Posted by: monsonmadness | January 16, 2013



This is how we looked going to church on our last Sunday! I should have stood behind everyone, but we were doing the timer on the camera and I couldn’t hobble back there in time. I look like a whale. Oh well.

Sunday was so hard. Saying goodbye to our amazing friends. I remember this feeling when we left California. I sobbed all the way to the airport because I knew I’d never see those friends again. This is the same,probably worse actually. Leaving the UK and leaving Utah isn’t as hard because we know we’ll see those people again next time we go back.

Our family had been asked to do the sacrament meeting program, so we chose the theme, “I feel my Savior’s Love”. Starting with Emma and Mary who had their short scriptures memorized, each of the children gave a talk on ways that they have felt Christ’s love for them since they have lived in American Samoa. They talked about service received, teachers, activities and friends. They did an amazing job.

When all the kids were done, our whole family sang the Primary song, “I Feel my Savior’s Love”.

Next it was my turn. I pretty much sobbed all the way through. I don’t know if anyone could understand too much, but I shared lots of amazing faith-building experiences that I have had in the last couple of years. There were so many to choose from. Living here truly has been such a wonderful opportunity for our family. We have felt the Savior’s love so many times since we’ve been here. I talked about a lot of service that has been done for me, about the miracles that we have witnessed, and lots more. There are so many faithful people here, it is so hard to say goodbye. Michael spoke last of all, and as usual, was very emotional.

At the end of the service, the whole congregation stood and sang, “God be with you ’till we meet again” to us. The tears just wouldn’t stop. Then, they all formed a line so that everyone could take a turn coming and saying farewell to us, one by one.

It is hard to describe the emotions we were all going through. It was just so sad to say goodbye to people who you have become so close to, especially my special visiting teaching companion and friends, who you get to know so well from spending your time and testimonies together. My good friend Kerry had come to the service with her kids even though she’s not a member of our church. I was so happy that she was there, although saying goodbye was pretty ugly!

That evening, we had dinner with our friends the Temple’s who cooked a FEAST for us. I was pretty quiet and somber. Saying goodbye to Melinda was really hard. I don’t know what I would have done without her here. I can’t express it properly in words. Let’s just say I cried so much on Sunday that I woke up on Monday with a pounding headache, and not at all ready for the day of work that lay ahead…

My friend Dolores took all 6 kids in the morning so that we could get things done. I had hired two cleaners and while they worked, Michael and I got busy finishing up all the packing, shutting off utilities and accounts, selling the mini van, going to the bank etc. Michael went into work to finish things up and have his exit interview. We did our walk through with the next tenants and then the kids were back.

Another friend took a couple of the kids for play dates in the afternoon while the little girls slept, and I tried to rest as well. I was exhausted.

Finally, everything was done and out of the house. The kids and I enjoyed eating up the last of the ice cream and then it was off to the airport in the warmest clothes that we owned. (The AC on the flight to Hawaii is always out of control. It’s freezing on that plane)


I love this mural at the airport. I’ve always said that I wanted a photo of our family together when it was time for us to leave. Here we are!


Here are the kids with the plane that we are going to ride on behind them. We had to wait for all of the Hawaii passengers to disembark, so we got a bit more time with our friends.DSC05788

Emma just wanted to snuggle with her new boyfriend! Here she is snuggling with Ammon. Ammon is Matthew and Benjamin’s scout leader, and will be leaving for his mission to Adelaide, Australia next month. He is such a great guy. She has good taste!


We had several good friends who came to see us off. They gave us leis, necklaces, and other thoughtful gifts. The kids were very hyper and happy which I was glad for considering what the alternative could have been.

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After a long wait in line for immigration and security, we were on the plane and on our way…



Goodbye American Samoa and all of our friends. You have changed our lives forever. We will forever be different because of our experiences here. Thank you.



  1. Fabulous blog. what a wonderful experience this has been for the whole family. Love the photo of Emma and Ammon. xx

  2. So sad!!! Cute matching outfits though!

  3. Cute Sunday outfits. Did you make them?

  4. I love the matching outfits. So cute!

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