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"Lessons learned from Lola Fania"

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 Baggao, Cagayan Valley WOMANHOOD: "The Highest Place of Honor" “For her price is far above rubies!"(Pro...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's up 28? (unfinished entry/for proofreading)

A beautiful life is never by accident. It is a constant choice of putting the Lord FIRST in your life. It means finding His will for you and having the courage to obey whatever it takes. This year is so special because I fulfilled one of his divine purposes for my life. And that is to be a mother. The whole pregnancy journey was a wonder. Imagine, there was a living soul inside of me? There were TWO hearts that beat as one. We are now a family of THREE. Life gets busier each day and I should neglect neither of the FOUR important elements of  a balanced life:
Physical Body, Spiritual Progression, Emotional Well-being and our Mental/Skills Improvement.
As I get older each year, I learned that a healthy life has a right balance of each element. I hope my life story will remind me of the decisions I made from the past that help me achieve the balance I am enjoying right now. High FIVE! 

SIX years old when I started school and I hated it. I was mostly absent in class. All I wanted to do was copy my name from a piece of cardboard with my name written on it my mom made for me. I didn't attend my graduation day. The only enjoyable moment was recess time because I gotta spent it my sister, Val. We shared snacks (baon).

SEVEN (1995) - I was a very shy student. I was a slow learner and reader. Maybe it's because I didn't learn much from my Kindergarten. But my mom kept telling me that I'm  a smart kid. She believed in me. Though my start was rough, I ended up top 1 in our class. I learned the powerful influence of our mothers. A child grows based on how his/her parents see him/her. My leadership journey also began this year. I was assigned to be the class President. Haha! Then I also represented our class for our Foundation Day. It was a Prinsesita and Prinsesito Event.

EIGHT (1996) - 8 years old, I was baptized and became officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a.k.a "the mormons". I had my baptismal interview and baptism with my best friend Dawn. I was baptized by Kuya Sonny Boy Latayan and was confirmed by my father. We performed the song "When I am baptized" together with my cousins. I felt peace and lightness in my heart right after I was immersed in the water.
I transferred school from Calauan Elementary School to Bay Elementary School during this year.

NINE (1997) - I remember we sold peanuts during our elementary days. I also experienced having "Tinapa" for packed lunch. It was a roller coaster ride for us. My parents worked hard to send us to school. I love these memories because they taught me a lot about hard work.
We also enjoyed our primary presentations and activities at church. I had my mom as my primary teacher/president. Then Tita Miriam Legaspit replaced her when my father was called as the first Bishop in Calauan Ward.

TEN (1998) - This was my last year at Bay Elementary School. Our cousin Jun Pacardo also attended this school with us during this school year. We became expert commuters via jeepneys. The fare was PHP 2.00/student. There were times when my cousins and I had to walk home when budget was tight.

11th (1999) - I transferred back to Calauan Elementary School with my brother Nephi. I was in 5th grade and I excelled in our class. I loved to play Chinese garter with my friends. I represented our school for writing, math and sports competition. I won 2nd place for creative writing. I also played badminton during this year.

12th (2000) - I graduated with honors. I was 3rd place, 1st honorable mention. I also got other awards such as Athlete of the year, writing and Most Masipag. I think the latter was my most favorite because it said something about my character. I led our batch in our "Panunumpa"/Pledge during our graduation ceremony. I also received a cash give from the Mayor. I love my last year in Elementary. My adviser inspired me a lot. She believed in me. She trusted me a lot. I believe she helped me become a responsible person.

13th (2001) - My first year in high school. I decided to join my sister in Los Banos National HighSchool. It was a fine start. I didn't really like it that much because I was too shy. My seat mate was my closest friend at that time, Kristina Piamonte. I did my best to get good grades but I wasn't really inspired. I learned that I work hard the most when I'm inspired.  Inspired means not necessarily in love with someone okay? Inspired for me is when I have a mentor who guides me and who boosts me to give off my best self.  But even though I didn't have much inspiration, I still was a member of the Honor Society.

14th (2002) - My adviser this year was very inspirational. He was our biology teacher. He made our class very interesting that I was motivated to read our lesson each day. I got more inspired when I got high grades on our daily quizzes. My leadership was also enhanced when I was chosen to be a group leader for Hekasi. It was an interesting class too but our teacher for this subject was known to be terror. She did like me when we gave an impressive presentation/report.
This year, we also formed a group called the Hyperkadaz. It was the best friendship ever!!!

15th (2003) - I think because of my good performance in my 2nd year, I was nominated to be our class president this year. Everybody known me for my favorite motto, TIME IS GOLD. I love this year. I love the classes, the memories and the adventures we had. I also joined "Tanghal Sining" but I believe I only had one performance and I was a pokpok who pretended to be a good person/student.
I also had crushes during this year. haha! It was also our first time to attend the Junior and Senior Prom. Haha! My escort was our adviser. Hay! He was still single at that time. Super crazy. The worst class we had was Chemistry. Our teacher was too terror!! But glad we survived this year with honors. Hyperkadaz members were all part of the Honor Society. Our shining moment was when we performed an interpretative dance for our English Class. We performed Dreaming Of You! Haha! It was so fun!!

SIXTEEN (2004) - The craziest, funnest and best part of high school life. I'm still the class president of the loudest section in Los Banos National High School!!!!! Haha!! What a blast!! We also joined this breastfeeding jingle competition. haha! We also had our hyperkadaz shirt and our dance performance during our Christmas party! We had many lunch dates!!! I was so bakla this year! The most challenging part was when we took the UPCAT exam for UP. We took lots of reviews!!! I didn't know what happened but I successfully passed it. I can't wait for next chapter of my life but OH OH!! Good bye to HIGH SCHOOL!!! walang kapantay!!!!!!

SEVENTEEN (2005) - Hello UP Baguio!
EIGHTEEN (2006) -  Hello UPLB!
NINETEEN (2007) - 
TWENTY (2008) - Hello BYU Hawaii!

21st (2009)  -  I decided to leave the world behind and served a full time mission (as a volunteer missionary) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This taught me that sometimes we need to choose "better things" over the "good things". For the better things will lead us to the "best things".

22nd (2010)  -  When I was on my mission, the hymn "Because I have been Given Much" became very close to my heart. I begun to see how blessed my life is. I want to give back and give more. Heavenly Father is a generous God. Truly, it is in the giving that we see more goodness in this life.

23rd (2011) -  What is honor? You can measure your success not by the titles, richness nor fame you will receive. But true honor is between you and the Lord. HE is the ultimate judge. When I was about to go home, I decided to repent of all of my sins. I started  remembering all of my sins but then I realized there's so much and most of them I did forget. I asked myself, how could I ask seek for forgiveness if my mind couldn't recover the memory of each day? This taught me that all we can do is to give our best every moment, and let the Lord through the mercy of the Atonement will do the rest so we can return home safely to our Father in Heaven. Our honor is our heart's pure desire plus the work we diligently

24th (2012) - Welcome back to BYU Hawaii!

25th (2013) - Ending College life at Disneyland, California!

26th (2014) - Welcome back to the Philippines + Engagement <3

27th (2015) - Temple Marriage!!!!!

TWENTY EIGHT (2016) - Hello Motherhood!

What a life?!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Relief Society Lesson: The Beauty of Holiness

 By Carol F. McConkie First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency

Who are the women in your lives who influenced or who are constantly inspiring you to be better? Share their divine attributes. A great mom, a helpful friend and a woman of faith were some of the characteristics the sisters used to describe the influential women in their lives.  I testify that each of these attributes they have mentioned is planted within us because we are daughters of our Heavenly Father. His holiness is with us. We just need to diligently seek them and cultivate them.

Sister McCokine said,  "I see the beauty of holiness in sisters whose hearts are centered on all that is good, who want to become more like the Savior. They offer their whole soul, heart, might, mind, strength to the Lord in the way that they live every day."

 My lesson focused on three things Sister McConkie shared that we may stand before the Lord in the beauty of holiness:

1. Keeping our Covenants
Elder Nelson Talks About Covenants
This video by Elder Nelson taught us that covenant is not just an agreement between two persons but it is a sacred promise we make with the Lord. Our covenants enable us:

  • to receive all that our Heavenly Father has as joint-heirs and attain exaltation. 
  • to know who we are. He is our Father. We are His children.
  • to learn what God expects from us and His will for us. His laws are written in our hearts. He is our God and we are His people. 
"The greatest compliment we can earn in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper." I love this quote!!! It guided my personal scripture study to earnestly learn thoroughly the covenants I have made with God during my baptism, sacrament meetings, endowment and our temple sealing.  
Sister McConkie emphasized when she said, "Most often it is the sacrifices we make to keep our covenants that sanctify us and make us holy."

I started to reflect on the things I need to improve. I love the story of Evangeline mentioned in this talk. She kept her covenants by helping others come unto Christ. We can do the same by valiantly magnifying our callings especially the ones we are called to do in our own homes. 

2. Taking the Holy Ghost as our Guide

I often heard this quote when I was in my youth, "TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY". Since English is my second language, I thought this means we should not run faster than our strength in making ourselves holy. Don't expect that "change" is an overnight job.
This lesson opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of this beautiful message. The story of Mary and Martha during the Lord's visit is one of my favorites. Martha was busy serving the Lord while Mary chose to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to His words.
Jesus taught, “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” ( Luke 10:38–42.)

When I was a full-time missionary, there were occasions when a member or an investigator chose to prepare snacks for us than to listen to our message. TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY means setting a time or dedicating a portion of our time doing something diligently that will make us holy line upon line. Because when we are holy, we are worthy to have the Spirit with us 24/7. What an honor to be with one of the members of the Godhead!!! As I grow older, I learned that every circumstance is unique. What is good for others is sometimes not relevant to our own lives. One example is how we live our lives or how we raise our children, the Holy Ghost will guide us and will show us how based on your specific needs, preparedness and our faith.
Sister McConkie asks,

Sisters, if we would be holy, we must learn to sit at the feet
 of the Holy One of Israel and give time to holiness. 
Do we set aside the phone, the never-ending to-do list, 
and the cares of worldliness? Prayer, study, and heeding the 
word of God invite His cleansing and healing love 
into our souls. Let us take time to be holy, 
that we may be filled with His sacred and sanctifying Spirit. 
With the Holy Ghost as our guide, we will be prepared to receive 
the Savior in the beauty of holiness.

Sometimes we tend to be overwhelmed by a bunch of good desires of our hearts. We want to accomplish so much. I learned that focusing on the right priorities is the key to avoid regrets and long-lasting happiness. The most important tasks are mostly found in our homes. 

3. Becoming a saint through the Atonement of Christ
Daily Bread: Change by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

"The bread of eternal life the core substance that we need to become what we inspire to become is in the person of Jesus Christ."What a very powerful statement! When I heard these words from Elder Christofferson, it made me realized that the bread we receive during sacrament is a symbol of the Savior's virtues we partake in ourselves. We partake of His goodness and Holiness. The sacrament gives us the opportunity to become more like the Savior each time we eat of the bread and drink of the water. His flesh and blood must eventually be our very own flesh and blood. It's symbolically like an organ/virtue transplant or a blood/spiritual transfusion. We become one with the Savior. We receive His countenance.

The atonement reminds me of the unwavering patience 
Heavenly Father has for His children's progress.

According to the inspired words of King Benjamin, those who become saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ are those who are submissive, meek, humble, patient, and full of love, as the Savior is. (Mosiah 3:19)

Lastly, I love Sister Torsak's thoughts on "crucifying ourselves" when we make mistakes. Let us not forget to trust the Lord that through the atonement of Christ we can be forgiven and we will receive peace in our hearts again.  The atonement is always available anytime for everyone. We must never carry our burdens all by ourselves. There is danger in doing that. It might lead to anxiety, isolation, depression and other mental destruction.

I know that keeping our covenants, having the spirit with us and true repentance is the best beauty secret I can endorse to every woman. This is the kind of beauty that will never fade through time and throughout all eternity.

Thank you for reading!
It's. Nyles 

Daily Reflections #1: The Married Life

Today was the National Heroes Day, the 28th of August. It was a holiday. We stayed at home and finished all the chores. It was a very productive day for me. I was able to clean the house which includes our front terrace, the kitchen, the comfort room, our room and the living room. I'm loving Lysol disinfectant. It keeps our house fresh all day! A clean house is one of the simple joys I enjoy a lot. I feel tired right now since it's already 11:00 in the evening. Everyone is asleep.

I was feeling so down for the past few weeks. I didn't understand why I was so moody. I was very vulnerable to all the negativity around me. Until last Friday, my monthly visitor finally came. Being a woman is tough. The changes in our body and the hormones are unpredictable. I don't want to blame these two for all my rudeness, sadness and grumpiness. But I'm realizing more how important it is to keep our spirit stronger than our physical body. The truth is, with this battle, I easily give up.

So tonight, my reflections will be about my realizations on being married. I've been married for only 2 years and 9 months now so my journey is still a long way to go. My purpose in writing this is for the benefit of my children.I hope one day when they'll encounter the same things I had during the early years of our marriage, they'll be comforted and strengthened in any way possible.

1. Acceptance. Men always want to be accepted. When you tell them what they're supposed to do, they feel that you are trying to change them. My older married sisters counseled me that the faster you can accept things, the happier you will be. I guess the hardest fact to accept for me is when your husband makes the same mistake over and over again. Whether you'll get mad or forgive instantly, he will still commit the same errors simply because he is not perfect. Accepting certain truths in our marriage easily is the key to a peaceful, respectful relationship. I learned that I need to be merciful just like how our Father in Heaven is so forgiving of the same mistakes we do over and over again.

2. Love your in-laws. This doesn't only pertain to our parents-in-law but also the brothers and the sisters in law. I realized that men find it hard to balance or to set limitations between his family and his wife now that he is married. Sometimes he does things unconsciously that may hurt either side. I am not sure if this is true for all women out there but for me, my husband's loyalty is so important to me. I realized that it'll take time to earn this. He will still be loyal to his family during your early marriage. He is protective of them. But the goof thing is that the way your husband loves his family will also be the same way he will love you and your children.  Although this is a fact, I still considered myself lucky because I have great parents-in law.

3. You cannot complain you're tired. Being a mom is another story.  I learned that being married is more of being a mom. I said this because it is also my number 1 obligation to take good care of my husband. Mothers are truly the light of each home. When you're happy, everyone is happy. And when you're down, everyone is sad. What?!!!! There were many times when I complained a lot about this because I feel like I didn't have the right to express any negative emotions. I have to stay positive 24/7.  I comfort everyone but it seems like no one is there to comfort me.  This experience taught me the true meaning of the divinity of being a woman. True success comes when we yield our will to the Father's will. This is what He wants each of his daughter to pass through because being a mother and a wife is the path to Godhood. This is how our Savior lived his life while He was on earth. Like a mother, Jesus dedicated His life to serving others. A mother serves daily and gives her life for the benefit of her eternal family.

4. Respectful communication is the key. I am still learning how to be a good communicator. This is so challenging!!! Women want to be heard all the time but men's listening ears have a schedule or vice versa. Couples should really learn how to communicate with each other skillfully. I'm on my journey to becoming a better communicator and I hope to share this experience with all of the women someday. This is one skill I would like to advocate in the future because I believe that miscommunication is the number problem in the world today. Everyone wants to talk but no one wants to listen. If only we will listen to each other, maybe more wars and fights will subdue. I realized that often people who want to speak all the time are self-centered. They care so much about their feelings but overlook the importance of the feelings of others. Understanding someone fully is an indication of a better communicator.

5. Team work and say it. Don't wait for your spouse to guess the kind of help you need. Say it but say it with love. Don't be so demanding or don't start by bragging things you have accomplished already. It is important that you live your lives based on how things will work best for both but never on the expectations of the people around you. Each marriage is different from each other. Our journey on this earth is designed specifically based on our individual needs.

I often hear married couples say, it's hard but it's worth. Today I echo the same statement. Married life is a constant process of getting to know your husband and children and learn how to live with them in harmony and love. As I look at them tonight, I feel so much joy that I have them and I feel so grateful that I chose to have them. Truly, our family makes this imperfect world a piece of heaven on earth.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Becoming the BEST COMMUNICATOR. Series #1

When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be an interpreter. I want to bridge understanding between people. I realized that my dream to become a good communicator is still in my heart. I believe speaking is both my strength and also a personal weakness. I want to empower my communication skills. I know if there is something that we love and we seek to enrich it, this will become a great tool for success.  My action plan will be as follows: 

Step A: I will start this journey by establishing good communication patterns with my husband. 
Step B: To my daughter, Zephrine. I would like to raise a highly emotionally intelligent child. 
Step C: I will focus on strengthening respectful communication with my immediate family, (the Person--- Burgos families). 
Step D: Then to my friends, church mates and other relatives. 
Step E: My social media accounts. 
Step F: To my colleagues at work. How I can be a great manager.
Step G: To everyone around me. Or I should say, to all the people in this world.

I will study each step. I will set goals and make plans on what and how I will achieve them. 

I know this experience will bless my life and I will need the power of heaven in order to achieve it. This is the power of the mind plus the power of the spirit.  To start this goal, I will stop doing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Gottman. To keep me on track, I will deposit a thousand peso a week to my account every time I successfully achieve this goal. 

Attacking the personality or character of your partner, usually with the intent of making someone right and someone wrong instead of focusing on a specific behavior. Most likely to invite defensiveness as they feel under attack. No one feels heard. 
Generalizations: “You always...”, “You never...”, “You’re the type of person who...”, “Why are you so...” 
Antidotes: Talk about feelings using “I” statements that expose a positive need.
Learn to make specific complaints and requests, “When X happened, I felt Y, I want Z.” Don’t make them feel something is wrong with them. 

2. Contempt: 
Attacking your partner’s sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse him or her. Destroys fondness and admiration. Contempt is a statement of superiority that comes out as: 
  • Insults and Name-Calling 
  • Hostile humor, sarcasm, mockery 
  • Body language and Tone of Voice: Sneering, rolling eyes, curling your upper lip 
Antidotes: Treat each other with respect. Foster a culture of appreciation in a relationship. Validate your partner (Let them know what makes sense to you about what they are saying; let them know you understand what they are feeling, see through their eyes!) Conscious communication: Speak the unarguable truth and listen generously. 


3. Defensiveness: 
Seeing yourself as the victim, warding off a perceived attack. Self-protection through righteous indignation. Escalates negative communication. 
  • Making excuses (e.g., external circumstances beyond your control forced you to act in a certain way) “It’s not my fault...”, “I didn’t...” 
  • Cross-Complaining: Meeting your partner’s complaint or criticism with a complaint of your own, ignoring what your partner said 
  • Disagreeing and then cross-complaining: “That’s not true, you’re the one who...”, “I did this because you did that...” 
  • Yes-Butting: Start off by agreeing, but end up disagreeing 
  • Repeating yourself without listening to what your partner is saying Antidotes: Accept responsibility, even if only for a small part of the problem. Claim 
Responsibility: “What can I learn from this?” , “What can I do about it?” Practice “undefending” – Allow your partner’s utterances to be exactly that, just thoughts and puffs of air and let go of the stories you are blowing up. 

4. Stonewalling: 
Withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict. Partners may think they are trying to be neutral, but stonewalling conveys disapproval, icy distance, separation, disconnection, and/or smugness: 
    •  Stony silence/ Silent Treatment 
    • Monosyllabic mutterings 
    • Changing the subject 
    • Removing yourself physically 
Antidotes: Learn when you/your partner is/are feeling overwhelmed and agree to take a break! If the problem still needs discussion, pick it back up when you are both calmer. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our July Highlights

It's a month full of fun. July is Zephrine's shining season. We had so much fun every weekend! I learned how to pay our tithes online. Although the rainy season had started already, the weather was still very cooperated on those days we had activities. We started this month (July 2) with a Youth and YSA Fireside with my mission president who is now a member of the Philippines Area Presidency, Elder and Sister Schmutz. It was really amazing that Zephrine met them. What an honor? I learned from this fireside that the most important thing in life is to keep the Lord's commandments. He will always support us in our righteous hopes and desires. We picked up Ate Val & Chummy from Bulacan last July 9th. They were here for a month vacation. We attended church with the Santiago's in Tabang Ward. Zephrine and Chummy played at the cultural hall. They were practicing how to walk by pushing chairs. We also attended the BYU Pathway Fireside after church in Angeles.


We had so much fun this week. We called it Zephrine's birthday week.
Monday, we went to the grocery at Savemore, San Fernando.
Tuesday, we had fun at Kidzoona, Marquee Mall.
Wednesday, Chummy and Zephrine bathed together in a mini pool.
Thursday, we shopped clothes and other stuff at Marquee Mall.
Friday, we shopped again but this time we went to SM Clark. We got floaties for the babies
SATURDAY - Happy 1st Birthday Zephrine! We spent the whole day at Fontana Leisure Park in Clark. We had lunch there and ate Tito King's monggos. We had our dinner at Cafe Noelle, San Fernando, Pampanga.

Sunday - Zephrine's birthday Sunday with the Burgos and the Person families.

On July 22, we went to Bulacan again. We baked some cookies and ate them with ice cream. We dropped by Nanay Sofi. We also learned how to do Indexing. Tita Iroal was there too.
We attended church in Bulaon Ward the following day. I personally love this ward! The spirit is always very sweet.

This week, we had our family jogging at Essel Park for our family home evening. Zephrine's had her monthly check-up too. We were also very excited for the Pasig getaway on the last weekend of the month.

July 29th, we have finally been to the famous Venice Canal in Taguig. We ate lunch there and played. We took lots of photos too. Then we swam and relaxed at Ace Water. We had our dinner in one of the restaurants across the hotel. We checked-in at Sorento Oasis Condotel. We attended church at Ate Iroal's ward. This was our simple celebration for Ate Iroals and Chummy's upcoming birthdays.

Wow!! July was a busy month. I was very excited for Zephrine. I am so proud of her for surviving year 1 on this earth. I couldn't believe that we already have a 1-year-old. Haha! This girl is very cute, sweet, smart and strong. She kisses and hugs us a lot. I am also very thankful that I survived. Being a mom is very tough but I've never learned much until I got a child. I was being emotional this month too. I was reminiscing the day when I gave birth. It was the most fulfilling experience for me. I love being a mom. I love July. Our days were sunny on a rainy season.


Fireside with Elder & Sister Schm

Modeling new clothes

Happy Birthday Swimming for Zephrine's 1s

Family Visit at Venice Canal, Taguig 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Family is Ordained of God



WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How will keeping a personal journal bless me and my family?

We talked about journals today at the Youth Sunday School Class. I started our class by asking who amongst them keep a journal or a diary? What do they write on them? Journals help develop our analytical minds. The more we write the better we can judge righteously often because writing trains our minds to always look at the whole picture of a scenario (happening) instead of focusing on a detail. We can read from 1Nephi 9 that Nephi made two sets of record, the small and the large plates. The small plates contain spiritual records of the Lord's dealings while the large plates contain the secular learning and history of the people of Nephi. 

Journals have a special place in my heart. My mom taught me to keep one when I was in grade school. I had a maroon journal and I filled it out with all of my artworks. Right now I have tons of them. I shared with the youth my journal when I was in their age. This journal was so special because this is where I wrote my future hopes and dreams in life. I called it my "Time Table". I shared with them my hopes for my wedding, education, my mission goals and my letters to my future family specifically to my children. I was teary while I was doing it because I had felt how much the Lord loves me as he helped me accomplished each of my milestones. This journal had blessed my life because it served as a reminder for me from time to time so I could keep my promise well. I also shared with them a part of my missionary journals. I told them my set-apart blessing, my feelings when I started and about to finish my missionary service. They were laughing because I even wrote down special dates, names of my future kids and the taxi # of the car that drove us to the MTC. This is one of my many large plates.

The second type of journal I showed them is my small plate. This is my study journal. I made this to organize my thoughts. I wrote down all the topics I wanted to learn and created a table of contents. Then, I numbered each page of my journal and wrote specific topics assigned on top. (example, Page 1- Atonement, Page 23-Honesty). I told them that this helps a lot today especially when I was asked to speak for a sacrament meeting or any event in the church. I am always like, "give me all the topics bishop!" haha! Let us always keep both journals. It doesn't need to be perfectly neat and organized because it is the habit of writing that we need to develop.

We had a little sharing of how their lives are blessed too from keeping a personal journal. They shared with us that our future children will learn from our experiences. They will get to know us in a deeper sense. They can use our wisdom so they can succeed in their own personal challenges. Our memories will guide them to the true path of joy and happiness. 

I love President Spencer Kimball's talk about Journal. He said,
"Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you." 

I love this talk. It's really funny that every time we transfer house, Michael complains how heavy my journals are but I comfort him by saying maybe during the resurrection or judgment day my journals will rise up and the "ANGELS MAY QUOTE FROM THEM". 

So today, let us do better. Get a notebook and a pen. Our personal journal is the most sophisticated record in the world. We are all writers and God is our Editor-in-Chief. The atonement will erase our mistakes. He will make our stories a happily ever after. Happy Journaling!

"Learning to Dance in the Rain"

It's the time of the year when almost everyone is sick. I know it's a cliche but it's true that when your baby is sick, you'd wish it's you instead. Chummy had a fever for 3 days last August 1st, then right after her, I had "trangkaso" (cough, fever & flu) while Zephrine started to have chicken pox-like rashes which were very itchy. Right when I was recovering, Michael was infected and had 'Trangkaso' next.  What's harder is our babysitter got sick too. Last Friday, Aug 4th, I wasn't able to come to work. It was also Michael's last day of Training at Red Cross and examination. Sister Ticong came. I was coughing really hard while Zephrine was crying because of itch when suddenly Sister Ticong vomited. I called the Missionaries, Brother Ticong and Rhoss for help. We needed Rhoss to drive us over to the closest hospital. The missionaries were so ready. They came right away and gave us 3 a priesthood blessing. Sister Ticong was relieved and she had high blood.

Zephrine and I waited for the doctor for almost 2 hours with Brother Ticong. I felt God's loving arms around me as I felt the added strength to move forward. When finally the check up was done, Dra. Salunga confirmed that it's not chicken pox but some sort of viral infection. She gave us the medication and asked us to feed cold foods to Zep. Then we went home. Patrick Sunglao picked us up from the hospital this time.

Then, I went to the office for "pay day". I was very tired. I was also worried at the same time since Sister Ticong really looked very pale. Then I got a call from Ate Ives and they were on their way to our house. Wow! What an angel! Although she came to check the piano still it was a perfect timing. She was with Denzel and Nanay Sofi. NAnay will stay with us to assist us. Wow! I also got a free massage from Ate Ives. I felt so much better after that. Michael arrived home and was so tired. We were very grateful for Brother Abanggan because he picked us up with his kids so we can check the piano for sale. Then he also drove us back home. I was able to buy lemons and diapers! Oh my gosh! Lemons are gold! I finally was able to sleep through the night through the help of these magical lemons!! What a long day!!!!!!!!! And we survived!

I wrote this day because I just can't stop recognizing God's hands in this experience. He provided all the ways so we can get through all these little challenges. I was worried and tired but He enabled my body and soul to keep going. Isn't it amazing that each day we never run out of things to learn? This experience taught me to be gentle. That even though there are physical infirmities, we can still choose to remain smiley and loving. It was hard though. But it is possible. I was very rude to Michael from time to time especially when my energy got drained. Seriously, he gets better dealing with me. Haha!

I am still sick with a cough and flu. Michael too. Zeprhine is also still recovering from her skin thingy but things are better now with Nanay Sofi. I cleaned the house last night because dengue paranoids me! We are now praying for Daniela's recovery. She got chicken pox and Denzel has a fever. Hays! Go go go kids!!!

The rain is still pouring but I guess I'm still learning how to dance with it. xoxo