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.


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.


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.