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The Laie Hawaii Temple is beautiful.

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Even from the air. I was lucky enough to have the temple on my side of the helicopter so I have some great shots from the GoPro. Heath had to get this picture over my shoulder. I’m amazed at how expansive the grounds actually are.

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The flowers around the temple grounds are exquisite.

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One of our goals with the pictures we took in Hawaii was to find some pictures suitable for framing. I have to say this is one of my favorites. I love the vibrant colors and the composition.

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Heath does a good job with the pictures he takes. We didn’t wander around for long before we made friends with a family from St. George, Utah. Heath offered to take a picture of their family so both parents could be in the shot. The mom offered to return the favor for us. I think Heath was a little nervous about leaving his baby (camera) with a stranger but he couldn’t say no. Especially when she said she has used that camera before.

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I was happy to have a picture of the two of us. That was one of my goals. One of us is always behind the camera so we don’t get many pictures together. As you can see we both wore our BYU garb. The plan was to enjoy the temple grounds and visitor’s center before the Polynesian Cultural Center opened for the day.

Normally BYU translates into Mormon. Heath has had many missionary moments wearing a BYU shirt regardless of which state we are in. In Hawaii our shirts seemed to make people believe we were from Utah. When people made the assumption I would tell them we used to be from Utah.

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Between our shirts and Heath’s camera (mostly his camera), we became fast friends with everyone we saw at the temple. Heath is a friendly guy and can strike up a conversation with anyone. It was interesting how many people sought us out first and how long we talked with each group.

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I wish Heath had gotten a picture of the front of this statue. It’s Lehi blessing his son, Joseph. I have never seen it before. It was tucked back in a quiet corner across from the visitor’s center. As we were exploring back there Heath noticed a guy sitting on the grass working on a Surface. We get excited every time we see Surface users because we love our laptops.

Heath complimented the Surface and the guy complimented the camera. Conversation started. We learned he is from Germany and is a student at BYU Hawaii. A new semester had just started so Heath asked what classes he was taking. He said he was taking a creative writing class. The next thing I knew we were exchanging blog addresses!

You should stop by and check out his site. He writes stories that are an extension of stories found in the scriptures. They are very thought provoking. If he has had time to stop by my blog he was probably bored. I have been posting more stuff about my everyday life than I have been writing any piquant posts. Oh well.

We said goodbye to our German friend and walked toward the temple itself. Coming down from one corner of the temple I saw a man’s face that I recognized. I’m a football fan, not a basketball fan so I asked Heath, “Isn’t that that basketball player?” He looked and quickly decided no. It looked like Shawn Bradley but Heath didn’t think it was. He was with two of his daughters who are also incredibly tall. Since they were all far enough in the distance Heath didn’t have much context for height.

The three of them came down to the level we were on and were ready to take selfies. I was pretty sure it really was Shawn Bradley, the 7’6″ tall basketball player. When we got close enough Heath agreed I was right. He said hi to Shawn and we both shook his hand. Heath said, “I met you when you were in high school. I came to your belt!” I felt like I only came to his belt. That man is tall and so are his beautiful daughters.

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Clearly they had come from inside the temple and were just having a family moment. We didn’t need to gawk as bumbling fans anymore. So we walked around the corner where Heath stealthily took this paparazzi shot of their selfie.

The next two people we saw were gardeners. Everything kind of happened at once. They were whispering about seeing Shawn Bradley. Heath thanked them for their service and complimented them on the gorgeous grounds. One guy complimented Heath on his camera and we spent several minutes talking cameras. When we walked away from them we were laughing at how many friends we had made so far.

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The heat was stifling outside so we welcomed a rest in the air conditioned visitor’s center. I love the background of the Christus. The colors were so different from anything I had ever seen before. Normally the planets and stars are on a darker background. I liked the blues and yellows.

A senior sister missionary came over to talk to us. We talked for a while before she asked if we had time for a video. She took us to the five minute video of the history of the area. When we came out we made more friends. A group of people came right over to talk about Heath’s camera. One guy talked to Heath while I talked with the other guy.

I learned that his twins had just turned 12 so they were doing baptisms for the dead together as a family. We chatted for a few minutes before the rest of the family started getting after the guy talking to Heath. They wanted to eat before going to the Polynesian Cultural Center. When we first got to the PCC we saw several of our temple friends.

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As we tried to leave we met the senior sister’s husband. They are from Idaho so Heath talked to him about his Idaho roots. The man loved Heath’s camera and asked if he could take our picture in front of the Christus. So we posed for another picture.

It would have been nice to go into the temple but we didn’t come prepared with appropriate street clothes. We ended up having a lot of fun making friends with everyone wandering the temple grounds like us. It was a beautiful morning.

 

 

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