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

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