Posts Tagged ‘change’

(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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Happy New Year everybody!!! 🙂 It’s the first Monday of the year and I’m very excited about the pretty cool resolutions we’ve written down at our Family Home Evening tonight! 🙂

Of course I am bound by the undeclared pact of secrecy that surrounds these things, hence, I won’t be able to share with you what we wrote, but suffice it to say that they involve goals that will improve not only our lives as individuals and as a family, but others’ as well—and so I am extremely pleased! 🙂

I think that the New Year can offer us a clean slate, a new beginning, a time to focus on creating a brighter future and a chance to correct the mistakes of the past. In fact, I believe that in order for us to progress and reach our potentials, it is oftentimes best to look forward and hope for the wonderful things, rather than looking back and dwelling on the bad things that happened in our lives.   

In the coming year, I wish that we would all be able to continue doing the things that we are doing well, and get better at things that we need to improve on. As I always say: Let us all keep on keeping on!! 🙂

Here’s a fun video I found about moving forward and not looking behind us.

Have a great and fabulous year everybody!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

At the temple last night, I was reminded by an old acquaintance to do a “write up” for my blog this week. I promised her I would and I am keeping my promise.

Oh, how I miss writing! I’ve been pre-occupied with a lot of things that I’ve been procrastinating doing some of the things that are equally important and those that I truly love. Some of the things I’ve been postponing to do are mundane and do not have any major impact in my life, such as seeing that one good movie that I’ve always looked forward to and missed, and failing to book that dream out-of-town vacation flight that was offered for a promotional price! Argh! But some are essential and have caused me pain (literally!), such as seeing my dentist for a regular check-up and changing my worn-out spare tire for a more reliable one.

Simple and trivial as it may seem, I know that it is important to see our dentist at least every six months for a regular check-up. I’ve always been good at doing it except this year. I rationalized that I regularly brushed my teeth anyway and that my schedule was so full that I just didn’t have time for even a prophylaxis. So I pushed out the schedule for a dental appointment month after month until one day I was surprised to wake up with an uncomfortable toothache. Still my full schedule prevailed that I didn’t set the dental appointment and had let it become sore and swollen. 😦 Needless to say, I endured the pain and suffered all the discomfort that could’ve been avoided had I only done what I was supposed to do at the right time. I painfully learned that the old adage is true—prevention is always better than cure.

Many of us easily fall into the temptation of procrastination. It’s as easy as taking a deep breath of air. Although some things we procrastinate are small and insignificant, there are those that we need to address right away before it becomes too late and we run out of time.

In the scriptures we read: “But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of the righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head” (Helaman 13:38).

I know it is wise to heed this advice not to procrastinate and waste the days of our probation. It is a temporary life and tomorrow may never come to some of us. We do not have to suffer the consequences of our inaction in order to learn the lesson.

May we have the wisdom to make correct choices and set our priorities straight so that we don’t miss out on the essential things in life. Let’s think about the important things that we’ve been meaning to do but have been setting aside for so long. Let’s get up and get them done NOW—before it’s everlastingly too late.

Enjoy the rest of the week everybody and let’s strive to avoid procrastinating things that are truly important in our lives!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

Yesterday I watched while the hospital aides wheeled and transferred a very good friend of mine onto her hospital bed as she lay unconscious from the recovery room. I stood in awe thinking how things can change in a snap of a finger in this, our temporary earthly existence.

Not too long ago, this friend supported me in a crucial way during one of my lowest moments and had figuratively become my crutches until I was able to get back up on my feet again. Now, she was lying helpless and numb fighting her own earthly battle, while I quietly stared feeling powerless and completely dependent on the only Being who could bless her with the healing that she needs.

We exchanged text messages the previous day and she expressed how hopeful she was until she found out more about her illness. I told her to have faith in Him and reminded her that everyone will be called “home” at some point and that if she is ever called home now, then I think she is in the best position as she has tried to live up to her potential and is serving Him the best way she can. 

As I waited for her to regain consciousness, I recalled many fond memories of our friendship as well as instances when we overcame misunderstandings that made our friendship even stronger. In most cases, we tried to follow the counsel given in the scriptures to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). Being the more mature and sensible individual, perhaps (okay fine, I am sure) she did a lot more of the understanding and loving while I worked on my idiosyncrasies—which, by the way, is still a work in progress. 🙂

I guess the point I’m driving at is that we have a whole lifetime to perform wondrous things and improve ourselves in many ways; and although we don’t start out as shining, polished gems that we were meant to be, we can do all we can so that when the time comes that we are lying helpless and numb, or when we are called to return back home, then we could look back and declare to the Master as Paul did: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). 

Have a wonderful day everybody! 🙂 Let us all try to do something good in the world today! 🙂


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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

There are times when we cannot help feeling low about some things that are going on in and around our lives. Some of them we cannot control, such as illness and death; some we wish we don’t have to deal with, like manipulative and mean people; and unfortunately, there are some that we may have brought upon our very own selves, such as consequences of our mistakes.

The design of the adversary in this life is to bring us down. He would like us to think that our negative situations will last forever and that there is no more hope or relief for us. But the design of our existence is to experience all these things in this life—both happiness and sorrow—that we might be strong and grow from such earthly experiences.

Yesterday, I had the chance to continue browsing my old folders and saw very old photographs that were taken even some twenty years ago. Almost all of them brought smiles on my face as I recalled the great memories accompanying those shots. I was grateful for the wonders of my camera and how it captured all those precious moments that I will now treasure forever. I also realized the joy and happiness that my loving family and faithful friends have brought me all these years—all the love, support, laughter, and even the tears—through thick and thin. Each photo stirred up an emotion in me that reminded me how beautiful and kind life had been to me despite the many ups and downs I have already encountered. It also gave me hope that whatever challenges we encounter in this life will be but a small moment compared to an eternity of happiness awaiting for us if we will keep trying to press forward in the right direction no matter what it takes! We just simply cannot give up!! We cannot listen to the voice of the opposition telling us that we are not worth what our Savior had died for—because we are of divine worth and are extremely precious in His sight.

In a similar folder, I saw a video of a song written for the youth of this day. “Be strong and of good courage,” the song goes. I thought how appropriate the words are for us during this difficult time, even if we are no longer in our youth.

When my young son was starting to learn how to play the piano, he was discouraged and thought there was no way he would ever be able to play using both his left and right hands simultaneously. He thought it was an impossible task. But I encouraged him and told him that others have already done it so it wasn’t really as impossible as it seemed. He worked hard and practiced day after day and now he plays using both hands even without looking at the keyboard.

Just like him, we can keep our chin up and keep trying even when we are feeling very discouraged, hopeless, hurt, and downtrodden—even when we think it is impossible to surpass our challenges at hand. Most likely, others have already gone through it so it may not really be as impossible to overcome as it may seem. We just have to work hard and keep practicing patience, obedience, repentance, and faith until we finally get it right.

Let us not give place in our hearts anymore to the enemy of our souls! Let us remember and apply the counsel given, that all our trials and challenges will be but for a small moment and will give us experience and will be for our own good. Let us have a mighty change of heart and be strong and of good courage! Maybe then next time we are faced with a similar trial or challenge we can already overcome it even with our eyes closed!

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“Nothing endures but change,” says Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. And now that a new year has just begun, people are bound to set goals and make “resolutions.” Time for a cool change, so the song goes.

I’m a big fan of goal setting. As a young woman, I was taught to set goals in life and write those goals down for apparently goals that are not written are merely wishes. Even now as a professional, my line of work emphasizes that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. I think it’s a sound advice to live by so I’m sharing it with the rest of you.

If we look at life only in the here and now, then some of our resolutions may appear short term, if not impossible to reach. But if we stretch our perception to what life truly is—eternal—then it will help us set more meaningful goals that not only will help us become happier now, but will also make us ecstatic throughout all eternity! 🙂

Each of us has his own unique cross to carry. No one is spared. But as I’ve recently learned from watching a very dear young lady conquer an emotional challenge in her young adult life, we too can hope for the best without expecting anything to avoid disappointments. We just do our very best in whatever it is we are trying to achieve and leave the rest to Him who oversees everything in this world. This way we will be able to manage changes in our lives in a more cheerful way and even initiate those changes for the better without fear of failure! For that is the design of our existence—that we might have joy and rejoicing. 🙂

To those who have set goals and resolutions this year, keep trying to reach them and never give up!!! Life is what we make it, and keep in mind that we have a loving Father who is always there to help us succeed!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

Last weekend, my name was called by someone who looked very, very familiar. The lady approached me with such enthusiasm that one could tell we were old acquaintances who haven’t seen each other for a long time. At the end of the exchange of pleasantries though, I felt embarrassed that I still couldn’t even remember her name and where exactly we’ve met. But I didn’t have the courage to ask. 😦 Later that day, I realized why I couldn’t remember her. She had her nose fixed.

I must say that I felt kinda sad that she did that. I thought her original nose was pretty. I remember her as a very beautiful person, inside and out. But people have their reasons for doing the things they do and although I do not support such methods of physical change, I think some of our life’s changes are crucial for our happiness.

About a year ago, I had a friend who made a foolish and irresponsible action in life. She suffered the painful consequences of her wrong choice, but did all her best to cleanse herself of all its stains. As I see her now, I feel delighted that she was able to get back on the right track and regain the companionship of the Spirit. She testifies of the healing power of the Atonement and the peace that comes from being forgiven after proper repentance. 🙂

Another friend has been through a series of unpleasant encounters with the people she’s working with. She was constantly bothered by the stresses of her daily negative experiences in the workplace for a period of time. It saddened me to see her feeling gloomy every time she came from work. But despite the situation, I admire that she wrote down the names of those people on the temple prayer roll and regularly prayed for them. I think she became more cheerful since the day she decided to let go of any ill feelings towards the people involved, and let Him fix things for her. 🙂 I have no doubt that one day things will get settled for her and her colleagues. 🙂

Change is the only constant thing, someone once said. I love how the weather changes through the seasons! 🙂 I am amazed at how the leaves fall from the trees and display such vibrant colors in Autumn; how white and gray everything becomes in Winter; and how the same set of trees become bright and lively again in the Spring and Summer! 🙂 Pretty much like life! We get our own set of Autumns and Winters, but we should always look ahead and keep in mind that just around the corner, we will always have Spring! 🙂

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