Monday, December 28, 2015

P-Day #2: She is Growing Spiritually!

Aloha ʻOhana!

I cannot tell you how amazingly wonderful Mondays have become for our entire family!  It is the day we get to read emails from our beautiful missionary, Sister Kawaʻa!  To add to an already special day, we also got her first handwritten letter today as well.  Here is a summary and some of her words that we would like to share with all of you.

We were eagerly waiting and checking our phones, laptops and iPads for an email today.  Then, all of a sudden, my laptop and phone dinged and the header read:  "EMAIL ISNʻT WORKING :(" Sister Kawaʻa shared with us that the entire site was down and no one could get into their emails.  She was able to use her personal email to send a message to us.  Here is what she writes:

Hi Mum!  So our e-mails for myldsmail.ent isnʻt working today but I thought I would let you know so you donʻt freak out! LOL! Iʻm super bummed that it isnʻt working! :( Anyways, I miss you all SO much!  It was so nice to talk to you guys and know that everything is going good.  Daddy made me cry and I miss baby SO much.  Give her hugs and kisses for me, please.  Ohhh, send me pics too!  Iʻm having fun!  Iʻm learning a lot and making my MTC experience a good one.  The best part is making new friends.  So, this week 3 districts are leaving which leaves just the 6 of us on Wednesday to welcome in 2 brand new districts.  We now have new assignments to help the branch out and Iʻm in charge of music.  Yay!!!  Iʻm excited and sad at the same time.  Sad to say goodbye to good friends but excited to meet new ones and help them feel comfortable.  Anywise, Christmas at the MTC was one I truly will never forget.  Iʻm so grateful that I had such an awesome opportunity to not only hear a talk from Elder Bednar, but also see David Archuleta live!  Heʻs AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Haha!  We also sat around in the lobby and ate dinner as a branch.  It was nice to be together like a family and help each other especially during Christmas.  We ate, sang songs, laughed and just made the best of it.  Know that I miss you guys very much and think of you all 24/7.  I pray for each of your every single day!  Howʻs everything since the lat time we talked?  Love you all forever!  Oh, and my flight to Texas is January 5th at 9 something in the morning (Utah time) so Iʻll be calling you to let you now.  ALOHA AU IA ʻOUKOU!!!!!!  NO NA KAU A KAU!

p.s. did you guys get my letter?

Ke aloha nui,

Sister Kawaʻa

Shortly after her email we got her handwritten letter in the mail!  She had strict instructions for us to read it as a family (although I cheated) and she even labeled what to read first.  Typical Kamalani, still giving us orders even on her mission!  LOL!  In her letter she included a beautiful picture of the Saviorʻs birth and ask us each to reflect upon how His birth has impacted our lives.  She closed her letter by bearing a powerful testimony of the Gospel!  She is so excited to head to Texas next week.  Her companion, Sister Black, will be traveling with her along with two Elders in her district who are all going to Fort Worth to serve!  Ahhh, my heart is at ease.  I cannot help but bear you all my fervent testimony that this Gospel is true!  Heavenly Father knows us!  He knows us by name!  Just as we know and love our own children.  We are His children.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and as Sister Kawaʻa serves with all her heart, might, mind and strength, our testimonies are strengthened.  

She breaks her email time up into two blocks, so we usually get one last response before she has to sign off.  In her last email she wrote, 

Yes Mum!  Iʻm feeling much better.  Less homesick.  Thank you for the prayers!  Keep them coming!!!  I will try to write letters more often.  Haha!  Iʻm so excited for Texas, especially after meeting that one Elder from Texas.  Talking with him gets me so excited!  Love you all forever and ever!!!! "and when youʻre alone, and you feel so cold, just think of you and me, underneath the moonlight."

That is one of our favorite songs and the last song she sang for me before she left.  I had just been listening to it and crying and thinking of her.  Amazing how she knew just what to end with!  The Holy Spirit guides!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sister Kawaʻa Calls Home for Christmas

Aloha Friends & Family!

Yesterday we received the best Christmas gift ever - a 30 minute phone call from Sister Kawaʻa!  We hooked up the phone to a huge speaker so everyone could hear her voice and we all gathered around to talk to her.  I would like to share some of the things she shared during our conversation.

First of all, Sister Kawaʻa is getting stronger each day.  Although she still misses home, she recognizes all the people Heavenly Father has placed in her life to help her overcome this trial.  The MTC also has counselors available and Sister Kawaʻa has been able to gain strength through these counselors.  She has learned that homesickness is very common among missionaries and that it is okay to be homesick.

I shared with her a scripture that Elder Jace Moore shared with me that helped him with his homesickness.  Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-9 which reads, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then if your endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.  Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."

For Christmas, they had a devotional featuring Elder David A. Bednar and his family!  She was so excited to share with us that she was able to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord.  She was also excited because after our phone call David Archuleta was going to be performing live at the MTC for all of the missionaries!  He is one of her favorite musicians!  I am so grateful that the MTC goes all out for our missionaries to make Christmas special for them.

In our conversation Sister Kawaʻa talked about her name tag.  She said that on the name tag is her family name - Kawaʻa - and the words The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It is a constant reminder to her of two things - that she represents her family and Jesus Christ.  We can already see how her testimony is growing!

She also updated us on a few things.  She will be leaving the MTC on Tuesday, January 5th.  She will be able to call home to let us know she made it to Fort Worth, Texas safely.  This is when her address will also change to the following:

Sister Kamalani Kawaʻa
Texas Forth Worth Mission
1331 Airport Fwy, Ste 305
Euless, Texas 76040

You can still email her at  This is where she will serve the remainder of her mission until June 2017.

At the end of our conversation, Sister Kawaʻa started to bear her testimony.  It was the strongest testimony I have ever heard her share.  She talked about the Savior and wanting to be more like Him. The words just seemed to flow from her mouth and we could tell that she was filled with the Spirit.

How grateful we are for this young missionary and her faithfulness!  How thankful we are to know that families are forever.  How blessed we are to know that Sister Kawaʻa has left her family for a short time so that other families can be together forever!

We love you all and thank you for your continued prayers and love!

Monday, December 21, 2015

First Email from Sister Kawa'a!

We received the best and sweetest email this morning from our beautiful missionary.  You can read what she wrote below:

Hi mommy!!!!!! I miss you guys so much. I received your letters! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, so  much for writing me. I was going to write back but I thought Pday would be a more fast way for you guys to receive things. I will still write you letters though :) I have to admit. I've never missed you guys SO much before. I want you to know that I think of you often and pray for all of you guys every single day! I am still finding ways to get through this homesickness. I feel like I need to share this with you. When you guys dropped me off and I got settled all I could think of was how dad said, "If I don't feel the spirit, i'm walking back in there and grabbing you." At first I thought, "No, i'll be fine" but as I was sitting in class and orientation I couldn't help but look back and hope that he would come running in to get me. The first 2 days were my hardest days here so far. All I wanted was a text or a phone call to know that you guys were okay. On the second day we met our Branch Presidency and Brother and Sister Thomson, (who is the first counselor) recognized my last name asked asked me if I knew the Wunders. I told them yes and they told me how close they were to them. I told Sister Thomson about my homesickness and she immediately stood up and hugged me and said, "you need a mommy hug!" she just held me and I cried cuz I knew that she was definitely sent to me by Heavenly Father. It's comforting to know that Heavenly Father does hear and answers prayers. It is now day 6 and I'm feeling a lot better then the first 2 days. I'm still learning how to adjust and focus on the reasons why I am here. ALOHA NUI AU IA 'OE!!!! I'm SO grateful for both you and Dad. For raising me in the ways of the Lord. Oh also, I am currently in a trio. I love my sisters. Sister Black and Sister Combs. They are both haole haha and it was hard to open up to them but Im glad that we have each other to lean on in times of hardship. I also love my district. We named ourselves 'ohana 29. I'm the oldest so I feel like the mom of the group but it's okay. But anyways, please don't worry about me. Pray for me that I may continue to have the strength that I need to become more like my savior and push on. Sister Black (who is also going to the same mission as me) reminded me of my favorite scripture, Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee, withersoever thou goest." Anyways, how are you guys doing? How's baby? How's the Hosinos? How are the boys? Hows tutu and papa? How's Mikaela? How's granny and papa Olsten? How's everything going? Oh and I get to call home on Christmas from 4:00-4:30 (Utah time) so please make sure everyone is around for that. Can't wait to hear from you all soon. KE ALOHA NUI!!!!!!!!! 

Sister Kawa'a. 

We are so happy to hear from our missionary!  It is my firm testimony that this is the Lord's work. He hears and answers prayers.  We have a loving Savior who atoned for our sins.  God is our Father in Heaven and He knows and loves each an every one of us.  This is a great work, the work of the Lord and we have faithful missionaries around the world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So grateful that Sister Kawa'a is one of them.

We love you all!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Journey to the MTC

Aloha 'Ohana!

Sister Kamalani Kawa'a was officially set apart as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Friday 12/11/15 by Stake President Reinhardt.  I am happy to announce that Sister Kawa'a arrived safely at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center yesterday, 12/16/15.  Before I tell you about our journey, here is how you can contact her. - you can write to her through this website while she is in the MTC.  You will need to open an account, but it's free and she gets a print out of what you typed everyday that she is there!  You will need to know the following information:

Sister Kamalani Kawaa
Unit 40
Estimated Date of Departure January 05, 2016
select Provo MTC

You can also send handwritten letters to the following address:

Sister Kamalani Kawaa
Jan-05 TX-FTW
2005 North 900 east unit 40

Provo, UT  84602

Lastly, you can email her directly at

Once she leaves the MTC, her mailing address will change and I will post it her and on Facebook.

Now, the journey!  After a long, long (too long) trek with multiple flights we finally made it to Utah on Saturday 12/12.  Sister Kawa'a and her family stayed with the Mortensen 'Ohana.  She was able to attend Michael McLean's Christmas production of "Forgotten Carols".  It was a beautiful and spiritual event.  While in Kaysville she was able to reunite with (Elder) Cody Mortnesen and his wife, Shelby, (Elder) Alex La and his girlfriend Alyssa and the wonderful Mortensen 'Ohana - Boyd, Kim and Courtney.  She also met the rest of the 'ohana during Sunday dinner.  That evening she was able to witness the beautiful lights at Temple Square and reunite with (Elder) Toki Lelii.  

So many people opened their homes and hearts to Sister Kawa'a and her family!  Monday evening we had dinner at the Duffy's, a family that we knew when Lew and I were first baptized and lived in Pahoa Ward.  They were a second family to us and the first to find out we were pregnant with Kamalani.  

On Tuesday 12/15 we headed to Provo, Utah where we met Lew's Hanamaika'i family for the first time.  They kindly hosted Sister Kawa'a and her 'ohana.  (Elder) Corbin Critchfield and his mother, Natalie met up with us in Provo and took Sister Kawa'a shopping for last minute missionary clothing.  The Hanamaika'is made us Lau Lau, Curry and Teri Chicken for dinner and even opened their home for many friends to come and see Sister Kawa'a one last time before her mission.  Sala and Keone Kapisi, Oren Maneha, (Elder) Aaron Ormiston and his wife, Sophia and Jacob Clark all stopped by to see her.

Wednesday 12/16/15 was one of the hardest days of our lives!  Saying goodbye is never easy, so we choose to say a hui hou as our ancestors did, until we meet again, Sister Kawa'a, in just 18 months!  Until then, we'll keep everyone updated through this blog.  

Sister Kawa'a will be able to email and write letters weekly beginning next week.  We're not sure if  it will be Wed, Thur or Fri, but as soon as we get her first email we will share it on this blog.  Thank you for all of your love, prayer and support!  Please continue to pray for our beautiful missionary, Sister Kawa'a!

me ke aloha nui,
Ka 'Ohana Kawa'a

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Called to Serve

Sister Kamalani Kaleimomi Kahalepoli Kawaʻa has been called to serve in the Texas Fort Worth Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Sister Kawaʻa will report to the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center on December 16th, 2015.  This blog is dedicated to keeping friends and family updated with Sister Kawaʻaʻs endeavors as she serves the Lord!

One of the best ways we can support our missionaries who are out in the field is by writing and emailing them.  They look forward to letters and emails every Monday.  Please feel free to write and email Sister Kawaʻa while she is on her 18-month mission.  There are a couple of ways you can do so.

Sister Kamalani Kawaʻa
Jan-05 TX-FTW
2005 North 900 east unit 40

provu, UT  84602

Another easy way is to use the website.  By using this website Sister Kawaʻa will receive daily letters while in the MTC.  You will need to enter her unit number 40 and estimated time of departure - January 5.  

We will let you know when she officially arrives in Texas.  Her address there will be:
Sister Kamalani Kawaʻa
Texas Fort Worth Mission
1331 Airport Fwy Ste 305

Euless, TX 76040-4150