Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 39 Report

Monday – another rainy day. It was pretty much business as usual at the office. The flurry of transfer week has settled down. So far all the new missionaries seem to be doing well. The senior sisters in the office are all “mother hens” – especially where the new missionaries are concerned. Right or wrong we all have tender spots in our hearts for “our” missionaries. They really do feel like our kids. We love them, worry about them, and share the good and bad times with them. They brighten our lives and I hope we do the same for them.

Monday evening was our monthly Senior Missionary FHE. Brother Yim cooked the best prime rib for us, and we supplied the baked potatoes, veggies, salad, rolls, and dessert. It was so delicious! The program afterward was also amazing. The Fong family is very well known in the LDS community and in Honolulu. They were a Chinese family of 16 children – yes, one mom, one dad, 16 children!!! Well, only six children are still living. We were treated to have 2 brothers and 1 sister join us for dinner and spend about 30 minutes relating their experiences and memories of the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. They are now in their 80’s and 90’s and were so sharp in telling their story. The eldest brother played his Kamaka ukulele and sang a couple of songs for us, and then played and sang while his sister did a beautiful hula. The whole evening was amazing. I could have listened to their stories all night.

The Fong Siblings - youngest on the left, oldest on the right.

93 year old Brother Fong strumming and singing - delightful!

80 something Sister Fong doing a beautiful and graceful hula for us. Oh, and she sang, too!

Tuesday – again rainy – was busy. I mailed 42 advancement letters to parents, updated and distributed the weekly Come and Go Report and the Phone and Organization Rosters, requested some travel, answered emails and phone calls, and discussed some issues with President Bekker. There is never a dull moment. After work we drove to WalMart to pick up a prescription for Devon and a few needed items, and went to Super Cuts to get our hair cut. We were long overdue!

Wednesday – sunshine! Devon spent most of his morning at the endodontist. A crown on his tooth fell off over the weekend. Monday he saw a dentist and he said a root canal was necessary. Fortunately Devon was able to get an appointment fairly quickly. The tooth was in really bad shape – full of infection. It’s a wonder it hasn’t made him sick. He’s had pain in the gums and jaw in that area for a long time, but no one we saw at home could figure out the problem. Hopefully this will fix it. Devon felt the endodontist was thorough and very good at explaining everything. Time will tell.

Friday was Devon’s birthday, but it had to take the back seat. A sweet 99-year old sister in our ward passed away and today was her funeral. The ward choir was asked to sing for 20 minutes for the prelude to the service and I was asked to play for the choir. It was a really sweet experience. This wonderful sister was one of the Fong siblings I mentioned earlier, so the funeral was quite large with so many family members. She was an amazing woman, and it was wonderful to hear about her life. Her name was Elizabeth (Lani) Chun Lan Fong Lim and this was her spiritual checklist:
1.     Do my thoughts, decisions, and actions bring me closer to Christ?
2.     Are my prayers, scripture study, sacrament and temple attendance becoming more meaningful?
3.     Am I trying to develop Christ like qualities?
4.     Am I increasingly receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost?
5.     Am I keeping my covenants?
6.     Am I learning to control how I feel, think, and act?

One of the speakers suggested we follow her example and “live our lives in crescendo.” I love that and I love the Fong/Lim/Wong family. What a blessing to have crossed paths with them!

After the service, we went to Costco to purchase a queen bed for our new apartment. When we got home we found a couple of missionaries to help us unload it and also move a couple of items into our new apartment. There is more to move, but we can only use the padded elevator Monday – Friday from 7 to 4, so the rest of the moving will have to wait until another day.

Friday evening we finally celebrated Devon’s birthday by going to dinner with the office staff and the Bekkers. We rode the bus to Waikiki and met at Duke’s. It was a wonderful dinner and great time with very special people.

Saturday was spent on mission errands. Devon is opening a new junior apartment next week and needed to buy all the household items. I went with him to WalMart, but he did Costco by himself. I was feeling under the weather and so I stayed home for a much needed nap.

Saturday night was our ward Christmas party and it was WONDERFUL – one of the best I’ve been to. We met in the chapel for a short devotional. One sister read a Christmas story, the primary children sang two wonderful Christmas songs, and our sweet bishop gave a very short and good talk. After closing hymn and prayer we moved to the cultural hall where we have a wonderful dinner. After dinner they had a lip sync contest. About 5 groups (RS, YW, YM, Bishopric, and one other) participated and it was a hoot!!! I see Bishop Halstrom in a whole new way! The hall was beautifully decorated and the turn out was amazing. This really is a wonderful ward.

Sunday was rainy all day – it actually feels a little like winter. Church was wonderful. We enjoyed watching the First Presidency Christmas Broadcast on BYUTV and then we drove to Laie for break-the-fast with the senior missionaries there. It was a great Sabbath.

It is beginning to look like Christmas - actually it looks a lot like Christmas. Our building is beautifully decorated. Christmas lights are up inside and out. The foyer is ablaze with poinsettia plants, Christmas garland and a beautifully decorated tree. There are cute reindeer with lights throughout the foliage in front. Christmas music is playing in all the stores. We haven't put up our little tree yet, but will as soon as our move is over. Our ward choir is preparing Christmas songs for sacrament meeting and I played Christmas carols for prelude and postlude today. It truly is my favorite time of the year! Mele Kalikimaka! 

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