As a child, I was taught in the ways of the Mormon people. I was taught to be obedient, altruistic, benevolent, kind and humble. I was an easy child to care for, but as time went on, my parents and also my friends noticed a change in me. I started doing drugs, got into fights and became very hard headed and ignorant. My parents did everything in their power to turn my heart and clear my mind, but nothing worked.
Every year, our church would fly to the Big Island (Hawaii) to visit the Kona, Hawaii temple with the youth. The point was to build our understanding of the church and to perform sacred work within the temple. My father, being the Bishop of our ward, forced my brothers and I to go along. As much as I didnt want to, I did.
Our arrival at the airport was like Hell of earth!! It was hot, humid and crowded. I begged my mom to take us to the hotel, but part of this tradition was that they would eat at a Japanese restaurant. So we did. Our trip was a week long and only a day passed, and I couldnt take anymore of it, but i did!
The next morning, our church met at the Kona church which is across the temple for a devotional. It was 5 am!! My eyes were bloodshot and my limbs hurted and were about to break into a million pieces! When the devotional finished, we waited outside the temple for my dad to bring us a reccomend which is like a passport to enter into the temple. My stomach growled with fierce anger and my legs cried for help. We entered the temple and we had to walk into a special room.
We changed into white clothes, which symbolizes purity and we had to do a sacred ceremony for people who are deceased and haven’t recieved the teachings of our church. As I boringly watched, a name popped on the screen and I recognized it. It was the name of my grandfather’s sister. My eyes widened and I sat up straight. I heard murmuring and a lady called on me and said “Dear, do you know who this lady is?” and after explaining my relationship to her, she said “Well then, will you do her the honor of being baptized for her?” I didnt know what to say, I hardly knew my grandfather’s sister, matter of fact, I hardly knew my grandfather. My father’s cousin sat across the room and started tearing while I just sat there in amazement.
It took me a while to reply, but eventually I agreed. As I performed the ceremony, I started to cry, but I didnt know why. As I stood up, I cleared the tears from my eyes and I seen my aunt’s face, flushed red with buckets of tears! I came to her side and comforted her and she said “Kale, I could hear her. Out of all people, she wanted YOU to do her ceremony!” I didnt understand what my aunt meant, so I just ignored it. Later, when my aunt was done sobbing and crying, she explained it to me much clearer. She told me that I was chosen, despite my attitude and my wrongful doings, to perform the ceremony for her, and that makes me special.
All this time, I was always hated, patronized and scorned for my actions, and I always felt like I was disappointing people, but when this event happened, I felt loved and special! There was someone I actually helped and I felt good!
Ever since this trip, I upgraded my way of life and Im hoping to go to college. I’ve been drug free since then, and I feel as if my future actually has a chance of being successful. In conclusion, just from going on this trip to the Big Island, I became a BIGGER PERSON!
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