This cover page for the departing binder was drawn by Elder Hampshire - one of our talented missionaries. There are a few minor changes he wants to make to it, but for now we are using it as it. The white area is an outline of the Laie Temple, and the clouds represent the Hawaiian Islands. I think it's beautiful!
We often overnight host missionaries on their way home from their mission. Their destination is usually a small island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and it takes two days, and several flight changes for them to actually get home. Usually we have lots of notice - sometimes over a month. But, late Wednesday afternoon we got an emergency email asking us to host Sister Kaitau, who would be arriving at 7:30 pm that evening. She was traveling from the Singapore Mission to her home in Kiribati (one of the Christmas Islands) and was stopped in Auckland. I'm unsure why. The email said something about not having the right passport, but she said they wanted money and she didn't have any. Fortunately one of the airport employees was LDS and stepped up to make calls and get her to us. She will be here until the 16th. Again, I don't know why so long - they usually only stay overnight. She will be staying with two sweet missionary sisters. They brought her to the office on Thursday to get some money. We have a fund, "Blessings from Heaven", that is from cash donations people randomly give to the missionaries. We use the money for things like this. While she was at the office I asked her if she happened to remember a missionary named Sister Chan from England who also served in Singapore. Her face lit up and she said yes!!! Lizzie Chan was one of our sweet YSA we met and loved while we were serving in England. She has returned and was recently married. It was fun to show Sister Kaitau some photos of Sister Chan and her new husband.
Sister Kaitau on her way home to Kiribati
Sister Barber, Sister Kaitau, and Sister Ogawa
Wednesday evening we attended the baptism of a whole family - mother, father, and three children. It is a rare blessing to see a whole family join the church. They were taught and baptized by our wonderful AP's. One, Elder Cooley, has finished his mission and will go home on Saturday. He has been a wonderful missionary and AP (Assistant to the President). Being AP has not been his favorite thing, he would rather be doing missionary work, so this event was of particular significance to him. What a way to end his mission. I am so grateful we got to attend and share in the joy. The family is so excited and grateful to have found the gospel.
Elder Cooley and two members of the family. I missed the photo with everyone.
A member couple that lives in our apartment building is moving back to the mainland and they have an apartment full of furniture they are not taking with them. It's so expensive to ship it back, so they are giving it to the mission. We are thrilled! We will be getting a new flat screen TV to replace the old box one we have, desk, coffee table, dining table with 8 chairs, newer microwave, and a Vitamix blender. It's like Christmas! Our sweet elders helped move some things to our pad on Friday. The rest will come when the couple actually leaves. And... on Saturday we got our carpets cleaned. Sweet blessings!
On Friday Devon got a call from a couple of sister missionaries reporting that they had mushrooms growing in their bedroom carpet. Yep...mushrooms! The relief society president's husband came over, pulled up a corner of the carpet and found tons of mold. Apparently there has been a water leak for quite a while.
Saturday...oh Saturday! What a day! I got up early to get some things done. In the process of checking my email I opened an email that ended up inflicting a virus on our computer. It was awful! We quickly called the Apple Store and got an appointment that same day. The problem was removed, but not without losing a lot of data...boo. Hopefully we can get it back.
After our visit to the Apple Store we headed out to run errands for the mission. First on the list was to deliver some fans to a senior couple in Mililani. While there we also stopped to check on some bikes that the elders had. Then we headed up around the North Shore on our way to Kaneohe. We stopped in Kahuku to pick up a bike that needs repairs. There is no repair shop in Laie so we have to bring them back to Honolulu. We were hungry so we stopped in Laie at a great little burger place - Seven Brothers. Devon had a burger and fries. I had an amazing salad with greens, craisins, grilled fresh pineapple, coconut, shredded carrot, and the best white fish I've ever had. YUMMY! We'll be going back there again. Traffic was so bad on Kamehameha Highway and we were so far behind schedule that we ate in the truck.
We arrived in Kaneohe at dust to help the sisters with the mold/mushroom problem. They were glad to see us. We loaded up their beds and clothing, and took them to another sister missionary apartment. Then we headed back to Honolulu, stopping at the market before going home. We arrived at our apartment at 10:30, put the groceries away, put the furniture back in order (it was moved to clean the carpets), and went to bed - exhausted! What a way to spend PDay!
Sunday was a welcome relief. Karen Burningham and some of her family joined us at Sacrament Meeting. They are from our Highland 16th Ward and are on vacation in Honolulu. It was great seeing them.
We came home from church, had a meal, and then I had a wonderful nap. I'm feeling rested and ready for the new week. Challenges were plentiful this week, but with challenges also come blessings. There were as many sweet, tender mercies as there were problems. I am so acutely aware that Heavenly Father is not only in charge, but that he loves me and is helping me every step of the way. I am so grateful! Being here is a miracle and sweet gift from heaven.