Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BYU-Hawaii Students are Wonderful!!

Brigham Young University–Hawaii is a small, academically challenging university that offers courses leading to the undergraduate degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Social Work.
Representing over 70 countries, our students are fulfilling a phenomenon envisioned by David O. McKay, ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1955, standing in an isolated field that would evolve into the beautiful campus of today, McKay declared: “From this school, I’ll tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally.” 
It is such an honor to work with these fine students.  They do come from all over, speaking so many different languages, but are all trying to learn English.

Elder Cornum and Elder Boudesque
Sister Richardson and Sister Kim
 As a part of the PreMTC training, the students get to schedule a time with the full-time missionaries from the Honolulu Mission to go out to have missionary experiences.  These two companionships are dynamic!  

During winter semester, we had 81 student eligible for the PreMTC training that we administrate at BYUH.  The students get their calls randomly and so they cycle into the PreMTC training and then cycle out as they leave to go straight to an MTC or home for a month or two before they actually leave.

Here are a few of them in the PreMTC class.
Sister Konno has been called to the Japan Nagoya Mission.  Sister Zhong, holding her call, will be leaving Sept. 1 to go to serve in the California Oakland Mission, Visitor Center, Cantonese Speaking.  Sister Takahashi has been called to the Japan Tokyo Mission.  All three of these Sisters are also my EIL (English as an International Language) Students.  We just love strengthening their understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthening their English!

Sister Ellgen has been an explosion of light from the moment we met her.  She is currently in the MTC preparing to go to Argentina!

Almost every student at BYUH works 19 hours a week at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  Sister Pullicar (center) is a wonderful singer and ukelele player.  She entertains in the Prime Dining area.  She is preparing to serve her mission in Singapore.

Speaking of the Polynesian Cultural Center,  this gives you an idea of some of the student actors colorful costuming.

Elder Chu also just entered the MTC Provo.  He was raised in the mainland east coast.  He is a native English speaker but has been called to the land of his mother's origin, Hong Kong, China.

This is wonderful Sister Fong.  She is a native Mandarin Speaker but will leave in about a month to go to the SLC Visitor's Center, English speaking!  She is so excited!!

This is Elder Zhang who is a PreMTC student just awaiting his call and also one of my EIL students.
His parents are not members.  He joined the church a year ago.  He said that before he found the church, he was lost.  His life had no meaning.  Now that he has a testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, he is anxious to serve!  What a great young man!

This is Zoe Chang.  I love her!  She is from Taiwan.  Her English is really improving and I love tutoring her.  She works as a Security Guard at the PCC.

This is Sister Choi!  She was one of my EIL students but is currently in the MTC  Provo, preparing to serve her mission in  the Korea Daejeon Mission.

This is Sooyeong!  She is an EIL student from South Korea!  I love her!

This is "Sally", her chosen American name (because her real Chinese name is so difficult to say).   She was sent by her government to learn English.  She goes back to China in a week and I will miss her terribly.  She is a wife and a mother of a nine year old daughter, Angela. She is also a seasoned Japanese History teacher.  She has been investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has asked so many questions and listens intently.  I love her!
This is Joyce from Tahiti, French Polynesia. French is her native language. She is speaking at a Tahitian Form.  She has already served her mission in the SLC Visitor Center.  She is currently serving as one of the Young Single Adult Ward Relief Society Presidents.

This is Hyejeong!  She is an EIL student from South Korea.  She is creative and fun.  She is picking up English amazingly fast.
This is Sister Huang, with her current companion. She was a PreMTC student.  I just received an email from her.  She is in her mission now for one week,  Australia Sydney Mission!

On the right is our Sister Moromi with her new MTC companion in this picture. Sister Moromi is from Japan.  Her Mother was not happy with her joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and would not answer her calls or Skype, either for months.  She wanted to tell her mother that she was going to serve a mission but her mother would not answer her calls, so she put in her papers anyway.  When I asked Sister Moromi on Mother's Day if she had contacted her mother, she sadly said that her Mother had not answered when she tried.  The next class, Sister Moromi came in so joyously happy.  I asked her what had happened.  She said that she had asked for her mission papers to be mailed to her BYUH address and NOT her Japan Home address because she was afraid her mother would tear them up.  Her Mother called her unexpectedly and said, "There is a large white envelope that arrived from your church."  Sister Moromi said, "Oh, Mother, would you please open it and read the front page to me?'  Her Mother agreed and open it and read down to where she would be serving (which was Philipines Cavite Mission).  Then Sister Moromi said, "Please, Mother could you finish reading the entire letter to me?"  Her mother began reading it slowly and Sister Moromi said that her voice changed as she read.  When her Mother finished saying the words, "President Thomas S. Monson", she went quiet.  Her mother didn't say anything for a few seconds.  Neither did Sister Moromi.  Then her mother said, "Daughter, I am okay with you serving this mission for your church."  Needless to say, Sister Moromi was thrilled.  She called it "her miracle".

This is Sister Pitt.  When we first met Sister Pitt, in February, she had been sent home from her Ogden Utah mission because of medical reasons.  She had some major medical procedures and had to wait for complete clearance.  It took months.  She was so very thankful for the PreMTC class which kept her focused for months until she could go back on her mission.  This is the picture she sent us as she returned to her mission.  She is standing in front of the temple she loves.  She, too, is a powerhouse of joy, with a great understanding of the gospel!! It is our honor to know her and love her!
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."  Matthew 28:19-20

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Break 2014

One whole week!  
The BYU Hawaii semester was ended and it was finals week.  This gave me a bit of time to do some family history, attend the temple a little more and I even got to babysit a little Samoan baby, while her father finished his final paper.  I loved taking care of little Armine, but it only made me miss my own little grandchildren SOOOOOO MUCH!!!

 The end of the semester put Craig into high gear to complete all of the grades for his students.  Their religion classes here receive a letter grade.  It took him far longer than he thought. Then graduation occurred!  Yay for all of the 468 students who graduated.  The faculty was invited to participate! I sat in the audience and cheered for those I knew! There was a lot of energy and a lot of joy going on!

 I even cheered for Sunny Back (Zufelt), whom we have known since she was two years old,  and her husband, Zach!!!  It was joyous to get to know them. Her parents, Darrell and Mary Ann Back had come to Oahu two weeks earlier to visit us!  We loved their visit so very much!

 With a week of break, we still had responsibilities, but with interspersed hours, we decided to go see a few beauties of this lovely island of Oahu.


The hike was surely worth it.  Here we are, up on top! The views were spectacular!
We went to Pali Lookout where a terrible battle ensue many years before, in the 1700's.  It is sad but important part of Hawaiian history.


We went to this amazing Cemetery Honoring all of the American WarTime Battles. It is affectionately called "The Punch Bowl".  It honors every individual who lost their life.  It was a sacred and hallowed experience for us!  To see the cost of freedom was humbling and gratifying.

We visited a few other beaches...which are all soooo different!

Watching the surfers is so fascinating!  It was difficult to pull ourselves away!!

There have been weeks of trade winds!  Wind surfing is also fascinating!!

We drove about an hour from Laie with friends to a Restaurant we had only heard of, Haleiwa Joe's!  It was such a popular and beautiful place, we had to wait to be seated for over an hour, but the grounds were so amazing that that time passed quickly.  

As you can see, the grounds are spectacular.  This picture was taken from the restaurant.  The next picture was taken from the gazebo ramp.

These three individuals were part of our party.  The restaurant is the building above in the photo!

This flower begins as the upper flower is shown and continues to blossom into the lower flower!  Breathtaking!

We are standing in the gazebo!  You can see the restaurant above us!

There was a trail all the way around the pond.  Can you believe the beauty?

This picture shows you the scale of the enormity of these plants !  The mountains around it go up 5 times this, all plushly covered with plants!

See what I mean?
Dinner was about to be served!  From left to right, Glenna and Bryant Farnsworth, Elder and Sister Anderson, Craig and I, and last but not least, Ted and Pat Stagg!  We love these people!
 We went out to eat with dear friends, who have left the island to return to Draper, UT. They are dear friends in our home ward.  Brother Ted Stagg, for his fourth Winter Semester, volunteers to teach Finance classes at BYU-H and his wife, Pat, volunteers with tutoring and support for the Fijian Students. (They have a soft spot for the Fijians as they served a mission in Fiji.)  Brother Bryant Farnsworth, came as a volunteer to help BYU-H in preparing for national accreditation. Glenna Farnsworth, was an English tutor for many foreign student while she was here.  She also helped in the Education department.  The Staggs and Farnsworths were volunteers at BYU-H for 4 months.  It was such a joy to have them here!  We love each of them and are thankful they are our neighbors.  Pat is even my Visiting Teacher.  That is long-distance Visiting Teaching!!  She's great!

We were so surprised when we got the best seat in the house!!  It overlooked all of this beauty!!

We went to Waimea Valley and Waimea Falls!  This is a plush rainforest, plant preserve.  Photos do not see what the human eye sees! We were awestruck as we gazed over many of the different scenes in this valley!

oops! :)

As you can read, this is the bark of the Monkey Pod Tree. It is currently my favorite tree!  They are everywhere here in Oahu!  They really get HUGE!  In this Waimea Valley, which goes for acres, many of the plants have been marked like this.  It is known as a world class Botanical Garden!

This plant identification for the Bird's Nest Fern is for the next picture!

Please notice that this plant is growing right out of this lava rock!

A traditional Grass Hut!

This garden is divided up into plants that are in specific Pacific island countries.  

There are plants of every shape, size and design! Who could ever say there is no Divine Creator?  Not I !!!!!  All of these plants give a "texture" to the entire landscape that is remarkable!

Bright red pears?

The name of this plant is listed  above!

THIS is the Monkey Pod Tree!  I love it!  It is much bigger than it looks here!  You can see the person walking below it and back a way!

This tree grew out of a rock and sent out roots to hold on tight!  You can see it but it is a beautiful green tree! I feel like this can be likened to each of us!  We cannot live without holding tight onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

This tree would not be one to lean on or to climb! Ouch!  It is called the Bombcopsis tree!

Waimea Falls

Don't miss the little critter!

It went on and on for acres!  

Can you believe this leaf design?  Every leaf looks like ti has been hand painted!

These are water lily leaves.  They are growing out of water that has a brown film on it.  These are larger than a large dinner plate!

Our trip would not have been complete without the Bird of Paradise flower!  They are very where in Oahu!

When we went to sit on a bench to eat the lunch we had brought, there it was, the Pikake (in Hawaiian).

Once he saw that we had food, he slowly came over and ate quite a bit of our fresh fruit.

Yes, he ate right out of my hand!  What we cannot show is how when an apple core was dropped, it was too large for the Peacock to eat easily.  Craig went to pick it up and help break it into smaller pieces.  The peacock attacked Craig!  The bird's talons wrapped on to his leg and he pecked at Craig's head but really only got his hair.  It surprised us both! After that, Craig called it an ornate turkey!
At first glance this looks like a small waterfall, but, as you can see, they are tree roots!

After all the food was consumed, we began to leave and we saw another peacock in a beautiful setting!  Oh, how beautiful!
Another day, we went to the Macadamia Nut Farm!  Fun and delicious!

This man loves fresh coconut milk! Just cut off the top and put in the straw! Yum!
Craig even got in a game of golf!  NOTE TO OUR SON, MICHAEL:  Hoping that this will entice you to come and visit!!! Can you beat this setting for a Golf Game?

We went out on "The Point", off of Hukilau Beach. It is a small peninsula that puts you right out in the ocean!  We loved it!

It is hard to tell, but this is a cliff that we are on that is above the water by about 15 feet!

I got a good misty spray from this wave!

"..we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have..in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:..for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible..and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." 
 Colossians 1:4,14,16,17