said that the waves were surely high, about the same as the house. We heard later that same day, that two Samoans had tipped over and drowned.

Tuesday:  [Jul 23] Elders Gambles and Bandley left for Mapusaga on the 11:00 bus. We had visitors in the afternoon. Elder Pace missed some pigs on the front lawn. He shot at them with the shotgun.
Wednesday I went down and had the oculist check my glasses. Everything was O.K. Got the mail as I came back by the Post Office. There was a letter for me from Misi Alma (Burl). In the afternoon Elder Pace and I went visiting, down towards Aua. I spent the evening writing letters home. Studied as usual. Also went down and worked on the bike some more. In the afternoon we had more visitors. After that we went down to Fagatogo visiting.
Friday it rained so we didn't get out in the morning. Just studied. We did a little visiting in the afternoon. Had prayer at Toso's.
Saturday morning the same routine was carried out. In the afternoon Elder Pace, Tina and I caught the bus to Aua. We stayed there all night with the missionary family. Pasia.
Sunday we attended Sunday School after which we came to Pasia's place for breakfast. Tina, Lio, Sekai, Elder Pace and I had a singing practice. After Church we walked back to Pago Pago where we attended Mutual.
Monday morning I caught the freight bus to Mapusaga. I arrived there after school had taken up, so I taught school, after recess. After school we had dinner then went to the plantation and built a check wall for the coconuts in time of flood.

Tuesday:  [Jul 30] was the same old thing, school, study and visiting.
Wednesday we had no school because everyone was preparing for Priesthood Meeting. Mrs. Mossman and daughter Pi'ilani were up to Mapusaga today. Elder Bandley and I had a visit with her and her daughter. We also had diner at Alisa's where they were staying. In the evening we had a "fiafia" for them in the "fale apu." Pi'ilani danced, of course. Pretty good.
Thursday was Priesthood Meeting in Pago Pago. Elder Bandley and I came down for it.
Friday we spent most of the day getting the census ready to go Upolu. Also made the reports. They had a "fiafia" for Mrs. Mossman down to Toso's.

Saturday. Mail day. Rained! Elder Pace and I and Tina caught the bus at 6:00 and went to Nu'uuli, from there to Tafuga.
Sunday we held Sunday School in Tafuga. Church was started at 1:00. Had some very good meals fa'a Samoa. Elder Pace and I went for a swim in the lagoon in the evening. Misi Pesa hit Tina on the head with a rock.
Monday we walked to Mapusaga from Tafuga with some of Isaako's kids going to school. We arrived about 8:30. I taught school. Elder Gambles came up from Pago Pago. July has passed almost uneventful.
Little girl dances

Tuesday:  [Aug 6] Just school.
Wednesday After school we went up to the church house and began scraping and brushing off the rust preparatory to repainting the roof. Had dinner in the belfry. Lots of fun.
Thursday and Friday were repetitious as Wednesday except that the Penina had a Fiafia downstairs.
Saturday we all came to Pago Pago. Went to Moei'iini's place for Pecao's birthday party. Chop suey, cake, ice cream. We had business in Fagatoga today, as the mail came in from Apia. We got in a couple hours of study. Gus had singing practice so we let him take our light and we went the "Tifaga," "I'm no Angel" and "A chance at Heaven." They were both pretty good. "I'm no Angel" is the first I have seen of Mae West's.
Myself with wooden "Bell"

Wednesday was boat day. The "up" steamer. Tifaga came in this morning from Alao. We didn't go anywhere on account of the rain.
Thursday we had some more rain. Freddie H. started work on the church house at Pago Pago. I painted windows. Elder Gambles came down from Mapusaga on business.
Friday Elder Bandley came down from Mapusaga. We made out the reports. We had singing practice down in Toso's house in the evening. We also had some of the girls in for a visit before singing practice.
Saturday was the "Boat Day" from home. We were late in getting the mail so in the afternoon we got the station wagon and went to Mapusaga. There were Elders Gambles, Bandley, Pace and I, also Uasia and Pele.

I read part of my mail on the way up. The first one was from G.L. Gillispie saying that Varis was married and telling how sorry he was that it happened, etc. Also one from a girl, Della Stalworthy pleading with me not to be too hard with Varis at it was not her fault, etc. I also got one or two from home. And "last but not least" was a "fa'amatalaga umi mai lau uo e uiga o lona fa'aipoipoga."

Well, we went over to Malafau's in Faleniu for a birthday party. Boy, did they bring out the chow.

Sunday:  [Sep 1] Three meetings were held at Mapusaga today. I conducted the first Fast Meeting. Had a very good program in Mutual. Lafi walked out on the band after they failed to begin at the signal.
Monday Elder Gambles and I came to Pago Pago. Went to the station for "mea ai" and other stuff. Visited, studied, etc.

Tuesday:  [Sep 3] We went down to the Post Office and got the packages, etc. Elder Gambles went on to Mapusaga with part of the packages. We spent the rest of the day studying.
Wednesday went down and got some more packages. Studied most of the rest of the day. Tauali'i came in for a visit in the afternoon. Elder Pace came down from Mapusaga. More studying. Found our bike tire had gone so proceeded to find out where it went. Singing practice.
Friday morning, Elder Gambles came down. Everyone is preparing for the Ao Alofa's siva tonight. Misi Etuati went to Utuelei to see the Holey Poles. We went to the tifaga after which we went up to the siva at Mauga's old house. Met a couple of sailors who we had a talk with. More study. Misi Panaliei came down at 4:00. Sinapi and Isaako came down for the felaugagina. Sianava's father died. Tifuga and Au were also in on their way to Mapusaga.
Sunday, Elder Gambles and I went to Aua in the station wagon with Toso, Samita, Lauasii and Lila. We had a very good visit and meetings. Lila ran away and came home after Sunday School. When we returned we found Elder Bandley ill. After Mutual we came to Mapusaga leaving Elder Bandley in Pago Pago.
Monday:  [Sep 9] I did some more school teaching. Studied and visited in the afternoon. It seems good to be in Mapusaga again after being holed up in Pago Pago.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in visiting and preparing for the malaga this weekend.
Thursday after school we all came to Pago Pago where we spent the night till 4 am Friday morning when we all left in a rowboat for Alao. There were Elder Gambles, Bandley, Pace and I, Tina, Lausi'i, Samita, and Vaili. We arrived there about 7:00 in the morning. Misi Etuati was pilot so he put in at the pass in the reef at Alao. We went up the "River" to bathe and shave. Came back and spent the day in visiting and laying around.
Saturday we all got in the boat and went to Aunu'u. Satele, Tuali'i and Siniva also went with us. We were well received, and after having 'ava' we went for walk around the island. After we had something to eat we came back to Alao. We also had a look at the $20,000 church house. It was very manaia.
Elder Bandley spent Sunday in Alao, Elder Pace and Gambles went to Tula. After church we came home to Pago Pago in the boat. Elder Bandley and I caught the bus for Mapusaga arriving there about 7:00 o'clock.
Monday was the repetition of any school day in Samoa. After which we did the usual studying and visiting.

Tuesday:  [Sep 17] we had more visiting and school and some more basketball.
Thursday morning we walked to Tafuga for Priesthood Meeting. Elder Pace came from Pago Pago to Nu'uuli. He was going to cross in a paopao but it tipped over and he waded on across. He had no extra clothes, so he had to walk on to Mapusaga and miss the Priesthood Meeting. They have a new [church?] house and this is the first meeting to be held in it. It was a very good one too.

Afterward, we came back to Mapusaga and had a baseball game. After which we went to the plantation about sundown to get a povi. Elder Bandley and I were called up to administer to his wife. She will soon 'fanau' and we started painting the roof of the church today. It was too hot to be comfortable so we quit in a hurry.
Saturday we did some more painting of the church building. Elders Bandley and Gambles went down to Leone to Charles Ried's birthday party. They had two cows, eighty pigs, hundreds of chickens and gallons of drinks.
Sunday was spent in Mapusaga. Elder Gambles and I administered the Sacrament in church. In Mutual Alimony gave her farewell speech as she is going to Honolulu on the Wednesday boat.
Monday was spent in the classroom, on the church home and visiting. Elder Gambles went to Pago Pago.
Tuesday:  [Sep 24] We put in some more time teaching school. We spent all afternoon painting the church house. We finished the job too. Did some visiting and studying in the evening. Elder Gambles came back from Pago Pago.


The genealogy trip

There was no school on Wednesday as the boys are preparing for their "fiafia o le a Tiacono." The girls worked in their taro patch. I visited and studied most of the day.
Thursday morning I went up to Alise's and looked up some things in his set of Encyclopedia. I also read in some of his other books there. In the afternoon we played ball.
Friday was spent much as usual. The Ma'ataua had a fiafia below. They made the desired tupe and we had quite a good time.
Saturday Elder Bandley and I went to Pago Pago. We made out reports and got them off. Today also being mail day I received three letters. We all went to the Tifaga. It was rotten!! "Queen Catherina."
Sunday:  [Sep 29] was my anniversary in Samoa. We all went to Sunday School in Pago Pago. After Sunday School we all went to Mapusaga. We did have to hire a taxi, as the bus had already gone. We arrived in time for Church. Also held Mutual in the evening.
Monday was dead! More school! Played ball, etc.

Tuesday:  [Oct 1] Real school ended today and we began to get ready for the conference program. Elder Gambles and Pace went to Pago Pago. Elder Pace returned in the evening.
On Wednesday the different classes started on their several parts for the program. They worked most of the day. We also knocked down the old baptismal preparatory to building a new one. Elder Gambles also hired the old truck to haul the cement from Ta'utimo. And the sand from Nu'uuli. We had a short baseball game after the work of hauling sand.
Thursday morning Elder Gambles and I took a "malaga" to Alao. Our objective was Aunu'u, a small island off the east coast of Tutuila about of a mile. There were eight boys and eight girls, Salatima the girls' leader, Lefaga Secretary of The Relief Society, Apiu, Toso and Luteru who are Samoan Miss, Toso still active in the Pago Pago branch.

We left in the old truck about 8:00, from Mapusaga, which we rode to Fagaitua, the end of the road. From there we walked to over the trail to Alao where we were well received by Tifaga and his wife Sineva who are the missionaries there. We had a good Samoan supper and a good night's rest.
Early Friday morning we all went to Auasi harbor one mile southwest of Alao where we found the small boat already gone so we had to wait until the boys went to get some more oars. About 10:00 we crossed to Aunu'u.

Of course we had the regular proceedings. The chief came in, we had 'ava and were shown our houses. We started to go around the small island; it rained before we got to the lighthouse so we all came back. After a bath we sat around talked and studied till evening.

We received permission to hold a meeting so about 7:30, after prayer, we rang the "pate" for meeting. Most of the chiefs were present and most of the other people. Meeting was held in the same Samoan house that we had been in all day. Elder Gambles conducted the meeting. Luteru, Aupiu and Toso spoke.

After everyone left we prepared for bed. Elder Gambles and I were given a mosquito net with large holes in it. One of the girls put 'ulu' leafs over the holes, but they fell off after we went to bed. We only stayed inside about two hours and all the mosquitoes were so thick that we could stand it no longer, so we crawled out. When we flashed a light on there were far more mosquitoes inside than out. It wasn't so bad outside. We tried to sleep all night but never succeeded, as it was too hot to cover up with a sheet and too many mosquitoes to sleep otherwise, so we just fanned all night.


The old truck


Beautiful Samoan House

Early Saturday morning about 6:00 we came back to Auasi and from there to Alao. We cleaned up and slept till a little after noon when we came on over to Tula. We stayed in the Faifeau's house. Au ma Elenoa. We surely got the food. We slept in Tula.
Sunday morning we held Sunday School and Church at 1:30 because of it being Fast Sunday and we wanted to go to Alao to hold another meeting. After Church we did not eat, as is the custom, but asked them to wait and let us go to Alao and break the fast there. They agreed and let us have three pigs to take with us.

After another meeting in Alao we broke the fast and had some good Samoan food. Later in the day we received a letter from two of the chiefs telling us not to bring any more Samoan missionaries there nor any of the school, so two of them had to go back and fix everything up.
Tuesday [ Oct 15] and Wednesday we worked with the school on the Vai Papatiso.

Mapusaga Chapel

Friday we all went to the plantation to doctor some horses. We had a lot of fun. Charlie Reed and his feasoasoani were there. I sat on the horses' heads and found that quite as easy to handle as a yearling colt at home. We got the ropes caught on a tree and choked one to death before we could get the ropes off. We were tired enough to do some real sleeping at night.
Saturday we ran the cement into the forms, on the baptismal font. Got a couple of blisters. Ha! Ha! You can guess what happened on Sunday and I'll tell you that Asuega and Isaako were here to preach.
Monday was, of course, program practice and the usual work, visiting, play, etc. This has been a very short, uninteresting week.

Tuesday:  [Octr 22] Elder Gambles, Viali and some women left for Pago Pago this morning to begin cleaning up the place. Preparatory to the arrival of President Sears we cleaned up the vai papatiso, also cut down part of the hedge. The school is all working today so there is no program practice.
Wednesday practiced the parts for conference. Also did some visiting, etc.
Thursday we all went up to the church house and began repairing benches. While we were there we were called up to administer to Inosia. Elder Bandley and I went up. She gave birth to a baby boy immediately after we left. We repaired the screws in the benches in addition to the work on the church benches. The girls of Penina also gave the house a very good going over.
Friday and Saturday were spent in cleaning up around the place and visiting etc.
Saturday afternoon we caught the bus to Pago Pago where we found that President Sears had already arrived from Upolu.
Sunday was quite the day to remember. First, the Lurline came instead of the Monterey. As there were three new elders due, Elder Gamble had to miss Sunday School and go down to the wharf and meet them.

After the regular Sunday School meeting we had breakfast, then went down to Fagatogo. President Sears and Elders Bandley and Pace went out to have a look at the Lurline. I stayed inside the customs baggage room with Elders Gamble and the three new ones, namely Kelsey, Kelly and Child. There were also some other missionaries for New Zealand and Australia. One of them, Elder Johnston, was a very tall fellow, about seven feet.

While we were talking, there was a fellow came up and said that he wanted to be baptized. I then went out to the Lurline, found the elders and President Sears and came back with them. We then went to Pago Pago where President Sears had a talk with him. His name was Joseph F. Dallas, born in Buffalo, NY on 27 October 1885, so that made him fifty years old today. He said that his wife was a Mormon, too. He worked on first class of the Lurline.

We took him up to the Vae Tafe and President Sears baptized him. We had a big dinner to celebrate the event. By the time I got all the information from the new elders, etc. it was time for Church. After Mutual Elders Bandley, Kelly, Child, Pace and I came to Mapusaga on the 11:00 bus. There we spent the night. We also held Elders Meeting between Church and Mutual.
Monday we practiced some more! About noon Elders Gambles, Ferrin, and Kelsey came up in a taxi. There are eight of us here now. Full house! Can't tell which way to turn. Elders Gamble, Ferrin and I went for a visit delivering letters. Had some pineapple up to Kuka's.

October 30, 1935 Early in the morning we all went to the plantation for a milk cow. We roped her and brought her to Mapusaga. After some dinner we went below and tried out the new glove. We also went up to the malai and tried out the new bats. We did some studying in the evening.
Wednesday morning we, Misi Etuati, Tina and I, went up to the mountain to see Misi Etuati's new Ma'amauga that he bought. We came back, had some chow and did some studying. In the afternoon we had a ball game with the Ma'ataua. We tied so don't have to pay for the Pisoupo.
Celebrating with dance

Early Friday we went to the plantation and killed four cows for conference. Came back, cleaned up, and then had an Elders Meeting. President and Sister Sears had come up during the morning. We had a fesilafaiga' in the village house. Then at seven o'clock in the evening we held Priesthood Meeting. There was a good turnout and then conference begins.
Saturday dawned bright and clearing in readiness for the first meeting which was held at 8:00 in the morning. We had a very good meeting and all the speeches were interesting. Mapusaga choir rendered most of the songs. They were very well sung, too. We had breakfast after the first meeting. It was Fa'asamoa, except that the meat was cooked right.

About 11:00 a baseball game was started but wasn't finished until after some trouble that arose.

After lunch we attended another meeting. It was very hot but no one seemed to mind it. It seemed that all the speakers were called at the right time and they all did very well, and put over their pleas to the people to try to live better and carry on the work.

The evening of the same day we gave the school program. It wasn't as good as the one held in March because of insufficient time to prepare it. Fiso got all mixed up and misdirected some of the parts. Oh, yes I forgot that immediately after the afternoon meeting Mapusaga and Aua had a Rugby game. It was the first one I had ever seen played. I didn't know that Mapusaga knew anything about it, either. But we won 7 to 6 so it wasn't so bad after all. Anyway, we all got to bed about 12:00 so it was quite a long day.
Sunday was the last day of the Conference and we had three meetings. We didn't have time between meetings to do anything but prepare for the next one. We had a very good day though. I was very thankful that there wasn't any trouble as there was at the last Conference in Pago Pago.

In the evening meetings the names of the officers of each branch were read and some changes made and releases given. Au and Elanoa were released from Tula. Poina and Ema were called to trade places and go to Tula. Elder Gambles is District President. Elder P.F. Child is Branch President of Pago Pago, taking my place. Elder Bandley is Branch President of Mapusaga, with Elders Kelly and Kelsey as first and second assistants.

Elder Pace and I were called to Upolu to labor. It's just like leaving home to go over there. There are some people in Tutuila that I surely think a lot of.

In the afternoon, or rather just after 12:00, the baptisms were made in our new font. It is very nice looking. There was quite a large crowd there. There were eighteen baptisms. Elders Pace and Gamble had the privilege of performing them. One that was going to be baptized decided to wait till next year.

After the baptisms we went up to the church house and confirmed and ordained some in the Priesthood. Also blessed some babies.
Girls at dedication of baptistry

Monday morning Elders Kelly, Kelsey, Child, Pace and I went up west of Mapusaga to Mafaufau's house on the top of the hill. There is a very good view of that part of the island. The largest piece of flat land is between there and the ocean. (There is now an airport there.)

After we had been there a little while, President Sears and Sister Sears came up. We took some pictures of the group and a very good picture of Mapusaga. We then came back to the house and did some studying.

In the afternoon we all went up to the malai and the faifeau played against the boys in a game of ball. We won 15 to 9. It was a pretty good game though.

Tuesday:  [Nov 5] Elders Gambles and Ferrin went to Pago Pago this morning to make arrangements for the malaga that we are to take. President Sears and wife went to pay a visit to Taputimu. There is a school there that is for boys, taught by Mr. Brown. Later Kelly and Child walked down the road to Taputimu. I spent my time studying and visiting.
Wednesday evening Elder Pace and I went to Tafuga for a visit. I visited among the people of the village most of the morning. In the afternoon I tried to get some sleep as I didn't get much last night on account of my sore arm. I wasn't very successful though. Everyone is here tonight.
Thursday morning Elder Gambles, Ferrin, Pace and I together with the Samoan Faifeau. Mauga; d, Lio, t, Apiu, e, started on the Ta'amilosaga with thirty of the schoolchildren and others. Just before we left Apinelu Sikai's brother came up to be baptized so we waited till it was over before we left on our journey. We rode ol' Zion, as far as the road went, that is, Fagaitua. We then went over the trail to Alao where we remained the rest of the day and all night.
Early Friday morning we came to Tula where we spent the day studying and visiting. It is a branch. We didn't have a fiafia there till evening. We had it and there was a very bad spirit there and everyone didn't feel just right. The fiafia was very dead we were about all ready to pull stakes. Misi Etuati was ill in the evening so he didn't go to the fiafia.

In full war dress

Saturday early at 5:30 we arose and came over the mountain to Aoa. We had prayer on the mountain that dispelled the evil spirit that had been with us. Aoa is situated on the north side of Tutuila about three miles from the east end. It is surrounded by mountains and has a beautiful bay.

The order of a Malaga entering a village is: first, the talking chief and missionaries then the women and girls followed by the boys with the baggage. We were met and shown our houses by the talking chief who was a slender fellow of medium height with light brown hair and slightly protruding eyes.

Of course the first thing upon the arrival of a Malaga is 'ava.' As soon as the chiefs found that we were in the village, they all came over and all had 'ava. After they had gone we went to our house and got our Kodak's and went for a walk down the trail. About a hundred yards from our house there is a bridge over a small river, about a hundred and fifty more yards, is another part of the village. After walking around for a while and taking some pictures, we came back to the house where we opened our books and did some studying.


Tina, Ivan
We go on a Malaga with only our clothes. If the village where we stop doesn't want to feed us then, of course, we go hungry. This village brought us some food, which consisted of breadfruit and fai'ai. Of course soon after our arrival here we had 'tafalo' which is a soggy food made from crushed breadfruit and hot 'peipei' or coconut juice made from the meat of the coconut. It is brought and served in a banana or breadfruit leaf. It looks like a small potato in white gravy, but the taste is far different.

After prayer in the evening we had a fiafia or short program consisting of songs, dances, short readings etc. After we were through with ours, the village of Aoa gave a short 'fiafia fa'aSamoa,' that is Samoan songs and dances. It was all quite short, for which we were thankful, as tomorrow is Sunday.

Sunday:  [Nov 10] Early morning we went to the Lotu Taihaiti Church; it began about 7:45. As soon as the Pastor came in they all bowed their heads and began to sing. As soon as this was finished he gave a long prayer. Then came another song and he followed this by reading from the Bible and then preaching for about an hour. The people were all sitting on mats on the floor, the chiefs sitting on the left side of the room, the common people on the other side. Our school and Malaga sat clear across the house. The children of the village sat off stage at the right. We 'faifeau' sat upon the right side of the stage. It surely got hard before the meeting was finished.

After meeting was over, it was raining so badly that we went to the Samoan Faifuau's house till it let up somewhat, and then we got umbrellas and went to our house. Breakfast on Sunday in Samoa always comes after Sunday School so we had ours, and as Sunday is also a day of rest we soon were resting not necessarily because we were tired but just a matter of habit.

The next meeting was held about 3:00 pm and was about the same as in the morning with the exception of a different speaker.

In the evening we held a meeting in a Samoan house. There was a good attendance from the village, in spite of the rain. Aupiu, Toso and Misi Mafi (Ferrin) were speakers. We also had several songs from our group. It was a very good meeting after which the village requested some more songs. Of course we were obliging and so ended our Sunday in Aoa. We had a very good and successful time there.
Monday morning, about 6:00 we left Aoa for Masefau. It is about 6 miles over some very winding trails on slick mountains. We traveled very well considering the condition of the trails. When we reached the bay across which was Masefau, I had to take a picture. It's a very big bay that a good-sized ship could anchor in. There is a small island off the left point of the bay that is very pretty. I also took a picture of that. We held prayer about 1/4 of a mile out of the village then all went in. We were very well received and soon found houses. The chiefs and Samoan faifeau and boys stayed in one house. We stayed with the Penina.

Of course the first thing on the program after the 'ava' was a 'Tiali' or bath which we took out in the 'vai ti,' an open shower. In order to take a bath in a Samoan village one has to undress, put on a 'lavalava' and throw a towel around one's shoulders and go out and bathe with a lavalava on. I've heard of people sleeping with their shoes on, but not taking a bath with clothes on. Anyway there was Lausi'i with a camera, took a picture of us and our bath.


Bathing the Samoan way
After the daily dozen was over with, we had some breakfast and sat down to do some studying. My pen ran out of ink the first thing so I had to borrow some from the schoolteacher. Part of the time was spent in preparation for the meeting to be held, the rest of the time was spent sleeping.

In the afternoon part of the girls went fishing and they stayed and ironed clothes. Leone, one of the girls not in the school, had been out fishing but was ill so she came back to the house and began ironing. She and Meli began throwing remarks at each other and finally ended in the beginning of a fight. We got them stopped, however, and when the girl's leader came back they had a fono and the girls made up. They're both very hot tempered.

Anyway, after prayer, we held another meeting in our house. There was a very good attendance from the village, in spite of the rain. Tifaga and Afatasi were speakers in this meeting. A very lively and enjoyable fiafia was given after the meeting that lasted till about 11:30. We sat and ate and talked till after 12:00 then finally went to bed.
Tuesday:  [Nov 12] morning about 5:30 we began our journey to Afono. It is about four miles over very rough mountains and took us about three hours to reach Afono. We got a house for ourselves with beds on bedsteads. The chief of the village used to be a fitafita and was very friendly.

After the tafolo we went over to the chief's house and played 'aulafo.' That is a game played only by chiefs. (Taulafoga a Alii) I shall try to explain it. It is on a long narrow mat reaching from one end of the house to the other. The mat is about 5in wide. It is played with 'tupe' or polished cocoanut shells of different sizes from 1/2 of a shell to a 'tupe', about the size or a little larger than a dollar. There are six all together. It is played by four men, one at each end of the mat and one on the right side of the end player. The tupe are thrown down to the mat to the other end. If they remain on the mat they receive a count of two, if the other player doesn't knock it off. After all the tupe are thrown, all those on the mat are counted and one type of one team on the mat cancels the tupe of the other. The game is finished when one team reaches the score of ten. It seems slow and uninteresting to the uninitiated, but becomes better when one learns all the tricks.
But before any of the food or games were indulged in, we all went up the river and had a bath. There are many ways of getting clean on a Malaga and a bath in a stream of water is one of them. We did considerable studying as we had a house to ourselves.

In the afternoon Mata'u came over and we had a good visit. He is the chief of and a former Fitafita member. We were in his house and he gave us two good beds to sleep on. One was very pretty, it being imported from China. We took a picture of it.

In the evening the usual meeting was held, Toso and Lio being the speakers. A good fiafia was held after the meeting. The fiafia lasted till after 12:00 but I didn't get to sleep till long after that. Leone sat up nearly all night ironing clothes. Which didn't, of course, do her any good.


Bed from China

Wednesday morning we all arose and came southeast from Afono to the Rain Maker. We came up over the trail, by the mountain, which came over the lowest place. The Rain Maker is almost as high again as the top of the trail. The trail comes out in Aua and it is about Afono to Aua. We made it in a little over an hour. From the top of the trail a very splendid view may be had of the bay on the opposite direction from which we are used to seeing it. We paused for a few moments on the top, drinking in the beauty of the scene before coming down the steep and crooked trail.

The Malaga came straight on to Pago Pago. But I had to stop for a while getting Sunday School reports. Leone and Mele had stopped also in Aua today, talking to Sekai who is to be married Saturday. We walked together for a way but they were too slow for me as I was in a hurry to get Pago Pago for some business before continuing on, so I left them and came on. When I reached Pago Pago I repacked my things with Elder Pace but soon afterward President Sears asked me to continue on from Fa'asa to Mapusaga so I had to go repack again.

We stayed in Pago Pago about three hours and had some "mea e tatau ai" before going on our way. We came up the road behind, west and south of our house and the village proper of Pago Pago, up a long narrow valley that used to be the bed of the crater that formed the island that formed Tutuila. The trail led us up a winding, wide and well-kept trail. In fact, it is the best one I have seen in Samoa. There is another good view of the mountains, and a small section of the bay from there. I had some trouble getting it, as the trees were so thick.

The bay from Fagasa from the other side also presents a very memorable sight. I also snapped that but I think it was a double exposure. Too bad. Coming down the mountain I was away behind the rest of them as I had been taking pictures, etc. Coming down I took the short cuts that go nearly strait down. Before I had gone very far I was practically flying, just grabbing vines and trees as they went by. In this way I caught up with the Elders in the lead. The only thing wrong with that part of the trip was it was too hot.

Anyway, we finally reached the village where we had the regular fesilafaiga. The big chief there is one of Steffany's sons. He is surely a good-looking follow, but he smokes too many cigarettes. After the 'ava' and 'tafolo' we went and took a bath.

Steep Tutuila coastline
When behind the curtain dressing we heard a woman say, "If there's any thing I can do for you, just let me know." We just about fell over backward and it was about a minute before we could answer. She was Marie Steffany, the daughter of the Mr. Steffany that owned the boat "Tutuila;" he is dead now. They have a "papalangi" house in Fagasa that they live in now.

After we had finished eating and dressing we visited and read most of the afternoon. The usual meeting was held in the evening that went over very well. Tifaga and Lio were the speakers. As soon as the meeting was over I went to the house, as I was a little ill. Leona was 'under the weather' too because of what she did last night.

After the fiafia we went to Steffany's house for a little sleep before the dawn. We sat up and talked with her for quite a while until we ran out of things to talk about. Marie has just returned from 15 yrs in Europe and America; she is well educated and is a good conversationalist. So off to sleep.
We awoke early the next morning Thursday and were invited to breakfast with Marie and Ma. We had just finished when a boy came and announced that the boat was ready to leave so we took a hasty departure. I went down to the boat and bid everyone 'tofa' before going to Mapusaga. I had a small suitcase to carry and no bag so away I went. A fellow showed me the trail and that was all that was necessary. The trail went up gradually from the level for about a quarter of a mile, from there to the top of the mountain it gets steeper till at the very top it seemed to me to be going over backward. For the last 100 yards it was about 80 degrees so I had to hold on with one hand and carry the suitcase with the other, and maybe you don't think that I got tired. The last 30 or 40 feet I climbed by means of the roots and vines. On top I followed the narrow slippery trail along the cliffs edge, over trees and under them.

I followed along this ridge for nearly three-fourths of a mile to the head of our plantation where I came down. This side is steeper than the other. It being from 80 degrees to 60, all the way down. Once to the bottom I came out into the very end of the plantation. From there I journeyed to the plantation trail. I met Nifo and talked to him for a few minutes this side of the corral.

At the plantation I met Fiso and he was quite surprised to see me. I went on up to the house where I met Miai Panalei and Kelley. They were hard at it studying the Book of Mormon. After a bath and changing of clothes, I went delivering letters around the village. I had some very good visits; in fact I spent the day visiting Saints. Tuloto and Leaumau are the only two girls left in the village. I went up to see Ma'atua to see Lealau about going out to Tula for Sunday and hold Church and he said okay. I also got Poina to go. Misi Panalei didn't like the way I took the day off but I had a rest and good time. So Ho!

In the evening we started to work on the tithing reports for Tutuila.
Friday we made an attempt to straighten out the books but were unsuccessful. So I went to Pago Pago and got some others to bring back here and check with. I caught the bus at 5:00 and arrived here at 6:00.
Saturday Elder Bandley and I spent most of the day working on the tithing reports; they are surely in a mess. I went visiting in the late afternoon. I got a pineapple grass skirt and a ring. Malo Lava.
Sunday was the regular thing, even the rain which it did all day. President Sears came up from Pago Pago in the afternoon. We were about to decide not to hold Mutual on account of the rain but we finally decided to have it in Eddie's House. It was a very good meeting, too, with a good attendance. They asked President Sears some questions that they wanted to know, and he explained it to them so all were very well satisfied.


Houseboys - Pago Pago


Monday morning the Malaga returned. We all went below and held a fesilafaiga. They had had very good luck in the reminders of the Malaga from Fagasa. All we Elders are together again before separating for good till conference. The village killed a povi so we are all manuia. In the evening we had a fiafia and fa'amavaega till 12:00. I went to bed immediately afterward. Misi Etuati stayed up and did leoleo all night on account of a Samoan custom that I will explain another time.

Tuesday:  [Nov 19] Today ends my work in Tutuila. We gathered everything together to go to Upolu, that is Sister and President Sears, Elders Ferrin, Pace and I. We caught, or rather hired, a bus to take us down to Pago. I gathered everything together there and packed ready to leave. We all went down to the wharf where we said good-by to the little crowd of saints there. At shortly after four we put off for Upolu. We were all night getting there and had a lot of fun and experience doing it. As the little story says, you shall hear the rest of the story in the next volume. So I bid you all, Tofa! Soifua!

      Questions or Suggestions?  Email dwyn@ancestorpages.com
©2010






    Print - no heading    (15 pgs)


      Ivan's parents
      Daisy's parents

      Their page

    Daisy
      Life Sketch
      Letters 1937-38 - Ramah
      Letters 1940 - Tent & Trailer
      Letters 1946 - Farmington-Ranchitos
      Diary 1947 - Ranchitos-Totavi
      Letters 1947-48 - Ranchitos-Totavi

    Ivan
      Growing up 1915-37 -  Ramah
      Mission to Samoa 1934-1937
          1   2   3
      In the Army 1945
      Ivan 1937-1950