Our flight to Hawaii was a smooth, non-stop, 6 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu. We were greeted by Elder and Sister Reeder, another senior couple in the mission office. They presented each of us with a traditional kukui nut lei. The kukui nut is prized by the Hawaiians because the kernel is rich in oil. Each kernel, when cracked open, will burn for three minutes. It reminds us of the light of the Savior which fills our souls, not for three minutes, but for eternity.
The Reeders took us to our "pad" - a nice one bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the 15th floor of a 36 floor high rise building. It is definitely a city view, but beautiful. We can see Diamond Head to the East, but no views of the ocean. Our building is right next door to the Tabernacle where we meet for church, and next to it is the office building we will be working in. Next to that is a Food Land grocery store - all very convenient.
View from our balcony looking east. Diamond Head is in the distance.
View from our front balcony looking west. The Tabernacle is the building with the tall steeple.
We were given the keys to our car, a 2013 Toyota Corella with only about 15,000 miles on it. With GPS in hand we headed to the nearest Walmart to get a few necessities and groceries to get us through the weekend. We also were able to set up our internet and cable TV. We had a quick dinner of scrambled eggs and fell into bed completely exhausted.
Sunday we thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted in the Manoa Ward. Everyone is so friendly. In the evening we drove to President and Sister Warner's home and had a lovely dinner and visit with them. Monday evening we were treated to dinner with Brother and Sister Mataele from our new ward. Every 4th Monday they take the missionaries out to dinner and they invited us to join them. They took us to an Italian restaurant and we all enjoyed a delicious meal and wonderful visiting.
Monday reality hit when we started working/training in the office. Our MTC training was great, but oh my - there is so much to learn and do. I can see why 3 couples are needed in the office. There are about 180 elders and sisters and tons of senior missionaries. The seniors' assignments vary between member and leader support in various wards, military support, the Polynesian Cultural Center, the temples in Laie and Kona, BYU Hawaii, and the office. They all fall under the jurisdiction of the mission. Devon is assigned to manage the pads (apartments) for everyone, bicycles, and cell phones - a huge job. Judy is mission secretary which includes all the correspondence to missionaries, their parents, bishops, stake presidents; the news letter and Hui Hou (a photo summary sheet with the departing missionaries), keeping track of the arriving and departing missionaries, and coordinating/requesting travel home for all the missionaries - senior and junior. Thankfully, the sister missionary before me was super organized. All three office couples work long, full days that just fly by because we are so busy. Everyone is helpful and encouraging and we all get along really well. Every morning we have a mini devotional. It's a great start to our day!
- A - The Atonement of Jesus Christ is our message
- L - The Love of God and others is our motivation
- O - Obedience to the commandments and mission rules is our strength
- HA - By sharing the gospel with others, we can give them the "Ha" - the breath of life, even eternal life
We love it here! We are so blessed! At this sweet Easter time this verse from Orson F. Whitney best expresses the feelings of my heart.
Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.