Sunday, February 2, 2014

We Arrived during Christmas Break

Settling in

We arrived in Laie, Hawaii, December 20, 2014, just before Christmas.  That was a blessing for us because we had time to get our apartment fixed up, redesign it to feel like "home", buy a car, and get the supplies we needed before the semester began.

Ace Hardware saw us way too much! Foodland, Costco and Walmart all became our friends. The last two stores require about a 2 hour travel round trip.  We walked and drove about "getting to know Laie".  We also needed to get our official BYUH cards that get us into a lot of place on campus.  We met and became acquainted with many Elders and Sisters serving here and other employees who had not gone away for the Christmas break. We awaited the return of some key people at the college to whom we needed imput on other issues.  We also met and received a branch assignment from our Stake Presidency. But.....while we waited we did a couple of special "Christmas activities" to make our first Christmas in Hawaii special.

Christmas activities

First,  on Dec. 23rd, we went to the Christmas Lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  You rode through the night sky on a large canoe that held about 30 people.  As you drifted along, they had a LIVE NATIVITY including chickens, goats, donkeys and actors portraying the nativity characters.  There were songs like, "O Holy Night", etc being sung by Hawaiian singers and dancers.  It rained as we stood in line for over an hour (they had over 3,000 visitors that night) but as we boarded the canoe, it was a clear, beautiful starry night.  The live re-enactment was very meaningful in our hearts!

We visited with those in line with us, who happened to be Michael Ballam (the musician), his wife and son, Ben!

We felt a wonderful peace being there and remembering the great importance of the birth of our Savior!
Second, there was a Christmas Party for all of the Sr. Missionary Couples.  It was hosted in the rented home of the Fullers, an amazingly generous and loving missionary couple!!

It was complete with excellent food, Christmas caroling and sharing of Christmas Traditions!!
It was really nice to get to meet and become acquainted with so many new couples serving in our area!
It was even complete with Santa in a Sulu ( the black polynesian skirt men wear)!!
Don't be too disappointed that you cannot see Santa's Sulu and legs.  You aren't missing much! :)

Third, on Christmas day, we, along with two other missionary couples, went to the famous Turtle Bay Resort to enjoy the buffet and then walk outside around their beaches.  What special memories and friendships were made that day!
Elder Dennis Wright/ Sister Kaye Wright/ Sister Peggy Rowell/ Elder Lynn Rowell/ us

It was a delicious buffet!  

We both took ALOT of pictures outside!  It was so beautiful!  They don't show here but there were a lot of surfers at Turtle Bay!
It was hard to believe it was Christmas time with the weather as stunning as it was!! 


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord...Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Luke 2:11, 14

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