Monday was a cloudy, rainy day. Work went well at the office. We had the monthly Missionary Leadership Conference with about 50 missionaries. The office staff prepared a nice lunch of chicken croissant sandwiches, pineapple, kale salad, clementine oranges, chips, and cookies. After the conference is over the office is always flooded with missionaries coming in for supplies. We love it! We had a new sister arrive from the MTC. She is so sharp. She has been studying Mandarin Chinese and will be serving at the Laie Temple Visitor’s Center. She is the only American sister we have speaking Mandarin. Her new companion came to the office to meet her and they were having a good time speaking Mandarin and giggling.
In the evening we went to a local member’s house for senior FHE with the members of the McCully Ward. There are 3 wards that meet in the Honolulu Tabernacle: McCully, Makiki, and Manoa. Each senior office couple is assigned to one of the wards. We are in Manoa, but we get invited to events in every ward. The members really do love the missionaries – senior and junior.
Tuesday was Hawaii at it’s best, weather wise – beautiful blue skies, refreshing trade wind breeze, and air that felt crystal clean. It was a quiet but busy day in the office. Not many interruptions, so we were able to get a lot of work done. I even was able to have a nice, short nap. We made another trip to the Toyota dealership to pick up the remaining new cars for the office. In the evening Sister Overduyn and I attended a Relief Society event for the Manoa Ward. The RS president was recently released, so she and her counselor had a dinner/social at her home to say thank you to all the sisters that served in any capacity with her. I was included because (1) I’m a missionary, and (2) I play the piano for RS. There were about 30 sisters attending. Sister Mataele’s home is high up on the hills above Honolulu. The view of the city and sunset was beyond amazing. We had a wonderful, bountiful turkey/ham dinner with all the trimmings and then some. We visited and played a cute game. It was just wonderful to be with these special women. They truly practice the aloha spirit – old and young. It is pure joy to be in their presence and share in their love of the gospel and each other. This is such a special place!
Wednesday was cloudy with misty-like rain off and on – someone called it Hawaii snow. We had a good day at the office and then spent a couple of hours running errands for the office. Devon needed to restock apartment supplies, and I needed things from Office Max. We came home and had yummy leftovers I brought home from the RS dinner last night. It was just as good the second time! Our absentee ballots finally came in the mail. We filled them out and dropped them in the mailbox.
Thursday was much like Wednesday – more clouds and rain off and on. After office hours we hopped on the bus and went back to the Fossil store at the International Marketplace to have the band on my new watch adjusted. They were happy to fix it for me. We walked around a little and then caught the bus back home. It cost us each $1.00 to ride down and we used a transfer ticket to ride back. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Stunning light/skylight in the International Marketplace
Again on Friday we had rain off and on. I spent a good portion of my day updating my instruction book. The previous mission secretary left me amazing instructions – I would have been lost without them. But, things have a way of changing and we’ve added a few new things…so, I’m updating. It seems really strange to be thinking about my replacement - didn't I just get here?! Friday evening we went to dinner with the Overduyns. The restaurant was just okay – Italian, but can’t hold a candle to Olive Garden (which we, unfortunately, don’t have in Hawaii).
Saturday morning I went to stake choir practice at 7:30 am. They are preparing for their big Christmas concert and today was the first practice. After that we loaded up the mission truck with a queen bed, fire extinguishers, a vacuum, and a package - items that Devon needed to deliver to various missionaries in Kaneohe and Laie. It was rainy again, so we carefully wrapped the bed in tarps and then headed out. The ride was lovely, and everything got delivered. We were so pleased to see the progress of the new senior missionary couple apartment in Hau’ula. The owners have made it adorable – cute furnishings and colorful accent walls. I would love to live there. Hope the new couple feels the same.
After everything was delivered we stopped at the Settlement in the PCC. I have fought the urge to begin a Hawaiian quilting project, but finally gave in and bought a small project. Most of the Hawaiian quilts, pillow coverings, and wall hangings you find here are made in the Philippines. If you find one made in Hawaii you pay $$$. I finally decided the only way to get a reasonably priced one made in Hawaii was to make it myself. So for $28.00 I bought a kit – now to get started.
We decided to drive around the North Shore (the long way) to get home. We stopped at Seven Brothers for late lunch. Hawaii is noted for it’s wild chickens. They roam all over the countryside. Of course, we don’t see any in Honolulu. Anyway. I had to take a photo of some we saw while we were having lunch in Kahuku.
Devon is so good to me! He let me stop at The Ukulele Site store in Hale’iwa. I had my ukulele with me and wanted to ask about different strings. The sweet Hawaiian man working there was so helpful and encouraging. He helped me pick out some new strings and put them on my uke for me. I have a beautiful koa wood Kanile’a super concert, which he agreed was a prize. He played it and WOW! The new strings give it a different sound – more mellow, which was what I was hoping for. Now all I need is practice, practice, practice!
Sunday was restful. I attended ward choir practice. The talks and lessons were all excellent. Bishop Halstrom had us all stand as we sang the intermediate hymn, "I Believe In Christ." It was so powerful! They have called a RS pianist, so I’m out of a job, unless she needs a substitute. I suppose that is okay, but I did enjoy playing. It’s a good calling for the sister, so I’m happy.
We end our week feeling grateful and very blessed. Between the wonderful people and the surroundings, there truly is beauty all around us.
? - but look at the interesting leaves