It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year since since we spent our Thanksgiving away from family, (but not away from friends). We were on our mission to the Polynesian Cultural Center in 2007. We had been there for almost seven months and were very comfortable and had many friends, but of course missing our family. Dave and his family had come the first part of October and had spent 10 days with us. And we were looking forward to having Cyndi there with us in another month for Christmas. It was lonely thinking that none of the family would be there with us for Thanksgiving. However, as most missionaries realize, there are blessings and other ways of enjoying holidays away from family.
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the PCC missionaries got together for a Thanksgiving dinner out at Turtle Bay, at the clubhouse where several of the senior couples lived in the condos there. One of the couples cooked the turkey and the rest of us brought the usual "comfort" foods that we attribute to Thanksgiving. It was all so very good. And though we were a little crowded on that covered patio, we were with our new friends who were all missing family and family traditions together. It was a very pleasant day.
The following Thursday, which was Thanksgiving itself, we invited LaVere and Karolyn Adams to join us to have Thanksgiving dinner with the BYU-Hawaii 1st Ward. The BYU-H cafeteria cooked all the turkeys, dressing, potatoes, yams, rolls, and pumpkin pie for all of the University students to be served in their individual Wards.
We showed up at the appointed hour, sort of expecting to sit at tables with the students. However, the dear Elders who were on the activities committee had other ideas and planned for us all the sit in the classroom desks and watch a football game while we ate. Well, the sisters put their foot (feet) down, just as any mother would, and said, "No football. No TV." However, we still sat at the desks which made it a little difficult to talk with others around us. At least it was difficult for me and the balancing act I was performing to keep my food from falling off to the floor.
But, the food was delicious. And the students brought a certain levity to the occasion. For some of them, it was their first Thanksgiving dinner which also brought new tastes that they had never experienced before. Our dear neighbor, Spencer Tan, who was the BYU-H chef really went all out and everything was great. I know he was up all the night before, overseeing the kitchen to make sure everything was as it should be.
After the dinner, we excused ourselves, went to a movie at the only theatre in Laie, and then went to the Adam's for pie and games.
On Saturday, we went shopping with the Adam's at the swap-meet so we could get our Christmas shopping started and finished, so the packages could be sent early. I certainly wish I had a swap-meet here in Utah like that one to go to. It was great to take the list and know just what to buy for each individual. It only took us three hours at the meet, and for the most part, our shopping was done!
I am often asked, especially now that winter is coming, if I miss Hawaii. Well, I do and I don't. There was a special spirit there that may really only be prevalent in La'ie with all the great students from all over the world. I miss that spirit and those students. I don't miss being so far from family. I enjoyed the fair weather there, but I also enjoy the crispness of fall and winter. It was a wonderful place to be...for a short time, and even for one Thanksgiving, but I am looking forward to Thanksgiving here in my own sweet home.
A tribute to my wonderful mother!
9 years ago