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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Thoughts: Historic Palmyra, Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
Hill Cumorah, 653 State Route 21,Palmyra, NY 14522

My lesson in Sunday School about the Holy Bible and Book of Mormon "growing together" has brought back memories of my trip in Palmyra last summer. 

Smith Farm & Log House, 843 Stafford Road,Palmyra, NY 14522

Palmyra is just a quiet little village in upstate New York yet it is a magnet for many visitors, because of the places which relate to both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and American history. Many sites were preserved or reconstructed by the LDS Church which are available for free tours (with guides or self - guided) all year-round. 

Sacred Grove, 843 Stafford Road,Palmyra, New York 14522

I was happy to visit the Smith farm and reconstructed Smith family log house, Sacred Grove and Hill Cumorah, places where the prophet Joseph Smith  has lived and received the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. 

This log house is a representation of what the Smith family home looked like in the 1800s. It was in this log house that Joseph Smith lived as a young boy, before the Smith family built a larger frame home nearby. 

(1) In 1820, Joseph Smith who was then a 14-year-old boy  has read James 1: 5 in the Holy Bible that motivated him to seek wisdom on his standing before God and which Christian religion he should join.He went to the woods near his home to pray.

(2) Joseph found a quiet spot in a grove of trees and prayed and saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in vision. The Lord told Joseph not to join any of the churches because none of them were true, but he was promised "that the fullness of the Gospel should at some future time be made known unto him".

(3) On 21 September 1823, Joseph was praying when light filled the attic bedroom and angel Moroni appeared. Moroni told Joseph about writings by some ancient prophets engraven on gold plates which was buried on a nearby hill. He was directed to receive golden plates at some future time.

(4) Finally, on 22 September 1827, Joseph was entrusted with the plates, lifting them from the stone box buried under a large stone on Hill Cumorah. Joseph Smith was directed to translate the ancient writings and later printed at the Grandin Building.

The trip gave me a greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon and a stronger confirmation that it is true. Like the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and draws us closer to God as we read it daily.

"Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3). 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jose Rizal At 150 Heritage Trail: The British Museum In London, England! !

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

In my post Retracing Rizal's Travel In New York and East Coast I hinted you of my trip to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK, for short) for family visit and possibly to retrace the steps of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.  Back then my idea of Dr.Rizal's stay in Great Britain was limited to what I read on Wiki Pilipinas.
"On May 16, 1888 the ship, City of Rome sailed (from New York) for Liverpool and where he decided to stay in London until March 1899. Rizal chose to stay in London so that he could improve his English skills, study and do an annotation of Antonio Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas and because he believed that the said English city was a safe place for him to carry on the reforms he wanted for the Philippines. He stayed at Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor's home and boarded at the Beckett family (in Chalcot, Camden). Xxx. During his stay in this country, Rizal also made used of his time in writing essays and articles for the La SolidaridadAfter ten monthsRizal left London and departed for Paris."
Beckett Family,  37 Chalcot Crescent in Camden [London]

In the same fashion as our national hero, I left New York on January 28, 2012 aboard British-owned Virgin Atlantic Airwaysand arrived in Heathrow Airport in London the next morning (with time difference). My previous plan of staying in England for at least two (2) weeks was cut short to only five (5) days (due to an extended stay in the United States to receive in Utah the 2012 Franklin S. Richards Pro Bono/Community Service Award for the Philippines Chapter of the J.Reuben Clark Law Society which I chair). 

Despite the short stay, I promised myself not to "miss" visiting The British Museum where Dr. Rizal said has spent most of his time studying and doing his annotation of the book of  MORGA (engraved in First Rizal Monument in Daet)!  

The British Museum is  a neoclassical building founded in 1753 and located in Great Russel Street in London. It is a national collection of archaeology, prints, drawings, coins, medals and ethnography and widely considered as the world's biggest and the greatest museum of its kind! 

The British Museum's Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is an impressive glass -roofed atrium with exhibition spaces, lecture theaters, shops and cafe. With its  two-acre space it is the largest covered public square in Europe. 

Proudly standing in the middle of the Great Court is the world - famous British Museum Reading Room which serves as exhibition space  with a touch - screens providing information about the vast Museum collections.

According to Wikipediathis famous circular British Museum Reading Room was occupied by the British Library from the mid-19th century until it was legally separated in 1973 and finally moved to its current site at St. Pancras, London in 1997.  But before then, the British Museum was considered unique in that it housed in the same building both a national museum of antiquities and a national library

So back to Dr. Jose Rizal and the British Museum, I found Rizal In London in CHED's website very informative. I took note that Dr. Rizal was admitted to the British Museum Reading Room on August 16, 1888. Since then Dr. Rizal got busy with Morga and thought of copying the whole book and annotating it for publication as his gift to the Filipinos. He also wanted to publish Blumentritt's "Tribes of Mindanao" and the new documents he found while in British Museum Reading Room for two weeks.

While I was not able to do any research at the British Museum like Dr. Jose Rizal, I did enjoy visiting several galleries and exhibits on display at the British Museum Reading Room and in other areas shown in this floor plan.

Gallery 1     -Enlightenment 
Gallery 2     -The Changing Museum
Gallery 3     -Special Exhibition Reading Room 
Gallery 4     -Ancient Egypt 
Gallery 6    -Assyrian sculpture 
Gallery 7-8 -Assyria- Nimrud
Gallery 9    -Assyria - Nineveh
Gallery 10 --Assyria - Lion Hunts and Seige

Gallery 11-23 - Ancient Greece and Rome
Gallery 24     - Living and Dying 
Gallery 26     - North America 
Gallery 27     - Mexico 
Gallery 33/33b- China,South Asia and South East Asia
Gallery 34 -Islamic World 
Gallery 67 - Korea
Gallery 95 - Chinese Ceramics

The British Museum is open daily from 10am till 5:30pm (8:30pm on Fridays) and admission is free! I am really thrilled that my CS friend and host in London Catherine Iblan accompanied me there last February 2, 2012!  

Yay! Another step of our national hero retraced. Let's jump to that!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

TROUBLE: A Game Which Unites My Family!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
(inside British Museum in London,England)

During my travel for six (6) weeks around the United States and United Kingdom, I was missing my United Family - my parents, 3 brothers and my sister-in-laws and their 11 kiddos! I miss spending time with all of them on Sundays in church and on Monday nights when we hold Family Home EveningsSo while I enjoy being away and checking new places with friends, I was surely happy to be back! 

(at NAIA 3 where All Nippon Airways (ANA) landed from Tokyo)

On lazy Sundays after attending church, I am happy to play games with the kiddos, esp. Allan and Belenda's kids (Ian, James, Shaznay Anne and Shanara Mae) who live with me . Our favorite game is TROUBLE! Yea, I know. It is the opposite of unity. But I tell you it is so much fun that we are all united in playing it!

 (Homecoming Sunday in Deparo Ward, Novaliches  waiting for my 3 brothers to finish priesthood duties)

TROUBLE is a board game I learned and bought in Tasmania (Australia).  It was made popular in the 1960's by the toy company Milton Bradley. It has been the favorite of my family since both adults and kids can play. NO age limit. Could be as young as 2 (like Shanara when she first played) so long as the player knows how to smash the  Pop-O-Matic dice roller.
 (Playing with James, Shanara, Shane after our Novaliches Stake Conference today)

TROUBLE is played with max of 4 players at a time. The board has 4 colored "playing pieces" (blue, red, green and yellow) with 4 -pieces each color. The players put their         4 playing pieces in the color-coordinated starting position that corresponds to the color of their 4 playing pieces.

Rules are simple so you won't have any trouble following. Just remember the SIX and you go!
1The goal of the game is to move all their 4 playing pieces to the color coordinated finish line or the "safe" zone.
2 To determine whose player should go first, each player take turns pressing the pop-o-matic. The person who gets the highest no. on the dice inside the popper goes first.
3 Only the player who pops a number six, can move one of his playing pieces from the starting position Then pops again and move his playing piece the amount of spaces that is on the popper.
 If the player does not pop a six, he can't move his playing piece from the starting position and the next player tries for the six. This continues until the player pops a six and can move the playing piece freely on the board.
Once the playing piece is on the board, the player can move it with the amount of spaces that are on the popper.
If your playing piece land on a space that has another player's piece in it already, you can kick that playing piece out, and claim the space. The player who owns that piece has to move that playing piece back to the starting point and wait to pop a six before it can get out again. 
I believe, this is why this game is called TROUBLE.

 (Justin, my 5 months old nephew,Nah.he doesn't yet play Trouble)

As in real life, it is  annoying and upsetting when someone kick - us out or inconvenienced us in some way. But as in this game, we can just laugh the troubles away and continue to try and try to pop a six and move all our pieces safely back home!!!

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    143 Journeys: I Heart MAP!

    by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
    “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville 

    Alright Valentines Day is over.But I'm sure you will agree with me that Love is here to stay. And because I am in love (being crafty) and love (to give in to my dear readers request), I'm showing you what's really inside my HEART (after you had a glimpse of it in this heart post and heart quotes clues all over this post. 
     Traveler’s heart
, Never settled long in one place
, Like a portable fire   -Basho (1644-1694)
    I will spill the beans!  I HEART MAP or  LOVE YOU MAP is a heart-shaped box containing heart-shaped maps of all the places where my prince, whose name's initial is MAP(Did you notice that? If not scroll up to go to picture 1 for his full name!) have been!

    “The map is not the territory.” – Alfred Korzybski

     “Love travels, the miles, upon the wings of angels. Love finds you, I swear it's true, and I will love you from here.” Kathy Mattea

     “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

     United States
     Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, “I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.” -Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

    Where To Next?
     "I am going away with him to an unknown country where I shall have no past and no name, and where I shall be born again with a new face and an untried heart." -Sidonie Gabrielle Colette


    1) Not Yet Finished (I forgot to include Cagayan de Oro yet coz pics didn't turn out well).
    2) Bold red names of places are picasa text and do not appear on  my actual heart-shaped maps
    3) Maps are from my several complimentary airline magazines that I hoard during my trips. Special thanks to Smile Magazine (Cebu Pacific Airlines), Mabuhay Magazines (Philippine Airlines), Sky Magazine (Delta Airlines), Northwest Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, Tiger Airways among others.

    Source of inspiration for this post:

    1) some of the quotes I found in Travel Quotes. others in the net but not sure where. 
    2. The lovely Map O' Love Memory Journal on How Does She website was the inspiration to say it out loud and share!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Share Love Thru 8 Hearts and Chocolates Tuesday February 14!

    by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
    Alright! It's this time of the year again when LOVE become almost synonymous with hearts (plus hearts-shaped creations!and the sweet stuff that melts in the mouth - chocolates! 
    (my heart-shaped map)
    So this VALENTINES DAY, in the true fashion of a travel blogger (i.e. trying to blog after travels hehe), let me share with you the places I've been where I took photos by the huge heart and where my palate rejoiced with the uber sweet-tasting (but at times spicy!chocolates! 

    Union Square
    San Francisco, California (USA)
    June 29, 2011
    Known as the "heart" of San Francisco being absolutely close to everything,             hugeHEARTS are installed in Union Square as part of a series of public art exhibition by  the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation called Hearts in San Francisco. The hearts installation changes every year and runs in the summer (February-September).
    CCCCCCC        Classic San Francisco
    2 Times Square
    New York City (USA)
    February 18, 2009
    This was the 10-foot-tall pulsing metallic heart sculpture called VALENTINE TO TIMES SQUARE installed in February 2009 in the heart of Times Square in New York City (USA).

    3 Trinoma Love Market
    EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines
    February 13, 2012

    You are right! This heart is fresh both in timing (last night only!) and color. As a budding symbol of love, I found this green heart next to the Love Market stage inside Triangle of the North of Manila or simply Trinoma!

    4Chocolate World
    Hershey, Pennsylvania (USA)
    January 31, 2012
    I've seen the world largest chocolate at Hershey's Chocolate World, the "Sweetest Place on Earth". Hershey's Chocolate World is a heaven for both the chocolate lovers and the kids at heart with lots of hands on activities where you can learn more about this super sweet tasting cocoa (and more) and a store with all sorts of Hershey products and gifts. 

     5 Cadbury Visitor Centre
    Claremont, Hobart Tasmania (Australia)
    July 5, 2009
    The Cadbury Chocolate Factory in Hobart has a visitor centre (for $5 access fee) where you can learn about the chocolate - making process, receive a small gift of chocolates,  and buy 10 kilos worth of Cadbury Chocolates and other products at discounted prices. 

    6 Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    October 1, 2009
    Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom in Kuala Lumpur is the largest chocolate showroom in Malaysia. As one of the two retail outlets of Beryl's quality chocolates, there are more than 100 varieties of chocolates to choose from depending on your mood and taste buds.

    7 Beacon Hill Chocolate Boutique
    Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
    February 14, 2009
    Yes! My prince on Valentines Day brought me to Beacon Hill Chocolate, a fancy (and a bit pricey) chocolate boutique awarded as Boston's Best Chocolatier in 2009 and 2010! As a chocolate lover, I was overjoyed that I get to see my prince actually choosing a dozen of carefully - made chocolates exactly how I want them and put in a nice heart-shaped box. Oh! the chocolates are gorgeous, trendy, personalized (one of them has my name "Mary") and taste heavenly. 
    8Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
    San Francisco, California (USA)
    June 29, 2011
    Ghirardelli Square is not only the site of the flagship of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company since 1895 but also an official city landmark in 1965 and was granted a US National Historic Register status. My visit to San Francisco, California always include indulging in Ghirardelli’s premium chocolates & its World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae, and seeing the original chocolate making equipment in operation. 

    9JFK Plaza (Love Park)

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)
    January 6, 2012
    And if you missed the hearts or the chocolates,  I hope you won't miss the LOVE amidst the park dedicated to President John F. Kennedy in Philadephia located at the eastern end of Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A huge LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana led to the nicknaming of JFK Plaza as the LOVE Park!

    So there you have it folks! These places tell us that LOVE is everywhere! So this Tuesday, February 14, I hope that everyone will  "LOVE like there's no tomorrow!" 
    Happy Valentines Day!

    Quotation of the Day

    Travel Philippines

    Travel Philippines

    Travel USA

    Travel USA
    New York - View from the Empire State Building

    Travel Australia

    Travel Australia
    Opera House - Sydney