Twice in One Day

Yesterday was a special day—one we’ve anticipated with excitement! Elder Holland, one of our favorite speakers, came to the Honolulu Tabernacle and spoke to us in an afternoon missionary meeting as well as in an evening devotional.

Waiting for the doors to open for the missionary meeting, all the missionaries (young and senior) greeted each other with hugs and visited in the courtyard. I haven’t felt like it’s appropriate to share a lot of photos of missionaries on my blog, but these are two of my favorite missionaries, and I hope they don’t mind.

When we heard about the devotional, we decided to sing in the choir to be guaranteed a “good seat”. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that that was my motivation, but for those who know me, you know I’m not very musically inclined, and I was nervous. After practicing for weeks, the song was beautiful and really added to the spiritual experience of the day. In fact, Elder Gardner says we should join our ward choir when we get home to develop our lacking talent. Hmmm. I suppose he’s right. He usually is.

Of the several messages he shared, Elder Holland spoke passionately about how we all matter to God, even the one, and that we need to stand up and be someone the Lord can count on to do His will. It was a powerful message and one I needed to be reminded of. He illustrated his point with stories from the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well as modern day examples. I wish you could have been there.

Being taught in person by an Apostle of Jesus Christ and shaking his hand (especially watching each young missionary shake his hand and beam with delight) was truly a remarkable and humbling experience—one I hope to always remember and cherish.

Crosby Family Visit

Vonna and Sean and their three youngest were here on vacation this week, and we were lucky enough to have dinner with them twice—at the beginning of their trip and at the end. Both times, we left them feeling like our time together is never long enough…we so enjoy our visits!

Last night’s dinner was special because it was Sean’s big 5-0! When we arrived at Roy’s, we were delighted to be seated in a little room all to ourselves at a large round table, which made it easy and fun to visit with and hear everyone. Thanks, Sean, for letting us share in your celebration!


Stockpile of Projects

I’ve saved some photos of projects for “rainy days” when I have nothing to blog about, but since I’ve not been posting very often (sorry...I just can't believe how the days come and go so quickly!), I’ve got a little stockpile of projects to share.

Here are a couple of cute baby cards…and I’ll try to catch up over the next couple of weeks.

Pretty Pleased

One of our favorite missionaries went home recently…but not before he had a stamping experience. Elder Bergstrom had come to me weeks before his mission ended and asked if I would be willing to help him make a card for a friend (who happened to be a girl). Of course I was more than excited to help!

As it turned out, he loved the box from the Paper Pumpkin kit (shown on page 49 of the Occasions Catalog)…you know, the box with the big pink bow on top. It was perfect for the necklace he’d purchased for her, and he did a nice job of making it all by himself. I was so proud of him, and you could tell he was pretty pleased with himself too!

The Non-Surprise

Of course we were busy during the day with our responsibilities in the mission office, but four nights this week were spent with Sage and Jason and Chelsea and Kenny, and we loved it! We ate dinner together and visited about every little thing.

They spent several days in Kauai and had planned to surprise us (show up without notice) when they stopped here for a few days on their way home. We're sure glad they didn't! That way we were able to rearrange our schedule a little to enjoy being with family...the highlight of our week!

Zach's Birthday Box

Here’s Zach’s birthday box made using fun new product! He’s an independent kind of guy, so it’s fitting that he has the month of January all to himself! The next birthday in our family isn’t until March, so you won’t see another birthday packaging idea for a little while. Enjoy!

A New Year

Happy 2016!

Our long weekend (yay!) began when the mission office closed early on New Year’s Eve and we hiked (well, walked slowly!) to Manoa Falls. The evening was spent out on our lanai watching fireworks…fireworks that started at 5:00 PM before the sun even set! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many fireworks. At midnight I counted more than twenty different major firework shows going on from Manoa Valley to the ocean. It was an amazing view from the 29th floor!

Friday morning we went to the beach with some other senior missionaries, and then we spent the rest of the day and weekend (aside from our usual Sunday responsibilities, of course) pretty relaxed.

I also had lots of time to reflect on 2015 and contemplate 2016. I even went back to last year’s blog post, read all your comments and goals, and felt so inspired...thank you!

Although I did okay with the goal I posted on January 1st last year, I can do a lot better, so I’m continuing my effort to only eat two bites of sweets a day. Other than that, my list of goals is long, but one of them is to journal my thoughts and feelings at least once a week (I’ve been out of the habit for years!). I’m excited for the opportunity to be quiet with my thoughts.

So how did you do last year and/or what’s one of your goals this year? I’d love to know and to be inspired!

Majestic Mountain Reception

This young couple is another one from our branch that decided to tie the knot in December, and we’re so excited for their new life together!

Marissa and Reyn were married in the Laie Temple a couple of weeks ago—a sweet ceremony we were able to witness with family and friends—and last night was their reception. It was in a ballroom with a view of the majestic mountains on the north side of Oahu—absolutely gorgeous!

We’ve gotten to know Reyn and Marissa quite well, so when I volunteered to help with the invitations and favors, Marissa gladly accepted. Two hundred of anything is a lot…thankfully Sterling helped!

We sat with two of our favorite branch members and enjoyed their company and a delicious dinner, but my favorite part of the program was when Marissa sang to her sweetheart, who is the perfect match for her.

We snapped a quick photo with the bride and groom after the money dance, and we look forward to spending more time with them when their life settles down a bit!