Samoa prepares to welcome L.D.S. President Nelson

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in Samoa is preparing to welcome the Church's President, Russell M. Nelson. 

The President is scheduled to arrive on Saturday.

Today, the Church College Pesega and Middle School Pesega were closed to ensure preparations are on track, and everything goes as planned for the visit.  

Director of Public Affairs for the L.D.S. church in Samoa, Maiava Viiga Fuimaono told the Samoa Observer that so far everything is going according to plans. 

"President Nelson's visit to Samoa is part of his Pacific tour, which include other countries like New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Australia," he said. "We have started setting up tents at the Church College Pesega's fields for his devotional where he will deliver a message to the people of Samoa and American Samoa. 

"All the things that we do here are through instructions from Salt Lake City, America because it is not so often that we have a President of the L.D.S. Church visit Samoa and we are very excited about it and we want to do the best we can.

“We are anticipating 10,000 people from American Samoa, Savai'i and in Upolu who will be participating on Saturday for the devotional and of course we are broadcasting the President’s devotional message around the country to various stake centers, but our Samoan people are willing to attend even if they sit under a tree or get rained on because it is once in a life time experience to see their leader."

Maiava said they have already conducted a risk and threat assessments with the Samoa Police Service.

"But because the President Nelson is 94 years old, we have to consider his health and how his time is spent and we are mindful that he would not have the energy to go meet everyone, with that being said we do not want anyone to think that we are trying to take away the opportunity for people to meet him but everyone must understand that we are doing this with great consideration to the President's health.

"President Nelson arrives around 2:15 pm on Saturday and from the airport he is escorted to the Head of State's residence at Vailele and should be there around 3:00 pm to convey his courtesy call.

"After that he will check in to Taumeasina Island Resort and later on he will visit the Apia Samoa Temple at Pesega and then followed by the devotional from 7-9 pm held at the Church College Pesega's fields. He leaves Samoa at 10:00 am on Sunday morning for Australia."

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