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