Thursday, January 16, 2014

El templo es la casa de Dios

 Now that I have a little over than a month left until I report to the Missionary Training Center, I have to really buckle down and get things done. One of the major things that I have to do is go through the temple to receive my endowments. I've talked about it with my Branch President Ethan Lee and asked him what I needed to do before I do go. He told me that I needed to go to temple prep-to receive all the 6 lessons before getting my recommend. I explained to him that I desired to go as soon as possible during January and he told me that our senior couple missionaries would be able to teach me all the lessons accommodating my schedule.

Sunset Beach YSA Branch Temple Prep Class

Elder and Sister Wright, from Idaho are amazing. They were able to teach me all six lessons within one hour and one sitting in their lovely home on a sunday evening. I was able to receive a couple of them during church, and the remaining in their home. Elder and Sister Wright successfully prepared me to go into the temple and I am absolutely grateful. Unfortunately they won't be in Hawaii anymore when I return from my mission, so I told them that I have to visit them in Idaho someday. :)

While I was preparing to go in, it felt like it was taking longer than I wanted it to be. I just wanted to go in….but it required of me to be patient and to follow the counsel of my branch president. From actually taking temple prep and being patient made me realize that it was all God's timing. It was only within 2-3 weeks of temple prep and interviews for my recommend then I was able to enter the Lord's house…when I got my first interview with my branch president completed, I didn't know that I would be able to get my stake interview done on that very same day, too…and that I did. I called the temple within a few days after getting my recommend and when the temple was now opened after the new years vacation. Right there and then I found out that they were available for appointments for the whole entire week. I scheduled it to be the the very next day and then I realized that it was happening fast. 

On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, I was endowed in the Laie Hawaii Temple. 

My mom was my escort and my dad was able to accompany me during the session. I was blessed to be assisted by many sisters in the temple, Sister Dianne Neal, Sister Takomoto, Sister Pinky Farley, Sister Aiu, and Sisters who I know not their names. Elder and Sister Wright, Branch President Lee, and one of my best friends, Janzelle Beaver were also very kind to be there during the session. I was able to meet a sister who has a daughter who is currently serving a mission in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a blessing to meet her especially when she had realized that my mom is also from Bangkok. She told me that, "It is meant to be for us to meet at this very time and very place in the temple." My mom took down this sister's contact information and we hope we can have her meet our family in Thailand. 

It was the most wonderful and beautiful experience I had thus far. I was scared and excited before entering, but once I was inside I felt nothing but peace. When I finally reached the Celestial room, I went inside to sit with my parents and saw that my dad was in tears. It was a little taste of heaven…of the Celestial life. Entering the temple meant that I finally had greater knowledge of the gospel. Can you imagine this to be the Celestial life? When we are resurrected and entering the Lord's kingdom can you imagine everyone you love there, dressed in white? Everyone greeting you with overwhelming joy, saying "You did it! You are here and now we can feel of His love and be at rest. We are now in the presence of God!"? I imagined preparing to meet God for the first time while I was in there and felt nothing, but peace. It was the first time where all my worries were out of reach inside of my mind. I could no longer feel anything negative. I forgot all my sorrows and all the things that made me feel inadequate. It was feelings of love and comfort. It was full of light and calmness. That is what heaven is all about and that I can't wait to feel again.

What also makes January 15, 2014 to be extra special is that my grandfather, my mother's father, Toontum Jirapoomdech was also endowed at the very same moment as I was, in the temple. My dad was able to get his work done while mine was being done, too.

March 7, 1938-July 23, 2012
Forever in our hearts and never forgotten 
My grandfather is a wonderful man who is well known for being one of the hardest workers in our family. He is highly praised by my uncles, my aunt, and my parents. He was diagnosed with colon cancer and has reached it final stages. When we left Thailand, we knew that it would be the last time we would be seeing him here on earth. I only knew him for so long before he passed. I grew to love him within a month when we visited him. Although we left knowing we wouldn't see him for awhile, we knew we were going to see him again in the eternities, the life here after earth. He passed away on July 23, 2013 and on January 15, 2014, he was able to have his work completed in the temple.  

With the Grandkids

My siblings with Grandpa

My overall experience was amazing. I am truly humbled by it all in knowing that His work is real and the Plan of Salvation is real. It is perfect and created long before we know just for us to live by to this very day and the next life to come. I have a wonderful family, parents, and gospel in my life. I am truly blessed and I hope many who are seeking truth in their life, may find it soon, and if you need help finding it I am willing to share it with you :)... because well…I have found it and now I love it even more than ever.

Sincerely yours,
Rissy (Hermana Santeco)

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