Sister Macey Smith
887-A Mililani Street
Hilo, HI 96720
The Big Island is called such for legitimate reasons!
Man this place is HUGE! But then again, it could just be because I have been on Oahu for a while.
So Hilo is rainy and green and full of hills and old things.
There is a rich history here that is not easy to miss.
The people are a big part of that!
This is a big island, but a small town for sure.
Everyone knows everyone.
My companion, Sister Ranck, is a spunky thing straight out of Salt Lake City.
But not really "straight out".... Because she is going home very soon.
Like 3 weeks soon!
Many people here come for the space and seclusion they can't find on Oahu.
As you can imagine, this makes for a pretty interesting group of folks!
A prime example is our good friend Flavia.
She was raised in New York to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe and she married a man she lovingly refers to as "the punk" who works as a janitor at the University of Hilo.
Both of them take college courses for fun and, now in their early 60s, are a wealth of surprising facts and Bob Dylan lyrics.
Flavia calls us "the Swarmin' Mormons" especially when we do service to help her out.
They live without a lot of things, but they are happy as clams!
The highlight of this week, for me, was teaching a young family- the Andersons.
Brother Anderson has spent quite a few years on Maui and now here after growing up in the Marshall Islands and his wife doesn't speak much English. They have 4 bright eyed kids. They remind me of all the cute little chugs I had to leave behind in Makaha! Small hands waving and loud laughs. Man, it gets me every time!
He asked to look at the Book of Mormon. As soon as I pulled it out of my bag he began reading the introduction RIGHT THERE. Sister Ranck and I kept looking at each other with expressions that said something like "is this really happening?" Then he asked what time church started!
We promised to bring by a Marshallese copy of the Book of Mormon for his wife along with a few DVDs about the restoration and prophets. Closing with a prayer, we shook hands, gave hugs, handed some pass along cards to the kids who couldn’t have been happier with a million dollars, we left. And then continued to talk about how incredible it all was.
I also felt an overwhelming love from Heavenly Father. He is so proud of us, all of us. Those who keep trying, those seeking truth, even those people who stick gum under tables at Mexican restaurants! He loves all of us. In a way that overcomes everything else. Please don't forget!
I love you all! Have a happy Mother's Day! And shout out to Mi Madre who puts this all together. She is everything I want to be.