I love raving about particularly awesome people. And my sister Lisa is one of those people worth raving about! Seriously, she’s a gem. I’m so glad I have a sister/best-friend like her. And she just had a birthday! Time to make her blush a little 😉
Here’s a few reasons why I think she’s amazing!
Super Duper Thoughtful / Always Thinking of Others
I love how thoughtful Lisa is. I think this one of her biggest strengths.
When she’s out and about, going grocery shopping, at the thrift store, the dollar store, or wherever– Lisa is constantly thinking of others. She’ll often pick up a little something, for a roommate, a friend, or one of us sisters. No reason, just because. She does stuff like this for me all the time, like randomly surprising me with a Lindor truffle, or a cute shirt she thinks would be my style, or some scones/yummy food she decided to pick up on the way home. It seems to bring her a lot of joy to do thoughtful things like this for others.
I’ve noticed that Lisa is very observant when it comes to people. She’s mindful of what people like or dislike, things they’re obsessed with, or things they lack/are in need of. “Oh! This would be perfect for_____!” is something I often hear her say when we go shopping together. She seems to pay attention to the little things she notices-– like if someone mentions that they’re out of a certain thing, or need to get something, it’s like she takes a mental note of it (and might perhaps surprise them with it sometime down the road if the opportunity ever arises).
Lisa is very thoughtful when it comes to gift-giving. She gives of her time, doing things like making you dinner or homemade ice cream, crocheting cute little hats or blankets, getting personalized photo mugs made, or hand painting something special just for you, etc. Whatever you get from Lisa she usually put a lot of thought and effort into.
Here’s an example of one of the onesies she decorated for Nephi when he was a baby:
Something super nice that Lisa did for me a while back: (in the midst of an overwhelming time when Nephi and Celeste were both super little) She got me tickets to go to BYU Education Week, with free babysitting provided by her! I was so surprised! She even got work off for it. She knew how much I loved Education Week, and how overwhelmed I was with motherhood at that time, and gave me a much needed break to recuperate.
Oh and Lisa makes the best homemade cards!! She’s known for her awesome card-making skills in our family. They are always so colorful and happy and have funny poems/random silliness that bring out Lisa’s personality
Lisa’s often willing to go out of her way to spend quality time with or do things for those she cares about (like riding her bike a mile to your house, or offering to pick something up at the store or run a needed errand). She good about giving of her time and doing one-on-one time with me. She’s a good listener.
One time when I had to walk home in the dark, she asked me to text her to let her know I got home safely, and I completely spaced it. So what does she do? She finds a ride and shows up at my doorstep in her PJs at 2am, just to see if I was okay. “I can’t sleep until I know you are safe” she said. That’s the kind of person Lisa is. Always watching out for others.
Lisa cares a lot about others. She has a big heart. I’ve noticed that she becomes easily attached emotionally and grows to love people deeply. She sees the good in people and often brings up the positive qualities of others. Lisa makes me feel better about myself when I’m around her because she points out little things she likes about me; I feel truly cared about and accepted when I’m with her.
I love how easily Lisa accepts people and new friends. One cute example, from when she was little: I remember once we were at the mall with my mom, and Lisa saw this girl about her age standing at the bottom of an escalator. Well, Lisa lit up and immediately reached out to her in all sincerity, “Hey, wanna be friends?”, expecting a reply, as the girl went up the escalator and as we walked right past in the opposite direction– it was hilarious
I like how Lisa is very open-minded/accepting and tries not to judge someone before getting to know them. She’s treats everyone with the same courtesy and respect, even those who are different (or who people tend to treat differently). Something that’s a really big deal to her is treating everyone kindly, and it really bothers her when she sees people being unkind to those they don’t like. She cares about people’s feelings, and often does kind things to help cheer someone up when she knows they are feeling down.
Close to the Spirit
Lisa has always seemed to be spiritually sensitive. Here’s one of my favorite stories of this. Well, let me give some background first: So my mom has struggled with infertility a lot. I remember every day in our family we would always pray that Mommy would be able to have another baby soon. Well, one day after praying in her room, Lisa (age 8) came up to my mom and said, “I have a really strong feeling that you’re gonna have a baby.” Well, a couple months later, my mom found out she was indeed pregnant, and later found out it was twins! (It had been 8 years since she was able to conceive). That’s just one example of how close to the spirit Lisa has always been.
I also remember once when we were at a family reunion at Deseret Towers, Lisa was playing and accidentally got stuck in the stairwell. We were looking everywhere for her. Well, come to find out, she had prayed for help, and then my dad had a prompting to check the stairwell, and there she was.
I’ve noticed that Lisa is very keen on whether or not certain things invite or drive away the spirit’s influence in her life. Like with music and movies, she is careful about the lyrics/messages and strives to stay connected by avoiding things that don’t help her to feel close to the spirit. I think that’s cool.
Service should be Lisa’s middle name! It’s just a part of who she is. She’s one of those people who just goes about quietly and does service. Very nonchalantly. So many little acts of kindness go unheralded– I know I’ve missed a ton. It’s just so much a part of her nature that it’s easy to overlook what an angel she is. But it’s seriously such a blessing to have her living with us. She’s so helpful with babysitting and helping out with meals or holding the baby while I cook. Helps with dishes, entertaining children, running errands, and so forth. She even offers to change diapers at times when she’s not babysitting for us! Yeah, I kind of wish that she could stay here forever.
Selfless / Giving
She is very selfless and giving with her time. It seems she’s always willing to spend her time with and for others. I can’t remember how old my little sisters were, but there was a period of time when Lisa would go in and sing the twins to sleep each night (which I imagine took a while because they were pretty rambunctious and didn’t go to sleep very fast if I remember correctly).
Maybe it’s a middle-child thing, but Lisa’s always been the peacemaker at home. She’s always the one to bend first and to be the one to smooth things over.
Devoted & Christ-like
I’ll always remember when she was called to be a sunbeam teacher in our home ward in Mount Pleasant– how much thought and effort she would put into preparing each of her lessons, in order to make it special for those little 3-year-olds. One thing that super impressed me is how, after church each Sunday, she would always sit down and make a cute little homemade handout for each child who didn’t come, expressing her love to them and explaining in detail what they’d talked about in class. She’d carefully color cute little designs and a flower border around the message, and then she’d drop them off to each child that had not been in attendance that day (even if they never came at all). Week after week. I thought that was super inspirational that she cared that much about each of those 3-year-olds and their families, and I’m sure it made an impact on them.
Lisa is a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. She goes to temple regularly. She even worked as an ordinance worker at the temple for about a year (of her own initiative), which took up a large chuck of her Saturdays. I know this took a lot of sacrifice on top of school, but she did it willingly. I would see her even taking other people’s shifts throughout the week.
Takes her covenants seriously. One of Lisa’s favorite scriptures is D&C 97:8 about being “willing to observe [our] covenants by sacrifice.” And that’s something she does, out of faith. I see her wearing either her Young Womanhood Award or “I am a Child of God” necklace all the time, like everyday.
I admire how faithful Lisa is with her personal scripture study (she still strives to do an hour every morning, like on the mission). It’s very important to her; she doesn’t let anything interfere with her having time to study, even if it means foregoing or postponing some fun activities. This girl has her priorities straight. I’ll often see the scriptures, a copy of Preach My Gospel, a Conference ensign, and even her Tagalog Book of Mormon on her desk.
I’ve also been inspired by how faithful she is in observing the Sabbath, paying tithing, fasting, and holding herself to high standards when it comes to media choices and dressing modesty. She isn’t into all the worldly fashions/pop culture, but keeps herself pure and her sights set on an eternal perspective. I love that about her.
Good at Teaching
Lisa’s great at teaching one-on-one. She’s been teaching Nephi the alphabet sounds and how to read, and she’s good at it (because she comes up with silly stories and creative games that capture his attention). He always asks to play “the letter sound game” or alphabet bingo, etc. I’ve been impressed at how much he’s learned and how fun she makes it for him.
Years ago, Lisa helped our twin sisters (who were 2 1/2 at the time) learn all the lyrics to and record a bunch of Christmas songs onto CDs. She also taught them piano lessons growing up. When Lisa was in 8th grade, my mom had written a song to help her memorize the Bill of Rights, and Lisa decided to use it to teach the twins to memorize the 1st amendment…(just imagine the cuteness of hearing little 5-year-old girls reciting/singing “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….[and so forth]”)
She’s good at teaching hard-to-grasp concepts. She has a Tagalog YouTube channel where she has created a bunch of tutorials to teach Tagalog grammar and concepts, and they are amazing! The way she explains things is so clear and easy to understand– she has a good grasp on stuff like that and she’s very good at organizing information in a way that makes sense.
Fun & Quirky!
This is one of my favorite things about Lisa. She can be very silly and fun! Whether it’s the funny poems she writes in her birthday cards, or silly stories she comes up with, or random cheesy puns she makes up on the spot, Lisa’s unique sense of humor is endearing. There’s a lot more laughter with Lisa around.
And this is the random theme song for her tutorial channel, at the end of all her videos (it’s a Tagalog jingle she made up):
(A rough English translation: “We’re so happy now you see, because now we’ve learned how to speak Tagalog just like a native! And if you enjoyed this video, then come on back and join us next time, so that we’ll be able to have more fun / enjoy ourselves even more!”)
These represent her silly sense of humor pretty well: (at one time she had these as her profile pictures, haha!)
Queen of randomness
Growing up, Lisa’s Halloween costumes were always fun & quirky: a baked potato, a slice of pizza, waldo, a mad scientist, or just wearing a sign around her neck that says “I am a frog.” Lisa just likes being Lisa – she plays to her own tune and does her own thing.
Growing up, she always came up with silly nicknames for boys she had crushes on, kind of like a secret code so that we could talk about him without anyone knowing — some of them were super ridiculous and random (Doi Doi, The Muffin Man, Pink Toilet Paper, Mr. Scrunchy, to name a few- hehe!)
She comes up with silly names for other things too, like stuffed animals. For instance, she has a stuffed bear named Mr. Fuzziness, and she gave Nephi a little stuffed animal and named him “Wonkin Foo Foo”. Random, right?
Oh and how could I forget her goofy usernames to like EVERYTHING…she never picks something boring or normal. It’s always something extremely random that you’d never guess, like fluffystarfish or penguinchopsticks or fifferfefferfeff, etc. (just examples). Inside Lisa’s brain is like a Dr. Seuss book! In fact, I bet she and him would get along
I remember growing up she would write/tell funny (because they were so ridiculous) stories, like about the sandwich who was hungry, or a dog who had no ears, or the porcupine who just wanted a hug. Click here for a few random short story samplings to make your day
Queen of Puns:
Lisa’s the queen of cheesy puns! She has a very word-oriented sense of humor. Whatever you say, she’s sure to twist it into something funny if she possibly can. (Like, for instance, this snippet from today):
She comes up with so many word puns that I convinced her a while back to make a blog with all her silly word definitions. Check it out here: Vocabtastic (this is the stuff Lisas are made of)
Along with that,
Fun to study with
Lisa’s the best person to study with! Especially when it has to do with a lot of memorization of random terms and things that are hard to memorize. Because she is so good at coming up with the most RANDOM ridiculous ways to remember things. and so we come up with all these silly associations with words/definitions, which (along with making us laugh) makes them way easier to remember!
Lisa as a child (more little-known stories):
So…Lisa was a funny kid. I think some people who don’t know Lisa very well probably just see her as reserved and sweet–which, yes, she totally is super sweet– but if you didn’t know Lisa growing up, you might not know about her crazy side!
One time my mom was the director for a stake primary choir, and at practices Lisa would take her shoes off and lay down on the bench by the other children who were singing, with her feet sticking straight up and her coat over her feet. It was a really funny sight from the bleachers. That’s how noncomforming Lisa was growing up. She just did her own thing, always. (Haha, my dad even had to come and personally sit by Lisa, so that that wouldn’t happen during the actual performance).
When she was younger, she went through funny phases of unique obsessions – like the year she was totally obsessed with snakes. Or on her 11th birthday when she was obsessed with the color purple and shamelessly went around sporting 11 eleven braids in her hair, wearing purple-colored sunglasses and purple everything. She was kind of a tomboy when she was younger. She loved to play in the mud, climb trees, etc. and preferred to always go barefoot everywhere, often leaving her shoes at friends’ houses.
My mom wrote her this song called “Don’t Wanna Grow Up” that Lisa would occasionally sing for talent shows. It was kind of like her childhood theme song. I love it – I think it perfectly describes Lisa as a child.
When she was 10 or 11, she was cast as the jester in a community play called “The king who loved his lollipops” (a spin off Rumpelstiltskin). She was hilarious and did over-the-top exaggerated emotions/different impersonations for each of her lines. She also played the old hag in my “Cinderella and the 7 little pigs” play and was hilarious in that role too.
To give you an idea of what a unique personality Lisa was when she was younger, here’s another story. When Lisa was 9 or 10, we’d go to Classic Skating every month. Well, she would go and sit right in the middle of the skating rink in a crossed-legged position and close her eyes like Rafikki, humming loudly & pretending to meditate. Haha!
I remember knocking doors with her in an apartment complex when we were out selling girl scout cookies. Once she accidentally knocked on a door we had already been to. She realized her mistake, and without thinking she immediately wiped her hand up and down on the door, frantically trying to “erase” the knock she had just made. We still laugh about that.
Her nickname when she was little was “Relisaciety.”
Random quirky fact: She once filled in for the missing bass section in our ward choir during practice, just for kicks and giggles.
When Lisa was 10, she was a flirt! She would flirt big time with all the high school boys and try to impress them by saying “I bet I can pick you up!” and then she would lift them over her shoulder and they’d be super surprised. (Haha & she’s still a flirt! And it’s cute because now she does it so innocently, without even realizing she’s doing it sometimes. She just has a naturally flirtatious personality I guess).
A couple of her old high school pictures (oldies but cuties!)
Fluent in Tagalog (I think she has a better accent than me)
She can french braid!
She makes the best coconut cookies ever.
Knowledgeable about communication disorders, especially language development, and ear anatomy/ear infection stuff.
(Those last two each deserve a whole point of their own)
Lisa is very creative and artistic! She loves to crochet, draw, paint, and do artsy crafty stuff. She’d love to go into illustration someday, and I think she’d be good at it. She draws fun little comics that make my heart happy. Like this one (based on Matthew 7:3):
Lisa has her own kids coloring YouTube channel, where she colors all sorts of cute little cartoons for kids to help them learn how to draw different things. (Her top video has over 400,000 views, and she only started a few months ago). She can just look at a picture of Winnie the Pooh or something, and can usually copy it more or less (without tracing). I definitely don’t have that gift, so I think that’s pretty cool.
She plays the piano. I always think of her whenever I hear Yanni songs, like this song she learned on the piano. I always was the one to pick bouncy upbeat songs on the piano and it seems like Lisa often opted for the more soothing classical pieces. We have a bunch of fun little duets we like playing together (like chopsticks, etc.)
Sings. I’ve always loved how soothing Lisa’s voice is. It’s soft and sweet. Hearing Lisa sing, you can’t help but feel more calm and relaxed. It’s like a motherly type of voice–you feel like you’re in a safe zone when you hear it.
She can write her own alto part to songs. She’s really good at improv harmonizing alto. One thing that’s super cute and endearing is how she automatically starts humming an alto part to whatever songs are playing at the moment, like when we go to the grocery store, she’ll start harmonizing along with the pop song currently playing in the background- and she doesn’t even realizing she’s doing it until you point it out. Haha it’s adorable!
We have a long tradition of singing duets together, like “Danny Boy,” “Baby Mine,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and other 40s songs (mostly Andrew sisters stuff that my mom used to sing in her trio). We like singing in the kitchen while we do dishes, in the car, in the rain, etc. And recording cheesy singing answering machine greetings! When we were younger, we had a singing group with our neighbor friends called “Neighborhood Stars” that mom directed. We’d often perform at rest homes and stuff, which was fun.
Good with children
Lisa just has a way with children. She always has. Perhaps because she’s a very gentle & loving type of person, I’ve noticed that little children actually seem drawn to her. It kinda reminds me of how little children are drawn to the Savior- she just has that sweet innocent Christ-like aura about her. I remember when she was in high school, there was this single mother in our ward with four young children who she would regularly babysit for, and Lisa would often go sit by them in sacrament meeting to help out with the children. It was obvious that those children loved her.
Lisa’s the best auntie ever! Always up for playing games and spending time with the kiddos doing things they like to do. Nephi and Celeste absolutely love her. It’s fun having Lisa around because she’s always coming up with fun ideas for activities to do with them. I love how she enjoys doing things that make them feel loved and valued and build their reservoir of childhood memories.
I love Lisa’s hair – it’s super wavy & gorgeous. I call it “Duggar hair.” (if you’ve ever seen 19 Kids & Counting, it’s like the wavy hair that a lot of the Duggar girls have). One thing that’s interesting about that is that I didn’t really notice the waviness until after her mission – it’s like her hair changed on her mission, which is interesting
#BlessingsofServingaMission? #YourHairWillBecomeDreamy #NotThatitWasntBefore
Other random fun stuff about Lisa:
She loves Mexican food, Cafe Rio, Chocolate, and BearClaw ice cream. She loves feel-good movies like Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, & InsideOut, etc. She loves the color deep red. She likes hymns, seminary music, and anything uplifting. One of her primary love languages is quality time.
She is very neat and organized. Compared to me at least, haha. Like her purse/bag- she seems to carry things with her in an organized way (whereas I just stuff it all in my bag). And she seems more or less prepared for everything. In high school I remember we would tease her because she would always carry around her toothbrush/floss in her backpack. Lisa’s a bit of a germaphobe. She’s very cleanly- it’s great ’cause I always know I won’t get food poisoning when she cooks
Her Mission to the Philippines!
(Picture of Lisa and I riding a tricycle when she came to the Philippines with my parents to pick me up from my mission)
I LOVE the fact that Lisa got called to serve a mission in the Philippines, just like I did! It’s so fun talking to each other in Tagalog and reminiscing together about our fun memories in the Philippines. I remember when Lisa put in her mission papers, she was thinking it would be stateside as she didn’t think she could handle a 3rd world country (per her germaphobeness). None of us were thinking Philippines, since that’s where I’d been called, so of course she would be called somewhere else). But then lo and behold- she opened her call to the Philippines! And so she went in faith, and now she loves the Philippines just as much as I do! That has brought us closer together than ever- it’s fun being able to go back and forth about our experiences. I’m so glad I have someone who can totally relate with me on that. I mean sure I can tell other people about those experiences but there’s just no one else who will get it quite like Lisa does.
Here’s a link to a mission interview we did with her right after she got home from her mission
Other memories with Lisa that remind me of her:
Watching girly movies together
Making Filipino food together
Going grocery shopping together
Using all of our birthday club coupons together (since our birthdays are 4 days apart! It’s the best!)
Going running together
Random sisters outings
Eating vanilla ice cream with peanut butter together (everyone else thinks it’s strange but we totally get it)
Being in the Mormon Miracle Pageant together!
Working together at the MTC Mailroom! I always loved having shifts together because we could do sister talk in the back while forwarding letters.
Weekly lunch dates with our daddy!
Late night talks
Taking silly pictures together
Incessantly quoting movies we both grew up on as part of nearly every conversation
Bringing up silly inside jokes that sound super weird to anyone else but to us are utterly hilarious
So there you have it. Now you know a few reasons why Lisa’s one of my favorite people in the world.
Yeah pretty much, whoever she ends up with is gonna be the. luckiest. guy. in the world.
I’m so glad I have a sister like you, Lisa! Thanks for being the bestest friend ever
Mahal na mahal kita!! <3