Sunday, December 28, 2008

We got our first email from Dave the Monday after he got to Samoa, (Mondays are p-days). It was very short but good. He said "I'm showering out of a bucket and we have to cross the river to visit with members but I'm serving the Lord in a tropical paradise so it is all good"!
But we didn't get an email the next Monday so we were bummed. We thought it would tell us when and how to call him on Christmas. But....
HE CALLED US!!! On Christmas Day we were in Tennessee and he called on our cell phone. He called from a members cell phone (cell phones are very popular in Samoa). We got that cell phone number and called him back from my mom & dad's home phone,(THANKS mom & dad!!!) because my cell doesn't allow international calls. We talked for about 3 hours!!! HE IS DOING GREAT!!! It's all new to him and definitely taking some serious getting used to but "its all good". He lives in a small 20x20 shed behind the church. His comp is nice. The food is good but the same thing for almost every meal and got some tummy issues from that. He said he sent another camera card home, so as soon as we get it we will add pictures with more details.
It was so hard to say bye knowing we won't talk again until May. We cried and prayed for Dave after the phone call. WE are so PROUD of DAVE and we feel SO BLESSED TO HAVE A MISSIONARY!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dave's There!

Good news, Dave is actually in Samoa. We got an email from the mission office tonight with some pictures and info. He is in Western Samoa on the island of Savai'i in a little area called Sili. It is so small we can't even find it on a map and google earth just shows us rain forest. (Sorry, we had a mother of a missionary in Samoa send us a map. Look to the lower center for Sili. Thanks to Becky Williams for the map). The mission home said to send all his letters and packages to:

Elder David Gage
Samoa Apia Mission
P.O. Box 608
Pago Pago,
American Samoa 96799

We think his companion is native. His name is Elder Masaniai. This is exactly what he wanted. We are feeling so blessed. Here is a copy of the letter:

12 December 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Brent Gage
2625 East Canyon Road
Springville, UT 84663 USA

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Gage,

We want you to know that your son Elder David Charles Gage arrived in the Samoa Apia Mission safely and in good spirits. We have enjoyed observing his enthusiasm and great desire to do the Lord’s work. We deeply appreciate his willingness to come to serve our Heavenly Father and… “cause His church to be established” among the people of Samoa. (D&C 28:8)

Weekly contact through correspondence is a great source of strength to both missionary and family. We express our hope that it will continue throughout his mission. We keep in contact with all missionaries through island conferences and enjoy a personal interview with every missionary each month.

Enclosed are suggestions for supporting and encouraging your missionary.

We thank you for supporting your son in the choice he has made to serve our Heavenly Father. May you find joy and happiness through his service.


President O. Vincent Haleck
Samoa Apia Mission

Don and David Gage biking the White Rim Trail

This is a fun flashback to Don and David biking the White Rim Trail near Moab, Utah.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Travel Day to Samoa

Well, as of 3 hours ago, Dave arrived in Samoa. We were able to talk to him on the phone last night, Laura talked for 3 1/2 hrs. the rest of us 10 min., poor Dave's ear. He sounded great, all grown up and mature. He's really excited and didn't sleep much the night before. He said he sent a package home with some more pictures and we will post them as soon as we get them. He will be in the mission home until Thursday when he will be sent to his new area. We will post his new address as soon as we get it. Very exciting Will post more later. Don

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our sweet Brent is the big *17*! His favorite part of the whole birthday party was getting to smash his birthday pie into Jordan's face!

Ms Mikaela is 10!!! Guess what she got for her birthday!?!?

Kaela and Ryan got braces!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We got more pictures! This might be the last set of pictures for a while because Dave is leaving the MTC on Dec 9th to go to Samoa! He is so excited to go! They even have a calendar count down hanging on their door. The MTC has been an incredible experience for him and I'm sure he will miss those times but he is so ready to get out and preach the gospel in Samoa!

We sent Dave and his comp a Thanksgiving package, hoping to help with homesickness on that day. We sent them our own version of a "Thanksgiving Feast". We sent turkey lunchables with a note, "Your turkey dinner", we sent potato chips "mashed potatoes", fruit cups "fruit salad" , pudding "gravy" and a pumpkin pie with the spray on whipped topping! Then we sent Thanksgiving plates, napkins, place mats and a big paper turkey centerpiece. We also sent 2 pilgrim bonnets(Dave & comp are wearing in one of the pics) and 2 Indian headbands. We were so excited for them to get this. Then in Dave's email on Thanksgiving he said he got the package but the mail room people took out the lunchables and left a note saying that was not allowed. WHAT??!!?? We knew you can't send pizza/fast food but lunchables??? You got to be kiddin me! Dave sent us a copy of the note that said no refridgeable items. But they left the whipped topping?? Oh well....

Anyway, Dave said they had a great Thanksgiving. And he was so busy he didn't get homesick at all. They had 3 devotionals and a service project. They put together hygiene kits for Cuba and Haiti. He said it was so neat being in that room with over a 1000 missionaries putting the kits together and singing church hymns.

We would like to thank all those who have supported Dave in the MTC with letters, packages and gifts! Especially for the adorable leis from Grandpa Gage and Anna!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It was just fine that we didn't get a letter last week because we got 2 letters and a package this week from our missionary!! He sent some Samoa t-shirts and individual letters for each of his brothers and sister. His letters just get more and more amazing! We can feel his spirit as we read them. And we can definitely tell he is growing tons spiritually! He is really enjoying his teachers. He said his teacher Bro Baker gave a short lesson about D&C 35:13, and told them "when we are weak we are strong" and "humility brings the Lord's power into your work". Dave said that reminded him of the scripture Ether 12:27 and how it says "weak things become strong". He continues, "I love how it says God gives us weakness so we will be humble and rely on him. And later in the scripture it says we become strong, even with our weakness, through Him". He also told us, "in our room I wrote on a paper and hung it up on the wall,Alma 26:12, "In his strength I can do all things".

We learn so much from Dave's letters. It has been so great to learn right along with Dave. It has really brought into focus the eternal perspective, which actually makes life easier to handle when we focus more on that than the day to day problems.

He is working really hard on the language. And you can tell from the video clip. He was inspired to work really hard on the language when his teacher Bro Stevens told them all that if you can speak the language pretty good the Samoan people will consider you their friends but if you are incredible with the language they will consider you their family. That just brought tears to my eyes because I know Dave wants to be their family!
It has been one of the greatest blessings of our lives to have a missionary! It's hard to even put into words the amazing happiness we have felt! We feel so blessed! WE LOVE OUR MISSIONARY!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So sad...we didn't get a letter this week! Our first week without a letter, how depressing! We were hoping to get more pictures too. But here is some cool stuff from his letter from last week:

He said he is loving it! He said the language is coming "slowly but surely". He said he gave a prayer in Samoan in class the other day and he was nervous but did it anyway and everyone said he did a good job. His comp said that "it was the best prayer so far"

He said, "There are just so many blessings I'm receiving. Being able to turn over my life to the Lord for molding is an amazing blessing. Whenever I start to feel frustrated, or impatient, or something, all I have to do is remember that I'm in the Lord's hands and immediately everything seems alright, I know that everything will work out. The eternal perspective really changes your attitude about things and I can't wait to share that with the people of Samoa."

He said he is beginning to think that the MTC is HIS mission. There is the 3rd set of missionaries in the room next to him and he is still there! He said he has to remind himself that he is actually going to Samoa on his mission not just the MTC.

He also has been so amazed at how quick and precise his prayers are answered! He told of an experience that he was struggling one day with some concerns and worries and then he prayed for help. And that day in his lessons and in a devotional his prayer was answered. In the devotional the speaker even said I feel inspired to say.... and it was the exact answer to Dave's prayer!

He also said, "I love the missionaries here from Samoa, I love having them around. They are always laughing and smiling but when it comes time to work, they really know their stuff. They have a lot of scriptures memorized." And he said they are all so nice. He told about how he was telling this one Samoan missionary how cool his shorts were and then the missionary said, "do you want them"? He was going to give Dave his gym shorts right then and there! Dave said he is amazed at how sharing their culture is!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I had no need to worry about Dave's birthday! His district took perfect care of him. They got him a birthday cake and presents and sang happy birthday to him!! We have a video clip from Dave's camera card to prove it! I tried to load it on here but it was too big. But it shows his comp giving him a birthday cake,his whole district singing to him then smashing bowls of whipping cream in his face! It was hilarious!! Another one of his video clips shows him opening all his presents. It made my heart happy to know he was taken care of on his 19th birthday! He wanted to make sure I told everyone who have sent him letters thank you, he sure appreciates them! He said they live for mail! Special thanks to Kelsie Ainge and her mom for the birthday cookies!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween at the Gages is always a blast!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our youngest son, Ryan, was ordained a Deacon on Sunday by his father. We are so proud of him! His brother, Brent, got to stand in the circle as well as, Bishop Doxey, our hometeacher, Chris Rees and Grandpa Gage. It was a great experience but we missed Elder Gage. He wrote in his last letter that he is sad not to get to be there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

YEAH! We got a 7 page letter from Dave last week and a 6 1/2 page letter this week. He is doing great! He said it is hard to write everything he wants to tell us because he was always used to telling us everything but he'll do his best....7 pages is pretty darn good!! He wrote it while doing his laundry. He said you don't realize how long laundry takes until you have to sit and wait for it. (So we are grateful for laundry! We get long letters because of it!) He said he was one of the few guys that knew how to do his own laundry. But he is also one of the few that never made his bed! So he sent us a picture and a video clip of his beautifully made bed, it shocked us all!

His companion is Elder Iuta Levy Laimaui Faamausili. He said it has been an adjustment getting used to him. They are very different. But Dave said after some talks with their district leader, Elder Pili, they are starting to understand each other better. And he is grateful to get to learn these things while still in the MTC. He companion is actually quite a crack-up, we have some hilarious video clips of him goofing around and dancing! And his accent is awesome!

He told us the story of falling out of bed...the top bunk bed. He said his alarm was going off and it is really loud so he kept trying to reach for it but he was reaching the wrong way and fell off the bed. He said the other guys in the room were still sleeping and didn't even know what had happened but later said they did remember hearing a loud boom. He said at the time he did not feel any pain but later he found bumps and bruises on him. And he is happy to report he has not fallen off his bed since then!

He has shared some amazing spiritual experiences with us! And what is so awesome is we have felt this same missionary spirit in our home and I know it is one of the many wonderful blessings we have received for having a son on a mission!! He got to hear Elder Richard G Scott speak. One of the things he told them was that "he knew Christ leads this church personally" and then he said it again very strong. Dave said there was an amazing spirit and he got chills! Then Elder Scott asked who had not shook an apostle's hand and almost every missionary, About 2,000, raised their hands. So Dave said they waited in line over an hour to shake his hand. When he finally got to shake his hand he said he looked him right in the eyes and Dave said he could feel his amazing love and spirit! Dave said the thought came to him, wow this is a modern day apostle like Peter, James and John. Dave said it was "such an amazing event in my life". He has been grateful for other wonderful talks and lessons were he has learned, he can only do his best and it only matters what Christ thinks of us, through trials we can learn and grow-like a refiners fire and he is growing stronger because of it and he only has 2 years to serve the Lord and he can't waste a single second.

We are very grateful for this amazing time in our lives to have a son on a mission! Our

testimonies have been strengthen. Our love of each other and the gospel has increased. And like I said we have all felt this incredible spirit! Love y'all! laura

More MTC pics!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well David's birthday came and went without a celebration here or any word from him so I guess that means he is gone. It's been so hard to sink in that he is really gone and gone for 2 years. Hope everyone sent him a Happy Birthday wish! We sent him a birthday cake and a box of presents. I called his branch president and left a message to make sure someone knew it was his birthday. Hopefully someone did. We sure miss him but are soooo proud he has chosen to serve the Lord at this time. Here are some pics we took with him at his "good-bye/birthday party the day before he left.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dave's Testimony

We got some pics and a small note from Dave. He said:
He loves us and misses us but "when I focus on the work God has called me to do I'm not homesick" That made us so happy to hear and we feel the same. When we focus on all the blessings we have from having a son on a mission we are not too sad either.
He really likes his fun comp, especially his tattoo and gold front tooth!!
He said the MTC food is good and plentiful! That is good for Dave and his huge appetite!
He also said he has the top bunk and fell off it the other morning! We will let everyone know that whole story when Dave fills us in.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Got a letter from Dave Sat. He is doing great and having a great time. He found his companion just fine. His name is Elder Faamausili. He is part Samoan, part Tongan and from Australia. He said he is 6'4 230 and sometimes is hard to understand because of his accent. He is fun loving and likes to kid around so they should get along just fine. We consider that another blessing. His letter was short because it was written on his first night there. We are still very excited and know that he is being blessed. Hope to hear from him soon. see ya, Don

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Well, the big day has finally come and gone and our Dave is an official missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We took him to the MTC at 12 noon. It was the best of times, It was the worst of times. His MTC address is:

Elder David Gage
MTC Mailbox #97
SAM-API 1209
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

He will be there until approx. Dec 9, 2008 and I am sure he would appreciate all the letters we all could send. Please know that we will miss him and love him dearly but we also know that he will be protected and blessed for his service. We are so proud of him, as we are of all our kids, and are looking forward to lots of great experiences to post and brag about. Thanks to all of you who have given and offered support both spiritually and financially to get him on his way. It is greatly appreciated. We will continue to post pictures and info as it becomes available. Love you all, Don & Laura

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Welcome to The Gage Family blog!!

Welcome to The Gage Family blog!

My sweet brother David set this up for us so we can report on our son, David's mission.