I’ve come down with another cold. Definitely not on the list of things I’m fond of doing…. We’re having some of the best weather of the year and I just plain feel lousy. Of course, it won’t last and soon this cold will be history (and the only memory will be this blog post). And, at the same time, we’re busier at the Visitors’ Center than we’ve ever been. Last Saturday is a prime example!
Elder Jeffery R. Holland, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was in Hawaii and scheduled a devotional for all of the missionaries on Saturday afternoon. The big question was what to do about the Laie Tram Tour coming from the Polynesian Cultural Center to the Temple Visitors’ Center that afternnoon. After a lot of discussion with the PCC and the Hawaii Honolulu Mission President, Elder Swinton, the Visitors’ Center Director, finally decided to keep the Center open but send all of the sisters down to Honolulu. He recruited another senior couple, Elder and Sister Noels, to come over an help out. So Nina and I worked the morning shift (and the sisters left about 11am). Elder and Sister Andrus (the other senior missionaries at the Center) together with Elder and Sister Noels worked the afternoon shift while Nina and I went over to the PCC to load the trams. Lance, the main tram driver, agreed that he’d drive that afternoon and give the dialog to the guests. So, Nina and I put on our Aloha attire and spent the afternoon recruiting people for the tram. Lance drove them on the tour and the Andrus’s met the tram at the Center to invite folks to come inside while the Noels manned the desk and helped out inside. The Andrus’s took them on a tour and put them back on the tram so Nina and I could meet them when they returned to the PCC. It actually worked pretty well!
Fortunately, the sisters were back from Honolulu by 6pm and they came over to the PCC to help with the 6:20 and 6:40 trams. That was a great thing, as about 6pm everything at the PCC became just plain bedlam! Getting people to line up and not jump the lines for the 6pm tram was difficult and we only had 25 people for that tram. The 6:20 and 6:40 trams were full (70 people each time) and we had to turn people away. I was sure glad the sisters were there!
Saturday was made even more interesting as it was the Hawaiian Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the morning. The Hall of Fame is at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Sai Sikahema, very well known and popular running back at BYU, then with the Cardinals, the Packers, and finally with the Eagles, was being inducted, and there were BYU football fans galore at the PCC. Also, the next day (Sunday) was the NFL’s Pro Bowl game at the Aloha Center in Honolulu and half of the players in the game were staying at Turtle Bay, just up the road from the Polynesian Cultural Center. The players and entourage spent the afternoon being hosted at the PCC. It was a very busy day at the PCC overall, and for us complicated by the fact that we didn’t have any sisters available and that we really didn’t know what we were doing!
With a brand-new freshly minted Visitors’ Center Director and his wife along with a brand new set of senior missionaries, we’ve been going through a whole lot of reflection on why we do certain things at the Visitors’ Center. That also means doing some experimentation to test out ideas. Most don’t pass muster! The new director is doing a great job and is really concentrating on how we can do the best possible job of meeting our mission. Part of that is figuring out what needs to be measured, since things that get measured get done. We’ve been capturing a lot of statistics, some of them quite subjective and a couple others just plain guesses. We’re doing away with some of those as they don’t really tell us anything useful.
Elder and Sister Jensen completed their mission a couple of weeks ago and have gone home. We took the picture outside in front of the Temple on the last Monday that they were here. They’ve been great missionaries and a lot of fun to work with. We definitely miss them as we also do Elder and Sister Priday, the previous Center Director and his wife. Both couples say that they’re adjusting to “civilian life” and slowly getting used to not being at the Visitors’ Center.