Our Potential to be Extra-ordinary

“And yet, even in my “ordinariness,” Heavenly Father saw value and has helped me begin to develop the gifts and graces He knows will help me become all that He has designed me to be. Know that your Heavenly Father will provide all that you need to become “extra”-ordinary as a daughter of God. The wonder of His heavenly economy is that every single one of us can be spectacular because of our unique bundle of talents and abilities. Unlike the world, in His kingdom there is no winner’s platform that only has room for one or two. Each of His daughters has been taught and prepared and gifted premortally with marvelous potential to become a queen in the celestial kingdom.”- Sister Bingham (BYU Women’s Conference) 

Spiritual Hydration

I arrived in the mission Mid-March. We all know what the weather is like during that time (summer season in the Philippines averages 30-35 degrees). To say it is hot is an understatement! Our Mission President’s wife (MP’s wife) always reminds us to drink lots of water. We always go out and we need to drink a lot of water to keep ourselves hydrated. We need to at least drink 2 liters of water (3 liters is much better). Every single time we were with our MP’s wife, she reminds us this. Some of the missionaries (even I), felt that that amount is too much (hello, bloated feeling)! Wasn’t 2 liters too much? No, it’s not. Water makes up 2/3 of our body. So, if our bodies lose 2 or 3 percent of it, we will feel thirsty. And, if it’s more than that we are candidates for dehydration.

Dehydration happens when we lost too much water but we were not able to replace it. When this happens, our bodies will not function neither perform well. Mild dehydration can be treated immediately but if reaches extreme levels, it can be life threatening. And, our missionary leaders didn’t like that to happen (no one of course!). And as a missionary, you will not like that. Getting sick in the field is a lot stressful than working and proselyting (I know we can all relate to that returned missionaries or not).

Thus we see, how important water is in our daily life. A Slovakian proverb says that, “Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.” They say water is life and it gives life. It sustains the life of all the living (human, animals, plants, etc.) We can go on without food for days or weeks but not without water. Even Mother Earth is made up 71% of water (pretty much like our bodies, huh). Simply put, life cannot exist without water.

And, I know that we can all agree on that. But, I am not here to promote neither sell water to you (I don’t have a water business, though. 😂) But to share my realizations on these facts, that like our physical bodies needing much water, our spirits do also need much spiritual water, THE LIVING WATER.

Since water basically sustains life, it is not surprising that our Savior used it to teach important principles. We can read in the Book of John how the Savior taught a woman of Samaria an eternal truth about Him. In the 4th book of John, the Savior (and His disciples) left Judea to go to Galilee. Before He reaches that place, He needs to go through Samaria. In the city of Sychar they stopped at Jacob’s well:

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? . . .

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. [John 4:7–11, 13–14]

Elder Bednar said, “The living water referred to in this episode is a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. And as water is necessary to sustain physical life, so the Savior and His doctrines, principles, and ordinances are essential for eternal life. You and I need His living water daily and in ample supply to sustain our ongoing spiritual growth and development.”

But, where can we get the living water? Of course, in the scriptures! It is through our searching, pondering the scriptures that we can access the “fountain of the living water.” As much as physical bodies needed to be hydrated, so our spirits too! In this post, I want to discuss how can we keep our spirits spiritually hydrated through consistent study of the scriptures. I do hope and pray that the Spirit will help me convey this message to you.

No one can determine if you have dehydration better than yourself. If we feel thirsty, we should drink. We have to replenish your body with water immediately. However, we sometimes ignore it. We are too thirsty but we are too lazy to get water or drink. This could definitely cause us dehydration!

On the other hand, no one can tell that we are spiritually dehydrated better than ourselves. We have the Holy Ghost that constantly checks on us. But, the problem is that we try to ignore when the Spirit prompts us that we are spiritually thirsty already. This could definitely cause spiritual dehydration.  As when our bodies prompts us to drink water, we must study the scriptures when we feel that the Spirit says it’s time to study.

I have ignored the Spirit a lot of times. And, I did find my self thinking “maybe, later” and do other stuff (worldly most of the time😱). As  I kept on delaying it, little did I know that it is already night “and no work can be done anymore.”

As what Pres. Monson always say, “Never postpone a prompting,” especially if it is a prompting to read, GO and DO. When we feel it, may we all act on it right away!

We all know that studying the scriptures if for our “profit and learning”. They will “tell you all things that ye should do” and “show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3,5).

 As we have to replenish our  bodies, we MUST and DO everything that we can do keep our Spirits spiritually hydrated. May we all respond to the prompting and not resist it.

~

When we fill thirsty, we find ourselves (sometimes) wanting to drink “the-other-drinks” than drinking water. This has been one of the struggles of many missionaries. What’s with these beverages that makes it more appealing than water? Hmmm, I must agree they taste good and they don’t make feel someone bloated. But these “other drinks” cannot give what water can give. They can be so sweet and yummy but they cannot give the nourishment that water can give.

What are “the-other-drinks” that distracts us from drinking the Living Water? Do we have a LOT of other options? Are we too busy? Maybe, maybe not.

Let me share what Elder David Bednar has to say:

“Not only are we blessed to have these scriptures so readily available to us today, but we also have the responsibility to use them consistently and effectively and to drink deeply from the reservoir of living water.”

I know how challenging it is. But, if we really want to show our gratitude to our Father in Heaven, let us choose the living water. Let’s live more responsibly. Let’s choose to take the LIVING WATER. ❤️️

May we all remember that our spirits are precious gifts from our Father in Heaven and we have the responsibility to take care of them. That we may show Heavenly Father that we love Him. To quote Pres. Monson, “May we choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”

HAPPY SUNDAY, EVERYONE!

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Hope in Death

This blog post has long been in my head. I hope that my writing will, kahit konti, will express enough what I feel.

After I came home from my mission (September 2014), my mother told me all that I missed during my one and a half years of absence. She told me that one of my titas, whom I fondly call “Mommy Siopao,” is suffering from cancer- exactly the same cancer that took away the life of my Tita Juvy years ago. She died 2 months later (exactly on my mother’s birthday). June the following year, my grandfather died because of old age (just a few weeks before my birthday).

Did I feel sad? Yes.

Losing a loved one is not easy. It is painful. It is heart breaking. What is more painful is to see your family hurt because someone in your family passed away.

But,

truth be told. I feel more at peace than sad. Why? I owe it on my mission. If I had not served a full-time mission, I will not have a better understanding that death is not the end of everything. It is one of those “stops” that we must pass before going to our final destination.

When I learned that Mommy is suffering from cancer, I knelt down in prayer and asked Heavenly Father that He may give us strength the pain of seeing our loved one suffer from this illness. That whatever happens, we may feel peace and have the courage to accept what will happen to my beloved tita. And, this prayer was answered when my father called and told us that Mommy passed away already. It was painful but peace swept away the sadness of my soul. I was comforted by the fact that I know Mommy is resting now, waiting for us to be reunited on the other side.

And, someday, we will meet again and never to part again.

But,

this knowledge and testimony was put into test when I learned that a college classmate’s sister died because of leukemia. I never met her sister. But her passing away had a huge effect on me. At first, I did not understand but as I kept on reading posts about her I realized why. She is still young (mid 20s). A woman full of dreams. A woman who stands up for what she knows is right. A woman who is dearly loved by her family and friend. A woman who is greatly admired by her students. Nanghinayang ako sa buhay na sana meron pa siya. I was so sad that I felt that her death made a huge soul on my chest. I spent the next weeks reading on whatever post I can read about her.

Then, I realized why her death was so hard for me to accept more that the death of my Mommy and Lolo. It was because in her family no one knows about The Plan of Salvation. The knowledge that one day as they come to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, their family will be reunited. That, nothing will separate them anymore.

I don’t know how I got through that moment. I found myself asking “why did she die in a very young age?” But, I do know that one of those nights the Spirit whispered to me and I did remember about the wonderful Plan of Salvation- Our Father’s Plan of Happiness.

That,

the Savior died that we may all live. 

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HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!  

(Click this to watch our Church’s Easter greeting. 😉)

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