Saturday, March 13, 2010

Talofa Lava

(hello to you)

Last night we crashed a Samoan part-eh. Well, not exactly. We DID crash it, but it was different than a rock'n Polynesian gathering where food is in abundance. It was actually a meeting held in our church followed by the food in abundance.

In our church building there is a Samoan congregation that meets at a different time. As seen in this post, and over at our food blog, we're Polynesian wanna-be's over here. We have TRIED so very hard to go to that ward (congregation). Alas, we have been told that we have to serve in our own territory. Serve where we are planted. Oh, alright, but we still have some options open.

Every Sunday we casually (aka, we make it happen) run into someone from the Samoan ward since our times overlap, and then husband will work his magic on them. He begins by speaking their language and then they fall madly in love with him because he's a white boy who speaks broken Samoan. I mean, I totally did. Fall madly in love with him. But not because he speaks Samoan. That is a bonus.

Last Sunday we were invited to their activity on Friday night (food will be served). An IN! We're going. Aaron dreamt of the glorious bounty we would partake of the night before (no joke). Oh! The people we would now be able to befriend so that we can be invited to future bounties to partake of. A dream coming true, fo sho.

So, last night we excitedly crashed the place. But uh-oh,'s NICE dress. Usually for basic activities it's casual dress apart from Sundays. Uhm. Apparently not this time. We came in jeans (mine had retro holes in them 'cuz I'm cool like that) and t-shirts and oh my gosh I was so embarrassed.

Turns out, it was the annual Relief Society birthday celebration. A spiritual meeting followed with a nice dinner. Despite my complete embarrassment with our dress, we decided that we would stay because all these sweet old ladies in gorgeous attire felt pity on us and told us we looked beautiful. And that they would translate for me. And that my boot had a heel so it counted for something.

During the meeting in the chapel my kiddos went nuts and so husband took Kai out to settle him down. Brianna kept whispering, "but Mo-om! I can't understand anything they are saying. This is even more boring than on Sunday in our own ward when I CAN understand it." Raising my children to be obnoxious. Check.

Eventually, I ended up being the only one in the chapel that was white. The only one that couldn't speak Samoan. The only one completely out of place.

I was home.

I couldn't understand anything they were saying, but I felt it. Oh my gosh, I felt it. The testimonies they bore. The prayers. The spirit that transcends all languages. I was in awe of their vigor while singing. For the most part very out of tune, yet so heartfelt and strong. I witnessed such humility and passion for their belief in our Savior Jesus Christ. I witnessed love. It was so so so very beautiful.

Husband has always said that Samoan people are some of the most inherently spiritual people he has ever known. I know that now, too.

As the meeting ended I found my son in the nursery with about 30 other gorgeous children. I laughed. He is so flipp'n white. My pale boy. And in the hallway there stood my white husband wearing a lava lava over his jeans. Someone went and got it out of their car so that he could fit in. Who does that? Amazing.

The best part? As tradition for most RS birthday celebrations, the men made and served the food. We ate and laughed and danced. Yes. We danced.

And I am filled with gratitude to be Samoan. Even if it was for just one night.

1 comment:

Kristie and Ryan said...

well, I totally laughed outloud at the "raising my children to be obnoxious. check." so funny carrie!! I'm still laughing.. I got that down myself. I dated a Samoan for 6 months and his family was amazing and they sang like nothing I had ever heard. It was deep.

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