My name is Elder Vea and I hail from Hawaii. I am currently serving with Elder Wright on an "exchange" where missionaries switch with other missionaries and learn from each other. Just last night we started this exchange and I learned a lot within a few hours. Anyways, I am one of five children and I currently reside in Mesa, Arizona. I am loving every bit of being out here serving our Heavenly Father. It has been a neat experience to serve other people. I have learned many things here in California and one important thing I learned is that everyone is different. Everyone has lived a different life and has different backgrounds. Everyone has either experienced their life in a good way or has seen the "rough" part of life. I can honestly say that I have seen both worlds. My entire life has been centered around Jesus Christ and his teachings and how families can be eternal. But it hasn't been all sunshine and bright days. We all have a dark time in our life and sometimes it lasts for a while. We sometimes feel the need to "awake" and do something about our life but we can never find out how.
"If you want to be somebody,
If you want to go somewhere,
then you better wake up and pay attention."
Jesus Christ has provided an opportunity for us to "wake up and pay attention." His Atonement is sufficient for everyone. No matter what happened to us or where we are at in our life. People can change and experience a change of heart.
Growing up, my parents taught me the principles of the gospel and wanted me to live it. I was a rebel. I wanted to be free and I wanted to experience life the way I wanted to. I didn't want anyone telling me how to live my life. As I became older, in high school, something changed my life. As a senior, I was excited and I wanted to get the most out of high school while in this last year. I had a job, played football, and was enrolled in Theatre Arts. Everyday was a busy day: wake up at 6:30, school, football practice, rehearsal, and work. I wouldn't get home till probably around 11:00 at night. Then finish homework and finally went to bed. And then my whole day starts again. This went on for about 6 months. Football ended but I still wanted to do more. I soon forgot about reading my scriptures, saying my prayers and going to church. I forgot about God and what he has done for me. I FORGOT.
A few months went by and I recieved an important call . . . It was from my counselor at school. I received the most dreadful news ever: I was one credit short of graduating and so I needed to enroll in summer school. I was devastated. When I told my parents, they were furious! I felt like a failure. I didn't know who to turn to but my older sister who was living in Arizona at the time. I told her what had happened. She asked me if I prayed.-- I said no.-- She asked me if I read my scriptures. -- I said no.-- She then told me, "You are asking the wrong person so get on your knees and call me later!" The phone call ended. After about 5 minutes, I got on my knees and prayed hard as I never had before. Still feeling sorry and tears in my eyes, I walked to the kitchen. My little sister was watching "The Lion King" at the time and as I was in the kitchen, These words came out and spoke to me: "Hakuna Matata." It means "No Worries." My soul was at peace. My tears ceased to fall and a smile came across my face. I was being told just that! Not to worry and do what God wants me to and everything will be alright. So, I read my scriptures, went to church and said my prayers. I was doing all that I can that would please my Heavenly Father. My counselor called me again and said, "You can graduate with your class but it would require some time of yours." I quickly took the offer and I was able to graduate.
In the Book of Mormon, there is a prophet that I felt much like during this time, Alma 36: 12-21 "I could remember my pains no more..." I had finally awaken and did something about my problems. I know that as we follow Alma's counsel, and remember what "our fathers have taught us," then we can experience joy. "There can be nothing more sweet and exquisite as was my joy." The power of the Atonement is for everyone. If we put or faith and trust into the hands of our Savior, I can promise that He will tell us not to worry. We don't have to be perfect to come to the Savior. I am not perfect and neither are you but if we give our all, that would be perfect for Him to accept. So, I leave you with two words of wisdom: "Hakuna Matata."