Thursday, November 4, 2010

The First.

Magandang "All Saints Day" at "Halloween" sa inyong lahat! Mayroon akong maraming karanasan na nais kong magbahagi sa inyo! Unang-una, kumusta po ba kayo? Puwede po ba akong mag-ingles?

This week has been full of changes and surprises. We had a new addition to our house with the end of this transfer. Elder Ablog was transferred out, and Elder Arthur, a Tongan from New Zealand, was transferred in. It's been awesome with him around; the house is definitely a different place!

After I emailed you guys last Wednesday, we got to share the rest of the night with the Angoluan family for our dinner appointment. We had previously scheduled it with them because we thought that one of us might be transferred. But as the verdict goes, both of us were staying and they were really happy about that! We came in to a big surprise though. They had prepared some signs and cards for us that said "Til we meet again Elder Corpuz & Elder Jennings." The kids spent all day coloring and making it on Monday because of Barangay elections. Sister Jen was telling us that even though their hands were hurting, they still finished it for us. I was happy we weren't getting transferred because I would've cried really hard. I really love that family, they've become great friends to me and my companion. The best part is that the kids have really been opening up to us, especially little Ernest. And of course you know me and kids; for some reason they love me. Of course being a missionary it's kind of different, but we're still able to spend time with them and play games which is great. I guess I'm just everyone's big brother it seems. The other day Ernest was so happy to see us. He came out side and (in Tagalog) said "Elders! Over here! Come in, come in!" and then when he left he got really sad. As we were walking from their house he ran outside there house and shouted at the top of his little lungs "Bye-bye elders!" They're all great, and tonight we'll be having family home evening with them which will be awesome. Sister Jen will be preparing dinner and games as well as a spiritual lesson which I'm really excited for!

Saturday was a very special day: Sister Cecilia's baptism and the first time I was able to perform the ordinance. We started out the day by picking her up early and taking her to the Manila Philippines Temple Tour which was great. She loved it and we were able to take Mae-Mae, her great niece, with us as well. With Cecilia, there's a few things you must know. First, she takes care of a lot kids; Mae-Mae, her great nephew Mack-Mack, and many, many more kids. She has one older son who is very well off but they don't really keep in touch. Last night she was telling us how they don't really have a relationship and it hurts her, but its good that all these other kids look up to her. She is also very giving. She lives in a squatter like house, although she can afford to live in a nice house she chooses not to. She likes living simple. She also loves serving people. She loves spoiling her "alaga's" or ones she takes care of and helping them out. She said, with tears, there's nothing that makes her happier. When we were at the temple that day, Mae-Mae saw a set of scriptures that she really wanted. Mae-Mae is the only LDS member in her family at the age of 11 and she depends on Cecilia to take her to church every week. When Cecilia saw her looking at the scriptures, she asked her, "Mae-Mae, do you have one like that?" and she looked down and responded, "No, grandma, I don't have one." So Cecilia said, grab two, one for me and you, and go pay for it okay? It brought quiet tears to my eyes to see her loving care for Mae-Mae as well as all she gives to all the others she takes care of.

After we went to the temple, we went straight to the church to prepare for the baptism. The service was very, very amazing. We had great speakers and the women of the ward put together a special musical number just for Cecilia. As I performed the ordinance, I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn't explain how happy I was to be able to bring Cecilia to Christ through baptism. As I said the prayer, I was able to look in her teary eyes and look out to a smiling congregation. She came out of the water with a huge smile; I couldn't ask for much more.

As for now, she's continuing forward through her trials. The ward as welcomed her smiling face and willingness to serve and I'm so thankful for her humble, soft heart.

Anyway, that's all for this week really, or rather the past few days. Hope all is well with you all, until next time!

Elder Corpuz