Let me tell you something about my little brother. His name is Hyrum and I admire him so much. He's so cool, if you don't already know him, you should put some time in getting to know him because he is an absolute bean. He is strong, he is brave, he is humble, he is smart, he is kind. But one thing I really appreciate from him is this one word in Tagalog. That word is, "tiyaga."
Now for me, the word that most people here have for me is "diskarte." For example, "may diskarte si Elder Villanueva, kaya nga marami syang binyag." (Elder Villanueva has diskarte, that's how he has a lot of baptisms.) People say that about me because I always find a way or figure out the right words or actions to get what I want or what I believe is best. In simpler terms, diskarte = Strategy or Tact.
But Hyrum, on the other hand, does have diskarte but he uses something else more prevalent and if you meet him you'll notice it too. He is ma-tiyaga. Whenever he struggles or admits to himself he doesn't know how to do something. He studies it in his mind, he asks for help, he prays for strength, he leads even if he messes up and learns from them, he goes through the hard grit of it all with a hopefulness that he will learn from it. Even if he doesn't want to, he does his best, with the self-control that he has, to do what he knows is true. I love him so much for it and it's something I wish I could be better at. In the year and a half, I've been gone I email him and I see him change and grow and be better and I have the utmost respect for him because of the things he's gone through to be where he is now. "Tiyaga" = Perseverance.
This past week I've pondered about tiyaga and self-control and I realize it's something I've struggled a lot within my life. Whenever a boulder is in my way, I make a shortcut. When it gets too heavy, I chose a different rock. And I lose the opportunity to grow from the times I was meant to fall. And it has been a weakness for me. I would let my personal opinions and thoughts dictate my action rather than maintaining my honor in doing what I promised to do. I would give too much notice to taunts and insults and let them bring me down. But this week was good. I did my best to push myself even if I didn't want to. Worked harder at loving others regardless of how tired I was and it's so great! It's hard and heartbreaking to put in so much effort to see some step-up and others ignore what could've been a wonderful experience but I know that with every extra smile or "hi" we give, especially the ones we don't feel like giving, we can see their lives change for the better. Does it take a little bit of tiyaga? Oh definitely! and it's okay cuz I know my brother will lend me a hand.