Crossing the Border…decades of suffering…I saw it…I understand it.

When I was on my mission, my LDS mission, that is, my companion and I used to go to the mountains of San Diego, California to teach illegal immigrants that were living in boxes to avoid being caught by immigration and  also because they couldn’t afford any other type of housing. California Farmers only paid them $4 dollars per hour (if that). They would keep $2 and send $2 to their families in Mexico. I still remember their names… Mario, Juan, Maria, Salvador and many others. The first time I arrived there, a three-year old saw us and ran away screaming: “La Migra, “La Migra!” The mother quickly came out from her house made out of a long box, wood and plastic bags and took her away. My companion was blond and blue eyed…so I tend to think the little girl freaked out because of her and not me. 😉 I was in awe to see that something like this was happening in the U.S.

We taught these people and a few of them were baptized including Mario (16), Juan (17), Jesus (17). They had made the journey this young to try to find jobs in the U.S. They were strawberry pickers. Unfortunately, Mario, Juan and Jesus did not show up the day of their baptism. We were sad beyond measure. They seemed so committed and seemed to have the greatest testimony of what we had taught them. We waited for about two hours, then picked up our stuff and were about to leave when…suddenly…the three of them burst into the building with nothing but the clothes they had on. They told us that immigration had come and took pretty much everyone but they were able to escape. That they had prayed to the Lord to help them so they could come to the chapel to be baptized. They did.

I was really sad to hear that the rest of the people we were teaching did not make it out. However, I also thought that it might have been the best thing for the children that were living in such horrible conditions. They didn’t deserve that. Maybe they were taken to shelters and giving food and other things that they were not getting otherwise. From what I hear now, that is probably what happened.

I relate this experience to what is happening right now and the tragedy of it all. To put it in perspective, I remember seeing a video in YouTube about Bolivian Children (4, 5 6-year-old) leaving their home to go to a highway miles away during the night, in freezing cold weather, to get toys or candy from people driving by. The people driving by probably thought that they were doing something good by giving things to these children, when, in reality, they were encouraging these children to leave the comfort of their home, no matter how poor, and risk their lives to get the cheap toys and candy they were given. I feel the same way about the people and children that are coming through the border.

Ronald Reagan passed and amnesty law in 1986 and many illegal immigrants were able to get their documents in order… However, that did not solve the problem, because, since then, the illegal immigration has gotten worse and has reached a dangerous point. The hatred and division among republicans and democrats is irrational and many times criminal. They are using this “years in the making” problem for their own selfish and hypocritical advantage and are using these children as political marionettes.

When I heard about my dear investigators taken away, I was sad and didn’t know how to help… I couldn’t help.  Today, looking at the problem. I feel sad and also find myself unable to help. The problem is too big…is humongous.  However, maybe a drastic move like the one presented by the President, even though it affects some people temporarily in a terrible way, might save lives and stop thousands of other people from coming and risking their lives including the lives of children who are prey to corrupt and evil individuals. I know many people will get angry and mad at me for saying this, but another amnesty will not solve the problem. Instead, maybe if the borders are finally close, people can then apply to come to work legally in the United States as the need for the labor of these “illegal immigrants” is much-needed.  Then they will be paid fair wages, will no longer look over their shoulders wondering when their lives will be change forever, and will be able to live the American Dream free of persecution.

I’m an immigrant, like many, I came legally to this country at a young age. Many amazing people helped me along the way to not only survive the hardships of starting a new life in a completely new country, but also to reach my dreams. I wish the same for everyone that wants to come and help build this beautiful country and continue to make it great. Instead of fixating on our political views, why don’t we all work together, stop the criticism and hate, and find a solution for this problem now that it has captured the attention of everyone.

Amanda Montecinos-Clanton

Kathy Griffin’s insane fame seeking goes after the severed heads of the innocent

In her insane recklessness, Kathy Griffin might have sat night after night watching the lunatic insults to the President from counterparts like Stephen Colbert wondering when she could jump on the bandwagon.  

Her irrational judgment, indubitably, wouldn’t let her go half way. Her makiavelic thoughts had to take her way further than comparing the President to a Gorilla or other insults that I choose not to repeat.

So, of course, she goes to the lowest, most outrageous, most despicable of insults. What her little brain doesn’t tell her though is that, by doing so, she is actually insulting not the President but the many innocent victims who have fallen under the knife of the most evil in this world.

She probably envisioned herself as a Heroine portrayed in newspapers, media outlets and such, or had dreams of liberals applauding her as she waived on a stage dressed in an Oscar-like gown.  Henceforward, she enlists a crew and actually makes it happen. In many ways, successfully.

She, plan intended, becomes the news of the week, and disgustingly but not surprising, receives the support of similar characters.

Jim Carey says:   “It’s the job of the comedian to cross the line at all times.” Jammie Foxx says something similar. Al Franken, with his out of this world despicable hypocrisy, says  he would still participate in a book event with her but, because of a possible political backlash, retracts from it and disinvites Griffin from the event. And, of course, Rossie O’Donnell who still focus her comments on the President and not the real victims of Griffin’s extreme lack of tact.

Is there good news in this tragic event? Yes. America gets it right no matter how long it takes. Despite the agonizing and frustrating images of support, a stronger conservative movement seems to evolve and images of disgust and disapproval are all over giving this country hope that stupidity will not prevail, but sanity and love of country still will.

I still feel sad for that 11 year old boy who had to see his father portrayed with such cruelty, and for the thousands and thousands of people who have to wake up every day to a real photo shoot.

Who knows also–no plan intended by Griffin, now in my book named “She evil?”–that this portrayal might serve to ridicule those who use it to promote their fanatic and extreme religious madness and, in consequence of, the shock value effect of their intent it is diminished.

Will Ferrell’s Get Hard as bad as it gets, avoid it like the plague

We just don’t learn our lesson…My husband and I said we will never watch a Will Ferrell movie again, and there I was…forwarding another crude, rude, stupid beyond words Will Ferrell movie!

Will Ferrell is supposed to be trained by Kevin Hart about the hardship of jail as he was wrongfully convicted for fraud.  Yeah, some critics might think that the movie exposes some important social issues, but not sufficiently enough to have audiences endure the downfall of decency.

I don’t want to say anything else about this movie… just… don’t put yourself through it. Shame on me that I spent the 10 minutes giving the movie a chance.

John Wick 2 Disappoints

Stay away! Even though Keanu Reeves always seems to give some depth to the characters he plays…he can’t save the predictability and the lack of compelling characters in the story…the dog and the wife are gone…so is the motive of the main character to even exist! So, the end of result is a killer who just kills one antagonist after another… about five times and then finds a savior and disappears without dying so another movie can be made.

The swearing and nudity predominant in R rated movies, are definitely found in this movie. That should have been a great reason for me not to watch it, but my husband insisted so I fell under his convincing spell…

1 positive in the movie:

  1. I was able to tell my husband…”I told you so…”  🙂

Moana Enchants

From the astonishing and colorful images of its cinematography to its endearing  characters, Moana captivates the attention and adoration of its audiences, including the most skeptical one.

Despite the fact that Moana does not follow the traditional Prince Charming story line, which is well used by feminist groups, Moana shows not only the beauty of the Pacific Islands culture but also a cute story of triumph and friendship.

I watched this show with my girls, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Only two negatives for this movie.

  1. In one scene Moana seems to refrained herself from swearing a real bad word. The writer seems to think that will give the character more personality and assertiveness. I disagree! Leave kids alone when it comes to this influence.
  2. I love music, but sometimes to much of it is tiresome, specially if the songs seem to follow the same format and tone… Maybe one or two are good enough! let’s just hear the story without using music to tell it so much! I get it, LaLa Land is a musical and won an Oscar, but movies are more real when the characters speak and not sing.

Fear vs Hope

Once again, President Uchtdorf inspires with a message that transcends our own discernment of things or, better yet, gives exquisite answer to intriguing questions that sometimes go unanswered because simple and profound truths get buried by the loud voices of confusion and hate.

I have witness thorough out my life how people with a religious, political or social purpose have forced their agenda using fear to motivate their followers or listeners. President Uchtdorf puts it so clearly when he says:

“Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts, and it will never transform us into people who love what is right and who want to obey Heavenly Father. People who are fearful may say and do the right things, but they do not feel the right things. They often feel helpless and resentful, even angry. Over time these feelings lead to mistrust, defiance, even rebellion.  

And later states:

“The Lord has made it clear that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.”3

As parents we try to use different methods to make our children obey us as we try to protect them. One of these methods is certainly instilling fear in them.  We think that fear will stop them from entering a world that might destroy them or will move them to do what we want them to do. I have seen people that go as far as using “end of the world” strategies or the world is not safe and therefore I will keep you with me at all costs…I see that a lot in parents that choose home schooling.

“One of the ways Satan wants us to manipulate others is by dwelling upon and even exaggerating the evil in the world. Certainly our world has always been, and will continue to be, imperfect. Far too many innocent people suffer because of circumstances of nature as well as from man’s inhumanity. The corruption and wickedness in our day are unique and alarming. But in spite of all this, I wouldn’t trade living in this time with any other time in the history of the world. We are blessed beyond measure to live in a day of unparalleled prosperity, enlightenment, and advantage. Most of all, we are blessed to have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives us a unique perspective on the world’s dangers and shows us how to either avoid these dangers or deal with them.” President Uchtdorf

We all love our children, we want them to be safe and free from suffering, but I realize that we can’t do it with fear. Sometimes we want to protect them from everything but we can’t.  We can be a presence of comfort and guidance, but we cannot give them fear as a tool because they will not survive.

I don’t believe God wants His children to be fearful or dwell on the evils of the world. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”10 He has given us an abundance of reasons to rejoice. We just need to find and to recognize them. The Lord often reminds us to “be not afraid,” to “be of good cheer,”11 and to “fear not, little flock.”12

If we want to persuade our children to make the right choices and be prepared to confront the world, we need to talk to them as intelligent human beings no matter their age. We need to teach them of the dangers of the world and give them spiritual tools to survive it as we still instill in them great hope that the world is still a wonderful place, and, if they ever find it troubling, they have the power to change it. As we do that, let’s listen to President Uchtdorf when he says:

“God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.8 God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.”


Why do we need religion

Religion is or should be a school of learning. A place where imperfect human beings go to learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the things of God. Hence, by participating in righteous activities and teachings you become a better human being no matter the state of your spirituality. For instance, you need religion the same way you need a school to learn to be a doctor. In a college setup environment, a teacher teaches you to save a human life. In a church environment, a teacher teaches you the things of the Lord, how to save your soul, a friend’s soul or how to live a life free of sin, which gives you the best alternative to find happiness away from the conflicting influences of the secular world.

Religion should not preach hate but love as Jesus Christ did. He walked across the land teaching people to love one another and to lay down their lives for their friends. What a great example and what a wonderful message to spread around the world. However, he did not only share this message, but he also built a church and taught people His Gospel. He called Apostles and introduced saving ordinances such as the symbolic baptismal covenant and the concept of the resurrection and Eternal Life. Therefore, He believed in religion, but a religion where we go to learn eternal principles such as the priesthood, the companionship of the Holy Ghost…a guiding force that teaches you in whispers based on your faith.

Jesus Christ taught us amazing things and left us with the greatest gift of Salvation. His actions and words are forever stamped in our souls. Who cannot be inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, or the symbolic Sacrament as he said good bye to his disciples in the Last Supper, or be eternally thankful for His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane as He opened the way for us to achieve exaltation, or his physical agony on the Cross…

All of his teachings and life need to be taught… Religion, used in a positive way, does that. People who are offended by Religion should stay away for the ones that purposely criticize and diminish other people’s beliefs, but should look for the ones that seek to improve our lives through the teachings of Jesus Christ. To each its own though. However, let’s remind us all of our Savior’s message…”if you love me, keep my commandments…” (John 14:15) His commandments are found in his Gospel. His Gospel is his religion.