I use my iPod to read the English text during Martins/Orthros since I cannot understand Greek (there is Wifi inside of Church building). I am not sure if this is fine, since I don't want to offend any one for using electronics.
I'm not sure the internet can give a lot of guidance on this one. Following along with a translated text when you can't understand the language being used is definitely acceptable, and the fact that you are doing so with a piece of electronics rather than printed text doesn't really change that. On the other hand, is it possible that someone will not realize what you are doing and be offended by your use of an ipod in the service--yes. Best I can suggest that as an inquirer, do what you need to do, and if someone says something about it, show them what you are looking at.
I have checked numerous posts on Baptism and Chrismation, but I am still not very sure what to do with my current situation. Although I was baptized as Protestant/Evangelical, I do not have Baptismal certificate. The Father wishes me to find a way to obtain the prove of me being baptized; he will later see whether it is Trinitarian Baptism in order to be recognized by Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, I still kind of favoring Father to give me Orthodox Baptism even if the previous baptism is Trinitarian. Is this fine to tell the Father my request? I don't want to be refused for Communion if I visit Mount Athos, Russia. Old Calendarists, Old believers... I also heard that Oriental Orthodox have problems with Eastern Orthodox who do not have Orthodox baptisms, is this true?
I would be very glad if I can hear any testimonies regarding personal decisions/choices between Baptism and Chrismation.
Have you tried just explicitly telling Father that you desire to be received through Orthodox baptism? I was received in the GOA (20 years ago). My previous baptism probably would have fit fairly strict standards for the use of economia (it was full immersion, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but it was in the Campbellite Church of Christ which is not on the generally approved 'list' (see here
) used by the GOA for determining who to receive by economia, so it didn't really come up as a question for me. From the start, the priest assumed I would be received by baptism, and since that was my own expectation, there was no issue.
While I'd certainly encourage you to pursue being received through the full rite of baptism, I wouldn't do it because of concerns about Athos much less Old Calendrist, Old Believers, or OOs. In the latter cases, they are not in communion with your GOA bishop so, fundamentally, it doesn't matter what they they think about how he chooses to receive you. Whether they approve or disapprove, you and they are still not going to be sharing any sacraments--until and unless they reestablish communion with your bishop, in which case your individual case is still irrelevant. That reasoning actually extends to why you should not care about Athos either. In St. Basil's first canonical epistle (the one that explains the concept behind the Church using different methods to receive different types of Christian but non-Orthodox converts), St. Basil explicitly states that recognizing a bishop means recognizing his applications of economy. So if you encounter some rigorist who refuses you the sacraments because he has taken it on himself to judge your bishop's authority you are better off avoiding him since if not fully schismatic, he certainly has one foot out the door.
I have not yet made any friends in the parish. I am still quite nervous because I am the only Asian, any all the other parishioners are Greek). I am thinking maybe I should start talking to parishioners who do ushering service. If possible, I would be very happy if any one can share any personal stories of getting involved in parishes.
My wife is Taiwanese and is the only Asian in our parish. I'm white but non-Greek and converted in a parish where everyone (except for two families converting at the same time) was Greek. Let me assure you that any difficulties you encounter will not be because you are Asian, any non-Greek would have the same. That said, there is no 'magic bullet'. If the parish has a coffee-hour or any other kind of get together then pick a seat, introduce yourself, and try to start a conversation. If the person looks at you blankly because they don't understand English at all, then keep trying until you find someone who does speak English (and my experience, actually the most welcoming people were not the 2nd and 3rd generation Greek-Americans with whom there was no language barrier, but it was actually the first-generation immigrants. While the language barrier in some ways made it harder, they were very warm and welcoming and excited about non-Greeks wanting to learn about their faith).
Is it fine for me to kiss Gospel Book? I kissed the Gospel book today when the Father was holding it in front of Altar during the Orthros service. If kissing is fine, how am I supposed to kiss? What is the proper way to cross myself before kissing?
Yes. It is fine for you to kiss anything the priest offers you to kiss. As for how, if there is an image of Christ (or other saint) on what you are venerating, just briefly kiss the feet or hand of the image. If there is not an image of a person, then just kiss in the approximate center. Not sure how to explain over the internet how to cross yourself--best advice there is simply to watch what your fellow parishoners do and do the same.
Do converts all have to go through this process: inquirer->Catechumen->Orthodox? Can a person go straight from inquirer to Orthodox?
This has been discussed elsewhere on the forum. Basically, the step from inquirer to catachumen occurs whenever the priest decides to do the Catachumen prayers over you. Some priests hold off and do them at the start of the baptismal ceremony (so basically yes, you go straight from inquirer to Orthodox), others do so at some other stage. That's really going to be up to the priest.