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
Here we are June nearly over already, well half over anyway.  It has been a great month have met so many people once again from all parts of the world visiting the PCC. The weather has warmed up quite a bit so I get more tired at the end of the day just from the heat and high humidity.

We had a two day education week here at BYU Hawaii and I was so happy to be asked to sing in the opening session. Our main speakers were T.C. Christensen and his wife who had four children born with the rarest form of MS.  They told about their journey with these darling children who had to endure so much in their young lives. They lost two of them already and the other two are going through a lot as well. She is singing now with the Mormon Tabernacle choir so when they left they headed for Chicago so she could join them in their Great Lakes tour I think they called it. A lovely couple and she is good friends with an old friend of mine who I performed with quite a bit still singing in the choir Trisha Swanson.
Things are really moving forward preparing for the 50yh anniversary with lots of fixing up and painting and just beautifying the whole place. They have a whole new show at the Samoa Island and a Luau and they are working many hours a day trying to finish the Aloha  Luau. It got totally invaded by termites and had to be rebuilt.

I have lost all three of my roommates. They served their 18 months and two are home in Utah and the other one is leaving in a couple of days. She is going up to Oregon but will be in SLC to film the parade on the 24th.  Our PCC float one first prize last year and it was amazing. They are putting the whole HA the Breath of Life show on in SLC so that will be wonderful for you SLC people to go and see. Go to the PCC site and I imagine they talk about the calendar of events.

I had my son Mark come here a short time ago and I met him at the airport and we went to dinner in Waikiki
and then he met his friend Jeremy and they flew to Kona for the half Ironman.  They both finished the race but poor Jeremy had blisters all over his feet so Mark came out to the PCC alone and we enjoyed most of the day together. I am looking forward to Kimberly and Kevin coming in Sept.

It seems so empty in this apartment and I had lots of help last evening from my other friends cleaning the kitchen trying to rid it of the roaches that have infested. that i the only bad part of being her roaches and the salt air rusts everything in site. A brand new bike looks ten years old in one year They put new locks on our doors here and in three months they looked ten years old. Very strange air here, we have volcanic powder in the air mixed with the salt so it is all over your wind shield in no time at all.  You have to wash your windows every day.

Time is flying by so fast it seems like it is impossible that I have been here already nearly a year. I want to get home near the time that Jordan arrives home from Argentina because once he is home he will head out to school somewhere and Jazzie will be going to Utah State. I can't believe it is that time of life already.
Love you all, please write me or call me too. Different kind of mission you know.
I miss everyone so much,
Love, Brenda

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Since my last posting I have had still more visitors and these came all the way from Pennsylvania. Dear friends who we met during our short time working at the Day-Timer company in Allentown PA back in 1990 and 91 I think.  We have stayed in touch these many years with Pat and Dan Vassileros, and again I bet I spelled it wrong, have always ha trouble with that name. We had a great time even if it was short, I spent the whole day with them taking them around the PCC with a young man who is a guide there who served a mission there and attended their ward. Dave Richardson is his name and he is finishing school here with his wife and baby.  He added them on to his group so we all learned even more about this wonderful place.  I loved seeing them and love them.

We keep very busy here with meeting the folks who visit from really all parts of the world. We have a lot of people form Canada and Australia and many from Japan, China and Korea. We love to connect with them and if possible share a little bit about the church although we can only do that if they ask. We do invite them to take the free tram ride over to the Laie Temple and visitors Center and that is a good thing for it is beautiful.

There is much work going on at the center trying to prepare for the big anniversary celebration the month of September mostly the first week. We expect President Monson to be with us that week or part of it, not sure. Things are being spruced up and  new things are opening, and always ther eis something new happening.

I am working hard trying to perfect my Ukulele playing and really enjoying it. My friend Gloria is a great teacher and still has much to teach me before she leaves probably in July.

We have fun on our days off  going shopping or going into Honolulu.  A group of women got together and went for a day of just seeing things on our day off and went to a place sort of like Sea World but not nearly as good. We enjoyed it though, loved the Dolphins of course. Everywhere we drove of course we saw ocean because the road mostly goes around the whole island.  I even ran into a lady from Anthem AZ where I live full time. I had never met her before but she had attended some of our concerts in Anthem.

I found out about a dentist about an hour away who treats missionaries for free so I went to see him to make sure all is well, and it is. That was a kind thing for him to do.

There are many kind people here who like to take care of missionaries who are here serving so I know God will bless them.

Many of my new friends families are coming to visit their parents before they return home so it is fun to meet all of them.

I can't remember if I had my new calling yet when I last wrote. I have been called to teach the Gospel Doctrine class and that scared me to death. That is the class my Trapper taught and he was an amazing teacher so needless to say I have been really worried about it and study like crazy. So, I guess you know that I have been the most blessed person by having this assignment. I am learning more and more every week and loving it even though I get scared every week.  I have had totally full classes as we have our new summer students here and a number of them are returned missionaries and that is intimidating and yet they don't make me feel that way at all. In fact they are there to help and support me.. I just love these kids so much and my heart goes out to them so much because they are so brand new to all of this, most of them anyway.  Here they are from many different countries and English is their second or third language and they have to learn everything in English. I am so proud of all of them I really am.

I have had many opportunities to sing as well, but mostly at Christmas. I am going to sing for the Education Week for adults.  It is really only two days here but I am looking forward to that. Also I am directing the stake choir and that is fun but tough. It is hard to get them to come out but once they do they have a good time.  My really good singers have left on missions though so I have to find some more. There are 7 wards in my stake so you would think we could find some great singers. They decided they want to practice a couple times a month so we can be ready for the next stake conference or anything else they want us for.

We have had a ton of rain but it is getting hot and very humid so that wears us down. 

We will be having new sister missionaries coming very soon as we have some people leaving. That is the way it goes. Out with the old and in with the new.  I am down to eight months now until I come home and I can't believe how fast every week goes. It seems like the world is speeding up.

I love hearing from you so please email me at brendalwoods@gmail.com. I miss all my friends so very much but it is fun getting to know new people too. One couple is moving to St. George, the Whelchels so we may see them when we go through there to get to SLC.

Hi Everyone,

I don't know what I do but more often than not I write a whole lot and I am abut to post it and it disappears and I get discouraged and just forget abut it.

I will try once again to post here some of my thoughts and feelings about being here. It is the second week of May 2013 and I am still loving being here and serving these young people coming here for an education from 70 countries. the school is gong through much construction right now with many new dorms for both single people and married people.  Also there is a beautiful new stake center that will be dedicated in Sept by Russel Nelson who will be coming over for the celebration of the fiftieth birthday birthday party of the PCC. That will be a huge week with lots going on.  I can't wait to be in a real church again as i have been assigned to a wonderful freshman ward who is now meeting in a classroom setting and we move to other classrooms for the Sunday school classes.  I have been teaching Gospel Doctrine for the first time in my life an at first it terrified me. However with a few classes under my belt I am now really enjoying it and loving teaching these beautiful young people. My ward are all freshman but we have many ages. Since the church put out the new rules that young women can serve missions now at age 19 and young men at 18, students are flying out the door as soon as they are ld enough to serve the Lord. Consequently we change faces in our ward often. As a matter of fact since I came here we are on our third Relief Society Presidency. How would that be? However visiting teaching is easier because everyone lives in the same dorm and they call them Hale's here.
We have fifteen sister missionaries and over 20 couples serving and also people serving missions teaching at BYU Hawaii. It is totally amazing there are so many who are needed.  Also the Pcc is now building an entirely new marketplace that hopefully will bring in more people who are just driving by. We will have a restaurant and many stores. They are rebuilding a Luau venue that was infested with termites and about to fall down.....well almost anyway. The new IMAX movie is open and runs all day and has a beautiful new shop that people just love.
We are selling Ukulele's every day and teaching people every day and I am helping to sew when I have the time. It rains nearly every day but that is good as it brings people into the settlement where I work every day.
We sell lots of umbrellas and ponchos.

I feel so bless to have so many new friends and to have wonderful home evenings every Monday night. Last week we had one of the temple presidency speak to us and he was so amazing. Our whole world will be dotted with so many more temple than we now have and millions of lives will be blessed because of it.
Last night we had this wonderful group of diverse young people from BYUH give us a presentation that they are presenting around the country talking of what they are involved in called Enactus. There are 166 students involved along with skilled faculty managers and faculty campus and business leaders doing good in the world. They talk of their many projects and it is fascinating.They will be our future business leaders.

We are having an Education Week next month that I have been asked to sing for.It actually only lasts two days here and we will all go to as much as we can while we are not working.

My wonderful ward is working hard to send a large box over here to help many young people who come from very poor circumstances. They need bedding an everything that goes along with it. I know that many missionaries are asking for help from their home wards. These darling young people sometimes come here with the clothes on their backs an then they start working the day after they are here but don't get a pay check for three weeks so they need help. They work so hard and try so hard.. Just imagine coming to a school that is taught in a language that you have only been studying for a couple of years. Wow that would be hard.

I love them all so much and we so try to be surrogate Mom's for them and they just all need lots of love and hugs and when they walk across that stage in three years with a college diploma it just changes their young lives.
Thank you all for your help God will bless you.

Must hurry and get over there, it is time I Leave,
Love, Brenda

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hello Everyone,

This has been a great month so far. The best thing that has happened is a great visit from seven dear friends whom I have known since I was engaged to my husband back in 1962.  They are friends from our study group which have met every month for nearly fifty years so we know each other very well and our kids as well. Judy and Allen Brown, Bob and Elaine Sperry and Chad and Judy Hamilton and Mary Ann Wright all flew into Hawaii and stayed out at Turtle Bay about fifteen minutes north of Laie where I live and work
.  I was able to get some time off and spend time with them.  They spent a day here at the PCC and a darling girl from Yuma AZ who happened to be the daughter of ,Marsha Hansen, the daughter of Russ and Naomi Hansen of the old Mt. Olympus 14th ward I believe, offered to take us around on her day off. She is a guide here and in her freshman year of school at BYUH.  So needless to say it was a great day and she was very informative about all that goes on here.  We all spent other time together going to my favorite restaurant called the Kahuku Grill where I also took Murray's when they were here. Everyone has to go there as it is the greatest food in a ten mile radius or more. It is owned by one of our three Stake Presidents in the area President Hannemen and his seven sons. They are opening a new place right here in Laie shopping center and it will be called Seven Sons. Anyway lots of fun. They went to church with me even though it was at 8 am.  We had a great fast meeting and as you know I am with all freshman kids and I love them. We watched the Super Bowl together, well some of them watched the game and others of us watched the commercials and talked the rest of the time.
Anyway it was a great time and I so loved them being here so to those of you who came I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I am so glad that you had such a great time as well.
So, we just keep having a great time visiting with the people who come here from all over the world. Lots of people showed up yesterday on a special tour from Iowa and filled our little mission home for about an hour and bought all kinds of things. It was crazy but fun to talk with them and they had a ball.  Everyone loves to bring something handmade from the PCC so it makes all that sewing worth it.
Did I mention the rain we have been having?? I had to get through a ton of water last week to get to my car. the place was flooded and the Lagoon nearly went over it's edges. It was actually pretty exciting.  this wee has bee beautiful again and there have been lots of visitors. We had a whole day where Amway took over the entire PCC and they were all from Asia, and that was very interesting.
Well, Pat and Dan Vassileros are here on the island and I will see them tomorrow at the church where the Kammerers form PA are going.  So that is very exciting that they will be here and at the PCC on Tues. they are good planners so they took a tour of the island yesterday and probably had a ball.
So thank you for reading this as I am sure it is getting kind of boring, not a whole lot happens here that is terribly interesting to you I'm sure.  they are working hard to get this place perfect for the month of Sept. when Pres. Monson is supposed to be here to help celebrate our 50th anniversary. that is such a big deal and everyone is so excited. The IMAX is about to reopen with a new film and that will be wonderful too.

Well, I just got an invication the the beach for an hour so I think I had better take advantage of that before I go to the PCC to work at 1:30 til closing. I have crazy hours, different every day but I love that.

God bless you all and have  great week and great month. Eleven months to go.......
Love, Brenda, Mom, or Sister Woods

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dec. 4, 2012

Hi everyone,( I found this is drafts and thought I had lost it. somesay I will really understand this blogspot thing. so I may go ahead and post this and hope I haven't said it all again and repeated myself. If so just ignore it and please be patient with my rambling) I have already written in Jan and this will be in the wrong place so forgive me please.

today is Dec. 4th Tuesday. Since December has started there is much more going on here preparing for Christmas and all that goes on here at the PCC. I always want you to go to their official site and see the latest happenings as I believe they announce events. this coming Friday we start the Christmas Lagoon just like we had in Oct. for Halloween. that brought in thousands of people from just about everywhere. Hundreds of locals  and of course students from here and also lots of adults were involved in that. It was a huge undertaking and again this Christmas it will be a huge undertaking.

There will be the story of Christmas told and much music. There will be animals like sheep and goats and who knows what all, I can't wait to find out. This evening there will be a dress rehearsal with everyone. Gloria and I and the Ballams have been asked to participate by having our own special place we will be singing Silent night with our Ukulele's. we got one that can hook into a sound system and we will have mikes. We are singing Silent Night all night long every time a huge canoe (holds 30 people) goes by so that will be kind of hard. I don't know how many hours that will be. I think it is three nights the first week and the second and then goes every night but Sunday. However we have other responsibilities like singing at the visitors centor one night and Family Home Evenings we are singing for as we did last night. It was wonderful to be involved last night for we have over 60 Senior missionaries here right now and they were pretty much all there last night. One of my roommates Janice Boise is here on a mission turning every VHS  into DVD's and has re-filmed the night show called the Breath of Life. they will sell that at the show like they have been doing for years only she has made it significantly better. It is basically the Plan of Salvation ad it is done incredibly well. I have seen it twice now and like to see it when people come to visit if I can get away.
Brother Stotts wife and sister and daughter and Mom came to visit the PCC a short time ago and I was able to have dinner with them and have a nice visit. It was so great to see them all, such fun and I think they really enjoyed themselves.

So last night Janice had put video to music of the tab. choir and also Breath of Heaven by amy Grant was playing while the new film the church has put out on the birth of the Savior. It was really beautiful and she made us all copies. there is live narration and she sang the opening song Were You there and she asked me to sing Candlelight Carol. I was thrilled she included me and Michael Ballam played for me and that was fun. I believe I mentioned before his son Ben is here on a 9 month mission and they are here for him. However they are being kept very very busy.  their family will put on an evening for the missionaries as well as at the visitors Center and all of us missionaries will also put on a program at the visitors Center. I am doing a trio with friends as well as a solo, not sure which one yet. I am planning on doing Heirlooms at the next Monday night Fireside as well as a trio. Weill be more fun. Last week I sang a duet with Michael for the women of BYUH and he told the history of Christmas and I learned things I had never heard. We sang Starbright since it was written by the Uncle of the President of the University Loren Wheelright. So that was fun too.

Well, I guess I had better get going and this is getting a bit long. I am going to try and attach a picture of me taken with President Orgil. He is the current President of the PCC and has been here for 12 years. He has just recently been informed that he is going to be released in Feb. and he and his wife will be called as new mission Presidents somewhere in the world but they don't know where yet. He is an amazing man and his wife is wonderful as well, they will bless anywhere they go.

I love you all and would love to hear from you at brendalwoods12@gmail.com. I can't figure out this blog thing and how to get comments. Dumb huh?
Love, Brenda and God bless you all.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope the year has started out well for everyone and that we are all eady for the New Year.

I have had a great month so far except that I have been sick all week with what everyone else has had here at the PCC and it lasts and lasts I'm afraid. It is awful to have to jsut stay here and cough my head off and feel lousey and miss being with all the wonderful people who come here to visit. I really do miss all my new friends at the mission settlement where I spend all my time every day.  So I pray that I can get back to work on Monday.

It has been a busy month as everyone has been preparing for the big evening we had last night as we honored President Orgill and his wife Cherrie as they are leaving the PCC after 12 years of service as CEO and President.  They are going to be called as Mission President and wife somewhere in the world but nobody knows where yet. So for the last week his f 102 of amily has been flying in from all over the world with their children, even a son who was just released from his mission in California. What a night it was starting at 6:20 in the evening when all 25 plus of them were put into huge canoes and taken around the whole PCC to each island village and given a presentation or show at each one. All the Senior missionaries about forty of us were at the mission settlement building on the porch and we played the Ukaleles and sang to his family as they went by . they even had a bunch of the dancers from the big night show on barges in the water with torches and sand and danced. It was really a sight to behold. When that was all over we all were invited over to the Island Feast building for a feast with the family and we had a program and gave them gifts from all the islands as well as all of the people who work at the PCC, each separate department. So we didn't get home until one in the morning last night. It was all worth every minute of it as the love that poured out to this amazing man and his darling wife was simply amazing. I went away from that evening last night with a very full heart and testimony strengthened that the Polynesian Cultural Center is part of God's plan for literally millions of people as over the past 50 years indeed it has hosted millions of people who could not have left here without feeling of the special spirit of this place and this people. So many miracles have taken place time and time again and now it is celebrating fifty miraculous years. this is a place that many people in Honululusaid would never survive and inspite of the odds against it it has indeed survived and thrived and grown and only through the hand of God has this happened. Now in Sept. President Monson will be here to celebrate the anniversary with everyone here and I just can't wait.

Now, in another week seven of my dearest friends from Salt Lake will be arriving to spend time here on this wonderful island and with me at the PCC and time in the beautiful temple here and I am so excited. They are my friends who I have loved since shortly after I met my darling Trapper, so for nearly 50 years. Boy that sure says how old I am. anyway I am so thrilled to show them this wonderful place and I have the grandaughter of a past Bishop from the Mt. Olympus Ward where we lived for 22 years, as our special guide. Her name is Amanda and her Mom was Marsha Hansen and Bishop and Naoma Hansen are her grandparents. I have come to just love this special young freshman and I see her nearly every other day as she is a guide here. She reminds me of my Jazzie who is only a year younger than Amanda. That is going to be a great day as she has offered to be our personal guide on her day off Thursday, how about that?

This evening we went to see Lincoln and as we came out of the theater we ran into the new President of the PCC and his family and friends. He name is Alfred Grace and I may have mentioned that above. I hope you all see it as it is very good and yes we can go see movies as service missionaries.
Tomorrow I have signed up to help out the huge family of President rgill by bringing a salad for thier dinner and a dessert on Monday for them . They have over 20 people to feed and the missionaries have taken it upon themselves to help out and I am so happy to do that.

I love it here as you can tell and I have so missed being there at the PCC while I have been under the weather. I love my new friends and am excited to know more perfectly wonderful people freom all over the country.
Oh I also expect the Vassilaros the first week of Feb. and I can't wait to see Pat and Dan. They will also be visiting the Kammerers who have been living and teaching here for over 20 years Can't wait to see then all.