Monday morning started cool and cloudy. By 11:00 am it was pouring rain. The heaviest rain I’ve seen since we’ve been in Hawaii. It kept up for several hours filling the culvert between our office building and the tabernacle. It was amazing. I’m grateful it didn’t start until after we had finished our morning pad checks. We did three pads – all pretty good. At noon we served lunch for Missionary Leadership Conference. We had BBQ pork on buns, kale salad, pineapple, clementines, chips, and cookies – all from Costco. We sure love Costco. We both worked all day in the office. After work we ran to WalMart to pick up a prescription and a couple of necessities, Pictures Plus to pick up a print the office had ordered, and Office Depot to pick up the printed mission newsletter and a few things we needed for the office. When we finished our errands it was 7:00. We were both exhausted so we stopped at Panda Express for dinner. After dinner I had an hour-long phone conversation with a good friend and then went to bed.
Tuesday morning we did our last two pad checks. The elders did a good job cleaning their pads, but the sisters always win – hands down! I’m sure going to miss these wonderful young people. We returned to the office in time for morning devotional and then spent the rest of the day working on usual things. I had three new missionary recommendations, so I made their files. I also updated the weekly Come and Go Report and emailed that. Then I worked on the photos of the previous mission homes. I hope to have them ready to hang sometime this week. At 3:15 we left for my follow-up appointment with Dr. Wang. My sciatic pain is doing better. Devon’s jaw pain seems to have had no improvement, but he does get relief with the Gabapentin and Tylenol he takes. After the doctor appointment we drove to WalMart for a couple of items we forgot yesterday, and to Super Cuts for haircuts. We were so disappointed to learn that Vicki, the lady who has cut our hair the whole time we’ve been here, had taken a leave of absence. I was looking forward to saying goodbye to her and thanking her for her friendship. We had haircuts by a couple of other girls, and I think they both did a good job. After dinner I started packing flat rate boxes to ship home – 4 ready to go so far. Hopefully we won’t need to send many more.
Wednesday we arrived early at the office. We usually arrive at 8:30. The Reeders usually arrive at 8:00 but they had mission errands to run, so we went in early to open the office and phone line. It was a pretty routine day. Routine is still busy with all the little things that come up. President Bekker was here most of the day working on transfers for next week with the AP’s. I hope to take a peek at the transfer board tomorrow and see who is being transferred. I always miss the ones that leave, but then they are always replaced with other great missionaires. I had my CT scan today. On the way home from the exam I had a call from wonderful Dr. Wang telling me that everything is stable. There’s nothing new growing, and the things they are watching are stable or smaller. GREAT NEWS!!! It means my sciatic pain is just that – sciatic pain. No one ever died from sciatic pain. So we’ll continue with physical therapy. Devon is still suffering with off and on horrible jaw pain. He will have an MRI on Monday. If that is negative (as the ENT doctor expects it to be) we will proceed with the plan to consult with a neurologist when we get home. Until then we try to keep the pain under control with Gabapentin, Tylenol and Advil.
The annual mission audit was today and we passed with flying colors. After much worry about having everything in order, it turns out it was no big deal. I think Elder Shurtz, our new financial secretary, is glad it’s over.
Thursday was another nice day in the office for both of us. The weather is turning a little cooler as a storm is expected in a couple of days. After office ours we ran a couple of errands (Costco and WalMart) and then had a quiet night at home.
Friday was also a good day in the office. I had some senior travel to work on, a small project for President Bekker, and the rest of my day was spent helping the AP’s get ready for transfers next week and making handouts. I want to leave things in good shape for my replacement, so I’m stocking up on handouts. A month or so ago I finished updating the secretary instruction book, but today I made three changes to the instructions. It just goes to show that things are always evolving. I’m also updating the telephone directory. Months ago I consolidated three different directories into one. But now there are a couple of updates due to people being replaced and a few other phone contacts the office staff wanted added to the directory. Looks like this, too, will always be in constant change.
Elder and Sister Reeder, Elder and Sister Tufts, Sister and Elder Shurtz
In the evening we went to dinner with the office staff at the Mexico Cantina at the Ward Shopping Center. It was fun and the food was good. On the way home we stopped at Office Depot to pick up a couple of things for the office. We’re still waiting for the storm and it looks like it should arrive by tomorrow.
Just as we were going to bed we noticed that the freezer drawer was not shut tightly. I don’t know how long it had been that way, but almost everything was defrosted. We decided to look at it as a blessing. We were going to have to sort through and throw out stuff before we leave. We just did it sooner than we had planned.
Saturday morning we woke up to the expected storm. It was not the best timing for us. We were booked on our repeat whale watching cruise and had lots of errands to run. The cruise went on as planned and, yes, we did see whales this time – a group of humpbacks with their young calves. It rained the whole time but the deck was covered and had clear plastic panels that kept us dry. The sea was rougher than our first cruise a few weeks ago.
View of Diamond Head from the ship looking through the plastic panels. Can you tell how choppy the water was?
At the beginning of the cruise they passed out ginger pills to try to prevent seasickness. Many people took the pills. I only saw one little boy that got sick and up-chucked buckets on the deck. Poor little guy! Devon took the ginger. He did well, but by the end was ready to get off the boat.
By the time we got home the full force of the storm had hit and it was raining buckets. We were getting all kind of storm and flash flood alerts. It seemed like a good time to take a nap, so I did. By 5:00 it was over and patches of blue skies were back.
Diamond Head is usually clearly visible from our balcony, but not on this cloudy, rainy day.
In the evening we went to a missionary dinner put on by the McCully Ward. It was to honor missionaries – those serving here and three from their ward who are leaving shortly for their missions. One young elder is going to Long Beach California Mission Spanish speaking. One senior sister is going to New York to work in the temple. Another senior sister is going to Salt Lake City to work at the Family History Center. The dinner was lovely. Afterward we had an activity where we were given a paper bag full of various items and told to make something from the Book of Mormon.
This is our creation. It’s either a temple with people going to it, or King Benjamin preaching to the people (depending on who you ask).
Cute Elder Dushku and Elder Johnson. Elder Johnson is being transferred out of our area next week. I'm really going to miss him.
Sunday was lovely, but busy. I went to choir practice, which is always held right before sacrament meeting. I played the organ and the choir sang in Sacrament Meeting. Sister Francis was down with a bad cold so she asked me to play for Relief Society. It was a really good lesson that involved singing 6 different hymns. I was asked to share a “missionary moment” before the lesson. After church we enjoyed FaceTime with Brad, Daryn, David and their kids. It’s always great to have those moments with our family. In the evening our two cute Manoa Ward missionaries came over for dinner at 6:00 and stayed until 8:00. We had good conversation and a good gospel study about justice and mercy. They are really great missionaries!
Elder Petersen and Elder Ashby - our dinner guests. Elder Ashby is being transferred to Kaneohe. Another great missionary I'm going to miss.
We ended our day by packing three more boxes to be shipped home. I think we are going to have lots of room in our suitcases.
It has been another good week, but I am amazed at how fast it went. The word is out that we are leaving soon and the sad faces are abundant. It warms my heart to feel so much love. We have been so blessed. Truth be told, I am ready to be home with my family, but my heart aches at having to say good bye to these wonderful people.