Archive for March, 2009



When I was in college, my parents gave me allowance on Mondays that I needed to budget for the rest of the week. Although the money was usually enough to pay for my tithing, meals, transportation, and other school expenses, there was one particular Friday afternoon when my budget fell short. That experience taught me a lesson I will always remember for the rest of my life. J


I was on my way home that day, joining the crowd of people who were trying to get a public transportation ride during the rush hour. As I reached in my pocket, I became concerned when I saw that the money left for my fare home was lacking 25 centavos.


Many thoughts came to my mind. I considered the possibility of walking home, although it would have taken me hours to do that and I was already very tired. I also thought of talking to the driver and letting him know my situation, although it would have been very embarrassing and I might have been asked to get off. In desperation, it even crossed my mind to just give what I had and see if the driver would say anything about it.


But I’m grateful that at such a young age, I was taught correct principles of honesty and faith. J


Amidst the rushing thoughts and hurrying crowd, I said a sincere prayer in my heart. I asked Heavenly Father to help me know what to do. Seconds after that prayer, I couldn’t believe my eyes and had to suddenly stop walking! There was a shiny 25-centavo coin on the pavement right in front of me!!! J


My heart leaped as I picked it up knowing that a loving Father had heard and answered my prayer almost instantly!! Some would probably say that it was a coincidence, but I think not. From that day on, I knew without a shadow of doubt that our prayers—no matter how insignificant they may seem to us—matter to Him who loves us beyond our comprehension! J


I’ve seen a lot of these modern miracles occur over the years in my life and in the lives of others. I’ve witnessed how people became instruments in making eternal things happen; how simple, heartfelt prayers are heard and answered almost instantly; how individuals are comforted and strengthened to bear the burdens that are placed upon their shoulders! J  


Let’s look around us and acknowledge these things! J Because I know from the bottom of my heart, that even in this day and age, miracles still do happen!! J


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Human kindness was overflowing. The invisible divide between the affluent and the needy was banished by the sincere desire to serve however little way they could. Helping hands were extended and misery a bit lifted. My heart swelled at the avalanche of yellow-vested volunteers pouring down the hallway to offer relief to their fellow beings that at one point during an interview, I had to fight back the tears from falling.


In commemoration of the 167th Relief Society Anniversary worldwide, our ward conducted an unprecedented medical mission led by a set of novice servants who relied mostly on Heavenly Father’s help in order to put together what was required of them in the very limited span of time they were given. I’ve witnessed how often they got down on their knees to plead for help and guidance. How hard and late they worked to connect to the right people and tap the proper resources. How they quietly placed their trust in Him whose hands were felt in every way opening doors for them that they may accomplish the thing which He had asked them to do.


And by His hands, miracles happened.


There is no sweeter joy than that which comes from lifting another soul on higher ground! And there is no other way to know how it feels like than through experiencing it! J


“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).


Whether we are trying to make a difference in someone’s life quietly or participating in large community service projects such as these, let us serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength so that our efforts may be acceptable to Him and our endeavors may be blessed by His hands. J

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)


My heart was touched at the gesture of a fine young lady as she gently stroked the back of her older brother who was a special child. One could feel the genuine love she had for him and the sincere affection her brother must have felt in his heart for her action.


Most people tend to walk away from special people—either afraid or confused on how to react—but this young woman’s pure display of affection demonstrated to me what it means to have unconditional love. I felt a tremendous amount of respect for her and a tinge of sadness in my heart for I was once given a chance to handle a similar situation, but wasn’t able to respond the way she did. L


Later that day, it felt heartwarming to listen to her and my children sing a beautiful song about an individual’s worth. The first part of the song goes:


“All I need do is remember,

If ever I wonder if I am of worth,

Remember my Savior; what He did for me,

When He walked among men on this earth.


“Pain and unspeakable sorrow,

He bore for my sins there, in Gethsemane,

Then He gave up His life as He hung on the cross

And He did it all for me.


“For I am of worth, of infinite worth,

My Savior, Redeemer loves me.

Yes, I am of worth, of infinite worth,

I’ll be what He wants me to be.


“I will praise Him, I will serve Him,

I will grow in His love

And fulfill my divine destiny…”


(“I Walk By Faith Songbook,” by Janice Kapp Perry & Joy Saunders Lundberg)



Such a divine knowledge that we are all of infinite worth! J Yes, and perhaps even more so for special people around us! And although we may not know the answer to all the whys we have in this world, I trust that someday we will—and I so look forward to it! J

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)


For our Family Home Evening activity on the first week of February, we followed Liahona’s suggestion to make a gratitude jar. We made a gratitude bowl for ourselves, though. J At the end of each day for the whole month, we wrote down something that we were grateful for and put the pieces of paper inside the bowl.


During last week’s FHE, we opened up the tiny rolls of paper and read them out to our delight! J I was pleased to read my children’s thoughts from very silly ones to those with a lot of maturity. Here are some of the things they wrote:


“I’m grateful I haven’t killed anyone yet while driving.”

“I’m grateful for my health and all those painful injections and vaccines I had when I was younger—they protect me from viruses and illnesses ‘til now.”

“I am grateful for the power of the priesthood, and for the Atonement.”


Both of them expressed their gratitude for being alive, and for the opportunity to go to school. They mostly wrote simple things such as being grateful for new friends and for piano playing skills. In the process they taught me that those simple things are the ones that matter to them and make them happy. J


Last week, I was in such a hurry to go to work that I unknowingly went inside the VPs room for an early morning meeting with my clothes inside out. Yikes!! Yes, you may say that it was probably one of my most embarrassing experiences, but I was grateful that he either didn’t notice it or he was too stressed to even mention it. Haha! J


Anyway, I think the trick to being grateful amidst all the pessimism around us is to find opportunity in adversity. In choosing to always look at the bright side of things, we expand our souls and develop a positive disposition. It will help us see the glass half-full and not half-empty.  J    

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)


There was a youth cultural show in our stake last Saturday. Like any other supportive mom, I was in the audience cheering my children and other ward youth members on. The only difference is, I was doing it at the top of my lungs!!! J Nyahaha! J


Well, it was an exciting night! J I was delighted to see young people today dancing and singing different types of music from countries all across the world! It was truly one joyful and pleasurable experience! J


Music is the universal language, so they say. Although the audience couldn’t understand the words of the Samoan National Anthem that was sung, they gave reverence to it and felt a bit of the love that the Samoans must feel for their country every time they sing it.


The crowd clapped their hands to the beat of some western music while young people danced to the tune. They cooed to a familiar melody and were elated to listen to an old cowboy song being sung by a young boy. Ultimately, it was a relaxing and fun night filled with beautiful music and gladdened hearts. J


I was once offered by a friend to try music therapy for one hour while waiting for another friend undergoing physical therapy in the same clinic. I’m glad I obliged, for it was one soothing experience! J One of my most favorite things to do is to listen to my son play the piano. It soothes my soul and calms my spirit. I also find that listening to good, soothing music in the car on the way to work in the morning helps start my day right and uplifts me for the battles of the day. J


Even the Lord said that His “soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12).


So, even if we think we’re out of tune and can’t hit the right notes, let’s all try to form a habit of listening to good music and singing! J Yes, let’s sing in our heads and in our hearts! Or better yet, let’s sing out loud and strong—be it in public or just in the shower!! J


La...la…la…la…la…laaaaa… J J J



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