Fun in the Sun!

 We taught both Institute and Seminary this week.  Needless to say, it went by rapidly.  It was filled not only with lesson preparation but with assembling the Foosball Table.  One revelation that happened after assembly was the fact that with the bars in for the players, it no longer fit through our door.  After a little consultation and concentration, we settled on getting it into the classroom where we teach that has a double-door storage area in it.  That way, we can pull it out after the lesson.  It will have to remain in the classroom but it is much roomier than our office area.  Ping pong continues to be a success as well as the board and card games after the lesson on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  



And Ping Pong

We love working with the young people here.  They are from all over the world and many of them have roots in Tonga and Samoa.  They are kind to us and accept our clumsy attempts to be friends with them.  We attended a ward activity for the YSA 16th ward at Hukilau Beach this Saturday.  They fed us hamburgers and we got to pass out our information for Institute and visit with several of them while we ate.  

Janice and I have been loving swimming every morning.  One of the deterrents however are the bluebottle jellyfish that can sting.  If we see any of these on the beach, we stay out of the water because when they touch you it can really burn like a bee sting.  We have missed a couple of days this week because of it.

Bluebottle Jellyfish on our Beach!

 We had a remarkable experience Friday morning.  No one else was at the beach.  It was just Janice and me swimming.  As we were there, we suddenly were surrounded by turtles.  One swam up to about 2 feet from us.  We just stood there as 4 or 5 turtles would pop their heads up and then swim around us.  We are wondering if they were eating some of the bluebottle jellyfish that were there.  It was magical!

 I found a Yamaha guitar at the Swap Meet for $10.00.  It looked great until I saw that the headpiece and neck had been broken.  I bought it anyway thinking that I might be able to glue and clamp it.  Sure enough, a little wood glue and a couple of C clamps later, it works!  It looks a little worse for wear but makes beautiful music.  We are going to bring this guitar and my ukulele to Institute.  I bet, we will have students who will be able to play and impress each other with music (the language of love).  We are encouraging that sort of thing!

The repaired guitar

The glued neck and headpiece

Pigs, Chickens, and Chicks - Oh My!

 Wow!  This week went by fast.  We are keeping very busy and time is "flying."  Our Institute now has a working ping pong table and the young adults have put a couple of hours playing time on it this week.  We are hoping everything gets approved and that soon, we can open things up on Monday night for the Institute students to come and gather and play.  We were fortunate to catch the last Foosball table at Costco and bought it yesterday.  lt will be a great addition to our post-lesson activities.

We have been spreading the news that there is institute available on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  Everywhere we go, we run into young people who are eligible to  come.  We had over 100 attend this week. Unfortunately, it was 90 in Brother Meyers class and 10 in ours.  We are hoping ours will keep growing.

We visited the family we have been assigned to minister to.  They are delightful.  Toni was off hunting a pig and his wife, Hele sent us this picture.

We hope to get to know them better.  We wish we would have had time to help dress the pig and get it ready for smoking. Perhaps next time we visit, we will get a taste.

Speaking of BBQ, Janice got me a portable BBQ grill for Valentines day and already, we have had hot dogs on the beach and hamburgers on the Lenai.  Janice knows that the way to my heart is good food.  I love her!!!!!

While we were at the beach cooking hot dogs, an older couple came by from Philadelphia.  They are both doctors of psychology and work only a couple of days a week online.  They travel a lot and work from wherever they are.  We invited them to have some hot dogs and they were most complimentary.  Janice had made a mango mustard sauce and pineapple/cilantro relish and it made the dogs really sing!  We had a great visit with them and talked a bit about the Church and what we do on our mission.  
While we were eating a flock of chickens congregated around us waiting for us to leave so they could clean up any crumbs that we dropped on the ground.  Apparently, it is illegal to kill the chickens in any of the islands here because they are a protected species of jungle fowl.  They are prolific!  We have several broods of chicks that roam our yard.  Indeed, some of the chickens look a little different.  We frequently see classified adds advertising for free chickens.  You can live trap them and relocate them.


  The environment here lends itself to beautiful flowers.  We delight in the beautiful hibiscus, plumeria, and bird-of-paradise flowers that are blooming around our yard and neighborhood.
View of the Temple just behind our house at about 6:30 PM tonight.

Smiles and Flowers!


This has been a productive week.  We got the list of potential Young Single Adults out to the Wards who might be interested in attending Institute (about 30 wards).  We have visited the meetings of 2 of those wards to personally invite them to come to institute.  And everywhere we go, we put out the word that we have institute classes in session for those who would like to attend on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  We had 10 attend our class on Wednesday and there were 70 who attended on Thursday night. 

The exciting news is that President Haverly (Laie YSA 1st Stake) showed up with a ping pong table for us to use after institute classes.  This will be wonderful for those who want to stay and socialize.  I am in the process of putting it together.  I am thinking it would be wise to reinforce the bottom with a couple of 2X4’s on each side.  You never know when an enthusiastic player could accidentally land on the table.  Without the reinforcement, it would surely break.  We have started to settle in to our office.  I go there almost every day.  I ride my bike over and it is a pleasant journey!

Janice in our office

New Ping Pong table under construction

We had a delightful evening on Friday night when a couple of students who are seriously dating came to visit us at our apartment.  We fed them chocolate lava cake and chatted for a couple of hours much to our enjoyment! They are good for each other, and the young man is preparing himself to serve a mission.  He is hurrying because he is 24 years old and will not qualify much longer.

We have been swimming nearly every morning this week in the ocean just a couple of blocks away.  It is a wonderful way to start our day. 

Beach between Laie and Hau'ula

It is also great physical therapy for my shoulder while I am recovering from surgery.  It is helping Janice’s knees also.  She got cortisone shots in her knees this week and she is greatly relieved of the pain for a little bit.  She really needs to have knee replacements in both legs.  For now, she is a trooper and does the best she can while hurting with every step.  Accordingly, I try to reduce the number of steps she takes each day (for those who know Janice – she is a difficult person to try to hold back). Even with that in mind, we went to the swap meet yesterday in Honolulu to shop and ran into a couple of Chinese dragons.  

Again, we are feeling blessed to be in this beautiful place with the wonderful people we work with.  Everyone is always so nice and considerate to us.  We would certainly entertain the notion of living here at least for part of the year once our mission is complete.  I spent a second after church and snapped a few shots of the flowers that are around us here in our yard.  They smell so good that we often pick a couple of blossoms and bring them into our apartment to make the house smell heavenly. 

We have a plumeria tree in our front yard!

Visiting and Surfing

 This week, we were grateful to get busy and get to work on our assignment.  We are encouraged not only by the scope of the work but the willingness of people here to help us.  We have found out that there are literally thousands of young people that could be benefitting from attending Institute.  Not only for the teachings of Jesus Christ and the hope of His Gospel but the strength they get by being together with each other.  We got the first stake list with hundreds of potential students.  We will receive 3 more stakes in this area.  We have started visiting with our students at their homes and are delighted to get to know them better.

We also got the "green light" to finish clearing out our office and to order a portable ping pong table, foosball table, and several games so the young people have something pleasant to do there with each other.  We will roll these out on Monday nights and on Institute nights after classes.  

We took a little time this week to plant some plants in the landscaping.  We have such wonderful weather year round that you can grow what we nurse along inside as houseplants back home.

Our Front Porch Area

Our new little hibiscus

Sweet Gardenias

This Saturday, we took a break and went over to the surfing competitions on the North Shore.  There are big waves coming-in.  Pipeline Beach had some powerful ones to either give the surfers a thrill or tumble them end over end.  We saw it work both ways!

Surfer at Pipeline Beach  (far left of the wave)