Last Sunday, a cute sister missionary from Tahiti asked us if we would tell her and her companion the story of how we met and got together. A few months ago we had shared our story with a group of young missionaries, and even though most of them have since been transferred elsewhere, at least parts of our story was still circulating amongst the missionaries who are now here in Lyon. Of course, we said yes to the request. Since she was from Tahiti and because much of our connection took place in Hawaii, we thought we would have a little island food when the two sisters came to our little apartment. I say "little" because you can plug in the vacuum cleaner anywhere you want and do the entire apartment without having to move the plug. In typical missionary fashion, this initial little get together blossomed into a group of sixteen missionaries invited over for a luau. We joked that if President Brown would come, he could count it as a zone conference!
One thing we learned in Hawaii about having people over to eat is that the WORST possible thing you can do is to run out of food. And missionaries, like Polynesians, can really eat. So we went to work preparing mountains of food: kalua pork, huli huli chicken, lomi salmon, green salad, rice, melons and tropical fruits, banana bread, and haupia (a typical Hawaiian dessert made with coconut milk). We also had French bread and cheeses: not very Hawaiian but almost mandatory at any meal in France, even a luau. We couldn't find any of the delightful purple-pasty poi that we grew to love over time, but we did have P.O.G. to drink. They don't sell P.O.G. here in France like they do in Hawaii, but you can find Passion fruit juice, Orange juice, and Guava juice and then just blend them yourself.
We didn't have to worry about running out of food. In fact, we had so much left over that the following evening we invited all the senior couples in the mission over for round two of our Lyon luau. Maybe we went a little overboard, but when it comes to missionaries and food, we just can't help ourselves!
Our international group of Lyon missionaries. One from Tahiti, from Spain, the Netherlands, Togo, France, Switzerland, Germany, and the rest from the US.
The same group "at work".
We had lots of fun sharing stories and mission experiences after our luau.
Making a plate!
The clean-up crew of senior missionaries the next evening.