We have met so many great people during our mission. One of those is Sister Carolyn Kamerath. She is serving as mission nurse here in Samoa. Originally from Utah, she and her husband made their home in Welches, Oregon for the past several years. He died in September of 2011. While she had some good friends and family to offer support, Sister Kamerath decided the best thing she could do would be to keep herself busy and find ways to serve. So she sold her lovely home on the golf course, then put in her papers for a humanitarian aid mission. Because her career had been as a nurse, she was assigned here where there was a need for medical care for all the missionaries serving in Samoa.
She sees ailing missionaries in person in her office as well as consulting by phone. When necessary, she takes them to local doctors she has come to trust. Otherwise, she consults with the LDS mission area doctor by phone to guide her in what the best course of action is for cases that go beyond basic first aid. All of the Zone Leaders in the various areas of Samoa have well stocked first aid kits. With her direction, they can tend to minor things themselves where ever they are. Sister Kamerath can also send anti-biotics or other necessary medication out to them via the delivery truck that takes mail and bottled water to each missionary zone each week. It is not a perfect system. but her willingness to serve has added a layer of compassion and care that keeps our missionaries looked after, along with knowing when to direct them to the local hospital if need be.
I was glad to have her here. What I thought was just a heat rash turned out to be cellulitis, a bacterial infection which can become quite serious if left untreated. She recognized the ailment immediately and provided me with the necessary medication. I'm all better now. She also gave me some essential-oil based insect repellent to help me in my ongoing battle to avoid the mosquitoes. Thanks so much, Sister Kamerath!
She said: "I have absolutely loved my mission. The missionaries are so grateful for anything I do for them, and I have come to love them so much! It will be very hard for me to leave next May 1st. That will be my last day. I should have gone home in February, but I extended until then. I would strongly recommend all seniors who possibly can to go on missions. I have dearly loved all the seniors I have worked with here also. It's such a wonderful atmosphere to work surrounded by people with the same goals as you have, and to feel their great love and desire to serve the very best way they can. I have received so many blessings, and am so grateful to have had this opportunity. "
Larry and I recently spent a lovely evening with Sister Kamerath - first a nice dinner in a local restaurant and then back to her apartment for a fun game. We talked and talked throughout the night, enjoying getting to know each other. Who would have guessed that she went bungee jumping at age 68 or that she went with her grandkids to ride a zipline? She has an adventurer's spirit! Sister Kamerath is one of those people we feel very blessed to have met during our time here. We wish her well in where ever her next adventures may take her.