Sunday, September 28, 2014

Zipping, Limping, and Coconut Head People

The weather has finally turned from no breeze/HOT to lots of rain/stormy breezes, and.....well....HOT - but not AS HOT.

As a result, my feet and lower legs are swollen each evening and I am unable to wear my shoes.  I am therefore running around in my husband's shoes.  They look soooooo purty with all of my dresses.  We've talked about going into the big city to find some new shoes - but  there is simply no time.  Sigh.

So, any suggestions or knowledge on getting my feet back to normal would be sooooooo appreciated.(note, I am very careful about salt intake - so I don't 'think' that's the problem).

Besides making it hard to walk around as much as I need to (I've got lots of places I run to during the daytime), we are in the midst of the PCC Health Challenge.  I am trying to get an hour of exercise in a day - and those who know me know that I like to KILL exercise time.....swimming, power walking, circulation room and elliptical.  All respectable low impact exercises to appease my doc but great cardio for me.  So this foot thing is seriously getting in my way (though I am not letting it stop me)

Elder Jones, on the other hand, had this fun experience a couple of weeks ago where he landed on his head in the surf - making him walk around like Igor (Frankenstein's assistant...remember?) for a while.  We finally went into the chiropractor - and snap, bang, boom - RELIEF!  He was so happy, he just hugged the stuffin' out of the man.  So cute!

Elder Jones has been having great fun.  For example, yesterday he went ziplining with a group of fellow missionaries in the morning and net fishing until late at night with our landlord and the young men from his ward that night.  They caught over 40 fish.  He had a BLAST.

He snorkels twice a week, at least.  He still thinks he should be doing more.  Lest you think he's gone completely inactive, the other 5 nights a week we go to the Temple; work at the Luaus twice; go to Family Home Evening; try to have someone over for dinner; and we are going to start attending Sunday Firesides at the Visitor's Center.  And that is over and above our daily responsibilities.  We rarely even eat at home - but this last week we had this MARVELOUS ahi tuna we purchased from a neighborhood fisherman.  It was INCREDIBLE!  Fish is our main meat of choice now.  How lucky are we!!!????

Elder Jones has been sighted walking up on roof tops throughout
the PCC.  Here is a picture from one of the tallest buildings.
What a hot dog!
The big news since last post is that Elder Jones has now been put into the BYU-H Married Stake's High Council.  For our friends not of the LDS faith, this is rather like a regional level responsibility.....not administrative, really - but something Elder Jones says he has (jokingly) avoided for 37 years.  Basically, a High Council Member is assigned to watch over and support some of the various auxiliary programs, help a specific local ward and travel around the various wards within the Stake giving Sacrament talks.  Elder Jones' first talk was last Sunday.  Now I love nothing more than a Ron Jones Sacrament talk.  He speaks from the heart - can't follow an outline for his life, and generally touches everyone deeply with his insight ..  The other side of a Ron Jones talk, however, is that it is always a wild ride.  He just goes where the spirit moves him, and sometimes it moves him into some very funny / interesting situations.  Our kids can attest to this.  We have a long standing joke about Dad's "life is just a bowl of lasagna" approach to the eternities.  So, here he was, talking about the mechanics of airplanes, picking the right spouse (I'm happy to report that he considers me a 747 and NOT a Cessna), and his history of trying to disprove faith until he couldn't disprove it 'no more.  The other men on the stand had some pretty funny looks on their faces, while the congregation gasped and laughed their way thru the talk.  This is pretty typical and I just LOVED it.  Still, Elder Jones wonders how long the Stake will take before they realize their great mistake and reassign him to non-speaking assignments.  HA!  He's the J. Golden Kimball of La'ie!

I have had some crowd pleasing fun myself.  I've mentioned before that I have been assigned to the on-line marketing department here at PCC.  So, it's  a little hard to explain, but we came up with the bright idea to prepare a running pictorial story (a 'snapshot' storyline) for the Christmas e-mails that we will be sending out.  Basically, each of the weekly e-mail ads will contain a one picture story of  two characters - we're thinking a married couple - getting ready for Christmas.  Each weekly e-mail is a different experience for our hapless couple.  We are hoping to combine humor with a little punch and a great tale.  Hopefully we will be so successful that people will want to share the pictures on Pinterest and Facebook, thus raising our visibility.  It's all quite the master plan.  

Now we wanted to put a Polynesian spin on this, so I ran around all last week trying to find a boy and girl version of various items we sell that might be our 'characters' for our story.  I found a stuffed surfer boy and Tahitian girl doll, some stuffed turtles, Hawaiian themed teddy bears, some turtles made out of polished stone, and two coconut head people from Fiji.  Yeah, coconut heads.

So I brought them into the office and pulled together some of the sister missionaries.  They patiently let me explain 'the plan', then they went thru the 'line-up'.  I already had my favorites, but was trying so hard not to influence the women (failed miserably!).  We determined that the dolls and stuffed animals were too cute for the story line, that the stone turtles would be darned hard to pose, and that left us with....coconut head people.  Now I know this sounds strange - but you've got to trust me on this.  We are going to do a Christmas storyline with coconut head people.  On-line.  And it's freakin awesome!  I can't wait.

Anyway - I did a preliminary photo shoot.  I went to the beach to do this - early in the morning. ...Before the sun was too high and the weather too hot.  I decided that I would bend the rules and wear pants as I was pretty sure being in a dress on the beach was not going to make my job any easier.  I gathered up bags of props, the camera and my coconut head people and tromped on down to Temple Beach.  As I was heading to the area I thought would work best, I passed a fellow lying spread eagle in the sand - not in an 'I'm here to catch some rays' position.  More like a 'dead' position. I thought to myself "hmmmm, that guy could be dead.  What to do, what to do"?  I finally decided that he was too pink to be dead, so I left him in his deep slumber and continued on a few more feet.

I then started to prepare my shoot.  Here is what I determined:
  1. Sand has to be really wet to write messages in it.  This sand was not that wet.  The message for the picture was sad looking.  Really sad.  Luckily, this was just a preliminary.  I soldiered on.
  2. Sitting in the sand in black yoga pants is a mistake.  Big mistake.
  3. Walking around in the sand makes for messy sand.  There is no way to position props in the sand without walking on it.  This is a problem.
  4. Smoothing messy sand out with a big stick, while covered in much of that sand, while juggling various props, while holding an expensive camera high above your head so as not to get any sand on it makes for great hilarity.
  5. Crowds gather for great hilarity.  Then they stand there with dumbfounded looks on their faces.
  6. I was right.  Dead guy wasn't dead.  He was just a homeless beach person catching Z's who sauntered off when the crowd started gathering.
  7. Coconut head people are top heavy.  Poor Mrs. Coconut Head Person lost her teeth.
  8. People don't care if you are conducting a photo shoot - and will not move out of the way accordingly. Dogs really don't care about photo shoots. Toddlers want to be IN the photo shoot.
It was an exciting morning.

Oh - here is a preliminary shot from that morning showing what I'm going to have to do rather than write in the sand.  I'm not including a pic from that morning showing my Coconut Head People. I'm not giving anymore away on THAT until we get the real pictures up:

I have one more beach story.  Elder Jones and I went to Hanama Bay last weekend to snorkel.  From this experience I have determined that I really don't like to snorkel - especially if there are any waves. It makes me seasick.  So I sent Elder Jones on his merry little 'let's see what dangerous situation I can get myself into" way while I swam around nearer to the shore.  Then I decided to sit in the shade and contemplate life.  A couple was nearby taking some pictures of each other.  I asked if they would like me to take a picture of them together.  They were thrilled.  We struck up a conversation.  I mentioned just moving here which led to explaining that my husband and I were on a mission, which led to explaining what a mission at the PCC looks like, which led to explaining how the LDS Church owns and operates the PCC and how it's purpose is to support our Polynesian students and preserve their culture.  It was a great conversation, though I found some of their questions a bit strange - like what the rules were for women in the Church and other subjects around 'restrictions'.  

I'm dense, I know I am, so it did not dawn on me until they were well on their way down the beach that I caused those questions.  I think it had to do with my excessively protective swimwear and hat.

Somewhere in Michigan is a couple convinced that Mormon women dress in modern "burka-wear," Yes, I'm sure of it.  Ugh!

One situation that I am not so fond of in my position is reading over the comment section of our various listings on line.  People have some strange misconceptions and prejudices.  It's a natural thing, but I can't help but feel a little - no, a LOT - frustrated when they're plastered all over the Internet.  For instance, in Yelp, there are people - not many, but a few - who are disgruntled that the PCC has neither booze or practically naked Polynesians running around for their entertainment. Well, A: We are a family venue and B: We are a MORMON run family venue.  We make no secret about who we are and what our purpose is, and our main focus is to uplift and educate - not have a rowdy party.  What these dear comment-ers do not understand is that many MANY of the Polynesian cultures represented here are, and have always been, quite conservative.  This was not instituted by mis-directed missionaries of old - but are deeply embedded beliefs in the cultures represented here. Another complaint that pops up (again not often, but GEESH) is that the optional tram tours of the BYU-H and La'ie Temple sites concentrated too much on - get this - Jesus Christ.  Uhmmmmmm. Really?  It's a temple to the Lord, ladies and gentlemen.  So, you're going to be surprised?  

Okay, enough whining.  It's an honor and a pleasure 95% of the time.  Some misconceptions are to be expected.

So here's my spiritual thought for the week (thought I'd never get here, did ya?)

Missionary Thought

Meeting people from all over the world is such an exciting and happy experience.  One of our purposes at the PCC is to radiate the spirit of God every day and in every way.  

1 Peter 3 explains it this way:

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.....with meekness and fear"

(side translation:  ..."with meekness and fear" means with respect to our God and no ego - not actually that we are supposed to be afraid of it)  

If Elder Jones and I see some one who is lost, we give them directions.  If they need a picture taken, we take it.  If they want to know if the on-site store has hearing aid batteries, we go find out.  And we do a lot of waving, and saying "Aloha", and smiling.  Sometimes I smile so much, my cheeks hurt. It's the best kind of hurt, let me tell ya.  I LOVE reflecting the love of Christ.  I love the conversations it leads to.  And I love the students who show me how its done with humility and passion.  Honestly, that's the BEST part of all.  These students are just amazing.



  1. Hi Nina - sounds like you and Ron and having some great times! I love hearing about your assignments and how you are serving and getting to know the people/culture. I LOL reading your story of trying to take your pictures of your coconut head people on the beach! Very descriptive! Have you checked your blood pressure with regard to your feet/legs swelling? Just a thought. Hope you find out what is going on. Wish I were as dedicated as you on the exercise part. I am feeling better with my back now, but still haven't gotten back into the exercise routines yet. In case you didn't know, my mom passed away Sept 27th. I am sure dad just came down and swooped her up. It was really unexpected. She woke up one morning - not really being awake and was bed ridden for 9 days until her body wound down and she joined dad. Looking back, it was a special time. Brings into focus really clearly that there is more to life than living here on this earth! I don't know what the next chapter in our lives will be yet, but I am trying harder to place everything in a larger context of living. Aloha! Oh, by the way, did you hear that Ropeka was engaged and will be getting married in Nov? She passed out wedding invitations in church today!

  2. Enjoyed reading about your adventures in Hawaii, especially the coconut head people. Keep it comin'!

  3. ok Nina, I am still jealous of u and envy you. So have u learned the shuaka hand move? point your thumb out and pinky finger out and shake them side to side. Now you know. Swollen feet huh? Try epson salt, raise your feet to an almost 90 degrees,if you can't do that then just put two or three pillows under your feet. That usually takes the edema (water in legs,feet) away, and though it may be hard, rest them, back off on the low impact moves untill the swelling goes down. You are also at sea elevation, instead of the mountains that may need some adjusting, but most importantly, follow your doctors advice, get a nice big fan to cool yourselves down, because as I told you, it gets hot there with weather a constant 76-78 degrees, and remember your on a tropical Island with barely any shade except the trees, unless you can find a cave to live in---Ha Ha! I am glad u guys are having fun. I snorkeled there when I lived there to, and also try renting some mopeds(motorized little version of motorcycle) they are a blast!! When I was in Hawaii, I took my moped up a winding road to mount Tanalis in Oahu, best time I ever had, of course that was when gas was lower. Oh, Ropeka is getting married?? see how much I miss ,working on Sundays, nobody except you ever tells me anything. Thank Sister Fillmore for me for that bit of info. Love u guys. Miss u but still planning on coming over as soon as we can!! Love Misty

  4. Love it, Nina! Can I send over some comfy shoes? What size? Take care of yourself! Elevate and soak those feet! XO