They say that starting early is the best way to get the most out of an investment. For Benedicto and Marjorie Suaybaguio of Lucena 3rd Ward (congregation), Lucena Philippines Stake (diocese), this rings true after seeing the fruits of their investment in family preparedness and self-reliance.
Abiding by the principles of self-reliance has helped them in their journey of starting a family. However, the Suaybaguio shared that it wasn’t always smooth sailing for them when they started shortly after they married in 1998.
As a young couple at that time, Benedicto or Benny was a sophomore college student and was working as a janitor for an insurance company. Marjorie, on the other hand, was a full-time housewife.
Despite their meager income, they tried to add at least one or two items, like canned goods, into their food storage. This practice went on for many years until Benny was able to graduate and work as a teller in the same insurance company. Consequently, Marjorie landed a job as a clinical instructor at a local college in their province.
Even with a new-found financial boost in their household income, their practice of building financial and food reserves continued. The couple believed that it is a commandment of God for Latter-day Saints to be self-reliant in both temporal and spiritual matters. They held on to the promise in the scriptures that if they keep the commandments of God, their family will prosper.
Their examples helped them teach the principles of self-reliance while they were raising their children. “We have taught our children the value of saving for the future and to be frugal with their resources,» Marjorie said. «My son who had just returned from Thailand Bangkok Mission due to the pandemic saved money for his mission.» She also revealed that when he was four years old, they set up his mission fund. Monetary rewards from contests, Christmas gifts, savings from his allowances supported him financially all throughout his mission.
Marjorie also shared that their daughter continued their practice even when she was in another province attending school. She shared that when their daughter went home due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), she left her apartment with a cupboard full of canned goods and other necessities. Marjorie shared that her daughter would use her monthly allowance to buy extra food for her own personal storage.
Cultivating a Habit
The Suaybaguio Family admitted that it wasn’t easy for them when they first started. Perseverance, discipline, and faith in God’s promises helped them succeed.
“Ours was a humble beginning but we tried to be self-reliant,” Marjorie said. “When money was scarce, we never failed to pay our tithes and offerings. We persisted in adding items to our food storage even when our budget was tight until it eventually became a habit.”
One of the blessings they received from being self-reliant was the peaceful feeling in knowing that everything will be taken care of. Moreover, they recalled that during those times, they were able to help others on numerous occasions. They used their food storage to augment other people’s needs.
Having gained a deeper understanding and a stronger testimony of the principles of self-reliance, the Suaybaguio Family encourages everyone to follow the counsels of Church leaders to prepare 72-hour kits and a year’s supply of food, plant a garden, and to save and build a financial reserve. Although they started in the early years of their marriage, they still believe that it is never too late to start now.
Benny shared that one of the things he has learned is that when people become self-reliant for righteous reasons, their genuine concern for others grow, and the desire to minister increase. Qualities that will help members become more like Jesus Christ.
“The blessing of abundance does not refer to the temporal and financial aspects of our lives alone, but it includes the continuous flow of revelation and the abundant influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives,” he shared.
Giving in Times of Need
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to emulate the examples of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. They believe that serving others is one form of being obedient to God’s second greatest commandment, which is to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
The Church teaches the principles of self-reliance to help members provide for their own needs and be in a better position to help others. Following the principles has allowed the Suaybaguios to reach out to those in need during the ECQ.
They revealed that during the early weeks of the lockdown, they made homemade Spanish sardines and sinantolan (grated cotton fruit with coconut cream) for their neighbors. They put the food in sterilized bottles using the food preservation techniques Marjorie learned from her Relief Society class. They also labeled the bottles with “Pray the Virus Away” stickers. They then gave them away to neighbors, regardless of their faith, to send them a message about the importance of prayer especially during the pandemic.
A few days later, they recalled that one of their neighbors who received the homemade goodies knocked on their door and gave them a loaf of bread. They have never spoken to them before, but their neighbor was kind enough to return the gesture.
In the ensuing weeks, they handed some kilos of rice to their neighbors who lacked it. They also plan to distribute rice and eggs. They believe that these simple acts of kindness would let their neighbors feel that God is mindful of all His children.
Doing What is Difficult
Of all the counsels from the prophets about family preparedness, Benny and Marjorie admitted that starting a backyard garden was the most difficult because they didn’t have enough space to build one.
However, in one of their family councils, they strongly felt that they needed to follow this family preparedness initiative that they had long procrastinated. They thought that if they were able to exercise faith, save money, and store food during their early years of marriage, then planting a garden could also be done.
After praying and watching plenty of YouTube video tutorials, they started a vertical garden on the third floor of their house. Their willingness to obey proved that the Lord will help them. Additionally, this allowed them to help others by giving some of the plants to their neighbors so they too can grow their own gardens.
“The Filipino adage: ‘Pag may sinuksok, may madudukot,’ rings true,” shared the Suaybaguio couple. “When all is safely gathered in, there is no need to fear. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we are at peace.”
Los artículos de esta sección no son oficiales pero han sido tomados de una fuente confiable y acreditada. La traducción es automática y puede dejar mucho que desear, sin embargo, a pesar de estas deficiencias, se ha realizado un esfuerzo para poner la información al alcance del público de habla hispana. Para ver el artículo completo original en inglés, consulta la siguiente Fuente: http://news-ph.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/couple-s-early-investment-on-family-preparedness-pays-off-after-two-decades