Sunday, November 16, 2014

November in Paradise!

Elder Jones and I have been putting in loooooooooooonnnnnnnnggggg hours - and will continue to do so through the holidays.  I'm feeling a little brain-fried.  How bout I just let our pictures tell our story?

We've greatly enjoy our lunches at the PCC.  We've gone thru all of the shows and most of the demonstrations now.  This is some of the canoe pageant that they have everyday at 2:30
First, a beautiful lady scatters flowers upon the water
Then the royal court is presented

Then each represented Polynesian culture comes by with their
own canoe.  This canoe is for the island of Tonga.

Aoeteora (New Zealand Maori)

Samoa - they really get it rocking and always gets one of the guys tossed into the water. They have so much fun (well, maybe not the guy in the  water.....)

All in all, there are 6 countries represented - along with the royal court and the flowers.  It makes for a very entertaining 'parade' on water.

We also took the time to see the demonstration in Fiji
on how to extract oil from a coconut.  Anyone
who knows me, knows I LOVE that coconut oil!

So here's a funny experience from this week.  I was taking tickets with some of the sister missionaries at Hale Aloha Luau.  Along the main path comes a little red-haired boy....all by himself.  He could not have been older than 5 or 6.

"Hello little fella," I said brightly.  "Where's your momma and your pappa?"

He shrugs his shoulders.

"You look a little young to be walking down this path all by yourself.  Are you lost?" I asked.  The other missionary ladies started gathering round.

Just as pretty as can be, and in this adorable little voice he says:  "I'm a keeeeeeeiki."  I'm not kidding - just like that.

I lean down and said "I'm sorry, little guy.  I didn't hear you,"

"I'm a keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiki.", he repeated.  Ah, how cute, I thought.  He learned how to say child in Hawaiian (keiki = child)

"Little fella, where is your mummy," asks one of the Sisters?

She's at work.

"Does she work here."

He shakes his head yes.

"Here we go then," I said, taking his hand.  "I'll help you find her."

"But," he repeated with more urgency, "I'm a keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiki".

Oh......crud......he's a keiki.  As in one of the little children who performs at the Hawaiian luau.  You see, the red hair threw me.  And here I was, about to march him down to Lost and Found and to send out an all points bulletin for his mommy.

The stage entrance was just around the corner.  I gave him a little pat on the back with a "well then, young man, you'd best run along."

I'm telling ya.  I'm getting more and more dense as the days go along.

Not him, but you get the idea.  Honest, if
he didn't have red-hair, I would have gotten it
right away

Some other news:

We bought a Mac Pro.  It is awesome.  We are happy.

I am developing many of the graphics on the homepage of
This is where I started skills wise (actually, much worse than this even, but
I'd be embarrassed to show you...)
I'm getting better!  I guess I can say I'm a graphics designer now (thanks to much help from some of the real experts at PCC and my wonderful and talented daughter, Audra.  She, Mike and Roni are always pulling my fat out of the fire!)

"I Want This One!"
Mele and Iosepa Go Christmas Tree Shopping
This is the firs of our PhotoStories for the Christmas Season.  I am going to bet that most of you have seen this by now since I've been plastering it EVERYWHERE!  There is quite the backstory on how these came about, but let me just introduce you to Mele and  Iosepa and invite you to read more here:
I'll post the other photostories (6 in all) each blog.

So - this is life right now.  My department is really gearing up for Christmas.  It's actually quite insane and if I'm driving any of you crazy with the Facebook posts re: our products, websites or or darling Mele and Iosepa - I truly apologize....and hope that you are patient with me.

Conversely, Elder Jones is very busy with some energy management tasks.  We know this is not the typical mission and that it may seem confusing to many - but we really are just concentrating on helping a wonderful institution to keep supporting the Polynesian students and their culture.  This next week we are looking at becoming mentors to one or two of the on-campus student organizations. We also try to be really involved in our ward and stake.

We feel so blessed and so honored.  Somethings may be frustrating, while other things are so exciting!  Mostly, we just love the Lord and know that this mission is a learning environment for us to improve and to support.  Thanks so much for your interest and involvement.  You keep us going!


Spiritual reflection:

From the talk "Lord Is It I"?, October 2014 General Conference (click here to read the talk - it's a good one, you'll love it!)

How lucky am I that my husband is assigned to speak at different Sacrament meetings every month. I help him get his talks together.  Therefore, I get to reread some wonderful talks.  This subject really lifted both Elder Jones and I - making us want to try harder to reflect and improve.

Elder Jones and I are such opposites.  He is confident, I am critical.  He is relaxed.  I am tightly wound.  He is self reliant.  I am extremely social. He is stubborn, and I am......stubborn too!

We both recognize that we have weaknesses and strengths.  Ron spoke today about weaknesses simply being one side to a coin.  When Heavenly Father talks about turning our weaknesses into strengths, he's not talking about taking a magic wand and making those weaknesses disappear.  He's telling us that he will help us to take who we are and make something 'beautiful'!

But the first step is to recognize those things we need to improve.  To stop making excuses for them (rather like Adam saying "Eve - that gal you gave me - MADE me do it!" or Eve saying "The serpent TRICKED me) and instead to utilize who we are and how we think to ours - and everyone elses' advantage.

So let's say your weakness was that you can be extremely critical of people and situations around you.  This is truly a negative.  However, looking at things critically can also be a positive - for instance, your nature may help you to analyze situations and needs because you look at both sides of a situation.

You can develop your ability to analyze, always checking to see that you are striving to be honest with yourself about how you view things.  You would then make the resolve to recognize that hurting people's feelings, or tearing down sincere efforts is not a useful goal.

President Uchtdorf shared the following in his talk:  
                  ..... being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture within each of us.
To be truly honest with yourself, you will need to admit that it is, in deed, YOUR weakness (not mommy's, daddy's, spouses, or even God's fault). You develop the attitude that "I am in control of my own thoughts and actions. If I learned it as a child, I can unlearn it as an adult."

You come up with an action plan:  "I will reflect each night on things I may have been too critical about during the day.  I will pray for forgiveness and insight.  Tomorrow I will come up with positive statements to my spouse, my children and co-workers to show that I do support and care about them."

Then, to utilize the trait in a positive manner, you decide to research and practice steps to 'critical thinking' that concentrates on solutions rather than voicing negativity.  You explain this plan to a trusted family member or friend and ask for help in recognizing both errors and progress.

Well, that's my deep thoughts - for now.......  God bless you all.  We love you!

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