We made it to Oahu, spent the first night in Waikiki (I didn't realize that flying overnight from Brisbane on Friday would land you in Hawaii on Friday morning because of the international dateline) so we were a day early for our condo reservations at Laie, but finally got settled for our week in Hawaii. We had a nice two bedroom unit, right across the road from the beach, and right next to BYUH and the Polynesian Cultural Center as well as the temple. We got to go to both! The PCC is fabulous, non-stop entertainment from noon until after the evening show, great food at the luau, and the floor show was fun, especially the young man who did the fire dance.
Of course, our session at the temple was the real highlight of our stay, but we managed to drive up to the north shore and watch the surfers, walk on the beach, search through the tide pools, and really unwind. We left early Friday morning so that we could get tickets for the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, and enjoyed that immensely. We went to the airport early so that we could be sure of our seating, which was not quite as planned, but had a smooth uneventful flight to San Francisco. The airport there was a little dicey, we arrived in the middle of the night, and there weren't many airline personnel around to ask for directions. We flew in on United, and then on to Seattle on Alaska. The only trouble is that they are on opposite sides of the airport. We were wondering if we would have to walk home after trudging across several terminals and through security each time.
Kenneth and his family, as well as Jared and his family met us at SeaTac. DeeAnn was delayed, and we met her family at Jared's home. Brenda had out of town company so we met them for dinner on Monday night. It was great to be home for General Priesthood Meeting and to join all the tribe for Thai food at our favorite eatery.
We are finally home, but not unpacked after two full weeks. Sis. Reynolds has been back in the sort mode. It's amazing how much stuff we didn't throw away when we house-cleaned prior to our mission. We keep finding more and more stuff that needs to disappear. Her girlfriend, Jan, suggested that she might be interested in doing a yard sale for us for a part of the proceeds. I think we should take her up on it. Two years in Malawi helps prioritize what you really might need and also to realize how much you do not need. Case in point, who needs four rolls of aluminum foil, or three full bottles of Windex, or eight pair of shoes that you haven't worn for five years, or twenty-five pairs of sox, or eight flashlights, or 50+ miscellaneous refrigerator storage containers, or, or, etc. You get the picture.
So now we try to prioritize our time to get everything done before we can take off for a little road trip to be sure the RV is working right after two years in storage. Hopefully we can get our car set up to dinghy-tow so we can be sure that will work OK, too.
President Porterfield is anxious to have us speak in as many wards as possible to encourage folks in our stake to serve as missionary couples. We spoke briefly in Stake Conference, will do our home-coming talks next Sunday in Eastmont Ward, and see how it goes from there. We love to share our experiences and encourage others to prepare to serve.