Narrative Essays


One of My Worst Days
by Gabriela Arrevillaga

Read other essays by Gabriela Arrevillaga

Last weekend I had one, well not only one, two of my worse days in my life. I got sick and I felt very bad and sad. I was in bed all weekend with fever and flu. In the beginning my friends were in my apartment with me but Saturday night they went to dance in Salt Lake and I was complete alone in my apartment.

I felt so sad, I had a fever and a headache, and I was alone! Oh, It was terrible. I was thinking about my family and I was remembering my home and when I got sick in Mexico my mother and my father, well all my family were with me, they never left me alone, but here was complete different I was alone and missing my family very much, and their love.

I really felt very sad, so I decide to pray to feel better, and then I watched a movie until I was sleep. Well this was one of my worse days in my life, but I could understand how important are your family and their love.

Back to Table of Contents


Working in the O.B. Clinic
by Joleen Chin

Read other essays by Joleen Chin

I am a nurse who has been working in the Taiwan Adventist hospital O.B./GYN. department for eight years. I love this job, because I have the opportunity to see many pregnant women safely deliver normal babies nine months after their prenatal check–up. It makes me happy! That is a very nice experience. Now I will tell you a true story about a patient; I am proud of her courage and goodness.

It happened three years ago; the patient was a thirty–five year old woman. She had a beautiful face, high education level, and a good job. She had a big problem, however. In the seven years she had been married, every time when her pregnancy reached twelve weeks, the baby died. As a result, she had an abortion three times. The doctor said that her female hormones had some problems. She wanted to have a baby, because her age was older. Her husband was the only son in his family. Therefore, she went to our hospital to see the specialist for artificial reproduction.

The doctor gave her many exams and treatments. She went to the clinic every day for blood tests and medical injections. Every time she was crying about her physical discomfort and mental pain. This complicated and hard process was not something that everyone could endure. I always helped her to understand every step that she would need to do and also explained to her husband. I hoped that her husband could help her to decrease her pain.

They tried three times for the artificial reproduction operation. The last time, the operation succeeded; she was pregnant, and the ultrasound showed she was going to have twins! After nine months, the babies were born––two beautiful girls. She was very excited. I was crying with this couple, because I knew this experience had been so hard for them. Now we have become the best of friends; she usually brings her two kids to the hospital to see me. I love them. Moreover, they are the best gifts God gave this brave mother!

Every day, many things happen in the hospital, some interesting and some sad. However, I always remember every true story in my mind. I’m a woman and I will be a mother in the future; I know having a child is very important to every woman. At my work, I’ll continue to help these women to get what they want!

Back to Table of Contents


My Abundant Year
by Andrea Chen

Read other essays by Andrea Chen

I had an interesting and funny year. First, in January, I went to graduation travel in Thailand with my classmate. That is below our class graduation travel. We had go to see transvestite show, but that is not very nice, I don't like it. We went to play aquatic sports, such as banana boats, glider sports. That is very funny.

The second thing is I came to America. Because my father hoped I can study English in here. Before I had come to America with my younger brother, so this time was my second time come here. I came here with my father. My father's friend picks us go to his friend there, and he brought us to ELC. My father wanted to know how the school is his daughter study, and then he fell at ease I stay here.

The third thing in May, I left my school. At the some time, I also left my job, which make me very happy. Because in May, I graduation in my business college. As soon as, I came to America to study English, so I left my work. That work made me work hard. Sometimes I didn't know how to do this job. It was very terrible job, and that let my life and my health not very good. So when I decided to leave this job, I felt glad and happy.

I came to America, and I feel happy things, because I had many things to do. Such as first went to conference, first cross Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Every holiday made me feel funny. I remember I had a good Hollowing. That day was my friend's birthday. She is from Cedar City, and she came to Provo. My study buddy brought us to a Halloween ghost house. American ghost house is very scary more then Taiwan. I felt scared and interesting, but the weather is not good. It was a raining day. I think this year was my busy and abundant year. Everything was very interesting and funny. I hope I have the same interesting things in next year.

Back to Table of Contents


A Terrible Experience in My Childhood
by Patricia Dominguez

Read other essays by Patricia Dominguez

Every spring, when the weather is cold, I remember when I was a little girl (almost seven years old). I lived with my mother and my grandma in the country, because they were teachers there. Of course, this place is in Argentina, my country.

We stayed at the Marical Santa Cruz School from Monday mornings to Friday afternoons. There were a lot of children that went to school there. On the weekends, we lived in a little town named Galvez, in Santa Fe province. My father lived and worked in another place, Rosario (the second most important city in Argentina). We were together as a family only on the weekends and when we were on vacations.

One day, in the afternoon, when the weather was very cold, the sky began to turn dark. At this moment, an old man arrived at the school and said: “Please, take care of the children and yourselves. I heard on the radio that hard winds and rain, with the possibility of becoming a twister, are coming!"

I believe that I never felt as I did at this moment. I thought that it could be the final day of our lives. All the children, my mother, my grandma and I were under the tables and desks. What fear we had in this moment! However, a few minutes later (almost ten), the sun was shining again, and the sky went back to blue.

From this experience, I learned not to exaggerate something so little. It was a small storm, and I thought I was going to die. I think now that similar things happen in many areas of life. The sun always stays, but the clouds go.

Back to Table of Contents


The Dream of My Sister
by Jociene Felipe

Read other essays by Jociene Felipe

Many people have different dreams. So many dreams and so few accomplishments . . . Very often our dream shatters like a champagne flute on the hard floor. My sister Ivoneide Salazar, was the lucky one to have her sacred dream come true. When she was 14, she heard about this fairytale land where everybody was happy and they called this the land of Milk and Honey. Even now at thirty-nine years old she still remembers her twenty third birthday back in Brazil when she met with her family for the last time before she departed to the United States. This is how she would tell this story if you were her close friend:

"Thirteen years ago I was at Rio de Janeiro airport in Brazil, very anxiously awaiting my final departure to Los Angeles. Still in the moment so close to my departure, it was difficult to believe that I was going to finally make my own dream come true. I always wanted to learn to speak English and visit the USA. I had an opportunity to meet with many young American missionaries at my church. The missionaries lived in Brazil and served the Lord by teaching the Gospel to the Brazilian people.

One of them invited me to meet with his family and to get to know him better. Two weeks before my birthday, David bought me a present. It was a one-way ticket to America! I flew for many hours, and on top of it, I had problems with the Immigration in Florida. Finally after all the adventures of this trip, I arrived safe and sound in Los Angeles. I was very relived to see my friend's happy face in the airport. David was impatiently awaiting me with a bouquet of red roses. I think he was more nervous than I was.

The first place he took me to see was the Los Angeles Temple. He was very nice and took me to see many places every day. We had many opportunities to get to know each other better. I felt that he was glad for his plan that he made to bring me to the US. I felt in love with this wonderful man. To have the opportunity to marry him was like a dream that I never thought could become a reality, because he was always telling me that I was a great friend. But one day, David surprised me when he asked me to become his wife. We got married six months later on December 12, 1987, in the Los Angeles Temple. I become Mrs. Salazar in the presence of his family and friends.

The years went by and we had four wonderful children. When I remember the trip that I made to America, I feel very happy to know that I let my doubts become hope, that everything would be all right. My life changed because I made a decision, even with all my doubts. I'm a very happy person today."

She told me that story so many times that I kind of remember every little detail. My sister has four kids and very loving family. Sometime I envy her, but most of the time I'm proud for her success. Some of my dreams didn't come true and some did. But overall I think I was always very blessed with my family and my friends.

Back to Table of Contents


Almost Losing My Dad
by Daniel Fernandes

Read other essays by Daniel Fernandes

My family and I lived in a big city in Brazil named "Rio de Janeiro", one day we decided to change the city, we chose a small city in another State. In this new city named "Juiz de Fora" happened a sad action in my life, my father was hit by a car and almost died. He was in a hospital about 12 days. I was very sad about that because I love my Dad a lot and I didn't want to see his died. My family and I believe in God a lot and today my father continue in this life. It was sad but God helped today and us we are happy again.

Back to Table of Contents


My Little Sister
by Emanuelle Floriano

Read other essays by Emanuelle Floriano

I remember the first time that I saw my little sister Patricia. She was wearing blue clothes. My thought was, "! boy! Where is the girl that I'm waiting for?" I was eight years old. I was skinny, and my arms looked weak. Anyway, my mother trusted that I could hold the baby. Then, I took Patricia in my arms, and I knew how much I loved her. I believed that I could take care of her like my own child.

My mother had a full-time job. She couldn't stay at home the whole day to take care of her children. Then, we had a person who was in charge of housekeeping and taking care of us, too. I didn't want someone else totake care of my sister. I began to change my dolls for a real baby. I fed her; I gave her a bath; I changed her clothes. When she was crying, I held her. I loved her, and I still love her so much!

Patricia grew up, and I still treat her as my child. She is 14 years old. She is taller than I am. She is a beautiful girl. However, she will always be my little sister.

Back to Table of Contents


A Happy and Sad Day
by Emanuelle Floriano

Read other essays by Emanuelle Floriano

On March 25,2000 was the day that I saw my family for the last time. It was seven months ago at the Galeao airport, in Rio de Janeiro City. It was the busiest day that I have had in whole life. We were happy, because I was coming to the U.S. to learn English. Also, it was really sad, because I knew that I wouldn’t see my family for a long time.

I can remember this day like it had happened yesterday. In that morning, I went shopping with my mother and siblings. The store was crowded. We got nervous, because we had to do everything quickly. Everything seemed extremely slow. I couldn’t stay there for a long time. Then, I went home and left my mother there.

I had some friends coming over to have lunch with me. We had a good time together. We took pictures and talked for the rest of the afternoon. We also looked if I had everything ready in my bag. I enjoyed being with my friends and family in that afternoon.

Before I left to the airport, I asked my father to bless me. I felt that it would be very important to my life in that time.

At the airport, all of my siblings, nephews, nieces, sisters-in-law, and aunt were there. My brothers told jokes. We laughed all the time. When it was time to go, I hugged each one. I didn’t want to cry. So, I didn’t. It was the hardest time to me. When I turned, I started to cry, but they didn’t see. Anyway, it was necessary.

Now, I miss them so much. I dream about the moment that I am going to hug them again. I hope to do it soon.

Back to Table of Contents


My First Date in the U.S.A.
by Emanuelle Floriano

Read other essays by Emanuelle Floriano

On Oct 28, I had my first date in the U.S.A. with a guy from my ward named Nathan. He is nice, gentlemanly, and cute. The date was an activity for our ward. The Relief Society and the Elders Quorum decided to set up a dance where everyone would have a partner. Knowing that some of us from the ward would not attend because we didn’t have someone to go with, and they decided to set up blind dates. They handed out sheets with the following question, “Would you like to come with someone from the ward? If yes, who?” However, it didn’t necessarily mean that you would go with the person you wanted, but if not, they would find someone else to go with you. They matched the sheets to find out the partners. For me, it worked perfectly.

Everything started two weeks before the dance, when they handed out the sheets, and I was sitting by Nathan. I didn’t know any boy from my ward well enough to write down. I thought that it wouldn’t be fear for me, because maybe the guy, who I would choose, he would have another girl to go with. Then, I asked Nathan, a guy who I had met one or two months before, if he wrote any name on the paper. He told me he did not, because he was new in the ward, and he didn’t know many girls there. I wrote his name on my paper. I thought that could be a great opportunity to him little more and have fun.

On the following Sunday, the Activities Committee gave an invitation to the activity to each person telling him or her who was their date. First of the all, the ward secretary told us that not everyone had a date yet, because we have more girls than boys in our ward. First, he gave the invitation to the girls, but I didn’t receive one at this time. I was disappointed about not having anyone to go with. I was really frustrated when he gave the invitations to the guys, and Nathan received one. After a while, the ward secretary took out from his pocket more invitations, but I had lost my hope. Finally, he gave one to me. I tried to pretend I was surprised about going with Nathan on the date. I looked around like I was trying to find him. However, I knew exactly where he was sitting at that time. At the end of the meeting, we met in the hall, and we talked a little bit about dressing up for the dance, so that we could match. It was a 50’style dance. I felt bad for pretending to be surprised, but at the same time, I couldn’t tell him that I wrote his name because it would be an embarrassed situation for me. Anyway, I think he had some idea of my plan.

Finally, the “big day” came. I spent the whole afternoon taking care of my appearance. At 6 p.m., everything was almost ready, but I hadn’t dressed up yet. I was nervous about going out with him, because it wasn’t his choice at all. Anyway, it was too late to change it. I was putting my make-up on when he arrived. Christine opened the door, and talked to him for about a minute, which was time enough for me to get ready. Before I came down stares, I told him “don’t laugh at my costume.” I came downstairs, and the first thing that he said was, “ You are pretty” It made me to feel flouting in the sky above. I was wearing a long pink skirt, a white T-shirt, white tennis shoes, and bobbie socks. He looked nice, too. He wore jeans and a white T-shirt.

During the dinner part of the dance, I was too nervous to talk to him. We both said just a few words like “The food looks good” or “They should start with the music soon” Both of us were feeling uncomfortable. It was the worst part, but after dinner when the music started to play, I felt a little better, because we started to dance and we didn’t talk as much.

During the dance we played a game. The guys wrote their names on pieces of paper, and after wards girl drew name. Then, the girls needed to find the guy whose name they drew. Whether it was coincidence or not, I drew Nathan’s name. I was surprised, because I had wished to dance with him in this game, too.

Well, like a dream, it had its end. He drove me home. He walked with me to the front door of my house, and he gave me a hug and said bye. That night I could not fall asleep immediately. I wanted that night wouldn’t have end. I found myself making plans to go out with him again.

These last two weeks, we have been seeing each other often. I think I am interested in him, but I know that he is not interested in me for sure. He just thinks about me like his friend. He has come to my house to help me with my homework, and we go together to church, but it doesn’t mean any thing to him. I feel frustrated about it, because I can’t do anything to change his feeling for me. Anyway, I had a good time going out with him. I hope to have another opportunity to go out with him.

Back to Table of Contents


A Childhood Memory
by Guo Ying Gao

Read other essays by Guo Ying Gao

Mrs. Buck asked us to write, "Memory from Childhood". When I took my pen, I had many memories from my childhood. Just like Mrs. Buck today in class said, "Brainstorming". Which one should I choose? I feel it's difficult. Suddenly I felt I saw a river and I sank in the river. Ok let me talk about this event.

In my hometown there is a river. After school, many students went there and swam, but my parents didn't allow me to swim there. One reason was every year almost one or two people died in the river. The second was I was very thin and weak, my parents worried about that.

One afternoon, I didn't have class; my friends and I went outside to play. We went to the river and they swam in the river, they were very happy. I stood on the bank. I really wanted to swim, but I was afraid, at that moment one friend talked to me, "The water is shallow. You can swim in here and I can teach you." I walked down to the river and she taught me. After half an hour she said, " You practice in here, I want to swim a while." I practiced again and again. When I stood up, I felt the water was deep and I sank in the water. Suddenly a hand caught me. It was my friend.

I went home, I didn't talk to my parents. After a week my parents knew that event, they were very angry. My father has a friend, he knew that thing and told my father, "Your daughter is very thin, she needs to do exercises. I can teach her to swim." My father thought he was right and allowed me to swim. Therefore I could swim everyday.

Back to Table of Contents


Cultural Problems
by Guo Ying Gao

Read other essays by Guo Ying Gao

I have been in America for four years. This four years was a hard time for me. Everything for me was very different: different language, different customs, different food, and different people. I was like a newborn baby, and many things I didn't know, and I had to learn everything again.

On September 17, 1996, while I was sitting on an airplane from Shanghai to New York, I was thinking about my family, my friends, and my future. I thought, "Why do you want to go to America? We are a rich family in China. Everything here is very good. If you are going to America, you don't know what will happen in your future. My mother is worried about me." Suddenly in my mind I heard these words: "You are a competent lady. You will have beautiful future in America." I thought my friends were talking. Yes, I could do many things in China, but I also would be able to do many things in America. When the airplane arrived in New York, I walked very firmly. I believed that I would be a competent lady in this new land.

During the first two months, I had a very happy time with my husband. This is a beautiful country. Many things were fresh. "I need to do something by myself," I thought. I told my husband, "I want to know this community. I want to find a job." "Are you sure?" he asked. "Yes, I am sure."

The second day, I went out wanting to find a job. "How long have you been here? Can you speak English?" everybody asked me. Even though I had studied some English in China, I couldn't speak at all. After a few days, nobody wanted me to work in his or her company. I was very disappointed. I couldn't speak English.

I felt very bad. I went to the store, the hospital and everywhere I always needed my husband with me. If we went to some American friends' party, my husband needed to teach me the American customs. I couldn't speak to anybody. I was like a baby. I lost my confidence. I began to hate everything here. I hated the people. I hated that my husband brought me to America. I missed my country, my family, my friends, and my small business. In China I had a beauty salon. I supervised ten other men and women. I could earn two or three hundred American dollars every day. I am a smooth talker in my hometown, and many people trust me. In America, however, I didn't have any good friends to talk to. I started looking and feeling old, and I grew some gray hair. My husband said, "You must go back to China. Otherwise, you will go crazy." But I didn't want to leave my husband, and I didn't want my family and friends to see how I had changed for the worse.

After that, my husband spent a lot of time helping me overcome those cultural problems. He took me traveling to Florida, and told me many good things about America. I had some good changes. Last year, my husband sent me to China. I stayed in China half a year. I had a wonderful time with my family and friends. However, I missed my husband, and I began to miss America. I thought there were many good things in America even though I hadn't liked America before. When I came back to America again, my husband decided to send me to the ELC at BYU to study English. He thought Provo would be a good place for me. There are kind people and good schools there. I very much wanted to go, but I was afraid of English. "Don't worry about anything; you will getting better there," my husband reassured me.

Right now I am very happy in Provo. Provo is a really nice place. I feel warm in Provo, because there are nice people, and I have made new friends here. I am happy in the ELC, because here, my English is getting better and better. My confidence is growing more and more. I can talk again. Even though I can't speak very well, I believe I will be able to speak well someday.

If you ask me how I could overcome those cultural problems, I will tell you: my husband helps me overcome them, Provo helps me overcome them, and the ELC helps me overcome them. My friends said, "You have become young again!" I have to say, "Thank you ELC, thank you my teachers, and thank you my husband! You gave me confidence, and you gave me a new life."

Back to Table of Contents


My First Presidency
by Ernesto Gonzalez

Read other essays by Ernesto Gonzalez

When I was a little kid, I was never a leader or president of my class. I was very friendly and pesky, but I had bad grades. I didn't like the school because it was boring. The teachers were cold and boring. I didn't like math, grammar and natural science. My grades were low. My teachers always said to me, "You need to improve your grades because when you grow up, you will be a carpenter, bricklayer, or stevedore (a man who works in the port carrying bags)." (It is a common phrase in my country). My teachers always said to me, "You are a bad student. Your grades are very low, and you shouldn't be the school class president."

However, when I was in fourth grade, my classmates nominated me as President. All my teachers were opposed to this idea. They wanted to elect another kid because he had good grades, so I didn't worry about it. I was only interested in playing games.

I improved my grades, but I wanted to be more popular among my friends, so I enrolled in the school's soccer team. However I didn't play. I was so angry with the coach because he didn't want me to play. There was a tournament. During the whole tournament I sat on the bench. My coach knew about my bad grades, and for that reason he did not let me play.

I improved my grades a little. I finished school as an average student. All my friends finished school with the best grades, and they were the best students. I was so sad because I wanted to be together with my friends, and among the best students. I prepared for the test very well, but I got really nervous about every test. For that reason, I forgot a lot of things, and got bad grades.

When I entered high school, I continued to have bad grades. My handwriting was very bad, so my dad helped me, and he taught me how to write better. I started to use a quill and Chinese ink. The first few days were very hard, because I spilled ink on my notebook. I had to repeat it all, and sometimes I broke the edge of the quill. "If you are a beginner, you need to write very slowly when you use a quill, " my dad said. I learned it very well. After that I wrote very well, I showed better homework. My teachers were happy, and they said to me, "Congratulations!, your writing improves every day and your grades, too." In my country, the school year is divided into three quarters. During the first two quarters, my grades were very bad. For that reason, my grades weren't enough to pass to the next grade. I studied hard and improved my grades in the third quarter. As a result, I passed to the next grade with good grades. In the second and third grades I had good grades, and I felt so happy.

When I was in the fourth grade, I was elected vice president of my class. It was the first time that I was a leader among my classmates. I was very happy, and I didn't disappointed their trust.

Four years ago in the fifth grade, I was elected president of my class. I did many activities, such as dances, raffles, and selling typical food to earn money. It's a tradition for high school students in Ecuador to raise money because in the last grade, the students go on a trip.

In the last grade I was reelected as President of my class. I was really happy. My classmates and I did more activities. In the end of the school year, we went to the beach for five days. It was a wonderful experience. All my classmates were grateful for my administration, and I was grateful to them, too. Before we graduated, I finished school very well. I got good grades. I felt really so happy. Now I understand my teachers, I think they always are proud of their students. When one student is good, they are very happy. Sometimes They say many real things about our future. If we don't study, we never reach our goals.

I learned from my experiences to be strong in achieving my goals, and to not accept defeat.

Back to Table of Contents


My Experience in High School
by Ernesto Gonzalez

Read other essays by Ernesto Gonzalez

When I entered high school I liked to tell jokes. The first three years I was so lazy. My class inspector was angry with me all the time because he didn't like my jokes. In particular, he always told me, "You are not only a lousy joker, but you are also a lazy student." I didn't care about what he said, but I decided to change my behavior. Everybody was satisfied with my new behavior.

In the fourth year I became vice-president of my class. I was proud because my classmates voted for me. As a result of their trust, I worked very hard for my class. That year we wanted to go on a trip. At the end of the school year we had enough money raised, so we decided to keep it instead.

In the fifth and sixth year I was elected president of my class. My classmates and I participated in many activities. In two years we earned a lot of money. Before we graduated, we went on a trip to the beaches in Ecuador. We enjoyed it, and we became very good friends.

I learned to be constant in my goals. I was never affected by the words of my class inspector. Instead I always believed in myself. I had enough strength to confront the challenges in my high school life. Now, I have a big challenge. That is to attend BYU. However, my first challenge is to get good grades in this semester and learn English very well.

Back to Table of Contents


My Adolescence
by Ernesto Gonzalez

Read other essays by Ernesto Gonzalez

During my adolescence, I was very restless. I couldn't stay quiet for one minute. I also was very irresponsible. My bedroom was a mess. Clothes, shoes and books were everywhere. My mom was worried about my bad actitude and rebellious character.

One day my mom told my father that I didn't want to clean my room and about my character, too. My father was so angry, and he said, "If you don't clean your room today, you can't come home. You will sleep on the street or sidewalk." I said to him, "I don't have time to clean my room, maybe I'll clean it tomorrow morning." He answered, "Clean it right now. I am serious." I started to clean my room.

The next day my Mom made a schedule of all chores that I had to do every day. The first day it was hard for me because I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. The next few days I started to become responsible in doing my chores. My mom was proud of my efforts to change my character. I became quiet and improved my grades, too.

Right now I don't like disorder. I hate to see my roommates' bedrooms a mess with clothes, shoes, and books everywhere.

The adolescence was a good age to learn from my mistakes. I still make mistakes, but I try to improve my character.

Back to Table of Contents


My Experience With Religion
by Hideaki Higashi

Read other essays by Hideaki Higashi

At first, I want to introduce myself. I was born in Japan. The next year, I went to the USA to live in Arizona because of my father’s job. I grew up there for five years, and I came back to Japan to enter elementary school. I grew up in Japan for thirteen years, and then I came here to the English Language Center.

Next, I am going to write more details about my experience with religion. When I was a kid living in Arizona, I was already going to church. I don’t remember it well, but I liked church until this time. Then I came back to Japan and went to elementary school. Of course, I went to church, but not willingly. I had two reasons to go to church. One reason was that my parents forced me to go to church. Another reason is a trivial thing. If I didn’t go to church, I would have to stay home alone. It was a terrible thing for me, because I was a little kid!

I grew up to be eight years old, and I was baptized. I grew up to be twelve, and I became a Deacon. However, it made no sense for me because I didn’t have the right of choice. I think eight years old is too young to decide to participate in church or not. I can’t understand religion even now. How could I understand it at that age? I think it was impossible for me.

When I was twelve years old, I went to junior high school and I belonged to a soccer club. I liked to play soccer, and on Sunday, I usually went to soccer practice. If I didn’t have soccer practice, I wanted to go on a date with my girlfriend. Therefore, I didn’t like to go to church. Of course, these were not the only reasons I hated to go to church. Another reason was may parents. My parents still forced me to go to church.

I grew up to be eighteen years old and I hated go to church. I wanted to study instead of going to church. I wanted to go to a high-level university in Japan. In addition to this, I wanted to play with my friends, because I went to a private school and usually I studied hard on weekdays. However, I had to go to church. If I didn’t go to church, I couldn’t go to that school, because my parents would forbid me to go to school and said they wouldn’t pay my school tuition. Therefore, I always felt frustration in church. I just wanted to have the right to select a religion by myself.

One day, I decided to tell my idea to my parents. I tried to explain my idea again and again. However, my parents wouldn’t accept my opinion. They said to me that religion is best, and other things come second. I gave up trying to explain my opinion and tried to think of another way. Finally, I got the idea to go to BYU. I thought, "If I go to BYU, my parents can’t force me go to church, and I can choose for myself. BYU would be a good choice for me because, if I want, I can learn about this church easily. Also, my parents will permit me to go to BYU." Therefore, I decided to go to BYU and the ELC. I came to BYU so that I can choose a religion by myself.

The first Sunday I was in Provo, I was invited by my friends to go to church. I went to church, but I didn’t feel frustration or annoyance, because I went to church by own choice. Church was good because I could get new friends there, but that shouldn’t be a reason go to church.

The next Friday, I saw that one of my friends was taking a lesson from the missionaries. When I saw it, I was playing billiards. I felt interested in those lessons, however, so I took part in them. I have membership in this church, but I didn’t believe in God. Therefore, I had interest in that lesson. I just wanted to know if this church is true or not. The missionaries asked me, "Do you know God exists?" I answered, "No." Therefore, the missionaries recommended to me that I always pray and ask for help from God. I promised to try to do this, and the first lesson was finished.

I will keep taking lessons from the missionaries every Friday. I want to learn something from the missionaries, and I want to know what is true, because it makes a big different in my life whether or not I believe in a God. I will find the true answer someday.

Back to Table of Contents


My First Crush
by Sun-Mi Hwang

Read other essays by Sun-Mi Hwang

Last, winter my friend New-heart called me. She wanted to meet me, so I went Myonys-Dong in the evening. It was very cold. The chilly wind was like a knife. I took a taxi, because I want to see her.

After all, I arrived earlier than my friend, so I waited in the department store. A few minutes later, my friend called me.

I turned back to pick her up. At that time, I saw an angel. At that moment, everything becomes distant. I can't remember my friend. I can just remember him. He wore a gray coat, and he looked like he was very smart. He is very tall, over 6feet, but at that time his height looked average. Also, he had long hair. In fact, I hate it when men's hair is long, but I could forgive him. He was perfect. We came to the Café, and we started to talk. He is a friend of my friend. His major is economics. He can play the bass guitar. Wow! I don't like his major and he is a musician.

However, I knew that if I love someone, I would become blind. Because I could divide that "what is right" and "What is wrong" I love what he loves. My friends advised me that "He isn't a perfect man" however, I can feel his charisma, as sad as his long legs, and his long hair looks like sad lyrics. His heart is like white paper. When he doesn't speak, he is thinking. When he is talkative, he is a magician of language. Therefore, we met several times, and he became my boyfriend.

However, now he is in the military, and I am studying in Utah. We can't be together, so before I came here I parted from him. Nevertheless I like him forever!!

Back to Table of Contents


Traveling to Australia
by Hoon Jin Jung

Read other essays by Hoon Jin Jung

Australia is a vast island and the world's sixth largest country. People say Australia is blessed with a fascinating mix of native flora and fauna. Australia offers a wealth of travel experiences, from the spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney. There are also many beautiful beaches. That's the reason I went to Australia.

My first impression of Australia was western architecture, comfortable lifestyles, and mellow people. Sydney is made up of many exciting areas, each with its own flavor and personality. I caught a ferry from Circular Quay to explore Sydney's beautiful harbor, and strolled around to Australia's best known landmarks, the Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge, Darling Harbor, Chinatown, Kings Cross, and Bondi Beach. When I went to a nude beach, I saw people who weren't wearing swimming suits. It was very interesting. In Korea, we could think about it.

Fraser island is 125 km long and over 160,000 hectares in area. Fraser Island has a truly amazing array of natural wonders including beautiful rainforests, pristine lakes, and endless surf on the beaches. I participated in a Fraser island camping tour with some foreign friends. We borrowed a four wheel drive car and drove around the island. We enjoyed a barbecue and swam at the beach together. We had an awesome time. I wanted to talk with them and make friends with them a little more closely, but I couldn't speak a word of English. I always was quiet and didn't understand what they said. What a shame!

I worked on a farm at Bowen for a week. Bowen has been given many names, including "gem of the coral coast" and "the climate capital of Australia". It has many farms. To work on a farm is very difficult. Almost all the people there were working to save travel costs. I also did this. It helped me understand the value of money.

By traveling I felt that the world is small. I realized that I have to study English very hard to be an international person. I didn't speak English well, so I often lost my way. Whenever Australians showed me the way, they were willing to help me at anytime. I heard that they think of nature first of all when they build a building. They think about animals and plants. I'm very impressed by it. Most of all, I learned about the Australians' kindness and love of nature. Whenever I see Australia, I want to travel to Australia again. I miss Australia.

Back to Table of Contents


My Preparation to Pass the Exam
by Yong Won Kim

Read other essays by Yong Won Kim

When I was a high school student, like most students, I also wanted to go to a well-known, prestigious university. Thus, I determined to apply to Korea University, which is one of the most prestigious universities. I tried to pass the entrance exam, but I couldn't pass it. As a result, I went to HongIk University, and felt the first disappointment in my life.

However, in the president's speech at the entrance meeting, he encouraged me. He said, "A college's fame is made by your effort. Our college is developing right now. Also, our college has many opportunities to develop and improve. You have the opportunity to help HongIk University." In this meeting, I learned how to live in school and society. I made my mind up to do my best at everything and found what I wanted to focus on. I knew that when our thinking changes, our vision clears. I chose the CPA exam as my new challenge.

I began to go to HyungSuSa, which is a circle for studying for the CPA exam, and started my new life. In the circle, there were a lot of rules and friends. At the time, I was happy, because I had a good time with my friends and learned knowledge I did not know before.

However, when I took the CPA exam the first time, I scored only 22 points out of 100 on the exam. This was much lower than what I expected, even though I had studied for only one year, and was not ready enough to pass the exam. I felt disappointment again. After one year, I thought I was able to pass the exam this time, but when I took the exam a second time, I received 58 points, and still couldn't pass the exam. I felt disappointment once more.

After that, I became a senior. I couldn't afford to spend my time any more for the exam. Because all men must go to the army in Korea, I had only one year for the exam. The time was important to me, so I decided to spend the time efficiently. Before anything else, I set a goal for how much I would study, made specific rules including daily schedules, and bought a clock. I tried to keep the goal and my rules. Sometimes, I wanted to have a rest, but I always thought about my goal and overcame my desire. One night, I had studied hard for the exam in college and thought I did my best. When I was on the way home, I felt comfortable and could have self-esteem.

As a result, I passed the exam. I also learned that to do my best brought happiness to me. Though the time was difficult, it was important to me and brought delight to me. I thought that achievement, self-content, and the development of myself were real happiness. This time was one of the best times in my life.

Back to Table of Contents


Going to the Mountains
by Adrian Mandrile

Read other essays by Adrian Mandrile

One day my friend, Erik and I, were talking about vacations. Then he asked me if wanted to go for a couple of weeks or more from our home to the other side of the mountains. This travel was about 2000 miles. My answer was yes. I was very excited!

We began to prepare our stuff. We took a tent, a camp stove, 2 sleeping bags, gear, a few meters of rope, and food. We had to take a train for 20 hours to the north until we reached the city of Turiman. Then we went to a picnic area. Erik found a good place to put our tent. I made a campfire and cooked rice for dinner. We ate and then went to sleep.

The next morning we got up early. We went fishing. The stream was very beautiful. It was close to our camp. We took a couple of fishing rods and fishing nets. Erik sat on a big rock. He cast out his line and began to read a book about cooking fish. After 2 hours, Erik was asleep. When his fishing rod began to move, I cried, "Hey Erik wake up!!" He took his rod and reeled in a big fish. "Excellent!!" I said. We had our lunch.

The next day, we went to the mountain. We took our stuff and walked for a long time. Suddenly, we found behind the trees and between the rocks, the mouth of a cave. The opening was shaped like the letter "O". We were surprised. We left the stuff and took our flashlights and started to climb into the main passageway of the cave. In the cave we found many things. One of these things was an old kitchen set. We also found an axe and blade. We thought that it could be left over from a campsite. We were enjoying our discovery. Then we came back to the mouth of the cave. We were "hot, dirty, covered with candle drippings, and delighted with the success of the day" (from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain). Then we put up our tent and made a fire. The night came and the sky was beautiful. A lot of stars were out. The full moon had a smile on its face.

In the morning we left for Asparragos, a small town. We went to an old hotel where we could take a shower and sleep in a real bed. Asparragos has 1000 people. There is a church, a bank, a gas station, a school, a bus station, and a park with very old pines. The sky was very clear. The sun shone with great intensity. In the afternoon we went to the bus station. We took the bus.

In this moment we began the most frightening moment of the trip. The bus was very old. The way was narrow. It was made of dirt and stone. The mountains were high, and the way was dangerous. When the night came, the sky was covered with dark clouds and it began to rain with great intensity. The bus did not have enough light, and from the mountain there was a waterfall that hit the bus. The bus was very wobbly. We were afraid because it didn't have stability and the water was coming into the bus from all sides.

I thought we would be dead soon, yet in three hours we stopped in a gas station in a nearby town. The rain subsided. The sky was clear again with the moon full and stars out. The town was called Limpu. My friend Alex lived in this town, so we went to his house. We knocked on his door; when he came to the door and saw us, he exclaimed "I can't believe it!" We enjoyed a week with him. We told him about our adventures.

In this week we went swimming, played baskeball, watched movies and did many more things. When we decided to go home, we decided to take an airplane.

Back to Table of Contents


My Friend in China
by Erika Matsuyama

Read other essays by Erika Matsuyama

I went to China two times. The first time, I met Jie. It was about three years ago. At that time, I was a high school student, and I took part in a project to visit the Chinese sister city (Guilin) of my home city in Japan (Kumamoto). It was my first time to visit a foreign country, so, I was very excited. At first, I didn't know much about China, and I was worried about it, but I learned about China and Guilin before we departed. I grew to like China the more I learned.

When we arrived at Guilin airport, the representatives of Guilin received us. I was excited but a little nervous, because one of them was my partner, but I didn't know about her. When we went outside the airport building, a girl spoke to me. She was my partner, Jie. She was a very cute and kind person, so, I came to like her, and I was glad to meet her.

I stayed there about six days. During that time, we talked about many things. We always spent time together. We used English for our talking, because she couldn't speak Japanese, and I couldn't speak Chinese. When we couldn't understand our partner's word, we used our common characters, Chinese characters. In the six days, our friendship grew. When I went back to Japan, we were very sorry to part. We said, "See you again," and hugged.

After two years, I had a chance to go to China again. I went there with one third of the members who came the last time. Jie waited for me in the airport this time, too. We were so glad to meet again! As soon as we found each other, we hugged.

I stayed there about four days. During that time, we visited her high school, stopped at her house, and went shopping. We walked and rode the bus. When we went shopping, she looked into my wallet to teach me about money. I wanted to be careful to take care of my money, because I knew that Japanese people have much more money than Chinese people. However, I didn't know the value of money in China, so, she said, "You have too much money. You must watch your wallet." I was thankful for her warning. After that, when we were riding a bus, there were many people crowded on the bus. Almost all the people were native Chinese. She put her hand on my bag casually, and guarded me on the bus.

Another time, when we were walking in the town with other members of my group, we met one of the other Chinese members from the last time. Her partner hadn't come this time, so she had no partner this time. We walked with her for a while. On the way, we passed by a lake. Everyone took a picture with their own partner, but the girl was alone. My partner saw it, and she asked me to stand with the girl, and she took a picture of me and the girl. The girl looked so happy!

I already knew Jie was a good person, but thanks to those things, I could know her good qualities more than before. I learned many things from her on this trip, so, this trip became good for me. We have been good friends, and we also still keep in touch even today.

Back to Table of Contents


Missionary Work
by Yumi Ogawa

Read other essays by Yumi Ogawa

Ever since I was baptized in 1994, I really wanted to go on a mission for the LDS church. I wanted to share this gospel and my happiness with others. In April of 1998, I got a mission call. It was to the Temple Square Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was so surprised, because I could not speak any English. However, I believed that Heavenly Father would help me on my mission.

On July 1st, 1998 I became a missionary in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah. I stayed 2 months. It was such an exciting thing. When I put my name tag on, I felt the spirit so strongly. During that time, I learned a lot of things.

I especially learned about companionship. I had a total of 25 companions on my mission. Each of them was so fun! When I worked with my companions, I could see a lot of successes, because the blessings became two times as great. My first companions were from Hong Kong (Sister Chau), and from Bulgaria (Sister Demistova). We could not speak English to each other. It was such a terrible situation! We tried to speak slowly and help each other to understand. We tried to stay together all the time. It was a very hard time for me. We prayed a lot for our English.

In September 1998, I moved to the Temple Square Mission. At first, I could not understand how what we were doing was missionary work. We always had to give tours or contact with visitors. Sometimes I was thinking about what the difference was between a tour guide and a missionary on Temple Square. It was a big question. I realized that, if people didn't testify about the gospel, they were just being a tour guide. I learned how to find out people's feelings about our LDS church.

One day in October, I was looking for some guests on the grounds. I found a man. He looked so sad. I was thinking that maybe he had some worries. I asked him, "Do you have a concern? I can help you." He looked up at me, and he said, "You can't help me. You can't speak good English." It was very frustrating for me. I got angry about it. I just wanted to say something to him. I told him, "Hmm, I know. Even though you proposed to your girlfriend, she said 'NO', right?!" He looked me and said, "Exactly." I could not believe it. I had been kidding! I had already said it, though. I was praying about what I should do.

After my prayer I said, "Keep smiling! Your smile brings happiness." His face became more sad. Suddenly, he stood up, and we walked to the north. He was trying to keep smiling. I felt that he was acting. Suddenly he knelt down and then started crying. I was standing in front of him. He didn't stop crying for a long time. I didn't have an idea for making him stop. A lot of sisters looked at me. They sent me body language that meant, "Did you make him cry?" I turned red because I felt so bad.

I felt that I should testify something to him. I found a dead leaf from the ground. I said, "Do you know why this leaf is dead now?" He said, "Because of the fall season." I said, "Yes, exactly. You know that the tree has to throw away this dead leaf. That tree will have a new leaf in the spring." He said, "Yeah." I said, "You also can have a new leaf soon!!" For a while, we didn't say anything. I was praying in my heart, "Please, Heavenly Father, help him to understand what I said about the leaf being like life." Finally, that man said, "Thank you. I can have a new life. I will try to keep smiling." He smiled at me. I was so happy that he understood!

Sometimes life is so hard. We can learn a lot of things from our life, including why we are going on a mission. "Love one another" is a big commitment. I enjoyed serving the Lord. My mission was a wonderful experience for me. I still want to help people in my life. I know this Church is true. The Book of Mormon helps us to find happiness in our life. My desire is to go back to Heaven with everybody, and I still want to share my testimony. Now, I have a calling in my ward. I am a stake missionary. I appreciate that I can get to know more people and love them. I'm trying to find investigators. I hope that everyone will go on a mission.

Back to Table of Contents


My Tongue
by Francisco Rebollo

Read other essays by Francisco Rebollo

I was trying to remember an experience to tell in this narrative when suddenly I remembered this. It's a funny and true experience. Now when I think of it, I laugh a lot, but when it happened, I was really frightened. I'm going to tell it to you.

Once when I was a child, maybe eight years old, I had a frightening experience. I think about it frequently. I was in my house will all my family. I cannot remember when it happened very well, but it was possibly at Christmas. We were going to have a big supper and I was very happy because I like to eat a lot. Besides, I hadn't eaten for a long time. (A long time for me may be one or two hours.) Therefore, I was starving. I became very angry, because I saw my mother and my aunt talking for a long time. This made me angry, because I didn't want to wait any longer. Moreover, it was time for having supper. Weren't they starving?

"Mother, what happened with the food?" I asked. Then she looked at me seriously and said, "You need to be patient, my honey."

"Yes," I replied, "I see. I need to be patient. Nevertheless, I can't be patient today, because I am starving."

Time passed, and finally dinner was on the table. The first dish was "puchero." Puchero is one of my favorite dishes; this dish has chicken, rice, vegetables, and pork. Also, it's a very hot dish, so usually you need to wait at least half and hour before you start to eat. You can enjoy its taste better when it's not so hot. Nevertheless, when I saw it on the table, I got a spoon and started to eat quickly. In a moment, my face was red, and there was a strange feeling on my tongue. I had burned it. Immediately, I shouted in pain and my mother asked me, "What is the matter?"

"Mother, help me! I think my tongue is going to fall off!" I screamed hysterically.

"Do not worry, my child. Your father is going to take you to the hospital," said my mother. I looked at my mother's face and I could tell she was concerned.

Then my father and I went to the hospital. When we arrived there, I tried to tell the doctor my problem, but I could not do it because I was very nervous. My father did it for me. I do not remember my father's words exactly, but he said something like, "Doctor, I think my son burned his tongue, because he ate a pretty hot dish."

"Open your mouth," the doctor said after he'd heard my father's words. I did it slowly. He looked at my tongue for a long time. "Do not worry, little guy. Your tongue is very hot, but it will not fall off," the doctor finally said. When the doctor said that, my father started laughing happily. Soon the doctor was also laughing.

I was embarrassed. However, I was happy because my tongue would not fall off. I have learned one important thing since that day. Patience is a great virtue. I think this is the funniest experience that I've had in my life.

Back to Table of Contents


My Graduation from High School
by Silvia Rodriguez

Read other essays by Silvia Rodriguez

One of my most special experiences is the time I graduated from high school. These special moments make me happy when I remember them. I won't ever forget these moments in my whole life. They are unforgettable times with family and friends on an important day to me.

I remember before we graduated, my classmate and I went to Puerto Cortez and La Ceiba, two of the most important beaches in my country. It was a wonderful experience because we enjoyed and learned about life at the coast. We visited important historical places around Puerto Cortez. We swam at the beaches and we traveled for about one week. We enjoyed it a lot.

Two days after our trip, we had our graduation from high school. Our school was located in the center of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, my country's capital. In the graduation ceremony we used special clothing. They were brown and beige colors, because in my country, each different junior high school and high school has a special uniform. The ceremony was wonderful. We sang my country's national anthem, we held the flag in our hands, and we put the other hand on our hearts. It was so special to me, because we showed reverence for our country. That day, around 200 students graduated, including my older brother.

After the ceremony we had the opportunity to take pictures with our teachers, our family, and friends. I celebrated with a big party with my family and friends, but at the same time, I felt sad because some of us were going to different universities. On the other hand, my mother and I were so excited. She told me her experiences in the university, and my brother said he was very interested in going to the university. Later my brother and I went to the same university and started to enjoy university life.

When my experiences of high school come to my mind, I feel happy and I can enjoy them once more. I keep these special moments in my heart to remember my wonderful days in high school.

Back to Table of Contents


My Weekends at the Ranch
by Zeika Rodriguez

Read other essays by Zeika Rodriguez

When I was a child, I met a new place with my family. This place is very big and beautiful. Its name is Ranchito. It is located in Soyopa town. It is 150 hectares in area. Its weather is very hot in summer, but in fall it is cool. It has a lot of different wild trees. The ranch is one hour away from my home where I lived in Hermosillo.

This ranch belonged to my grandparents. My grandfather loved this ranch, but when he died, my grandmother distributed her inheritance to each of her sons and daughters. Each of them received a share in the ranch. After that, The ranch was neglected and deserted because none of her sons wanted to work on the ranch. It was like this for a long time.

Five years later, my father was able to buy the whole ranch for us. He bought this ranch because he wanted to share this with us and his future descendents. Two years after that, he bought several farm animals, such as cows.

When I was about 12 years old, my parents, my two bothers and I began to go to the ranch every weekend. There were a lot of things to do. First we spent a long time clearing the forest. After that, we planted many orange and other fruit trees. I learned to drive a tractor; my father taught me. I did that very easily. Then we plowed the whole area that used to be forest. After that, we sowed alfalfa for the cows. Over time, the ranch developed, and when we were finished, it became a beautiful ranch. Nowadays the ranch has many different animals: cows, horses, hens, and ostriches recently. Also, there are two pools. We made those things together.

When I was there, my older brother taught me to ride a horse. I learned to do that very well. I always remember that with much love because he rode a horse with me for a long time around the ranch, and we enjoyed those times a lot. Also, my two brothers and I went fishing in the stream that is close to the ranch. I can remember this time very well, because we went fishing every day for about two weeks, and we caught only one fish. Also, I remember the special time with my younger brother, because I went with him to hunt many times. He could hunt birds, snakes, and different wild animals.

My mother is also an important part of my memories of the ranch. When we were there, she made delicious Mexican food. She made homemade barbecue, chili rellenos, beans, and beef with chili. She was with me almost all the time. She taught me how I can become a good cook, and also all things about the responsibility of a home.

Those times were very unforgettable, special moments in my life. I always keep those times in my thoughts and my heart, too. I enjoyed every weekend with my family. My family is the most important thing in my life. I love them very much, and I will love them forever.

Back to Table of Contents


Memory from Childhood
by Woo Jin Shin

Read other essays by Woo Jin Shin

I had a typical childhood, but my life changed when I was fourteen. Our family moved from our small village to Seoul, a capital city in Korea. After we moved, life in the country was wonderful for me, but as soon as I entered middle school in Seoul, I become shy and nervous. The other boys in my class were tough. And they laughed at my country ways. So I didn’t like the other boys, I became more interested in computer. I always liked computers, so I started to read about computer books. I was very unhappy at that time, but I’m glad this happened because I finally decided to become a professional programmer. Now I have a computer science masters degree. I also have been studying for a computer science ph.D in Korea since 1996.

Back to Table of Contents


My Trip to the U.S.A.
by Mora Siregar

Read other essays by Mora Siregar

My name is Mora I. Siregar, and you can call me Mora. I am from Indonesia. In this essay I would like to tell you a story about my experience in coming to the USA. I was very happy when my sister Vera registered me at a school in the USA. The school was the English Language Center in Provo, Utah. Sometimes, I felt nervous, because it was my first time to go to another country which used a different language than my country. I also had to leave my family for a long time. However, I tried to keep strong and calm. I knew it was a good choice to study in the U.S.

I departed from my hometown (Batam) to Singapore on April 23, 2000 at 6:00 p.m. I went by ferry and got there forty minutes later. Singapore time is one hour earlier than Batam time, so I was there at 7:40 p.m. Going from the World Trade Center to Changi Airport took 20 minutes by taxi. The taxi driver deceived me about the cost. I was supposed to pay him $12, but he charged me $22. I realized that at that time, but I just thought about the fact that I was in another country. I didn't want to make any trouble.

In the airport, I went to the Northwest Airlines counter, but it was closed. I asked a security guard about that, and he said, "You have to wait, because the counter is closed now. It will open at 4 o'clock in the morning." I worried because I didn't actually have a ticket in my hands. Actually, my sister had already booked an electronic ticket for me. However, I needed to go to the airline counter for the ticket. I could do nothing about that until the next day. It was a boring thing to wait until the next day at the airport. I walked around the building and took a seat to read a book for a while. I went into a cafetaria to eat some food and a soft drink. I couldn't sleep the whole night, because I was afraid that if I slept, the aircraft would be gone when I awoke. Therefore, I stayed awake the whole night.

The plane took off from Singapore to Japan at 6:00 am, and I was in Tokyo airport four hours later. I had waited the next flight to San Francisco approximately two hours. I thought to myself, "Wait, wait, and wait again!" I decided to take some pictures at the airport for memories.

I met a new friend when I was taking pictures. His name was Al Corpus. He was of Philippine descent, but he became an American citizen. He guessed that I was Filipino also. Then I said, "No, I am not. I am Indonesian." We talked a lot about our countries. He told me about his experience when he arrived in the U.S. the first time. We became good friends. In the plane, he sat beside me. He taught me what I would need to do to enter the United States. He helped me a lot.

Hours later when I arrived at the San Francisco airport, Al Corpus showed me where I could take my luggage. He waited for me when I was checked by the customs agent. He also escorted me to Delta Airlines for my next flight to Salt Lake City. He was very helpful and friendly. I thanked him very much.

I had to wait for a few hours for a flight to Salt Lake City. I didn't do a lot of things there. I just read a book to spend my time. I arrived at the Salt Lake City airport at noon. I booked an Express Shuttle ticket to Provo. About one hour later, I arrived in Provo. I stayed at Best Inn & Suites for a night, because I could only enter my apartment at Heritage Halls the next day. I felt cheerful and thanked God, because I got to Provo safely. I took a shower and watched T.V. I was hungry at night, so I looked for a restaurant for dinner. I was confused about what I could eat and where. I knew nothing about Provo. I walked slowly and thought about it. Suddenly, I saw a Burger King restaurant. I had eaten burgers in my country, so I bought one and went back to the hotel.

The next morning, I went to Heritage Halls to find out about my apartment. Actually, my sister had already booked the apartment for me. I only had to show my identity, and they told me that everything had been arranged. They suggested that I buy some things for my personal needs. I went to ShopKo for shopping, because it was easy for me to get there by bus.

I went back to my apartment in the afternoon. I met my roommate then. His name is Hiroshi. He is Japanese. He is taking classes at the ELC also. We talked about a lot of things, and went to slept at midnight. Before I slept, I prayed and thanked God that I arrived here safely and blessed.

Day by day the time has passed. I have had no big troubles so far. I feel happy taking classes here. I am also happy because I had a lot of experiences on my trip to Provo. I will remember it until I die.

Back to Table of Contents


The Thief
by Mora Siregar

Read other essays by Mora Siregar

I had a trouble story while I was in the university. Somebody stole my clothing. In the morning of that day, I had just finished washing my clothing. I dried it under sunshine outside of my apartment. I came into my room to continue doing my homework. Late in the afternoon, I came out to pick up my clothing, but I couldn’t believe what I saw. All of the clothing was lost. They were gone. My clothing was stolen by somebody.

I felt bad and angry, because some of the clothing was new. I just bought it a few days ago. I was shocked for a minute. I thought to myself, "Who stole my clothing?" I tried to be calm, because I didn’t know toward whom I would be angry. I went to a small store close to my apartment to buy a cool drink. For an hour I sat to calm down.

After that, I came back to my room and tried to forget it. As a result, I forgave the thief, whoever they are, and prayed so that person would change their habit. Hopefully, no thief would come anymore to my apartment area.

Back to Table of Contents


The Memory of My Rugby Game
by Naruo Toda

Read other essays by Naruo Toda

When I was a high school student, I belonged to the rugby club in my high school for three years. I run faster than most people, so my position was fullback. This position's number is number fifteen. I also had another talent besides running fast. It was footwork that faked out my opponents. Because of my footwork, I could get many points in the games.

During the summer vacation when I was in my first year of high school, our rugby team went to a camp in Sugadaira in Nagano-ken. The camp lasted for a week there. The camp's schedule was too hard for first year rugby members. It was because we had to wake up at 5:30 A.M. and prepare for our practicing (for example: inflate the balls, draw the lines on the field, etc). The practicing started at 6:00 A.M. and ended at 11:00 A.M. After practicing, we had to prepare meals for everyone. The game started at 2:30 P.M. and ended at 4:00 P.M. Then we had to prepare the meals again. After dinner we had a meeting at 8:00 PM for an hour. After the meeting we had to wash laundry for everyone, and then we could sleep.

Because of the hard schedule, I couldn't play as well as I thought. I also made mistakes in the game. The night before we came back to Tokyo, I called our coach and he said to me, "Tomorrow is the last day, and we have the last game. Recently you have made some mistakes during in the games. What's happening? You can't be the rugby player I know. Get your confidence back!" He also said, "Don't forget this motto!!" The motto was "One for all, all for one." I was impressed by this motto. The next day I ran for dear life and did my best. The result was that we won the game, and I got three tries.

Even now I still remember the motto that the coach said to me. The motto helped me in other situations in my life. I'd like to help other people in the future with this motto.

Back to Table of Contents


My Visit to Spain
by Martha Torres

Read other essays by Martha Torres

Two years ago, I visited Spain with my friends Kim and Kary. I was very excited when I made the decision to visit Spain. For a long time it was my dream, because my last name "Aragon" is from Spain. I told my friends that I wanted to know more about Spain's culture. We decided to spend one month in Spain and visit many cities.

When we were on the airplane, we traveled for a long time. The airline hostess only gave us some juice and crackers. We felt very hungry, so when they gave us a good dinner, we were very happy. I remember there was a little white cheese with the dinner. I like cheese, so I started to eat the cheese. The cheese did not taste very good, and I felt something in my teeth like wax. I thought, "Oh! This cheese has wax!" I needed to take off this wax, but I didn't because I was very hungry. I told my friends about the cheese, and they laughed and laughed. I laughed, too. We enjoyed the dinner.

The next day we arrived in Madrid. The weather there was very cold. My friends thought that weather there would be the same as here in Utah in April. It was very cold, however. I didn't bring a jacket. I needed to ask my friends to borrow a jacket.

We visited about seven cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Logrono, Toledo, La Coruna, and Elda. We stayed in each city for 3 days. We traveled by train from city to city some of those trains weren't very comfortable. Toledo was the city I liked best because it has very nice architecture. It is old architecture, and Toledo is a place for tourists. There are many thing to buy. I bought some souvenirs such as jewels.

During this time, we had many good experiences. One good experience I remember was when I went to the Mormon Church. I found friends from my country and met other very nice friends. Also, they invited us to have dinner with them. The food I like best from Spain is paella. It was very good. The people there were very nice to us. A girl took us to the center of the city of Madrid. We visited the art museum, cathedrals, parks, and a castle. In each city there is very big Catholic Cathedral, which for me is very interesting. Also, some cities have nice architecture. I felt very excited about all of the architecture.

Some bad experiences also happened when we were traveling. One day we missed the train and it was very difficult to find tickets for the non-smoking section. It was a holiday, so many people were traveling. We tried to change the tickets, but we couldn't. We made the decision to travel with smoking people. I felt sick. It was so bad. They smoked a lot, and we needed to endure this for about 8 hours. It was a very bad time for us.

Another day we missed our stop, and the next stop was about 30 minutes away. At the next stop we waited for about four hours. It was 7:00 a.m., so we needed to eat breakfast, but there was nothing to eat. Also, it was very cold. We made a decision to find food. My friends went to the city, and I stayed with the suitcases at the train station. I felt afraid, because there were two men sleeping on the floor. When my friends came back, I felt better.

Finally, the vacation was over, and we needed to come back to the U.S. I felt happy, because I learned about Spain's culture. It was very good, and I want to go back someday. I love the people of Spain.

Back to Table of Contents


A Sad Experience
by Martha Torres

Read other essays by Martha Torres

When I was on my mission in Cucuta, Colombia, I had a sad experience. My companion asked me to go to the center of the city, because she needed to buy something. We asked Marlon to help us to go over there. Marlon is a boy who likes to help the missionaries. Marlon has a car, so he went with us to the center of the city.

When we were in the center of the city, I decided to leave my purse on the seat of the car, because I didn't want to take it with me. We spent about two hours shopping. When we came back to the car, we saw a window was open. Some person had opened the window and stolen my purse.

I felt very sad, because in my purse were very important things, and I cried. We went to the police to report the problem. I was waiting for almost 6 months to buy my things again. I learned from this experience that I have to take care of my purse.

Back to Table of Contents


by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

Read other essays by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

Every marriage has its own unique story. Like others, through my experience, I have learned how God works for his children on the earth. In fact, He changed my life as giving me the chance to make possible it possible which was impossible.

After I met my wife at a church meeting, we became close and decided to get married. Instead, there was a big problem for us. We had the same family name. In Korea, having the same last name means that historically we came from the same family. Because of that, we couldn’t legally get married. That also meant we couldn’t get married in the temple. We fell down with sorrow. We chastised ourselves for getting so upset. We didn’t give up on the idea of marriage.

To solve the problem, both of us tried everything we could. We asked the temple president in Korea to write a letter to the Prophet to make a special exception. I not only prayed fervently, but I also served in the church as much as I could. Above all, I believed that God would help me if my wife was the right person for me. Through this whole experience, I was calm and waited for the answer.

One day I received a phone call from my wife telling me that the Korean government had decided to allow marriage between people of the same last name. We, a couple with the same family name, have claimed to change the law which had existed for fifty years. When I heard the news from my wife, there were tears in my eyes. I know that my prayers were answered. I know God lives, and he loves all of his children. He always leads us in the right ways.

Back to Table of Contents


Ping Pong
by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

Read other essays by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

My favorite sports are table tennis and soccer. I prefer to play table tennis, or ping pong. When I play ping pong, I think about my adolescence. It’s such an interesting memory for me.

One day when I came to the church with my older sister, a woman was playing table tennis with another man. I watched their impressive game while I was waiting for my sister. At that time, another man asked me if I want to play and I said “OK”. I played against a woman named Sun-hi Shin. I enjoyed the beginning of the game, but the ending was unhappy because I lost the match to the woman with a score that was under 10 points! It was a serious blow to my dignity. This is because in my country, men usually win games against women, no matter what the game is.

However, I really wanted to do something that would make me win as soon as possible in a game against the woman. I started to always be intentionally late to school because I was practicing ping pong. In my middle school, there were several rules. When we were late for school, we had to run 10times around the grounds. When I was running, I practiced my ping pong stokes. I also practiced “smashing” as I was watching myself in the mirror. I did that for two months. At last I made an appointment with Sun-hi Shin for the coming Saturday at 4:00 p.m. I prayed to win the match. I was so happy that day! Above all, I didn’t tell another person about my joy but, I told myself how happy I was again and again. I felt like I was flying. I have never forgotten that day.

This is a good memory for me. Although this is a funny story, I also learned if I try to overcome my wick point, I can get it and also, it makes me happy.

Back to Table of Contents


The Adult Camp Conference
by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

Read other essays by Syoung Kyoung Yoon

Most people have its own unique story. Like others, I also have my unique story. It is the most special experience that I have had. I had several callings in the church. In particular I was an adults’ president during the four years. The adults meeting are so interesting and exciting. For example, we used to play game and activities, group date, hiking, dancing party and fire side. When I was serving as an president for the adults meeting, I really wanted to make some special activity which could remain in my memory.

When I was 26 years old, the adult camp conference came. The conference was big party for single adults. It included all the single members in Korea. It held every four years. I wanted to serve in that conference, even though I didn’t have enough time for that-because I was working in the LG company. However, I went to a meeting to prepare the conference. In that meeting I was called as the president of the conference. It was a good opportunity for me. I started to prepare the conference. The first thing I worked on was consisting executive councils about 50 people. The second, I had to find the good place for the conference. Finally I prepared each part of it.

In conclusion, we worked hard and hard. As the result of it, the conference finished successfully. This experience gave me a good memory for my single times. And also it became the most helpful experience in managing and organizing a meeting to me.

Back to Table of Contents