September 25, 2009

Hawaii Mission Memories part 1

Most people know that I served a mission to Hawaii. Yes, they really do have missionaries there and I know I was truly blessed.

After spending 6 weeks in the missionary training center, I was ready to fly the coop. Actually, we were supposed to stay for 8 weeks because we were learning Japanese, but we left earlier. Not a moment too soon for I was ready to get to work. Script for tram tours memorized? Check. Speaking and understanding Japanese? Yeah right. Ready to hit the pavement? You bet!

So, when we arrived we spend the first day at the mission office. The AP's were so helpful to all of the new bleary eyed missionaries by passing a huge candy bucket around every 15 minutes or so to ward off sleeping. First night was spent with one of the couple missionaries. I remember the apartment smelling like bengay liniment. Every time I smell that strong pepperminty smell, I am right back in that apartment. The next morning we were picked up by the district leaders from Laie and off we went. I was awestruck by the beauty of that island. Once through the pass, the mountains were surreal in their beauty. Seriously, how could a place be more beautiful. I loved the monkey pod trees with their vast canopies and another flowering tree with orange flowers and the many plumeria, papaya, and coconut trees. I seriously had visual sensory overload for the first couple of weeks.
Often the ocean was quite close to the road and I was amazed at clear aqua water. I had never seen water so clear and sand so perfectly sandy.

I met my new companion, Sister Ishihara and Sister Padeken met Sister Kaito and we had lunch at Subway. I remember this because it was one of the most awkward meals I had ever had - lots of silence. Not that silence is bad, but that memory just sticks in my mind.

Sister Ishihara and I were on trams that evening and boy howdy was I ready to do my thing. If you haven't been to the Polynesian Cultural Center, let me explain what we Sisters did at that park.

We conducted tours from the PCC though the town of Laie, sharing information about BYU-Hawaii and its campus all the while driving to the top of a roundabout where we directed the audience to the right-hand side of the tram to take in the beauty of Temple Beach, aptly named. Then we conveniently segued into our dialogue about the Hawaii Temple and asked the crowd to take a look on the other side of the tram, down the long street lined with huge palm trees ending with the breathtaking, gleaming white Hawaii Temple. Truly one of the most beautiful places on this earth, in my humble opinion.

Photo by Rick Satterfield, 2005

Anyhow, just a thought that was in my head. I have more I would like to share so if interested, stay tuned.


Lael said...

I think that may be one of the most beautiful temples. I'd love to see it in person some day!

Sara said...

I don't think I knew that you were on a Japanese speaking mission in Hawaii. Maybe you got your call while I was in Japan and I didn't get that memo. I'd love to read more posts, so here's a vote for that...

Leslie said...

holy cow! How did I not know you served a mission in Hawaii?!! Seriously, I'm trying to rack my brain and think if I knew that and I don't think I did. Of course, I was terrible at keeping in touch with anyone from PG after graduating (other than a couple of visits back to the home ward each year).

Anyway, thanks for posting on my blog today. I had no clue you also had a blog. Can't wait to read more and and get to know you better.