Samoa welcomes President Russell M. Nelson
The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, touched down in Samoa this afternoon for his one-day visit to the country.
More than a hundred people gathered on the side of the road from Faleolo International Airport all the way to the Head of State's residence at Vailele to welcome and catch a glimpse of Mr. Nelson.
Mr. Nelson is accompanied by his wife Wendy, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Susan.
Church member, 56-year-old Losa Elia, who was amongst those who waited on the side of the road, said seeing their church president was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“I have no words to describe how I feel at the moment. Our Church’s Prophet visiting Samoa has so much significance to every one of us because he is our leader and we believe that God chose him to lead our Church.
“I never dreamt that one day I can see our Church President up close and made it even better, he waved at me. I am overwhelmed with joy, as you can see I am old and I don’t think that I would ever get a chance like this again in my lifetime.
“I know we listen to his words of wisdom through our annual conferences but getting the chance to see him speak in public later on tonight at Pesega feels like an honour, which I would never miss it for the world,” she added.
Another member of the L.D.S. Church, 26-year-old Peter Sio said it was a blessing seeing their church leader in person.
“When we first found out that he was coming to Samoa, we were all amazed and felt so blessed. All of us were eager to stand on the side of the road just so we can welcome him with our friendly smiles.
“I was in awe when he smiled and waved at us, the feeling truly can’t be explained, except we will take advantage of the opportunity of his visit to witness the message he will deliver tonight.
“We are all excited to be in the audience of his devotional, it will be an unforgettable night in our church’s history in Samoa,” he said.
Another representative from the LDS church, 73-year-old Mataio Seve said God blessed Samoa with the visit.
“I truly believe that our Church’s Prophet visiting Samoa was a blessing from God. In my whole life as a member of the L.D.S. church, I never had the opportunity to see him in real life except during church conferences.
“I will treasure this day forever because not only did I see him, he was such a kind and friendly leader waving at us and smiling.”
President Nelson will deliver a devotional at the Pesega fields from 7-9 pm tonight to conclude his visit to Samoa.
Samoa is one of his stops in a Oceania tour which will also take him to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti.