Monday, February 7, 2011

Visaya ka ba?

Hey family!
Well, this week has been short and fast. We've been working really hard and it kind of takes me back to senior year in high school - lots of hard, physically demanding work - except here I'm ensured a full night's worth of sleep. That's so awesome that you've both been here though! I'm sure it's a little bit different - 45 years is a pretty long time.

This past week, I've been asked a billion times if I'm Visayan. Kind of strange right? I never got it in my last area so I wasn't really expecting it here. The Visayas compose the middle part of the Philippines - Luzon the top, Visayas the middle, and Mindanao the south. Every time I ask, I get the same answer though. Apparently, it's the nice way of saying I don't speak Tagalog really well. They say that when they hear another Filipino speaking English, their first assumption is that their Visayan because they can't speak Tagalog, but speak English really well. So whenever someone tells me I have a Visayan "accent," I know I need to watch my Tagalog... or just not speak it.

The area is great, it's different, but great. It's a lot less busy than Quezon is and a little more rural. I don't have any huge streets that I need to cross, but instead I go through a bunch of sketchy alleyways and what not and somehow end up to where I need to be. It's kind of really, really dirty. There's mounds and mounds of trash everywhere and the water is pretty much black, but the people are still great.

The week flew by because we worked really hard. We came into the apartment everyday with sore feet and lazy eyes. Every night laying down to bed was just a huge blessing. Hard work is always followed by hard trials though. I would never dare say serving a mission is easy, especially starting over again. It's hard not to take the jokes about how bad my Tagalog is or go the whole day sometimes barely talking to anyone. Having people cuss at you as you walk by and make fun of you doesn't exactly make you feel good either - especially when they look at you like your not human. It's hard - but I've really grown to see that remembering the blessings helps.

I've seen so many people here that can barely walk on one leg - or like this member I met from Ilocos, has lost toes because of diabetes. Sometimes it's just a miracle to have a full body that works. Arms. Legs. Ten toes. Two eyes. I've seen it all. The things we take for granted everyday when we just focus on the things we lack.

For the next week, we'll keep working hard. I wish I had the time to tell you crazy stories or send pictures, but the truth is I ran out of time just a bit ago. The week has been great though, and I know it will continue to be that way. We'll keep working hard despite the trials, whatever they may be. Regardless, we'll continue on.

Forward, pressing forward.

Elder Corpuz