This culvert runs between the Tabernacle and our office building. It always has water in it, but usually not enough to reach each side of the culvert. This is a result of the recent rain.
Work proceeded at it's usual pace as far as correspondence goes. I have been working on updating the secretary instructions and was able to get some of that done. On Monday I received an email from church travel telling us that December 18 to 26 would be blackout days for church travel. That means they won't book any flights during that time. I think it's because the airlines hike up the prices so much during that time. Well, it's a bit of a problem for us as we have 5 missionaries who were planning to go home on the 21st. They are leaving between transfers so they can get back into school. President Bekker was busy all week with a visitor from the missionary department touring the mission, so it took a couple of days for him to be able to think about this problem and get back to me. The decision was made to move their date up to the 16th (no one complained!). I also have 3 senior couples and 3 senior sisters being released around that time. Most of them booked their flights before or after the blackout dates. Seniors have a little flexibility in picking the exact day of departure. One couple still wanted to fly home on the 22nd, so they booked their own flight. The church will reimburse them the amount they would have paid for their ticket. Fortunately, they found a great price, so all is well. All travel is booked. Everyone is happy - which makes me happy. Now I will begin thinking about the January departing missionaries - juniors and seniors.
This is Elder Ball from Coaldale, Alberta, Canada. His father went to school with Devon. He's been out 3 or 4 transfers. Will you look at that shoe! Yep, they were new when he arrived. He is one hard working elder, and his shoes prove it! His grandpa sent him some extra money and he's going shoe shopping next P-day.
Housing is ALWAYS busy for Devon. Wednesday after work we drove to Kaneohe to check out a new apartment for missionaries, and another apartment some elders are living in. We've heard stories about how run down it was, but Devon needed to see it. A lot of people here partition off part of their house and rent it as an apartment to help supplement their income. This apartment is in an older home where the owner is an older lady who is a member of the church. She loves having the missionaries live there and doesn't charge any rent, so of course, we would like to keep our elders there. But...it's in bad shape. Five windows don't close, or leak around the window casing causing things to get wet every time it rains (which is often in Kaneohe). There is no kitchen - just a fridge and microwave. The missionaries are fed almost every night by the members, but if they need to wash dishes it has to be done in the bathroom sink. The bathroom needs to be gutted - almost everything leaks in there. And, the deck is rotted through. Need I say more. The owner has no money for repairs, so Devon talked with President Bekker. He gave his approval to get an estimate of what it would cost to do some repairs. We'll see what happens.
After our apartment inspections, we stopped at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. It was later than usual and we were hungry. Devon ordered the ribs and I had their grilled salmon - so good! We waited for our waiter to bring the check, but he brought us this instead:
It's the back of our receipt. Someone had paid our bill! We looked around, but couldn't figure out who it was, and of course the waiter said he didn't know. We've heard stories of this happening often for the elders, but it's the first time for us. I can't tell you how humbled and grateful we felt. There are angels everywhere!
Usually we have Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) on Mondays, but because of our visitor from Salt Lake it was moved to Thursday this week. Also because of the visitor we had about 20 extra missionaries, bumping our numbers up to 65ish. We served pulled pork on buns, kale salad, grapes, pineapple, chips, and cookies - all from Costco. What would we do without Costco?!
We all have assignments to bring different things. The Overduyns always bring the pineapple. Elder Overduyn loves cutting it up, and we're happy to let him do it. He's pretty fancy about it!
I'm not sure what Elder Reeder and Elder Overduyn are doing with the cookies, but there might have been a couple missing after this photo was taken.
After the clean up from MLC, we drove to Laie for a doctor's appointment. It's such a beautiful drive and so peaceful there - especially compared to Honolulu. We drive through the long Pali tunnel to get there. When you come out of the tunnel you are greeted by stunningly beautiful, tall mountains and blue, never ending ocean. It is always breathtaking for me. We had a nice visit with Dr. Hughes, a short stop at the Laie Temple Visitor's Center, a quick dinner at Seven Brothers, and coconut ice cream dessert at Angel's before we drove back to Honolulu.
Stunning windward side of O'ahu
Friday was business, as usual, and dinner with the office staff. This time we went to Tony Roma's.
Saturday was a quiet day with some much needed rest. We watched the BYU game, shopped for groceries, and watched the wonderful Women's Conference on BYU-TV. Sunday was church. I sang with the ward choir in Sacrament meeting and we had Elder Hardy and Elder Eborn over for dinner. Then we went to a tri-stake fireside.
The thought I want to record this week is from a talk given in church Sunday that was based on James 1:22 - "...be ye does of the word, and not hearers only..." The speaker reminded us that it was just a few short verses from familiar verse 5 - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberal, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Then she asked the question - what if Joseph had only read "the word" and not acted upon it? She reminded us that Conference is next weekend and invited us to be "doers" not just "hearers" of the word.