The new week got off to a good start. I think my sciatic pain is getting less. I saw the physical therapist today and we both agree that things are improving. Devon’s jaw pain is still there, but under control if he remembers to take his meds. He is hanging in there until he sees the ENT on Friday.
Work went well in the office for me. Devon spent the day in Laie moving furniture. One of the senior couples at the Visitor’s Center completed their mission and was released. The landlord decided to not continue to rent the house, so Devon had to move everything out – furniture and all household goods. He was able to get some wonderful missionaries to come help with the move. He also took a new bicycle to one missionary and picked up two others that need repair. Unfortunately, there is no bicycle repair shop in Laie, so all repairs have to done in Honolulu. It’s quite a pain.
Monday evening was monthly FHE with the senior missionaries at President and Sister Bekker’s house. We had a really good turn out. I was in charge with the help of the other office sisters. We had soups in bread bowls, salads (green and fruit), and dessert. After dinner we played “Apostle Trivia” – a game using interestig facts about our General Authorities that I found online. President Bekker gave us a great message encouraging us to follow the direction he gives to the young missionaries, and to encourage them to also follow the plan.
1. Practice strict obedience
2. Strengthen your personal testimony
3. Understand your purpose
4. Teach [serve] with the spirit
5. Work with members to build relationships
Since it was our last FHE, they all sang “Aloha Oe” to us and then we had hugs from everyone. I am really going to miss these wonderful couples. They truly are the cream of the crop and it’s been a blessing to serve with them. It will be great fun to see each other at future mission reunions.
Tuesday we both were in the office most of the day. The other office sisters and I left for a while to look for frames for the mission home photos. First we went to a custom framing shop and were quickly brought to reality. There is no way we could spend $120/photo. So we went to a frame shop that had some nice standard frames and mats that we decided to buy. Now we have to figure out how to make a little plaque to identify each photo.
Our good friends, David and Gwen Dodge were due to arrive today around 4:00 pm, but they had plane trouble in SLC and didn’t even leave Utah until about that time. So we’ll not see them till tomorrow. Disappointing for us all.
I wanted to go to the fabric shop after work. Since it is only ½ mile away, Devon and I decided to walk there and back. It was a lovely walk in the nice evening breeze. Oh, how I love the Hawaiian weather!
Wednesday morning we went to the office and got a lot of things done. Gwen came by about 3:00. It was so good to see her! We did an office tour and then she and I went to Fabric Mart. When David was finish with his presentation for the day, we picked him up and went to dinner at the Mexican Cantina at the Ward shopping mall. David loves beautiful wood, so we took them to the Martin & McArthur store. Devon bought himself a beautiful koa/abalone shell ring he’s been wanting. Then we came back to our apartment for a long over due game of Wizard. It was just like old times.
Thursday we worked in the office. President was there all day doing missionary interviews. He looked so tired, but his spirits were high. Sister Bekker is home sick with a bad sinus infection. There was tons of food left over from David’s seminar today, so he loaded up the leftovers and brought them to our house for dinner. It was still yummy the second time around, with plenty left for another time. Our evening ended with another rousing game of Wizard.
Friday morning we went in early to the office. We stayed until 10:00 and then left to spend the day with the Dodges. We went to the Kamaka Ukulele Factory for a tour. It was interesting – very similar to the Kanilea tour we did a few months ago in Kaneohe. They also make beautiful ukulele, but I think I like my Kanilea best.
Kamaka Ukulele Factory
We came back to our apartment and had beef stew for lunch – yummy. Devon and I went to his appointment with the ENT specialist. He was very knowledgeable, and nice, but he thinks Devon needs an appointment with a neurologist. We’ll do that at home, but in the meantime this doctor ordered an MRI.
After the appointment we met up with the Dodges again and drove up to the Tantalus lookout. Unfortunately it was cloudy and overcast, but the panorama view of Honolulu was still impressive. Next we drove to my favorite restaurant, Haleiwa Joe’s in Kaneohe. We bragged about the prime rib and it didn’t disappoint. David and I shared a prime rib meal. Gwen and Devon shared a pork chop meal. The food, setting, and company were fabulous!!!
Devon, Judy, Gwen, and David Dodge
View from our table at Haleiwa Joe's
Now that is some serious prime rib!
Then we came back to our apartment and played another game of Wizard. We had such a great evening visiting, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.
Saturday morning the Dodges checked out of their hotel and came to our apartment around 11:00 am. Then we all headed out for a day of sightseeing. First stop was the swap meet. We ran into two other senior couples there. I knew exactly what I wanted to get to take home to family and found them all at great prices. Also found some cute aloha wear.
Queen Emma's Summer Palace
Then we went to Queen Emma’s Summer Palace. They were celebrating King Kamehameha IV ‘s 187th birthday, so entrance was free. We enjoyed the house and then I bought a pair of earrings to match the beautiful shell necklace Devon bought me for our anniversary.
Next we drove to Kaneohe to have lunch at Ruby Tuesday. They have nice salad bar and after last night’s meal of prime rib, all we wanted was something light. On the way home we stopped at the Pali Lookout so Dodges could get a great look of the other side of the island.
It was a cloudy, overcast day, but still the view was breathtaking.
When we were leaving, this little family of wild chickens came across our path. We see lots of chickens here, but rarely see chicks this young. There was a whole community of chickens hanging out up there.
Last stop for the day was Punchbowl Cemetery – the National Cemetery of the Pacific. It is very beautiful and impressive – the Arlington for those who served in the Pacific Wars.
We arrived home and walked over to the tabernacle to show the Dodges the inside. While we were there, David and I had some fun playing hymns together on the piano and organ.
We walked back to the apartment and were greeted by the evening arrival of the huge flock of Rose-ringed Parakeets that "hang out" in our beautiful Banyan tree.
Gwen and David changed into warmer clothes to prepared for the weather when they arrived back in Utah. About 7:00 pm they headed for the airport. This time their flight was on schedule – thank goodness. After such a great visit, we hated to see them go, but go they must. It’s only a short 3 weeks until we will be following them – that’s hard to believe. We enjoyed watching the BYU basketball game on TV.
Sunday was lovely. We watched the last of the Super Bowl and enjoyed a quiet day in our apartment. In the evening I went back to the office to work on the monthly newsletter. It made me a little sad as this is the last one I will create. Surprisingly the office was a steady buzz. Tomorrow is Missionary Leadership Conference, so the APs and the Zone Leaders were there also working on things for the conference. I was glad I wasn’t alone.
Our Utah children have been busy getting things ready for our arrival in our new Lehi home. We are so grateful for all their efforts. It makes us anxious to get home and see everyone and everything. But, on the other hand, we feel sad as we experience every “last” experience here. I would love to just slip out. It’s so hard to say goodbye and it makes my heart ache. So, we’ll just keep working and enjoying every blessing of being here for as long as we can…and not talk about how soon we will be leaving.
Lone plumeria flower with buds waiting to bloom
I don't know the name of this flower, but they are only 1/4 inch in diameter - so delicate - and the purple leaves are stunning.