Tuesday, September 18, 2012

~Reporting to the Missionary Training Center Tomorrow (MTC)~

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul.

If you serve a mission faithfully and well, you will be a better husband/wife, you will be a better father/mother, you will be a better student, a better worker in your chosen vocation. Love is of the essence of this missionary work. Selflessness is of its very nature. Self-discipline is its requirement. Prayer opens its reservoir of power.

~  President Gordon B. Hinckley (Former Prophet) ~

I’m reporting to the MTC tomorrow on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at 12:45PM! Father Time sure did fast-forwarded time super quick! I’m really grateful to have this opportunity to serve a mission.  I’m excited and of course nervous! I’m sure that I’ll be on a unique once-in-lifetime opportunity and experience! I’m excited of the journey that lies in store for me! I’m sure that in serving a mission that I will learn a lot about the gospel, developing my spiritual knowledge, and as well about how the world and life is which will mold me to be more independent, more focus toward what I need to do and my goals, knowing how to make decisions on your own, handling life-eventful situations on your own, and etc.
Of course I will miss you all family and friends! I’ll do my best to keep in contact, responding to all of your e-mails and letters. However, in case I’m too busy caught up working and things to do that I won’t have time to get back to everyone on a particular week, it’ll take me a bit to get back to you personally, but for sure I’ll have my blog updated weekly so you guys are still connected with me! May our Heavenly Father bless you all! Stay healthy, sane, and safe! I don’t want to come home and hear all the craziness that had happened haha. Just kidding! I’ll have a lot of catching up to do with everyone when I get back in eighteen months!
Love You All! Until We Meet Again!
~ Angelina

If you’re interested in learning more about what’s the MTC is all about, here’s the link:

Monday, September 17, 2012

~ Getting Set Apart As A Missionary ~

Jesus Christ Setting Apart His Apostles
Tomorrow night on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012, I’m going to be set apart as a missionary by the Stake President at church! Once someone gets set apart as a missionary, from there on all missionary rules applies to them and they live by it until the end of their mission.  It’s really a unique and scared experience!  A few years ago, when my friend went on her mission I went with her and her family when she was set apart. It was an awesome experience when someone gets set apart as a missionary, the spirit is strong! What’s special about tomorrow tonight is that it’s my turn to get set apart! I thought I share with you guys how it is and how it works since I have a lot of friends and family that aren’t a member of the church.

Members called to Church positions should be set apart before they begin serving. As stated in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 44 verse 11, “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church”.  This ordinance is nothing new; it has been done since in the times of the Bible, "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Hebrews 5:4).  Since the church and the priesthood was once again restored to the earth by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the prophet Jospeh Smith, all worthy males of the church are eligible to obtain and participate and administer in the ordiances of the priesthood.
Under the direction of the presiding authority, one or more men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, a worthy father or husband may participate in a setting apart. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. The one who speaks: 
1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

2. States that he is setting the person apart by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

3. Sets the person apart to the position to which he or she has been called.

4. Gives a blessing as the Spirit directs.

5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow will be my last time updating my blog this week! The adventure lies ahead just in a couple hours! Since I have a lot of family and friends that aren’t members of the church and have questions that needs to be answered concerning my mission, I provided a link here below which contains a webpage that discusses what missionaries practically do and how they live their mission life. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

~ Farewell Talk ~

Today, Sunday, September 16th of 2012, I gave my farewell talk at church during sacrament meeting.  I was asked by my bishop, Bishop Child, to give a talk on the topic of “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy” and afterwards bear my testimony during sacrament meeting.  Since I already have the speech of my talk and testimony planned and written out, I decided to include it in my blog and share it with everyone! Enjoy!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters,

I’m Angelina. Bishop Child has asked me to give a talk today regarding “How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”. First off, I am going to quote some of the scripture references from the general authorities who had given some in previous talks concerning this topic.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “There is one of the Lord’s basic commandments which we see so much in violation of the world today”. He quoted Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”.

In Section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants we conclude that “There appear to be three things that the Lord would require of us in keeping His day Holy:
To keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
To go to the house of prayer and partake of the sacrament.
To rest from our labors.

Elder L. Tom Perry wanted us to remember that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).  And again He has instructed us in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘Trifle not with scared things’ (D&C 6:12).  What should we do on the Sabbath day? With the proper planning, we should be able to use the Lord’s day in the way that He has intended for us”.

You all know what shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath day; you shouldn’t be working, shopping, participating in recreation or extra-circular activities.  You guys already know what should be done on the Sabbath day, like how partaking the sacrament every Sunday is our responsibility how we keep and renew our baptismal covenants, you attend church meetings, fulfill your church callings, you do service for others, visit the sick, visit and spend quality time with your families, etc.

President Spencer W. Kimball, a former prophet, once quoted from Isaiah 58:13-14, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath,  from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”.

I am not going to be discussing further on “How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”, or what should be or shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath day because we all already know about that.  We always have had talks on this.

For this talk I decided to talk about the significance of what the Sabbath say really is, of how the Lord really made the Sabbath day … The Sabbath day is holy, it’s a very scared day.  I’ve found an article that talks about how the Sabbath day is scared, how we should recognize the sacredness of it, and have great reverence for that.  The article used the church dress code as a symbol and reference about sacredness, but I want you guys to recognize the significance of the Lord’s Day as being scared.

The article is called A Sense of the Scared by Elder D. Todd Christofferson who is the presidency of the Seventy …

“Our temples and meetinghouses are dedicated to the Lord as sacred space. On each temple is found the words Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord. A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It would lead us to dress a certain way when we are there.

As immodest dress dishonors the body—God’s most sacred creation—immodest, casual, or sloppy dress and grooming at sacred times and places mocks the sacredness of the Lord’s house and what is taking place.

Our temples and meetinghouses are dedicated to the Lord as sacred space. On each temple is found the words Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord. A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It would lead us to dress a certain way when we are there.

As immodest dress dishonors the body—God’s most sacred creation—immodest, casual, or sloppy dress and grooming at sacred times and places mocks the sacredness of the Lord’s house and what is taking place ...

We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best.

It offends God when we come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a member from the hills of Peru must cross a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt?

It has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even sloppy clothing.

Some say dress and hair don’t matter—they say it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that it is what’s inside a person that truly counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.”

In that condition people are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are a Saint of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.

These principles apply to activities and events that are sacred or that deserve reverence: baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, blessings of the sick, administration of the sacrament, and so forth. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that in the ordinances of the priesthood “the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20). I appreciate priests, teachers, and deacons who wear ties and dress shirts (white, if possible) to officiate in the administration of the sacrament. They are demonstrating an appreciation and respect for God and for the event.

Recently I read a note from a man who was urging his companions to wear a suit and tie when they appeared together at a public event honoring their organization. Their service was civic, not religious in nature, and we would not term it sacred, but he understood the principle that some things deserve respect and that our manner of dress is a part of that expression. He said he was going to dress more formally “not because I’m important, but because this occasion is so important.” His comment states an important truth. It is really not about us. Acting and dressing in a way to honor sacred events and places is about God.

When you develop a deepening reverence for sacred things, the Holy Spirit becomes your constant companion. You grow in understanding and truth. The scriptures speak of it as a light that grows “brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24). That process is described as progressing from grace to grace. The Savior Himself progressed in that way until He received a fulness, and you may follow in His footsteps (see D&C 93:12–20). That is where a sense of the sacred will lead you.

On the other hand, those who do not appreciate holy things will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, they will grow increasingly casual in attitude and conduct. They will drift from the moorings that their covenants with God could provide. Their feelings of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, they will care only about their own comfort and satisfying their uncontrolled appetites. Finally, they will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then they will despise themselves.

Always remember, as holiness grows within and you are entrusted with greater knowledge and understanding, you must treat these things with care. The Lord said, “That which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit” (D&C 63:64). He also commanded that we must not cast pearls before swine or give that which is holy to dogs (see 3 Ne. 14:6; D&C 41:6), meaning sacred things should not be discussed with those who are not prepared to appreciate their value.

Be wise with what the Lord gives you. It is a trust. You would not, for example, share the content of your patriarchal blessing with just anyone.

All things sacred and holy are to be revealed and brought together in this last and most wonderful dispensation. With the Restoration of the gospel, the Church, and the priesthood of Jesus Christ, we hold an almost incomprehensible store of sacred things in our hands. We cannot neglect or let them slip away.

Rather than letting your life drift into carelessness, may it be one of increasing exactness in obedience. I hope you will think and feel and dress and act in ways that show reverence and respect for sacred things, sacred places, sacred occasions. It is my prayer that a sense of the sacred will distill upon your soul as the dews from heaven. May it draw you close to Jesus Christ, who died, who was resurrected, who lives, who is your Redeemer. May He make you holy as He is holy”.

I like to bear my testimony that the Sabbath Day is a really scared day.  It’s just one day out of the week that the Lord had set apart for us to rest from our labors and to worship Him how He wants us to.   I know that if we keep the Sabbath Day scared that we will feel and notice the difference and the blessings that it brings to our lives. As well, we will notice that we would gain more spiritual wisdom and knowledge, and have the companionship and influence of the Holy Ghost constantly abiding with us giving us answers to our prayers and revelations.

I know that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives. I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints’ is the Lord’s true church once again restored to the earth. I am really grateful for the priesthood being restored in these days. I am grateful to have the counsels of a living prophet and apostles and other general authorities of the church.

I am grateful for having been called to go on a mission, which I will faithfully serve the Lord honorably to fulfill His will and His work that He has for me to do for Him.  I know that I will be extremely blessed for doing so because in order for us to receive the blessings that Our Heavenly Father has promised us, we need to put the Lord first in our lives, because that’s the only way we’ll get those blessings and find true happiness in our lives and in this life here on earth.

I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to get my temple recommend and go to the temple. It has taken me along time to get to where I am today, and I am really glad that I did. No one have said that life would be easy, but the Lord have said that it would be worth it because in doing what we have to do, we can return to His presence and gain eternal life.  Our Heavenly Father is our loving Father, all he wants is the best for us, and how could someone not want that.  I leave you guys this day my talk and my testimony that I have. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

In case anyone wants to read the full length of the article I used for my talk. Here you go!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

~ Sharing One Of My Pre-Online MTC Assignments ~

One of the pre-online MTC assignments that I had to do was to create a profile page on mormon.org. I think that I did pretty good job giving a brief background about myself and testimony! I'm posting what I wrote on the website on here as well:

About Me:

 Hello, I'm from California! I'm a convert to the church; I converted when I was twelve years of age. Finding and knowing the truth is the easy part, but making the transition to completely follow the Lord's standards that took me a little while. Now looking back, I realized that everyone has their own journey to fulfill, because everyone has their own spiritual progress to experience, and to gain their own personal testimony. I'm truly grateful of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Christ's true church restored in our day, and the testimony that I have. I've graduated from high school, and obtained my AA in psychology from the local junior college that I've attend. Now I'm going on a mission for 18 months before furthering my education at BYU!

Why I am a Mormon:  

 Why I am a Mormon? I have to bear my testimony because I know that this is Christ's true church here restored on earth once again in our days. I know that our Heavenly Father is an eternal God, therefore His words, His works, His organization and plans for His children, and His priesthood are eternal, meaning that there's no end, and that it will carry on forever. Just as in the days before Christ there was prophets and apostles; during Christ's time, Christ was the prophet, He organized His church in the fullness bestowing priesthood authority to His twelve apostles and quorums of seventies that He called. After Christ's death came the period of apostasy, and during the time of Joesph Smith our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ fully restored His church and exact organization in its original form and purpose once again on earth. I could always see this picture and easily put together the truth. Growing up, I always knew what was right from wrong, and know the truth easily when being involve in any situation. I'm really glad to have this testimony. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

How I Live My Faith:

 The truth is that we are all human beings, we're not perfect, and we do come face trails and temptations just like everyone else. However, the goal is to do and be the best you can be, striving for perfection as our perfect beings and example of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We all should be following and obeying the following scripture from the Book of Mormon, "Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn, yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life - " (Mosiah 18:9). This is how I live my faith, by trying and striving toward eternal exhalation, by doing and being the best that I can be. I always regularly attend church every Sunday and to all church meetings. I faithfully do and fulfill my visiting teaching calling. I serve those that need my service. I strive my best to be a worthy daughter of our Heavenly Father, a worthy daughter to my parents, a worthy sister to my sister, and a worthy friend to everyone by setting the best example that I could. The bottom line is this, "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen" (Mosiah 5:15).

Here's the actual website link for everyone to enjoy!

~ Entering the Temple For the First Time ~

On August 19, 2012 I had an appointment with the stake president and I received my temple recommend! Following that week on Friday, August 24, 2012 I attended the Salt Lake City Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah to enter the temple for the first time. How was my experience? Please don't ask me that question! ha ha. Well, to tell you the short story, I was so nervous that day, therefore due to my own nervousness; I made myself really uncomfortable and a nervous-wreck. I'm sure that this has happened to everyone at their first time attending, its a whole new experience, you got to be ready and spiritually prepared! The next day I attended the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, Utah, I had the best day! I felt really stupid that I was so nervous my first day ha ha. Oh well, I am sure everyone goes through this. Going to the temple is the best thing ever! My advice to those that haven't been to the temple: "Make it your goal to get prepared and go to the temple!" It's the most wonderful and beautiful thing here on earth, like literally where Heaven and Earth meets! Having the privilege to attend the temple does bless you tremendously!

~ My Achievements So Far ~

~ Graduated from Highland High School in May 2009

~ Graduated from Antelope Valley College in June 2012 (AA in Social & Behavioral Sciences)

~ Applied to universities and got accepted into BYU-Idaho and *BYU-Hawaii*

~ Got my mission call in July 25, 2012

For a moment here let's go back to how my story began this year! Last year in 2011, when I made an appointment with my bishop, Bishop Black from the Sierra Ward of the Lancaster Stake in California, I told him that I wanted to go on a mission and that I wanted to follow my patrichal blessing. My bishop responded to me telling me that it was a big decision, who knows if I would be married by the time to go a mission comes around (Obviously my education is first then marriage after!), and that I still have a while to think about it.

This year came around and all I was focus was on my education. My desire for going on a mission vanished. This spring semester was my last at AVC and was going to graduate so therefore I have already applied to schools, gotten my acceptance letters, and after praying to which schools was right for me to go to, I received an answer to attend BYU-Hawaii. After general conference in January of 2012, my bishop called me up for an appointment and informed me that I was called to go on a mission and that the Lord needed me as soon as possible! What!!! This moment clearly shattered my world, I was like "When I came in last year you practically counseled that a mission might not be for me, and now it is?! I had my life all set and planned out!" My bishop told me not to respond with a decision at the moment but to go home and pray about until I receive an answer and revelation, and then return to make an appointment with him and inform him of my decision.

Oh boy ... I did not have the desire to serve a mission anymore and wanted to further my education first and then maybe after a year more of school go on a mission. From January until like mid-March, I was praying and praying my heart out, fasting every Sunday, trying to be open-minded on what the Lord wants for me, and I still didn't received an answer. So, I decided to just make an appointment with the bishop and have it all set and ready, and hopefully I will receive an answer soon. The day before my appointment I got my answer and a confirmation that now it was the time that the Lord wanted and needed me to go on a mission and serve Him. Crazy how life has its turns and twists!

Now, I was all praying hoping that when my call came that I wouldn't have to report until a couple months, hopefully the following year so that I could do at least one at BYU-Hawaii before attending my mission. The semester ended, I got my associates diploma, and that June my mother decided to move to Utah, so we did. On July 25, 2012 I got my mission call! I was hoping of being sent somewhere tropical or to another country, yeah that did not happened. I got called to serve in the Portland, Oregon Temple Mission, specializing in Spanish speaking! Serving a mission, is serving the Lord. You will be sent to the place where the Lord wants you to fulfill His work, He knows your talents and abilities, and knows where you will be needed and who needs you perfectly!