Monday, August 17, 2009

August 19, 2009

Hi everyone-

I see it has been almost a month since we last wrote, so here goes. We will try to remember what we have done the past almost 30 days. We did survive our first almost-Hurricane but our first Tropical Depression. There was a lot of warning about getting prepared, water, food, emergency plans, etc. Thankfully all it brought was the worst weather we have had since we arrived last March. Three gloomy days with constant rain. It did one good thing, washed away some of the bird dropping that are everywhere. But then the birds have been busy since so we need another good rain. Speaking of birds, we found out that the green birds that settle in the trees across the street are in fact parrots. It seems that they are the result of parrots being let go by owners who no longer like having them around. According to the information we found, the parrots are becoming a nuisance especially in the Honolulu area. But we sure like watching them in the morning and evening.

We have survived another round of transfers with Elder Tipoki (from New zeland) being transferred from Makiki to Waipahu. We have seen him a few times at conferences and talking to him on the phone occasionally. We are enjoying working with Elder Kamae and Elder Standiford in the Makiki ward. Elder Kamae is from Tacoma, Washington, but his grandparents are living in Laie. He is Hawaiian and is happy to be here where his family comes from. Elder Standiford is from New Mexico. We had them to dinner one Sunday and were discussing what we like to read. Elder Kamae and I like some of the same kind of books but Elder Standiford likes reading technical manuals rather than fiction or history. He is a brain, nice to have around when I need help at work.

The next transfer is in a couple of weeks and we can hope that neither of them are transferred this time. We really enjoy having them to dinner and working with them in the office and at the ward. But we will do what we did when we didn't want Elder Tipoki or Elder Stanger transferred, we will adjust.

We have a new mission couple in the LDS Employment Office. They replaced the Tolemans who returned home two weeks before the Robbins came. What faith both Elder and Sister Robbins have. They left the MTC not knowing if they had a place to stay when they arrived. The Tolemans told their landlady they were not being replaced so she immediately found new renters. Ed worked really hard to find a place for them in the price range they felt comfortable with. It wasn't easy. Elder Miles picked them up at the airport as Ed was signing a lease for them to move into a studio apartment later that afternoon. They arrived without anything other than their clothes. We went through our apartment and found extra sheets, pillows, and towels for them. We then took them to dinner and shopping so they could get some other basics including food. They are a younger couple. He was unemployed and their children (6) all married and settled convinced them that they should go on a mission and they would support them while here. They signed up for two years and are a wonderful couple very determined to make a difference on their mission by helping others. We really look forward to including them in our "Older Couples" group.

We have had two "Couples' Family Home Evenings" since the President turned the organizing over to me. Both evenings have gone well and the President is pleased with the organization and the change in directions the evenings have taken.
We enjoy Elder and Sister MacCabe and Elder and Sister Henely. They are both in their late 70s, I don't know how they keep going. They are both retired military and work with the members of the church station here on Oahu. Their days and evenings are filled visiting and helping spouses whose husband or wife have been deployed. The news here is that a large group of those now fighting in Afghanastan are from the Marine base in Kaneohe. We are hoping that they all return to their families here.

Last Thursday, after we finished the mail, we were able to close the office and drive to the Kihili Stake Center for a conference with all of the missionaries from Oahu (except Laie who had their own conference) and the missionaries from Kauai. Elder Kikuchi and his wife came here on assignment to speak to the missionaries in the HHM. Some of you might remember that he married Jeri and Scott. He remembered them also when we spoke to him. We will be meeting them at the Tabernacle tomorrow evening to take them to the airport to fly back to SLC. We also know and were neighbors for years with Elder Kikuchi's mission companion, Dwight Pincock. So we will be able to talk to them about another connection we have. Elder Kikuchi's conversion story is amazing. He was converted after the war, a war in which his father was killed fighting America, when he was 14 years old and his been serving in the church since that time. He actually served as a missionary for 3 1/2 years in Japan.

Other than that, we have been doing the usual, working in the office processing paperwork and out in the area finding apartments. Sometimes we both feel we are chained to our computers but it is good to have a purpose to each day.

Transfers are in a week and a half. Elder Fowler just opened up three new apartments Saturday. That gives us time to have them ready for the missionaries that will be transferred into them. Elder and Sister Miles have their family visiting them this week, so we should be extra busy.

We miss family and think of you often. A couple from Kaysville visited the block meeting this Sunday. They are here on vacation and live on Fairfield road in Kaysville. We talked to them for a while then did some home teaching with Sister Yamada after church. She is one of the families we home teach that prefers to be taught at the Tabernacle instead of at her home.

That's it for now, we will send some new pictures soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 18, 2009

Hi all,

First thanks for all the email, notes, and postcards, we love hearing from you. Sorry to be so long between emails but it seems that we are either rushing somewhere, working, or sleeping.

Before I get into some of what we have been doing, I want to tell you about a wonderful sight every morning at dawn and every evening at dusk from our lani. There are hundreds of green birds that fly in huge groups from the Banyan trees across the street from us to the Banyan trees in the front of our building. It is in incredible sight to see them fly almost it seems in a pattern as one group leaves a tree, heads for another tree while a second group lands on the tree just vacated. They are a lime green color and while we haven't identified the species yet, they look almost like a big parakeet. We can almost set our clocks by the time they start their flying around. We need to do some homework and find out what kind of birds they are.

We continue to work hard in the office. While we are more comfortable with our tasks, it seems we never quite get caught up. Wednesday was new missionary/transfer day. We had 9 new missionaries come in and 11 go home. The call went out for more mini-missionaries and young adults from the various islands stepped forward to fill in the gaps. We also had two missionaries go home for medical reasons so it is a real help when young men and young women from the Islands put aside their plans and volunteer to serve as companions for 6 weeks. We miss the missionaries who left for home and those who have been transferred to other areas especially Elder Tipoki from New zealand who was in the Makiki Ward with us.

Last night we drove to Kailua to take Kate, Abby, and Emma to dinner (Jeri and Scott are on vacation and Joe was on a young men's outing). After dinner, we drove to Kaneohe to pick up a missionary who is returning to Orderville, Utah, for medical reasons. He hopes to finish his chemo and be back in two months. We hope he is back also.

A couple of week earlier, President Peterson asked us to take another young Elder to the airport to return to SLC for medical attention also. He plans to return as soon as he can also. It was interesting that he was flying to SLC without a companion which shouldn't happen but while checking in people he knew from his stake came to the desk and were on the same flight. We left him in their hands, they promised to make sure he got to SLC.

In six weeks we will receive 25 new missionaries and less than half that amount will be going home. So Elder Fowler is busy finding new apartments in areas that haven't had missionaries before.

We have been going to Joe and Emma's games on Saturdays when we don't have to work but they are through with sports for a couple of months so we will have to find some other reason to drive to Kailua.

On the 4th of July, we did games in the morning and then the Whitings come to our apartment to see the fireworks at Magic Island. We stood in the glassed in area by the elevators (thus staying dry and not having to fight crowds) and watched the fireworks. They were incredible, I think they lasted about 20 minutes and we saw fireworks we have never seen before. It was quite the sight.

We worked the day before the 4th even though President Peterson said we could close after the mail was taken care of.
We stayed mainly because it was quiet and we could get a lot of work done. Also we needed to take a day the next week and drive to Laie. zone leader conference had been cancelled so I needed to get commissary and name tags to them plus Elder Fowler needed to check out a pad. He oked it and called the missionaries, they were so happy with it that they wanted to move in that day. The drive to Laie is beautiful. We stopped on the way home at the Dole Plantation to buy some more pineapple candy (the missionaries love it) and were stopped by three couples who are LDS. We are easily recognized by our name tags. One of the couples lives in Layton, it was fun to talk to people so close to home.

One Saturday we took an afternoon hike to Manoa Falls. The hike was rated as easy so I'm not trying any that are rated as hard. As we started out a woman coming down from the falls gave me her hiking stick telling me I would need it. Our first clue! It was worth the hike and it only took me three washing to get the red mud out of our clothes. That says something about both how muddy we were and our "Barbie" washing machine. It was a windy day and blossoms were being blown off the trees. As we were getting into our car, a little girl yelled to her mom, "Look it is raining flowers." And it was.

We went to zone conference with the missionaries from Kaneohe and Mililani. It was a really nice day. The President uses the older couples to help with the teaching and it was fun. We were with another couple missionary, Elder and Sister Henley. They are retired military and are working with LDS military families. They both are in their late 70s and I am amazed that they manage to keep up with everything. Their schedule is less structured than ours but still, they keep busy.

We have had some type of a flu outbreak, it spread at the zone conference we didn't go to, but Elder Miles really got sick and missed three days work. His immune system is compromised anyway so the flu hit him hard. We do not know if it is the swine flu even though that is what Sister Miles (nurse/secretary) is calling it. Basically, the symptoms are very much like any other kind of flu and even like a cold. No one has been tested to confirm it as swine flu. Basically they were quarantined and told to drink lots of liquids and take Ibuprofen. No one other than Elder Miles was really sick.
I am sure you can imagine the phone calls we got the Monday after everyone had written home they had the swine flu. Parents, as they should be, were really concerned because the words "swine flu" were used. I hope we relieved the parents by telling them it wasn't confirmed to be swine flu, everyone was fine, no one had serious symptoms and were out of quarantine.

That is about it for now. Hope you are all well. Time is really moving along, we are into our 5th month here, well one week into our fifth month.
Attached are some photos of the recent transfer this week and the falls.

Elder/Sister Fowler, Ed, Carol, Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, neighbors and friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009

Hi all,

Time is really going fast. I can't even remember the last time I wrote. We are busy and sometimes wonder how anyone older than we are could keep up.

We have survived another round of zone conferences and transfers. Two week ago we were to get in nine new missionaries to replace those leaving but because of the outbreak of swine flu at the MTC, we lost nine missionaries and had transfers but no new missionaries. President Peterson called the Stake Presidents and the vacancies were filled by recently returned missionaries here. So we have what we call "mini missionaries" because they are back in the mission field after just being released. What a blessing it was that those nine young people were willing once again to put their lives on hold. We are to receive seven new missionaries tomorrow, two scheduled to come showed signs of the flu so they will wait a bit longer to get here.

The office missionaries begin training the new missionaries at 8:00 am tomorrow morning or 12 pm Utah time. It will be easier for both of us since we only have to remember seven new names and not the 200 names when we first came.

We are still doing the same things and finding more to do. We have continued to have computer problems but hope to switch all of my files this week to a new computer. Hopefully that will put an end to the almost daily task of trying to get one or another computer up and running. It is amazing how our lives are tied to computers.

I finally managed to pull enough information together to figure out what foreign speaking missionary gets what church magazine in what language. And I now have a system in place to keep a running record of names and languages. We have over 40 different languages to deal with and every once in a while get requests for commissary items in yet another language I haven't heard of. Gratefully, on the pamphlets, the church has the same pictures as on the corresponding English pamphlets so I can always pull them off the shelves depending on the pictures. The shelves are already labeled so I know what language goes where but individual items, I really appreciate the pictures.

We drove to Laie Saturday morning to delivers some missionary name tags, magazines, and Books of Mormon in Tagalog and Spanish. Elder and Sister Eubank were at the Visitor's Center and gave us a tour of the Visitor's Center. We also had the opportunity to visit with Elder and Sister Eggett from Bountiful. They were in the MTC with us. He is a carpenter at the PCC and Sister Eggett does whatever they want her to do at the PCC. They have moved three times since arriving a week after we did. They only spent two nights in the first house. Sister Eggett said they spent two nights killing cockroaches and decided enough was enough and moved into their car until they could find a bit better place but kept looking for something they could feel at home in.

After Laie, we drove to Haleiwa and had the best "shave ice" at Matsumotos. Then on to the Dole Plantation and finally stopped on the way home and had a Loco Moto for dinner. It is an interesting dish. A hamburger patty and gravy over rice and macaroni salad with a fried egg on top. It isn't the strangest thing we have had to eat but will probably be the last one we will have.

We had to miss our grandson's games on Saturday in order to get the supplies to Laie and missed being with the Whitings. But we will go this Saturday to the games and then to their home on Sunday for dinner.

The Honolulu Stake held a wonderful program last Friday and Saturday evening. It was an evening of music with an orchestra and wonderful singers/dancers who did songs from Broadway plays. It really was a great evening.

Elder Fowler is busy again with housing. He moved two sisters to a better pad and it is great and not as scary as the previous one. We are getting a lot of furniture and items from people which comes in handy for the missionaries pads.

Enclosed are some more photos from the mission. These were taken at the last transfer.

Take care, love gm gp elder and sister fowler.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31, 2009

Hi all,

The weather here is more to the liking of those who live here but is hot and humid for those of us who are here for a year.
So far it has cooled off enough at night to sleep. When we are home we have the sliding door open plus the windows we can open so often there is a nice breeze through the apartment.

We have done a couple of things to upgrade the apartment with the landlady's approval. She authorized a new bathroom vanity but let us know that is it, she isn't doing anything else regardless of how much the apartment needs fixing up. At least we don't have a "falling apart" cabinet in the bathroom anymore.

We had the kitchen blind cleaned (with the landlady's approval) which helps so we can block out the hot west sun and stand to be in the kitchen to cook dinner. We asked if we could have them cleaned just in case they fell apart during the cleaning process. The guy who cleaned them told us they had never been taken down or cleaned. The apartment is 30 years old so you have some idea of how dirty they were. Then we bought some curtains that brighten up the kitchen. Elder Fowler found some wax so the kitchen floor, although still worn and old, at least looks better.

We continue to be busy and it seems that we get one thing accomplished and then 10 more things pop up. We have had trouble with two of the computers (one being mine). The mission's computer expert came from Laie and got my computer up. Nothing seemed to work with Elder Miles computer so SLC sent two new computers to the office. Elder Fowler said "Do not change Sister Fowler's computer. If it isn't broken, don't fix it." Well, last Monday was Memorial Day and the office was closed. Elder Fowler and I worked for a couple of hours in the morning and then went to a spot near the Blow Hole and did a hike.(Pictures attached.) We came back to attend the fourth Monday dinner at Bishop Mataele's only to find that it had been cancelled. We felt badly about that because the Whitings had invited us up to Kailua but it was too late to go back. But before I tell you what we did the rest of the evening, I'll finish with the computer problems. I almost feel bad complaining since President Bleak from the Marshall Island Mission told us the Sunday before their computers have been out for weeks and they are doing eveything by hand.

When we came in on Tuesday morning, I found that my computer that worked was swapped out for a new computer that didn't work. Elder Fowler finally figured out what to do, put back my old computer and got it up and running. So I lost most of Monday and Tuesday which really put me behind on work. Tried all week to catch up going in early and staying late but with zone conference on June 1st I didn't get everything done except commissary for the conference. Elder Fowler has been on the run finding new apartments for the missionaries and moving furniture to close up one apartment plus keeping up on paying the bills, etc. There are 45 landlords to pay in addition to the utility bills. Also there are about 20 church owned apartments and member owned homes that need to be kept track of and inspect. So we went in this past Saturday and worked also. Neither of us had a clue how much work there is to keeping a mission office running. We have a real appreciation for couples working in mission offices.

Now back to Memorial Day. It was a different day for us. We missed putting flowers on family's grave sites and having a picnic with our family in Kaysville. We appreciate so much both Julie and Jacki taking over the flower placing for us. We also missed seeing how beautiful the cemetery is during the Memorial Day weekend.

Since we found out late that Bishop Mataele's dinner had been cancelled, we decided to walk from out apartment to Ala Moana Park and attend the Floating Lantern Festival. It was impressive. There were thousands of people at Magic Island and along the shore line. There were four huge TV screen set up so no matter where you were you could see the festivities. There was dancing, drums, singing, and the ceremony of placing the floating lanterns in the water. Anyone could purchase a lantern and write messages to their loved ones who passed away. It is a very Asian custom. There were 6 huge lanterns from parents who had lost children that were lighted and placed in a boat and taken out to the water and placed in different places in the bay. Then those who had purchased lanterns walked into the water and placed their lighted lanterns in the water. It was a beautiful sight to see all of the hundreds of lanterns floating in the water. Then we walked back to our apartment thinking about what a different Memorial Day it was. We are glad we did have the experience of seeing the Floating Lantern Festival. We were also impressed how orderly it was for the huge crowd at the park and on the beach.

This next week in addition to zone leader conference is transfers, missionaries leaving and new missionaries coming in.
I'm not sure whether Elder Stanger (Idaho) and Elder Topoki (New zealand)will be transfered. They have become "our missionaries" since we are both assigned to the Makiki Ward. Just in case one of them leaves, we will have them over to dinner on Tuesday evening. It would be nice if neither are transferred. Elder Fowler inputs into the computer system all the transfers so that the mailing labels will be accurate. He did that this Saturday and knows who is going where.

Elder Fowler is also attaching pictures of Sister Bailey and her companion, Sister Iremia, who came in the office Saturday morning while we were there. It was her birthday and her sister had sent her a beautiful lei. Hope neither of them are transferred either. We love the missionaries who are close enough to come to the office on a regular basis because we get to know them and they are very helpful. They always manage to drop into the office weekdays around the time the mail comes in. I just step back from the mail and let them at it. They take any letters/packages that come from them. Makes less work for me and makes them happy to have news from home.

Well time to say Aloha

Elder and Sister Fowler, Grandma & Grandpa, Mom and Dad

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 15, 2009

Hi all--

We have another week accomplished. Things are getting easier though still busy. The weather has turned really warm even for us. We open our sliding door first thing in the morning, close it when we go to the office and then keep it open all evening. We can only imagine what it will be like when it gets hot here. There isn't any air conditioning in the apartment but we do have two fans so I'm sure we will survive.

I have had computer problems off and on, mostly for the entire time here. The mission "computer" expert came from Laie on Wednesday and spent the whole day working on the four computers in the office. I haven't had any problems since Sister Petersen worked on mine, but now Elder Miles whose computer worked and he had her switch it out for a different computer can't even get a screen on his. It has died. I feel really badly even though fixing mine had nothing to do with his dying, but I know how much work he has to do and how frustrating it is to not be able to do it. He handles all of the cars in the mission and it is a full-time job. There is no sense of satisfaction in getting my work done when he can't get his done.

Ed has been working hard closing one apartment and trying to find four more. it isn't easy trying to find places for the missionaries that are acceptable and affordable. So he has his hands full right now. We are losing 5 missionaries in June and getting 12 new missionaries.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day (and my birthday) celebration at the Whitings last Sunday. It is the first time Jeri and I have been together on Mother's Day in over 20 years so it was a very nice day. Last Saturday we had just arrived back at our apartment from seeing Joe play flag football and a nice dinner when the Assistants to President Peterson called. We buzzed them in to the building and they arrived at my door with roses for Mom's Day and my birthday. Now they want me to go to a zone conference so the missionaries can sing Happy Birthday to me. I think I can skip that!!! Isn't it true if you don't celebrate your birthday, you don't get a year older? That's my theory anyway and I'm sticking to it.

Last night we walked from our apartment to WalMart. It is just a stone's throw from the Ala Moana Mall, which is the best mall around. It was a nice walk plus we stopped on the way home at a McDonalds for a cool drink and a hot Taro pie. Not bad.

We can't go to Joe's game tomorrow because we have a baptism to attend. Elder Stanger and Elder Topoki invited us to come to the baptism. They are the missionaries assigned to our Makiki Ward. We will take them to dinner after the baptism. Last Sunday we noticed that one of Elder Topoki's shoes was split down one side. We offered to help him get a new pair of shoes but he said no. He is from New zealand and is so nice and soft-spoken. He said he would get it fixed but didn't know where. He and Elder Stanger are a "walking" area with no car to get around. We found that Sears at Ala Moana has a shoe repair shop and had him bring them to the office today. We then drove to Sears (he can't go to Ala Moana, it is in the "red zone." So the shoe will be fixed and we are having them both polished for him and will get them to him in the morning so he will have them for the baptism.

We will have to keep an eye on the shoes though, he is really wearing them out and I wouldn't be surprised if he won't need a new pair soon anyway. But he is happy getting it repaired.

The "social" couples group is getting smaller. Dr. Dahl and Sister Dahl will be leaving next week, then the Tolman's in June. So we will see how the Sunday dinners go. I don't think we will do it every Sunday with just two couples.

That is about it from here. Take care, we are fine and time is flying by.

Love, Elder & Sister Fowler, Ed and Carol, Mom & Dad,m etc.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We continue to be busy at the office

Sorry, I can't remember the last time I emailed. I need to either pick a specific day or write it down. But this week is already scheduled out as well as the first of next week. So it is tonight or not for a week.

We continue to be busy at the office. There is always something that needs doing. We can get distracted during the day when missionaries drop by but they are so much fun to talk with and they always seem to need something from the commisary. So it is a fun kind of distraction. We were so busy today we forgot to take the mail the the postman. We take it to the Banyan Tree Apartments (where we live) to the postman while he is dropping of the mail there. It is a good thing we didn't have many packages or letters. So he can get it in the morning when he brings us our mail.

Last Monday evening we were invited to the home of the Bishop of the Moana Ward, one of the three wards that meet in the Tabernacle. Bishop Mata'ele and his wife (she was a regular on the Hawaii 5 0 television series) invite missionaries, converts, and investigators to their home high on the hill for dinner and family home evening every fourth Monday. There were probably thirty people there to view the sunset and eat. The sunset was beautiful. They had a huge amount of food and quite a variety. I even ate sushi. It was ok, I will probably try it again while we are here. There was some interesting looking food that neither of us dared try.

At the dinner there was a Iranian couple with their two children. The wife was baptized last Saturday, her husband joined the church a year ago. After he joined the church, they met his family in Thailand since he can't go home to Iran now. His parents have moved to Thailand and are investigating the church. The couple realize that they are marked people and could be killed if the wrong people know they have left the Islamic faith. He asked me if I could find out what literature the church has written in Farsi other than the Book of Mormon. I called distribution in SLC and found there are four pamphlets in Farsi. He called me today and I gave him the info and the telephone number for distribution. He wants to ship the pamphlets to family and friends in Thailand.

We are having the Elder Ngatuvia and Elder Woodland, the assistants to President Peterson, to dinner tomorrow after work. Seems there are always hungry missionaries around. At least, hungry young missionaries. Both of us find everyone want to feed us and since we are sitting doing office work, we don't really need to eat that much. But when you are invited, you don't refuse. I finally made it to the gym next door. The owner lets the missionary work out free so I used the treadmill last night. It felt good to be exercising again.

We think it is our turn to host Sunday dinner for the couple missionaries, although the Dahls are in Maui right now so we won't know until Friday for sure. If we do, Grandpa will do his spaghetti and meatballs.

Friday is the day that the contractor is suppose to replace our bathroom cabinet and fix our kitchen sink. i hope it happens and that the cabinet fits and doesn't leave gaps and spaces for uninvited. unwelcomed four-legged creatures to visit. Never know here. I have a better understanding for how hard it is to maintain any building or furniture here. The humid weather damages everything.

Last Sunday evening we went to the airport to meet Jeri and Abby flying back from Utah. It was fun to go there to greet someone. It was good to see Abby and will look forward to seeing more of her this summer while she is home.

The weather here is just right for us. We are enjoying the warm weather. Understand you all had snow and cold weather last week. Sorry about that. We are not missing the snow at all.

Take care, hope everyone is well and happy. We do miss everyone and can't believe we are closing out our eighth week in a few days.

Love, Elder and Sister Fowler

We are still standing but barely

Hi all,

We got a letter today from Camille. We were happy to hear from her. It was fun to get a letter we didn't have to forward. This week is transfers so no mail could go out today and maybe tomorrow. It will be a huge job once the transfers are in the system and we have to forward all of the mail. I was a bit jealous when Camille said they drive to the Mission Office once a week to pick up their mail. That won't work here for the missionary mail to the outer Islands.

Grandpa had to meet a potential landlord tonight to sign a lease for an apartment in the Pearl City area. We left at 5 pm and it took us over an hour to get there. The man waited for us at the Home Depot parking lot then we followed him to his home. The apartment is great for four missionaries and the lease needs to be complete by Wednesday for transfers. Everything went ok until he said he wants to be paid off the record so he doesn't have to claim the income on his taxes. Well you know the answer to that. He said he would check with his accountant to see what kind of a hit he would take on his taxes if he does lease to the church. He really wants the missionaries there, who wouldn't? No drinking, no smoking, no drugs. They are required to keep their apartment clean and there are couples whose calling is to check to make sure they keep things clean.

Guess we will see what he decides.We didn't get back to our apartment until 7:30. We started this morning at 7:00 am so we still haven't gotten to that 9-5 job. But that is ok, we are doing good and things will settle down after the transfers. I felt really good about what I accomplished today finding a quicker way to assign wards and missionaries to referrals by using a program that allows me to pinpoint the right location on the computer rather than having to look up streets and check maps. Then I found a job description and found out that I didn't know I was to send baptismal information to various individuals. So, I will start to take care of that after we get the mail out.

Around 7 pm Saturday we got a call from the other office missionaries and were told that each Sunday we all take turns hosting a dinner so no one has to cook a complete Sunday dinner and would I bring a salad. A quick walk to the store and I had the ingredients to make a Waldorf Salad. So instead of cooking for two, I make a salad for 10. We really do have a social group here with the couple missionaries. One of the couples were in route to the big Island and two of the couples are going home in the next couple of months. Then we and the Miles will decide if we want to continue Sunday dinner every week or do something else. I hope we do it maybe once a month. We usually don't like to have a big meal anymore so cooking small for two suits us best.

Julie--When you see Julie Spencer tell her I really do miss her "hair talents." I went to the Korean hair lady across the street with the specific instructions from Julie and came out with almost black hair. Cindy said her hair products are better than I have been using. I could tell from the start it wasn't going to be a good experience. But I smiled and said next time make it lighter. Missionaries don't throw fits at least where anyone can see. Her curling iron was really strange. She rolled over a tray with a gas burner on top. She had two curling rods that she laid on the flames and used one on my hair while the other one heated up. I was a bit nervous but my hair didn't go up in flames!

Jacki- One of our Assistants to the President has a member of his home ward in SLC going to the Durban, South Africa Mission. His name is Ben Earl.

Well it is 9 pm here and the man called and said he wants to rent to the missionaries and agreed would claim the rent as income so it looks like we have an apartment for the Tongan missionaries. Tomorrow evening, we will be going to another apartment to see if it is a good place for more missionaries and to sign a lease if it is.

Hope all is well at home, we love all of you and miss you.

Best to Kate as she graduates this week. We hope our cards got to her.

Love, G.Carol and G. Ed

Update from Oahu

Hi all--

Just an update from the warm, wonderful Island of Oahu. We have been really busy. Both of us are still waiting for the 9-5 office jobs we thought we were going to do. The mission has over 170 missionaries (not counting the couple missionaries) on the Islands. It seems everyday we learn something new and struggle to learn how to understand all of the different kinds of English spoken here.

The mail last week and Monday was incredible. Every missionary got some sort of Easter package from home. One mom sent a HUGE package FedEx to her son on the big Island. We can't forward packages unless they come through the US Postal service. I called her son and asked permission to break the package down hoping to be able to send the contents back with the zone leaders who were in the office for a conference. Inside was an Easter basket full of goodies. The basket pretty much filled the huge box. The zone leaders just laughed when I asked if they could take it back with them. They had boxes of printed materials to take back and couldn't manage the Easter Basket. We ended up taking it to the Post Office and paying to have it shipped to the missionary.

Ed has been busy finding new apartments for missionary use and that keeps him busy. He is paying the mission bills and that is a full time job plus helping me with the mail. He has to make sure the missionaries get their money each month. Last week he along with the two assistants to the president were at WalMart buying mattresses, box springs, and dryers and then delivering them.

I continue to enter the baptism information and referrals plus order supplies and update reports.

As couple missionaries, we have had two get-togethers. One at the apartment of the mission doctor and last night we all went to Buca de Peppo's for Family Home Evening. Tomorrow night is a Cottage meeting at the Mission President's home and then Thursday evening we are feeding the two missionaries in our ward, the Makiki ward. And that ends the sixth week of our mission.

Last Saturday we went to Ala Moana Mall, parked our car and took the trolley to Waikiki. There is a great cheeseburger place called "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" that we found about three years ago and had a craving for one. Then we walked back to Ala Moana hoping to walk off a bit of the great cheeseburgers.

Sunday after church, we went to Jeri and Scott's for Easter dinner. Had a wonderful meal and enjoyed visiting with the Whitings and their guest, a young marine from the Kaneohe Marine base. He is from Utah and they try to have him to dinner once a month and/or on special occasions.

The weather has been great, a bit windy but not too hot. It is really just nice weather. I am having a bit of trouble adjusting to apartment living. We are on the 27th floor and while the view out our windows can not be beat, the traffic noise is distracting. The owner of the apartment is suppose to be installing a new bathroom cabinet next week. That will really improve the bathroom.

Take care, we hope to get into a routine and write more often.

Love, Mom & Dad, G.Carol & G. Ed, Ed & Carol

The Fourth Week

To all--

We are starting on our fourth week. Last week was tough trying to learn the way the Mission Office does all of the work. Between us we are handling the finances for the mission, finding new housing for the missionaires, mail to the missionaires (it all comes to the office and then we forward it out to the missionaries), updating the referral file, inputing convert baptism records, ordering and dispersing all church material for the missionaries plus some other odds and ends. Once we are comfortable with what is now assigned, we think President Peterson has some new computer reports he wants us to do. Also, we will probably be taking over the missionary transfers and helping with missionary training. Plenty for us to do.

We hadn't had a chance to see the ocean all week so Friday evening we took the freeway East until it turns into a two-lane road and drove into Kailua that way (past the blow-hole for those of you who know where it is.) We have gone to and from Honolulu over the Pali all the other times and while it is a beautiful sight, we wanted a look at the ocean. It gets dark so early here that we didn't get to see much but there will always be another weekend.

I did find Sees Candy at the Ala Moana Mall so will be going there next week to get some Easter Candy. Have already found the Barnes & Noble at the mall. The mall is so much larger than the last time we were here in Hawaii. We ate dinner at the food court and visited with a Japanese couple and their 4-year old son here for five days on vacation. They are sending their son to an "English" only school in Japan and encouraged us to talk to him to help him improve his English. They were interested in us being missionaries and were really impressed when we told them our daughter had served in Japan.

The Kellys will be flying to Oregon on the midnight flight out of Honolulu Thursday evening so we will start to move into our apartment on Friday. Jeri and Scott have welcomed us and won't let us do any cooking or cleaning. So it will be a shock when I have to start cooking and cleaning again. We are looking forward to being in our own place though. It will be fun to be able to walk to the mission home, go back to the apartment for lunch, etc.

Will update everyone next week.

Love, the Fowlers

New Missionaries Learning Their Responsibilities

We both went to the office today and we like it. They sent us home about 3:30 saying that Elder Fowler needed a nap. He does get really tired easily but is keeping food down so that is good. We will try to get an appointment with a Dr. in Kailua tomorrow to have his kidney checked.

The office had a lunch for us and the Kellys today. It was pizza and Dad only had two small slices but that is better than none.

The training is ok, Sister Kelly is confusing me but I hope it all comes together before she leaves. We haven't seen the apartment yet. We can't move in until the 3rd. We will be with Jeri and Scott until then. Or actually,Jeri since Scott leaves for SLC next week.

We are doing ok really.

All Is Well

We got here safe and sound, then Dad got really, really sick. He finally agreed to go to the hospital at 4am Saturday morning. The doctors decided that he had a bug, was dehydrated, and found a spot of pneumonia beginning in his lungs. They pumped him full of liquid and medicine and sent us home about 10 am. He spent the day in bed but is absolutely fine this morning. So all is well.

I talked to President Peterson and told him and asked if we could wait until Monday to see a doctor in Honolulu for a follow up and he said that was fine but to call him earlier if needed.

The doctors at Castle Hospital just want Dad to see another doctor to ensure the pneumonia is disappearing. We are sure it is. Dad will be on medicine for a couple of weeks but he is up to day and eating so I think there is nothing to worry about.

Thanks so much for coming to the airport. We loved seeing you and visiting while we could.

Aloha from Hawaii Honolulu Mission

Aloha Fowler Family,
Elder & Sister Fowler have arrived in the mission here in Honolulu and they look great!! We were excited to meet them at the airport (accompanied by Jeri, of course!) and finally get to see them after the many months we have spent communicating by telephone and e-mail. They will be a tremendous addition to the mission and we look forward to the year we will spend together and the great work they will do here.
Thank you so much for your willingness to share your parents/grandparents with us for a time. We recognize that it is a bit of a sacrifice, but we can assure you that you will be richly blessed because of their faithful service in the mission field. Attached are a couple of pictures taken shortly after they arrived.
Mahalo nui loa and much aloha,
President & Sister Peterson

Our First Week In The Provo MTC

To all--

We survived the first week at the MTC. A full week of learning and sitting although we have made it to the gym twice. Tomorrow morning we will go to the Provo Temple with Kate. She is picking us up at 9 am. We leave next Friday around noon and have a direct flight to Honolulu. We have contacted the Mission President and he will pick us up, take us the the office to introduce us, take us to dinner, and give us the keys to a car so we can drive to the Whitings. We then will have the weekend with the Whitings and report the next Monday morning.

At last there was a great meal--Friday is Poppa John pizza night and it was great, kinda of sorry we won't be here next Friday. But we will still be here on Wednesday when the big treat is ice cream from BYU's creamery.

So far, the best experience we have had was when as a group we went to the Call Center at the MTC and answered calls from people who have seen TV commercials offering DVDs, the Bible, and the Book of Mormon. I received two calls, one from a gentleman who wanted a Bible written in Hindu which no one knew if we had or not. So I gave him the toll free number of the distribution center to call to see if such a Bible is available. The other call was from a woman who wanted to return a DVD, but it wasn't one from the LDS Church so I couldn't help her.

I will let Ed write you about his Call Center experience.
One call came from a man calling for his friend. I was able to get the friend's address and send out a Book of Mormon and a DVD to his friend. The other call was from a man who thought we were the 7th day adventist. I explained who we were and he became interested. i was able to tell him about the Book of Mormon and we discussed the temples he has seen. In the end he promised to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Then he will call again for a missionary to come visit.

Attached are two pictures. The one is easy enough for you to figure out. The other picture is the entire group we have been with all week. In the second row up is a sister with a maroon sweater on. We found out at lunch one day that we are related. Her name is Linda Eversole from Bountiful. Her great-grandfather is Joel Campbell who is a brother to my great-grandmother, Mercy Miranda Campbell. What a small world.

Talk to all of you next week.

Love, Elder and Sister Fowler

This is Mom and Dad's first e-mail from the MTC.

Everything is ok here. The lessons and activities are great. It is starting to warm up a bit so walking from our room to the classrooms is beginning to be more fun. We had a great Devotional Tuesday evening and got front row seats. The sister sitting next to me is from Jeri's ward and is headed to Cleveland, Ohio. Small world, huh?

We had dinner with Kate Tuesday evening also. Oh, and the General Authority who spoke was from the first quorum of the seventies Hamelu. We were able to speak to him and his wife as we left.

Saturday we will go to the temple with Kate. The best part of the MTC so far is the teaching investigators, also the hardest. last night your mom and I went to the Gym and walked and worked out a little. We miss everyone and are looking forward to next week when we start learning the office computer programs. We ate with a few elders this evening and had some good conversations. That's all for now, give everyone a hug.

Love, Mom and Dad