News Story

American Samoan Children Greet Visiting Church Leaders

Over 100 children welcomed visiting leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with songs and leis at the Pago Pago airport earlier this week.

Elder F. Michael Watson of the Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy and Pacific Area Presidency, accompanied by his wife, Sister Jolene Watson, and visitors from the United States were greeted by the children as well as American Samoan government and community leaders when they arrived in the territory on Sunday [24 February 2013].

Visiting from the United States were Sister Linda K. Burton, general president of the Church’s Relief Society and Sister Rosemary M.  Wixom, general president of the Church’s Primary organization. They were  accompanied by their husbands Craig P. Burton and  B. Jackson Wixom.

Of the welcome, Sister Wixom said, “the tears we shed are tears of joy to behold such a wonderful sight.”  

Acting Governor Lemanu Sialega Mauga and his wife Mrs. Pohakalani Mauga joined leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the airport to welcome the visitors. 

Lt. Governor Lemanu Sialega Mauga said “it was such a touching moment to see [our] people’s children singing hymns of the Church to our guests.” 

Elder Watson and Sisters Burton and  Wixom were in American Samoa to meet  with Latter-day Saint leaders. Elder Fonoti Jessop, a local Latter-day Saint leader, accompanied the visiting Church leaders during their stay.

In addition to scheduled meetings, Elder Watson, Sister Burton and Sister Wixom were joined by local Latter-day Saint representatives in presenting, as part of the humanitarian efforts of the Church, a digital mammography and biopsy machine to the L.B.J. Hospital.  

Elder Watson expressed appreciation to the O. Vincent Haleck family for its efforts to ship the equipment from the United States to American Samoa.

The mammography machine will be used by American Samoan medical professionals to diagnose and locate breast tumours. The machine will make a significant addition to the health care for all women, not only of American Samoa but all the Pacific islands whose patients are referred here for this particular care.

One attendee at the ceremony marking the donation commented, “Thank you so much for such a gracious donation. It will help improve the awareness of breast cancer with the female population. God bless you.”

Acting Governor Mauga thanked the leaders of the Church for “always helping to improve the lives of the people in American Samoa.”

Sister Burton and Sister Wixom expressed their love for the people and shared how excited they were to be in American Samoa.

L.B.J. Hospital chairwoman Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young thanked the Church on behalf of the board, hospital, and the territory’s women who will benefit from the donation. 





Additional Resources

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