Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

 What a wonderful surprise when the Louis's, Kunane and the Young's showed up at our welcome home and brought ku lua pork, chicken long rice, and lomi lomi salmon for a luau lunch. They killed the "peeg" in Hawaii, cooked it, froze it, and brought it over as a special offering of aloha for us.  We had no idea they were doing such a wonderful thing.  Do we feel loved? Our family, neighbors and friends were amazed by that amazing gift.
 Irwin and Ui Wright's daughters came and did the hula for everyone.  What a wonderful treat.  We have never seen them dance all together and it was just beautiful.  Everyone was in awe of the beauty of it.
Kunane is a great musician and plays piano, ukulele and everything else by ear.  He asked Wally to play a song with him.  It was a treat for everyone.  Wally was nervous but there will never be another "white Hawaiian like he is"!
So ends a fabulous year and a half  for us as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.  We will never be the same.  Our hearts have been changed forever. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


 Can you imagine the joy we felt as we stepped on the top of the escalator to come down and collect our luggage and there was all our family.  All of them.  Holding signs saying aloha and welcome home. We could hardly wait to put our arms around them and hug them like they have never been hugged before!  If this is what it will be like meeting loved ones in heaven we are all for it!
Look at this group.  Aren't they wonderful? My how they have grown since we've been gone. It is  so good to be home and we haven't even left the airport yet! We have seen other families meeting grandparents in the airport.  It has been so touching to watch.  Now it is happening to us. So glad Families Can Be Together Forever!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hawaii Aloha and Aloha Oe

What a beautiful Sunday!  It has been bitter sweet actually. We will  be going home on Tuesday and we are anxious to see our family.  At the same time we are torn leaving our friends and family here in Kekaha.  Today in church at the close of the meeting the Bishop called us up to the front of the chapel and the congregation sang to us.  It is the custom when people are leaving to sing "Aloha Oe" but they chose to sing our favorite "Hawaii Aloha" also.  Oh my, there wasn't a dry eye anywhere in the room.  We cried and cried because we have come to love these wonderful people as our own family.  Even after all the beautiful lei's from Friday night they brought us more and more today as well as  gifts from the heart.  How can we ever leave and be the same?  Our hearts will be here forever.  They have truly left footprints on our hearts.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Allerton Gardens.

We slept in until 8:00 o'clock this morning.  We know that this will be our last few days here.  We will be going home early Tues. We decided to see some things we hadn't seen before and first went to the Allerton Botanical Gardens.  They were absolutely lovely.  There are several trees here with roots winding around the ground.  These were used in the movie Jurasic Park.  It is where the dinosaur egg was found in resin.  Anyway we thought we better have our picture taken in this famous place. We still can't get over the wonderful ward party from last night and still talk about what a surprise everyone pulled over on us.  After the gardens we had a late lunch at the Poi Pu Bay Golf Course Grill.  Wally didn't golf here but it helps to make him feel better by eating yummy food and looking out over the beautiful greens.  We came home in the afternoon and did some more packing and sent some boxes home. Robert (the clerk at the Post Office) is getting to know us really well.  We also took lots of things to the Salvation Army.  President and Sister Dalton surprised us with and good bye call.  They wanted to have us stay at the mission home before we left but they were called to the mainland for a conference.  It was nice to have one last chat and to say thanks for the opportunity to serve here on this gorgeous island.

Friday, April 27, 2012

King and Queen of the May Day Celebration.

I wasn't feeling too well today and decided not to go to the ward May Day Celebration. I didn't want to make anyone sick.  The Sister Missionaries came over in the afternoon and when I told them I wasn't going to go they said, "Maybe you should at least make an appearance and then come home and lay down."  I put on my new muu muu and tried to smile.  Wally looked handsome in his new aloha shirt and off we went.  When we got there the recreation hall was decorated beautifully and lots of yummy food was laid out to eat.  We sat down for a few minutes and the MC said now it is time to crown the King and Queen of May Day.  Wally and I both looked at each other and were talking about who we thought it could be when they called out..... Elder and Sister Fairbanks.  That's right it was us! We couldn't believe it.  We were so surprised. We had many gorgeous leis placed around our necks along with hugs and kisses.  The ward payed many tributes to us in song and dance. Some written just for tonight. It was absolutely beautiful.  We cried and laughed and hugged everyone.  What a wonderful gift this mission and these lovely people have been in our lives.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Portuguese Bean Soup.

Lois and Vince have promised us Portuguese Bean Soup before we we go home so tonight is the night! Yum!!!  We wondered if we would be able to have our final evening together because Vince's dad is in the hospital.  Wally and Vince administered to him and he has been doing better but we still did not want to take them away from family or feel like they had to spend the evening with us.  They were glad to have us come.  We had such a wonderful visit.  They also invited Bishop and Maxine and we had a lot of fun together. When you talk story and laugh and share with each other it helps to take our minds of things sometimes. The soup was so fabulous. Lois is a really good cook. We had 3 kinds of fresh baked bread and a luscious green salad to go with the soup.  Then Lois pulled out all the stops and for dessert she had her famous jello cheese cake.  It was to die for! Bishop brought an apple pie and we all had a piece of that too.  You can imagine how happy and full we were when the evening was over.  Here I go again but how we are going to miss these wonderful friends when we fly away home. How dear they are to us.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Afternoon With Colleen.

One of the sweetest ladies I have ever met is Colleen.  We have become really good friends in a short amount of time.  We have talked at church and said hello here and there but never have done much together since we have been here. A couple months ago she was standing outside the Relief Society Room and invited Maxine and me over to see her new craft room.  She didn't have to ask me twice, you know.  We went over and spent a wonderful afternoon learning to make lei's and of course talked story.  We had a delicious lunch and had the best time. While we were there we felt a real connection and both of us asked, "why has it taken us so long to find this out?"  Anyway, long story short, we have had some wonderful work sessions at her house and at Relief Society work meeting on Friday mornings. Our Friday work meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Fridays.  The second week we always do personal projects and on the forth week we do service projects.  Here Colleen is showing a bag we will be making to send to children at the Shriner's Hospital.  Colleen has so many talents and creative ideas it blows my mind.  She has taught me a few good tricks and I will share them in later posts.  Love you Colleen!  Think what we could have done if only we had the chance to really know each other longer.

Last Lesson With Margarita.

What a wonderful evening we spent with the Blevin's. We had a scrumptious dinner before our lesson. How kind they are to us. Then we taught The Plan of Salvation.  What a wonderful message. To know where we came from, why we are here and where we are going helps us understand how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We taught together back and forth as we always do but tonight it just seemed to flow so well and touched all of our hearts. The spirit was so strong. Margarita is so lovely and appreciates all we are teaching her.  She told us tonight that we explain things so clearly she understands what we are teaching.  That really made us feel so happy that we can do that. She also gave us a beautiful wedding invitation.  My what a beautiful couple she and Kekoa make. This is another wedding we wish we could be here for!  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Last New Elders.

Our last two missionaries are Elder Kibaimoa from Kiribati and Elder Gardner from Orem.  In fact he doesn't live to far from us.  We had a great meeting today.  The ZL's always prepare well and we learn a lot.  These young missionaries are top notch young men. Wally and I decided that we would take lunch for them this time as it would be our last meeting with the whole group when we could do that. They were quite happy. We could eat, take our time and talk story.  We had tuna or egg salad sandwiches, chips, lemonade and love in a dish for dessert.  They ate up every morsel and licked their fingers too.  It always makes us feel good when they appreciate what we do for them. After lunch was cleaned up we headed straight home because we knew we would have our last meeting with Andrew.  We had 2 pages left of the Book of Mormon and we wanted to finish it.  We have been reading with him since the very first day we arrived on the island.  When we finished we read the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses and bore our testimonies to him.  As we walked home we told each other how happy we were to know each other and good luck and love from all of us.  He ended with God bless you in Hawaiian.  What a sweet friend he has been.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mahalo Oli.

Today was our last reading day with the 4th grade at Kekaha School.  It has been a great year and a half.  The kids are so cute and they love having us come.  If they see us anywhere around town they run up and say hi or just yell out if they see us.  They sang us a Mahalo Oli (thank you chant) and gave us a book of acrostic poems they created for us.  I read to them this time and I chose a Hawaiian Legend. The Legend of the Sleeping Giant.  It was a fun read and I told them that we had climbed the Sleeping Giant with their teacher.  That got rave reviews!  It has been a lot of fun giving service at the school. They love that both Wally and I do it together.  This evening the Bouches invited us out to the base to eat at Shenanigans.  Of course we couldn't pass that up.  Yummy food right on the beach as the sun goes down and the stars come up.  Talk about being in heaven.  In fact, before we got to the restaurant Bud took us for a quick drive around the base.  As he was driving he stopped the car and turned off the head lights.  It was pitch black---I mean pitch black!  He told us to open the car door and get out and look up at the sky.  Wow!  I have never seen so many stars.  I will never forget that.  It took our breath away! You can't see a sky like that in Orem.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Very Spiritual Sunday.

Today started out busy as we had our last Ward Council at 7:30 a.m. We reported on the missionary efforts of the week and talked about what's going to happen when we leave.  We told them that the sister missionaries from Kalaheo will cover this area until new missionaries are assigned. Wally and I gave our talks.  He told me he would speak first so I didn't have too much time to speak.  As it turned out my name was first on the program so he made me go first.  Hmmm.  I started talking and I just kept adding things about people and places and activities.  It ended up Wally only had about 10 min. to speak.  I still can't believe I did that.  Shock!  I even left out a whole section of my talk.  Brother Kunane gave the closing prayer.  He knows how much I love the Hawaiian language and he prayed in Hawaiian.  How sweet is that.  It really touched our hearts.  After the meetings we came home for a quick lunch and nap.  Tonight is the yearly Missionary Musical Fireside. Each ward sings a song and bears a testimony that goes along with their theme.  Our part of the program was the Book of Mormon.  We sang a song from a pageant that was presented on the island a few years a go. It was called "You Are the Shepherd and We Thy Sheep." Vince bore his testimony.  It was so powerful. A lot of people commented on the song afterward.  You could see them mouthing the words, it brought back sweet memories for them. President Dalton came and was the main speaker.  He is so sweet and loves the missionaries, people and islands so much. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. (Thanks Bishop Herr for reading the blog and being a friend.)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And We Thought We Were Home Free....

I hope you don't get tired of all my sunrise, sunset and beach shots.  I just can't seem to get enough. I know it won't last much longer so I just keep snapping away.  Today was the stake Family History Fair with a lunch to follow. It was a missionary activity so all  missionaries on the island were all asked to attend and help answer any questions about the church people might have.  We were up early, as always, and heard a knock on the door.  We shouldn't have answered by the way.  There was a ward service project at Tama's Loi but we couldn't go.  The Wright's came by on their way and Bro. Wright asked us if we would speak at Sacrament Meeting tomorrow.  We already talked a month ago and gave our final testimonies last Fast Day. We really thought we were home free.  Wally said just the other day, "If they happen to ask us to speak again we are saying NO!"  Yeah, sure.  He answered the door when I was in the shower and he said "Oh, Yes, What An Opportunity!" So this afternoon after the fair we will be working on talks I guess. What more can we say?  Wall says he will talk about things we have learned and I am supposed to talk about people.  His emotions are too near the surface he says.  What about me? We will both cry like babies, I'm sure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Coco Palms....

Tuesday we couldn't stay for our usual afternoon with the Cox's so we decided to come back today and go and tour the Coco Palms. It was a fashionable and expensive place to stay in it's day.  It was ruined when Hurricane Inki came through in 1992.  Someone took off with the insurance money and it was never repaired.  In case you don't know what is important about the beautiful Coco Palms it is the hotel that was used to film the Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii"  also the coconut grove in the back was used to film "Pirates of the Caribbean 4." This is a picture of one of the famous shell sinks that are in each room.  They are going to sell about 5 of them to raise money to help take care of the grounds.  It is hoped that someday they will be able to make this into a running hotel again.

 Here I am in cabin 56 where Elvis always stayed having my picture taken with him. The cabins are quite small.  They don't look that way at all in the movie.  When the company was filming Blue Hawaii they took the screen and shutters (behind me) out of the wall and filmed from outside to make it look roomy. If you look behind me you can also see an outside shower made of lava rock.
This is the lagoon where the famous wedding scene in Blue Hawaii takes place.  It is interesting that about 70 weddings a year are still held here. This is a picture of the canoe the bride and groom ride on to the spot where they will be married.  What a fun day visiting this old hotel, hearing its history and touring the grounds. Wall just about died when I suggested this tour but as it turned out he enjoyed it too. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Busy Thursday and a Surprise.

What a busy day today!  A visit with Bro. C and then we were surprised to be able to visit with Andrew. We haven't seen him for about 3 months.  He has been taking care of his brother in Pakala. Our original goal has been to finish the Book of Mormon together and then start over again.  It looked like we wouldn't reach that goal and then Andrew shows up and says "my brother is going to the doctor today and next week. His daughter is taking him so  I will be here to read with you."  How sweet that he would take the time to read with us and say good bye. We also had a meeting with the sisters who will be taking over our area.  We gave them an overview and then we all had a wonderful lesson with Dayla, Palani and Shelbri. Oh, in case you wondering about the picture it is of all the missionary planners we have used since we have been here.  Dad wanted to show them off. Each one is 6 weeks so they add up to our 18 months.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

After a late night flight and sleep at the Pagoda (a locals hotel) we got up early this morning and headed to the temple in Laie.  We started out about 6:30 a.m.  It takes an hour to get to the other side of the island and to the temple. The weather was clear and we had a beautiful drive.  The freeway was a little scary.  We haven't driven faster than 50 mph or on more that a 2 lane road in 18 months.  We made it in time to have a good Hawaiian Mcdonald's Spam breakfast before we headed for our appointment at the temple.  The whole day was just perfect.  The Inouye's are so dear to us and we were so thrilled when they asked us to go with them and be their escorts.  They had been to the open house of the temple when it was renovated and were so excited to go back and be able to receive their endowments and then be sealed for time and all eternity.  Everyone was so kind and helpful and it was truly a sweet experience, one that we will never forget.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last Apartment and Car Inspections.

This is another beautiful picture from the helicopter.  I still can't believe we had such a wonderful opportunity to see our island like this.  Today we did our last apartment and car inspections.  We have enjoyed this part of our mission because we get to know the elders and sisters better and we also get to spend the day with the Coxes.  We have asked them to take our place when we leave and they have accepted.  They will do such a good job and are so willing to serve in any way they can.  After the inspections were finished we had just enough time for a final lunch with them at Kauai Pasta (one of our favorite places to eat) and then head home.  We are going to Oahu tonight to go to the temple with the Inouye's tomorrow.  We are so excited. They are going to be sealed and have asked us to be their escorts.  Wally continues to get better.  I know the medicine helped but Elder Edwards blessing has made all the difference.  Heavenly Father listens to prayers and only wants us to ask for his help.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bronchitis Again!

I know this doesn't look like anything medicinal but I had to put something beautiful on this post to lighten it up.  Dad has bronchitis again.  Same thing as last year at about this time.  It is funny too because we are supposed to go to the temple again also.  He started coughing a few days ago but tried to be positive and hope that it wouldn't turn into anything.  No such luck.  After a sleepless night and really sore ribs from so much coughing he decided it was time to see the doctor.  Sure enough it's that old bronchitis again. It was in the early stages and so with a z-pac and some codeine for his cough we hope we will make it to the temple with the Inouyes.  He also asked the ZL's to give him a blessing.  How can we loose?  He seems to be more relaxed already.  I'm keeping him doped up with cough syrup and have sent him to bed to sleep as much as he can. When he asked the doctor why this happens to him so often the doctor says it has something to do with his immune system.  Interesting.  I hope he gets well soon.  Dad is not the best patient you know!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sweet Sunday!

We had the most wonderful Sunday today. The Stake Presidency came to speak at Kekaha Ward. Their messages were so uplifting. They spoke about forgiveness, scripture study, activity and tune ups. They are very kind and gracious men. Our Sunday School lesson was on keeping records. Of course, I felt good about that one. I am keeping records right? After church we had a 3rd baptism, in as many weeks, for a sweet little girl in our ward. We taught the 3 baptism lessons to her. Dad was able to stand in the circle when she was confirmed. And of course, we were invited to a wonderful luncheon afterwards. Yum- sweet and sour pork, mac salad, chili, rice and _____. We went home for some R & R because one of us has a cold and is coughing and wearing himself out. The highlight of the day or should I say evening, though, was being invited to Karratti's for dinner and an evening of sharing experiences. The best green salad and Sis. K's outstanding stew and rice with chocolate strawberry cake, ice cream cake and blueberry crisp for dessert was unbelieveable. We love the Karratti's so much. They have become wonderful supporters and friends. Bro. K is our ward mission leader and works tirelessly to find people for us to teach. Sister K has been the R. S. President and is now the 1st counselor. She is also a wonderful distributor of oils. She has taken care of our health on more than one occasion. We talk of the gospel, laugh, sing and share lots of things together. We said our good byes to Bro. K because he will be off island for work for the next 3 weeks and we won't see him again. We will miss them very much and have invited them to come and see us whenever they come to Utah. Their's are some of the footprints that will be left on our hearts.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Good Bye "Brandon Guys."

Just like Jeff and Jarrica, Brandon and Jana had to check out of the Marriott by 10:00 this morning and their flight isn't until 8:00 tonight. They packed the car and stopped off to get lunch at the Port Allen McDonald's and then headed down here to Kekaha to spend the day at the beach. We had a great day and the weather was beautiful. Body surfing and boogie boarding were the cause for high 5's all around. After a while in the water the boys came out to play in the sand. You know to dig holes to China, bury each other, have sand fights and all that kind of stuff. We were having a great day when all of a sudden--- you guessed it a ROGUE wave struck. We were soaked and filled with sand and had to come back to our house to shower, dry clothes, eat some more and get ready to be at the airport on time. How funny that the same thing should happen to Brandon and Jana as happened 2 weeks ago to Jeff and Jarrica. We laughed and laughed and couldn't believe it could happen twice to the same family! Goodbye guys. It was fun to have you here and we can't wait until we see you and everyone else again when we get home in 2 weeks.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Helicopter Ride on Friday the 13th!

Brandon and Jana asked us if we would like to go on a helicopter ride with the boys. Are you kidding, how could we refuse? It was the chance of a lifetime. Brandon and Jana had been before but wanted the boys to go and thought we would like that as a gift for our birthdays, Mother's and Father's Day and Christmas too. Wow! Thanks you guys. It was spectacular!! This first picture is of the Wai'aleale Crater. It is the wettest place on earth. It rains here 350 days a year. Some 400 inches, I think. The morning tours couldn't go into the crater because it was so socked in with clouds and it was raining so much. Andy, our pilot, said lucky for us it cleared just in time for the 2:30 flight and because of the rain at lunch time there were hundreds of waterfalls rushing down the walls of the crater. As we flew along the NaPali coast line the water was crystal clear and looked like a huge lake it was so still. It was a beautiful turquoise too. This is one of the many sea caves worn away by water along the coastline. I think this is also the one that is seen in the Harrison Ford movie 6 Days and 7 Nights.
Jurassic Park here we come. The first scene in the movie showing the entrance to the Park is taken at this water fall. It is up a private valley owned by the Robinson family and the movie company was given permission to come up into the valley to film here. No one else can get in to this fall so it can only be seen by helicopter. It was breathtaking.
Here we are just as we finished our flight. The ground crew was nice enough to take a picture for us. We all had a great flight and didn't get motion sick or anything. Thanks to Andy our pilot for a great ride, a wonderful history and information about our beautiful Kauai.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We Tend Sam!

We got to tend Sam today while the rest of the family went on the NaPali coast cruise. Here is Sam posing for a picture with Kekei, our neighbor's granddaughter. It is so interesting how little children make an instant connection and can be friends and pose for pictures and act like they have known each other for ever. They were so sweet playing together. I think Kawehi and Willy enjoyed it too, seeing the kids be friends right off the bat.
I guess the cruise was absolutely wonderful today. They all had a ball and didn't even get the least bit sea sick. I asked Braden what his favorite part of the trip was and he said the sandwiches they had for lunch! Sounds like a hungry teenage boy. They saw the Kalalau Valley from the bottom and this time it was clear and they also snorkeled and saw some turtles. I think someone said they saw a whale and her baby. They must be the last left here. Well, it was fun for us getting to know Sam and playing with him. He sure has grown up while we have been gone. I must say though that we are 2 years older and we were worn out when the day was over. How did we manage 5 all at once?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Last Transfer.

Another six weeks has gone by. Transfers are next week. It will be our last apartment and car check too. We will be going home 2 weeks after the transfer. Today the ZL's, Elder Porter and Elder Edwards played Jeopardy for me as part of our training. They know I love that game and they were so sweet to let us play it today. I must say the questions were hard though. Did you know that Bruce R. McKonkie wrote the introduction to the Book of Mormon. I didn't. Anyway our team lost so I owe the elders and sister's a home cooked lunch next Monday. Hmmmm what should it be? I'll have to think about that one. Sandwiches anyone? Homemade cookies? Love these young people. Have I said that before? My prediction--Elders Moore and Obray bottom left and right will be going. I'll let you know what happens next week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Canyon and The Beach.

Well, we went up to the first 3 look outs of the Waimea Canyon this morning. When Wally and I walked this morning we looked up at the mountains and thought what a perfect time to go. It was clear and the sky was so blue. We were sure we would be able to see for miles. By the time Brandon and family got here (9:00) and we started to drive up the clouds started to roll in. The canyon is so beautiful we wish they could have seen all of it. You can tell by their jackets and Jana's towel it was cool. The coolest we have seen since we have been here. Cool not cold! At the very last stop I prayed for just a short window of time so they could look down and see the ocean at the bottom of the canyon with the waves breaking against the shore. Sure enough we were blessed with a quick view. How happy I was for answered prayers.
"Catch a wave and your sittin on top of the world.." Anyone know that song? Body surfing anyone? This is Kekaha Beach. When Jeffrey was here we went all over the island to different beaches to swim. On their last day we stopped for minute at Kekaha Beach and they wished they had spent some time here. Jeff told Brandon it was a good beach and so did we. Because it was rainy up the canyon "Brandon guys" decided to see if it was true that it never rains in Kekaha and that it is the hottest place on the island. We were rewarded with an absolutely gorgeous day. A perfect beach day. We spent the afternoon playing in the sand and water and watching all the fun. You can tell by the picture that the body surfing and boogie boarding were the BEST! I love our "wild" beach and I am sure going to miss having it just down the street when we get home.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Beautiful Easter Sunday!

Here they all are! Everyone was glad to see Grandma and Grandpa but Sam. He doesn't know us. We aren't scary on Skype but real life is different. We are so glad to have Brandon, Jana and family here. We feel so spoiled because we can show our island off and have their undivided attention. No one else is around. They came down to Kekaha today to church and to meet the members of our ward. Wally and I bore our final testimonies.The most precious thing was Dusa blessing a baby girl in Hawaiian.  It was a beautiful Easter Sunday. It is always warm and beautiful on our part of the island. They liked our little house and our town and especially loved our ward. We visited for awhile but then they went back to Poipu because we had another baptism this afternoon. We went to the Marriott after Tiare's baptism and had a nice dinner and visit with everyone. We have already planned to go up to the Waimea Canyon tomorrow and then hope to spend the afternoon at Kekaha Beach. Goodness these boys have grown in just a year and a half. This family has our oldest grandson and youngest grandchild. Brandon, I remember when you were 16. When I look at your family I can see ours. All those boys......

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wonderful Day.

Today's the day!! Shelbri was baptized. What a wonderful day. Wally baptized and confirmed Shelbri and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. Sister Cardejon gave a talk on baptism and Sister Mecham and Kunane played some beautiful music. After the baptism Dayla and Palani held a luncheon in the courtyard at the church. Everyone who came enjoyed a spiritual feast as well as good food. We will surely miss this part of Hawaiian culture. We love having the food (our waistlines show it) along with activities. Everyone has such a good time talking story and sharing memories. The love and support is amazing. There is such a spirit about it. We know Palani won't be too far behind Shelbri and we told them we are already looking for tickets so we can come back for their wedding and his baptism.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Lesson for Margarita.

This is a Bamboo plant. It grows in water. It has special meaning to us. The Blevin's and Margarita gave it to us tonight after our dinner and lesson (The Plan of Salvation). Margarita continues to enjoy the lessons. English is her second language so we are going slowly so we make sure she understands all we have to share with her. We had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings because we can't meet on Easter Sunday because of other family things going on. The pot has elephants all around the outside and that is important too. The Bamboo was trained to grow like this and Sis. B was telling us that the 2 bottom leaves represent Wally and me and the next one up is the Savior watching over us. The heart is their love for us. How sweet is that? We want to bring it home but don't know if we can. We will go to the airport and ask next week. It grows in water so there will be no dirt being transported or anything. We are constantly amazed by the love and support of the people we have met here in Kekaha. Our hearts have been changed forever.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Week of Shopping and Sending Boxes Home.

We have taught 2 baptism lessons to 8 year olds so far this week. Shelbri's baptism is this weekend and she is so excited she can hardly stand it. I met her and her mom at the church so she could try on her baptismal clothes and she could hardly stand still. "I love Primary." she kept saying. What a cute little girl. All the missionaries went over to Oahu for 8 Step Training and so there was no District Meeting this week. Wally and I didn't go because we will soon be coming home and we wanted to save the mission money. It costs so much to fly inter island. We are busy doing little things on the list of things that have to be done before we go home and were glad to have this time to do them. Especially getting that Red Dirt sweatshirt for when we have to face the cold days in Utah again. At lunch time we decided to go to Yumi's for our last lunch with Gena. We met Gena when we first moved here and lived in Handy's house. She was our neighbor. When we found out she ran her own little restaurant we would go for hamburgers and Pumpkin Crunch every so often. We taught a lesson to Palani and Dayla. We read Alma 32 together. Palani has his scriptures loaded on his phone now and is so happy with it. How happy that makes us to see his joy in the gospel. What a great man he is! How blessed to share the gospel with someone who is loving it and taking everything in and embracing it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

General Conference, Lunch and Dinner!

We can't believe this has been our 3rd general conference since we have been here! We got up early this morning so we could be in our seats by 6:00 a.m. for the live broadcast. It has been such a wonderful conference. Yesterday, Bishop was even able to get the Priesthood Session at 2:00 in the afternoon so Wally didn't have to go alone into Lihue. It was funny having the session in the middle of the afternoon though. I still get the times mixed up because I think in the here and now and not 4 hours ahead to Utah. We had one sad note. Our Bishop's wife was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. We hope she will recover quickly and come home soon. After morning session we ran home for breakfast. Back at 10:00 for the 2nd session. How great was that session? Loved all of it! After the broadcast we were invited to the Mecham's for a farewell dinner. It was delicious. We had a lovely visit. Bro. and Sis. M are both school teachers. They told us they are retiring this year. We gave them a high 5 and told them they will love their freedom. Woo hoo for them! In the evening we went to the Blevin's to teach their son Kekoa's fiance a lesson. Guess what? We had a lovely dinner there too. Oh my goodness how kind is everyone... Margarita is a really sweet girl. We are having a nice time teaching her. We hope she will be touched by the things she learns and will want to be baptized.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Duke's With the Inouyes.

We had the most wonderful evening tonight. We took our dear friends George and Matilda to Duke's for a farewell dinner. We met them when we first arrived and have been friends since then. They had just returned to activity and we met with them every week for a little scripture study and lesson. George has been so kind to us and brings us food and drinks and generally sees if we need anything. We laughed and talked the night away. George is such a jokester. We dined on shrimp scampi and sword fish and even had a wonderful huge piece of "hula pie" for dessert. Mmmmm, must put that in my memory bank forever. As we drove home we thanked each other for a wonderful year and a half of memories and friendship. What can we say but they have left footprints on our hearts forever.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shelbri's Baptism.

When we taught Shelbri, Dayla and Palani tonight they surprised us by saying Shelbri was going to be baptized next Saturday. Double surprise and honor for us, they asked Wally to baptize her because we have brought the gospel into their lives and they are so happy that we have been teaching them. We say what a blessing for us. What a wonderful family they are. We also found out earlier in the day that Ula is going to be baptized the same day. We taught her the baptism lessons also. Her mother rode her bike over to the house to tell us and invite us to come. I will be making the programs and this is the picture I am putting on the front cover. I was so happy to find one of a Hawaiian girl to use. How beautiful with the palm tree and ocean.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Relief Society in the Dark.

Today was quite a busy day for me. Wally stayed home all day by himself and he had a great time. He didn't do anything but water our papaya and banana tree orchard and watch tv. This morning I went to help at the Kekaha School with student voting at noon and then over to Sister Colleen's in the afternoon with Maxine. Colleen knew we were both crafters so she wanted us to see her new craft room. We had a wonderful afternoon making beautiful yarn leis and visiting and eating yummy somein salad. Then I rushed off to do a little V.T. before picking up Teresa, Bonni and Lois so we could go up to Kalaheo for a combined ward R.S. Birthday Party. As we were traveling to Kalaheo all of a sudden all the lights of town flickered and went out. I called Wally and asked him how it was in Kekaha. He said it was dark. I asked him if he had a flash light and he said he did. No tv but he had his ipad and he was playing Bejeweled so he was content. We got to Kalaheo and the lights were out but we had our party anyway using battery operated candles on all the tables. Luckily all the food was cooked in crock pots so it stayed hot. Alas, there was no dessert because the cupcakes were in the oven at the time of the outage. It was a wonderful evening and we weren't disappointed with the lighting. We found out later that it was island wide. It lasted about 3 hours or more with all the flickering on and off. Just as we were about to finish our meeting the lights came on. The picture above is of Brother Young 1st counselor in our Bishopric singing with his mother and sister who are in the Kalaheo Ward. They all have beautiful voices and many years ago used to sing at the famous Coco Palms Hotel.
When I finally got home I found out our good neighbors Willy and Kawehi brought Wally a candle and some matches so he wasn't totally in the dark. How nice to have good neighbors who look out for you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dinner and Good Bye Visit.

Our good friends Tad and Teresa go home to Canada this week. The only day for a good bye visit and dinner was tonight. We always have a sunset walk on the beach with them on Mondays but this week we had a lesson so we changed it for Tuesday. Usually Teresa serves us dinner. This week we wanted them to come to our place. We had chicken enchiladas, salad, garlic bread, with a wonderful (if I say so myself) lemon pudding cake for dessert. We had a wonderful walk and visit. We are going to miss this wonderful friendship. Dad and I were talking the other day and remembering that we could hardly wait for them to get here Nov. 1st and now they are on their way home after 5 months. We took their picture with the lei's the ward gave them on Sunday. We sang Aloha'oe to them and they were quite touched. I think they even shed a tear or two. They were surprised that the ward cared about them and noticed they were leaving. How our lives have changed forever by this mission. How grateful we are for all the wonderful people that have come into our lives.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rogue Wave.

What a great week it has been! Jeffrey, Jarrica and family leave this evening. They came down to go to church with us this morning. It was fun to have them meet our friends in the ward. We had a nice lunch after church and decided to go down to walk on the Kekaha Beach so the kids could see our "wild" beach. They have spent the whole week on groomed beaches and we wanted them to see the other side of things. They had all their bags with them and because check out at the Marriott was 10:00 a.m. and they didn't have to be at the airport until 7:00 p.m. We walked on the beach for a few minutes and then sat down to watch Andrew play in the water. We were all sitting on a sand bar. We thought we were well out of the water's reach. Wouldn't you know a rogue wave came crashing in and covered us all in water and sand head to foot. We were shocked. Our clothes were soaked and full of sand. We all screamed and laughed! We couldn't believe it. Off to our little house we went so we could shake out the sand and put clothes in the dryer and everyone could shower before they had to go to the airport. After they left we prepared a lesson for a new investigator meeting and dinner at the Blevin's. Kekoa's fiance wants to have the lessons before they get married so we met at his parent's place to share The Good News!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Turtles and Shave Ice.

We spent the morning at the Sheraton end of the public beach. We got all set up on the sand and the kids were ready to go swimming when a huge black cloud raced across the sky and just dumped on us. It poured for about 5 minutes, enough time for everyone to run for shelter and then it stopped. You can count on that here on Kauai. It will rain but only for a few minutes and the weather will be beautiful again. It never gets cold so the rain isn't really a big deal. When everyone finished swimming we went to Tropical Burgers for lunch. Yummm. Great burgers with any kind of topping. For the afternoon everyone wanted to go back to Poipu to snorkel. It was a great afternoon and I have been wanting to see the turtles that always swim there. Everyone talks about them but I have never seen them. Today was my lucky day. There were 2 having a great time riding the waves and eating seaweed. They crawled on the rocks at the edge of the beach and caught the waves riding back and forth. It was a great sight to see. On the way out we stopped in old Koloa Town for shave ice. The kids have tried every shave ice place on the island and have deemed the little green shack in Koloa the very best! We wanted a great place to eat tonight and so I suggested Garden Isle B-B-Q and Chinese Restaurant. You eat family style at huge round tables with lazy susans in the middle so you can whirl the food around the table without lifting a plate. We were the only haoli's in the place. It was so funny. We ordered 7 different items and rice and chow mien. We ate every bite with only a few scraps left over. It was great and we all went home full of yummy food and exhausted. What a fun and busy day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kilauea Lighthouse and Secret Beach.

Today was a day to head back up to try and see the Kilauea Lighthouse and the bird refuge. The other day we were sent on a detour because Hdot was working on the road that led to the road that led to the lighthouse. Got that? Jarr and I figured out a way to get to the lighthouse road and we made it. They have finished renovating the lighthouse and all the scaffolding was down and it looked beautiful. The sky was blue and the trade winds were brisk and the sea was rough. We were a little disappointed because we didn't see any whales but there were plenty of birds.
After we finished at the lighthouse we went down the other side and hiked down to Secret Beach.
Bonnie and Henry Yeates had told us about it. They said they had a good hike saw some wonderful sea caves. The hike was muddy for us because it had been raining earlier and their was still a surf watch for rough seas.
We did enjoy our hike down mud and all. The kids found a hiking stick for me and that helped to to make me feel steadier. Going down is hard for me but going back up is a breeze. We all enjoyed the hike. When we got down to the beach we stopped for a picture then Wally and I sat down on the lava rocks and watched the surf as Jeffrey, Jarrica, Emily, Katie and Andrew headed for the caves. They ended up coming back without going into the caves because the water was too rough and really pounding up into the caves. Since there was no sand area by the sea caves we spent the afternoon at Kahili Beach just down the road playing on the beach and in the water having a great time together.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NaPali Coast.

This is the second time we have been on a cruise up the NaPali Coast. This time though, the sea was rough. I mean really rough! A member of the crew told us that they had no warning about the swells and were very surprised by them. One half of our tour group was sick and throwing up. It was that rocking and rolling. Jeffrey and Jarrica were supposed to go snorkeling and the captain had to tell us that it wouldn't happen on this trip. Another ship radioed that they had put 6 people in the water but had to take them right back out.
However, the whales and dolphins were having a swimmingly good time. We had some wonderful sightings. It was so exciting. A mother and baby swam right up close and personal. And another whale swam under and up on the other side of the boat. The dolphins were putting on a show out in front of the boat jumping and dancing on the water.
The sky was blue and the clouds were fluffy and white. We were able to put up a sail and actually turn the motor down and use it to sail with the wind. Because the water was so rough we couldn't get right up to the cliffs and caves but we still had a good trip and enjoyed it very much. Our high councilman Bro. Dente's son, Taylor, was part of the crew and it was fun to visit with him and get to know him. The food, breakfast and lunch, was excellent. I did feel so sorry for those who were sick though, because they couldn't enjoy the trip or get their money back. After the cruise we spent the rest of the day sitting in a chaise lounge, in front of the hotel, on the beach watching an NCL cruise ship dock in the Nawiliwili Harbor.