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.

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