I am grateful for so many things. I am grateful for my life and the experiences I have that open my eyes and give me new perspective. I am grateful for my family, for 3 wonderful sons who bring so much happiness into my heart each day. For a husband who strengthens me spiritually, and has shown me the endless possibilities of knowledge and learning. He is truly a gifted teacher, and a wonderful husband.
I am so grateful to have health, and energy, and the good conscience to make right choices. I am grateful to be right where I am right now, even though I sometimes wonder where we are going next. It's tough sometimes, to not know, but exciting to think of all the possibilities.
I think it hit me after we had been here for several months, that after packing up and moving all the way to Hawaii, I was still homesick for Hawaii--my Hawaii. The one I had grown up with where we spent carefree days rolling around the sand and swimming in the crystal clear waters off the North Shore of Oahu. My Hawaii, where the sun was always shining and friendly faces shown around me, in my little community.
Here on the East side of the Big island it is rainy everyday. The rain forest is thick with vegetation that goes on for miles. The shorelines are rocky, with great, steep cliffs. The ocean often seems chilly, stormy, and uninviting. It has been hard for me to connect with other people, because of the great distance between us on the massive land, and because of the expectations I had about my life here.
However, things are improving and I am feeling more at home in this foreign land. We are moving closer to town, which will be really nice, and not so isolating. We have really grown and bonded as a family, more than ever. We have been able to push through some really hard things, and make some really good decisions regarding the needs of our growing children.
I have also been researching more about the unique history of Latter-Day Saints here in the Hawaii, and it is really exciting! Reading about the heritage of the people here, and how their choices have affected my life, has helped me feel more connected to my island home.
Everyone has a history here, and this is part of mine.
In 1967, my then-19 year old, California-surfer Dad, served his LDS mission here in Hawaii. He served for 2 years between Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. After his mission was completed, he went back to the mainland and met my mom at BYU Provo in Utah. They were living in Huntington Beach, California, with 4 children, when they up and moved us all to Laie, Oahu in 1984. I was 5 years old.
This was always the beginning of my history here in Hawaii, and how I've always started my story. However, after reading the pioneer stories of the Latter Day Saints, I feel my story actually starts in 1850, when the first missionaries were sent to "The Sandwich Isles" to spread the message of the restored gospel. Because of the missionary efforts here, my Dad was called to this same mission 111 years later. And now 45 years later, here I am raising my family in these beautiful islands.
Hawaii used to be a home exclusively to the Hawaiians, but is now a cultural melting pot, filled with people from all over the world. Since Captain James Cook landed on the Hawaiian islands 284 years ago, this place has become a refuge for immigrants, adventurers, and natives, all seeking for a better life.
The history of Hawaiian islands is enchanting, beautiful, culturally diverse and unique. These are all things I love about Hawaii, and have grown to love more as an adult. Over here on the East side of Big island I don't have my white, sandy beaches or perfect surf, but I have found a little piece of myself in it's history.
I never know where life is going to take me, but I am always open to whatever possibilities are out there.