Friday, December 25, 2009

Elder Gage 1 Year Mark! Oct 8, 2009

He enjoyed burning his shirt to celebrate!

Christmas Eve 2009-We got a package from Dave!

This is the best Christmas ever! We got a package from Elder Gage on Christmas Eve! Wow! A Christmas miracle! He sent us some Samoan t-shirts, maps of Samoa, Samoan money, lava-lava and my favorite....3 camera cards!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

No need for words....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Elder Gage is now in American Samoa

Dave's email this week said he had been transferred to American Samoa. This is only his 3rd area to be in and the first time to be in American Samoa. He has already been to Carls Jr, McDonald's and Pizza Hut! His new companion is Elder Michael McKell from Orem, UT. (I've already looked them up and talked with his mom! Sounds like they will get along just great!). Elder McKell has been out for 4 1/2 months, so Dave is the senior companion. We got his really sweet letter from the mission president letting us know this.
Dave is in Tafuna, Tutuila, American Samoa. He said in his email, "Our house is on a families land, on the side of their house. And our house is really nice. Its big for missionary houses and its got tile and stuff in the bathroom. The only thing is, it doesn't have hot water. For 6 months in Pesega, I had hot water for showers, now I'm back to cold showers and I feel like a wimp, haha. We have a washing machine place right next door to where we live, so this morning was the first time in about 10 months that I've used a washing machine."
He also recently said that he is very comfortable with the language, English or Samoan it feels the same.
He ended his email saying, "I was nervous coming to a whole new island, in a new area that we are going to be opening, with a new comp, that I will be training. But I am really excited because it is going to be such a great experience. I'm really excited! I hope I can be a good influence on my comp". "Neither my comp or I are familiar with this area, so it will be a fun little adventure."
It has been over a year and I can't believe the diffence in the way I feel. It was so hard at first! My heart ached for him daily. But now I feel wonderful! I feel so happy that Dave is in Samoa serving a mission for our Heavenly Father! We have had so many amazing blessings! It has been worth it all!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Elder Gage's email 10/12/09

Hey Family,Yeah I can't believe it. I have past the one year mark! Its gone by so fast. But its also kind of sad feeling that I only have one more year. but on the other hand it is nice think that I will see you guys in less than a year. Time is just going by too fast. I didn't celebrate much on the 8th because we were so dang tired. but i did take a few pictures of me holding a paper that said one year on it. It has been a crazy week. This week we went to those areas that were hit by the tsunami and helped out. We drove down tuesday, wednesday, and thursday (and thursday night was my one year mark). And tuesday night too we were up most of the night helping with the unloading and storing of all the stuff the church set on a huge DC10 cargo plane (that was a cool looking plane!). I got a total of 4-5 hours of sleep that night if you total all the little naps we got to take. Then on wednesday at 9 am we drove right back out to help. I took a lot of pictures and videos. There is so much destroyed down there. It looked like a war zone. houses and hotels are non existant, sheet metal wrapped around trees like paper. It didn't seem real. its like the stuff you see on tv but I was right there. It was so weird seeing how powerful the tsunami was. it would take concrete walls string them out held together only by the rebar in side. Its hard to describe but just seeing the damage you realize how powerful the wave was. but we would help gather the sheet metal in piles, gather all the scrap would and stuff and pile it up and burn it. Then on Thursday we went up towards the mountains where families were now living, living under thrown together houses and tarps. We helped dig holes for people to use as bathrooms, and any other things we could help with. It really just felt like a dream seeing all this. and there was actually another tsunami warning while we were there helping on Wednesday (we hurried inland) but nothing ended up coming. And all this work we did we did wearing missionary attire because president wanted people to see us, and see that we are from the LDS church. News people also got videos and pictures of us helping, so i hope that all these things will help prepare others to accept the gospel. But wednesday after all the work, a bunch of us got together and bought and ate pizza in the mission home and afterwards one of the Aps played guitar and they sang some good classic songs. So im just gonna consider that or make that my 1 year celebration since i didn't do anything the actual day ( I was so tired). Thinking about my one year mark, Im motivated to make this next year even better than the last. Jordan, I am so happy for you! What an amazing experience. I was actually just reading mine earlier. Be sure you read it often jordan, use it as your iron rod. I need to be better at reading mine often. Dad, you talk about ice on the windshield as i'm here sweating as I email. I would love to feel some cold right now :) I'm not sure about transfers. We have interviews with the president on wednesday so i might find something out. but i think its in another couple of weeks. Also, on Saturday we had a really good baptism with a 22 year old girl, Sunema Nise. She has been through so much (like her exhusband abused her, and threaten to kill her if she got baptized), it was such a good baptism. Im loving the work. Well I better go. I love you all so much, and thanks for all the prayers and support. have a good week.Alofa atu,Elder Gage

Monday, October 5, 2009

Adorable Elle Grace

More TN pics...

Mikaela, Laura, Shala and Brennley Go to TENNESSEE!!!

Don bribed Kaela with tickets to Tennessee if she would not do Stadium of Fire again this year (he barely made it through one Miley Cyrus concert!). So we flew to Tenn on 9/22/09 and came home 9/29/09. It was a blast! Especially getting to be with Shala, Shauna, Brenn and Clara the whole time! WE LOVE 'EM!!! Brennley and Clara are both adorable and perfect little angels! And Shauna & Shala are not only my sisters but my best friends!
It was so awesome to get to snuggle with baby Clara and baby Parker! Both adorable, sweet lil babies! Their blessings were inspiratonal.
One of the best things ever was all 3 of us sisters getting to spend to much time together with our mom! She is amazing and an incredible example to all if us!
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ELDER GAGE IS SAFE IN SAMOA after Tsunami 9/29/09

This is the email we got from Dave:

Hey family,I've got to be quick but I'm perfectly fine, please do not worry at all. We felt the earthquake, but we are on the complete opposite side of the island from where the tsunami hit. So not that much exciting news. and whenever there is a warning, our zone gets picked up really quick, and we go way high up on the mountain. So please, please do not worry about me. Just remember its on the complete other side of the island, so we are just hearing about the other side. The gave us an option to either call or email our families, and I hope you'll understand but I don't really want to call (I'm sure you understand dad). But its kind of boring for us on this side nothing has happened at all on this side. I've just heared some crazy stories from other missionaries on the side of the island where it hit. but just remember I am completely fine, and I am and was so far away from any danger. right now I just hope that we can go over on that side and help people. But I'll talk more on monday about it. Love you guys, thanks for all your prayers. Just remember I am perfectly fine, mom, please do not worry. Just pray for all those families that have lost there homes and loved ones. Love you all,Elder Gage

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dave and his fav comp, Elder Williams

9/8/09 Pictures from Elder Gage

We got a package from Dave! It was received at our post office in mid July but we didn't get it until now. It came while we were on vacation but the notice was not put with our mail they were holding. Oh well, it was worth the wait! We got a camera card full of great pictures and video clips, lava lava's for the whole family, really cool Samoan battle axes for the boys, Samoan t-shirts for dad, hand woven purses for mom and Kaela, and hand painted hair clips too!
Dave said in his recent email, "On Saturday we baptised, Falaniko. A 20 year old kid, and its cool because a couple of months ago I baptized his younger brother." "Today here in Samoa, is the official day that they have switched the roads. Instead of driving on the right side of the road (like in america), today they've switched it to the left side. None of the ZLs are allowed to drive today." "This week, Elder Williams came back from Savaii with other zone leaders to pick up the new right-hand drive vans. And man, I miss Elder Williams. He was such a fun, great companion."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hobble Creek Half Marathon 8/22/09

This was a great day! Me, Jordan, Brent, my lil sis, Shala & her hubby, Pat and my brother, David all ran the Hobble Creek half marathon. Thanks to Pat & Shala for talking us into doing it. I have always wanted to run it because it is just up my street. And it is a incredibly beautiful run. Coming down our canyon is a truly breath-taking experience. We are so blessed to live here! The weather was perfect. I felt better than I did at the Music City half in Nashville 2 years ago and I had a better run time, 2hrs 30min(I know I'm slow...but I did it)!
Brent and Jordan did only 1 practice run and beat the family record! Nobody in the Lifferth/Gage/Stephens/Zurawski families have ever been able to break the 2 hour mark and they did it!!! Jordan and Brent did it in 1 hour 58 min!!! I'm so proud of them!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Elder Gage, More Samoa!

These are just more of the pictures Dave sent us a while back. In his last email, he sadly said that Elder Williams got transfered. So sad! But he is moving on to bigger things, a zone leader in Savaii! Good luck Elder Williams! Dave and us will miss you!

Dave's new comp is Elder Tolley from Oregon. He said he is a good missionary! And they had baptisms planned for last week but they got sick, so hopefully it will happen this week!

Dave told us of some recent experiences with opposition, he said, "...its like my whole life I've been surrounded by nothing but support for my testimony and beliefs but now on the mission all the sudden I'm encountering opposition and its a test of testimony. It really is such a blessing to have these experiences, to see really how strong your testimony is. Guys, prepare now for the mission, it really is the best, I love it!"