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.