This morning I decided that I would go to the beach which is about a 15 minute walk. I had also decided that I wanted to be able to give help in some way to others. Because we serve in the visitor center we always have people coming in and on any given day we usually have at least 200 people. So I figured I might be able to help someone. I was almost to the beach area and I came upon a young man who is a student at the University. He was sitting on a stone wall and he had a surf board on his lap and he was busy scraping off some paint. I asked him what he was doing. Someone had given him a surf board and he named it Laie which is the name of the town where we live. He began to talk to me about how important that this board was to him. He had been thinking about how the board should look. He wanted it to be pretty much the way it was and thought he would just restore it. He asked me what I thought. We discussed a few ideas. He is Japanese and so I suggested that perhaps he could write a Haiku poem and put it on the surf board. So it would be something special for him. From that came other ideas. I asked him if he had a journal and he actually had his journal with him. He loves nature and we talked about that and I showed him my pictures from my phone and he wanted to Facebook me so he could see them. We talked for about 20 minutes. Then I had to leave as I had to get back in time to go to the visitor center. So we said good-bye. He knows where the visitor center is and perhaps he will stop by some time and we can continue our conversation.
It was a nice pause in my walk. I have found that if one takes the time to listen to others there is much to be gained. I will remember him and I will remember his insight into the beauty that he sees and that he was very willing to share his thoughts. It certainly was a nice way to start the day.
This Christmas finds us being missionaries at the visitor center in Oahu, Hawaii. We serve with 2 other senior missionaries. We also serve with 23 sister missionaries. We would love to be with all of our family members but this year it is not possible. Because of that I can’t think of any other place I would want to be. It is truly paradise here. Every day is a beautiful day.
This evening some of the missionaries had the assignment to put on a program for all of us. They did a wonderful job. It was all focused on the Savior. We went from one area to the other and along the way we were able to learn more about Him. It was so nice. The big lights in the visitor center were all turned off and the lights from all of the Christmas trees made everything look and feel so special. It was good to be able to be there. A nice way to end the day.
After we got home two sisters came to get some wrapping paper so they could wrap their exchange gift which we will be doing tomorrow. It will be fun time. We will see a movie and we will have a Christmas day dinner. Turkey, Ham, potatoes, salads, and desserts and rolls. I am in charge of peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes. I am also doing a fruit bowl. It will be nice to have dinner with all of us.
Also the sisters will be able to call home or Skype their parents. That is always the best part for me. I get to meet their parents and siblings. Of course it is especially nice for the missionaries. We will be able to chat with most of our family as well and that is really the best of the best.
It is time for me to get to bed. We have a busy day tomorrow. I am so grateful for all of our friends and family. We love you.
Merry Christmas to you all. Nina
The great news is that the trade winds are back !!! I love the trade winds. They are truly a gift, especially after the last 3 months or more. Everyone says that it has been the hottest ever. Who knows if that is true or not but I will have to say it was so humid, that I was pretty sure I did not want to be out walking in humidity! Now that the trade winds are back I will really enjoy my morning walks and take advantage of the cooler weather.
It has once again been a long time since I have written. The time is flying past. Next week we will have been in Hawaii for 8 months. It does not seem possible. I love so much what we are doing. Both Roland and myself love serving here. I am sure that no matter where we might have been sent any place would have been the best. I can’t hardly imagine what it will be like not on a mission !!! It will be fun to see all of our family for sure. But meanwhile here we are and loving what we do.
The winter months bring surf boarding contest and we are hoping that we might be able to see some. From what I hear they are poplar and fun to watch. The beaches are amazing. We have not gone swimming although we can, just not much free time to do such things. Our lives are very busy and we like it that way. Roland is getting over pneumonia and this is good. He was wondering how one can get that here. But he did and it is good that he is on the mend.
We are gearing up for the holidays and it will be fun for us. Our first time here. During the last week or so of November we will be getting the visitor center decorated. There will be trees decorated by us and by people in the community. We will have music each Sunday for people to come to. It is very popular. This year I will not miss the snow ! I forget often that there is snow else where !! I am good with that !
One of my goals is to help other people to know of the importance of having Christ in their lives. I spend a good piece of time behind a counter in the front area and on this counter are Book of Mormons and often people stop by to look at them. They are always interested. One day a man in bare feet came in and I asked him where he was from and he said Switzerland and he spoke German. He was traveling on his own. We had only one Book of Mormon left and this book was not in the best of shape due to some water having been on it. But I figured if someone was interested they could have it. Well the barefooted man wanted it. It is so nice to be able to talk to people and find out what they want and where they are from. I love talking to people. I have been keeping track of where people come from. I have not kept as much track of those in the USA but more so from other countries. To date I have 42 countries. A few of the more interesting ones to me are Nepal, Tasmania, Macaw and Dubai. I need to start getting the United State ones. The # 1 state for traveling is Utah ! Arizona is also big. I always enjoy the ones from the east and have met some from Connecticut which is where I am from. It is always fun. I take time to chat with as many as I can and I also take pictures of those whom I connect with. I love the children who come in. They are always so delightful. The visitor center is a great place to be. Many people are drawn there and it is a very beautiful area and also very peaceful. In all the places that we have lived I think the whole combination of this area is my most favorite place. Perhaps it is also this way due to the fact that I do live here. If we were here full time I am not sure how it would feel. I think it would be different. I would never want to be so far away from our family either.
We have 4 new sister missionaries and it has been so much fun to get to know them. Two are from Japan and 2 are from the mainland. I am trying to get a dinner/lunch/or breakfast schedule set up so we can have all 26 missionaries to our place before the next transfer. I did not make it the last transfer. We may need to do 4 at a time. The other options is to have some over for ice cream. Having the sisters is a lot of fun. Today I received a phone call about flooding in one of the apartments or Pads as we call them. It was a mess. But fun cleaning it up. I just got a phone call 15 minutes ago about a problem in the large pad behind us. The sister said that in the day time they clean up there living area but in the morning there are seeds in the living room. I am thinking “like do I really want to know!” It sounds like a critter to me. Call 100 Roland is what I am thinking. But he will probably not be up and ready to check it out. Stay tune for more information. Life here is always an adventure. Roland and I take care of 7 apartments (pads) and also Roland does the bikes. I do more of the house stuff. Each situation is different and sometimes like today I laugh so much that it makes what happens funny.
I love the sister missionaries so much. They are the best of the best. They work hard. They are kind. They visit with us. We don’t get so homesick and they don’t either. We get to know them better and we simply love them all so very much. We are also so grateful for the senior couples that serve with us. We are grateful to be here. Time to get to bed. Not telling what kind of critter is up there in the pad. Signing off for now.
Hello one and all !!! I am sure that everyone things I have fallen off the edge of the world ! Not that every one is missing these blogs, but perhaps some !! I must have to say I never could have guessed what a mission would really be like until I got her and also until I have been here her for awhile. I am now at the part where I cannot imagine what it would be like not to be on a mission !! Only thing I really miss is our children and family and friends. It is so worth what ever it takes to be on a mission. I have learned so much and have been able to change things that needed changing.
This week Roland got sick and symptoms were tight chest and coughing. He finally went to the doctor in the next town and got some cough medicine. It took only a day and a half (about) to realize that what he was taking was not working well for him. He was so mixed up in his head due to the strength of the cough syrup. So he stopped taking it and then he ended up with pneumonia. We went to the small hospital very close to the house and they gave him some antibiotics. It took almost 2 hours to get that done. He will be on one pill a day for a week and then should be alright. As a result of this we have the day off tomorrow. It will be good for Roland as he will be able to just hang out and take it easy. It will seem strange not to be at the visitor center but that is fine. I will probably go down there to watch some of the movies that I have not yet seen. I need to be able to recommend videos to people when they come in. I will enjoy watching some of them. I will also take the time to get my letters mailed. Finally got pictures printed out and now can mail the letters.
We have the best house on the block. We can see the Temple daily and we have sister missionaries walking past out house all of the time. Tonight while I was washing dishes two of the missionaries knocked on the kitchen window and we chatted for a few minutes. Love those sisters. Then I had a knock on the front door and two more missionaries were there and returning our GPS system that they borrowed. Then of course we had to chat just a bit. I came back into the house thinking how lucky I am to have such good friends here. They are a whole lot younger then I am but they seem not to mind the fact that we are so much older. We love them all.
Today was transfer day and we had sister missionaries coming from “full field” meaning from other parts of the island or from other islands. Then we had 4 coming to us from the Missionary Training Center and then we had 4 leaving for their homes as their missions are all finished. It is joyful to see the full field ones once again. It fun to met the new missionaries and get to know them. It is sad to see the 4 who left. That part is hard. Now that we have been here for some time we know them all pretty well. It is never easy for me to say good-bye. One that is from China will be skyping me and that will be fun. I hope to be able to stay in touch with some of them. Hard for us to believe that we have been here for almost 8 months. Amazing to me for sure.
The humidity is still awful. I hope soon the cool air will make its way to us. Hard to imagine that we are waiting to have Thanksgiving. We will do some service for Thanksgiving. All of the missionaries will help to build. It will be a great time to check on on friendships for sur.
All is well here in paradise. Take care of yourselves. Love Nina
Hello to all,
It has been way too long since I have written in the blog. The writing part of life needs to get better !!! I try to write in my journal on a regular basis and then I write to family members and friends. Phone calls to be made and so it goes. No excuses however. Just busy.
Today we got to visit with our Granddaughter and her husband. It was just so nice to be able to chat for awhile. They made a trip over to Oahu and had some family friends with them. We were abel to get to see them twice which was so nice. We appreciate being able to see them.
Yesterday on October 12th we had a huge amount of rain here. It rained so hard that the Polynesian Cultural Center had to close due to the large about of rain and flooding in that area. This meant that there were some people who did not get to see the cultural center because they had to leave the next day to go back to the mainland or to other countries. One lady said that she had waited 13 years to get here and was not able to see the center because she had to leave the next day. If you were able to stay longer then you would have been able to a pass to come back. We were at the visitor center for the morning shift and in spike of the rain we actually had quite a few people who came in rain and all. There were no trams for the evening. Today it was back to normal.
Today I decided to walk longer then I usually do because it was our preparation day. I like it when I can walk as long as I like. Today I decided to walk 5 miles and after 4 miles I thought “I am so tired I can’t manage another mile,” but I regrouped and made myself go. I was so slow but I can say that I managed the 5 miles. I would love to get to where I could do more on a regular basis.
Today I decided to make banana bread and I also decided to use the mini meatloaf pans. They are the best! So I ended up making 42 mini banana breads. I will give them to the sister missionaries and also some to the Senior Missionaries who live near us. I will take the mini breads to the visitor center in the morning and then all of the sisters can get them there. It is a perfect size for a small snack.
I have been doing an inventory of the sister missionaries “psd” and trying to get them all in order with the things that they need. There have been some things missing and as a result I have been checking it all out. The rest of this week I will get what is needed and get it to the pads. I will record all of the new things that are in the pads The next thing is to try and make sure things stay where they belong !!
I hope you are all having a good day. A big hello to my mother-in-law and to her friend Gloria who reads the posts to her. Thanks !!!
Well, it has been some time since I have written. Life seems to have a beat of its own. I have things planned out as to what I will do the next day and the next day comes and it changes. Pretty much it turns out different then I thought. There are some things that are consistent and the visitor center is one of them. We are always there when were are suppose to be. The faces we see and the things that happen are alway different. It is good to have variety each day.
Today being a Sunday means that there are usually more people coming in then normal. It is always a busy day. People who are visiting usually go to church in one of the chapels that are next door and then they come over to see the visitor center. Most of them have not been to the center and it is such a pretty place that they usually want to check it all out. They also love walking on the grounds. It is extensive and all of it is pretty. The people who live in the area often come over to the center to visit with family. They like bringing the children over and often they will watch a video. We have quite a few of them and it is a nice family thing to do. We have recently gotten some new video’s and that is always good. There was a large bus that came this morning. They were a group of people that have docked at the port and took the bus ride around the island to see the sights. They are on a Holland America cruise ship that will be taking them to the other islands as well. They only had 15 minutes to stop to see everything. They were a very friendly group of people. One lady just chatty away with me and it was really nice. She was having a wonderful time. She headed back to the bus and then turned around and came back to me to tell me when she was in Salt Lake City she bought a cd from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ! I thought it was so sweet for her to let me know that. We hugged each other and off she went.A man from Ontario was also quite chatty. They were headed at some point to the Big Island and I told him I would love to go there to see the volcano area. I have been reading about it. He said that there were 2 empty seats left ! Such friendly people are enjoyable ! Makes ones day go better for sure.
I have been off from walking for a week or so and started back up a couple of days ago. It is good to take a break from time to time. i had been having some neck problems and finally it has pretty much fixed itself. I have found that taking a walk close to every day really makes a difference. It is my time to think things through. I never listen to music as I walk. I just like to listen to nature and stop and take pictures and walk the beach sometimes and think. When I walk 2-4 miles it gives me plenty of thinking time. I am able to get things figured out and I get to see the neighborhood. I go various ways in Laie and I see many other people as I walk. Some comment to me that they see me walking. I always wonder where they are when the see me. It is such a small town. Perhaps from their house and perhaps just walking. I guess it is good. I have also been able to find money. Not sure why but this town seems to have plenty of people that loose coins. Maybe it is because people walk more in this area and plenty of kids on skateboards and bikes. To date I have found $2.10. I will keep collecting it and then before I go I will donate what I have to a charity. My sister and I have a running bet on who will find the most money by the end of the year. Because it is always warm here I forget that soon it will be October which means that soon it will be cold and snowy in Idaho. I will not miss that this year !
Our Granddaughter and our Grandson-in-law will be here in 2 weeks. It will be a Tigger day for me ! I can’t wait to see them. Too much fun. It is also good that they will be right down the street from us. Hurray ! So it is time to get things ready for tomorrow. I hope you are all doing well. Have a wonderful day tomorrow. Perhaps take some time to enjoy a walk. Even if it is only a small one.
It has been a busy couple of weeks here in Hawaii. This week is transfer week. We had 2 sister coming in from the MTC and 1 coming in from the “field” and 4 sister missionaries that left to go home. I am to the point where sisters leaving becomes harder. I have had time to get to know them better and having them leave is a bit hard. On transfer week I need to go and inspect the apartments. There are 7 of them. Roland usually goes with me to the first inspection to make sure the smoke alarm works and that other items within the house, like a fan or lights are working alright. After the first inspection then I go by myself to check on the apartments when the new sisters come. As it turns out this time is actually the best time to go. The sisters are changing apartments and it is the best time to see what needs to be thrown away. Today Elder and Sister Priday gave me a hand in cleaning out 4 apartments. I still need to do two more and that will be done tomorrow afternoon. The amount of “stuff” was amazing. The interesting part is that some of the items in the house have not been touched for weeks and months. One long cupboard in one of the pads had probably 4-5 shelfs and there was so much that got thrown away. It gave them more room to work with. When they move out to another place that also means taking the food that is theirs and technically they are to take everything that belongs to them ! Then all of the things they do not want come to our garage and items get sorted out and then any of the sisters can come and take what they might like. So they give their stuff to the garage and take what they want from things that other sisters don’t want. Hence the term “Give and Take”. When that was done then I loaded all of the things that no one wanted and I took it to the “Give and Take” place on Campus. The married students can come and get items and can also leave items. No money involved. Because I had so many items to take over to Give and Take I was able to get dishes and glasses for one of the apartments. It is really a great system. Tomorrow I need to deliver plates and bowls and silverware and other kitchen items to those that need more items. I also need to go and get cleaning supplies for the apartment. Then I think we are good to go for awhile.
Every day we serve at the visitor center is a good day. The people who come in are so interesting. We had a German man come in and wanted to see the center. He was hiking on his own and he stopped to chat with the sister missionaries and we all had a nice conversation. He mentioned how he dropped his cell phone and could not use it and how nice it was to not have a phone. We had two girls from Sweden that came in yesterday and they have been on a trip for 5 weeks now. One of the girls was climbing a tree and fell and scrapped herself and came to get bandaged up. They were delightful to take with. WE had a man and women come in and chatted with us about how he had lived in Laie when he was a child and then had not been able to go back again. He was introduced to the church and ended up becoming a memeber. One day a woman who was a friend felt the need to buy tickets for him and his wife so he could go to Hawaii. So she bought the tickets and paid for the hotel room and took care of everything. They are here for one week. So many amazing people.
The weather is still too warm but hopefully it will get cooler soon. We love being on a mission. We love technology where we can see our family and chat with them. Means so much.
Hard to believe that we have been here for 6 months here.
Hope all is week where ever you are. I think of you often.
Today was a nice day at the Visitor Center. Now that it is coming into the fall time period we do not have as many people coming to see the visitor center. However today we had quite a few groups that stopped by. We had a group of people from the Phillipines and that was very nice. We had several families stopping by as well. Some people were headed back to their homes and had not seen the center so they stopped by. We had another group that seemed to be a mixed group and were together in a mini type bus I think. I found out that one of the ladies was from Connecticut. WE had a great chat. She is from Stratford and I am from New Haven. It was like we were friends from the get go. Funny. I took a picture of her and she took one of me. The Connecticut Yankee’s stick together !!! It was nice to be able to talk about home. It is always fun to have tour group people coming through. Many of the tours stop because we have clean bathrooms and it is air conditioned. The groups usually stay for about 15 minutes or so. Not really enough time to see things but enough to get a feeling for it. The ground that the visitor center is on is always amazing to those who are there for the first time. It has such a good feel to it and the grounds are so pretty.
We we first got to the center this morning it was 80 degrees. So humid and one would not be seeking to come in to the building for sure. A phone call was made and eventually we were able to get the building cooled. We had a man that came in one of the groups and he was from Denmark and was asking a sister missionary if she knew where the statue came from. She had done her homework and she did know. He was another one of those super nice people. There was a couple there that wanted to watch videos and spent quite a bit of time in the center. We also had a family with one set of Grandparents with them and they had 5 children. They had twin babies only 5 weeks old. They were so cute and also pretty big. There was also two young men who were interested in the church and the sister missionaries talked with them and they have a meeting with them next week. So the afternoon was ever so nice. Meeting so many people and wishing at times that we could have more time with them.
After our shift was over two of the sister missionaries asked me if I could go and get them their dinner. They probably did not use their time wisely and I am usually willing to help out. So I went home and changed and we over and got their food. It is a bowl of rice with raw fish and seasoning on it. The last time we were together in the store that tried to get me to eat a piece. It is not something that is appealing to me !!! Now if it was going to the Thai restaurant I would go !!! After I delivered the food to the center I came back to do some baking. WE have birthday celebrations this week and I am the maker of the treats. So we are having Angel Food Cake with fruit and whip cream. So this evening I am baking the cakes. WE have a very full day tomorrow and so I had to make the cake today. People always ask us what do we do when we are done at the visitor center ? Well for the most part we always have other things that we do. Bikes need fixing, bugs need killing, apartments need things fixed or they need some dishes and other items. Sometimes I do some service at the Give and Take area. We do from time to time take a drive or go shopping. I have a large list of names that I need to send letters to and that is always on my mind.
The surf is up here in the bay and it is beautiful to see it. Perhaps this p-day we can go to this beach and take some time to relax. We have not done that yet. Just to take the chairs and hang out. Would be nice. We will see. Hi to my Mother in Law and to her dearest friend Gloria. I don’t know what we would do without you !!! Thanks Gloria for reading the post to Arlene. Miss her very much. Thanks for all of you. Life is always more wonderful when there are friends and it is always nice to see you all from time to time on Facebook. Even though we have not seen some of you for ages you are always in our hearts. Hugs and love to all of our family.
Aloha, Today has been another busy day here in Laie, We have had 2 apartments (affectionaly called “pads”) that have had bed bugs. They are somewhat hard to get rid of. Last night I assisted 2 sets of sister missionaries with getting their entire place “bug free” This pad is fairly large in size and so while we were taking care of the bug the sister missionaries wanted to change the rooms a bit. So that is exactly what we did. It was nice to be able to be with the sister missionaries. I was able to get to know them even better. At the end of the night the pad looked soooooooo much better. It did not take me long to get myself to bed. It had been a long day as we were also at the visitor center as well. I actually slept for 7 hours which is probably a record for me.
This morning I went over to the “beach pad” called this because you are a very short walk away from the beach and can actually see it from the upstairs window. This pad was harder to take care of. No air conditioning and not as much room to be able to do anything different. Of all of the place this one is the smallest. It is certainly big enough for 4 sister missionaries. It took about 4-5 hours to get it done. I decided I would take the sisters to lunch. We went to have some Thai food from a truck and it was delicious. We then had some ice cream which was also very nice. We had a good time chatting with each out. It was so nice to be able to get to know 4 more sister missionaries better. It is not often when we have something like this to where we can chat and help each other.
Out front we have a small flower garden and it is for the most part fairly nice looking. At the end garden bed there are geckos I do not know how many. But I have seen very tiny ones and one that is fairly large and is black and the others are more brown. Well tonight we had one very small one in the kitchen. I am not fond of critters in our kitchen. So Elder Smith came to the rescue !! He knows that I do not kill things. So he very carefully trapped the baby gecko and was able to get it outside once again !! We have had small millipedes in the Visitor Center and both of us have spent time scooping them up and taking them outside. One sister missionary has taken on that job !
We needed to go to town to get items for next week. I had walked up to Laie point during my morning walk and Roland suggested going up there before shopping. So we did. This morning the waves were not so large, but this afternoon the waves were amazing. It was so worth being there for. It was so, so pretty. The wind was blowing the sea had the colors of greens and blues and white. The sky was dark and grey and some areas a bit of blue would show. I will never, ever tire of being at the ocean. No matter how many picture i take they are always different. Nature is free to enjoy. It is all around. Every day as I walk I look for new places to walk and new things to see. It is a great way to start the day. Even if it is only a 5 or 10 minute walk it is so good. I have been able to figure out quite a few things while walking.
The night is at an end and time to get ready for tomorrow. Have a great day. Make someones day better. It will make you feel better as well. 🙂