Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Trek to the Temple

I can finally say that...I am endowed! After all those years of singing, "I love to see the temple, and I'm GOING THERE someday," Thursday August 22nd, 2013, I finally stepped foot INTO the ground floor of the temple, and was not just redirected to the basement. Call that an upgrade??! haha just kidding-or because technically, the baptismal font is on the same floor as where the rest of the endowment session takes place in the Taipei Temple. Oh wellll! I still loved every moment and chance I had to be in the Taipei, Temple, and more so, to be worthy to step foot into the House of the Lord. It was indeed a very special day to have my mom there with me- along with many other members of the Songshan Ward...let me tell you all a bit of my "Trek to the Temple," because to be honest, the process was not all that easy. I would love to take what happened and blame it on the power of some actual being from the unseen world, but I'll admit, like usual, it was because I was as clumsy as ever. hah- that's all old news. 

     1st : made an appointment with the temple for the week before I left to Hawaii. Canceled it, because this time, I really didn't feel ready. It all felt really rushed, so I postponed it- which was okay, so I scheduled it for the Wednesday that I got back.

     In the meantime, brought my temple recommend to Hawaii thinking that my mom MIGHT decide to fly out so I could get endowed with Sharon there by my side as well. Sadly, that plan backfired and I returned back to Taiwan- which was alright as well...although Laie Temple, man, that would've been cool.

     2nd: canceled this appointment again comes the clumsy-Tiff part of the story. I was foolish enough to use my temple recommend as a bookmark and ended up leaving that book in Hawaii for Sharon to read, I even thought that I was doing her a good deed. But, NOPE. Foolish and forgetful me. 

    I swear, by this point, I bet the temple workers thought that I was becoming inactive or something. 

     With all these roadblocks that came and went, I was lucky that everything turned out for the better. My dear sister Sharon came to the rescue once again- and I say again because those who know me knows that this was not the first.(thanks Shar, you da best!) Sharon was able to mail my temple recommend to me, WHICH, coincidentally arrived right in time for me to go to the temple on my ward temple day, accompanied by many other familiar faces. So! There you go, TADA! I planned it all along! I just didn't want to be alone! YUP, brilliant me! (haha, my mom would kill me if she saw this...or when she sees this...haha)

So finally, I was very lucky to have two English speaking temple workers scheduled to accompany me throughout the process- Sister You (a Taiwanese-American lady from San Jose California, and Sister Woodward-a Senior missionary). They were both very sweet ladies that made the event that much more spiritual and memorable, which helped me feel that much more comfortable in an unfamiliar setting. 

Some may think that these are my own justifications for my mistakes, but in the end, I would like to take what happened and see it as my Heavenly Father watching out for me, and helping me feel right at home on the day that I got endowed. Thank goodness He is there to watch over me...along with my mom and sister, and family members...otherwise, who knows where I'd be or where I'd end up...haha Welp, with that, I love to see the temple, and I'm definitely going there AGAIN!

This was taken on my second trip to the temple. 
I love my Mommy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oops, There It Is.

Welp! With 28 days left before my mission, I've been contemplating quite a bit on whether or not I should start posting on my mission blog, or leave it to when I have actually officially started my mission. Easily, my first excuse was- well, i don't want to bore people with an overload of missionary blogs. aka, oh today I had the most spiritual life changing experience of my life! Oh the MTC food was delightful…or in some cases, absolutely distasteful…(because it's not like we haven't seen enough of those already)..and plus according to my lovely sister, Sharon, mission blogs are BORING. As a matter of fact,  I strongly disagree with her at the moment. Oh, and I wonder why? Thought I'd save people the boredom for as long as possible, 'til the very last minute….but… PSYCHED, guess not! Now I'm one of them…deal with it. "Oops, There It Is!"

So, after much thought, and needless to say much procrastination as well, I have decided to officially start today and write my first post-very much for my own reference and record keeping of the surprisingly exciting, and fulfilling days building up to my departure date- so don't feel obligated to read past this point, if any one even ever got this far in the first place.

I have constantly been reminded since the day I received my call that serving a mission is tough work and would probably consist of some of the hardest times of my life…la dee la dee laa, yes, I know, I know! ( Well of course I REALLY don't know yet until I go out to experience it for myself, but seriously, I get the picture). However, WHY HASN'T ANYONE GIVEN ME A HEADS UP OR EMPHASIZED ON THE FACT THAT PREPPING FOR A MISSION REQUIRES SO MANY HOURS OF HARD WORK AND DIFFICULTIES AS WELL??!!- not that I'm ranting or anything (that's not what capitalized letters mean), but I guess I'll save the stories of my ups and downs prepping for the logistics of the mission for another time. Today, I wanted to record the exact reasons of why I want to serve a full-time mission, and to spend the next 18-months of my life devoted to sharing my love, and what I love, to people that I have yet to meet and befriend. 

For the past few months, I have attempted to dedicate many days and hours of my life to preparing for the exciting new chapter of my life. There has been good days that I definitely can say have enlightened me and have contributed to my readiness. However, many days, I felt like I was doing busy work, without much focus and target. With so many days of waiting in between my reporting date, I felt myself dwindling, and losing focus-oh how easy it is for me to lose focus…sometimes i really think that I may have some Attention Deficit Disorder of some kind…maybe a mild type of some kind…or that I simply was losing sight of what I am supposed to be doing during this time. (Too much work can drive someone insane, but seriously, too much free time can drive someone wayy insane as well!!-- oh how we yearn for pure balance in life). Today was one of those days where i was reminded once again of why I initially started my papers to apply for a mission. The flame was re-ignited. How?- It was all through going out and talking to people, and acting, instead of sitting around waiting and doing busy work. "And see that all things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Mosiah 4:27 

I sat in on two different missionary discussions with a family of investigators and a single lady investigator today. Instantly, I felt right at home. No nerves, no doubt, no stress. Everything fell into place and I simply was prompted to say and share things on cue, and in accordance to what they were asking and what we were discussing. I FREAKING LOVE MISSIONARY WORK- and the SPIRIT! I felt love for the people, even when they did not understand the principles, or even when they had opinions contrary to what I believe and know to be true. All I wanted to do was to share what I hold dearly to my heart and what has blessed my life immensely to all those that were before me. i share these things not to gloat, or to become arrogant and prideful of my accomplishments, but to glorify my Heavenly Father-just like Ammon did when Aaron rebuked him. I share these things to express gratitude for what I have and for my eternal knowledge and relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I share these things hoping that during the hard times on my mission, I may be reminded of how the Spirit works in bringing all things to my remembrance. I am not alone, and I am not doing my work, but the LORD'S WORK; he will not forsake me.
AND, I share these things to keep a record and reminder to myself of my purpose and why I initially wanted to go out to serve for 18 months. It was not because everyone else was doing it, not because my best friends were doing it, not because my parents asked me to go, not because the Church encourages us to go- but because I want to help people, I want to share my blessings with them, and meanwhile, I want to LEARN FROM THE PEOPLE I MEET. I think the listening part of the mission is so valuable, it not only helps us become a better person in life, but also helps us grow to listen more promptly to the Spirit and to our Heavenly Father.

AHHH, I FREAKING LOVE THIS GOSPEL! Like Ammon, "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel", no words can even express the smallest form of joy that this Gospel brings me- because it is BEYOND that!- and that is for people to feel and find out for themselves.

Thanks to my sister Sharon's constant, kind reminders and at her request. I have finally recorded my first blog post. Hope you enjoy it sis, because there will be many more to come, and before you know it, you will be SICK of all the random things that I spurt out. haha ;) You've unleashed the crazy me, there's no holding me back now, haha.

 Here's a shout out to her for helping me take photos and for the blog layout! You ROCK!

love all you poppets out there!

xo soon-to-be, Sister PAO