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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