Friday, January 30, 2009


I am a letter writing Visiting Teacher -

I've decided to start posting my monthly letters, here's January 09:

Dear Sisters. . .

I know it feels like a while since I’ve written and I apologize. We found out in November that we had to move, our apartments were sold and turned into a church parking lot. . . .(just like the song- Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot)

The hubby and I exercised Faith and prayed constantly!!!!! We found a place right outside of our ward boundaries, I wasn’t sure if they would let us stay in the ward, but so far so good. I am sending this letter on the back of a copy the months visiting teaching message so that you can read some of the wonderful quotes yourself.

As is the tradition for many at the end/beginning of each year, I sat down and thought about the goals I wanted to make for this year. . . My most prevalent is to increase my Faith. I have been reading from John H. Groberg’s book “Fire of Faith”. He shares of his experiences while serving as mission president in Tonga. For those of you who don’t know, I am ½ Tongan. The stories of these faithful saints have not just been entertaining to me, but have struck a deeper chord in my soul. I keep thinking to myself; “I come from these faithful all believing, all trusting in God saints” I know that somewhere in me I have the strength to become as faithful as them. That is what I want to do. So I am making it a goal to be more prayerful, more truthful, more loving, more forgiving, more valiant, in short – more Faithful.

As the year goes on and I get to share with you my experiences, I am hopeful and even a little apprehensive that I will have Faith promoting experiences that I can share with you.
I say a little apprehensive because I have learned when I am not seeking to grow or learn in the gospel or in my testimony – my life seems so much easier. No challenges, not too much heartache, not too much struggling. But when I sit and think about it, there is sadness. I know in my heart that I am the reason I feel distance from the Lord. I have felt like a kid on a sidewalk with my face pressed up to the window looking into a candy store- seeing all these wonderful treats and blessings and joys. I desire them with all my heart, but have no money and am not allowed in.

Well I hope not anymore. I don’t want to be that person. I am ready to do the work, I am ready to earn the privilege to enter and partake. I hope you are too. I am truly grateful that I will be able to share part of this journey with you each month.

God bless you and keep you in all that you do each day is my true desire.

Much Love,

Sister Helen Moenoa

Monday, January 26, 2009

You forgot to give me my candy!

This year the Valiants are studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Our class is in the middle of the Joseph Smith History. To help them better understand the idea that Joseph had to wait 4 years to retrieve the plates. . . I covered candy bars in gold wrapping, and wrote on them "My Chocolate Golden Plate" with a reference to JSH.. . .I was smart enough to put them into a clear container and then tape it shut. . . and I say smart because through out the lesson children kept trying to get at the candy. They will need to wait several more lessons, or until Joseph is to retrieve the plate (Lesson 6) before they can. Just like Joseph had to visit with Moroni and be interviewed and trained, the children also must prepare by completing a few challenges on their own. They must memorize an article of faith, write a few sentences and fill in a few blanks in their activity book. (We have give each child a marble notebook and include handouts inside them for each lesson.) After the lesson was over, the prayer was said and it was time for us to go down to singing time. . . several of the children (I guess they weren't listening) came running back to remind me "Sister Moenoa, you forgot to give me my candy". . .oh well I hope they earn them in a few weeks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Smart and Silly

Because I don't have children of my own, I never know what they are really like. I get to see the nieces and nephews on occasion but to know if they are really well balanced. . .I'm clueless. Well until this weekend. I got a glimpse of ones life and was surprised at what I learned.

Riah was in the Jr. League Lego Robotics Competition. Because I was not a parent Enoka and I volunteered to help with the challenge.

Basically the teams had to study the climate of an area and then come up with a robot to help with that study. At the competition they had to display their finding and a model of the robot. Half the team stayed with the project and the other half came with me to preassigned schools and asked questions.

I was so impressed with how knowledgeable and informed and formal Riah was with the project and with her inquires of other schools and the such. She seamed so smart and mature for her age. Not afraid to ask, and learn and share. I thought, could any 9 year old really be this impressive?

As soon as it was over, all the kids in the team started to run around like the Kuaina from the Country that they were sliding all over the place and having fun.. . .then we went to dinner at Sizzlers and immediately she kicked off her shoes and kept making ice cream and having fun. I thought to myself. How lucky and how well rounded. She truly is a happy spirit with a well balanced life. Not too many children today have that. Good for her and her parents!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Census Update

Okay so we both took the test and we passed! We also learned a little more about the census jobs. Each assignment last for 5-10 weeks and then we have the chance to get re-assigned. We walk around the neighborhood with handheld computers verifying addresses. (Making sure nothing new is put up and nothing has been torn down.) If we want, around April of next year we will be going to specific addresses only if they did not return their census card. Not too shabby for a part time job. . . .and all that exercise! Cant wait. . . .let me know if you have any questions about it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Makes Census 2010

After Iwa's birthday party we brought aunty Lexi back to town and on the way she was talking about the Census - looking for jobs here in Hawaii. We went online ( and got all the info, called the number and made appointments. We actually called twice, once for me and once for Enoka. Both times they gave us the info. Test in Kailua on Wednesday at 5:30pm. . .Twice it shows in my notes, Wednesday, Kailua, 5:30. . .and we spoke with 2 different people each time. . .So how come when I showed up at the Elem. School, they laughed at me and said, "uh, I don't know about any test today. The Library has an art show that you can visit, but the flyer's we are passing out say tomorrow. Okay I didn't feel dumb about the whole thing, but I certainly was glad that Enoka is willing to go back again today. . . I really hope we get hired. The job could last from 6 weeks to 2 years and pays $17 hr. for part time work. . . Our goal? try and pay off the car! I think it would be worth it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Broke da mout!

Okay so during the holidays as everyone is in the giving mood. One of my co-workers made these wonderful melt in your mouth cookies to die for. . .White Chocolate/Cranberry shortbread cookies. They were sooo good infact, Enoka wanted to know where he could buy them from cause he wanted to give them to everyone for Christmas. (He opened them without me knowing and ate all but one!) Well Samantha gave me her recipe (so easy, only 5 ingredients) and my foodland finally restocked the white chocolate chips so I tried it last night. Just as wonderful as I remember! If you want to try a great recipe here it is.

4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 c. butter (I used salted) at room temp.
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. white chocolate chips

cream the butter and sugar, slowly mix in the flour. Add the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Form into 1 inch balls and flatten on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 min at 350.

They look white (almost raw when you pull them out) but let it sit for a minute before moving to a cooling rack and then let it cool for 4-5 minutes more.

I promise they are worth the wait and the effort! I bet nuts would be good too!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What new years resolutions?

So we did come up with some goals for the new year. . . most about getting healthier and eating better. . .but just like Iwa, I think ours starts in February.

So my week ended with Dinner at Mom's. I guess the gang in Laie has this standing tradition - they get together on Fast Sundays to break the fast. . .Since Lisi is leaving on Tuesday back to the frigid cold winter in Provo. We invited ourselves. Mom and Iwa baked potatoes, prepped nacho cheese, broccoli, and all the topping of a potato bar. Abe and Larie made chili. Fale and Kappy brought soda, and I made a couple pans of mom's cornbread. The food was great and all the toppings too. So great in fact that most of us skipped the potatoes and ate everything else. Sharon was the most unique. She had rice with cheese. . . . .nothing else. It was so much fun that Dad had to keep reminding us that we had neighbors and we needed to quiet down. I didn't want to leave, but had to work in the morning so Moenoa's made their famous Exit and back to town for us.

Saturday came with no great surprise until Mother called and invited me to lunch with the gang (all the sisters but Kappy {we really missed you} and Aunty Lexie who is down here defrosting from the Indiana snow (too bad about the colts :{) It was Macaroni Grill. . .now with such a large group we could have done it family style. . .but we all ordered our own plates and then just kept passing the plates around the table. I think Viena's was the best - shrimp and chicken scaloppini with capers, artichoke hearts, and all kinds of Yummy. . . .but the ravioli dessert came in a close second. For all the chocolate lovers out there, this was one dessert to die for.

We spent the First Day of 2009 in Nalo with the Moenoa side of the family. Of course we couldn't go empty handed so we had to stop for some noodles in Kailua and we could smell the roast pork. Enoka asked for a few pounds and got the reply in a thick chinee accent that could only come from one who has grown up here wit pidgon english, 'You like a small chop?, You like big chop? You like a chop chop? What you like? I give you!'

New Years Eve should only be spent in Hawaii. It's the only place I know that you can stay home and watch millions be blown up for free. We spent the evening in Aina Haina. The Yoshidas had a massive Hawaiian buffet. So ono in fact that officers patrolled their home all night for grindz. Of course that made it hard for the pyro's across the street. Each time a cop pulled up for a plate. . .they had to hide the goods again. But the view across the ridge was awesome. I'm so glad that new years only cost me two dozen malasadas for a spectacular show like that!

On a sentimental note. It also marks 9 years to the day of our first meeting (Enoka & I). We wish Luna was here to celebrate with us!