Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reminiscing over my Lehi Dayz

"Just because people change and move on with life, it doesn’t mean that they love you any less.”

Exactly how I felt the moment I had decided to move out to Riverton Utah area. Though  I was usually in Lehi,Utah actively involved with the Lehi 41st Tongan Branch. An adventure that refined me in so many ways & taught me the value of patience, love and endurance. This is my story living in Lehi part time :) Lehi Days of my
                                           Sister Narnia aka Narnar & I at my first Branch BBQ
Once upon a time in a small town down south of Salt Lake Valley. There stood a good ol' simple community by the name of  Lehi, Utah. Where the air & scents of farming animals on one end waved through.

 Giving it a tint of country feel to the beautiful backdrop of farm life & nature.. 
Divided by a fwy entrance east from west.
 Stood a bit of city life on the opposite end of town.
Hailing shopping plazas, restaurants & lumber stores. 
Dressing up that side with a little modern flavor.
June 13, 2009  I was invited by
 my cousin/sister Rosie Afo to attend their branch bbq. 
Which on a very cool and breezy afternoon,
It  sounded like a good idea.
At the time I was venturing out at living on my own
& becoming more indepedent.
Residing in Riverton, Utah with a friend, til I could get out on my own.  Attending this bbq was just what I needed. Never suspecting that a simple bbq would take a turn.
And I'd end up joining
Lehi 41st branch. Experiencing events that I hadn't as a youth. 
Well unfortunately the bbq got rained in
& so we met at their chapel.
 As I arrived everyone was rushing into the building.  Getting food in, calling after Rosie,
 greeting us & youth all over the place.
With humorous greetings  of "Hi Auntie!, Auntie let's play! etc!"lol It was just a busy setting  with a special burst of energy  and I was taken back. The feeling was like when
your entering a family reunion. At first you don't know anyone but as you stand long enough. Someone eventually points out who's that? Notices your not one of the regulars. 
And begins to reach out with warm salutaions. Creating a welcoming environment.
 And again it didn't hurt that I already had Rosie & our Auntie Vena's family attending the branch.  
                               That you couldn't help but  instantly feel at home.
That was my initial feeling about  Lehi 41st..  But I kept telling myself "Your just here for the bbq remember!" "Ova don't get sucked into their warming spirits & infectious fellowship." Yes I'm stubborn I love to fight off things. Sue me!lol Wait don't I don't have any Anyway as I was observing everyone. I made my way into the kitchen to help.. A.K.A survey the delicious food.. The area was like "Hell's Kitchen"lol the T.V. show duh!lol Simply stating that everyone was busy sorting & delegating duties. And handy lil helpers running around. While I was trying my best to keep from getting ran over. All of a sudden I was introduced to the powerhouse of the branch.haha In my opinion the heart & soul of any branch,ward,stake & our church as a whole.. An introduction ensue of a  few of the mighty  Relief Society Sisters of L41st.
 However these 3 stood out and during my days in Lehi became
good friends & examples to look up too.. Something about them being super vocal despite who was around. Reminded me a lot of the women of our own family.  All I  remember was Sue welcoming me, Lila offerring me some cookies (yummy) and Carma saying "Well since your here, it only makes sense for you to join our branch.Submit your records cause in the end you will anyway, everyone does." Followed by a chorus of laughter by the three & anyone in earshot hearing carma's declaration. lol Caught me off guard especially since  I was already fighting the feelings of saying "Yes sign me up!" "When do I start!"lol  As if it were to fill some new job employment position. And I humored them for a second & shyly said "Oh no I live in Riverton too far." But their consensus never waivered.     Which made me even more determined to prove  them wrong lol I told you I was stubborn. *wink wink* The key word WAS  Anyway the night continued on w/meeting more people, eating great food and playing volleyball. I wish I could say that they had me at the cookies lila offerred me. But in all actuality they had me at Teri-burgers & their bomb Mango Otai! It was all downhill from there I was hooked.. lol 
                    ^^^^^^^that's Dauna in the green

                    So still unoffical in the branch. I continued to participate in branch activites. This was our small group of YSA's that attended he "Mormon Pagent" that summer. This beautiful open spaced area Manti Temple grounds. Made for a yearly annual  gathering spot. For an overview  play showing held by members. To share  about our prophet Joseph Smith Jr. experience in finding truth. How we received the gospel, the sacrifices of many brave pioneers who came before us & what we can do today. In order to return to Heavenly Father's presence. Which made for a perfect way to spend time with L41 ysas. And to reflect on marriage.  I've never been in the Manti Temple. But if it were solely up to me & my future husband didn't mind.
I would love to get sealed there one day.
  Mainly because of the landscape. It reminds me of something you'd find in Scotland, Ireland or some romantic  country like that, very peaceful. The drive to Manti Temple would be a great bonus. Its a little ways a way from Salt Lake City..And I'd love to make that drive. It's my father's As children he'd have us travel across the U.S by car. At the time doing Polynesian Shows on the eastcoast. The very reason  for my love of long drives & nature.Or as uncle Simi would say "Nature Kurl" ;) No wonder I'm such a country girl at heart. YeeHaa!
 Anyway this temple is amazing nestled in a remote area. Painting a picture in my mind.
Of a castle tucked away in a secret
 And if the Manti Temple grounds
were truly in a garden.
I'd imagine it would be a huge garden.
Twice the size to the ablity of a 
 normal man's eye to behold.
 He wouldn't even be able to see the end of it.
 If it were truly in a garden like that :).
 Oh man what it would be like.
By this very setting I  instantly remembered.
 To remain pure & clean.
That one day I would be courted by a strong worthy, anxiously active priesthood holder.
 To build a home with and raise our own children. 
United creators to guide our children happily.
In Heavenly Father's order & motivate our children together. 
Inspiring them to  dream their own dreams & actually paving a way for them to achieving those dreams.
Setting the example to strive in being a  Church & Temple attending family. But most of all preparing to building a steady happy filled home of love.
 Such simple lessons relearned that night.
 Which has kept me focused on that goal.

 To be sealed one day. If the case should be it happening in Manti Temple.
I would be super happy. But knowing my luck.  Or I should say knowing my future husband.  He just might want to get sealed
 at some popular super busy temple.
Like SLC or something. arrrgh
 Oh well a girl can only hope for the opposite.
 Couldn't she?.lol  Either way in the temple. 
Which ever temple it may end up being. 
I know I will be happy because
it will be with the right person,time & place. And that's what really matters!
Alrightie oops let's get back on track.
Excuse my daydreaming!
Anyway this was a fun trip to Manti.
 Because at the time Dauna Bates.
 My choir sisterfren wasn't a member of the church. And I'd like to believe what she learned there.  That night at the pageant helped build her testimony.
 So it was a great night & we made it home safe & sound. P.S. she was baptized a few months later :)

 And like a domino affect I kept attending activities after activities. Falling deeper & deeper in love with this diverse group.
 L41st mirrored the last ward I left. Salt Lake 2nd YSA Ward. Though both are under the direction of two separate Tongan Stakes. SLC 2nd under North Stk & Lehi 41st under Provo Stk. 
I was fotunate enough to be in
both wards & stakes during my ysa years lol. That truly was and still currently made up of many different cultures.Which consist of Samoan, Maori, Fijian,Tongan,Palangi,Mexican,Indian
(I think lol or some looked it! that counts right?) lol,Meauli, Hawaiian, Japanese etc..
You name it we probably had it.
If we didn't they surely were on their way.
To add to the spirit of L41st.  
So I know that made me feel even more comfortable transferring from SLC 2nd.
 The transition was a piece of cake and what came next.  Were family glimpses of how to be the best. And how to follow through on it.. Everything my own parents taught & raised me up to being. L41 kept that fire burning.
I've been a member of the church for
 19 yrs now & have seen many great examples
of how to structure a family. Like I've mentioned beginning
with my loving parents. Leading up to more examples.
Individuals in & out of the church who
continued to add to the fire..  As my time was winding down  soon after I left L41.
The branch became a  ward. Then conversations I'd share with them in the past brought me to this conclusion. In a family we each play an important role.
 There is no such thing or family that can claim that their perfect. But each member of whatever family in the world. Is perfect for that particular family. Because they fit the bill & strengthens their fellow family members will always need.  And I love my family without a doubt. Because that's how I feel about them. So it was a pleasant rediscovery that we all have our badd & good days.  But at the end of the day family matters most. When I made the choice to move back to SLC unexpectedly.
I took what I learned in Lehi.
How the members made me feel, the reality of how a person can come to know people instantly. And in record time of mere seconds
 feel so connected & motivated in every part of life. These are just a few reasons why I fell in love with them. Which made it that much more difficult to leave. Or even begin to imagine saying any sort of farewells. 
So like a naughty sister  I left w/out saying good-bye. It would've been to difficult a farewell. Esp since wheeling me in during
 that 1st bbq caught me at my weakest.
 Making it too easy to come into their branch.
 Attempting an exiting wouldn't be easy at all.  That if they would've simply breathed
"Ova stay, don't go!" I would've been tempted & wouldn't leave.  But I couldn't afford that during  that point in my life.
So I left my beloved Lehi Fa'taha Branch.
I didn't want to leave. In a sense this departure  was comparable to leaving
 my "Greenie Area" on the missionfield.
But in this case it would be post mission.
Because prior I had never attended a branch. 
And  since leaving L41st. I've vowed I'd return to raise my family.So like my temple sealing dream about Manti.We'll just have to see about whether or not I'd get to return to Lehi 41st. Anyhow this is where I had experienced many of my 1st's through the branch. That I hadn't as a  youth growing up in the church.

for the rest of this blog :)

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