May 11, 2014


Laie, Hawaii


Sister Pat Bisson

22nd Annual World Fireknife Championship

WOW, is all I can say about the week that just passed.

Busy Busy Busy. May 1st is May Day, but in Hawaii it is Lei Day. All the kids in the Laie Elementary School came to the PCC at the Pacific theater and put on a dance and cultural performance. This year was about having harmony across the world so nations such as Fiji, Tahiti, Mexico, Egypt, Samoa, United States and Hawaii were portrayed. The costumes were wonderful and authentic-looking, and the dance routines were so good. Even the little kindergarten students did a dance. Last Saturday we had the Samoan Devotional. I had to be there at 7:00 am to help set up the food for the breakfast before the Devotional. The devotional was great, we even had a chicken fly into the Chief's hut where we were and added his two cents to the program. The chiefs hut is a large room that has a big nice roof held up by large round poles placed so many feet apart, and there are no walls, that's how the chicken got in. Anyway, fun event, next, starting at 12:00 was the May Day Lei festival held in the Hawaiian village, It was basically a display of the many different kinds of Leis. The Lei is a big thing around here, and they are given all the time. It is a symbol of Love. Aloha also means love, and many other things. (Google it, it is very interesting.) The Hawaiians live by the spirit of Aloha.

On with the week. Monday and Tuesday were normal days, Wednesday night starts the competition for the 22 Annual World Fireknife Championship that is held at the PCC. It starts at 8:00 and goes until around 11:30 or 12:00. Thursday was the second night of the competition and the three finalists were chosen. There was lots of noise (10 drummers) and flaming knives flung around by boys age 6 and up as all ages competed. They joked that the Samoans give their little kids permission to play with knives and fire. The night ended at 1:25 a.m.. I did not have to be there Wednesday, but I helped set everything up. Thursday I attended the event, and left around 10:30. I didn't think I would be able to get up and go to work the next morning if I stayed until the end. Friday was a normal day. Saturday we were at the PCC at 7:00 am. to help set up for the Samoan Festival, called "We Are SAMOA". I was able to steal away from my post to watch some of the performances. There were 6 High Schools participating in competitive games such as husking the coconut, peeling a green banana, and also weaving a basket out of a palm tree branch. Also fire starting competition. After we cleaned up and got things put away, I had an hour to go home and get ready to go back to the PCC to take tickets for the Luau that night. (yes people, I do work here, not just play). After the Luau I went to the night show so I could see the fireknife competitors and see the final winner. (If any are interested you can go on the web and search world fireknife competition and see some of the performances.) I was a bit tired when I got home.
My church starts at 8:00 am, so up early to go to church. After church the men had brought brownies and ice-cream to serve the moms out back of the church under the pavilion.

I am looking forward to a more normal week this week. I do get to take a PCC truck and drive into Honolulu tomorrow to pick up the Lahaula that is shipped here from Fiji. They use it in some of their presentations. That should be fun. It is a beautiful drive around the Island to Honolulu.

My mission is quickly coming to an end. I am starting to get worried that I haven't seen everything there is to see. I am getting anxious to see my family and my friends, and yes Crew and Abby. I will miss all the wonderful people who I have met and worked with here. The Polynesians are wonderful loving polite people. All the BYU students are so polite and they all call you Auntie and Uncle. It is wonderful to be around them. I love walking around the PCC in the mornings when no one is there and it is so peaceful and quiet and beautiful.
Beautiful greenery, trees and flowers. I will definitely have to come back here to visit in the future, because I know I am going to miss it here.
Good by for now. Love and hugs to all of you.



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