Complaints about noise falling on deaf ears
Sosefina has had enough of the noise coming from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just across the road from her house at Vailoa.
The 70-year-old contacted the Samoa Observer to vent her frustrations about the loud music and noise coming from the Mormon Church that had continued for more than two hours.
“It’s just now they have decided to turn it down.
“They have a barbeque sometimes, play volleyball games and sometimes have ward meetings where they make noise as well because the old people just attend their meetings and leave their children to play outside. It’s almost every day that this goes on.
“Last night, they didn’t even finish until after 10pm.
“Those people in there, they are not religious people. The noise that comes from there all the time is not even about religious things.
“There’s only one thing that I know they’re trying to do from with all the loud noise and that’s tempting people to come over to whatever activities they’re doing. You know, to try and get more people for their church.
Sosefina said the noise from people at that ward used to be just a week but now it’s almost every day.
“So after whatever they’re doing, then the little kids make more noise by running around and adding to it.
“They are out of control and that’s because nobody is looking after them. You know, usually kids are meant to be taught. They are supposed to be told to do this here or not to do this here. Another thing is, they play by making loud noises from cloths (ie lavalava).
“It’s been going on last week but they were right in front of the temple. So we had to go there and tell them off and tell the old people to take their kids away.
“What’s worse, is when they finished playing volleyball late at night then they come out making so much noise on the road. So we had to go and chase them away.
“But they told us this is not our road; it’s the government’s road.
Sosefina was so angry and went on to say that “We are Vailoa people. We are Vailoa. This family’s been here close to a hundred years.
“We can’t stand this kind of nonsense anymore. It’s not just us but for other people that are neighbors to this church. We are expressing these complaints for them.
“I didn’t even plan to call you (Samoa Observer) but I just couldn’t stand it.
Sosefina said that this matter has been going on for a while.
It has even led them to take this matter to the main L.D.S. church community at Pesega.
“We went to the Mormon Church at Pesega and we talked to the leaders about this so they gave us the names of the ones in charge at the church here at Vailoa.
“We’ve approached them but it doesn’t make any difference so we decided to take this matter through the process.
“We hired a lawyer but they asked us if we could please, try to talk it out.
“Anyway when we had a discussion about this, then they referred us to the Bishop, saying if we have a problem, we should talk to Bishop Koleni Slade and Bishop Tupou Leausa.
“What happened was they told us to call the Bishops once we had a problem because they are the ones to contact about this matter. But when we called, we were told they were not there.
“They even gave us their President’s number but when I called him, he said they’re not here.
But Sosefina said she still went on and told him that the people in his church were going wild at night time and they couldn’t sleep because of it.
“I’m saying all this because I need them to have some courtesy for other people but you know for them, they don’t care.
“We called the police all the time and I think I’ve called them 20 times about this matter and they always come but when the police are gone, then they start again.
“Other Mormon churches are not like this.
The Samoa Observer asked for a comment from the Bishop of the Mormon Church at Vailoa, Otemai Otemai.
In response he said, “Our church has been doing these kinds of activities for so long but it doesn’t usually take a whole day.
“We already scheduled our times for our ward activities.
“Sure we play loud music but only when it comes to exercise activities but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that for the whole day. When it’s finished, it’s finished.
“The thing is, it’s not just the kids from our church that are here, some kids are not even Mormon but they are from other villages including L.M.S. kids but this is how kids are.
When asked about what the noise was all about and he said “What we are doing right now, is the gathering of our six wards; Tulaele State 1.
Otemai confirmed that they had had a discussion about this before.
“We told her that when our church activities are finished, then it’s finished. No more noise or loud music.
“It’s not just us though that have activities like these; all Mormon churches are the same.
To solve this matter, Otemai went on to say “I humbly say that I will advise our other Bishop in arranging another meeting with her (Sosefina) so we can talk things out, in the hopes that all of us will come to an agreement. If she doesn’t agree to anything we propose then we will handle this issue according to her needs because we are humble.”