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!