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Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Our New Callings
Last March 2016, we received our new callings as Stake Young Men President and Stake Young Women 1st Counselor in the Philippine Angeles Stake of Zion. It was unexpected since we're still pretty new in this area. When I had my interview with a member of our Stake Presidency, I honestly wanted to refuse because I felt helpless especially now that I am pregnant. But the Spirit was very strong, telling me that this is truly what the Lord is asking from me at this moment. The setting-apart blessing touched my heart so deep. They extended the blessing to my daughter and it gave me so much confidence and peace that every thing will work out well in my pregnancy.
Our first activity was the 2016 Youth Conference in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. We were asked to give a short talk during the "Testimony Meeting" (last day of the camp).
For three days with the youth, I couldn't help but reminisced the days when I was once one of them. And where did time go? Here I am. I found myself standing in front of them.
I started to remember the faces of my youth leaders...
their voices, their great examples and their unconditional love for all of us...
Then I begun sharing the 3 awe-inspiring counsels they taught me,
and I feel extremely grateful today that I did follow them. I called this, "S-H-E".
Truly I am not what I am today without their guiding light.
Counsel #1: Finish your Personal Progress.
The first Personal Progress I received was the first edition. The size was as big as a coupon bond and there were lots of value experiences and projects required. But I was very excited to accomplish this book because of the 4 medallions to be awarded to those who will finish it. This book was revised twice when I was in my youth, and it came to a point when my excitement turned into laziness because of the changes including the new added value, "VIRTUE". I stopped doing it for a time but my young women leaders never failed to remind me. Because of the Personal Progress, I was able to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. This experience changed my life forever. I did learn for myself that this book is truly the word of God. That the Prophet Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living Church of our Savior here on this earth. I gained a strong desire to serve the Lord as a full time missionary. The Young Women Personal Progress led me closer to Jesus Christ.
I received my YW medallion before I turned 18, and this medallion became a sweet reminder of my covenant to serve and put God always first in my life.
THE SEASON OF LEAVING THE WORLD BEHIND CAME...
I was studying at Brigham Young University- Hawaii before I turned 21. I was a junior. I got a great job, money, loved my professors, lots of foods around, found awesome friends, was enjoying the beach-- OH HAWAII!!!!!!, and for me I was living the dreams of my life.
All will be tested between many good choices when a righteous goal is soon to be your next step.
That time it was Hawaii vs the Mission.
One early Sunday morning, I decided to wear my YW Medallion.
I opened my scriptures and read from Doctrine and Covenants 31: 3,
"Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation."
I was called to serve in the Philippines Cebu Mission. I was one of the missionaries who ushered the Temple Open House and Dedication with our dearly beloved prophet even Thomas S. Monson.
I was also one of the Jubilee Missionaries when the church celebrated its 50 years of existence in our country. What a glorious time in my life! A small decision of finishing the YW Personal Progress led to a powerful, spiritual experience. It planted a seed of faith in my heart.
Counsel #2: Be an inspiration, not a temptation.
My young women leaders taught us to treat everyone the way you wanted them to be especially those who are younger than you (like the deacons). These young men hold the priesthood power of our Savior Jesus Christ. They are the most powerful men in this world! We become an inspiration to them by wearing modest clothing, by using respectful words (never tease them rudely/embarrass them), and by garnishing our minds with virtuous thoughts. We must encourage them to go on a full time mission (never seduce/flirt with a full-time missionary) and to achieve worthy goals such as accomplishing their Duty to God, study hard and improve health/fitness.
A woman's righteous influence can save a whole generation!
Counsel #3: Endure to the End
Our youth leaders taught us to stay close to the church no matter what.
The Youth Theme 2016 is found in 2 Nephi 31:20,
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
Our youth stage is the most critical period of our life. This is the time when we are most aggressive and curious. A small decision is like a tiny drop of water.... It can create a wave. By being active in the church we can filter the influence of the world. We can possess spiritual eyes that will help us take only the good information and set aside the vanities of the world.
Our righteous choice builds our confidence. The church will help us balance our lives both spiritually and temporally. A Christ-centered life is a happy life because we shall never lose a perfect brightness of hope especially during the darkest moments of our lives.
(**darkest moments such as failures, heartbreaks, insecurities, temptations and peer pressures)
I am grateful for my leaders. They are called of God.
I know that they are here to guide us.
They are Heavenly Father's way of reminding us of His love.
If we follow them, there will be safety in our journey.
I pray that each of us
will hearken to the counsels of our leaders.