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Monday, October 16, 2017

When we failed.


Today, I was very annoyed. Things didn't go the way it supposed to be. There are days when I wake and I feel so lazy to move my body. Times when all I want to do is to lock myself in a room. Days when I feel I am only a human. There are mornings when I feel like I am a superwoman. I wake up, pray and read my scriptures, then I do some stretchings. Ideally, after my personal time, I clean the house, do laundry and buy groceries. I shower. Then, Zephrine wakes up. I played with her. I feed her and bathe her. I get ready to work. Michael comes at 10:00a.m. to pick me up. This is what a good day for us is. After work, we go somewhere for snacks. 

But today I failed. I woke up feeling overwhelmed. This is a time when I feel like I am running out of time. I feel miserable. I used to hate this fact but as I learn to accept when I fall short, the healing comes faster. I know I should move on. Try again and hold on a little tighter to the iron rod. 


"No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves…We have all made incorrect choices. If we have not already corrected such choices, I assure you that there is a way to do so. The process is called repentance. I plead with you to correct your mistakes. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift."
- President Thomas S Monson


I opened my facebook and I found this comforting words from our living prophet today. I should have guarded myself better. I should have prepared myself against the adversary. He wanted me to fail. He rejoices when I feel pain and discouraged. 
When I was younger, I remember telling God that I am giving up. I used to complain a lot. I even tell myself many times that I am tired of trying to be good. I couldn't hold on one more day. I thought I reached the end of my endurance. 

However, it came to a point that I realized that if I give up, I am also giving up my greatest hopes in life. So I promised the Lord that no matter how what and why I failed, I will stand up. I will do it over and over again. I don't want to waste Christ's atonement for us. I admit that there are days when I feel I am a hypocrite. But if I believe all the negative thoughts the Devil is telling me, I will never reach the peak of my potentials and return home safely to my Heavenly Father.  

There is no perfect situation in this world. But with a perfect knowledge that there is a God should sustain us to keep pressing forward. His love has no end. He knows our hearts. And He will never forsake us. 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Our September Highlights



We went to the temple on the 1st day of this month. We went to Ihap Chan for lunch. We came home early and rested.



September 2 and 3 was our Stake Conference. I was the pianist during the Sunday Morning Session. We were sustained as service couple missionaries for the BYU Worldwide Pathway Connect. I was also called to be the new Stake Young Women President of the Philippines Angeles Stake. My set-apart blessing was given by President Querido. Twa's one of the most spiritual experience I had for this year. I felt a power given to me. I became more in-tune with the Spirit. We also met with the youth leaders from the wards. It was very nice.

This month I was able to do more multi-tasking. I do the laundry and wake up early to buy groceries and food at the dirty market (Talipapa). We were able to save more $$$. I finally picked-up my BDO atm card the second week of this month. Seriously, it's my first personal bank account  in the Philippines after coming home from the US.



We visited Ozamis unexpectedly. Yays! It was so fun! We were there from September 9 to 16, 2017. I will blog about the experience soon. Ate Iroal picked us up from the airport on September 17. Then we went straight to Bulacan and Michael met us there.



We missed our first Thursday Gathering for BYU Pathway but we enjoyed the second week. We finally met the students assigned to us. We have 7 amazing brothers and sisters in our class. This program is so inspired. I am personally learning a lot from them.



September 18, we had a videoke night during our Family Home Evening. We posted a video of us singing "Can't help falling in love". Yays!



September 23 was a date day with Nanay Sofi. It was my first time to buy groceries in APO while Nanay was in the parlor. We decided to go here for Agnes Salon. It was recommended by our neighbor. We were so happy to have found it. And yes!!! She cut very well. She really took time to make sure her clients love their hair. Nanay felt loved.



September 24th, we had our sunday after church walk at the Airforce City Park in Clark. We passed by the Eiffel Tower in Clark and took some photos. It's a time to reflect.



September 30,  we concluded this month with a short tour at Nayong Pilipino in Clark after attending the National Family week at church in the morning. Wow! Ofcourse! We are so grateful for our national heritage. We are proud to be Filipinos. By the way, this past week was the NAtional Family Week so there were activities at church for the whole week. I attended health training and the mobile photography class.

September is so blissful. I love it! I really enjoyed this month. I am excited for the upcoming month. It's my birthday month. Yahoo!!!


Subic 2017



12 August 2017

Because of too much stress, we decided to go to Subic for the next weekend. I love shopping there at Harbor Point. We ate at Kuya J's restau. This is now one of our favorites.
It was Zephrine's first time in the ocean. We went to the Inflatable Island. We also had our little tour in Olonggapo City where Michael spent his elementary days! Then we concluded the day with a Stake Leaders and Youth Leaders Dinner at Tabehoudai. 
Inflatable Island is a bit pricey. It's super cool in photos but I don't think you will enjoy for the whole day if there's a lot of guests with you. 



Isabela 2017

I realized that when we travel, we go to places with a purpose. This trip was unexpected. We went to Cauayan, Isabela for Michael's cousin, Sherizzah. We planned to attend her sealing last Saturday at the Manila temple but we woke up late so we decided to go to her reception instead. We left our house at around 2am and arrived there at 11am. It was a smooth travel.

Michael loves to attend family reunion and gatherings. That is one thing I admire about him. I feel the spirit of Elijah through him. Tita Bing was there too who came home from USA. Tita Virgie was beside me. This travel was special for me because I regained peace by creating fresh memories with the Burgos Clan. 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Singapore 2017


Our first out of the country family trip. 

We went to Singapore because my best friend Eloisa lives there with her husband. We celebrated our friendship there together with Von and his family. Eloisa, Von and I were bff's since high school. It was our reunion. It was very special because now we are all married and Von has a partner and we reminisced our teen years. My best friends are few of my life's treasures. Even though we live miles apart now, every time we see each other, it seems like high school life was yesterday. I love them so much. They also finally met our baby Zephrine. We stayed at Eloi's apartment that's why we saved a lot of $$$. If it weren't for that, we wouldn't be able to visit this beautiful, expensive city. 

Day 1: Arrival and dinner at Marina bay with the Montesurs. This place is so magical. There were live shows, water shows and bubbles every where. We ate pizzas. Cedrick picked us up from the airport. Day 2: We experienced Singapore Zoo and River Safari. Wow wow wow. This trip was really for me and my husband. We enjoyed this zoo so much. My personal favorite was the elephant show. Michael's favorite was the white lion. I love the giraffes, the hippos and the kangaroos. 
Zephrine's reactions during this whole trip was priceless. She was so friendly to everyone. We rode the bus the whole time we were there. 
Then we ate dinner with Von who just arrived with his family at Marina bay again. 
Day 3: Church in the morning and along our way to Sentosa, we discovered the route via cable car!!! Yes! We made it! haha! Sentosa is an island where most adventure parks are located. We spent the whole afternoon with the crew at the Adventure Cove. We swam with the fishes. This Island is amazing!!!! Then dinner at a Singapore restaurant. 
Day 4: We went to Universal Studios for the whole day. Oh! This place reminded me of Disneyland!!!!!!!!! Woah! The shows are incredibly world class. Zephrine watched the Sesame Street Play. Michael enjoyed the rides. 
Day 5: China town, Japanese and Chine Gardens. We shopped at China town and we relaxed at the gardens. We met with Ayo and her family for dinner. 
Day 6: Departure. We packed and get ready. We enjoyed the amenities of the airport. Then welcome back clark.


Here's some of our photos: 











We love you Singapore! 



Palawan 2015



HONEYMOON 


We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Palawan. We arrived there Friday, January 9th. We had our city tour on day 1. We went to Baker's Hill, Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village.
Palawan for me is the most beautiful island in the Philippines. It's clean and most of all the people there are so friendly. We didn't have any hotel reservations but it wasn't hard to find a cheap, cozy hotel. The Tryke's prices are posted every where so there's no corrupt drivers. They are honest there. 
We weren't able to go to the last part of our City Tour. It supposed to be a dinner at the shore during sunset. We were so tired and sleepy. 







On day 2, we went to the famous "Underground River". We had to ride a boat to go the river. Then we passed a jungle/forest where there are monkeys roaming around. Then we finally arrived at the river. There were lots of tourist at that time. It was amazing!!!!! It was one of the longest caves in the world. 



Day 3 was our island hopping adventure. We went to three islands, the Lilu (lulubog, lilitaw island, Star fish Island and Cowrie Island). Each island is so unique. 







Honeymooners in Palawan!




Friday, October 13, 2017

Ilocos Sur 2016



We spent the Christmas holiday  last December 2016 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. We arrived there late Saturday evening, the 24th. It was a long drive but it was worth it. Little Zephrine was very cooperative. She was fine the whole drive. We stayed at this hotel in Bantayan. After we checked-in, we went straight to Calle Crisologo for dinner. 



On Christmas Day, we attended church in Vigan 3rd ward (I believe so). Then we roamed around the city. The following day, Monday, we went to Plaza Burgos, back to Calle Crisologo, and Pagburnayan where we made pots. After lunch, we went to Baluarte and Hidden Garden. It was a fully loaded day. 
We visited Bell Church, Bantayan on Tuesday. Then back to Crisologo and we headed home to Tarlac to meet with the Vreeken and Lugo Families. 
It was fun to get to know Padre Burgos who is actually Michael's ancestor.

Calle Crisologo at Night

Vigan Chapel 









Merry Christmas Everyone! 






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"When our Home turns to a Temple"


Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy is one of my favorite lessons. I learned this awesome analogy from my mission companion, Sister Deyro. We were made pure when we were baptized. But how can we remain spotless amidst temptations, challenges and worldliness? Sister Deyro compared our daily attendance at church to our laundry chore.  Our clothes need regular wash so we can use them over and over again. Likewise, when we go to church, it is our time to renew our souls. It is our opportunity to be clean again.

Sister Deyro cut a picture of a cloth (or a dress, or a polo) and covered it with a transparent tape. She used a whiteboard marker to stain it. The stains symbolize our sins, mistakes and vanities. She then erased each mark while discussing the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy.
Each Sunday is a renewal of a clean slate. 








Doctrine and Covenants 59 summarizes well the "why", the "how" and the "what" (specifically the promised blessings) from keeping the sabbath day holy and a delight.

"Why do we need to keep the sabbath day holy?"
9. And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10. For verily this s a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
11. Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;

We keep the Sabbath day holy because it is a commandment of God. He sanctified and blessed this day. We disconnect ourselves from the world and avoid things that will re-connect us to it. The Sabbath is a day to worship our Heavenly Father. The prophet Moroni taught,
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace... " (Moroni 10:32) 

"How can we keep the sabbath day holy?"
12. But remember that on this, the Lord's day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
(We offer our broken heart and contrite spirit)
13. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or in other words, that thy joy may be full.
(Let us do things in simplicity)
14. Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.
(Fasting emphasizes the earnestness and seriousness of our prayers)
15. And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance--
We are reverent. I love this primary song that defines a deeper meaning of Reverence;
  1. Rev'rence is more than just quietly sitting:
    It's thinking of Father above,
    A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
    I'm rev'rent, for rev'rence is love.
    When I'm rev'rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.
    The pathway to follow is clear.
    And when I am rev'rent, I know in my heart
    Heav'nly Father and Jesus are near.
"What are the blessings?"
16. Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17. Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for rainment, or for houses, of for barn, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
Likewise, the prophet Jacob in the Book of Mormon declared, "But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God". (Jacob 2:18). The Savior added a promised blessing found in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousnessand all these things shall be added unto you.

What a glorious promise! When we put God first, He puts us first. A refined woman sets her heart to the things that will build the Lord's kingdom on heart. She is always selfless. Our commitment us a family is to turn our home like unto a temple every Sunday. We promised to think, act, and speak as if we are inside the Lord's holy house. Eventually, we hope to make each day a piece of Heaven on earth. Line upon line, precept upon precept to becoming a refined woman.


Love,
It's Nyles.xoxo





Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Story of my Minnie Mouse Bag



I love bags! I am a "bag person" or I should say bags are my best friends. I consider them a travel companion. In this blog, I will share with you the story of my Minnie Mouse Bag. It is my most special one. 

***

After my graduation from BYU-Hawaii, I had the chance to do my internship at Disneyland in California. This was the last requirement for the completion of my degree. It was an unexpected adventure for me as I was hoping to do my internship in the Philippines with the Department of Tourism. I was chosen to participate in the Disney College Program. My internship lasted for about 6 months. We were required to attend classes conducted by Disney Company and to work at the same time. I got hired in one of the restaurants there as a cashier. 
My internship was a blast! I stayed at Carnegie Housing in Anaheim where all the other participants (or DCP's) lived while in the program. I met a lot of friends including members of the LDS church. I also met a lot Filipinos there. Some of them were my co-workers! They have 3-4 jobs in order to sustain their daily needs. I did my very best to remain active in the church even though our schedule demanded us to work 24/7. The cost of living in California is very expensive. My budget was tight most of the time.  I survived each day through the tender mercies of the Lord. 
 When I was about to finish my internship, I planned to buy something for myself as a token or a remembrance of this beautiful memory and place. Yes! I wanted a bag. But I had to make a choice. My money was just enough to pay for all my bills including the 10% for the Lord. I was at church. It was my last Sunday in California. Should I pay my tithes or buy myself a bag? 
I did rationalize that the latter choice was fine. I told myself that the bag would be a personal reward for my hard work. I went home to my apartment with an empty wallet. I trusted the Lord.

There is no any tangible souvenir that is more valuable than the lessons I learned while I was there. 

On my last day at work, I served a Filipina guest while cashiering. She was very nice! She offered to buy me a lunch.  She told me that she's having a bad day and asked if I could accompany her at the stores after my shift. I replied "yes" right away since I didn't have any plans for that day. 
I spent the whole night with her and her family. They became an instant family to me. I assisted her in every way I could. Finally, before we parted ways, she asked me to choose one thing from the store as a gift. She told me to get a bag. 

Life is full of surprises. We have many hopes and dreams. The key to achieve them is to put God first in our lives. When we seek His counsels, and include Him in our plans, His ways are always better than ours because He doesn't see only the present, but He sees the past and the future all at the same time. When I wanted a bag, it would have been a nice one if I did it my own way. But God gave me something more than what I could afford. He always gives us what we deserve. 
Most of the time, more than what we deserve. 

My Minnie Mouse bag is my "Tithing" bag. I gained a stronger testimony of the Lord's law of Finance. Our tithings help in the building of His kingdom on earth. When we give what is for the Lord, our hands are open ready to catch the choicest blessings He pours. I thank God for this remarkable lesson He taught me. 


Love,
It's Nyles. xoxo




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our August Highlights

We were sick at the beginning of August 2017. We had couple colds, flu, and fever. Zephrine was very sick too. She got chicken pox-like thingy on her legs. I was very tired taking good care of my babies why I myself was very sick too. It was challenging for all of us. I thank God for sending Ate Ives and Nanay to assist us. I wasn't able to come to work from Tuesday to Thursday. Michael had his training at Red Cross. It was a great accomplishment for him. I am really proud of him. He is now our certified first aider with basic life support training both in the family and for the company.
We successfully survived the first Friday of this month. It was Michael's graduation so he needed to go to Red Cross office very early in the morning. 
I was left with Sister Ticong and Zephrine. I was taking good care of Zephrine while Sister was cleaning and preparing food for lunch when suddenly Sister Ticong vomit in the comfort room. She asked me to call the missionaries. I was touched by her testimony of the power of the Priesthood Blessing. She was very confident that she will be healed through this blessing. I was very grateful that the Elders came right away. They blessed all three of us. Brother Ticong and Rhoss also came to pick me up for Zephrine's checkup. We waited for almost 2 hours in the hospital. 
Patrick Sunglao picked us up after and I headed to the office to deposit the salary of our employees. 
While we were on our way, Ate Ivy, Denzel with Nanay arrived at our house. Wow!! Talking about perfect timing. I was very worried to leave Zephrine and Sister Ticong but the tender mercies of the Lord saved the day! Neil drove me to Sindalan for the paychecks. 
I bought lemons that night after checking the pianos' for sale of Brother Abanggan. Michael was very tired so we planned to just ride a tryke, however, Brother A offered to give us a ride!!! I was very grateful because I still have a fever at that time. I haven't slept very well for a week!!! 

Saturday, August 5th was the Youth Stake Seminary. Michael had a very high fever but he was able to gather enough strength to be there. I gave a quiz bee. I also had a meeting with Sister Lazatin and the Stake Presidency right after.
Sunday, Michael wasn't able to attend church. I went with Nanay Sofi. I taught the Youth Sunday school Class. The lesson was very dear to my heart. It was about the importance of journal keeping. 

12 August 2017
Because of too much stress, we decided to go to Subic for the next weekend. It was Zephrine's first time in the ocean. We went to the Inflatable Island. We also had our little tour in Olonggapo City where Michael spent his elementary days! Then we concluded the day with a Stake Leaders and Youth Leaders Dinner at Tabehoudai. 

18 - 19 August 2017
Michael with King went to Tuguegarao for the weekends! It was a great trip for him and it was very healthy for our relationship. It is really important to give each other space so we can still keep our own identity. Nanay and I went to the parlor and bought some clothes from Sister Buena's garage sale. We attended church at Angeles 1st ward. It was very therapeutic for me. I learned again to do things I used to do by myself before like buying things without Michael. I realized how dependent I was to him. I guess we will do this new tradition on a regular basis. I want to be confident. 

22 August 2017
I opened my personal bank account with BDO! :) I love how my financial planning is getting better and more organized. I hope to share about it soon. 

27 August 2017 
I taught Relief Society class entitled "In the Beauty of Holiness"

Our best accomplishment this month is the 70% completion of our 72-hour kit. Cheeers

Our month of August was full of lessons. I'm grateful to learn the following: 

1. The power of the Priesthood. 
2. How to nurture our relationship? 
3. Financial planning/budgeting
4. Magnifying our callings through the enabling power of the Atonement. 

This month was also Chummy's and Ate Iroal's birthday. 
Maligayang Kaarawan my dear ladies!! May all your happy dreams come true.
Thank you, August for making this year a pocketful of sunshine!!! <3




  
Its. Nyles
xoxo





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Check your "Spiritual Luggage".


Are you preparing to go on a mission? Here's a checklist of your "Spiritual Luggage" taught by my loving husband when he gave a talk last Stake Conference, 2016. 

The story of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah is one of the best missionary stories in the Book of Mormon. They all experienced an indescribable joy when they were reunited in Zarahemla after their respective full-time missions. How can we prepare the youth of Zion to go on a mission and experience the same happiness these great missionaries felt? After obtaining a sincere desire, there are three (3) types of important preparations we need to do. These are,
  • Physical preparation. Do we have a healthy body? We can achieve this by regularly exercise, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
  • Temporal preparation. There are the things we need to bring such as polos, neck ties, shoes, hygiene kit (tooth brush, soap, shampoo etc). This is our temporal luggage. 
  • Spiritual preparation or he called it our "spiritual luggage". 


Here are the things we can put in our spiritual luggage. They are listed and found in the 17th Chapter of the Book of Alma, in the Book of Mormon. 


1. Alma 17:2 - "..searched the scriptures diligently." We can obtain knowledge through regular personal study. When we read, it is also important to "ponderize" that we may imprint His words on our hearts. ATTEND SEMINARY AND INSTITUTE. Make this our priority!

2. Alma 17:3 - "to much prayer, and fasting (take note the word "too"). They had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation - and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." Missionaries are authorized teachers of the Lord and His church.  The spirit is the most important ingredient of an edifying lessons/discussions.

3. Alma 17:4 - "had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites." We can start our missionary labor by working with the missionaries (take note the word 14 yrs). Heavenly Father only requires 2 years of our lives. (sacrifice and desire)

4. Alma 17:5 - "for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit." We need to be prepared both spiritually and physically. We need to develop resiliency.

5. Alma 17:6 - Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them. We are required to leave the world behind. This is not our time. But this is the Lord's time.

6. Alma 17:7 - took their swords , and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves. Each day is a constant battle  between good and evil. We can win our fights by putting on the whole armor of God. Satan desires for our destruction. He will tempt us and discourage us so we will not finish this mission.

7. Alma 17:9 - fasted much and prayed much - that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them. Prayer and fasting were given an emphasis twice because both are highly important in order to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost always.

8. Alma 17:10 - the Lord did visit them with his Spirit. It is vital to teach by the spirit because He will carry our message unto the hearts of our investigators. We are promised to have His companionship when we are obedient to all the mission rules.

9. Alma 17:11 - be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me. Patience, patience and more patience.

10. Alma 17:12 - the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God. Lock your heart!!! FOCUS and remember, "the harder you work, the  more beautiful your wife will be 🙂

11. Alma 17:18 - Ammon being the chief among them, or rather he did administer unto them, and he departed from them, after having blessed them according to their several stations. Missionaries are called and to be set apart by their Stake President. They are authorized and ordained representatives of the Lord  Jesus Christ.

12 Alma 17:25 - Ammon said unto him: Nay, but I will be thy servant. Therefore Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni.  To get to the hearts of our investigators, members and everyone around us, serve. Be a servant unto them.

13. Alma 17:31 - be of good cheer - Be happy and always smile.

14: Lastly Alma 17:32 - search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon. 
We are to search for the Lost sheep and Follow the prophets.

The most important preparations we will do have something to do with our spirituality. They do not occupy much of our physical luggage but more of our hearts. The scriptures taught us that the Lord looketh in the heart. And the reason why we must serve the Him is found in John 14:15, "IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. To serve is a commandment.

Now after hearing these words, what shall we do?
In Mosiah 4:10 "And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them."

We are all missionaries. I encourage all of us to check our spiritual luggage regularly because these are the ones we can bring with us in the Celestial kingdom.


Its. Nyles_ xoxo