I have two new assignments. Advancement letters for the parents’ of missionaries who have been given leadership assignments, and a departing book for the missionaries being released. These things are done in other missions. I don’t know why we haven’t been doing them. With new presidents come new ideas. Anyway, thanks to a lot of help and ideas from my cousin, Sister Hartzell, (office secretary in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission), and President Bekker, I think we are about ready to initiate these things. We have four of our finest missionaries departing on Saturday and the goal is to have departing books ready for them.
Housing, bicycle, and phone issues continue to challenge Devon. He is amazing! I would probably melt down. He just keeps going. It seems there is always some new predicament the missionaries get themselves into. I suppose it’s amazing more crazy things don’t happen when you consider they really are just kids. Devon spends a lot of time out of the office checking on apartments, moving furniture, buying new beds, taking bicycles in for repairs, etc. He sure has more patience than I do.
Our weather continues to be warm and humid. Thank goodness for the trade winds. I've noticed a slight swelling in my feet and ankles. Our wonderful doctor in Kahuku says it is because of the increased humidity, and is something senior missionaries notice a lot here. Thankfully it’s not a problem. I suppose I’ll wither up when we go back to Utah.
We had a new missionary arrive on Monday. He has been learning Marshallese at the MTC and flew in by himself. What a great missionary. And, as I mentioned, we have four going home on Saturday. These mid transfer “in’s and out’s” make companion assignments challenging. We seem to get a lot of mid transfer missionaries. I’ve got about 8 missionaries with unsure arrival dates due to visa issues. I don’t count them as coming until I see their flight itinerary. Sometimes that’s just a week before they arrive. Then president has to figure out where to assign them.
Saturday we decided to tour the ‘Iolani Palace, located in the middle of downtown Honolulu. It was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III (1845) and ending with Queen Lili’uokalani (1893). It is now a National Historic Landmark. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaii until 1969. The palace was restored and open to the public as a museum in 1978. It is now registered Historic Monument. It is beautiful inside.
This is an old photo of the Palace that I found online. It was taken about a year after its completion.
Another online photo taken many years ago. Today its surrounded by busy streets and high-rise buildings.
Grand staircase in the entrance hall - made of beautiful, prized Hawaiian koi wood.
View of the grand staircase from the second floor.
The palace was equipped with electric lights and flush toilets a couple of years before they were installed in the White House. This is one of 6 bathrooms located on the first and second floor of the Palace. There are also four toilets in the basement.
This is the music room. Queen Lili'ukolain was famous for the writing many songs, including
Queen Lili’uokalani was the final monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. She became queen at the age of 52. She was only on the throne two years before she was compelled to sign her abdication. She was accused of treason and held as a prisoner in her own palace for 8 months while her country was annexed as a U.S. territory. Hawaii was officially annexed in 1893 and became a state in 1959.
During her imprisonment, Queen Lili’uokalani and her companions sewed this beautiful quilt. Today it is called the Queen’s Quilt, and is on display in a climate and temperature controlled glass box in her imprisonment room in the ‘Iolani Palace. It is not at all like the treasured, typical Hawaiian quilts. This style is called a Crazy Quilt – very Victorian, like much of the furnishing and style of the palace itself.
Beautiful hand work on this amazing quilt. It is in perfect condition.
Our week ended with a wonderful Sabbath day. I played the organ again, but had trouble with the pedal this time. I don't know what the problem was, but my foot had a hard time hitting the right pedal. I think I'll blame it on the neuropathy. Testimony meeting was wonderful. I had a very nice nap and then we drove to Laie for Break the Fast with the senior missionaries there. I have connections with two new couples in Laie. One sister was on my temple shift a couple of years ago, and another couple are the parents of a sweet girl I worked with for 10 years when I worked for the midwives. It's a small world.
We had a wonderful FaceTime chat with Stephen, Andrea, and Annily while we drove to Laie. I also enjoyed a short phone visit with Lori. I'm so grateful to be able to talk with our family and friends frequently. It's good to hear all about what they are doing. I love being here, but I do miss all of them!
What a blessing and privilege it is to be here on the Lord's errand. We work hard - harder than we could have imagined. But there is such joy in the service and association we have with so many wonderful people - all bearing testimony of a loving Heavenly Father, a beloved Savior, and the blessings of the restored gospel.