Monday, June 16, 2008

Week Two Gone...and Father's Day

No, nothing special to say for Father's Day. It's funny though. It's been over TEN YEARS since my father passed away, and while it's not a knife that jabs into my heart, you still feel that sad emptiness on days like today. I thought it would be no biggie until people at church started talking about having the priesthood in their homes, etc. That's when the pity party began and I had to chill out! I had and have a great dad, but know that even he knows that his girls are strong women, and we're taking care of ourselves.

Anyway, off of that bright note...I finally got the memory card for my digital camera and stopped on my way home from Koneohe this past week to take pictures. I had just finished a two-hour workout (yes...two hours of pure Hades in my mind...) and couldn't handle being in my car when the perfect sun and perfect greenish aqua waters were screaming my name. So, I stopped at as many beaches as I could possibly stop at without getting hit by tour buses whizzing by, or get looked at strangely by locals trying to have a picnic and a swim without an annoying, camera-wielding freak stop in. Anyway, here's a picture that I took that I have to say could go right into a calendar if I do say so myself!
Isn't it beautiful? As I often do when I'm in a glorious place, I look around and try with all my heart and soul to embed the feeling of the place so that I'll never forget it. Hawaii really is one of those places that I can let go of the world, where I can feel more authentically myself, and can really begin to feel calm and at peace. Here, they call it the "Aloha Spirit," and it's so true. I taped a bit of the beach on my digital camera, let me see if that will load here as well...

video

Anyway, things are good here. I have this slight sense of guilt that I'm not "doing" more--you know, learning the land more and getting out. It's just that I've been doing a lot of work for IDLA and like to get a bunch of it finished before mom gets home in the evenings. Once she gets home, we really only have a couple of hours before the sun goes down, so honestly...we're exploring a little at a time! Besides, this training thing is KILLING me! Weight training, long sessions of cardio, and calorie counting are no one's idea of excitement (at least not anyone I call "friend"---or human for that matter!), but I want the award for persistence in the pursuit of good health award! I mean it!!! Looking good would be a nice result, but I'm over that whole body image thing and just really want to help my body to function as it should...oh, and not get cancer!

Well, I thought I'd be reading my eyes out this summer, but have honestly only read two books so far. Man, it's almost shameful, but I've spent so much time in the gym and online getting courses reworked and teaching this English 12 class, that I just haven't cared. Weird, eh? I usually read this much at the height of the school year; even at my busiest I can crank out a good five to eight books a month! I will say this though, had I not burned myself within an inch of my life...which has now turned a delightful butterscotchy tan color :)...I'd be reading much more. I just haven't had another full beach day. I've only had one! How strange. In a beach day, I'll read either almost all or all of an entire book. When I was here in December, Kyle and I would hit the beach whenever the sun peaked it's little face out...and sometimes we hit it even without! (You have to come back Kyle! The sun is pretty much out EVERY day now! You'd really be a tan boy if you came now.)

Okay, one last tidbit that I'd like to remember/share, and then I'll hush for the night! Mom's ward, Laie 5th Ward, is having their annual ward campout down on the beach. Honestly, it's the coolest camping I've ever seen in my life, what with huge tents covered with these HUGE convention-like tents over their entire campsites, with campstoves, electricity, etc. It's awesome! Anyway, since mom and I call opening the bedroom window a little wider "camping," we of course did not join them; however, we went up tonight to the fireside. In the end, that fireside ended up being more moving than months of church attendance. Maybe that's shameful on my part, but I think mom would agree with me that the spirit was in such strength tonight, testifying of the simple truth of the gospel, that it blew us away. They had this couple come to speak. The woman was from an ethnic group in China known as the Urghuyrs, who are descendants of the Huns and Turks and are mainly muslim. Anyway, she went to a dance school when she was ten in Beijing, then toured the US where she eventually traveled to Hawaii and to BYU-H. After returning to China she remembered the feeling she had in Laie and wanted to go back. So, several years passed as she worked there in China, when she met a man who was from BYU-H on tour there. She took a chance and asked him if he could help her go to BYU-H. He smiled, helped her apply, and she came over to Hawaii. Well, during her time here, she felt the spirit, but knew she could never join the church because she couldn't do that to her Muslim parents. In the meantime, she was in Honolulu with a friend from China, and was out at a restaurant visiting and trying to recall the name of the street in her hometown where she'd been working when this man turned around and pronounced it to her in perfect Mandarin. He shocked her, and they visited and over time became friends. His name was John and was from Texas, where his Ecuadorian mother and Texan father raised him. John had gone to college in China and had always had an interest in the Urghuyrs. Well, they started dating, fell in love, got married, and both felt more and more drawn to the church. In fact, Elder Ballard met with her, gave her his book, and told her that when she got baptized to give him a call and he'd come do it! Well, it wasn't until they had their first child that she looked at her baby and she and her husband said they had to be together forever.

Needless to say, they both joined the church, went to the temple to be sealed, etc. While this is amazing, what's even more amazing is that Elder Ballard had told her years before that she would share the gospel with thousands of people in her land. Well, BYU-H approached her and wanted to take their choir to state in China. She went with them to her state, and even her hometown, where they dance and sang for 5,000 people. She had the opportunity to introduce the group and share her feelings about the gospel and the love she felt from the people of Hawaii. Well, now her sister is going to BYU-H, and there seems to be this whole exchange of students that all want to come from this state, among this ethnic group of people to go to BYU-H. And so the work rolls on...

I honestly had to choke back tears of gratitude for the miracles that work in the most mysterious of ways. While I often wish that I'd have a big miracle to see and hold in my mind, I think that it's just that I can't see and acknowledge the miracles in my life...yet. Some we see, and some we don't, especially if we feel abandoned or forgotten. You know, mom and I talk about how difficult it can be to have to face the world every day, facing the overwhelming loneliness and fear we sometimes feel. We know how easily we push people away from us, in an effort to hold it together half the time, but at the core of that is a deep desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to be surrounded by family, and yet realizing that we need to be more centered and see the joy in life in our current situation. Well, for me, that's what this girl showed me this evening. The story is vastly different, but on a very personal note, I know that the same sentiments she shared this evening I can understand to some small degree not only from a woman that continues to strike out into scary situations in an effort to be brave and face life, having a hope that someday it won't be so scary and I might have the deepest desires of my heart, and also from the perspective of all that happened with Bob. I know what he has felt and learned, and I know the role I played in it all. I also know that I had to go to Kansas for him, which is also the thing that has had me out of the loop for awhile. How do you negotiate the pain of something like that? Anyway, not to get all personal and philosophical, but tonight I felt this calm that I haven't in a very long time, that what I did was the right thing, and that I can't be angry at God anymore for what happened. Bob had his free agency (just not from his family), and while I didn't get the dreams of my heart, that God DOES know what's in my heart, and the journey might be long, but he will guide me and help me to deal with whatever comes my way. In a strange way, the arrangement of that fireside tonight really felt as though it was put together for my benefit. One more thing to be thankful for.

Whew...I'm not sure I really want to post this! Oh well, it's my way of sharing not only my lack of taking the world seriously on one hand, but I guess my deeply personal side on the other. Enjoy or ignore...either way, Mahalo!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for this post! It was great to hear this woman's story and how it touched you! In my mind, you have always been a bit of a spiritual giant! I've always thought you are wonderful!
    I'm sure glad that we have an understanding of our Heavenly Father and our relationship with him. It makes things a bit more bareable sometimes!

    Love ya!

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