I could write a personal biography about the past 19 years because the road has definitely been bumpy and at moments I have held onto the iron rod by the tips of my finger nails. But I’ll try to keep things simple, and for my friends reading this…Get a tissue box ready and read with caution because I do get a little soft lol.
(FYI: I’m not the best writer so be prepared for lots of repetition and bad grammar)
I was born in the great deuce-dime(210) San Antonio, Texas and for the most part raised here. I am half Filipino(my dad was born in the Philippines), 45% white and the other 5% is hundreds of different Indian tribes my grandma comes up with every other thanksgiving at the dinner table Lolol love you nanny. My parents raised us in the church, my mom has been a member her whole life but my dad was a convert. I have 3 siblings, I am the second to youngest. I also have 7 step-siblings between my 2 step parents.
Growing up my mom would anyways tell everyone I was the “Wild, naked, dirty, trouble making, hungry child” you can take that however which way you please but I personally believe I was just a curious kid that wanted to explore new things.
Sports have always been my source of entertainment and stress relief, so I’ve played them my whole life as a hobby. My dad was always my little league coach too so of course I played them in attempt to fulfill every fathers dream of their son becoming the next 1st overall draft pick haha. But I learned many life lessons throughout my days of playing sports and the best part, I made many good friends that I still keep in touch with to this day.
If you know me personally you know it wouldn’t be an ‘about me’ without me talking about food. I LOOOOVE my calories!!! I keep my plates clean, I leave no leftovers. Also I am a certified chicken stripper so if you ever need advice I’d be more than glad to help :)))
Exercise has always been a biggie in my life. It has been my personal therapist through the hard times. I love to just put my headphones in, go to the gym and think about my life.
Now it’s time for the juicy part. During this period of my life my free agency, faith and emotions were really put to the test.
Throughout elementary and middle school I was the troublemaker and class clown. I had the nice heelys shoes, zipper binder, always had the juicy fruit gum, expensive abercrombie sweater that all the girls always wanted to borrow, so I was a cool cat in their eyes. High school comes around and I picked up right where I left off. Everything was going smooth, our football team was blowing every team out, I had my little clique of friends I grew up with from my neighborhood. I was pleased with how life was treating me.
Well as Isaac Newton once said “What goes up must come back down” and it sure did, and it stayed down there for awhile.
At the end of freshman year my parents got divorced and that’s when things started to head south for my family and I. It tore both sides of my family apart along with all the traditions we shared. My mom got remarried and moved up to Virginia with my little sister Rachael while my older sister and I stayed with my dad(my older brother Chris was serving his mission in California at this time).
All my life I have always been a momma’s boy so it wasn’t too long before I moved back in with her.
After my first semester of my sophomore year at O’Connor I moved up to Virginia to live in a small town with my mom. I had lived in Texas my whole life so this was a complete change, especially schooling. Everyone had weird funky country accents, they had holidays for hunting season, some days they drove their tractors to school, they went off the block schedule(4 classes instead of 8) and everyone knew everyone. It was the complete opposite of what I was used to. Well that didn’t last long either, I got in some trouble and things just weren’t working out.
I was dying to get away from this small town full of hillbillies in the middle of no where. So I decided to give it another shot living with my dad.
I spent my whole junior year back at O’Connor but it just wasn’t the same, I had lost all my thunder there. (Technically I had to redo my sophomore year because I didn’t accomplish much besides sitting in the principles office second semester in Virginia)
That summer my dad got remarried and I was excited because she had 3 boys that were extremely fit and loved exercising as much as I did so I was like heckkk yeah just what I need! Plus a new house and new school, perfect opportunity for me to get back into football and have a new start!! During the middle of summer we moved in and my step brother Pat was super cool. We really got along and worked out for hours day and night because they were getting ready for the marines. I started to blossom which was perfect because I was going to play football for my new school Churchill. I had high hopes for football this year, I was in the best shape of my life.
This year my dad was going to let me drive his truck to school so I was excited. New kid on the block that played football and drove to school as a junior?!? I should have no problem fitting in and making friends right? Wrong! History repeats itself yet again. Churchill didn’t last long, I hated my football coaches and we sucked. Everyone was really stuck up and it just wasn’t the same as O’Connor. I couldn’t stand it there and O’Connor was 30 miles away and would take an hour just to get there in the morning with traffic. So I just dropped out of school. I told my parents I was just going to try homeschooling myself which was the worst decision ever. A teenage kid home alone all day with a PlayStation and you think he’s going to do school work? Ya, NO! I pretty much became really depressed and lonely at home by myself. Overall I got nothing accomplished.
Before you know it’s summer again and my dad tells me I can go back to O’Connor my senior year. I was kinda iffy about it because all my friends I had grew up with just graduated and I wouldn’t know anyone. But during summer I met a group of guys at a pool party that were really cool and were going to O’Connor next year. They were the popular people at school so I started hanging out with them for the remainder of summer. This is where things began to head south.
To make things easier with school I moved in with a family friend that lived down the road from O’Connor. I grew up with this family and their oldest son has always been my best friend so we knew each other pretty well. But their family had just recently went through a divorce too so things were rocky for them as-well. My new ‘parent’ was really laid back and was in the process of finding himself a new wife, so most weekends he was gone. With that being said, that became a recipe for disaster.
I had always been an extremely straight edge, innocent kid. No drug or illegal substance had ever entered my body, heck I hadn’t even tried coffee before. But when school started up and I continued hanging out with the ‘party people’ more and more.
At first I didn’t drink or smoke because I knew it was wrong. But one night I was thinking about my family and how things used to be and became depressed. As most of you might already know when you’re down that’s when you are the most vulnerable to satin and his temptations. People had always tried to get me ‘high’ or drunk before because I have a good sense of humor and they knew it would be hilarious. Eventually it became a game of “Who could get the Mormon to do it” and they lost every time because I always said I’m Mormon and I don’t do that stuff. That night they won, I gave in… Instead of choosing to come unto Christ in a time I needed him the most I decided to go down the easy path. I smoked for the first time in my life, and got involved with drugs and alcohol. The next day of school and many after I was the headline, everyone wanted to smoke and drink with me. Finally I was Mr.Popular once again, this time for the wrong reasons.
From August to the end of November I spent the majority of my weekends at parties. It got so bad that I went to school drunk a couple times. I was craving all this attention I was getting, everyone thought I was hilarious! Girls started liking me again and I was making a bunch of new friends. Little did I know, misery love company.
Being raised in the church I have anyways had this feeling like I needed to go on my mission and that I could really make a difference. I knew I really needed to change my ways and get back on track. So I went to my uncle for help because I had always looked up to him. One night we met up for dinner and we had a really good talk and he eventually decided that it would be best I move in with him to help me achieve my goals.
After thanksgiving in Arizona with my family, I moved in with my uncle. Everything was on point and I was on route to leave for my mission around June. I was going to seminary every morning, I went to mutual and church every week, on Sundays I went to mission prep and I was the priest quorum secretary. Bishop Bettinger was the coolest bishop everrrr(and that’s an understatement), he was also my EFY director. I even was dating a girl for the first time in my life… WHAT MORE COULD I ASK FOR?!?
Oncegain things took a sharp turn, I wasn’t used to having rules. I have anyways done what I want when I want. So following all my uncles rules was difficult and it started to take a tole on me. I wanted to stay out past midnight on the weekends, I wanted to go to the gym when I wanted ect…
One weekend I was late yet again, so he got after me. I became so overwhelmed with my uncles high expectations, school, girl probs and the I always became depressed when I thought of the situation with my family. I felt like living with my uncle was my last attempt at going on a mission & that if I moved out everything would go downhill with my life. I told myself I couldn’t take this anymore, but I had no where to go. I felt like such a failure and one night I was feeling suicidal. . I remember that moment like it was yesterday. All these thoughts were running through my head. I was crying and posted on my twitter that I was contemplating suicide. In that moment I felt the holy ghost leave my body. The feeling felt like when your ears are popping but it was my whole body. It seemed like the air got sucked out the room. Many times when I attempted I would just start bawling my eyes out and couldn’t do it. It happened so suddenly and then I decided to move back into my dads the next weekend.
I moved back into my dads in February. I finally had that freedom again, which as you know from before is not a good thing. Surprisingly I tanked the remainder of senior year trying to avoid doing anything stupid that would prevent or delay me from going on my mission. That’s when my friend Paul and I became super close. He also wanted to straighten out his life. So we spent just about every single day together. We both knew how to have fun the right way. We really relied on each other throughout senior year.
The day I graduated I decided to move up to Houston with my mom. I knew in order for me to go on my mission I had to get away from all the bad temptations down in San Antonio. So I did, and in the process of doing so I knew one of my friends that I met on a cruise in march lived up there so at least I had one friend. Little did I know he would have one of the biggest impacts on my life.
It was hard though I saw everyone partying and having a good time right before they were about to go off to college and here I was home alone all by myself doing nothing fun and spectacular. I often was depressed and miserable. I really had to fight my urge to join them and by doing so I spent all day at the gym working out, playing basketball, swimming, running, anything to keep my mind occupied.
I also spent a lot of time with Rucker, if I wasn’t at the gym I was with him and we became super close. He had been investigating the church for awhile because one of his best friends was also Mormon. Rucker frequently asked me questions about the church and I tried my best to answer them, but most the time I couldn’t so I would tell him “all I know is the church is true” . He surely wasn’t the most straight edge kid but I certainly wasn’t the best example either.
Rucker and I often had deep convos about our life with each other. So he knew me pretty well and vise versa.
Mid summer my mom came up with this idea that she wanted to go on this long Joseph Smith history road trip with the dogs to test out her new car. She suggested I bring Rucker along to keep me accompany so I asked him and he had nothing else to do so we packed up the car and left. It turned out to be a really neat and fun experience for all of us. We visited multiple historic church sites and got to see the cool Nauvoo pageant.
Turns out a couple weeks later he decided to get baptized by his best friend Batchlor and let me tell ya, I have never felt the spirit so strongly in my entire life. I had never seen so many people come to a baptism either, every chair in the relief society room was taken and people were standing up all along the walls. I was sitting with his family which are non members and that was such a spiritual experience. When he bore his testimony I couldn’t help it, I started balling my eyes out. My bosom was literally burning. Here’s this kid that is farrrrr from perfect and to see him come unto Christ with all his imperfections and be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints was something special. I saw a physical change in him, I physically saw the light come into his life. I will always remember that day because I had never felt the spirit so strongly in my life. I was so happy for him and I felt so joyful. From that moment on I knew going on a mission was the right thing to do. I wanted to share that feeling with others and bring eternal happiness and joy into their life.
Here I am now it’s 9:15 AM on a Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 I have 62 days left until my plane leaves for the MTC in Lima, Peru and I’m putting together my missionary website so you guys can keep in touch with me through my exciting journey.
You might be wondering why I just exposed myself all over the internet and took all this time to write this. It surely isn’t because I want you to feel pity on me. It’s because I want you guys to understand that none of us are perfect, but Christ is! He suffered for ALL of our sins because he loves each and every one of us. It’s never to late to change, but today is better than tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how many flaws and imperfections you have he wants you to return to live with him.
I have been passed out in my own throw up on a back porch and woken up not knowing how I got there. I’ve struggled with addiction. I contemplated suicide. I dropped out of school. My family has definitely had a plethora of problems. I have been arrested. Kicked out. Passed around.
Could things be worse? Oh yeah easily!
Do people have it worse than me? Oh yeah I know for a fact there are many people out there that went through ten times as much pain as me.
Am I saying if you drink or do drugs you are a bad person? Of course not, but I’ve seen my life flash between my eyes because of it. Also I became extremely vulnerable to satin by diluting my ability to make proper judgement. It just isn’t worth it.
Many of my friends drink and smoke but they are good people. They just haven’t been fortunate like I have to be exposed to this gospel and see the many blessings you receive from following it. It’s not easy but the lord promises if you follow his commandments you shall “be peaceful as a river and as righteous as the waves of the seas.”
What I’m trying to say is that you can’t reach your full potential when you doing things like that.
We all have different weaknesses and go through trails. These were just a handful of mine that I overcame and in the process strengthened my testimony. I am thankful for everything I went through, because of it, I am stronger than I was yesterday. I learned my lessons. I now know exactly what I want in my life. Yeah there might be some things I wish I could go back in time and change but that’s the past, I can’t control whats happened. But I can control my future and by doing so I’m taking the steps today for what I want tomorrow.
I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints was put on this earth in preparation for when he comes again. Are the members perfect? Heckkkkk noo! Does that mean if you’re not Mormon you won’t go to heaven? No, not at all. There are a countless number of good people out there that will and have returned to live with him. I have explored many other churches, I never had Mormon friends so I grew up with all non members. I have searched after other alternatives to bring me happiness and some do but only for hours, days, months, or years… But this church WILL bring you eternal happiness and ever lasting joy!
You think I would leave everything behind to eat beans and rice for two whole entire years for something I didn’t know deep down inside my heart to be true?