Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Bali Hai" and a Warning

"I Watch the Water!"  Near the Blowholes is a lush secluded beach much like a scene from the musical South Pacific,  “Bali Hai.”   [Elder Hawley and Sister Heimuli below]  Story continues with pictures:  095_thumb097_thumb We missionary couples marvel at the beauty of this  place--this Bali Hai.   101_thumb109_thumb104_thumb

110_thumbAs I waded in the calm turquoise water near the sandy shore  I watched our men.   Elders Heimuli and Sing were out on the reef by the blowholes, arms outstretched in a Moses-like pose as the water roared high above them on the other side of the reef. Elder Hawley was on a craggy cliff overlooking the ocean.  In awe, I listened to the roar of the water as it crashed against the reef spouting water into the air, sometimes up to 40 feet.                [Elder Hawley]113_thumb020_thumbI turned and there was Sister Heimuli by my side.  She  looked into my eyes and quietly spoke.  "When my girls or boys are in the ocean, I don’t watch them, I watch the water.” I looked at her a bit puzzled. She went on.  "I love the water.  But like Elder Hawley, I also know who rules the water!” Years ago when she worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center she and her friends had gone to Hukilau Beach to swim. As she stood there on the sandy shore it was a calm beautiful day. Some of her friends were out enjoying the ocean when she saw a huge wave in the shape of a hand suddenly appear and rise up behind them. She screamed a warning and just as suddenly the wave disintegrated and disappeared. Those on the beach around her also saw the phenomenon. Then, quietly, she repeated, “When our boys are in the ocean, I watch the water."                                                                         I turned to see huge waves from the ocean exploding against the reef. With a strong swell the water is forced up through vents in the coral and then they can shoot up to 80+ feet in the air during high tide or a storm.  They stretch for about 5  miles along the shore creating an impressive sight of  exploding fireworks.   Indescribable, breath-taking, frightening!   At such times the sea boils and roars with anger.  I shivered, even though the turquoise water around me was calm and  warm.                                          

If we carried that one step further, what happens on those Friday nights when a championship has been won or it’s the Jr. Prom or Graduation Night—the night of the Big Wave. You see a huge wave swelling but you are having fun and enjoying life, and it 's  10:45 p.m., not curfew time.   Is it best to be home before curfew, maybe even a bit earlier, because it might be the night of the Big Wave?  Satan is waiting for one misstep in the dark. Thus, we must be prepared to make the right choices and use the Spirit to guide us in our lives! 128_thumb012_thumbA DREAM, A CALL : Sister Heimuli hasn’t seen the children in her dream yet. One day when they were in the temple, she was looking toward a frame on the wall. Then it changed and she saw herself there with smiling children. They were all waving and having their picture taken by someone she could not see. She has not seen those children on their mission in Tonga.  Weeks later, Elder and Sister Heimuli were called in and interviewed by the Area Seventy. They were asked if they would be willing to serve a second mission to the Solomon Islands. This faithful missionary couple has  served 23 months in Tonga. For now, they look forward to the joyous reunion with children and grandchildren until they receive an official call from the Lord.   [The Nuku'alofa temple in winter, July 2009]   026_thumbSister Heimuli is a journal writer and note taker right up to the last minute:   [at the airport]030_thumb1

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