Monday, May 4, 2015

Because I Have Been Given Much - Samoa and Me

For those of you who friend us on Facebook, it will come as no surprise that I, Sister Jones, jumped on an airplane and vacated, just for a few days, the mission I love so well. No, I didn't go AWOL. I went to be with my baby, who was having a baby. I was extremely blessed because the circumstances warranted it and my mission president whole-heartedly agreed.

I spent 10 days cleaning, sewing, cooking and playing with one of the cutest little granddaughters ever!

McKinnley Rene Marrott
Equally wonderful, I got to see Mike, Havilah and the Jones kids AND Veronica flew out all the way from the East Coast for 48 hours just to see me. It was just the balm I needed. I love my family so very much. They are and will always be the reason for my existence and the lights of my life. So proud with how well they are doing and how wonderful they've all turned out - I have the greatest family!

Ronan, Gareth and Ruth Ellen dancing Tahitian for me!
Veronica and I

So, with that, let me introduce you to our newest family member:

Rayland Michael Marrott
Born 23 hours AFTER I had to's true. But I was able to fulfill exactly what was needed and Rayland's daddy was able to be home for the birth, so all is quite well and I am happy.

Upon my return, I was able to jump right back into Island life. So much to do! So much fun doing it!

This Saturday was the Samoan Devotional at PCC. Each of the represented islands holds a yearly devotional. It always entails breakfast, singing, and the students representing the village sharing their faith and experience.


Our first speaker shared an amazing story of his family's conversion in Samoa.  His father was actually told that he must deny this new faith or be killed. He refused. So the village came and took him away. The young man then simply said that he was miraculously spared and that his father's experience has been a source of great faith building on the island. It was later in the presentation, when the elders from the island spoke, that we learned how he was spared. The religious leaders built a fire and told him again, to deny his faith or be killed. Again, he refused and bore his testimony that this was the true church and that he could not and would not deny his faith. The fire was built and started. As they prepared to burn him alive, a rainstorm came out long enough to put out the fire. He was spared because they could see that God did not want him killed. What an inspiration!

A beautiful young lady spoke next. She came to BYU-H when she was 26. She had a career as a teacher back in Samoa. But her mother told her of this wonderful place to come and get an education. She is about to graduate, and she feels that these last 3 years have been one of her greatest blessings. The Island Manager had expressed such love for her and her gentle spirit. You could see it as she spoke. And then she sang the sweetest, purest version of "Nearer My God To Thee". It was just amazing.

The final student, who we actually know from our ward, is majoring in math. He is a great and confident speaker. He talked about the amount of faith and humility it took to get to this point especially because he had previously been expelled from BYUH for making a very poor error in judgment. He recognized that he had to decide whether he was going to be immovable or repentant. He is a man of great intelligence and he knew that he had to improve his own circumstances if he was ever to be a success in the world. This young man grew up in the humblest of circumstances in his aunts and uncle's home. They had no electricity or running water. He worked hard before and after school. He did his homework by the very dim light of a kerosene lantern. Yet still he graduated at the top of his class. But the thing that makes this man's future so bright is not his great intelligence. It is his amazing humility and desire for improvement. Ultimately, he wisely learned that it's not perfection, but the desire to leave behind imperfection that brings about the security and joy he seeks for him and his family.

We are so richly blessed to be here. We are learning so much and are being so humbled by these great examples.


  1. So glad, Nina, you got to see the new grandbaby! I really enjoy your posts and can see what joy you are bringing to others. We miss you at SARC, but I am still using your water aerobic weights! Barb Jacobs

    1. I miss you too! It is an outdoor pool here and just today I was able to get back into it without FREEZING! Who knew the water could get so cold here? So glad the weights are still working. Please give my regards to everyone there at SARC

  2. Congratulations! Another gift from heaven to bless your lives!

  3. Congratulations on your new little man.. and you are looking well so Island life surely agrees with you , I love it there and hope to visit one day again!

  4. So glad you were able to touch and hold your "babies", I know all too well about the "missing" part. I'll be driving up to IL 5/19 to help Missy with two graduations this year; Bailey from college, Kate from high school. I enjoy your updates both here and on fb, I love you guys!