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Jun 01 71

The Proposal

I guess in order to tell this story, I have to go back to where it all began.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I decided to serve a 2 year voluntary mission. I was called to the Cambodian Vietnamese Speaking mission. There, I would go to a new country, work with various companions, learn a new language, and share the gospel. I was already mentally prepared, having visited Vietnam a couple of times prior, for what Cambodia was going to be like.

Once on the mission and serving, I had the opportunity to serve in Cambodia and Vietnam. Going from appointment to appointment, we would use bikes, as it was the most convenient. I loved carrying my compact camera on me and taking quick snaps as I rode along.

While serving my mission, I met wonderful people, people whom I've grown to love and respect as I served them.

Nevertheless, as all missions go, 2 years went by quickly and it was time to go home - back to life, social media, going out, working. I was almost 28 by then, thinking I'm getting old now, I need to settle down, fast.

I thought about the people I knew before my mission and also those I met on my mission, those whom I had an interest in. This was a big decision that I was going to have to make, so I took it to the Lord for guidance.

I thought it'd be easy, either someone specific would pop into my head, or as I continued meeting people, talking to those at home and back from my mission field, something would just coincidentally work out - boy was I wrong.

2 people popped into my head. One I thought 'Fair dinkum', but the other, "Really?"

Back and forth these two people popped into my head, no matter how much I thought through it and prayed about it, there was never a specific answer. I'd have random thoughts of what life would be like with one, and what it'd be like with the other. I'd try thinking about others, specially those whom I had a greater interest in, but it always came back to these two. The longer this went on, it grew like a plague in my mind - restless nights and lack of concentration. I became desperate, desperate for an answer.

I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to make a decision first. So I knelt down, prayed, and picked. Then the answer came - Yes. I instantly began falling in love with her.

So I devised a plan. I needed to gauge if there was any interest from her, and if so, how much. She was from Vietnam, serving her mission in Cambodia at that time - so I emailed her, using the recent partial recognition of the church as news to see if she knew about it, and also as a way to start communicating with her.

As our conversations went on, I was able to plug in random questions, thoughts about life, and even share some of my thoughts, how I liked someone in Vietnam and was hoping that when I go there for a holiday, I'll be able to go on some dates with her and see how it goes; I wouldn't tell her who it was though even when she asked - she never guessed it was her.

Finally, she finished her mission, she was able to go on dates, and I booked my flight over to Vietnam - she agreed to go out with me and see how things go. First night in, we took a taxi from the airport to drop her off before taking me to my place, and just before dropping her off, the taxi driver asks, "You a couple?" to which I responded "We're good friends."

Nevertheless, I had a very thought provoking question asked the next day, "So are we dating or are we just good friends?"

Things progressed very quickly, and we already talked about marriage. It was time to meet her family. I thought I would propose whilst at her hometown also. The goal was to find a park or nice area, set up the camera, have it shoot at intervals, pretend to just be taking selfies, and propose.

We met her father, and explained how we were dating. Upon recon, there no parks or open lit areas in her hometown - scratch that off the list. Nevertheless, there was an open dark area, full moon was out and you could see a star or two, and I thought, 'Too dark for flash-lit photos as she'll realise, guess we'll just dance under the moonlight and I'll propose there.'

Once again, plan backfired as I forgot the ring back at the house. 3rd time's a charm - we had to cross the small bridge on the way to her home, so I'll follow plan A but at the bridge, using a sunrise as my reasoning to taking the photos.

Next day, she thought we were going for a jog - of all things. I didn't think my Vietnamese was that bad, and I'm pretty sure I said sunrise selfies. Well, she got changed, we were late for the sunrise, but I put the plan into action. I set up the camera, put the counter on, and took a test shot to show her what we were doing. Then I put the intervalometer on and went to take our 'selfies'. Whilst the camera was firing, whilst she thought it was only one shot, I started talking to her, get her attention. Then, the moment of truth.

Of course, she said yes, and we went back home to tell her father the good news. Needless to say, he was pretty surprised how quickly things escalated, given that we only said that we were dating just the day before, but he was happy nonetheless.

Now happily married with baby James on his way, I know the Lord definitely answers prayers, and will guide us in the right direction when we seek His counsels.

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