Sunday, May 11, 2014

Floods, Tornadoes, and Snakes... Oh my!

Hello! Hola! Aloha! Bonjour! Talofa! (Sometimes I am incredibly glad that I am not a different language for my mission, however, I wouldn't mind ASL!)

Okay! So, first thing's first! I got two letters (in the mail... weird, huh?!) from my Mission President. Basically, he was just giving my information about my mission in particular and about things that I have to get done and get turned into him.

I gave him my information about my parents and their contact information. I also had to turn in my driving record (there is a car on my mission, but it's in rotation, so I may or may not be getting it once in a while), a contract for the apartment, and a couple other papers that weren't all too important (which is why I can't remember what they were.... haha!).

Turns out that my mission is a definite bike mission. Yup, that's right.... Bikes.... in skirts..... Yippee!! First of all, I literally have not substantially ridden a bike since who knows when! Probably not since 6th grade, which is like seven years ago! I don't even know if I remember how!!! Yea, yea... You never forget! But I feel like I can't balance as well now. Because, actually, away at school, I rode my friend's bike for a short while and I failed miserably at it. So let's hope for the best!

Now, the part about the skirts..... I'm not too stoked about that! At least we won't be riding too fast, which means it won't get as breezy for the skirts to go all over the place, so that's a plus, right?!

A few things about my mission:
  • It's freezing cold in the winter and crazy hot and humid in the summer.
  • There are tornadoes, floods, and thunderstorms like no other! 
  • Five venomous snakes live in Arkansas... I am terrified of snakes.
  • Food consists mostly of fried food (especially fried chicken).
  • The Arkansas watermelon is supposedly the sweetest, yummiest watermelon, ever!
  • Arkansas and Mississippi are smack-dab in the middle of the Bible Belt....
  • Lastly, my Mission President and his wife are from Fiji!!!

Moving on....

Last week was an eventful week for my family. My sister received her endowments and then was sealed to her husband the following day for all time and eternity. That's such an awesome thing! I am so grateful for the blessing and the knowledge that the temple offers us to be with our spouse for always.

Later that week, I was able to go through the temple and receive my endowments as well. For those of you who don't know what that all entails,
" the temple, we receive the ordinances that will enable us to return to the presence of God. We also make covenants to live the gospel."
" an ordinance is a sacred ceremony that has a spiritual meaning and effect."
" a covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions."
The ordinances received are essential (even crucial) to our exaltation after this life. So one would think this process is a pretty big deal, which it is!

The covenants made are also very vital. When covenants are made with God, we show our "desire to serve God and our willingness to obey all that is asked of us". Due to our faithfulness in keeping the covenants made, God then grants us with many blessings. We must make and keep covenants in order to progress toward eternal life.

In order to go to the temple, I initially had to read a booklet titled "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple". This explained a lot about what I would experience and basically helped calm my nerves. I read this out loud with my mama and asked her questions as I went. There were things I wanted further explanation for and things I didn't quite understand, so it was good that I had her there.

I had to be interviewed by both my Bishop and Stake President to prove that I am worthy to enter the Lord's kingdom. The reason for this is because no unclean thing can enter the House of the Lord, nor dwell in His midst.

Upon being interviewed, I was found worthy to enter the Lord's temple. Such a relief!! Hahah. I was so ecstatic that I now had my real live temple recommend. My life is progressing. I'm moving up in the world (and getting closer to Heaven)! (:

The temple is such a beautiful place. For those of you who have entered the temple, you know what I am referencing. And to those who haven't, I urge you to become worthy to enter the House of the Lord and to be able to take part in these wonderful blessings and see the beauty within. It is such a sight!

I know that the temple is truly a House of the Lord and I am so grateful for the awesome opportunity I had to be there with my family and friends and to learn of the incredible blessings I am to receive.
(After I received my endowments outside of the Seattle Temple)

(I could not be here without my wonderful parents... I love them!)
I had a lot of family and friends that were able to be at the temple with me, which was awesome! Afterwards, we all went back to my house for a little "party" with food (typical Mormon thing.... hahah).
(My grandparents have always been so supportive of my decisions in life and I appreciate it so much!)

(After the temple, the party back at my house with Cullen Black)

(Good friends in the ward... The Kutterers!)

(This was the "old person" table!! With parents grandparents, and family friends Debbie and Gary Sabin, and Kurtis and Melanie Willden)

This is all just one step closing to leaving on my mission. The preparation is all so very exciting. Last week, a lady (Berdeen Meadows) so kindly took my pictures for my mission. She takes future missionaries' pictures for no charge with the thought of "they are going out and serving for 2 years (or 18 months), I can serve and take pictures for a mere 30 minutes".

I really hate photo shoots because I never know what to do. However, the pictures turned out real nicely! I'm excited to see the final products! She did a lovely job.

A little over two months until I will be entering the Provo MTC and then be serving the Lord and sharing the gospel with the people of the south! I am so looking forward to it!