Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mormon Helping Hands Northwestern Area..

Today was Northwestern Area Mormon Helping Hands Day. All of Hawaii and California did beautification and clean-up projects in their towns. We in Kekaha worked on and painted the pavilions and pic-nic tables at the park at the senior citizen center. It was a beautiful morning and we had a good turn out and because we had a ward member with a sprayer we were able to get the pavilion eaves done quite quickly. It is so much fun to work together on a project and have it turn out well. It feels so good to be of service and help others. We also painted 6 big pic-nic tables. Just after we went home Wally and I had to go to the post office and get our mail. On the way past the center we noticed a family already using one of the tables to have their lunch. "Should we have put a just painted sign on those?" I asked Wally. I sure hope they didn't go home with green stripes on their pants!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursdays With Bro. C.

When a yard is fenced here you don't open the gate and go in. You stand outside and yell "whooie, whooie, mai, mai." If it is alright to go in they will say, "come, come" or no I am busy and you will wait for another time. Wally goes on Wed. nights with the elders, bishopric or high priests and that is the way they always announce themselves. Wall loves it. He does a pretty good impression of it too. The members also like having someone there they know to introduce us. When they talk it is always in pigeon and Wall just loves it, "Hey, brudda I go church already,dakine" can't catch it all but loves it. Brother C. also told us that the Hawaiian people are a very trusting people and have been taken advantage of. In the early days Norwegians named Knudsen came here and built stores. The Hawaiian people would come to trade at the store and put items on credit. If they couldn't pay then the Knudsen's would take their land as payment. Pretty soon the Knudsen's owned and took control of a lot of land that should have been Hawaiian land. Now the people are slow to trust. Hawaiians believe everything has a spirit. They believe in kuliana - taking care of what is given to you (land) it is a stewardship you don't really own it. They took just what they needed from the land and plants, a few leaves, a few feathers, and would always say mahalo nui (thank you very much.) They respected the spirit of everything."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lunch and a Lesson With Bonnie.

We had a lunch and a lesson on The Restoration with Bonnie today. Bonnie works in security out at the missile base. Because she works swing shift we had lunch, instead of dinner, and a lesson. It was great! We had a wonderful Chinese Chicken Salad and yummy Peach Cobbler for dessert. The lesson went well and we had a great discussion. We don't get to give The Restoration lesson very often and it was good practice for us and a great review for her. She really liked our visuals and said,"it really helps to see it as you talk about it." The only upset was Bonnie's dog, Summer, was so excited to see us she peed all over me. Yuk!!! You never know what's going to happen when you go to teach a lesson.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Elders and lunch at Costco.

I thought I would never say I would like having lunch at Costco! Well, I take that back. It is fun when we all meet there after District Meeting. The Elders love it because it is cheap and there is lots of it.

They all have their favorites, chicken or beef bake, huge slices of pizza, hot dogs, polish dogs with sour crout (Wall's meal of choice), chicken Caesar salad (my fav.) Dessert is out of this world. Berry Sundae, ice cream bars covered in chocolate and dipped in nuts, non fat yogurt swirl (yum). We can eat out for about $6.00. Wow! By out I mean out side under the umbrellas as you can see.
Good food, great weather, excellent company, what more could you ask for? By the way, we always meet lots of people who are interested in all of us with white shirts, ties, and name tags.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chick Chat..

Don't laugh at how tired we look! This was taken when I set the timer on the camera and ran back to my chair. On Tues. or Wed. nights we have "Chick Chat." We have it at the Bishop's house when he is at Bishopric meeting. We ladies from the ward meet and discuss our lives, the gospel and how it affects our lives. This week I brought our "Hawaii Honolulu Mission Ka'ohilani: Atonement-Love-Obedience The Breath of Life" Easter season study manual. It is a whole month of study about the Atonement. One article a day starting March 29th. What a great experience it was. Anyway, I wanted to share it with the ladies and we had a wonderful time reading and discussing my favorite talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell from Nov. 1997. Wally and I had already studied together and finished the readings and we're so glad to have all these wonderful readings in one place. We are also thankful that we can study and discuss together everyday. How grateful we are for our Savior Jesus Christ and the great love he has for us. Through the Atonement we can all be together one day with Him and our families for eternity if we will be obedient and endure to the end.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!

Happy Easter everyone! We had a wonderful day today. The only thing missing was our Annual Easter Egg Hunt with our grand children on Saturday. When we got to church there on our seats were these beautiful handmade lei's from Sister Inouye to us. Wow, they are beautiful. Mine was made with Plumeria flowers she picked and handmade just for me. They are so fragrant. We were so surprised and felt so loved by these wonderful friends. I said the opening prayer and 3 other sisters gave talks about the Savior and His Atonement. Kunane and Auntie Sharon played "He". It was and outstanding meeting! What a wonderful day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Musical Fireside.

We had the most beautiful musical fireside tonight. It was all instrumental. Piano, organ, guitar, violin and ukulele. All the pieces had a scriptural reference that went with them and Sister Young narrated. There are so many talented people in our ward and the surrounding areas. Kunane from our ward plays the piano by ear. He is a fantastic musician. Even arranging. Auntie Sharon plays the ukulele unbelievably. I asked her to give Wally lessons and she said she no longer teaches beginners. Too bad. Hope we can find someone else to teach him. Katherine Stennet (Pres. Stennet's daughter from the stake) played the violin. As usual, afterward we had wonderful refreshments and visiting. Utah is nothing compared to Hawaii for treats after a meeting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

You Are Hereby Notified!

Late last night while we were out teaching a lesson the sheriff left a paper taped to our door. I sure hope he didn't drive up in his car with the lights blaring. How would that look for missionaries? He left notice that our house is going to public auction on May 27th. We feel bad for the Hardy's. It is a nice, big house and we wish they could sell it. Anyway, it gave us the needed push to go and buy furniture for the mission pad. We have been trying to get moved in there but things take time, Hawaiian time. We were supposed to be here for 2 weeks to month and we will have been 6 by the time we get over there. The Young's (contractors from our ward) have done a great job on the pad and it will be a fun little place to finally live. Plus, it is right next to the church. As it turned out, we got good deals on our furniture and free delivery clear down here. If we had waited just a few more days we wouldn't have been so lucky. We will miss this fabulous kitchen and the washer and dryer. The missionaries will miss the ping pong table. No more FPPA here I guess.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We Never Thought...

We had 2 wonderful experiences today! We can't believe our good luck. Uncle Andy, who we read the Book of Mormon in Hawaiian with just seemed to vanish off the face of the earth the end of January. We tried to talk to his family and ask where he was and they wouldn't talk to us. Well, yesterday as we were driving home Wally decided to drive down Andy's street. All of a sudden Wally stopped, I said "What are you doing?" You'll see he said. There on the side of the Street was Andy. He was working on his lawn. "I knew if I waited here you would come by," he said. I jumped out of the car and hugged him. "Where have you been?" "In hospital." he said. "Will you come Thursday?" We were so excited! I am so happy he kept saying. So are we! He loves us I guess and we sure love him.
Then in the evening we went to Ta'alas for dinner and a lesson. They live up Waimea Valley and have 2 houses, one for them and 1/2 their children and mother and the other next door for the other 1/2 of the kids and their grand kids. Sister Ta'ala works for the school lunch program and Brother Ta'ala has his own Taro patch (6 acres) farther up the valley. We had a great lesson, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the grand kid version. It was great and they loved it. Then we had a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings with the exception of rice instead of potatoes. As the food was passed around a big bowl of what looked like purple potatoes came round. I took one to be polite. As it turns out is was taro cooked in coconut milk with onions. Can I tell you it was delicious! Yumm. I was so surprised. "You don't like poi right?" said Tama. I said I didn't but loved these. Even had a second helping. When we left he even sent some home with us. While we were eating Tama said. That lesson was the 4th Article of Faith right? "Yes, it was," we said. We hope he will come back to full activity while are here. He is a good man.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apt. Check and ARP...

Wally and I have just received 2 new assignments. 1. We will now be in charge of checking the missionary apartments every 6 weeks here on Kauai. We will cover the whole island from Annahola down to Kekaha. Sister Dalton said we are to check and see that the apartments are clean and that the Elders are not living in messy, dirty places. Things need to be clean so they can have the spirit with them. 2. We are now the church Addiction Recovery Program leaders for Kekaha. We have started our training for this 12 step class and are excited to be of help. We will start our classes here in May or June. Brother and Sister Cox, who are over the island, said they felt inspired to ask us to help. We are fortunate to have the time that we can spend doing this. We are so far down here it is hard for them to come all the way down from Kapa'a (a 3 hour round trip with class) and then have no one show up. It will take awhile to get things going but we know it will be a good experience and help those who need it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Only In Hawaii!

Poor Wally! I embarrass him so. I want to take pictures of everything that will remind me of Hawaii when it is time for us to come home. Everything is so unique. Today as we were headed home to Kekaha we saw this fire rescue truck with a surf board on top. I had Wally follow the guy and when he stopped to go into the post office I jumped out of our car and asked him for a picture. He was very friendly and wanted me to have my picture taken but I convinced him I wanted him in it instead. We told him we were here on a mission for our church. He wished us good luck and said he hoped we would like it here and then stood for this picture.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meet the Wrights.

Brother (1st coun. in the bishopric) and Sister Wright (Primary Pres.) and 2 of their 6 children, Evan and Allie, invited us for dinner and a lesson tomorrow night. All of a sudden we got a call tonight about 6:00 asking us if we had dinner yet. We said we had about 20 minutes ago. " Well," they said "we have a Stake Standards Night tomorrow night and won't be able to have you over. Could you come tonight?" We already have dinner ready. Just come over and eat a little. Yeah, right! The rule here is you don't eat until you are full, you eat until you are tired! We hurried on over to their house and had a wonderful visit while they were finishing setting the table. They have lived in Utah and Montana while they were going to school so we had a lot to talk about. For dinner we had salad, BBQ steak, grilled hot dogs, baked potatoes, rice and kind of a chow mien chicken noodle dish with Gatorade to drink. It was yummy. After dinner we gave lesson 4 The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had a captive audience who knew the answers and that made it great. After the lesson we had dessert. It was left overs from a family party the night before. Cake, jello, cream pies what more could you want? We said, "thank you" for a lovely evening and they gave us left overs so we could eat them for dinner on Sunday. What nice ending to a wonderful day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yumi's and Gena.

One of our favorite places to eat is a little shop in Waimea. It is called Yumi's. Gena is our neighbor the the owner of Yumi's. She leaves every morning at 4:30 to start her day. She opens at 7:00 and serves breakfast and lunch only. She stays open until about 2:30. She has some Hawaiian specialties and also serves the best homemade hamburgers ever ($3.00). She greets, takes orders, cooks and waits tables all by herself. She says she can make a living for herself and her son, Dino, that way but can't afford to hire anyone else. She has Sundays off to clean and Mondays so she can buy her stuff for the week at Costco. We are so enjoying the friendships we are making here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursdays with Brother C.

You know we are learning some Hawaiian songs to sing for our homecoming. Wally is also going to take lessons on the ukulele (jumping fleas). When we sang Hawaiian Aloha with Bro. C today he told us we did a great job! Our pronunciation is getting pretty good. Between eating yummy food and embracing the Hawaiian culture and learning to play the ukulele Wally is going to look exactly like this when we get home. Do you think you will recognize him?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aloha Justin and Lauren.

We took Justin and Lauren to the airport this morning. Elder Moimoi and Elder Grover helped us by bringing "Bonnie" in her carrier. We couldn't take all their belongings so we asked them to help us. It was bitter sweet to have them go. We have had such a wonderful time with them but we know they want to go home and see their families. They will be living in the Sacramento area for a little while and then they hope to go down and live in Newport Beach. Justin is still working on his software and hopes to have it ready to put on line soon. Lauren hopes to get a job teaching school. We are going to try to keep in touch with them. We love them and wish them the very best in all they do.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our Prayer Rock.

We have District Meeting this morning. President and Sister Dalton will be here to interview all missionaries. We get interviewed by both of them. Sister Dalton interviews us about our health and how we are feeling. She also gives us healthy treats and lots of hand sanitizer so we will stay healthy. President Dalton talks to us about "the work." He encourages us and tells us to get to work in a loving way. Wally and I are so lucky because after interviews we usually get to go out to lunch with them and take them to the airport. It is a great time for us to get to know them and for them to get to know us. Even though we have to get to Lihue early today we still go for our morning walk. This morning is beautiful. We walk about 31/2 miles a day or at least and hour. We usually walk several different ways around town and down to the beach. We wave at everyone as we go. They all know who we are by now! Our walk always takes us down to the beach and our "prayer rock." In the Hawaii Honolulu Mission all missionaries stop what they are doing where ever they are and have mission prayer at 7:55 a. m. All mission phones are set with alarms. It is wonderful. We call this the "prayer rock" because we try to be here at that time to sit and say our prayer. It is so peaceful and you know how I love the ocean. This is Heaven.

Monday, April 11, 2011

FHE and The Kamauoha's

We are meeting ward members by giving FHE's and lessons to them so they will know what we do. We are hoping this will help them invite family members or friends to hear the gospel. Meet the Kamauoha family. Mom is from Tonga and Dad is Hawaiian and Samoan. What a lovely family they are. They sang "Love At Home" in Tongan for us. It was beautiful! Then we had a thought by Elias from The Friend. We gave The Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. We did the kid version. We put a paper on the floor with the family names on it. Then across the room a paper with Heaven printed on it. There is nothing in between. We tell them they have to get to heaven but they can't touch the floor. No jumping either. As we give the lesson we place stepping stones on the floor in between the family and heaven. Each one has a gospel principle on it. By the time we are finished they can all walk right to heaven. It is great and the kids love it. I also pick up the stones and then give them a quiz. If they answer correctly they get a treat. It was fun and now we have friends forever. Our "grandies" aren't here so we love hugs we get from ward children!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oh My What a Sunday!!!

What a spiritual feast today was! Wow! Our meetings were fantastic starting with Testimony Meeting. Our chapel was full because we had 2 huge families attending that were here for family reunions. They said they could have gone to the Kalaheo ward because they were staying in Poipu but there they would see people from Idaho and Utah and they wanted to be in real Hawaii. We loved it because that is how we feel. We love it right here in this little town and it is the real Hawaii. The spirit of our little ward is unbelievable. At the end of the meeting we all sang "Aloha 'Oe" to Justin and Lauren who will be leaving on Wednesday. Not a dry eye in the congregation. I taught Sunday School and Relief Society was good too. At 5:00 we headed over to Lihue and the stake center. Elder Russel M. Nelson and his wife Wendy were speaking at a fireside. They were here because he gave the address at BYU Hawaii's graduation. They came over to Kauai for a little R&R. Like he said in his talk this is a vacation for an apostle when they go anywhere. It was a wonderful fireside and so inspiring. Sister Nelson's theme was obedience. She talked about a barn she saw on her way home from Raymond it had three words on the roof. They were "Not Even Once". Then Elder Nelson gave a short message but gave an apostolic blessing to Kauai. It was so wonderful. Afterward they stood and shook hands with everyone. Wally's sister Carolyn knows Sister Nelson because they went to school together in Raymond so Wally had a little visit with her about home. He asked her if she remembered Carolyn and she said yes. When I got to her she said to me do we know each other? Where are you from? I told her and she said "It must have been the Pre Existence." I noticed she kept looking at us all night. I said to Wally we must look familiar to them. Anyway, it was a perfect close to a wonderful day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thursdays with Brother C.

I know this isn't Thursday but I had to add this bit anyway. From now on I will do Thursdays with Bro. Cardejon on Thursday. Anyway, it was raining quite hard in the morning on Thursday and we didn't go on our usual walk because we would have been soaked. We always meet with Bro. C at 10:00 for our Hawaiian history lesson and to practice our Hawaiian songs. Bro. C called us and was going to say maybe we can't have our class today. I went to grab the phone and pushed the wrong button and canceled his call. For some reason he didn't call back. Later it cleared up and was a beautiful, blue skied morning. When we got over to Bro. C's place he said "I have something to show you." He brought out his cell phone and showed us a picture. It was of a beautiful rainbow right over our house. He said in the olden times of Hawaii when there was still royalty when Alii (kings or queens) were going to be buried the heavens would weep tears of sorrow but always a rainbow would shine right afterwards to let the people know something special was going to happen and everything would be alright. "When I saw that rainbow over your house", he said " I knew great things are going to happen here." It gave me the chills. He has such faith and really believes Heavenly Father has special things planned for this area. We can hardly wait.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dinner and a lesson at the Blevins

What a wonderful evening with the Blevins. We had a tasty salad, Hawaiian Stew (my fav.), rice (for every meal), and yummy Cherry Chocolate Bundt Cake with chocolate ice cream for dessert! Mmmmm!! What great cooks the members of the ward are. We have had such a variety of food because they all have heritages from Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Philippines. After dinner and a visit we taught "The Plan of Salvation." It is one of my favorite lessons. They liked our visual aids too. Being a school teacher has helped me because I make charts and color them and they lead us right through the lessons and the "investigators" can follow right along. Did I mention it helps Wally and I because our memories are getting so they need jogging every now and then. We study all the time but we can't remember things like we used to. I'm not saying we're old we just aren't 19 anymore. Ha, Ha. The Blevins went to school and lived in Utah for 20 years. They finally came back to Kekaha and the family home. Bro. Blevins works for the county and Sis. Blevins teaches Special Ed at the Waimea Jr. High. They have a daughter living in Texas whose husband is from Highland, Utah and a son going to school here. They are ward missionaries and teach Gospel Principle lessons with us on Sunday on a rotating basis.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apple Bananas Yum!!

Have I mentioned how much we love Apple Bananas? They are smaller than regular bananas but oh so delicious. I'm afraid we are banana spoiled now. Bananas will never be the same for us. It just so happens that where we are staying there are lots of Apple Banana trees in the yard. Here are Bonnie and Vince and Wally working in the yard. Bonnie's brother is the home owner. We had about 6 or 7 bunches of bananas that had to be cut down. The trees only put out one bunch and then you have to cut the tree down because they die. It doesn't matter though because they sucker up and you have a new tree before you know it.
Here is Wally holding one of the bunches. You pick them green and it takes about a week for them to ripen. I had so many come at once I made banana bread. Oh my goodness, it was the best banana bread we have ever tasted. We had so many bunches we had a lot to share with the neighbors. It was a great calling card.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The FPPA in Kekaha...?

This is the Kauai Zone, well 5 of the elders anyway. 2 of the elders had waited all day for these elders to get here (it's a long, long way from Hanalei ) and had to leave for an appointment and didn't play with them. They had their own game tho before they left and had fun. We only have 2 paddles so you can see the elders invented their own game of hit the ball across the net and run around the table and hit it back. I guess it was the way they could all have a paddle and play at once. No one was left out except Elder Garrard the D.L. who is being transferred. The laughter and noise reminded me so much of home and our ping pong table when the boys were growing up. Does anyone remember the FPPA and the trophy?
Here is Elder Garrard downstairs working on our Signing Journal. It is a custom here to have a journal to sign for each other when you are transferred. You decorate the page, write a farewell note and put a picture on the page. It is really quite the deal. Some of these elders are really good artists and go all out on the pages. Oh, for some of my scrapbook supplies and I would give them a run for their money!! By the way they all loved the Mint Chocolate Chip and Rocky Road ice cream and homemade oatmeal cookies for a treat.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

General Conference.

We attended all 4 sessions of conference this weekend. We got up at 5:00 a.m both mornings so we could attend the live broadcasts at the chapel here in Kekaha. It started at 6:00 a.m and there were 3 other couples (the bishopric) 2 single ladies and us. The sessions were rebroadcast later for those who didn't want to get up quite so early. Some families have BYU T.V. and can watch at home. I have always love conference weekend and while I was still teaching it was such a refuge and refueling for me to shut myself in our little T.V. room and watch all sessions. Wally would drop in now and then and always watched on Sunday. This weekend was wonderful. The talks were exceptional and really touched our hearts. Wally really loved the whole thing. He said, "This was great I'm so glad we did this together." I wish I had gone with him to the Priesthood Session. No one thought to ask him and he missed dearly going with his boys and his grandsons. I am going to talk him into taking me along in October so he doesn't have to miss next time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Aloha 'Oe...

Brother Amos "Moose" Kuana Arashiro was laid to rest today. We were able to participate in the celebration of his life. We are so grateful of our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and know that we will all be together again. A celebration of his life has gone on all week long at his family home. Anyone can drop over anytime for food, music and to talk story.
These are pictures of his grave. He is buried in the Hawaiian Cemetery right across the street from our house. The wake or viewing started at 9:00 this morning and lasted until 11:00. People came and stayed to visit during this time. Pastries and juice were served on the patio. After the viewing we had the funeral. It was short; a eulogy, a speaker (the Plan of Salvation), a musical number (Where Can I Go For Peace?), then remarks from the Bishop (2 scriptures and a remembrance). It was wonderful. Afterward, we all met at the cemetery for the graveside service. There was the dedication of the grave and then a basket of orchid flowers was passed around and we all put a few flowers on the casket. We all sang "Till We Meet Again, Aloha 'OE and then Hawaii Aloha." It was beautiful! Then the pall bearers all took hold of straps and lowered the casket into the ground. Family and friends were invited to shovel dirt in over the casket. It was so hard for Dad and me at first as we heard the dirt falling on the casket. They filled the grave to the top and then mounded the dirt and placed the flower sprays on top. Then everyone was invited to go home and change their clothes and meet at the Kekaha Senior Center for a Hawaiian feast put on by family and friends. It was quite an experience. Twice in one week we have been immersed in the culture of Hawaii. And we are so blessed by the love that is growing in our hearts for this beautiful place.