I had a couple of interesting emails from parents. One is trying to make plans for his daughter's return home in February. The other is a parent from the Marshall Islands checking on his son who was flying home from his mission in Peru. These missionaries have long flights home and usually end up staying overnight with us in Honolulu. Such was the case for this missionary and his father just wanted to be sure we knew about it. Actually, I've known about it for weeks. It's common place for us. I was able to give the father a contact phone number for his son to use should he need it and the father felt much better about the whole thing. I think I would have the same concern, so I was glad to be able to reassure him. Actually, I'm happy to be able to reassure parents anytime. It's so much better if they call us with concerns than worry their missionary about it.
I spent part of my time last week packing up missionary supplies in the commissary. We have to be moved out of our offices by next Friday. Several missionaries came by to help us pack and move boxes, but there is still lots to do. This is going to be interesting.
We were able to get in another bike ride - 4 miles this time. We are hoping to start doing this more often, but it's hard. We're so tired after a day of work at the office. When we do take a ride, we both feel so much better. Exercise is good.
Saturday we went to Laie again. That's just fine with me. I love the beauty and slower pace of that side of the island. Devon needed to deliver smoke/CO2 alarms to missionaries there and we wanted to go to the temple. Both things were accomplished. Our session in the temple only had 5 patrons! Even so, it was a beautiful, peaceful session. The temple itself is beautiful. I hope we get there many more times.
After the session we went to the PCC - I love that place as well. It was a busy Saturday with lots of tourists. I wanted to check out the ukulele store again. I was having some misgivings about the ukulele I bought and was wondering if I could find one with a little better tone. They were very helpful and quite willing to exchange mine. I did find two others that I loved but...they were in the $800 to $1,000 range! No thanks!!! After playing many ukes, I decided mine had the best sound in my price range, so I'm very satisfied with my first choice. I also have come to realize that part of the problem with the sound is "user error". Ha! As I get better, it should sound better. I did replace the high G string with a low G string and I like that sound better. So, now I just need to keep practicing.
There are a lot of photos of the Laie Temple taken from the far end of this pool of water. But I thought this was a beautiful view taken from the front of the temple looking towards the visitor's center.
At the entrance to the Polynesian Cultural Center is this statue of Hamana Kalili of Laie (1882-1958). He was a large, powerfully built Hawaiian that originated the unique hand sign now called the Shaka, with the thumb and little finger extended, and the other three fingers curled into the palm. He lost the first three fingers of his right hand in a sugar mill accident. After the accident he was reassigned to the sugar cane railroad. He would wave to signal when the train was ready roll. The locals began to copy Kalili’s distinctive wave. The gesture gradually has spread around the world by surfers, millions of visitors, and residents of Hawaii. Today the shaka means, hello, how are you, okay, good, hang loose, and much more. It is a gesture expressing love and friendship and is seen frequently around the islands. Look closely at his hand. The three fingers are just stubs.
The PCC boat parade with dancers from the different Pacific islands.
This is Minoneti. She is a PCC employee who was busy making crafts. She took time out to show me how to make braided ribbon leis, and gave me some ribbon to practice with. Can't you just feel the warmth of her soul in her smile?! The Hawaiians surely are loving, giving people! (Notice the shaka sign - it's a part of the culture)
Sunday evening Elder Gale and Elder Stulce came over for dinner - wonderful, hardworking missionaries. They are both from Utah and are assigned to our Manoa Ward. We shared some great thoughts about better understanding and preparing to take the sacrament. I would love to tell their mothers what great young men they are. Wish I had remembered to get a photo.
Life is good! We feel good! We are learning to pace ourselves and try to get in little power naps when we can. We are grateful for the love and support of our family and friends. Their letters, emails, and phone calls are always the highlight of our day. This continues to be an amazing experience and we feel very blessed to be here.