Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Because you taught me to be.

Dear Mom,
It was so great to talk to you all yesterday on Skype. I am so glad I get to serve a mission where there is technology to where I can see your faces and see our home. It was probably one of the best Mother's Days I have ever had, and definitely the one that I appreciated you the most.

This week has been great! There's been so much that's happened!

Last Wednesday we had what is called "Mission Tour," a conference where the General Authority over the area of the Philippines comes and talks with and sees how the mission is doing. Elder Edwards came and talked to us last Wednesday. He was a mission president in Zimbabwe for three years and then was called to the Area Presidency of the Philippines about five years ago. When I came and introduced myself, I told him I was from Las Vegas and he proceeded to ask where. So I told him Summerlin, and he asked what stake, and what ward. Guess what? He is from Vegas and actually, supposedly has a brother in my home ward, the Palo Verde Ward. What a small world right? The conference was great and they fed us some great food after. The central messages of the conference was around the Jubilee and the mission split. We talked a lot about how God doesn't make accidents and we were all chosen to be in this mission at this time a very long time ago. The split is going to be crazy and we will know exactly what mission we are in on May 26, next transfer day. It's crazy!

Sister Lamoste's last lesson with Renato.

Also after, we had a surprise call from our bishop's daughter who just got home from her mission in Angeles, Philippines. Literally just got home. She had yet to be released and still had her name tag, so what did she want to do? She wanted to work. She worked all the way up to her release with us. It was really inspirational to see her not wasting any second of her mission. I hope to finish strong as well.
Right before she got released at their house. See that baby? That's why I get pee'd on all the time!
This past Saturday we had a stake baptism again. And well, it was kind of sad. We doubled our baptisms from last time, but the total number was less than half that we had last time. Nevertheless, four of our candidates made it all the way, including Miljon Dalut. Man, I think I've told his story to you many times so you'll have to look it up, but it was an experience I thought I would never get the chance to witness. I was able to baptize him, and let me tell you, I almost got baptized too. He's a big guy! And although I am just as ripped and as huge as Mat Squires is, getting him up out of the water was a challenge and I almost went down! But I made it! And you should have seen his family. His wife and five daughters were in tears with me. That morning, we had also gotten a call from his wife saying that their oldest, 11-year-old daughter had been preparing "How Great Thou Art" to sing as a surprise for her dad. So I arranged it with the stake president, and she was able to sing for the 16 people baptized and the rest of the congregation. She was too nervous to go by herself, so she asked me to come and sing with her, so I held her mic and sang softly behind her just to make her feel like she wasn't alone. She did great. And it was an experience I'll never forget. Monalisa, Miljon's wife, was so, so happy because all their problems with alcohol and within the family have gotten so much better and have nearly disappeared. The other three candidates were Alma, Selvacion's daughter who we baptized last stake baptism; Jepoy, Vince's cousin who we baptized a few weeks back; and Michael, one of our bishops nephews. It's so great to see these people's lives drastically change and see the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in bringing peace into an ever changing world.

Miljon and his family.
And yesterday - Mother's Day. It was pretty sad at times seeing everyone with their mom and greeting all the mother's. Our Sunday school teacher, a return missionary, even broke down talking about his mom and how he misses her because she is so far away. Sacrament meeting was very touching. All the songs and talks, of course, were about Mothers. I wish you could have been there mom. Sister Lamoste gave her homecoming talk and just talked about her mom. How her mom used to make sure she sat down and read from the Book of Mormon everyday and made sure she prayed and did all her chores. How her mom gave her her faith in Jesus Christ and taught her how to live righteously. And how her mom, through thick and thin no matter what the trial, always took her back and loved her regardless. She also sang a song about Mothers and how we are the great people we are because it's who our Mother's have raised us to be. And it's true mom. Everything she said, I could say about you too. There is no one I miss more or is more special to me than my mom and that's a promise. I may be turning 21 soon, but I am still your little boy and will do my best to make you proud. Everyone from the ward also made it a point to shake my hand, and tell me to tell you Happy Mother's day for them as well, so on behalf of them, I give you their love. I hope you know your special to me mom. I'm who I am because it who you've taught me to be.

Elder Corpuz