Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone and a very Happy New Year,

I kept meaning to write on this blog and just seemed to get too busy. this is an amazing place in the month of December. Remember in Oct. we had the Haunted Lagoon? well this month we had the Christmas Lagoon.  The whole place had lights everywhere and it is just beautiful.  As soon as it starts to get dark the light start coming on and all the normal things start closing down like the shows at the Islands and where I am all the time the Mission Settlement.  We have been busy all month making things to sell for the people who visit. I can't imagine how many Nativity's we sold that were completely handmade  and done by a missionary sister and they are so beautiful. We had Christmas aprons, lots of angel ornaments and shell ornaments and Christmasy stuff all over the  place. We even had hand made Christmas tree  skirts that were made in the Philipines to be honest with you. That's why they were affordable though. We continue to sell lots of Uke's every day and  remember that after expenses for the PCC  the money goes to the education of all of these young people.Each canoe holds about 30 people give or take and they have a 30 minute trip around the Lagoon. there are scenes all along the Lagoon with a story line and of course the Christmas story along one whole side and then the fantasy part of Christmas. there are dancers and singers and angels and animals. It is wonderful and these past few days it has been insanely busy. Last night a couple of my friends and I ended up bussing tables setting tables and going crazy trying to get people to leave the Prime dining area so other diners could get in.  they had 1500 riding the canoes and over a thousand or two possible in the big restaurants not even counting the Luaus. I don't think I have learned to spell that right yet. Anyway today is Sunday and I sang in my ward this morning. We have hardly any students left maybe 20 and they are all freshman and we have to worry about them over Christmas. so, after I work tomorrow and Gloria and I are responsible for closing the mission settlement and it will be the busiest day of the season and it is Christmas Eve. That's okay except we are also responsible for our kids who are left here and couldn't go home for Christmas  Soooo, I will head over to wherever the Bishop ends up having a get together. We are all doing that as it is also family night. So I am contributing a ham and possible cookies. Also there is a get together with the senior missionaries. We may go to that one first as it is in the schoolhouse which is right next to the mission settlement where we are working. Does that just make you tired reading about it? then Christmas Day everyone has off of course. Not sure what we will all be doing except we want to be on the phone with all of our kids. Perhaps we should Skype all at once, or once at Kim's house and once at Todd's. Mark is out of town so perhaps Kevin and Kim will be at Todd's I hope so.

We have all been busy singing every Monday night for family nights. The first song I did was in a show Michael Ballam was doing for the wives of the BYU Professors. I sang a duet of Star Bright with him. then on another family night two of my friends and I sang Mary's Lullaby together as a trio and I also did Born Is The Light of the World and OH Holy Night. Then I sang Candlelight Carol for the very first Christmas night as well as Heirlooms  and Silver Bells with Michael and  perhaps I mentioned that before. I also sang for an evening of music for all of the clubs from the different countries. I was the only old person and represented Australia because I am a mentor to their club. They don't have many students here about 10 I think. Some have over 100 like Korea and China. It was great fun to see and hear all of their groups, just loved the evening and I had a wonderful young man from Japan as my accompanist.

.Today I sang in my ward and later today I met up with Karen and Dale Murray who are here from AZ and my old ward waiting for their son to arrive on Christmas Night from Afghanistan. He has been deployed for a whole year. I am so happy for them. They are with Kendra his wife and their four children.  So, tonight we went to hear Michael Ballam and his family but mostly him do a whole Christmas evening. He does a lot of talking about the songs of Christmas and the word Christmas and you get an incredible education about Christmas and Christ and Mary. It was a wonderful evening and I just couldn't keep myself from crying it was so spiritual and there were a whole lot of people there of all ages. The Murray's were very glad they came. I think I will meet up with them this week at the temple one day or maybe next week they have two more weeks here.

Well, that about does it. I keep meeting wonderful people at the PCC and having great talks and I love it.  It is amazing the connection you feel sometimes with people you have never met. 
I continue to work on my Uke learning new songs and more chords. I should be pretty decent after another whole year of being here.  It is amazing how many friends I have made and that I am with people here at Christmas who I didn't even know 6 months ago. Life is amazing huh?

I do miss all of you all of my dear friends, dinner friends, study group friends and of course my relatives and loved ones.

I wish you great blessings this Christmas with love in your hearts for all people.  I wish you the desire to serve others as you are only in the service of God as you serve and love His children.
I thank Heavenly Father for his immeasurable love for us and His unending patience and love for us. I am so looking forward to seeing Him one day and I pray I can live a life that He will accept me back in His arms one day. I wish the same for all of you. God bless you this Christmas and for years to come.

Love you all so very much,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Well, it appears that I spent an hour writing a new post and then somehow lost it or forgot to save it or something happened. So, I guess I ill start over. It is Dec. 6th and a lot has been going on since I wrote last. We are well into the Christmas season here at the PCC. As a matter of fact when I returned from staying with Kevin in AZ the Christmas tree was already up when I returned. We have been selling ornaments and Christmas stockings handmade and quilted and beautiful. there are lots of beautiful ornaments handmade in our little mission settlement store and we sell Ukulele's every day.  We have been rehearsing and already performing for Christmas events. Last Monday night was our family home evening with the senior missionaries and many from BYUH also join us who are here to teach there as callings for awhile. We are about to lose the Newman's and they will be missed. As a matter of fact Dave Newman gave a wonderful presentation in the Visitors Center last week about the Appearance of Joseph Smith and he had over two hundred likenesses of him that had been painted and some busts made and pictures of his death mask. It was a very very  interesting evening and very  thought provoking.

Last Monday one of my roommates janice Boise presented a wonderful Christmas program she spend many hours preparing including video and music of the Tab choir. She also asked me to sing Candlelight Carol and Michael Ballam played for me. It was great fun and a lovely evening. Janice also opened the program with were You There as a solo. She also gave every one of us copies of her program which also had narration of the Christmas Story and I hope to use it in my ward when I return.
then Michael asked me to join him in a program he presented to the women of BYU faculty last week. We performed a song called Star Bright which was written by the Uncle of the President of the University Loren Wheelwright. That was fun to do and I onoy learned it the morning of the performance. It worked out though. Next Monday we have yet another Family home evening and a whole lot of us will be performing . I am doing a tro  of Mary's lullaby with Gloria Schick and Nettie Zeaman. Michael will play for us for that.
Then Gloria and I begin to perform at the Lagoon Christ event starting tomorrow night. The whole Lagoon is lit up and every couple hundred feet all the way around the Lagoon are different musical events for people to see from the Lagoon boats. We are performing Silent Night and accompanying ourselves with the Ukalele's. Believe it or not I have learned to do that. there are only 5 chords in the whole song though so I can get away with it. I think we will be dressed in white robes and look like we are in Bethlehem and yes with Uke's and all. I hope the whole thing works out alright. I will let you know.

I went into Honolulu today with my friend Tessie. I had my first real appointment with a different kind of Chiropractor who barely touched you and makes adjustments ever so lightly . They are called NKA.or NCA, not sure which. N stand for Neurological. Anyway a friend of Kimberly's in Atlanta has had great success and I am hoping he might be able to help me with the awful ringing in my ears and lower back pain etc.
we kind of went the wrong way to get to a Walmart so the day was extremely long It is easy to get lost here
I did finish some of my Christmas stuff though and will get some things in the mail tomorrow I hope. In the morning there is a devotional for Christmas for the whole PCC and our single sisters are singing Were You There for that as well and the Ballam's are singing as well and I guess lots of others. It will be nice. Then I am invited to a Baptism of someone from Australia and I am connected to the Australian group so I need to hurry over to that if it isn't too late.  Well, I need to go to sleep fast because it is just so busy. I will write again soon so I don't forget anything.
It is really great here. I meet the greatest people. I will write about that later. Pray for me that I will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many as possible. they have to ask though as we can't talk about it at all since we are not that kind of missionary. However we can answer questions.......
Love you all, God bless to love this season of the year as we celebrate the birthday of Christ our Savior.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Well it is definitely time to write once again on my blog and say hi to everyone I am missing in my life right now.  It is November 13th and I don't think I have written on this blog for awhile. I guess the thing is that since I am not on a normal mission my days seem to be pretty much alike and I don't want to bore anyone.

Things have changed a bit here.  Ross and Kay Workman have been released as President of the Temple in Laie, and they were much loved by everyone here. I heard them speak a couple of times and of course they are great. Things just keep going forward though and the new President was one of his counselors and I believe a Hawaiian. I have been able to go to the Temple every week which makes me very happy. It is amazing to have one less than three minutes from my door. Once I get back to AZ I bet our new Phoenix Temple will be nearly ready to open and that will be a 15 minute drive. Wow how great is that?

So, now that Oct. is over we are thinking of Christmas and all that will be going on. Gloria and I and possibly another gal will be singing in the Christmas show that will be going on all along the sides of the Lagoon at the PCC.  I don't know much about that yet though but we have already decided to wear white mumus with read flower lei's . I am not sure I spelled that right.  I will tell you more about that when I know more.
Last Sat. we had a great day off. We usually work Saturdays except we all get one off a month in addition to our P-Day. Four of us went to Pearl Harbor and it was an amazing experience to see those ship still under the water. The main one is the Arizona where they have built a monument that you are taken out to. It is a very sacred experience realizing that those men are buried under the water there inside the ship. I heard that those who survived often want their ashes added to those who are already there. I believe there are just a couple still living.  We were fortunate to have been met by Gloria's cousin who is a Commander there. We lunched with he and his wife on base and they took us to see the Utah where the general public does not get to go. There is a small platform there as well to visit and it goes out to the edge where the ship is still out of the water. It capsized so it is on her side and you can only see about  a couple hundred feet of it out of the water. Anyway it was a wonderful day in Honolulu.

This coming Sunday we are having a Relief Society event and I have been rehearsing with the young women in my ward so they can sing He Sent His Son. They are going to be beautiful of course. I also went to ward council meetings as well as met with the RS presidency so it was a full day of meetings. It is amazing to see just how well a whole ward of freshman take on their responsibilities. However they will change quite often  with their positions and that will be tricky. There are older kids there as there are returned missionaries who are of course freshman so that is a good thing. Our RS President is Korean and beautiful and 20. So that is a good thing to have a bit more maturity in that position.

I will be very involved in the Thanksgiving dinner as will the other couple who have been assigned to this ward. Even though the University provides food the Bishop doesn't think it will be enough, so I think we will be taking runs to Costco to supplement. I think they will be renting movies and planning on ways to keep them all busy too.  The missionaries have also been invited to a restaurant for a free meal but I think I will just stick with this ward which will be fun. Please know that I miss everyone of my friends and ward members and think about what must be going on in AZ and of course all my friends in UT as well and all of my family in several states.  I love you and miss you and I especially think about my wonderful grandson Jordan serving a mission in Argentina. I am so proud of him and the life he is living. I think about what I am missing not being able to see my granddaughters in their performances. I hope you get me DVD's. Oh and Lily please be careful behind that wheel:) You are all so precious to me I love you all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The first picture is of course the beautiful Laie Temple just a few minutes from my home here. then a picture of me in front of the mission settlement where I spend most of my days. this darling little girl is a visitor from very far away and I just couldn't resist her so thought i would show her off. there is one picture of one of the corners of where I work. Everything there is hand made and some made by me. We have a ton of crafts and then we have lots of quilting things some made here and the big quilts we order from the Phillipines so we can sell them at an affordable price. All the money goes to the students at BYU Hawaii. The students there represent 70 countries or islands at any given time so it is a beautiful rainbow of students and I love them all. It is a marvelous program. 

Thank you for my birthday cards and well wishes. I appreciate everyone so much. Now that I know how to do this picture thing I will add some more recent pictures another day.

I hope to hear form all of you at one time or another.

Love, Brenda

Hi Everyone,

Well here it is the end of Oct. just one more day and I am a year older yet I don't feel any older.....or do I??? Well, it really doesn't matter because it is happening to all of us isn't it?
Well, I keep checking the news and the east coast is suffering terribly with the storm of the century for them.
We did have a scare last Sat. night as we had a Tsunami warning all over the islands and had to grab water and blankets etc and head for higher ground. We were very very fortunate as it did not amount to anything. Nearly 80,000 people were evacuated from Honolulu. We had to close down the PCC and had a thousand people waiting in line for the Haunted Lagoon. I imagine many of them have returned tonight but thank goodness I didn't have to be there tonight. I will finally go through it tomorrow night andthen only one night left and it is over for another year ir perhaps two years. I think they may cancel it for a year so it is more exciting in 20 14. Well, it all remains to be seen.

Gloria and I are preparing a few songs to sing and play with the Ukes. I am to the point that I can play the chords to a number of songs and she is so good she can do lots of picking to make it more fun. I think I will sing Edelweiss. Remember that one from sound of music. the whole thing can be done with five chords so even I can play that one. We haven't decided for sure which others to do but we will by tomorrow morning.

I did have a couple of great experiences this week with guests that I met who I really connected with and will stay in touch with. There is a couple from Connecticut who may just want the missionaries to visit them but we shall see. I must have talked with them for an hour and somehow learned a lot about her life and her challenges. They were a wonderful couple and I am so grateful to have met them.

Dave and Colleen Newman' s kids came to visit and we spent some time with them and they were darling. they live in Midway and know who Marilyn and Tom Ryan are. They are in love with their home and would give about anything to buy it.So, you two better be prepared to have them knock on your door. they are a super couple and he is a singer and guitar player and bought a great Ukulele from us. that was a fun time.

I had a great experience directing the choir from the Stake and we ended up with about 40 young people. they were simply wonderful. My next choir experience will be Nov. 18th when I am hoping to pull together a choir from my ward to perform for a Relief Society event. I am looking forward to that but haven't picked a song yet. That comes next. I need a two part on faith for women.

We have learned that our wonderful President Orgill who has been the PCC President for 12 years will be leaving next summer and he will be a mission President somewhere in the world with his darling wife. He has worked so hard for so long to prepare for the year 2013 when they will celebrate the 50th birthday of the Polynesian cultural Center and they will miss the biggest month in September. Well, that is what they get for being so spiritual and talented right?

We had an infestation of horrible creepy bugs in our pantry so right now everything is all over the kitchen and we have sprayed several times and now we have a bug bomb in there and won't attempt to put it all back together until tomorrow morning. It is awful to see hundreds of those little critters scurrying all over your pantry walls, makes your skin crawl.

Well, this is the big week of Halloween so I hope all the little ones have a good time and get lots of goodies. I imagine we will need to get in some candy for the neighbor kids as all of you will.

I heard from grandson Jordan today who is serving a mission in Argentina. I sent him a box for his birthday from here so I hope he gets it and it isn't stolen. Oh and Lily got her learners permit yesterday and we are so proud of her.

Hey don't forget to vote, no matter what. Take nothing for granted as this is the most important year in history. I understand Billy Graham has told his followers to vote for the man who is a man of God and a family man and who believes in marriage between a man and a woman. Hummmmm, who would that be??

I love you all and miss you very very much. I love my new friends here and we get along just great, amazing huh?
God bless each of you with whatever you are in need of.

Love, Brenda

Monday, October 8, 2012

We had some surprise visitors at the PCC from my ward. the Littles were there and totally shocked me when they walked into the settlement where I work most of the time. that was so much fun and I will try and get the pictures on here that we took. Also last week the Werner brothers who are friends of Todds were just chatting with me and asked me where I was from and when I said Anthem they said well so are we. the one said do you know Todd woods??? Well he is just my son so I guess we are now friends. Well that was sure fun too. It is so much fun to get visitors that we don't expect and they just show up. Well Todd and Michelle are coming this very week and I am very excoted to show them where I am living for 18 months and spending all my time.
Well I just saw this as a draft I had not published so I don't know if it will go on top of the one I wrote today. this I wrote a week or so ago.
So, I will just hit publish and see where it goes. By for now.
Hello Everyone,

Of course it is another lovely day here on the beautiful island of Oahu. It is always warm and sometimes very very hot and always humid. However we are blessed on the north end of the island with trade winds most of the time except for today which seems very quiet.  I had a fantastic time starting Friday about noon when Todd and Michelle came to see me for a short visit. I am thrilled that they got away for a week on Maui but stopped here to see me first. They were absolutely exhausted after a total comedy of errors trying to get here on buddy passes but it all fell through and it seemed to take two days to get here and no sleep. Anyway we had a half day on Friday and most of the day on Sat. and they were flying to Maui on Sat. night and the plane cancelled so we ended up going to a movie near the airport and they stayed in a motel near there and took off on sunday morning. they finally got there and I hope are doing nothing but resting, eating and exercising. NO WORK whatsoever, either one of them. they soooo deserve it.

Anyway I loved showing them both off to all of my new friends and they loved the Center and the show and remembered a lot of it from over 20 years ago. I know it sounds crazy that our families and friends are allowed to come and visit us but that is the way for service missionaries. One of my roommates is going home to UT for a month to help care for brand new twins her children are trying to adopt and they have the brother already who is only 2. So she is leaving with mixed feelings of course as it is a strange feeling to leave a missions for home and then return. We will all miss her but her children will be really happy for the help.

Well, we have big things happening at the PCC. They started their Haunted Lagoon and the first night we had over 2400 people go through it. we all volunteer to help with this at night so we close down the place where I work all the time at 6 instead of 7 so everything in the PCC is pitch dark. Wow it is amazing how everyone comes out for it. I haven't personally gone through it yet but I can't wait. Maybe i will do that this evening. We work at them 5 or 6 times helping the volunteers to keep from being too hungry and give them hot chocolate and noodles and whatever else we can I guess. We dress all in black and can't be seen of course. This is a big money maker for the kids going to BYU and for the PCC so they are having it every year. Look up Haunted lagoon at the PCC on Google and take a peek at the website. I think it may just be

Also I think I mentioned  that we are assigned to all different wards and I am in a brand new stake ofall freshman wards. got a call yesterday and was asked to show up to help out at a choir practice for the stake conference to be held in two weeks. So I went and there were 4 girls and five boys,. Wow that was challenging. Sooo, I will be calling a few of my sister missionaries to help sings. I also will call my Bishop make sure that these kids come out for this. There are so many beautiful singers but since they are all brand new here so I think there is a lot of shyness. We all just need some time to get to know each other.
Then last night I had another meeting about working with the clubs of all the many countries represented here. Again I am assigned to Australia and just learning what they expect from us. More on that when I know more. At least I don't have to worry about the meeting s being run in another language.

This is a wonderfu,l beautiful place and I love it here. We all listened to conference here although it cme on at 6 am (not a morning person). What a fantastic announcement about the change in ages for missions. Now I think we may  have some grandaughters going now that it is 19. WOW! how exciting. I think of Jordan often and pray for his safety and health. He will be beating me home by a month or two as he goes for two years.

My love to you all. If you are unable to write to me on this site please write to me at

Oh I have found another darling girl going to school here and working as a guide whose parents and grandparents I know from Mt. Olympus area. I got to talking with a beautiful tall blond student one day and she said she was from Yuma. I said the only people I may know there are the children of Russ and Naoma Hansen. So, those of you who know them Amanda is the daughter of Marsha. Isn't that fun? And I ran into her when Todd and Michelle were with me and she told them how much she loves it here. OK that's it for now. I love you all and certainly miss you a ton. come on over and enjoy this amazing place. Maybe during the winter for those of you in IL or UT.

Mahalo, Brenda

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I just don't know what I hit on this keyboard  I had a whole message written and I hit something and it just all disappeared so here I go again. It is after 10 on Sunday night so this won't be long. I am having a Dr. appointment in the morning just so I have a Dr. to go to if I really need one and he will at least know who I am. He is only five minutes from here so that is a good thing.
I have been assigned to an all freshman ward and I may have mentioned that already but they are just great and I look forward to working with. We provide what they call shadow leadership which means we don't do the work for them but we are here to advise.

We went up to some beautiful falls on Sat with five of us. The walk up to the falls was botanical and beutiful. We found a great restaurant afterwards and just totally enjoyed ourselves for the whole day. there is a darling town up north of here that is just very touristy and we loved it. I will have to take all visitors there.

I enjoyed listening to Women's conference this weekend as well and it was very tender and very beautiful.

Kevin is back at work and doing well in his recovery from what the kids say from home. I am very very grateful to God for blessing him and watching over him.
We at the PCC are getting ready for the Haunted Lagoon that will bring in some money for the kids education. It will be absolutely amazing and most everyone on the island will come here during the month of Oct. as well as visitors from all over the world of course.
Not much else to tell for now. Tomorrow night Colleen Newman and I are presenting a family home evening for the Senior missionaries and volunteers and we are talking about our experiences in the Tabernacle choir. I will be singing a solo as Sister Newman has lost her singing voice due to health problems. I feel very badly for her. She will do a great job talking though as she likes to talk about the choir as well as I do.
I will let you know how it turns out.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I just want the to thank you all for the notes you have posted on this site. I am such a dummy I just figured out how to find the comments. So glad I did. I got Noma's some from Connie an  Jan
Now tg crazy and I can't sstay on the same line. driving me crazy is computer is actinh

Return from Phoenix to Polynesian Cultural Center

Today is Sept. 17th.  I returned to Hawaii last Thursday.  Kevin felt like he was okay to be
 home alone recuperating.  That is good news isn't it?  I have been pestering him everyday to see how he is doing but I will slow that down as well.  I was very happy to see everybody but found that the PCC is very quiet the month of Sept. as kids have gone back to school so families are no longer vacationing.  The month of Oct. will pick up again as we will start the Haunted Lagoon Oct. 4th I believe. that is very very exciting and people really come out for it.

I have also started with my new ward assignment which is a brand new Ward as they actually all have been reorganized. I have all freshman and since they are just beginning to call and make assignments there was nobody to organized Relief Society today. So being the obvious older person there I just ran the meeting and shared my story so they couold get to know me. It is a perfect mixture of cultures and beautiful to see.  This evening I went to what they call a meeting Gospel Forum. It is made up of students from Australiz and New Zealand. they planned a whole evening of music and it was wonderful. Each student bore their tesstimony and then performed. Some were groups, some were solos and some duets. Lots of great talent so it was a beautiful evening. We are all assigned to different countries or islands. they will meet once a month.

So, I am back at the mission settlement and back to playing the ukalele, or rather learning it. Michael Ballum and his wife Laurie and son Ben are now there and have been for a couple of weeks. Ben moves around from one place to another and that is good for him. He has a lovely voice and is learning the ukeleleThe family put on an amazing evening while I was still gone but my friend Janice recorded it so I sat and watched it this afternoon and it was amazing what this family has gone through with a son with Spina Bifida. He has had over 30 operations and not too long ago he wouldn't have made it out of the hospital . Now he is 21 and wears an Elder Ballum missionary tag so proudly. They are an amazing family and I look forward to knowing them better.
Well, must get some sleep, so very tired.

I am happy I came home  to be with Kevin and the rest ofmy wonderful family. So glad to be back here though to finish what I started. God be with you all and please feel free to write to me at

Love, Sis Woods

Monday, September 3, 2012

It has been quite awhile since I have posted on my blog and there is a good reason for that. About three weeks ago I got a call from my son Kevin in AZ and he informed me that he was probably going to need open heart surgery. Well, needless to say I was on a plane home within a couple of days just in time to accompany him to have an angiogram which again proved that he needed this operation.  This was causeed by radiation he had when he was 22 years old after having Hodgkins disease. Well, he did much reading and went to several Doctors to make sure that he had to do this and  he went in on that following Monday to have the surgery which ended up to be a tripple by-pass. All went very well and he has been recovering now for two weeks and I have been living with him helping him in his recovery.  He is very strong and recoverinng  well and following the orders given us. He has pretty much become a vegan so we have been eating very very healthy food. the truth is heart disease can be reversed by pretty much taking out all meat and even fish all oils etc. from your diet. So, it is a good idea if anyone you know has had a by-pass or is growing close to one, look up Dr. Dean Ornish, or Dr. Caldwell Esselsten. They have proven that they can reverse heart disease with diet. It's pretty strict but then life is worth it.
Today is Labor day and Trappers birthday so he has been gone for two years now and I can hardly believe it, it seems more like six months to me. We are getting together at Kimberly's for dinner and just being together and that will be great.  I haven't seen them much as I have been here at Kevin's. I think he will be ready for me to leave and go back to Hawaii next week. I will be ready and anxious to go back and get busy again serving. I have met wonderful loving people and now I have a ton of new friends who will be in my life in one way or another forever I hope. Just like all the friends I have now, they all mean so much to me as does my wonderful family and extended family.  Thank you all for caring so much for Kevin and for all of your prayers, they are being answered. Now please pray for a speedy recovery. God bless you all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I haven't figured out how to do thia quite yet. I accidentally put the same picture twice. I will get the hang of this I am sure. We just have cabinets all over the house with displays showing all the things we make there and sell. We have beautiful quilts for sale but they are made in the Phillipines. It just tkes too long to make quilts as you all know. We have dozens of other items tha people just love. Today I will take close up pictures of things that we make and sell. People like to take home momentos of their trips and they do come from all over the world. Yesterday a cou;le came in from Nova Scotia. Lots of people from China and Japan every single day in huge geroups. We receive over 2,000 visitors everyday. I go in today at 4 and close up at 8 this evening after everything is over, dinner and the shows. The quild that you see down below was actually made by a lovely Hawaiian lady who worked there at the PCC for many years. We even have a little booi all about her. Thqt huge quilt is an heirloom and all one piece as it is the Hawaiian style of quilting and that would be applique. It is like making a giant snowflake like when we were kids. I think it took her a year to make the quilt. Well, I would lo9ve to hear from any of you I think you cna comment right here on this blog. try it and see.
Love you, Brenda

The above picture is part of the mission settlement home, one corner. I will add more but I jsut spent a half hour doing this and then lost the whole thing. so now I am hurrying. You can see lots of homemade things that we do. I am learning how to do those squares up  on the top. It is fun and it will take awhile. I can put it on a picture frame or make a pillow out of it.
How about this beautiful little girl? I get to see these lovely little girls and boys every day from all over the world as I have said before. they are adorable aren't they? I am here about 4 or five hours every day and I spend time doing things or just taking care of people and selling. I sure know a lot about that don't I. We are just there to help them though, not a hard sell by any means. Did you know that all the revenue above expenses goes directly to the students at BYU Hawaii? That is the whole purpose of the PCC so these young people can earn their way through school. It is a great program and I am glad to be a part of it.
Time to go, Love, Brenda

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hi again, I am playing with putting some pictures up and here is one of me in front of the mission home. I will try and get more up or Kimberly, can you try. I think I wsent you some of these pictures.
Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for joining me once again. Here it is August already and time is flying by and we are having fun and gaining quite an education about the Polynesian Cultural Center. I have been partnered with a lovely new friend by the name of Gloria Stitch. She is also a widow but only had her husband until he was 38 years old. She has raised her family by herself and has done a fantastic job. Right now her main home is in Farmington UT. We both work in the Mission Settlement and her main job is teaching people to play the Ukelele as she has been playing it since she was fifteen. It's amazing how many we sell. I am hoping to play it better with her help. they are really fun and it is amazing how much people take to them.
We are not overworked by any means but we have learned what we are capable of and this morning I was thinking that when I get home perhaps I will work again, and why not? If I can do it here I can do it at home. Of course by then I may be ready for a good rest. Every Monday night we have Family Home Evening as I have probably said before. Tonight the Workmans who are the Temple President and Matron are speaking. Unfortunately I will miss most or all of it as I have to close the settlement house this evening.I have been trying to get hold of them since I got her but they have not been in the temple when I have been. I hope to catch them tonight. As some of you know from SLC we raised our kids together up in Mt. Olympus 8th Ward. We were mumu's. that is the dress here for missionaries who are working in the PCC. In the Settlement we have three different ones and we take turns with the colors. We have special ones for taking tickets at the four places people get to go for dinner. We have just been asked to become friends and mentors to the different groups from the many countries that these darling students come from . I am going to be helping the Australian students. I think it is just to become their friends and help them know where to go for help and advice. They have counselors of course on staff of BYU but sometimes need a friend, or perhaps a mom. I love that idea. I have also been assigned a student ward of single kids, they also have married wards. I will start with them on Sunday and help out the Relief Society Presidency. For those of you who are not LDS, that is the women's organization that meets together every Sunday and is always there to help others when they are in need. If I can figure out how to add pictures, I will put in some of the settlement so you can see where I spend most of my time. Of course this whole place is absolutely beautiful and I invite anyone to come and visit. The whole month of Oct. will be amazing as they will have a haunted Lagoon. Todd and Michelle are coming probably the second week of Oct. so they picked a great time. I love you all and miss every one of you being in my life. Please let me hear from you. God bless you . Brenda

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hi Everyone, It is the end of two weeks here and I am well into my service here. I have been assigned to the Mission Settlement about in the center of the Polynesian Cultural Center from now on known as the PCC. It is pretty funny for me to be in the craft area since I have never adored crafts, but guess what, I am enjoying learning how to create different things that we have for sale. People, especially women and children love this stuff and buy it all. We have hand made quilts that are exquisite and lots of Hawaiian style quilting which is applique type quilting. Also I am learning the Ukalele. I just have trouble spelling that. You can play a ton of songs with 4 or 5 chords. Monday a darling new gal will be joining me who really knows how to play it. Also there is a tiny chapel which is a replica of the original first chapel build by the Congregationalists who were the first Christians to come to the islands. I am learning a lot of history of the islands and sharing that with people. I get to see new people from all over the world every day and I love that. Yesterday I got to share with a beautiful family all about our church. When they ask about it I was able to share my story and give them a Book of Mormon and it was an incredible experience. I am eternally grateful. Also Beth Kammerer came over to see me. She was a dear friend from my Pennsylvania days and she is teaching in a high school and her husband Dave teaches at BYU Hawaii right here. I am so happy to see her and she already asked me to sing a solo at Stake conference in August. I sing a bit every day with this tiny Ukelele. We have a concert pianist here as well. Well, I am off with a friend since it is a day off for me. It is exquisite here but the heat is difficult with the high humidity. It is surprising but we can see movies so Anna and I went to see the new cartoon Ice Age.....really funny so laughed a lot. If any of you want to see the Polynesian Village just search for Polynesian Village Laie, HI and they have a great website. Love you all, Sis Brenda

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First week at the PCC Polynesian Cultural Center

Hi Everyone,
It has been impossible to get conncected until I finally went to McDonalds across the stree from where I am living temporarily. We are directly across the street from the PCC and of course BYU Hawaii. This week is completely spent on orientation and gettiner set up as volunteers I guess you call us. We are actually not allowed to wear our badges as they are in the Village. We are getting picture id's tomorrow with our first names on them and a picturee. that will hang on a Hawaiian necklace and we will only wear Hawaiian clothes. They givve us one and we find the rest. So swap meet here we come on this Sat.. I am buying a tiny car tha I need pretty bad here. I have done a ton of walking which hasn't hurt me a bit but  I am exhausted of course. We will have to move again August 1st or so but right now I am aloneiin a very tiney place right on the beach. It is hysterical, very old and my neighbors have cockroaches. I have been lucky so far. 

This place is amazing, I lvoe everyone I have met and there is so much love here and so much spirit you can hardly believe it. Lots  of hugging going on  and you all know how I love to hug. We are going through orientation and most of that is customer service which I don know a lot about. I love that though and I will be working right in the center of the village called the mission settlement, lots of crafts. Michelle would love it:). Maqybe I wlil too who knows.

I am exhausted and havne't had a way to get online until I found this McDonals' so I am grateful for it.
My phone is not working so I can't call anyone until I get a new battery. We won't be able to use cell phones at all while in the village of course but can at night. Of course everyone is way later than we are. We are three hours behind the coast so you can figure that all out. The same goes foe AZ of course without the daylight savings time
Here is my permanent address:
Brenda Woods
BYUH # 1805
55-220 Kulanui St.
Laie, Hawaii 96762

This is a box at the BYU Hawaii Post Office.
Love you all, Sister Brenda Woods

Friday, July 6, 2012

Leaving for Hawaii tomorrow. I keep erasing by accident everything I type so I a giving up until I get there and am not doing this in the dark. It has been a perfect week, perfectly wonderful new friends who I will see again at a reunion in two years. God bless them all for what they are doing all 120 of them all Seniors. Then there were 2400 young men and women here totally amazing. Take care, Brenda

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Three days into the MTC in Provo UT and I am loving it. Over 2,000 young missionaries and over 100 Senior Missionaries are here at one time. It is so amazing how smoothly everything runs. I have a temporary roomate who is amazing at 89 years old about to go back to her home in St. George to serve in the Temple visitors center there. She is fun to get to know and we are having a great time together. I have 2 minutes to get back so this is a short one.
My thanks to all those who came to my friends Adele's home last week and again at my niece Martha's home. I love you all so very very much for caring so much for me. It means everything to me and I dearly love you all.
I am heading out to Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center this coming Friday already but there are no hard and fast rumors for Sr. Missionaries about communicating. So, whoever has Skype, I will have it as well when I get there.
Must quit now, Love you all, Brenda

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Well, this is my first official post on my Missionay Blog! I cannot believe I am leaving tomorrow for Utah and then will be entering the MTC on July 2, 2012 and will be serving for 18 months at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. What did I ever do to deserve suah a blessing? I AM THRILLED.

This weekend was wonderful, with family and friends in Anthem, AZ. I spoke in church and my darling grandaughters, Jazzie, Lily and Kalia, their Mom Michelle, daughter Kimberly and I sang together. It's a great joy for me to have them all have beautiful voices. they use them all the time in theater here in Anthem, one show after another and it sure keeps them all busy including their Mom Michelle who is a great costume designer.

Kimberly had an open house and lots of people brought wonderful food to share and there was lots of hugging going on. I am deeply grateful for their efforts, especially Kimberly and Michelle for all their hard work and for the wonderful food that was brought by friends. I am deeply grateful as well for the cards and letters and some special gifts. I love every  one of you, God bless you for your kindnesses to me and my family. Please watch over them while I am gone.

The hardest thing for rme has been getting ready to be away for 18 months. If it hadn't been for a couple of friends and my family helping me so much I just wouldn't be ready, but I am just about there.
So thanks for being here  and join me whenever you can. I am phasing out my email at Trapper Woods and using gmail and my church email  address. . Please be kind to me and don't forward anything as much as I love all that political stuff I won't have time to read it so if you can, please take me off of your automatic fowarding lists. I know who I am vand I am voting for and I'm sure you know too.

For those of you who don't know, my grandson Jordan has been in Argentina serving his mission and has been out for a little over 6 months. We are discovering how fast time really goes. We will be coming back close to the same time as our 19 year olds go for 2 years.