Voting for the Around the World in Mormon Lit Contest

During the Around the World in Mormon Lit contest, we have published twelve excellent stories, essays, and poems. But only one finalist can receive the $100 (USD) audience choice prize.

Voting is open from now until the end of May 4th, 2019. The winner will be announced on May 6th, 2019.

The following are the twelve finalists with links to the stories both in their original languages and in English.

Spanish finalists:

Documentary Appendix 1” (“Anexo documental I”) by Gabriel González Núñez

TIME a particle” (“TIEMPO una partícula”) by Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin

The Wall of Time” (“La Muralla del Tiempo”) by Camila Andrea Fernández

Portuguese finalists:

A Sunday at Laginha” (“Um Domingo na Laginha”) by César Augusto Medina Fortes

The Secret Friend” (“O Amigo Secreto”) by Amanda Araújo de Castro

Two Missions” (“Duas Missões”) by Andreza Castro

English finalists:

Tatau” by Lehua Parker

Victor” by David Hurtado

Estonian finalist:

“The Journey” and “Lucifer’s Monologue” (“LÄHEME RÄNDAMA” and “LUTSIFERI  MONOLOOG”) by Aivar Lembit

Tagalog finalist:

“Shaken” by Jhasmin De Castro (read in English; read in Tagalog)

Japanese finalists:

The Creation Workshop” (創造教室) by Mitsushige Takaki (高木光茂)

The Sound of Water” (「 水音」) by Aiko Tokuzawa (徳沢愛子)


Please fill out the form below and vote for your top two favorite finalists. You must vote for two different finalists. If you vote twice for the same entry, your vote will not be counted.


Para votar en el certamen «Dándole la vuelta al mundo con la literatura mormona»

En el marco del concurso «Dándole la vuelta al mundo con la literatura mormona» hemos publicado doce excelentes cuentos, ensayos y poemas. Sin embargo, solo uno de los finalistas podrá hacerse acreedor del Premio del Público, dotado con 100 USD.

La votación está abierta desde hoy hasta finalizado el día 4 de mayo del corriente. Posteriormente, el 6 de mayo, se dará a conocer al ganador.

Abajo se enumera a los doce finalistas, con enlaces a las obras tanto en su idioma original como en inglés.

Finalistas en español:

Documentary Appendix 1” (“Anexo documental I”) by Gabriel González Núñez

TIME a particle” (“TIEMPO una partícula”) by Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin

The Wall of Time” (“La Muralla del Tiempo”) by Camila Andrea Fernández

Finalistas en portugués:

A Sunday at Laginha” (“Um Domingo na Laginha”) by César Augusto Medina Fortes

The Secret Friend” (“O Amigo Secreto”) by Amanda Araújo de Castro

Two Missions” (“Duas Missões”) by Andreza Castro

Finalistas en inglés:

Tatau” by Lehua Parker

Victor” by David Hurtado

Finalistas en estonio:

“The Journey” and “Lucifer’s Monologue” (“LÄHEME RÄNDAMA” and “LUTSIFERI  MONOLOOG”) by Aivar Lembit

Finalistas en tagalo:

“Shaken” by Jhasmin De Castro (read in English; read in Tagalog)

Finalistas en japonés:

The Creation Workshop” (創造教室) by Mitsushige Takaki (高木光茂)

The Sound of Water” (「 水音」) by Aiko Tokuzawa (徳沢愛子)


Sírvase rellenar el formulario que aparece a continuación y votar por sus dos finalistas favoritos. Es forzoso votar por dos finalistas diferentes, ya que si se vota la misma obra dos veces, el voto será anulado.



世界各地のモルモン文学短編コンテストでは、12人の短編小説、エッセイ、詩を発表しました。しかし一人だけが読者好評賞(賞金:100 USドル)をもらえます。




Documentary Appendix 1” (“Anexo documental I”) by Gabriel González Núñez

TIME a particle” (“TIEMPO una partícula”) by Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin

The Wall of Time” (“La Muralla del Tiempo”) by Camila Andrea Fernández


A Sunday at Laginha” (“Um Domingo na Laginha”) by César Augusto Medina Fortes

The Secret Friend” (“O Amigo Secreto”) by Amanda Araújo de Castro

Two Missions” (“Duas Missões”) by Andreza Castro


Tatau” by Lehua Parker

Victor” by David Hurtado


“The Journey” and “Lucifer’s Monologue” (“LÄHEME RÄNDAMA” and “LUTSIFERI  MONOLOOG”) by Aivar Lembit


“Shaken” by Jhasmin De Castro (read in English; read in Tagalog)


The Creation Workshop” (創造教室) by Mitsushige Takaki (高木光茂)

The Sound of Water” (「 水音」) by Aiko Tokuzawa (徳沢愛子)





Votando para Uma Volta ao Mundo com Contos Mórmones

Durante o concurso Uma Volta ao Mundo com Contos Mórmones, publicamos doze excelentes histórias, ensaios, e poemas. Mas apenas um finalista pode receber o prêmio de $100 (USD). 

Pode votar de agora até o final de 4 de maio de 2019. O vencedor será anunciado em 6 de maio de 2019.

Os seguintes estão os doze finalistas com links para as histórias em seus idiomas originais e em inglês.

Finalistas em espanhol

Documentary Appendix 1” (“Anexo documental I”) by Gabriel González Núñez

TIME a particle” (“TIEMPO una partícula”) by Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin

The Wall of Time” (“La Muralla del Tiempo”) by Camila Andrea Fernández

Finalistas em português

A Sunday at Laginha” (“Um Domingo na Laginha”) by César Augusto Medina Fortes

The Secret Friend” (“O Amigo Secreto”) by Amanda Araújo de Castro

Two Missions” (“Duas Missões”) by Andreza Castro

Finalistas em inglês

Tatau” by Lehua Parker

Victor” by David Hurtado

Finalista em estoniano

“The Journey” and “Lucifer’s Monologue” (“LÄHEME RÄNDAMA” and “LUTSIFERI  MONOLOOG”) by Aivar Lembit

Finalista em Tagolog

“Shaken” by Jhasmin De Castro (read in English; read in Tagalog)

Finalistas em japonês

The Creation Workshop” (創造教室) by Mitsushige Takaki (高木光茂)

The Sound of Water” (「 水音」) by Aiko Tokuzawa (徳沢愛子)


“The Sound of Water”

Read the original Japanese version here. To discuss this and other finalists, visit Mormon Lit Lab.

“The Sound of Water”

written by Tokuzawa Aiko, translated by Andrew Hall

For the last twenty years I have been going to help clean at an old-age nursing home once a month. There are days when I am too busy to volunteer, but when I have a chance, I try to go, taking the opportunity learn and prepare for my own oncoming old age.

Today was one of the rare sunny winter days in the Hokuriku region, a nice day to do service. My husband and I worked together to clean a long corridor, me swinging a dusty mop, my husband sweeping. We are an elderly couple ourselves, and our turn to live in this nursing home may begin at any moment. So, while we are still healthy, it is a happiness to be able to clean up.

A sprightly-looking grandmother came towards us down the hallway. I called out to her, “You’re looking good today!” She came over and took both my hands in hers in a friendly greeting. But then she covered her face with both hands, and started sobbing. I was surprised–all I could think to do was to repeat my greeting and pat her on the shoulder. Then she planted an intense kiss on the back of my hand.

Oh, how lonely she was, how hungry for love. The pain of aging pierced my heart.

I remembered the haiku by Santōka, “Unescapable death, the sound of water.” In this world, there are many things we don’t understand until we age. Declining bodies, declining vigor, forgetfulness, and death itself are all moving towards us, and it breaks my heart. At that instant, I could hear with my spiritual ears the sound of water within her. It was like the drip-drip sound of water seeping out of a tap in a midnight-dark kitchen, enveloped in deep loneliness.

「 水音」徳沢愛子著

二十年ほど前から月一回老人ホームのお掃除に行っている。用事があって行けない日も あるが、そうでなければ自分の老後の学びの機会として、喜んで出かける。勿論ボランテ ィアである。

今日は北陸には珍しい冬晴れであった。奉仕活動するには良い日だった。夫と二人で出 かけた。長い廊下をモップがけする。埃がついたモップを払うと、夫がほうきで掃く。我々 老夫婦もいつ何時老人ホームにお世話になるかもしれない。元気のある今、お掃除できるしあわせ。 元気そうなおばあさんが廊下の向こうからやって来られた。「お元気ですねェ」、そう声をかけると、親しげに私の両手を握られた。次の瞬間、両手で顔を覆い、「くくっ」と泣か れたのである。私はびっくりした。

「お元気ですね」と声をかけ、肩に手をかけた、ただそれだけのことなのに。そうして 私の右手をとって、手の甲に強烈なチュッをしたのである。

ああ、そのおばあさんはこんなにも人恋しかったのだ。愛に飢えているのだ。老いるこ との切なさが私の胸にジンと迫った。

<みんな死んでしまうことの水音>山頭火の句を私は思い出した。世の中には、老いて みなければ、わからないことがいっぱいある。衰えていく肉体のこと、気力のこと、物忘 れのこと、近づく死のことなど、惻惻と迫ってくる。私はその時、霊の耳に彼女の心の水 音を聞いたのである。それは真夜中、暗い台所でぽとりぽとりと水道から漏れ落ちる水音 のような、深い孤独を纏っていた。

“The Creation Workshop” by Mitsushige Takaki

Read the original Japanese version here. To discuss this and other finalists, visit Mormon Lit Lab.

“The Creation Workshop”

written by Misushige Takaki, translated by Andrew Hall


Peta saw a flock of birds flying, and her eye focused on one that was particularly beautiful and strong.  Peta thought that the view this bird had of the world must be wonderful; the deep orange of the sky and the expansive earth beneath.

“Wow” she thought.

“Life is truly beautiful!”



“…and we will end class there for today.”

As Ms. Acacia spoke, the students left their daydreams and their surroundings reverted back to the white washed classroom they had been in when the class began.  Each of her students, from their own points of view, had experienced their own worlds during that class.  The teacher began to announce their homework.

“Please conjure a new creature.” she said.

They were to take one of the insects, fish or birds they had studied in class and think of a new, similar, but different creature.  Peta’s notebook was always full of drawings like this.

The problem is, she said to just come up with one new creature, one new life. But, of all of my animals, this one, that one, they are all so cuddly.  …and I can only pick one?  I can’t choose!  So…  Maybe, I’ll just put two of them together; a bird and a mole?  I like birds the most, so I’ll give it the head of a bird.  Maybe a hawk, or an eagle?  The rest of their body… the chest, abdomen, legs and feet will be from a mole.  Why a mole though?  Because they are cute and tough!  But, when I try putting them together, its head comes to too much of a point.  It looks strange.  Maybe if the bird’s beak was rounder and thicker?  The wings would be too weird though.  I’ll skip the wings?  Wait a second, then it can’t fly!  I guess I better go with an ordinary bird.

Peta took out her notebook to check again, when a small but distinct voice called out to her.

“I want to live!”


Is there already an animal alive here?

Peta looked at the drawing of her flightless bird.  This thing is already alive.  But it’s a bird that can’t fly?  Maybe, it’s not even a bird at all?

“Please make me fly!” the drawing said.

I can hear its voice!  It sounds like a baby!  I’ll make it so it can swim through water.  Yeah, that’s like flying.  I’ll give it thick legs and feet like an otter.  No, even thicker and stronger than that.  I’ll give it webbed feet, too.  …and the head of a duck!  His beak has to be stouter though, wider than an actual duck’s.  This thing is weird, but I like it!  It’s stronger than it looks.  And it’s beautiful.

There, it’s done.



Peta’s classmates erupted in a roar of laughter when they saw her creation on the classroom board.  Michael, one of the class presidents, was wiping away tears of laughter.

“Is this a mole?  A duck?  Some kind of bird?  Tell me it’s not an otter, right?  It looks like all of them, but it isn’t any of them!” he jeered.

“Look, everyone else was able to do what they were assigned.” Michael said, pointing to the other students.  Peta saw that everyone else had indeed drawn animals that were easily distinguished; like white mice, or butterflies.  Some came up and proudly showed their drawings.  Others came up and simply gawked at Peta’s work.  A girl named Mel said, “That’s weird.”  There is no way a creature like that could exist.”

Most of the classmates were nodding along.  Then, Dan piped up.  “I can’t believe that something that ugly could live on this beautiful world” while pointing to the world globe that floated in the middle of the room.

The school where Peta and the other students sat was a place where worlds were created, the globe that Dan was pointing at was a new world that the students would help create.  This new world would be called Earth.  Once the students had grown up, they would be going there to live and experience life.  Besides people, there would be all kinds of other living things there as well.  Adults worked to create the new planet, as well as all the living things that would be on it.  But the children also got a chance to help.  Their homework was to create designs, some of which would be chosen and then created for the Earth.

“I worked so hard at making it!  It is sweet and beautiful and I tried to make it strong!” Peta said.

She lifted up her face.

“It’s NOT ugly and it’s NOT weird!  It’s beautiful and it will be able to live and thrive.  I could see and feel it as I designed her.  It’ll swim through water as though it were flying.”

But, everyone continued to mock her, so she turned away from them silently.


Ms. Acacia announced, “Class is done for the day, kids. I will show everyone’s hard work to the principal.”

She then turned to Peta.

“So what do you want to do?  If you want to change it, I can ask if the principal will give you another day.”

Peta silently handed her work to the teacher and she received it.



Their very last science class was about to begin.  After this next hour, they would be moving up to the next level school.  But before they could leave, their creations would have to be evaluated. Both Ms. Acacia and the principal, Mr. Erumi, were there. Mr. Erumi himself would be teaching their class this day. He stood in the center of a ring of seated students.

“I really enjoyed reviewing all of your science projects. However there was this one of them…”

He flattened out the rolled piece of paper in front of her chest so that everyone could see it.  Peta stopped breathing.  It was her picture.  Tiny clouds of laughter spread out through the classroom. She then thought she heard someone say, “Oh. we’re starting with the worst.”

“Eww.  It’s so weird.  Look at it!” another said.

Mr. Erumi looked at Peta and continued.

“So, I’ve decided that this should be the first one to be made.” he said and snapped his fingers.

Suddenly the white room turned aqua blue.  From the distance they could see a black dot, which began to come closer.  The point became a shadow, which sped towards and past the students.  Several startled children tried to jump out of the way of the speeding object.  The black shadow came back around and nabbed an unsuspecting fish.

“That was my fish… ” someone said.

Peta was so fascinated that she forgot to breathe.

“It’s alive!  It’s swimming.  No, it’s flying!” she said.

The image changed. Now the creature was at the water’s edge. It was not as fast, but it had a kind of elegance and the other students couldn’t help but start to like it.

Mr. Erumi was looking at Peta with a glimmer in his eyes.

“It doesn’t have a name yet. May I name it, Peta?” he asked.

Peta nodded in reply.

“Well, because it has bill like a duck (kamo no kuchibashi), lets abbreviate it and call it a kamo no hashi (platypus)!”

Peta thought that it deserved a cuter name, but Mr. Erumi looked very pleased with himself.

“So, it appears that we have come to a decision.” she said.

Ms. Acacia gave a wry smile as Ms. Erumi continued.

“Everyone else’s work was wonderful as well, but there was nothing surprising about them. The platypus surprised us. We adults have been creating new worlds for quite a while now. We’ve seen it all, we are hardly ever surprised anymore. But you students are different, your naiveté gives you potential. I thought you might do something surprising. Take this opportunity to learn from this experience, and use your fresh, new ideas. Even as you go on to higher tiers of education, please do not forget this occasion.”

The class came to an end.


Mr. Erumi spoke to Peta privately outside the classroom.

“Ms. Acacia told me about your many ideas for animals. We have an idea I think you’ll like. We’d like you to make more unique creatures for us. Don’t be afraid to surprise us. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.”



Peta did not go on to the higher school with her classmates. Instead, she was given a position in the divine studio, working with the adults. She worked with them for a very long time. But, one day that work also came to an end; their planet had been created, and now she would be born onto it as living person. Peta was excited to go onto this planet and touch her creations, especially the platypus. She was sad though that she wouldn’t be able to meet another one of her creations, the saber-toothed tiger.


Before she left, she had to leave it up to her principal to put the finishing touches on her platypus. While she didn’t much like the venomous needle the principal gave it, she was happy with how it would lay eggs despite being a mammal.

Then, all of a sudden, she started to feel sleepy.

“While I go to the new world, the me-I-know will be asleep. Good-bye. I’ll be back…and when I do, I will make even more amazing things.” she thought to herself as she drifted off into mortality.



Akimi opened her eyes at the laboratory.  She realized that she had fallen asleep at her desk.  She felt as though she had just had a dream that she had had once before, a very long time ago.

“What was this dream about? Oh. I can’t remember it now.” she thought to herself.

She was an adult, but you couldn’t tell it from how she was scratching her head with the tip of her pen while slurping cold coffee. She had fallen asleep while she was trying to write up a paper about her recent trip to Australia. As a biologist, Akimi had decided to study quirky and mysterious animals. She was particularly interested in the platypus. The males, despite looking cute and cuddly, hid poisonous spurs on their back legs. This always seemed a little off to Akimi.

She had studied the platypus for a long time. But, while her research hadn’t turned up anything new, she couldn’t tell her boss that. So, instead, she was going to dig a little deeper and find something new soon.

She happily looked at her life-sized figurine of her beloved platypus. She then looked at her picture of a tardigrade (or “water bear”) on the wall. She was fascinated by the way they moved. She had a wide variety of figurines, including a ridiculously large saber-tooth tiger and a rare kiwi bird. She enshrined them all over her area in the lab. Some even encroached into her colleagues’ work spaces. She even had some figures of paranormal creatures, like a kappa and a skyfish. There was also a traditional painting of a Nue, a Japanese mythical creature with the face of a monkey, the legs of a tiger, the body of a Japanese raccoon dog and the front half of a snake.

In other words, there were some weirds things here.


“You haven’t changed a bit, have you Peta.” said a familiar voice.

Akimi, startled, turned in her chair.  There was no one there.

「創造教室」 高木光茂

 なんでもぐらかって? かわいくて強そうでしょ?
 えっ待って? それじゃあ飛べないじゃないの。
「これはモグラなのかい? 鴨?というか鳥なのかい? かわうそじゃないよね? そのどれかみたいだけど、どれでもない」
「この作品はどうする? 直すつもりなら特別に校長先生にお願いして、明日まで提出を伸ばしてもらいます」

“Shaken” by Jhasmin De Castro

Read the original Tagalog version here. To discuss this and other finalists, visit Mormon Lit Lab.


by Jhasmin De Castro
translated by Joar Guitierrez

“Doctor, will my daughter be okay?” asked the woman, the worry in her voice obvious.

“Yes, Mrs. Mendoza, she’ll be okay within in a week. We just need to observe her condition for now.” the doctor replied.

After checking the young woman’s condition, the doctor went out. The woman held her daughter’s hand and caressed it. “My daughter, I’m sorry,” the woman choked out through her tears. “Sorry if we neglected you. Your dad and I were always busy—that’s why we can’t care for you. Sorry, my daughter, if you ever felt that you were unloved and alone.”

In a little while, Vlaire woke up and saw her mother crying while holding her hand. For a moment, she just looked at her mother and wondered why she was crying—until Vlaire remembered what she had done.

Blank. That was all she felt when she did it. She didn’t feel anything. She didn’t feel even the slightest pain. She was thinking: why did her life end this way?
Why, instead of feeling happy that her mother is by her side, can’t she feel anything now? Is this how it is when you are used to being sick? To the point that…you just think to commit suicide or slash your own wrist just to feel something?

Every time she remembers that part, she feels like she’s waking up from a nightmare. She can remember all the painful memories: sadness and pain. Feeling like she lost the drive to live. When her parents started working so much and started having all their problems, she slowly changed. She slowly became melancholic and avoided her friends. But she kept all her problems to herself and never told anybody.

Depressed. That’s what she was feeling during those times. She grew sad, grew secretive and kept the pain tucked tight to herself. But was she right with her decision? To keep everything to herself—everything she was feeling even though it was hurting so much?

Vlaire thought of all these things while staring out into nothingness. After a while, her mother said she would go out of the room while the nurse brought in food. Vlaire was still staring into nothingness. She didn’t know what she would do. After the nurse set down the food, Vlaire could hear her mother asking the nurse questions outside the door.

The nurse came back and looked at the wounds in Vlaire’s wrists…while Vlaire remembered those nights.

Someone was knocking on her door. “
Ate…” Her sibling was calling to her.

Ate, please eat now…” Her sibling was saying, but she didn’t pay attention.
She was just crying that night while she slowly cutting herself. Nothing. She did not feel anything.

A little later, her friends came in to the hospital room and asked how she was doing. Even though she was not responding, her friends kept on telling her stories about what was happening in school. After a while, they all said goodbye.

That’s what her life was like for a week. Eat, sleep, be visited and asked how she’s been doing—by her friends or sometimes by her younger siblings with her mama and papa.

As soon as she looked okay, the doctors discharged her and sent her back home. One doctor advised her to consult a psychiatrist to help her with her condition. As soon as they arrived home, she went straight to her room to be by herself and locked herself in. She silently lay down while staring at the ceiling: she didn’t know what to do and so she started crying again. She couldn’t tell if she’d been happy when her friends visited her, because all she knew was that right now she was so sad and felt so lost.

A little later, she heard someone knock on her door. She wiped her tears away and opened it.

“The missionaries are downstairs and are asking how you are doing,” her mother said.

“Okay, I’ll come down. Just give me a minute,” she said and went to the bathroom to wash her face and comb her hair.

Eventually, she went down and asked how the missionaries were doing. That afternoon, they had family home evening and had dinner together with the missionaries.

“So, Sister, are you already okay?” asked Sister Casas. Vlaire nodded her head in reply.

“Sister, just pray and do not lose hope,” Sister Casas’ companion, Sister Mac, said. “A lot of people love you.”

Vlaire just smiled even though she knew her smile was fake.

After the dinner with the missionaries was over, the missionaries said goodbye.

“Okay sisters, take care!’ said Vlaire’s sister Xiara as she waved.

“Take care,” Vlaire’s father said while shaking hands. “Thank you for visiting us.”

Before the missionaries left, Sister Mac handed her a letter. Vlaire wondered what it was, but the missionary sister just smiled at her and walked away with her companion. When the missionaries left, she went up to her room and read Sister Mac’s letter.

Dear Sister Vlaire,

I know you are suffering and feel like you are alone. I know how you feel because I’ve experienced that as well…I used to be bullied in my school and I was a loner: I didn’t have friends and my classmates didn’t like me either. Every lunch time, I sat in the corner and ate by myself. Until one day…I gave up, and I tried to kill myself.

I was so depressed then—but with the help of the missionaries and my family, I was able to endure this trial. But only because of their help and because of one missionary who took time for me and told me to pray—and do you know what finally happened? I felt happy and at peace. I was amazed and that time my testimony grew because of that experience.

Sister Vlaire, I know that you are not alone and that Heavenly Father is there to ease your burdens. Keep praying and have faith.


Sister Mac

That time, Vlaire prayed and at last, she felt happiness and peace. Even though she felt shaken with her testimony before, she was glad to know that she wasn’t alone, and that Heavenly Father is always there for her.

Now that she’s going to serve her mission, she is happy that she didn’t lose her testimony and she is happy to serve God.

“Shaken” Jhasmin De Castro

Read the English translation here.


Jhasmin De Castro

“Doc, magiging okey lang ba ang anak ko?” tanong nung babae na kita ang pag-alala sa kanyang pagsasalita.

“Yes Mrs. Mendoza she’ll be okey within a week. Kailangan lang muna namin bantayan ang kanyang kondisyon sa ngayon.” sabi nung doctor.
Pagkatapos tingnan ng doctor ang kondisyon nung dalaga ay lumabas na ito. Hinawakan ng babae ang kamay ng kanyang anak at hinimas ito.
“Sorry anak…” sabi nung babae habang umiiyak.
“Sorry kung napabayaan namin kayo. Busy kasi kami ng papa mo lagi kaya ‘di namin kayo maasikaso. Sorry anak if you ever felt that you are not loved and alone.”
Maya-maya ay nagising si Vlaire at nakita ang kanyang ina na umiiyak habang hawak ang kanyang kamay. Nakatingin lamang siya dito at nagtataka kung bakit ito umiiyak nang maalala niya yung ginawa niya.
Blangko. Iyan yung naramdaman niya noong ginawa niya iyon. Wala siyang maramdaman. Kahit na katiting na sakit ay hindi niya maramdaman. Iniisip niya, kung bakit ganito ang naging hantungan ng buhay niya? Bakit imbis na maging masaya siya na nasa tabi niya ang kanyang ina ay wala siyang maramdaman? Ganito ba talaga kapag sanay ka na sa sakit? To the point na…iisipin mo nalang magpakamatay o kaya maglaslas para lang may maramdaman?
Sa tuwing maaalala niya iyon ay para siyang gumigising sa isang bangungot. Lahat ng masasakit na alaala, lungkot at sakit ay natatandaan niya. Para siyang nawalan ng gana sa buhay. Simula ng magtrabaho ang magulang niya at nagkaroon ng maraming problema ay unti-unti na siyang nagbago. Unti-unti siyang naging malungkot at umiwas sa kanyang mga kaibigan. Lahat ng problema niya ay kinimkim niya at hindi sinabi sa iba.
Depressed. Iyan yung naramdaman niya noong mga panahon na iyon. Malungkot siya, naging malihim, at kinimkim niya lahat ng sakit. Pero tama nga ba ang ginawa niyang desisyon? Na kinimkim ang lahat ng nararamdaman niya kahit masakit na ito ng sobra?
Habang nakatitig sa kawalan ay inisip niya ang lahat ng iyan. Maya-maya ay nagpaalam na lalabas ng kwarto ang kanyang ina at pumasok ang nurse dala ang pagkain niya. Nakatitig pa rin siya sa kawalan at hindi alam kung ano ang kanyang gagawin. Pagkatapos mailapag ng nurse ang pagkain niya ay tinanong ito ng ilang mga tanong at saka lumabas ng kwarto.
Umupo siya at tiningnan ang mga sugat sa pulsuhan niya…habang inaalala ang mga gabing iyon.

“Ate…” tawag sa kanya ng kapatid niya habang kumakatok.

“Ate kain na…”
 tawag sa kanya ng kapatid niya pero ‘di niya ito pinansin.

Umiiyak lang siya nung gabi na iyon habang unti-unti niyang sinusugatan ang kanyang sarili. Wala. Wala siyang maramdaman.
Maya-maya ay pumasok ang mga kaibigan niya at kinamusta siya. Kahit na ‘di siya sumasagot ay kinuwentuhan pa rin siya ng mga kaibigan niya ng mga nangyari sa school at maya-maya ay nagpaalam na aalis na sila. Ganun parati ang naging pamumuhay niya sa loob ng isang linggo. Kakain, matutulog, dadalawin at kakamustahin ng mga kaibigan niya, minsan mga kapatid niya na nakababata kasama ang mama at papa niya.
Nung okey na siya ay agad naman siyang pinalabas sa ospital at pinauwi na ng kanyang doctor. Pinayuhan rin siya ng doctor niya na magpa-psychiatry para matulungan siya sa kalagayan niya. Nang makarating na sila sa bahay nila ay agad siyang pumunta sa kwarto niya at nagkulong. Tahimik lang siyang nakahiga doon at nakatingin sa kisame, ‘di alam kung ano ang gagawin kaya naiyak na naman siya. Hindi niya alam kung masaya siya dahil dinalaw siya ng mga kaibigan niya, kasi ang alam niya lang…ay malungkot siya ngayon at pakiramdam niya ay parang nawawala siya.
Maya-maya ay narinig niyang may kumatok sa kwarto niya at agad niya namang pinunasan ang luha niya at binuksan ang pinto.
“Nasa baba ang missionaries ngayon at kinakamusta ka.” sabi ng mama niya.
“Sige po susunod po ako, mag-aayos lang po.” sabi niya at pumunta sa cr para maghilamos at magsuklay.
Maya-maya lang ay bumaba na rin siya at kinamusta siya ng mga missionaries. Nung hapon na iyon ay nagkaroon sila ng family home evening at nagdinner kasama ang missionaries.
“So sister, okey na daw po ba kayo?” tanong ni sister Casas at tumango naman si Vlaire bilang pagtugon.
“Sister, magpray lang po kayo at ‘wag kayo mawawalan ng pag-asa, madami pong nagmamahal sa inyo.” sabi nung companion ni sister Casas. Ngumiti lang si Vlaire kahit na alam niyang peke lang iyon.
Nung matapos magdinner kasama ang mga missionaries ay inihatid nila ito at nagpaalam.
“Sige po ingat po kayo sisters!” sabi ng kapatid ni Vlaire na si Xiara habang kumakaway dito.
“Ingat po kayo salamat ulit sa pagbisita sa amin.” sabi ng papa ni Vlaire habang nakikipag-shake hands dito.
Bago umalis ng tuluyan ang mga missionaries ay may inabot na letter si sister Mac kay Vlaire. Nagtaka naman si Vlaire ngunit nginitian niya lang ito at naglakad na kasama ang companion niya. Nung makaalis na ang mga missionaries ay umakyat naman siya sa kwarto niya at binasa ang letter ni sister Mac.

Dear sister Vlaire,

Alam ko na nahihirapan ka ngayon at nararamdaman mong parang mag-isa ka lang ngayon. Alam ko yung nararamdaman mo dahil naranasan ko rin iyan. I used to be bullied in my school before and I was a loner, I don’t have friends and my classmates don’t like me either. Kaya kapag lunch namin noon, parati akong mag-isa kumain at lagi akong nasa isang sulok. Hanggang sa nung isang araw, I gave up and I tried to kill myself. I was depressed before but with the help of the missionaries and my family, I was able to endure this trial. Pero hindi lang dahil doon, kundi dahil sa sinabi rin sa akin ng isang missionary noon na magpray lang ako at humingi ng tulong sa Diyos. That time I prayed, even though I can’t feel anything, I still prayed and do you know what happened? I felt happy and at peace. I was amaze and that time my testimony grew because of that experience. Sister Vlaire, alam ko na hindi ka mag-isa at nandiyan parati si Heavenly Father para i-ease yung burdens mo. Just pray and have faith.


Sister Mac

That time ay nagpray si Vlaire at sa wakas ay nakaramdam siya ng happiness at peace. Even though she felt shaken with her testimony before, she was glad to know that she is not alone and that Heavenly Father is always there for her.Ngayon na magse-serve na siya sa mission ay masaya siya dahil hindi nawala ang testimony niya at masaya siyang maglilingkod sa Diyos.