Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Love to See the Temple

Increasing Temple attendance is this month's theme and subject of emphasis. My kids in the Primary are all excited to go to the temple and as their Primary President I need to encourage them in every way I can as they prepare to do so. Here's a presentation I presented to the kids and may it inspire not just them but everyone preparing to serve the Lord in mission, preparing to get married or anyone who want to improve himself and become a better servant of the Lord.

The Lord is waiting for us to visit His house. He is patiently waiting for us to come back to His divine presence.





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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Primary Anniversary

This post is a little late as I have been pretty busy with a lot of things. There had been a lot of transitions and businesses in my life that I have been so preoccupied and failed to update this blog. Well, I am still preparing to become Sister Revesencio and serve the Lord. Last Saturday, August 15th, Jaro 1 and Jaro 2 wards rendered a Community Service Project in Jaro 2 Elementary School. Had it not been for the conflict in our schedule, me and my kids in the Primary would have been there too to support the cause.

My kids had been preparing for that moment. Some of my kids failed to show up because it was a week of examinations and it grieves me to see them being caught up in the middle of something they have to choose between their temporal and spiritual obligations. Not to worry, there were 3 pairs that showed up and I love them for their enthusiasm and willingness to participate in all the fun activities.

Sister Carla, Judea and Chinoy were there to assist me in training and helping the kids prepare. The program started at exactly 9:00 in the morning with Sister Anna Barredo giving the Welcoming Remarks, President Barredo giving his inspirational and amusing speech (yes, they're a couple) and then the most exciting part of being a kid--GAMES! My kids were awesome they were able to answer all the questions and won the colorful pencils!

The presentations were awesome. I'd like to commend the Pototan Branch for their superb performance.

That day he kids taught me a lesson I wouldn't have learned the other way around. The kids are so talented that we, as leaders, need to do all that we can to guide them, nourish them, encourage them and help them grow in the gospel.


The Primary kids of Jaro 2 Ward. They're the Pearl of Great Price of the Church
My kids during the presentation performing "Book of Mormon Stories"



Pototan Branch with their Primary President. During the presentation the kids were watching at their ate so they could emulate what she's doing. Their actions had me thinking, adults show ALWAYS show a good example to these kids because they look up to us and follow what we do.




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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The New Ward Primary President

Since me and my mom became members of the Church I held many positions or callings in the Church such as Stake Genealogy Staff (in Kalibo), then when we transferred here in Jaro, Iloilo I was called as the Ward Youth Teacher(Jaro 1), then Ward Missionary(Jaro 2), Ward Relief Society Teacher (Jaro 2). Then today I was surprised to be called again by our bishop in his office. I thought he would call me the youth teacher since they lack one Sunday School teacher in the said organization. I was so shocked when he told me that he was inspired to call me the Ward Primary President. I was at loss of words to say and failed to respond right away because I know that I will be guiding and handling the affairs of the most valiant future generation of the Lord's kingdom. I never hesitated with my other callings because I always believe that the Lord believes in me. In this case I thought about the many responsibilities I will need to attend to since the Primary has regular practice every Saturday for their presentations and activities. Aside from that they will need to memorize the Articles of Faith. I told myself I haven't event memorized it myself. Teaching the Relief Society sisters was pretty easy for me because they could understand me pretty well. Then I thought about those pretty little kids running and so full of energy, I couldn't imagine handling them. But they our bishop just kept on encouraging me that the Lord trusts me with the said responsibility. Really I feel so inadequate, but then I know the Lord is on my side to guide me what to do.

I always feel so assured with the words in the Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto:
"The Lord will never permit me or any [man] who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord will remove me out of my place..."

Just as how comforting such phrase was during my meditation about the Prophet, it has also gave the same comfort when I thought about how would I guide and lead the marvelous little children of God. Many members expressed their gladness about my call. Until now I'm still a little worried but I know that the Lord will help me. I know it's my preparation for my call of being a mother someday. I am grateful for the call now that I realize how wonderful it is to be with those angelic creatures and how great it is to become an instrument in their learning stage. It's critical but it's important. It's challenging but fulfulling. I'm grateful to be called the Ward Primary President. Two of my wonderful friends, Sister Bernice and Sister Jenny were also called and they're glad they were. I know I can make it too. The Lord knows, and that's all that matters.

Now, more than anything, I am excited to help these future leaders of the Church in their journey.

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Stake Relief Society Leaders Convention

Yesterday, Saturday, me and my mom attended the Stake Relief Society Leaders Convention. Together with other Relief Society members from other wards and branches we feasterd and enjoyed upon the many wonderful tips and messages taught by our Stake Relief Society President, Sister Darlene Joy Casas. Though there was only the four of us, Sister Eartha (Tang2) Dagohoy, (our Ward Relief Society President), Sister Alma Mendame(our first Counselor in the RS), my mom(our RS Secretary) and me(RS Teacher), we enjoyed the many tips as presented by sisters from other wards and branches. I enjoyed how they demonstrated the effective ways in Home Visiting.

Below are some of the many wonderful ways on how we can effectively participate in reactivating, inspiring and reactivating our less active sisters and their family.

Effective Home Visiting and Teaching Techniques:
1. Offer Help
If we see that the family we're visiting are busy working on their business we should seek every possible way to assist them. If a mother is struggling to attend to her children's needs and we see opportunities to help, then let them know that we are there not just to visit but also to help.

2. Encourage
Most of the people we visit are loaded with so much problem. Let's not add to those pile of problems. We should encourage them in every way we can. We never know the power of "I know you can do it" in the lives of the people we teach.

3. Prepare a lesson and bring your scriptures
Be prepared to share a lesson and your personal testimony. Don't forget to bring the Church magazine and your scriptures to aid and guide you in giving the lessons.

4. Share testimony
Every lesson should be ended with your own personal witness of the veracity of the lesson you've just presented. People don't know care how much you know unless they know how much you care. Be sure to give the appropriate testimony and lesson to the age of the people that are listening to you. As you do so, you and the people you're teaching will feel the Spirit amidst the meeting and will bless you both with inspiration.

5. Humor
People are more excited to hear from people who are capable of making them laugh than those who just talk about very serious matters or very bookish. A study shows that the lesson retention is higher when people could relate to the lesson or when shared with anecdotes.

6. Present a lesson
Most of the time when we visit we tend to be more on talking about updates than presenting a lesson. People who are inactive more several months and years need some spiritual food and during your visitt you ought to provide them with it.

7. Invite to [an] activity
There's no other better way to invite these people to become active members again of the Church than to invite them to activities that will help them mingle with other members, be edified and to get along with the members again. Activities in the Church are inspired by the Lord and members should take advantage of every opportunity to attend. There's no other way to invite inactive or less active member into activity(become active again) than through an activity.

8. Introduce
Most people start with lessons without even introducing their names or that of their companion's. How do you think you could build relationship and trust if they don't even know your name. You cannot expect them to trust or become comfortable sharing their thoughts if in the first place they don't even know your name. First rule to every good relationship, introduce.

9. Be interested and aware
Know as much as you can about the family that you're visiting so you will know where to attack them. I mean, you will know how to deal with them, what to ask, what to talk about. If their eldest daughter has just passed the board exam, congratulate them about it. If the father has just got promoted in his job, tell them how glad you are. People tend to become more interested with what you will say once they know you're interested in them.

10. Recognize good example
If the person you will be visiting was once a very good leader or an active member whom you look up to, help them reminisce those time when they were so active in the Church. Be careful not to overdo the praise but just help them remember the times when their testimony of the gospel was so powerful.

11. Bring their Church Magazine
Most of inactive members still have subscription the the Church magazine. Bring them during your visit not only to give a better reason for the visit but also for them to read more inspiring messages contained in the magazine.

Those are just some of the many possible ways on how we could help inactive or less active members in returning to the fold. I know that if we visit them they will feel that we are indeed servants and disciples of the Lord. Through our example they will have more desire to come again closer to our God.

After the lessons we ate our lunch. The food was cooked by Sister Eladie. We ate fried chicken and chopsuey. Really the food was superb! I know the every activity is really inspired to keep us motivated, inspired and uplifted in our journey to going back to our Heavenly Home.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Visit with the Dentist

Me trying to show-off my newly cleaned teeth
Today I had my whole set of teeth cleaned by Dra. Ann Christine Iran. She's our company dentist in the very meaning of the words. She works as a dentist and as a Quality Assurance Analyst in the BPS Department in the company I'm currently working with, Callbox. She's an excellent dentist because she's so considerate and soft-spoken. So for the dental preparation, CHECK.

Earlier this morning I went to Statlab to have my Annual Physical Examination, which is part of my insurance with Intellicare. They informed me that I needed to fast for 8 hours because I will have to undergo in a cholesterol test. Also, I will need to provide my stool and urine sample so they suggested that I will just go back with the complete samples tomorrow.






Missionary work is rigorous and requires a fully prepared person not only financially, emotionally but also physically so that the work will not be delayed. In my patriarchal blessing, the best gift and blessing that my Heavenly Father has given me was good health that I may be able to provide for my family's needs and in this case, in order to help Him in the glorious work. Many people are amazed at how I was able to maintain a perfect attendance-no absences, no over break, no undertimes, no lates at work for my 2 years and 2 months tenureship in Callbox. I have some lates and overbreaks last year but the good thing is as of this point, I have a clean record. Perfect attendance for 6 months for this year and hopefully be able to maintain it. I know that my Father in Heaven wanted me to be healthy always as I have a lot of works to do. He knows that if I will be ill, my dreams will never come true. I thank God for the gift of good health.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Importance of Personal Worthiness

Me and my classmate acting as sister missionaries. We were trying to resolve the concerns being acted out by our classmates too. It was so much fun!
Sister Revesencio in her proselyting attire. I'm ready to serve the Lord!

I would forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father for enabling me to attend our class today in Missionary Preparation because I felt the need to be reminded always. We were taught by Brother Manuel Insigne about Personal Worthiness and how important it is for full-time missionaries to be worthy in serving the Lord. He gave us a checklist of requirements in order for us to assess ourselves if we are really indeed prepared to serve the Lord.

*Emotional Stability-emotional challenges must be stabilized, confirmed to be fully functional and if not, it has to be settled prior to leaving for the field
*Moral Worthiness-those who have concerns in this area should settle it with their bishops or branch presidents and must be seen to have seriously repented before could be allowed to serve
*HIV Positive-those who are confirmed to be positive will be advised to serve locally instead
*Divorce-will be advised to serve in other means such as in local areas
*Others: serious physical, mental emotional limitations are excused to serve in full-time mission
*Special Circumstances such as
-Abortion-anyone who has participated, encouraged or conducted abortion will not be allowed to serve
-Child out of wedlock-anyone with child out of wedlock will not be allowed
*Homosexual Activity-anyone with homosexual relationship during his teenage years (like 17-19) will be asked to repent before proceeding and must abstain from such activities and prove himself willing to give up such activities. Unless he's willing to do those mentioned, he will not be allowed to serve
*Belated Confession-Mission if not a place for sinners to repent but for calling sinners to repentance. Prospective missionaries are expected to have repented of any sins that may hinder in serving the Lord worthily in the field.

Me and my classmates were grateful that we do not have problems with those concerns because we tried all our best to prevent in indulging from them just as Elder Charles Didier of the Presidency of the Seventy said, "Prevention is better than redemption". Of course there's still a way out as the Savior's love and compassion is infinite. However, how painful and rigorous would be the process before someone could fully get rid of himself with the guilt from his sins so it's better not to be involved in those activities that will disqualify us in serving the Lord.

How great and wonderful is the work that is requires clean hands and pure heart. How amazing is the work that it needs worthy servants.

Brother Insigne related a story of prospective missionaries in the United States that were unable to serve because some miserable dentists sabotage them by transmitting their HIV during the dental check up or dental operation because just like Satan, these people are too miserable that they want others to be miserable too. It's such a sad reality that some people would not hesitate the future of what could have been valiant and wonderful servants of the Lord. I was shocked with such news but that's the reality, there are some individuals that couldn't accept their weaknesses and become miserable, and worse, would like others to feel the same way.

Later in the discussion we were tasked to resolve concerns of the investigators (acted by our classmates) such as homosexuality, disobedience of the Law of Chastity and the likes. I love the scriptural passages that were shared to us in order to combat these concerns such as 1 Corinthians 10:13:

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be ablee to bear it"~(KJV)

The Lord is ever faithful that we will rise above the temptations that we may encounter. I'm so thankful that I'm always reminded of my standards everyday and I decided before the sign of temptation to keep my covenant with my Heavenly Father and will not let any worldly pleasures suppress me from becoming the daughter my Father in Heaven expects me to be.


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Monday, July 6, 2009

A Challenge to Take

Last Saturday in my Teachings of the Living Prophets class, Sister Ana Barredo, our ever devoted teacher taught us about the importance of the living prophets, seers and revelators. In the LDS Church, we believe that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are all Prophets, Seers and Revelators. She had us discuss each role and their importance in our lives today. The challenge came when she had us recite the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in order! Whooa! My classmate, Brother Jed Mendame who is a returned missionary, together with the help of his wife, Julie, recited them in order. Afterwards we had some ice cream topped with chocolate syrup. That's a treat from the Institute every first week of the start of classes!

Yesterday (ofcourse this blog will say I posted this on Sunday but believe me it's Monday, 6:41 PM here in the Philippines now), we had marvelous fast and testimony meeting. I was touched with a primary child's testimony about how hymns of the Church are important and how it has helped her. I think they indeed are powerful in helping us during the times that we need the Spirit the most. My favorite hymn is Count Your Blessings. I feel so much loved by my Heavenly Father through it.

It really helps when we get to attend our meetings and services in the Church. Though some lessons may be repetitive, we will be surprised as to how one principle could mean more profoundly to us. I know that we need to nourish our testimonies everyday or it will eventually die or weaken each day.

My challenge is to recite the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in order, prepare for my classes on Wednesday (Missionary Preparation Class) and Teachings of the Living Prophets on Saturday.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Would it Be Approriate for a Missionary?

I'm may not yet be an official full-time missionary of The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints but the moment I attended the orientation given by Bishop Timmy Tigulo to me, Sister Michele Joyce Araneta and Brother Ronnel, the preparation already started. My Heavenly Father has already expected a lot from me and I know deep in my heart that He's already hoping a better and spiritually upgraded version of me. Well let's check my progress.

Financially

I thought this is gonna be the hardest part of the preparation since I grew up well far from being well off. My mom has no job (and don't ask me as to how she could provide for herself once I'm gone in the field and I'm her only daughter. Of course I always believe that the Lord has helped in paving the way that I could provide for me and mom's needs. And since He's the same yesterday, today and forever, I know He will continually provide while I'm away from my mom but closer to His work) and we depend so much on my current full-time job as a telemarketer and some little extra income from my virtual assistant job. I am preparing not only to pay for my mission expenditures but also mom's while I'm away from her, and prepare for our expenditures afterwards when things will get a little more complicated. Check, I got some savings enough to cover all the costs we may needs while I'm away.

Physically

Screw this part of the preparation! I was inspired by my friend, Regina Prudente who is a local model when she started losing some weight due to her oat meal diet. When she stopped it a week after, the visible loss of weight was unbelievable. So I resolved that I would follow her example. I ate oat meal as breakfast, a little rice and meat at lunch and nothing on dinner. Expecting the same result to take effect in me, I noticed that the pants I have been wearing became even more tight than it used to be! What had gone wrong? The more I control my diet, the more I crave for food and the more I indulge to that craving. Once I get to work I would buy loads of food that I want and so the whole diet plan is totally destructed.

Medically

Screw the dentist! Last week I was so ecstatic about attending my missionary preparation class in the Institute because afterwards I would go drop by the dentist have my teeth cleaned and get the necessary certificate for my mission papers. When I get there I handed the secretary my IntelliCare card which would let me have the cleaning for free as part of our company health insurance plan. She had me wait while reading local magazines for an hour, then another hour. Knowing that I still have a duty afterwards I can't resist the dizziness and the need to sleep so I just said I'll visit them again resoluting inside my mind never to step in their clinic again, ever!

Spiritually

Failed to attend my missionary preparation class last Wednesday because I got no scriptures with me. Tuesday evening me and mom prepared all the necessary materials I need for the next day so I will just go in the institute building right away after my shift. I got my Sunday's Best dress with me ready as well as my Missionary Preparation Class Manual but dang I failed to bring my scriptures with me that night! Screw the plan I skipped it.

Mentally

Probably another reason why I needed to skip the class last Wednesday was my unprepared status with the lesson. I got loads of projects in front of me that even on weekends I failed to visit my manual and read the lessons in advance. Well anyway I am reading some good books, reading currently serving in the field missionaries' blog(written through their emails and published by their relatives of course) and reading my scriptures too--I have to be honest, not daily as I am stucked with so much work to do. I know all I need is to spare about 15 minutes a day and I'll be happy all day. Bu then I just haven't mastered time management yet.

Did I miss anything?Goal. Yes I need to make it a goal to strike better or higher than my current preparation. I think I am not yet totally prepared yet as the bar has been raised and the need for a more qualified and committed missionary than ever is imposed (or at least I'd like to impose that to myself).

Emotionally

I noticed I am becoming more and more ill-tempered, easily offended and lesser smiling lately. I could not focus more on the task at hand, I look as if I have so much things in mind and I seem to be more aloof than ever. Would it be appropriate for a missionary? Absolutely not. I am currently struggling to overcome myself and my attitude weaknesses. I battle them by working with the missionaries and extending my patience towards things and other people.

So would all these preparations make me a better missionary? Definitely if I would take them seriously and if I would really work them out faithfully. I know I won't be a perfect missionary but in the process I would faithfully become perfected. Notice that I used 'perfected' as I know I should be open for changes and with the help of others I could accomplish my goal of becoming better daughter and servant of God.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Missionaries Fireside: Importance of Retention

Before heading to our appointment we gotta strike some pose first while waiting for Elder Ontoria to finish that second set of pancit after munching on the baked macaroni. Who said work is supposed to be always serious?






Birthday girl Sister Faith Rose Jagodilla, Me, Sister Jenny Jungco (she will be serving in the Philippines Laog Mission by Friday) and Sister Michele Joyce Araneta

Jaro 2 Ward Missionaries together with our Bishopric and FT missionaries

Sundays are always best time to contemplate, relax and learn new things. We had a full-time missionaries and ward missionaries fireside yesterday together with Elder Ontoria, Elder Ford (they are the FT missionaries currently serving in our ward) and we also had guests missionaries from the Iloilo Stake, Manduriao Ward--Elder Canas and I'm sorry I forgot the name of his companion that has the eyes like that of Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell of Prison Break. I meant that as a compliment because not everyone has the eyes like that of a criminal...lol.. I'm just joking. I mean not everyone has the eyes like that of a celebrity.

Our resource speaker was Elder Canas (I'm sorry my ALT+164 wouldn't work so I can't type "enye" like that used in Spanish words like "Nino", "Nina) but his name is pronounced as "Canyas". He's such a very moving speaker. He always emphasizes to "Do Not Underestimate..." the power of our example, the capacity of every sister, the worth of every soul. I think he's a really powerful and humble servant of the Lord. He talked about the importance of Retention.

I almost forgot, our FT missionaries gave a report of the progress of the investigators in our area and it's so cool to know that our investigator, Brother Jordan Deslate, is about to be baptized this coming July 4th! His mom and sister were baptized by Elder McCook (now he's in Canlaon) and they're indeed cool investigators preparing nosh whenever we visit. Other progressing investigators include Maryvel (she's the cousin of Sister Carla), Jenny(lives in the same house with Carla and Maryvel), Brother Detsusa, Patong Herrera (when we met him we envisioned him to be a great and just cool YM President), Catahay Family, Hontoria Family in Linao Balabag, Baclas Family. Those are just some of the names of the investigators we're helping out in going back in the true and restored gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Elder Canas quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Serving a mission is the best training a woman could ever have in her preparation to becoming a mother". I felt the veracity of the said statement and I know that the Lord will help me better equipped in the many challenges motherhood would ever give me through my mission experiences. He also gave a brief account of his conversion and how the sister missionaries were able to help him become converted in the Church. He was a former pastor in another denomination and he was helped to be converted in the restored gospel through the efforts of sister missionaries that were assigned in his area in Davao.

IQ Test in Greece

He then related a story about how IQ test was done in Greece. He said that a person with an average IQ, when tasked to take all the water in a fish pond would automatically respond by bringing a pail and using it, take all the water out of the pond. However, a person with a wiser and comparatively higher IQ would stop the source of the water and then take the water out of the pond using the pail. It's about stopping the cause of the problem before focusing on the visible problem. Also, it's a matter of resolving the problem from the roots instead of just giving solution to the problems in the leaves or the stem.

Saving the Star Fish

A man was observed carrying the star fish from the seashore and throwing it back to the depths of the sea. One man who's been observing him doing the same thing over and over again couldn't help but approach him and asked why is he trying to save the star fishes when there's a lot of them being tossed by the waves in the seashore and they will eventually die. The man replied while holding the star fish in one hand, "With this, I can make a difference".

Most of the time we underestimate the power of the difference we can make in the world because we seem to be the only one doing the thing we're doing or probably because of the fear that we won't make a big impact or change in the world at all. Well, we should think again. If all the people who would like to make a change would be overpowered by such thought Satan is trying to put in our minds, we will definitely wouldn't change a thing. But if we will all strive to do what we think is right even if others cannot, then in our little ways the world will change little by little day by day. I like it better to think that I could make a single though little difference in the world for the better than to think that my life is just a wasted opportunity. I'd rather keep in my mind a positive perspective that my Heavenly Father has commissioned me to do marvelous things in my little capacity and that with His grand help I could accomplish a lot of things, than to just think miserably or stand idly without doing anything at all. You see, we all have the capacity to do great things as we start working on our own little circumstances as from small and simple things great things shall come to pass.

Correlation of the Evils

One day a group of evils wanted to thwart the work of the Lord and stop the members of the Church to continue praising their God and serving their Lord. They wanted the members to become inactive or less active in attending their sacrament meeting or attending their Sunday service. One of them suggested that they would kidnap the leaders. They all laughed at the idea since they couldn't possibly do that since they do not have bodies. Another one suggested that they would kill the leaders. They all laughed at the idea since they again couldn't do that since they are bodiless. Another wisely suggested that they would just whisper in the ears of the faithful members that going to the Church is useless or that listening the the sermon or talk of the speaker would do them no good. At that, they all agreed would be the best thing to do.

The soldiers of Satan are doing the best that they can to prevent us from doing what is best for us and in the progress of the work of the Lord. They know that if we stop in our regular attendance in our sacrament meetings we will eventually become weak and so does will the army of the Lord. They would like us to feel that our little actions of kindness will go unnoticed in the eyes of the Lord and that attending our services every Sunday will do us no good because the talks and sermons will all be the same and repeated over and over again. But the truth is, all the simple things we do are building blocks in keeping us nourished and strengthened so we could fight all the temptations and trials that could come in our lives. Just as cements are made of pebbles, sand and little stones. Without the accumulated little things we do we won't be able to create something really big and strong.

Elder Canas then concluded that it is easier to retain than to retake. Indeed it's harder to convince someone the second time around though others take that love is sweeter the second time around. But you see, the path to righteousness is much more difficult to trace when you have to do it again because the expectation and the challenge is much greater.

It was also Sister Faith Rose Jagodilla's 18th birthday yesterday. She's a lovely and faithful daughter of God. She's always open to learning and very humble in all she does. I gave her a pink key chain I bought from our little escapade in Boracay.

Afterwards we visited families Silan, Patong Herrara and Trixie. The work was fun again because we were fed with highly uplifting and spiritual stories. I know that it is our duty to help ever new members and investigators to grow spiritually in the knowledge of the truth and that we should help and guide them all the way as they strive to have a deeper testimony of the truth. I've been through that stage in my life wherein I needed a confirmation that what I know is really true. My friends in the Church have helped me in the journey and I would be eternally be grateful to them for all the support and love that they've let me feel during that vulnerable and critical phase in my quest for truth.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Certain Consequences Follow Specific Actions

Yesterday we had our first meeting with Brother Manny Insigne, our Missionary Preparation Class teacher. He's a brilliant, interesting and humble servant of our Lord. He shared his mission experiences with us and we were all inspired to become better prepared soldiers of the Lord. There was only six of us in the class, two ladies and four valiant men, one of whom will be serving in the field by next month.

We were taught one simple yet powerful principle from the Doctrine of Covenants Section 82 verse 10. CCFSA, it means Certain Consequences Follow Specific Actions. It's so true that all the blessings we reap are just results of all our labors. Specific decisions and actions will eventually be followed by consequences that we no longer have agency or capacity to control. The moment we commit into something we've already decided, the nature will then have its turn about giving specific consequences from our works. One good example that was given was If we date properly with a member, we will be married in the temple. Yes we always have our agency to choose what we like or we think that is right, but our agency ends the moment we abuse it. I love the thought that our Heavenly Father will keep His promise as we keep ours. It gave me a comforting feeling that as I continually strive to become like Him, He is granting me all the power and support I badly need in the whole process.

We were challenged by Brother Insigne to become the ideal student our Heavenly Father expects us to be. An ideal seminary and institute student:

1. Has a daily habit of reading the scriptures (at least 15 minutes a day)
2. Fish in the scriptures-we should be able to liken the scriptures in our daily lives and help another by sharing specific accounts that relates to our troubles

We were asked as to how we would resolve a concern of a sister who is afraid to go the Church because of the fear that when caught attending our Sunday service will be kicked out or expelled from her school? That got me thinking pretty hard since I rarely visit my scriptures. I know, I better take the challenge and read the four standard works more often and have a goal to finish reading them before I go to serve the Lord in the field. So the answer to that concern was to read her Daniel 6. Daniel were also threatened to be thrown in the lion's den if they would pray, but knowing that their God is higher than any other gods, they prayed. The most wonderful part of the story, he was delivered from the lion and proved to all humankind that God indeed is alive anf that He listens to our prayers. He is bound if we do what He says.

Certain Consequences Follow Specific Actions.

We were challenged to:

1. Read the scriptures and be able to teach. We should first seek to obtain the word before we could eventually teach it effectively.

2. Bring the scriptures in the class.

3. Wear our proselyting attires.

The Lord wants us to be the most prepared missionaries of our generation so we need to raise the bar and I know that if I prepare myself I will be endowed with the promised power that God gives to all His faithful servant.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seek Learning Even By Study and Also by Faith

Today our lesson in our Single Adults' Sunday School class was about how we could seek learning by study and by faith. The very first thought that came into my mind is the Prophet Joseph Smith and how we gave a perfect example of that phrase. He sought learning by studying the scriptures because he wanted to know the truth of the gospel. Unlike most men of his time, he wanted to learn the truth for himself and salvation and not for reproof or to destroy another sect's faith. He wanted a pure knowledge of the truth that at that time was corrupted by every person's own understanding as the truth was taken away from the Earth due to man's wickedness. Such a humble and unlearned man yearned for a plain and simple truth that later was restored on Earth through Him.






He searched the scriptures diligently with the faith in the Lord that he would find answers. He knew that either he would remain in darkness forever or seek to find the truth. I admired his unwavering faith and his earnest desire and pray that every man in the Earth would have a seeking yet humble attitude like him. I hope and pray that in the field, the people that I would be teaching would be humble and prayerful enough not to lean unto their own understandings but learn to depend on the Lord for the pure and sweet truth.



In the middle of the class, our teacher, Sister Weng, asked us of the lessons we learned from our parents. Probably the best lesson I learned from my mom was to be persistent in whatever task you'd like to accomplish despite the many obstacles that might come your way. There would always be plenty of them in the process, you cannot change that fact, but if you remain true and strong in your purpose, you will eventually succeed in your goal. I knew that it's not only my mom that trusts in me but also my Heavenly Father. I know that they both want me to succeed because I was born to be one. Sister Michele Joyce Araneta shared her own learning from her parents. She said that she always wanted to have a good gospel-centered family and since her parents are not members of the Church, she needs to adjust to that fact and work on changing things through her future family. We both are trying to prepare to serve in the mission by next year. We both have this great faith that through us, the Lord will make a mighty change in the hearts and lives of the people. If there's something that we can do about a situation, we need to start the change within ourselves. If there's nothing we can do about it, we need to change our attitudes about it.

Aside from the four standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which are Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants, we are encourage to seek learning through the best books of the world as in the thirteenth article of our faith, "...If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (Articles of Faith 13)

When we seek, we need to keep a humble and faithful attitude so the Lord will be our guide in the whole learning process.

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Jubilee Service: A Joint Community Service Project of Jaro I and II Ward

May 13,2009 Saturday: Yesterday our ward, Jaro II Ward together with Jaro I Ward (my former ward), had a joint activity in our effort to complete our Jubilee Service as we will celebrate the Church's establishment here in the Philippines. We assembled at around 7:00 in the morning and waited for other members to join us in cleaning the Jaro Plaza. According to Bishop Timmy Tigulo, there are around 48 members in our ward and around the same number were present from Jaro I Ward. Children from the Primary organization, Mothers from the Relief Society, Young Men and Young Women from the Youth, Priesthood Leaders, Single Adults and even Full-time Missionaries that were assigned to our Ward joined in the cause to clean up the community plaza.

When we arrived in the place that we need to clean, municipal hired cleaners were already there sweeping, grass mowing and maintaining the plants. We helped them mow the grass, clean the park and distributed leaflets that contains the list of supplies and products that every family could store in their houses in case of emergency since today is the first anniversary of the flood caused by Typhoon Frank. Such an incident prove that our leaders were indeed inspired by God when they admonished us to keep a 72-Hour Kit which includes food, medicine and other necessities supply. Basic needs of every man such as crackers, bottled water, canned goods, clothes and other important documents should be placed in a water-proof storage box that could be easily accessed in case of emergencies.

My mom was inspired to store food supplies such as noodles, canned goods, bottled water and medicine supplies that proved to be really helpful when Typhoon Frank struck our area and Kalibo. Since Jaro is known to be a place of constant flood, we were highly affected during the said event. However, the Lord has blessed us with the supplies that we stocked that in times that others would crave to purchase their supplies, we were safely tucked inside our home and enjoying the result of our decision of listening to the Prophet's counsel.

Many people were so cynical with us because they thought that what we're distributing was our Church's doctrine. Some crumpled the leaflets, threw it away, used it in making fire for their Bibingka (rice cake) that they're selling in the park. It's so saddening that even bystanders continued on their usual activities without even taking a look at the fliers that we gave them. At the moment I prayed to my Heavenly Father that He would bless their souls and that in times of catastrophic events, they would be able to withstand it since they're not even trying to prepare for such circumstances.

From 7:00 until 10:00 in the morning we helped in cleaning the park and it was fun to have every member of our ward continue in our cause of Mormon Helping Hands. We love to help the people and show love to them even if they're very skeptic with our intentions. We know that in serving them we are showing that we are indeed servants of the Lord.

We ate burger and camote fries in Mang Inasal afterward. It was so good to be energized again. Serving the community has helped me develop a greater love for the place I live and hope to make it a better place to live in, my fellowmen and the Lord. I love every single opportunity to serve because in the process, I know I will get to learn a lot of principles that in the long run helps me become the daughter my Heavenly expects me to be. As I serve my community, I am preparing to serve my God in the mission.


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Missionary Preparation: Documents

A month ago me and my friends decided to prepare to serve the Lord through mission. Most of the young men in our ward are currently serving in the field and I feel the need to follow their footsteps too. No matter how hard it would be and whatever risks I would need to take. I have been blessed with a great job and lots of opportunity but I knew that God gave them to me to test me as to how far my faith would take me. A month ago I also decided to resign from my telemarketing job only to extend the plan so I could wait for my medical papers to have arranged and completed. Our company paid a health insurance for us since I have been working with them for a couple of yeas and a month now. It includes all the necessary Annual Physical Exam and the tests that are part of it such as dental, CBC and other medical tests that are also required to be undergone by a prospective missionary. It may seem like a coincidence for some but for me I know the Lord must have prepared the way for me so that I could go and serve Him in the field.

Our bishop, Bishop Timmy Tigulo, gave us a list of documents and steps that we need to prepare in order for us to go and serve the Lord. The very first document is entitled, Request for Supplemental Financial Assistance for Full-time Missionaries. The very first requirement for prospective missionaries is their and their families' financial readiness in their journey to the mission. It requires the prospective missionary to fill in the financial support available from the missionary himself, from the family and other local sources such as ward members help and other sources. The first source which is myself is the very thing that I am preparing for right now. I stopped from my marketing course from Central Philippine University for this semester so I could save the money for my mission. I also took an online job as a Virtual Assistant so I could raise a considerable amount of money that I could spend for the requirements, in the field and leave some for my mom while I am away. It's a little challenging for me because my mom depends on me. Our expenses are regularly met because of the salary that I am getting from Callbox as well as my salary from my VA job. So some are asking that why do I need to go and leave all the opportunities and blessings that I am currently enjoying behind. I have one simple answer for that query, I know the truth and I need to spread the word. The truth has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and I know that if I continually prepare to become a full-time missionary, all the blessings that I will leave behind will all come back to me and that I need to share the blessings to other people as well.

Priesthood Leaders' Comments and Suggestions
The Bishop or the Branch President will evaluate the prospective missionary and give his recommendation. Bishops have this great power of discernment and they would know that the member in their fold is capable enough for the great task ahead. Afterward, the Stake or Mission President will then give his own evaluation and recommendation.

Bishop Tigulo told me and Sister Michele Joyce Araneta that we are not required to serve the Lord in the field since sisters were actually admonished to prepare for an eternal family. However, he is happy that we both have the great desire to go and serve the Lord in full-time mission. Many times have I heard that all the leaders in the Church do not encourage the sisters to go because we need to prepare to become mothers of our posterity. I know that my calling to become a mother would be forever and that I am grateful that the Lord has entrusted such a responsibility to the sisters. However, I felt the need and desire to serve Him in the field prior to that eternal calling. I knew that many souls are waiting for me to assist them from their wandering path and help them return to their Heavenly Father. Also, I know that if I will serve the Lord with all my might, mind and strength, He will bless my life and my posterity as I get to experience and learn a lot of wonderful things in the field.

Missionary Recommendation
It is an assessment of oneself as to one's capabilities and talents. This will become one of the basis as to where a prospective missionary will be assigned. If you're used to filling up University Admission Application, then this form wouldn't be new to you because it requires you to fill up your Personal Information such as Name, Address, Community Record, Citizenship and the Languages and Dialects that you're able to speak. A prospective missionary is also required to fill up Additional Information such as Years of Schooling, Years in Seminary/Institute, Academic Performance, Military Service Record and Parents Information.

Today our speakers in the sacrament meeting talked about the importance of seminary and institute and I felt that this document proved that indeed having gained spiritual education also helps a prospective missionary in preparing for serving the Lord in the mission field. I have not been much blessed to attend the seminary in our area in Kalibo, Aklan because I became a member of the Church when I was 15. When I was sixteen I was already in College making me eligible to attend institute. However, due to unavailability of an Institute Building and Instructors in our building, I sit in with the seminary students instead.

Instructions for Missionary Candidate
The word candidate made me ponder for a while that serving the Lord requires really a lot of desire, persistence and preparation. Once you are a candidate for something, in a pageant for instance, you need to practice a lot and prepare every needful thing. Being a missionary is not just something that you can apply without thorough preparation. Imagine the knight's, guards and other servicemen have to go through before they become servants or part of a king's army of defenders. In the work of the Lord, I know it requires more than just physical preparation, mental, financial, but most importantly, spiritual preparation.

Personal, Medical, Dental and Insurance Information are other documents that I need to prepare in order for me to be fully prepared and pass my application for mission. I know that these are just some of the preliminary requirements in order to become a good servant of the Lord. I know the Lord will bless me and pave the way in the whole process. I know He's been preparing a valiant servant in me and all I need to do is to prepare and make my own move.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Me and my mom became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was 15 years of age thus making me a five-year-old member of the said Church now. Well almost, I was baptized last December 25, 2004 by Elder Louie Torres. Prior to my baptism, Elder Colt Adam Kalcich and Elder Salen taught my mom the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Our neighbor, Sister Letecia Roberto, referred my mom to the missionaries and the two wonderful young men that always wear white shirt and colorful neckties taught her for like a couple of months and she was baptized ahead of me. My conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ wasn't exactly as easy as others might have been. For some they're too lucky to have been born in the covenant. The conversion wasn't exactly easy mainly because I was so skeptic with the religion and feared that my friends and classmates would ridicule me for diverting from my old religion. I've learned later that there was only one member of the Church in our school when I was in high school, and she's my neighbor. Jihan Isberto and her whole family were the sort of "Pioneers" in our stake and our area. Her grandfather, Brother Ruben San Gabriel, was even first Stake President of our stake.

During the time that I opened my mind to the teachings that the missionaries are giving us, I was simultaneously corresponding through letters with Jihan. She admonished me to listen to the missionaries and get a testimony of the gospel on my own in contrast to the usual teachings of other denominations that they feed you with their own testimonies hoping that you'd absorb it too. We attended the Sunday services, Family Home Evenings and ward activities that helped me prepare in receiving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Two most important people that helped in my conversion are Sisters Joan and Joy Riingen. They befriended me, shared their testimonies, visited together with the full-time missionaries and most of all, became great examples of humble and virtuous young women. Their parents are not members of the Church but they continually show amazing faith and press forward in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It occurred to me that it's a challenge for both Joy and Nang Joan to help in the conversion of their parents and strive to become living proof of their faith and testimonies.

For almost five trial-filled years now, me and my mom continually pressing forward in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and always strive to live as Jesus would want us to. I had been blessed with several callings such as Stake Family History Staff, Youth Sunday School Teacher and the latest is the most rewarding of all, Relief Society Teaching. My most favorite and admired organization of the Church is the Relief Society because it's from where great women, mothers and family are being molded. It's such an honor to be chosen as their advocate in learning and get to share my testimony to the superb mothers that has always inspired me.

From my hometown in Kalibo, Aklan, I was blessed to get a job as a telemarketer here in Molo, Iloilo. Callbox or Parallel Processing Corporation hired me on May 11, 2007 as an outbound sales representative and up to now I am so blessed to have become part of the said homegrown yet prolific organization. My job has enabled me to pay for my tuition fee, our rent and daily expenses. I know that everything that I am enjoying now are results of my labors and much faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. There's so much events that have transpired since my baptism. Some are a little to harsh and too challenging, some are just pure bliss. The thing is all of them contributed to the formation of a better me. I believe that every little thing and event that happens to our lives all have significant roles in our growth.

In our journey we get to meet new friends, leave the old ones behind but the memories won't leave us. It would stay where it was planted and would eventually grow as we learn to adjust, accept and embrace the fact that there's nothing really constant in this world but change. I attended a year in the Central Philippines University with the course of Marketing Management. I decided to stop now so I could better prepare for my mission and save considerable amount of money that I could leave my mom behind while I am off in the field serving the Lord. You see I am her only daughter and everything we spend depends on my income. When I will serve the Lord full-time I will not be able to raise the money we would both need to survive, so now is the time to prepare to meet God, I mean now is the time to prepare to seve God.

I knew the truth, I knew that God knew it really was and I can't just leave my back to it. I am inspired to serve Him through mission in 18 months. I know there will be a lot of trials that me and my mom both have to encounter but have stronger faith than our trials are. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ to be true and that we need to stay TRUE to it. I know that my conversion to the truth restored on Earth paved the way to my preparation to serving the Lord through missionary work.

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