Lunes, Hulyo 17, 2017

Enchanting Week! 🌟

This week has been amazing. I did not do anything at work aside from attending a one-day training as I just got transferred to a new market group, ATH-Australia! That just only means I will no longer audit local companies, and I will no longer work from morning ‘till dawn.

This week was also my first week of stay in my new dorm. I am so grateful Heavenly Father has led me to this place -- it’s more comfortable (and a lot a cheaper!!!) compared to the condominium I had before. And I already love my new roommates -- they are all kind and helpful. In fact one of them, Ate Joy, gave me a dress so I could have something to wear on the surprise bridal shower our ward has prepared for two of my friends Paris and Hershey. I am just enjoying my new place with my new roommates, and I am soooooo excited to work in my new market group!

But I think the best part of my week is going to Enchanted Kingdom with the two of my favorite people in the world: Lyndon and Diane. It was a day never to be forgotten. I had so much fun! From the extreme rides, to the horror booths, and to the food we ate – every penny I spent on that Friday was all worth it.

It was a mixture of fear and fun as the three of us walked through the horror booths, as Diane and I were screaming at the top of our lungs while Lyndon was laughing so hard while we’re on the extreme rides, as we felt unwilling to spend money on food but we were all hungry and tired that we ate cheeseburger, fries, hotdog sandwich, and ice cream! We also went to a chinese restaurant where we ate noodles, dumplings, and xiaolongbao because we were cold and wet from the rain when we traveled back to Makati at night.

I am just grateful Heavenly Father has brought me to this place and for the blessing of having such wonderful friends. I am broke now, but my heart is full. I do not know how I am going to eat in the next few days, but all the experiences I have had with my friends are worth every peso that I spent, and I love them so. :) Such an enchanting week, indeed. 🌟

PS: This blog just turned 1 year old a few weeks ago. Happy 1st blogiversary, mryddyknw!

Huwebes, Hunyo 29, 2017

My Health and the Tax Season

Life has been pretty out of balance the past few months because of the tax/busy season. Talk about working for more than 70 hours each week – reporting to office from morning till dawn. Tax season for auditing firms in the Philippines usually starts in January and continues till June. In other words, the first half of my 2017 was spent in, no other than, auditing.

Two weeks ago, right after I finished all my tasks, I impulsively booked a flight to Mindanao to see my family for I had not seen them for a year. I also had to see two doctors – one to check my severe acne and another to check my hormones – because I just became hormonally imbalanced due to the bad sleeping and eating habits I have formed in those 6 months, sitting in front of the laptop from morning till dawn, the pressure I have felt to meet deadlines, performance ratings, and all the tension I had to handle each time I had to discuss the results of the audit to my senior and clients.

Lest I be misunderstood, I do not loathe my job. I prayed to have this even when I was still in college. The opportunity to work in the largest professional services firm in the country (and a member of the Big 4) is a dream that came true and I couldn’t thank the Lord enough for all work and life lessons I have learned in my one year stay in this firm.

Sometimes, people have this tendency to burn the candle at both ends, thinking that the many responsibilities we have should always come first in our lives. We sometimes even think that taking care of our health is selfish, wrong, or evil. But I have learned that unless we take care of ourselves, it is virtually impossible to properly take care of others.

I am still trying to recover from the effect tax season had on me. I am not yet at the “peak” of my health, but I will get there. I am praying, really praying, to always have the courage, to always put first things first in my life.

Anyway, here’s a photo of Diane and Lyndon and me. I don't know what would have happened to me without them. They literally kept me sane and happy during the busy season. Even until now.

Lunes, Enero 30, 2017

Life Lately

With a little money and a lack of sleep, I can’t believe I survived this week. SGV really stretches me and I mean that in a good way. I am just learning so much here even though that means reporting to office at 8 am and going home past midnight. Good thing the Lord gave us the commandment to “rest” on Sabbath. I might have actually died a long time ago without this commandment.

Friday night, I only had 12 pesos in my wallet. I was still in the client’s office when I received a text message from my mom asking me how I was. I said, I was doing fine and that I was still at the client’s office with only 12 pesos in my pocket. She asked me if I had already eaten dinner and if she should send me some money. I didn’t reply for I was at work and that I knew for sure there’s no way she could send money -- it was already late at night. When I was about to go home at 10:30 pm, I read a text message from my mom telling me that she sent some money. She told me that “Josh”, our big dog, accompanied her in walking down the streets to a bank. I am grateful for Josh. He has always been there to protect my family.

So I wasn’t able to withdraw the money that my mom had sent me. It was already late at night when I got home and my salary already came in the next day. Gosh, I am still amazed how I survived with 12 pesos. But yes, I am grateful for my mom. For almost 3 years of being away from my family, she’s always been there.

This week I also talked to my counselor at work. I told him that one of my goals is to be transferred to SGV Davao, the branch nearest to my hometown, after a year of stay here in Makati. I do not know why, but I have been missing my family lately. To add on to that, my youngest sister is going home from her mission in a few weeks. Just picturing out staying in Davao with my family gives me the purest joy.

So for now, I will enjoy my stay here in Makati. With my close friends and the temple that is so dear to me.

Paris' Birthday Party with my beautiful friends. :)

Linggo, Enero 22, 2017

Knowing and Becoming

This week, our team conducted audit planning meeting with one of our clients. Diane and I have been working hard for this as far as I can tell. Like, we want to give our best for our senior because that is how much we love him.

I just enjoy working with Diane, Kuya Bel, and Lyndon. To me, they are like the safety valve in a pressure cooker. They keep me from exploding. They keep me sane. They are the kind of people who can work hard and laugh hard with you. Work is less toxic when you are surrounded with people like them.

Also, I think that teaching the young women class a while ago was one of the best things that have happened to me this week. We discussed about how we can know Heavenly Father and why that is so important. We invited a father in the ward, and asked him about his feelings of being a father and the hopes and dreams he has for his child. It was such a great time pondering about how much love Heavenly Father has for each of us. It reminds me of 3 Nephi 14:9-11, one of the scripture verses I overused while I was on my mission. I used them everytime I would try to explain God's love for His children.

I also like what I have read from President Heber C. Kimball's description of Heavenly Father. He taught that God "is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured being". I love it whenever I think of Heavenly Father's calm and serene disposition. I love it whenever I think that He can always handle a problem with peace. Every time I think of the billions of people praying to Him for a solution in their problems, I just could NOT see Him being overwhelmed, reactive, or stressed. I could see Him as a Father who is always serene and sure.

As one of His daughters, I hope to be like Him too! :)

Linggo, Enero 15, 2017

I am Missing the Bukid

So I am enjoying auditing now. In fact, I have been working in the office until the wee hours of the morning this week. Monday, I went home at 4:00 am just to finish the materials for our TPE meeting. Our planning phase is almost done, and we’re getting ready for the execution part. And so I made it a goal to prepare the working papers for every line item in the financial statements before January ends. :)

Daily scripture study has become more exciting too since I bought new set of scriptures as a gift for myself this New Year. If you’ve read my pre-mission blogs, you would know that it has been my goal since I was 12 to finish reading the quadruple. I started taking that goal more seriously (and slowly) since the very first day of this year.

I just finished reading Genesis 40, about Joseph of Egypt. And on today’s Sabbath, I pondered about Genesis 1, the doctrine of Creation. As I was thinking about all the things the Lord has made, it made me realize how creative He is. I mean, the variety of His creation is just amazing. I remember being so amazed the first time I saw the color of the sky turned pink, for the colors I knew for the sky are only white, black, and blue! Like, wow. Pink!! <3 Haha.

His creation also reminds me of His omniscience and omnipotence. It tells me how easy it is for Him to solve any problem. For there is nothing, as in NOTHING, that is too hard for Him. Because well, HE CREATED THE UNIVERSE! He can calm the storm, he can walk on the waters, He can turn water into wine, and HE CREATED THE UNIVERSE! I know He always have my back, I just need faith in Him.

His creation also reminds me of my life in the mission field, of how I loved walking in the bukid areas each night. Because in the bukid, I get to see more stars as compared with the night sky in the cities. So every time disappointments come, every time baptisms fall through, every time I get anxious, I just look up to the vast sky above me and see the twinkling stars testifying that there is a Creator. He lives. He loves everyone. He loves me.

Living in Makati has been great.

But I am missing the bukid.

Alinguigan, Isabela. First area, where I served for 9 months.

Lunes, Nobyembre 21, 2016

The Miracle of the Chinese Bamboo Tree

“In everything you do in your family, keep in mind the miracle of the Chinese bamboo tree. After the seed for this amazing tree is planted, you see nothing, absolutely nothing, for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb. During those four years, all the growth is underground in a massive, fibrous root structure that spreads deep and wide in the earth. But then in the the fifth year the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!

Many things in family life are like the Chinese bamboo tree. You work and you invest time and effort, and you do everything you can possibly do to nurture growth, and sometimes you don’t see anything for weeks, months, or even years. But if you’re patient and keep working and nurturing, that “fifth year” will come, and you will be astonished at the growth and change you see taking place.”

This is one of the lessons that has been pretty much stuck in my mind after reading the first chapter of The 7 habits of Highly Effective Families. It's a good reminder to be patient and persistent even if we do not see immediate results of our efforts. This principle, I believe, is applicable in every "bamboo tree" we want to grow in our lives -- it may be a testimony of the gospel, our relationship with our loved ones, or even just like good grades at school and as simple as a piece of music we want to learn to play in the piano. It's just a matter of consistent correct choices sustained over a period of time, never giving up until the "5th year" comes.

"...let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)

Martes, Nobyembre 1, 2016

Everyday Miracles

I was in a bookstore a while ago. I've been looking for a new planner since new year is fast approaching. And then I saw this song, written in one of the planners I really liked. I find the lyrics beautiful. It sums up all the things that have happened to me in the past few months.

Everyday, I find myself overwhelmed by the love, grace, and generosity of Heavenly Father.
Everyday, I am amazed on how He answers prayers.