Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Living in the Shadow of the Temple

Aloha everyone!

How. Are. YOU?? I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last sent an email for everyone! There’s no excuse for it really. My email time was cut a little short last week because we hiked this sweet mountain called “Crouching Lion”. It was as cool as the name sounds :D It’s a hike where you have to use both arms and legs and don’t have arms or legs by the end. So choice! I’m definitely taking you here when we come to visit.
So this email is story time for you all! So sit back, relax, grab a fluffernutter, and listen to what I had the opportunity of listening to/experiencing this week.

There was a man who came through the temple gates the other day and immediately after taking a step in, he stopped. He took a step back, being sure he was outside the temple gates. He paused, and then took a step back in, back onto the temple grounds. He did this over and over again; Taking a step in, and then out. In, out. After a few minutes, we asked this man what he was doing. His response gave me goose bumps. He said, “Whenever I take a step inside these gates, I feel something. When I step outside, I don’t feel anything.” This man knew there was something special about the temple. It was such a wonderful reminder to me.

We got to watch a fireside by Michael Ballum who is serving a mission with his wife and son here in Laie. It was only one of the most amazing firesides I’ve ever seen! He talked about temples and the history of them, and his experiences with them and it was just jaw dropping. I had no idea there was so much temple history and so many incredible stories behind them! And I wish I had all the time in the world to tell you every single story! Once I’m home, I’ll tell you all of them. But for now, I want to tell you a story-true story, about the Laie temple. 

During the world war, a bomber plane was sent to destroy this big white rectangular building in Hawaii. They didn’t know what it was, but they figured it was an equipment storage unit. They couldn’t risk keeping this beautiful building intact and so the day came to bomb it. The pilot flew over the building, ready to drop the first bomb, but the bomb wouldn’t release. He turned his plane around and dropped the bomb again. No luck. He tried one more time, surely he could do it this time…nothing. “Why won’t they drop?” The man wondered. “What am I doing wrong?” He decided to drop one of them into the ocean, just to see if there was something wrong with the plane. The second he flew over the ocean and released the bomb, it fell and dropped perfectly. No problem. This building was more than just a building.

Years later, a missionary was teaching a lesson to a man about the importance of temples and brought up this story. As this elder told the man this story, tears flowed down this man’s face. This man later told the elder that He himself had been the very pilot who had tried to bomb the Laie temple. It was him, whose plane could not drop one single bomb on the Laie Hawaii Temple. Because of this experience, he knew there was something special about this building, he later became baptized, and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

How incredible is that?? And that’s just ONE of the miracles he told us! Ah, I love temples so much. They are literally the Houses of God. A heaven on Earth. Inside the temple is the only place in the world where the adversary CANNOT dwell. And think about this, there are about 140 of those spots in the earth today! And growing! Tell me THAT’S not evidence that Heavenly Father loves us! =D The Lord’s work is progressing. And WE get to witness it! How lucky we are. 

I’m so grateful to serve in the Visitor’s Center of one of God’s temples. I literally live in the shadow of the temple. I’m so blessed. I hope we can all live our lives in the shadow of the temple. Perhaps not literally. But I hope we do everything we can so that we can go often. It is there where Heavenly Father can bless us! It is there that He can clothe us with power, so that we may and will endure the trials of this life. It’s a promise He has given us. Let Him fulfill that promise. I remember Mom telling me that we don’t go to the temple to get away from real life, but to experience real life. I’ve come to know that’s true. I know we all can come to know that’s true too.

I love you all! Have a wonderful Easter! Oh! I just forgot that I won’t talk to you 'til after Easter! Goodness me, well, have the best Easter ever family! Remember why we celebrate it as you eat eggfulls of yummy candy. Heavenly Father loves you!

Give 'em Heaven!

Love always,
Sister Annen

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Dear Family,

I just had to get that out! I couldn't hold it in one more second. What's up my honey bunches?? How was your first week of March? Wow it's MARCH. Wow! This month has already been choice for me and for all of us actually. I can't wait to tell you about it!

SO, we just had a revolution at the Visitor's Center! Yep. Something that has never happened before. You ready for this? Are you on the edge of your chair? On March 1, 2013, our tours began counting as LESSONS! Chihu! Oh my lanta I wish I could describe to you what a BIG deal this is. If a tour comes in and self refers, WE become their missionaries! WE do! In the past, they would self refer, we did a little dance, and then we'd never really hear from them again (except on lucky occasions) But now, we get to be with them every step of the way to baptism! :D We will teach them by phone or email until they are successfully transferred to the local missionaries, and then after that, we become sort of their fellowshipper I guess you could say! We get to check up on them and share little messages and just be there for them. Can you see how inspired this is?? Wow, the Lord is just hastening His work. I see it everyday.

Which speaking of! We have our first 19-year-old Sister here! Ah! So cool. We were all so excited to see what a 19-yr-old sister looks like! When she first walked in, we all just stood there frozen and stared :) Welcome to Hawaii right? :) ha let me tell you, they look great! Just fantastic really :D I can just tell that the Lord has been preparing them because they are just as prepared as the older missionaries if not, MORE! We're all excited for next transfer (which is in less than a week already by the way!) because this is the transfer where they all start coming in!

We had a fireside on Sunday, where our Mission President spoke to all of us and our investigators and all of Laie practically. It was so so good! Guess who was also asked to speak at the fireside a couple hours before the fireside? This one. Yep :) And I wish I had more time to go in to detail! But know that I survived, and I totally learned that Heavenly Father totally has your back and will never let us down. It's just how He is; I love Him.

I went on exchange with Sister Christiansen the other day got to serve with her in her area! The whole day was awesome. The last family we visited was the Mapuhi family. They are a less active family. Sister Mapuhi answered the door and poor thing, she looked exhausted. She has been going through every trial you can think of, and I honestly can't imagine going through these kind of things. We talked with her for a very long time and didn't even know what to say. To not go into detail, let me put it this way. The commandments God has given us, Is. For. A. Reason. He wasn't just grumpy one day and decided to give His children a list of things they couldn't do. He gives us commandments because He knows who we are and who we can become. If we don't understand that yet, we need to see ourselves through His eyes to see what he is trying to make of us. The gospel of Jesus Christ will help us no matter what were going through. So even though we didn't know the little logistical things that would help her, we knew that the gospel would help her perfectly. This experience really helped me to realize what a reality the gospel is. And what a reality it SHOULD be in our lives.

Well, have a happy week my dearsies! I love you loads! Don't ever ever forget that okay? Keep smiling and know you have a number one fan here in Hawaii, and up in Heaven :)


Sister Annen

ps Look up the 2012 youth theme song/video! It's filmed right here in Laie where I'm serving! You can actually see my pad in one of the shots!
pps do any of you have some super yummy recipes you could send me? Being online, we make dinner each and every night, and I kind of need some ideas. (Mom: I know what you're going through :D You're a champ for doing this EVERY night!)

Hows it and Aloha Everybody?!

Hows it and Aloha Everybody?!

Well! Another week. I feel like I'm always saying, "It's P-day again??" ha it's crazy how time flies here. The days are busy and long, but the weeks just zip by. 
And what about the 58 new missions huh? Pretty sweet ya?? I'm am so excited. My mission president was asked if he wanted the Hawaii mission to be split, but he decided not to since it's kind of hard with all the different islands and such. But Elder Annen's mission is being split oh my! Wow, that will be quite the change. It's no understatement that the Lord is hastening His work. He knows what He's doing, that's what I've come to find out.

So, I'm online now! Okay, obviously right now I'm online as I'm emailing, but what I mean is that I'm an online sister now! Let you tell you something...it's spectacular! Absolutely terrific. And let me tell you why. I get to do the chats from mormon.org like I told you, and while I'm waiting, I teach lessons through email to our investigators and if I have spare time, I surf lds.org and mormon.org. I feel like I know those websites like the back of my nametag. I know every person on "I'm on Mormon" and love love LOVE mormon messages! Ah! Who knew they were so sick! Seriously, if you haven't seen one, take the challenge from a sister missionary to watch one after you're done reading this. Or watch one right now! For missionaries, mormon messages are like watching the newest grammy award-winning film! (grammy is for films right?) Shoots, I can't remember. Anyway, the newest mormon message I love is called "Mountains to Climb"! Have you seen it? Oh my... it's only amazing! Please watch it and tell me what you think. Keep some tissues handy. It's necessary :D
What's really cool, is that Sister M and I will pray with people on chat...didn't think that was possible huh? I didn't before I got online either! Here's how it works: after teaching them a doctrine and inviting them to do something, we will ask to pray with them. We kneel by our computers and invite the person on the other end to kneel if they would like. One of us says the prayer and the other types. I was really hesitant at first because really, how effective can a prayer be if it's only being typed? The answer is, extremely. As Sister M gave the prayer and I typed it, goosebumps shot down my arms and I could literally feel the spirit surrounding the us. I don't know how to describe it other than that. It was so strong in fact, that I could barely type! My heart just pumps out of my chest every time. From these experiences of teaching and praying online, I have learned that the spirit always speaks when truth is revealed. That sounds so simple and so obvious! But really think about that. No matter no what language you're speaking, no matter if it is spoken or written, the spirit teaches. It's evidence that the spirit is what does the converting. Not us. Thank goodness. 

I can't believe all of my friends are coming home from their missions already! I totally remember going to their farewells and seeing their great examples. Well I love you all! Never forget, but more importantly, never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you. Keep smiling! Aloha!

love always,
Sister Annen