Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Working, working, working, working, working, working, working, working.......

NOT COMPLAINING, mind you (do you hear that Heavenly Father, we're NOT COMPLAINING!!!) We had been warned that there would be long hours and are actually grateful to be of service - but MAN are we tired!

Anyhoot - here is the big news since the last post.  Due to past experience, I (Sister Jones) have been assigned to the On-Line Marketing Department.  Now there are some very capable people in this department - educated, smart people - so I'm simply performing support, but I LOVE it!  These people are so great!  This place is so magical!  The shows and facilities are so incredible!  I'm proud to be a part of it.  I am learning how to load images, write product descriptions, I'm proofing, I'm making suggestions, I'm learning abut marketing strategies, and best of all - I'm playing photographer and graphic designer...all under careful supervision, of course!

This is our main store - I will be posting a lot of merchandise
from here on the website.  We hope to get
a lot of new items downloaded in time for the holidays.

This is one of my first shots (Sis Jones)
It is of the Hawaiian Bible. The background is
the Kawaiola Chapel near the Hawaiian Village at PCC

Here is Elder Jones' report:

Now, maybe you're asking yourself WHAT, in tarnation, does this have to do with a mission?  Wellllll, let us explain:

La'ie, HI is the home of three Church owned entities; BYU-Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the La'ie LDS Temple.  We Saints (or Mormon's as some have nicknamed us) believe in and utilize temples to learn about and bring us closer to our Heavenly Father, to connect to our kindred dead (we have this AWESOME geneology library here) and to grow in the gospel.  If you would like to learn more about the purpose of temples, you can go to:

During an early morning walk by the Laie' Temple
BYU-Hawaii was specifically placed here on the beautiful isle of Oahu so that Polynesian students can receive an excellent education, learn leadership skills that they can bring back to their homeland and preserve their culture, language and traditions.

The purpose of the Polynesian Cultural Center is to support those students by helping them with tuition and to showcase their culture.  Many of them come from very poor areas.  They could never afford to attend an accredited, quality university on their own.  By utilizing trained volunteers (that would be retired missionaries like us) to provide support both on campus and at the PCC, more funds can be dedicated towards actual student costs.
Some of our fellow sisters gathering
tickets at the Aloha Luau
Is it useful?  Living here, supporting these wonderful students, seeing the love they have for their culture and the respect they gain for all of the cultures represented here, the answer is absolutely YES!

It is different that we originally imagined, but that's because our imagination was limited.  Now that we know the purpose, the inner workings and the wonderful and dedicated people who both work and attend here.....we really do feel like we're in heaven (well, MOST of the time, at least)!

So here are some fun pics of what we have been doing on our rare but lovely days off:

"Don't sneeze!  The last time you did, it knocked you over"

Elder Jones with a cold coconut

Why did the chicken cross the road?  ......?
To go see his other 20 buddies on the other side!

Elder Jones' first fishing trip since we've arrived
The Iosepha, which launched a week and a half ago
just returned from it's sale around Oahu
Missionary Thoughts

Elder Jones and I study scriptures and the handbook for missionaries entitled "Preach My Gospel" daily. We have come across wonderful counsel and gained so much insight by ramping up our study.  One of my favorite handbook chapters is "What Is My Purpose as a Missionary?  We want to be honest and earnest servants of Christ, so we're feasting on this information.

We found the following insight the other day:

True Christianity is love in action.  There is no better way to manifest love for God than to show an unselfish love for your fellow men.  This is the spirit of missionary work"

We also found the following quote from a most beloved prophet who passed away just a few years ago:

President Gordon B. Hinckley stated “We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory, ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39). Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere” (Conference Report, 4/1995)

The scriptures tell us to serve God with heart, mind and strength.  It doesn't tell us to quantify how to serve, but to open ourselves up to what He would have us do.  We are finding out the truth to that counsel as we live that counsel.  Life is a challenge, but as we study how the prophets and apostles found happiness and fulfillment in giving all they have to build the kingdom, including the faith that the Lord knows how best to accomplish that, we have been so greatly blessed.....  

1 John 2:15-17 states:  

Love not the world neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Peter, James, John, Stephen, Saul - and so many other true disciples of Christ grew to understand that joy can and will happen not because of riches or possessions, but when giving love to others.  We do not miss our big house one bit.  We love our sweet little apartment.  We love working so hard we find it difficult to settle down to sleep.  We love seeing what happens when we forget ourselves and remember those around us. Whenever we are low down, we discover it is because we've lost focus on others and are concentrating too much on ourselves.  It's hard for the world to understand this - but Christ knows it perfectly, and we gain strength through Him.

Thank you again for your continued interest.  Please send us questions, comments, ideas, gifts, money (ha - just kidding on that part)....but we would love to hear from you!  Hearing from our friends and family lifts us up.  We care about you and want to very much to know how you are doing!

1 comment:

  1. What a great update! I love your posted message from 1 John. Such great counsel for us all to apply. I also appreciate what you've said about opening ourselves to what He would have us do. We all get distracted and often forget about this one. Thank you. Love you!