Most young women want a big party for their birthday.
Not Kaiarahi Ngakuru. She wanted to go to the temple.
The day she turned twelve, Kaiarahi travelled four hours from Paihia to the Hamilton Temple together with her Mum, Dad, her big sister, uncle, and two cousins.
There were no balloons, party food or music but Kaiarahi says going for the first time on her birthday was “special.”
“Every time I saw the temple, it was beautiful and pure white. The gardens… flowers… it was all beautiful,” she said.
“Before I went through the temple door, I felt a little bit nervous. But I could feel the spirit strongly and I started to cry. It was a pretty cool feeling.”
It has been over two years since that special day and the temple has now become a priority for Kaiarahi and her family.
Kaiarahi’s interest in the temple began after her ward’s Young Women’s President, Sister Pam White, invited her to do family history work.
“To be honest at first I didn’t have any interest because it seemed very boring but I said to myself I would try it out and see how it goes.”
Kaiarahi was surprised to discover family history was “fun”.
“I ended up loving it. I tagged along, watched, researched and got family names ready for baptisms. I can just feel the spirit of the people I have done the work for in the room and it feels very special. I have been doing family history work ever since.”
Her love for photography, netball and school keeps Kaiarahi busy in her small town of Paihia. However, Kaiarahi always manages to find time to do family history work, so far she has discovered an impressive 110 names of ancestors.
Mum, Lynelle, said Kaiarahi’s example was a “turning point” for her and her husband.
“She was so excited about going to the temple that she couldn’t eat, or sleep. So to hear my daughter so excited, I knew I had to make a change,” she said.
“Previously, only I went to the temple often. My testimony has grown through her example. Spiritually our family has become stronger in the last two years and now every time we get an opportunity, we will go to the temple.”
Young Kaiarahi wants to encourage everyone to give temple and family history a go.
“Even though it might seem boring, just give it a go because it is actually enjoyable and you won’t regret it. It has definitely helped me to have a better relationship with Heavenly Father.”