Kobe, Japan

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blast from Japan Trips Past

If you think Hevynn's love affair with Japan started recently when she received her mission call in March...nope.  Having performed in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka in 2005 and 2006, she fell in love with all things Japanese when she was only 11-12 years old.  Here are just a few pics of Hevynn's very memorable performance trips...and, yes, she actually sang in Japanese!

12-year old Hevynn sang her heart out in Japan

Rehearsal with multi-talented business CEO Kazunori Seki on drums

At colorful Shinagawa Station with musical genius Masa Fukuda and his gracious mom from Osaka; Hiromi DeYoung and her beautiful daughter Whitney; gorgeous Aliyah Egan, adorable Chase O'Neal, and amazing Lexi Brown

Singing at the annual Star*Rise Convention in Tokyo

Sound check with Minami (now a HUGE star in Japan -- part of the incredible JPop R&B duo CREAM!)

Masa Fukuda and the group of girls from the US were privileged to perform for Star*Rise executives

Monday, April 22, 2013

Aloha 'Oe

As a parent, when you send your daughter off to college in Hawaii for 8 months, there are some things you might expect to happen:

1. She'll go to the beach...a lot...and sport a killer tan
2. She may do a little shopping in Waikiki...even on a college student's budget
3. She will fulfill a lifelong dream to dance at the Polynesian Cultural Center
4. She may even spot famous vacationers (Nicole Scherzinger)
5. She hopefully will go to class, too (but can you believe I have NO pictures of Hevynn actually in class?)

What you may not expect is that during this brief period, her heart will expand with such great love for the gospel -- thank you, Bishop Wolthuis -- that she receives a mission call while in Hawaii...but she does.
Hevynn, with call in hand, waited to open it with her friends at PCC
You don't expect that she could ever love her family and heritage more by being away from us for 8 months...but she does.
Hevynn danced with some of her cousins at PCC
L to R: John Cummings, Kaimana Soliai, Nona Soliai, Aunty Lani, Hevynn & Tama Soliai
And you don't expect her to forge such lasting friendships with some of the very best of God's children...see below.

April 11, 2013

Hevynn had her last Night Show performance of, "Ha, Breath of Life!" and what an emotional experience that was. Mom was there, along with Grandpa Murray and Maile Olson - one of Hevynn's favorite YW leaders from Utah.  Hevynn absolutely glowed on stage as she danced Hawaiian, Maori, Tongan and Tahitian one last time.  Afterward, many of her friends performed a haka and sang farewell in Samoan and Hawaiian.  It was impossible to hold back the tears, knowing it would be a while before she saw any of them again.

Hevynn Heimuli PCC Haka Farewell from Norma Heimuli on Vimeo.

Haka performed for Hevynn's last Night Show at the Polynesian Cultural Center

With best friend Toa Mauigoa after Hevynn's final performance

L to R: Kaimana, Hevynn, Toa, Joe Ramsey and Ani Lawrence waited backstage for her last show to begin

Beautiful Tongan girls who dance HaMaTa (Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian) with Hevynn
L to R: Mele, Rose, Hevynn, Esther & Kiele

On stage after the show...I promise, these are usually very attractive people!
(Front Row L to R: Liana, Toa, Tripler; Back Row L to R: Lucky, Joe, Hevynn & Jas - called to serve in Australia Sydney Samoan-speaking Mission)

Hevynn with some of the guys after the show
(Clockwise in front: Toa, Lucky, Will & Tripler)

Hevynn's last hours in Hawaii were spent with her wonderful friends and cousins...and really, who could blame her?

The Call

March 21, 2013 

The Call arrived in Hawaii where Hevynn was attending BYU-Hawaii and dancing at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

March 22, 2013 Everyone gathered at PCC in Hawaii (and on the phone back home in Utah)...Japan Kobe Mission!  She reports on August 7, 2013.

Immediately after opening her call, Hevynn is pictured here with former fellow dancer Connor Ah Sue, currently a missionary in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission