Ron and I have received our packet from Salt Lake. We are excited to announce that we have been called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Lattter-day Saints in the (are you ready for this?) Hawaii Honolulu Mission, with the primary assignment at "The Polynesian Cultural Center - Physical Facilities Department" in Laie, Oahu. Many know, but in case you do not, that the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), which is based on the east side of Oahu, is a part of Brigham Young University - Hawaii and that it's primary purpose is to showcase the varied lands and cultures of the Pacific Islands while providing training, employment and cultural preservation for the students of BYU-H - most of whom are from the varied Pacific Islands represented in the Cultural Center (Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Marqueses, Tonga, and Aeortearoa).
Yep. We are going to paradise. We report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on August 4th and one week later, fly out to Oahu.
We honestly did not think that we were going there. We had made a request to serve abroad and we were so sure that we were preparing to sell all of the cars, get rid of cellphones, and turn into vagabonds. Being that we are going to a tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific, some of those things will still prove true - but we are definitely going to be in an established and 1st world environment, so we are going to end up maintaining some of the trappings that go along with that.
Still, as exciting as it all seems with this assignment to what could be considered a Mormon Shangri-la :-) , we clearly understand that we are going on a mission to serve the Lord. You won't find us doing the hula in grass skirts... THATs for sure (sigh of relief from EVERYONE.) .
So, what are we going to do in paradise? WELLLLLLLL, it seems that PCC is converting their very large facility over to an on-line Building Automation System (BAS). Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), Ron is trained and experienced in this very system. So, you see, it all makes sense. It appears that his service and knowledge is very much needed.
So what is Nina going to do? I don't know yet. I think this is a test, actually. I was so prepared for throwing off temporal comforts to serve Heavenly Father as the early disciples - giving all, gaining humility, pushing the edges of comfort and security. Seriously, I thought to myself, I've been preparing for that for years now.
But my plan was obviously not God's plan. I think perhaps I am going to learn a more realistic form of humility, a different version of service. One that doesn't thrive off of physical sacrifice, but rather from giving up those things that are far more difficult for me - pride, control and ego. Can you imagine? Heavenly Father actually knows me so well that he reckons that I will be better, serve better and accomplish more by learning that His direction and will is more exquisite that I ever thought possible.
Just thought I'd keep it here for posterity sake.
It's a week later. I have gone through every emotion I can imagine. I'm trying to keep my head down and to plow through - because when I am emotional, I do best focusing and checking off things on my ever-present 'to do list'. And we have a lot of 'to do's - both in getting ready (studying, immunizations, Preach My Gospel and scriptures) and in breaking free of the world in which we live in (cleaning house, selling 'stuff', finishing up our jobs while still DOING our jobs - ya know what I mean?). But who knew that the hardest part was the transitioning? Its difficult for me to imagine what life will be like, especially since I hadn't imagine this particular mission at all. It's kind of like having to hit 'reset'.
Ron and I were studying last night when we came across these scriptures in Alma 5: