Archive for May, 2011

I strongly believe in the message of this video clip. I believe that for relationships to work, we should spend time with, cherish, and express love to the people we hold dear. Enjoy watching! 🙂


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A snorkelling trip last weekend left invaluable impressions in my mind.

It was a good day to travel. We had clear, blue skies and we were on a convoy with family members in the short two-hour trip. My sister was very excited to snorkel and to just spend some serious time with the fishes. 🙂 Well, at least that was her ultimate goal for this vacation.   

But when we got to the place, other fun activities caught our attention and we spent a lot of time enjoying them. There was this very long slide (about 3-storey high) that brought us down to a funnel that twirled us around several times before it dropped us onto a small pool. Wheeee!!! 🙂 Then, there was this regular 2-storey high slide that made us splash onto a regular pool. There was also a large pool that created waves mimicking the ocean. And of course, there was the beach where kayaking and jet skiing were available. It was already mid-afternoon when we decided we still wanted to go snorkelling.

By this time, the wind was already blowing hard and the tide was up. Our two boat guides discouraged us from pursuing our snorkelling goal, but the group insisted. They said we won’t be able to see the fishes any longer and that the waves and the winds will make it a bit more dangerous to snorkel as anybody can easily get adrift. But the group was determined to do it. So we sailed.  

Amidst the waves and strong winds, our guides brought us somewhere in the middle part of the beach where there were interesting rock formations. One of them had to swim to where the rocks were to tie the boat up so it won’t float away. My 14-yr-old son, who probably was very excited to see what was underneath, jumped from the boat without warning. When the guide who tied the boat saw this from where he was standing, he waved frantically to my son asking him to get back into the boat. We later found out that this area had a lot of large sea urchins beneath that could sting divers fatally. My son was stung by one of them after he jumped, but fortunately not too deep because he was able to heed the guide’s warning right away.

I find this incident very similar to our life here on earth. We are here on “vacation” as this is not our permanent home. We came with a purpose, but we sometimes get distracted by a lot of fun activities that we forget what we came here for. As we navigate the waters with strong winds and waves, we sometimes plunge into it right away without first asking for instructions, not knowing that what lies beneath can spiritually kill us. We sometimes get stung because of these choices, but our Guide will always be there to frantically wave to us and lead us back to safety.

It was a fun weekend that brought me relaxation and happiness. Above all, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned out of it. It’s good to be able to commune with nature and bask at the beauty of God’s creations while at the same time be reminded of the love of our ultimate Guide who will do everything to lead us safely back to shore.

Enjoy the rest of the week everybody! 🙂

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Artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle

Some people would’ve considered last week’s Friday the 13th an unlucky day. Not for me. It was one of the best I’ve ever had! 🙂 That day, my daughter and I both received answers to our prayers that came at a time that we didn’t expect. It was such a pleasant surprise and we couldn’t have been more grateful. 🙂 YayYyY!!! 🙂

Later that night, I had some company over at our place that brought fun and joy to my heart. One of the topics we discussed stayed with me over the weekend and significantly contributed to the spirit of the lesson I taught in Sunday School. I had to stay in control of my emotions as I choked up several times during the class. It was about the “lost one.”

Nobody is perfect. Each of us have missed the mark in some degree or another. It is ironic that some people feel they are in a position to judge those who have fallen astray. It’s sad to see how people change their countenance when they find out that a person once lost their path and have found their way back. Shouldn’t it be enough cause for celebration instead? Such was the example shown by the Savior Himself in His parables. He rejoiced. Yes, for the prodigal son when he returned…and for the lost sheep when he was found. I think we should also try to do the same.

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Learn how civility and kindness go much deeper than appearances and quick judgments.

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(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂

As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂

Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.

Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  

At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.

I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

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