Sunday, November 27, 2011

Church today -- 11/27/11

Sacrament meeting:
Who can endure?
  • Youth Speakers:  Nalani Stanley and Eric Yugawa.  Nalani told us that "endurance is the key" and made reference to 3 Nephi 15:9 which speaks of looking unto Christ and enduring to the end, and also to a story told by motivational speaker Sean Walker about a young man who wanted something yet whose resolve to endure was suspect.   Eric spoke about gratitude and things he is grateful for including having a loving family, a good school to attend (Iolani), and a nice place to go to church (he made reference to places his brother Craig, serving a mission in Africa, attends church).
  • Adult speakers:  Two recently returned missionaries spoke today.  Trisha Carlile, who served at the Temple Square Mission in Salt Lake City, spoke about her experiences, as did Allie Garcia, who served in the Guatemala Mission.   Two good testimonies about faith.
Elders Quorum Announcements:
  •  Activity:  Ward Christmas Dinner on 12/10 Saturday.  The quorum's food contributions will be a main dish (chicken enchiladas), the fixings for a taco bar, and desserts.   Quorum members will be contacted for specific food assignments. We also will be providing a game for the keiki (pinata) and also performing a musical number (the latter to be determined).  Bring family, neighbors, and friends to the dinner!
  • Service: Christmas caroling on 12/16 Friday for the residents of Kina'ole Estate, a senior housing residence on William Henry Road in Kaneohe.  All Priesthood are welcome to join us.
  • Sacrament meeting prayers for December:    Assignments are as follows:  12/4 Tamashiro and Teves,  12/11 Steffen and Hayashida,  12/18 Faumuina & Labatte, 12/25 Bejosa & Kanahele.
  • Temple recommend interviews:  With President Kawakami at church on 12/4 from 11am to 12:30pm and on 1/8/12 Sunday 11 am to 12:30 p.m.  All quorum members should strive to have a current temple recommend.
  • Christmas Day Church:  Sacrament meeting only.  No other meetings on 12/25/11.  Merry Christmas
Elders Quorum Lesson:
  • Was presented by Bill Sellers who used Elder Dallin H. Oak's talk "Desire" as the teaching reference.  Key points of the lesson[1] to achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being; [2] Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. [3] The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming; [4] It is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life; [5] The story of Aron Ralston, a mountaineer who amputated his own arm because he had a desire to survive.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Elders Quorum News 11/20/11

Today in the quorum, we discussed our Ward's Christmas dinner which will be on Saturday 12/10/11 with the theme Christmas-Around-the-World. Our country is Mexico, and we are responsible for providing a Mexican main dish for the dinner (we decided on chicken enchiladas and a taco bar), desserts (here are some ideas), and a game (we decided on pinata) for the post-dinner entertainment activity.  For the Christmas dinner, Kanoa Kanahele and Damon Magalogo are the co-chairs for the quorum.   Assignments from them will be forthcoming.  Meanwhile, mark your calendars and invite family and friends to the dinner.

Turkey Bowl flag football.  Thanksgiving Day morning 11/24.  8am at  Kaneohe Elementary School lower field.  Ka'ano'i Walk is coordinating.  Come out and have fun, fellowship, and burn some calories before the big kaukau!

Also discussed today was a service activity set for 12/16/11 Friday.  Quorum members will be Christmas caroling for the residents of a Kaneohe convalescent home.  More details will be forthcoming.

Today's quorum lesson was about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. What will happen when Christ comes again?   He will--
  • Cleanse the earth (see D&C 101:24-25)
  • Judge His people (see Matthew 25-31-46)
  • Usher in the Millenium (see D&C 88:96)
  • Complete the First Resurrection (see D&C 88:97-98)
  • Take His rightful place as King of heaven and earth (see D&C 88:104)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elders Quorum News 11/13/11

Today in the Quorum:

Brother Joshua Steffen announced that he and his wife Nola are looking to adopt a child.  To find out more about their quest and to help, visit a site they established.


Mahalo to all who helped with the Adopt-a-Highway service project.  We will revisit our adopted highway for more service on the first Saturday of 2012 (Jan 7).  Mark your calendars.


We had a long discussion of home teaching, including some sharing by brethren of "what-I've-done-for-home-teaching".  Good discussion.  Let's go out and love our families.  For inspiration, watch this video: Home Teaching: A Work of Love from the church.

Today's lesson was on Signs of the Second Coming; the ones we discussed included [1] wickedness, war, and turmoil, [2] the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, [3] the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, [4] the gospel being preached to all the world, [4] the coming of Elijah, and [5] Lehi's descendants becoming a great people.   Key point of the lesson:  "The Lord gives these signs to help us. We can put our lives in order and prepare ourselves and our families for those things yet to come."  Brethen, let's be prepared.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Adopt-a-Highway Service Project 11/12/11

Mosiah 2:17  And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
 Our mission was to pick up trash along our adopted section of Likelike and Kahekili Highways in Kaneohe.  Working in three teams, we began at 7:45a.m. and were pau by 9:30.  All told, we picked up about a dozen bags of trash, which included hundreds of cigarette butts.  Good job and mahalo to all who turned out to help.

L to R: Suficiencia, Cottle, Turner, Tecson, Sellers, Walk, Oshiro, Delai, Tamashiro
The Haiku team is heading Kailua-bound on Kahekili Highway.

Picking up trash by the junction of Kahekili Hwy and Haiku Road

Brother Gene Tamashiro scanning for opala.

Team Haiku:  Kanahele, Turner, Tamashiro, Delai.  Other team members were Lea Kanahele and Jacque Turner

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Service Project -- Saturday 11/12

Adopt-a-highway. Our first Quorum service outing to clean-up our adopted  2-mile section of roadway [see map] which includes Kahekili Hwy from Haiku Road to Likelike Hwy to Kaneohe Bay Drive (by Burger King) will be on 12 Nov 2011 Saturday.  Meeting time is 7:30 a.m. at Kaneohe Burger King parking lot.  Instructions and assignments will be given at that time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stake Conference Report - Sunday General Session

I was unaware that this Stake Conference would be a live broadcast from Salt Lake City, but it was and it was a good one.  Here's a recap of the four talks we, and all the other Hawaii stakes, were presented.

Speaker 1: Elder Donald Hallstrom of the Seventy.  Elder Hallstrom is from Hawaii and recalled for us an experience from his youth when he attended a conference at the Honolulu Tabernacle  as a five-year-old with his older brother Jim (who is a former Kaneohe Stake President).  Presiding at that conference was President David O. Mckay.  Though he said he did not recall President McKay's message, he, from his seat in the tenth row of the Tab, received a distinct impression that he was listening to a prophet of God.  At that conference, one of the hymns sung was "Who's on the Lord's side?" In his talk today, Elder Hallstrom asked us if we are on the Lord's side and discussed things we can do to solidify our membership on the Lord's team including [1] gaining and nurturing a testimony, [2] studying the doctrine continually, [3] honoring priesthood ordinances and covenants, [4] rooting out duplicity and [5] establishing a life of service.  Elder Hallstrom made reference to these points in a talk that was recently published in the June 2011 Ensign.

Speak 2: Sister Cheryl Esplin, 2nd counselor in the primary general presidency spoke about keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Of course, keeping the sabbath holy is one of the commandments, and we were reminded that we "parents have a sacred duty" to do so for the sake of our children.  Sister Esplin shared a couple of stories about faithful observance of the Sabbath. One was about a talented young swimmer named Ashley, who, thorough her mother's counsel to pray and to study scripture about the Sabbath, decided to forgo swimming competitions on Sunday.  The second was about Elder H. Verlan Anderson, who "not only knew the truth but lived it" [ref]. It seems that Elder Anderson's son forgot to fill the family car with gasoline after an exuberant Saturday night outing with friends. The next morning, the Sabbath, upon discovering that the car fuel tank was empty, Elder Anderson "put on his coat, bid [his family] good-bye, and then walk the long distance to the chapel, that he might attend an early meeting." 

Speaker 3: Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke about the life and work of Joseph F. Smith (JFS), who spent six of his eighty years of life building the kingdom of God in the Hawaiian islands.  At age 15, JFS was called to serve as a missionary in Hawaii, his first assignment being in 1854 in Kula on Maui.  One of things that confounded early church missionaries to Hawaii was the language but not JFS who, in 100 days, was able to learn and speak Hawaiian fluently.   In 1866, at age 27, JFS was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Thereafter, he served as a counselor for Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow before being called as the sixth President of the Church in October 1901.

One of the great teachers of the gospel, according to Elder Ballard, JFS also was inspired in 1915 to dedicate the grounds for the Laie Temple.  Sadly, he died in 1918 at age 80, a year before the Laie Hawaii was opened and dedicated.  Today, JFS is remembered in Hawaii by the Joseph F. Smith Library on the BYU-Hawaii campus and the Iosepa, the 105-foot, double-hulled Hawaiian canoe that was launched in October 2001, a hundred years after JFS was called as Church President.

 Speaker 4:  President Henry Eyring of the First Presidency told us that the purpose of his talk was to help us feel greater confidence in our journey through this life to eternal life.  President Eyring offered three "helps" for us. 
[1]  Be clean.  He talked about partaking the sacrament weekly, about repenting for our sins, about being faithful, about being humble, about remembering the Savior.  "God will help us to be clean," said President Eyring.
[2] Be diligent.  He spoke of having a sense of urgency in our undertakings, using a story of a recent meeting with church leaders where President Monson told them about an initiative they'd been discussing, "We're all agreed that it is a good thing, so why wait?  Let's get started now!"  He cited D&C 4:1-2 and D&C 88:124, the latter scripture being one he said he reads/recites to himself when he is feeling tired and in need of a boost of diligence.
[3] Be prayerful. We were counseled to pray always, and as such, I was reminded of D&C 90:24.  To illustrate, President Eyring recounted the story of fainting spells he was having a few years ago, one fainting episode which resulted in a fall and a broken leg.  Medical examinations at first yielded no clear explanation for the fainting episodes but through continual prayer and a priesthood blessing (from President Monson), a doctor was found who identified the cause (a faulty heart) which was taken care of with a pacemaker.  All is well with President Eyring.

Summary:  Stake Conferences are meant to foster unity among members and us partake of the spirit.  In that regard, this was a great Stake Conference with timely and helpful messages for all of us. 

Stake Conference Report - Saturday night adult session

My wife and I attended the adult session of Kaneohe Hawaii Stake Conference last night and it was wonderful.

We arrived a few minutes before 7pm to find a well-occupied stake center parking lot.  "Wow, lots of people tonight," I remarked to my wife as we made our way into the building.  Once there, we found a line of ten people waiting to enter the chapel, including Sister Lorraine Kawakami, the Poliahus (from K2 ward), and Jeff & Libby Tom (now of K2 but formerly of our ward).  At that point, a decision was made to open the sliding partition doors to the rear section of the chapel which saved us from having to hunt down seats in the gathered body of Saints in the quite-full front section.

We enjoyed the prelude music being played on the organ by David Ahuna and noted those sitting on the stand: the stake presidency (Kaluhiokalani, Kawakami, Gibson, Lee), Elder Scot Whiting of the Seventy (and our former Stake President), Brother Bob Uyehara (a former bishop & counselor in the stake presidency), a handful of brothers and sisters we did not recognize but who would be giving talks, and a choir composed of single-adults from the stake which included a couple of members of our quorum--David Suficiencia and Gene Tamashiro.  Micah Hirokawa, formerly of our ward, was the choir director.

Talk 1:  Brother Paul Andrus (K3 ward), 87, is, according to this source, a  former missionary, mission president (see pic at left), stake high councilor, member of the stake presidency, and regional representative.  He gave his testimony of "true doctrine." Before reading from his scriptures about Nebuchadnezzar's Dream from Daniel 2, Brother Andrus realized that he had forgotten his reading glasses.  Instantly, as if on cue, President Gibson arose and offered his glasses to Brother Andrus.  A grateful Brother Andrus then remarked, "These are perfect. In fact they're even better than mine."  A delightful moment.
  • Talk 2: Sister ?? (I didn't catch her name) spoke about "things that matter most."  She read excerpts from personal journal entries she had written for her children. 
Talk 3:  Sister Pauline Saizon (Kahaluu Ward) used the saying "If you build it, they will come" from the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams as the framework for her message, which included references to "field builders" like her mom (a faithful member who lived to be 100 years old), her daughter (who inspired her after a year and a half of inactivity), and her grandson (who encouraged her during a family trip to Disneyland).  Sister Saizon also counseled us about the perils of being too BUSY (Burdened Under Satan's Yoke). 
  • Talk 4:  Brother Bob Uyehara spoke about receiving inspired counsel from a church leader to serve a senior mission with his wife.  After consulting with his wife regarding serving a mission, they received an answer from Isaiah 65:24.  In a personal aside, I first met Brother Uyehara in the 1980s at Kamehameha, where I was on the coaching staff of the junior varsity football team which his son, Randy, was a member of.  While I did not know Bob was a member of the church, I do recall him as being friendly and supportive.  After those Kamehameha football years, I next encountered Brother Uyehara at my first LDS church service in November 2005.  He was seated on the stand of the Waikalua Chapel that day, probably as a member of the stake presidency or stake high council, and after the meeting we renewed our acquaintance.  
Talk 5:  Stake President George Kaluhiokalani, in an inspiring talk, spoke about life's lessons learned which, for him, included keeping a personal history to give to his children, recognizing that there will be thorns and thistles in life (he told the story of Wilma Rudolf as an example), being grateful (he told the story of watching the sunset from Ala Moana beach as an example of something he was grateful for), being forgiving, attending the temple, and making the gospel the center of his life.  He concluded by expressing his gratitude for the two young men who, in the late 1970s, answered the inspired call to serve missions in New Jersey, where they carried the good news of the gospel to the Kaluhiokalani family, which included a son named George (him).

  Talk 6:  Elder Scott Whiting, in yet another inspired talk, explained why it is important to have older members on the stand during meetings like this one. The reason:  these members serve as examples of individuals who, through their diligent and steadfast faith, have attained holiness in their lives.  Elder Whiting also taught us a lesson about drawing close to God.  He did so by telling a story about wanting to attend the temple during the time when the Laie temple was undergoing renovation.   During that time, he was on a church assignment to California and he made plans to attend the San Diego Temple.   When he arrived at the temple, he encountered a closed and locked gate and was informed that the temple was closed for two weeks for its annual cleaning and renovation.  Disappointed, Elder Whiting drove off and soon thereafter received a prompting that the temple was not the only place to go to draw close to God.  Drawing close to God can happen anywhere.  A good lesson for all of us.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stake Conference this weekend

Kaneohe Stake Conference schedule 2011
  • Chair set-up assigned to High Priests and Elders from our ward and the Waimanalo Ward.  We will meet @ 630pm on Friday 11/4 to complete this assignment.
  • Sat 11/5, 4pm.  Stake priesthood leadership meeting
  • Sat 11/5, 7-9pm.  Adult session.
  • Sunday 11/6, 10am. to noon. General Session.