We found our new ward yesterday and we were greeted with Aloha! So many people took the time to say Hi, and to talk to us, and welcome us to the "family." It was really great. I was worried that our ward would be all Army and no locals, but we definately stand out with our pale skin, but we were also not the only haoles.
Mormon's don't shop around for a church, we get assigned a ward (congregation) based on our home address. Usually that is fine, but it can be a worry. We went to a different ward the first week we were here, and it was fine, but our real ward is even better! The church is HUGE in Hawaii, and there is a lot of history here - (Joseph F. Smith.) We are most excited to be so close to the temple - about 40 minutes!
When I was a kid, there was a little Hawaiian lady in our ward who whould get up at the pulpit on Fast Sunday and shout AAAALLLLOOOOOOHHHHAAAA! and then get upset if we didn't respond properly, so she would shout out ALOHA again. I was a little worried about that, and though each of the speakers start out with a friendly "aloha brother's and sister's", it is a gentle aloha and it makes me smile - especially when John said "Aloha" in response, too.
I miss reading your blogs. Sorry. I hope you don't hate me. I also need to re-insert your addresses onto my sidebar, I will, but it will take some time. My lost computer should find me in mid January.