Penina O Le Pasefika: Pearl of the Pacific
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“Penina O Le Pasefika: Pearl of the Pacific,” New Era, Mar. 1980, 22–27

Penina O Le Pasefika:
Pearl of the Pacific

Ellouise Kamauoha, Delsa Atoa, Tesema Piula*, Sam Atoa, and Mekerita Chong Wong find that being youth leaders in Apia, Western Samoa, is exciting, challenging, and full of fun. The gospel is part of their lives whether they are working, attending school, or enjoying the natural beauty around them. Making a maílo, a Samoan plate, from coconut fronds, is both fun and work. They enjoy outings at Le Faga, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the South Pacific.

Occasionally they visit the cemetery where some of the early missionaries and their family members are buried. These old headstones are constant graphic reminders of the sacrifices made by those who first brought the gospel to Samoa. They also work together to help clear the weeds from the site where a new chapel will be built. A maílo makes a perfect homemade disposable plate. They visit Papauta Girls School where a Samoan queen, Salama Sina, helps teach girls dances and actions emphasizing grace, elegance, and the wifely arts rather than academic subjects. Sam shows how Samoan men often wear flowers. The group cleans up the old parliament grounds.

Sliding Rock, a freshwater swimming hole near Apia, is a great place to go for a quick swim. It is in the bottom of a steep canyon and seems almost hidden from above by tropical foliage. Most Sundays Delsa plays the organ for Church meetings. Many people have called Samoa the most beautiful place on earth. These young Latter-day Saints demonstrate by the lives they lead that Samoa’s beauty is as abundant in her people as in her geography.

  • Tesema Piula died of pneumonia after this story was photographed.

Photos by Brian K. Kelly

Calligraphy by Warren Luch