Had it not been for the time change, I would have heard more griping about an 8:00 am Sacrament Meeting. But since we were still all about four hours ahead of ourselves, it seemed like a leisurely morning.
The set up of the chapel, hymns-sung-a-tad-too-slow, the order of the program. You know, “the church is the same no matter where you go.” The fans filling the ceiling, the occasional lei, and the handful of men in lava lavas were the only indications that we weren't on the mainland. At first.
But then there was the hearty “aloha!” or “good morning!” echoed by the congregation more than once in each meeting to remind you of where you were.
Apparently word of the “no mission farewells” rule hasn't yet reached the islands, because we listened to a sweet, soon-to-be-serving young man give his going away speech — along with three of his brothers. Something I haven't seen for some time and quite enjoyed seeing again.
Then there was the woman who opened the meeting with prayer, while a man closed. Apparently false prayer doctrine doesn't travel across the ocean as quickly, either. How refreshing.
And as we stood after the closing hymn to sing Aloha Oi (the words were taped into the front cover of the hymn book), we knew for sure we weren't in Kansas (or Utah) anymore.
Then there were the 400 or so people who helped all eight of us to find our various and sundry auxiliary classes. And invited us to the Mother's and Father's Day lau dinner on Saturday. And invited our daughter to young adult family home evening. And welcomed us and even gave us Hawaiian guest towels to remember them by.
As we drove away, Alana said, “Mom, I sure hope we go back there next week.”
Thank you, Hau'ula 4th Ward for a wonderful Sabbath.