Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I can hardly believe that I have four weeks and five days to go and will be flying home to AZ. Jordan will be home on the 4th and Jazzie will be home for Christmas and I can't wait to see the grandkids and my wonderful children and all my friends.

Tonight at FHE we had to sing Aloha Oe  (can't remember how to spell that and I'm too tired to go check. Anyway it is the farewell song everybody gets to hear when they leave and it always makes them cry. The Maples are leaving this week and they are the ones who created the program for the I Work kids who come with almost nothing. They really have helped hundreds of young people and have gotten a philanthropist to help as well. I will be excited to share many stories with everyone when I return. This dear man brother Maples had a horrible accident and injured his heal very badly. They are flying home a little early so he can get it fixed on the mainland and re-cooperate there instead of here.  They have both worked extremely hard here and it was such a shame that had to happen right at the end. I hope I get to see them again some day but they live in Tennessee.

The Stake choir I direct has been a great joy to me and I look forward to being with them every Sunday. We just sand for a devotional and it was just wonderful I was so proud. Now we are getting ready for one more Stake Conference before I leave.  Also I had a really wonderful experience with my new friends who have been assigned to the settlement just these past three weeks. Rob plays guitar and has already picked up the Uke is just a few days.  His wife Kelly is a lovely singer and the three of us heard about this brother who had been badly burned on the job. We went to his home and sang to the family and he was doing quite well after weeks of suffering. He will recover and it is a miracle  for him. We loved their family and met about 5 of their 8 children.I am so excited to be able to do so many things here and I just love getting to know as many students as possible.  They really miss their families and we love to substitute as much as possible.

I love this church and I love our Savior and I feel His love here so strongly everywhere I go. It i in the faces of everyone here, it is truly a wonderful place and there is such a great feeling here.

Must close and get some rest.
Much love, Brenda

Monday, October 28, 2013

 Hi Everyone,
It has been awhile since I have written and some marvelous things have happened in the past month. We have new missionaries serving in the mission settlement I immediately loved. Kelly and Rob Chalmers and Dave and Judy Lunt. The Lunts are from AZ around Thatcher where the University is He has been teaching and performing music in schools for 31 years and the last place was the college near or in Thatcher and I think there are kids going there form Anthem. He is retired now but was a base player and a wonderful choral director. Rob Chalmers plays a beautiful guitar and between the three of us we have a ball before the guests come into the PCC just singing up a storm. When they do come in I am playing my UKe and Brother Lunt gets out the base Uke and Brother Chalmers from Orem plays the baritone Uke whiich actually is a Uke or he plays a beautiful Martin guitar. Tomorrow night we are going to sing for a dear man who got burned on half of his body from his electrical job. He is home from the hospital and sure needs some cheering up. Hope we can do that for him. We have family home evening with the forty+ missionaries here at PCC and BYU every Monday night at 7 til 8 so that will give us time to do that. Kelly has a lovely  and we enjoy singing together. I am having such a great time teaching the UKulele to grown ups and kids and many time they buy them to take home and that only helps the kids here with their educations.

One of our senior missonaries I dearly love had a bad accident last week and fell from the work he was doing building a new building and he crushed his heal. I believe they are going home asap to have it fixed in their own state so he can recover there. They were leaving in three weeks. He has been such a great help to all of us single missionaries as well as this whole place. They are the ones who thought of the extra help for the I Work students giving them laundry bags filled with things they desparately need to start living here. I am so very grateful to our ward members who reached out to help these young people. They are so amazing and good and kind and I love everyone who went the extra mile. My darling daughter brought even more sheets etc for them when she and Kevin came here to visit me a short while ago.  You have no idea how much it is needed.
I had a birthday last Friday and one f my young men form the Phillapines who I have know for this past year and who has played piano for me went all over and made a video for me for my birthday. I have put it on my Facebook page. I have  no idea how to add it to this letter. I wish I was better at computers.

Tonight my stake choir performed and they were wonderful.  We also heard from Eric Workman and his wife Ann. He is the nephew of Ross Workman who used to live in the Mt. Olympus Ward where we raised our children and where I have many lifelong friends. They were just wonderful. They met here in Laie. She went to school here and graduated. Her parents apparently taught here so she grew up here. He is now head of marketing and sales for the PCC. Both were superb speakers.

I have met once again many wonderful people from all over the world this past month. One who stand out was a wonderful Lutheran Minister whom I had a very interesting discussion with. He was curious about our church and we had a great conversation.

I have had wonderful visits from friends from SLC friends from ANthem and friends from Centerville. I joyfully share this amazing place with everyone who comes and they love it here. Everyone loves to learn about the Polynesian people. They are wonderful people and have an amazing heritage.

I have less than six weeks to go and I leave with mixed feelings. There is work to be done here and that will forever continue and people will step in and take my place over and over again. They will love it as I have loved it. I have made life long friends from all over that's for sure.
God bless you all,

Sister Brenda Woods

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Today is Sept 22nd and it is of course a beautiful dy in Hawaii. It is Sunday and we have church at 8:20 am and I just love that as we get home before 11:30 and have some time to do other things. Then I have my stake choir practice at 4 pm and tonight we are singing at a fireside where Elder Shumway is speaking.  He was the President of BYU Hawaii. We are all looking forward to that. Sooo I have been baking cookies for the fifty kids that will be singing, they are all so adorable. I will try and remember to take pictures of all of them and post them next time to this blog and maybe to Facebook. I can hardly believe that I have only 10 weeks to go and then I will be coming home and then what???? I have been so busy here that I have discovered that I have more energy than I ever thought I would at my age. So I am already started planning on what I am going to do when I get there. I sure don't want to sit around like I can't d anything right? I think we are all so much happier too when we are busy.  I am so excited that I will be able to see the show Kimberly is directing for Starlight theater, I just wish I could be in it of course.  I am thinking though of possibly putting a show together that people my age and older would like and visiting rest homes and retirement centers and perhaps earning a little money on the side to make life a little easier. I can't think of anything I would rather do as long as the good Lord allows me to keep my voice. I have sung a lot here and of course loved doing that and have learned some new songs.

Last week I started working in the new beautiful merchandise store that is located in the Hawaiian Journey building where they show our new IMAX movie on Hawaii of course. So I have met some wonderful young people I just love being with and that is expanding my experience. Since I already knew how to use the cash register since we have one in the mission settlement they had no training to do other than showing me around. We have pretty expensive things in there but very beautiful. Anyway it makes life interesting to change around and do different things. Also I go back over to the settlement at 4:30 and help them with late customers and Ukuleles. We are the busiest at that time of the day after folks have been to all the village shows. Sorry my life is not that exciting these days just kind of the same thing now every day. Well that isn't totally true, I have been seeing more of the island with the kids when they were here and  my friends I live with like to get out and do fun things go to new places etc. I do still miss everyone and plan on gtting up to SLC not too long after I get home to see the friends up there. Funny thing is that I have made a bunch of new missionary friends who are from AZ so we will be having get togethers every so often to keep  the friendships going and I look forwrd to that a lot.
Love you all, Brenda

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gosh it has been quite awhile since I wrote on this blog. I guess things were a lot the same every week for awhile so it would have been quite boring to read.  The weather of course is pretty much the same all the time, no exciting hurricane warnings or tsunami warnings lately but beautiful sunny weather and very very hot.

We just completed the week of the fiftieth anniversary of te PCC and thousands of people came from all over the world to attend. There were people here who went all the way back to when it opened fifty years ago. They had so many events I couldn't go to very many of them but that was okay I was here with Kimberly and Kevin They came on Sept. 3rd, the day my darling husband passed three years ago and as many of you know that was also his birthday. So it was a great time for them to come see me. We did have a great time together and I took quite a bit of time off to be with them. One day they just took the car and went where they wanted to go but pretty much the rest of the time we were together. I would say the highlight of their visit was a one hour helicopter ride over the entire island of Oahu. Wow what an incredible gift that was from Kim. We were in an exact replica of the helicopter that was in Magnum P.I. if any of you are old enough to remember that favorite show. Anyway what an amazing event that was and one we will never ever forget. We spent a whole day together going through the PCC seeing everything, all the shows and they met a few of the kids I work with and the missionaries I work with every day.  They went to church with me on Sunday and then they were with me when the brand new stake center/business school was dedicated by Elder Russel Nelson. I directed my small bi-stake choir and they sand beautifully, better than ever and I was so very proud of them. I loved the whole experience although it took a whole lot of every Sunday rehearsing. That usually was the highlight of my day.

Oh we did meet up with the Richardson's from our ward as they were there at the PCC for a day.  That was fun.  I loved introducing Kim and Kevin to many people I have been working with.

We did all sorts of things like seeing the beautiful replica of a Buddist Temple not far from here on the way to Honolulu, went to the Macadamia nut factory. That is not far from here either and lots of fun sampling all kinds of flavors.

The beach was great of course an we all got sunburned, well I did anyway because I hardly ever go to the beach. All in all we had a great week and ended it with meeting Kim's friend who has gone to Ethiopia with her group, also another friend she has attended seminars with. That was a great ay and lots of fun.

I have several new roommates since Janice and Linda and Emma left. There are new ones upstairs too and we all get along just great. It is interesting to have all these women living together after we have all run our own homes for years. It takes some getting used to and lots of give and take.

They have changed everything about the wards and we meet lots of new kids this coming Sunday but I have heard that ours isn't mixed at all and that makes me sad. I really enjoy working with the kids from many different countries.

I am coming home in Dec. so I have only about 13 weeks left, so hard to believe. Jordan comes home to AZ Dec. 3rd and I want to be there to see hi before he goes off to college. It is going to be a great month this December.

I must get going to get to work for the day, I start spending several hours a day in a beautiful retail store after I work in the settlement. It was at least have air conditioning and that will be great. Maybe I won't get so very tired.

Love you all, have a great week.

Sister Brenda

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hi friends and family,
Things are great here at the PCC.  Everyone is getting ready for the 50th anniversary  and so much is happening and so many are working extremely hard to be ready in time. My friends in the sewing department are working especially hard making new uniforms for the newly re-opening of the Aloha Luau. Twenty years ago that was where they held the night show but when they build the 4000 seat Pacific Theater they turned it into a Luau and this year the termites pretty much destroyed it so it had to be re-built. Soooo Samoa Island built a huge cement platform and put up tents and created a new Samoan Luau with Samoan food and a whole wonderful singing and dancing act totally about the Samoan people. Next week that all changes again and their show moves to another theater space called Kauai and Aloha reopens and we have a third Luau called Ohana plus we have Prime Dining and the Island Buffet. Yes indeed you can say we feed a whole lot of people every single night but Sunday. What a place this is.
So the first week of Sept. they are having a huge celebration for all Alumni coming here from all over the world to celebrate 50 years. Isn't that amazing. They have events planned all week long and that is in addition to the normal visitors who are coming here anyway. As a matter of fact my daughter Kimberly and son Kevin will arrive here on Sept. 3rd for five days. Next week my niece Martha and her new husband Bob and her daughter Ali will be here visiting so that will be much fun. I also expect to see the Richardsons form my Anthem ward somewhere around the same time.

It has been busy for me as well as I performed a bunch of songs for my ward Fireside a couple of Sundays ago. I have found a wonderful young man named Kit Nagato from the Philippines. He is a wonderful ;ianist and always so willing to play. We are also performing the same show for the senior missionary fireside next Monday evening. Then I have been asked to put together a trio or quartet for a morning meeting on Sept. 3rd for all labor missionaries. I am a little concerned about the time this all takes while also preparing a Sunday school lesson for Sunday but it will all come together, it always does with help from above.

I keep meeting wonderful people from all over the world.  A couple of weeks ago  I had a nice gentleman come into the settlement and he started asking questions and then told me he was a Lutheran Minister and worked a Chaplain in the army.  He was great to talk with and we had a wonderful discussion about God and beliefs and he said the cutest thing. He said "if we Lutherans were half as friendly as you Mormons we could have taken over the country by now". I told him that if Lutheran ministers were as friendly as he was a lot of things would be different. Just kidding, but truly he was the friendliest minister I have ever met. Most I have known in my life were much too stern for my taste. Perhaps it was because of him serving in the service, who knows but we parted friends.

We have lots of marriages taking place between  now and Christmas and we plan on being a part of several. So many can't have
their parents here so we try and be aas helpful as possible. There are two next week and one of them is a darling girl from Chile who served a mission on Temple Square in SLC with the Gillettes as her mission President. She is marrying a guy from Alaska and is planning a pretty elaborate wedding with an amazing dress with colored flowers attached to her dress. Of course that is for the reception but I have never seen a dress like it but they must see them in Chile. She is a doll and I love her a lot so we will be there for her Temple wedding as well as a darling couple from China whose family could not be here of course. That will be very sweet and also next week.

Everything else is going just about the same, people go home and new people come in to take their place. We have a wonderful couple here now th Lunts form AZ. He taught music for over 21 years in AZ at Eastern College. So, we have a real director to help me with music now. and help teach Ukulele. They are totally wonderful and I love them. I miss my friend Gloria and deeply appreciate all that she taught me as she was a real pro on the Uke and I have fun with it now.

I love you all and look forward to seeing all of you soon. Keep writing and calling etc

Much love, Brenda

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I have some pictures this time and will have from now on, thanks for reading my blog, still loving Hawaii.

Hi Everyone,

I have a brand new friend who teaches here at BYUH and he is teaching me all sorts of new things on my computer and my IPAD.  I am so excited because today he is helping me put my pictures on my blog finally.

So, here are some pictures of sister missionaries, couple missionaries and beautiful things I see every day.
this top picture shows some of the darling angels we make and sell.  They sell all year around. 
This is my friend Mary Ann Wright and her son and baby.  They came pretty early in my mission. Very fun.
This beautiful Lei was sent to me by my daughter Kimberly on my birthday. It was real and amazing. I loved it.
 This is President Orgill and he was president of the PCC for the past 13 years. Is now President of the Irvine CA mission. We all loved him and miss he and his wonderful wife very much.
 We make these pineapple ornaments that people love. Everything we sell helps the kids at BYUH as it helps the scholarship fund.
At Pearl Harbor called X-Ban Radar 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Fathers Day to all you wonderful Fathers,

We are sure missing our Trapper this fathers day and hoping he has come to pay us a short visit.

Things are going very fast here as it seems like one day goes by and it's another Sunday.   I have enjoyed learning to sew all over again or rather remembering how and remembering also why I quit sewing as my back starts screaming at me after 30 minutes or so on the machine.  I am loving the Ukulele and getting better every day. Can't wait to bring it home with me. Perhaps I had better buy another one of them so I can teach anyone who wants to play it too.

I am loving the ward I have been assigned to and believe it or not I have loved teaching Gospel Doctrine as scary as it is. It is different of course than teaching to a normal ward of people over 22.My good friends the Blazers are going home to Utah tomorrow so I went to their church service to give last hugs.  They are going home in a blaze of glory as she had a lot to do with the education week here at BYUH and it was just two days. They had great speakers and were both speakers themselves. She asked me to sing at the opening session and I was honored to do so.

Things are great here and I am still loving it. I love to be immersed in everything.. I had written this and saved it and then I didn't know how to find it so I wrote again and then it popped up as a raft. So I am posting these two at the same time.
Thanks for keeping in touch and for emails etc. I love them but must get to bed now.

Love you all, Brenda