Monday, June 6, 2011

Better Than Superheroes.

Dear Mom,
I was pretty much in tears reading all of your emails about how great Mat's homecoming was. I am so glad you all went since I couldn't be there. Has he really changed that much? Guess that's what the mission does to you. I hope I'll come back changed a little. I can't believe he is home now, I've been processing that all week. Time flies though. But thanks again for going today. And I'm glad you ran into Crew's parents and Marie's parents as well! Crew is coming home soon, that's crazy to think too. I was touched by the story you told me about my plaque mom. I chose that scripture, 2 Cor. 12:9, the night of my setting apart as the theme of my mission. I'm going to get the picture you sent me, of you holding my plaque, printed and put it on a picture frame on my desk.

Well let's have a drum roll to build suspense of where I am now.

[Insert "drum roll" here]

I am in San Mateo, Rizal PROVINCE!

Yup, absolutely no where near my other areas. I am serving in the Ampid and San Mateo ward of the Montalban stake. More on that in a bit.

As with anything, and just like you said mom, the past week has been hard. I've never been good at goodbyes and was in tears the whole jeepney ride leaving my last area; just like when I left my first area. It's okay though, because that's how life is, and that's how the mission is: you leave people you love, to find more people to love.

I was really surprised to be assigned here. I actually wasn't paying attention during transfer meeting when they called my name. (Yeah mom, you're right, it's because I was talking.) They called Elder Corpuz up... and the last part I caught was... "The one from Vegas." I am currently with Elder Tropia from Pangasinan - he speaks Pangalatok though, not Ilocano. And, I am "follow-up training" him. Follow-up training is the unofficial calling of being the first companion after a missionary's trainer. Elder Tropia has been out all of six weeks and it's been a blast having this responsibility. We get a long well, and he's super talkative so it makes things a lot better.

On the area? Well, it's GORGEOUS! It's SO clean compared to Caloocan. We live in a nice subdivision which is very quiet and peaceful and there is so much green here I just can't process it! We are also right by the mountains which is great! The air is fresh, there is no pollution, and not many drunk people either. I have finally left the city and stepped foot (almost) into what they call the "probinsiya" or "province" area - what we would call "countryside" in the states.

It's also been raining a lot so it's been really cool. I've actually been using my sheet at night which is unbelievable. I have a few funny experiences to share.

First, if you're near food, read this later.

So the other day, my companion was in the shower getting ready and he was taking a really long time (I'm not sure I want to share this story haha). Like a really long time. And I really, really, really had to use the bathroom. I can't even explain. As in I had to use the bathroom, or else I was literally going to poop my pants. Anyway, it got really bad, so I decided that desperate times call for desperate measures and pulled out a plastic bag and some baby wipes, took my Filipino squat, and went to town. Yup - it was an experience I'll never for get.

Also, since we are in the province, I have seen things I've never seen before! Like cows! Haha. We were in the trike on the way home the other day and I screamed because I saw the head of a cow peaking out of the grass about ten feet from me. Not used to that! Also, while we were walking to an appointment, I noticed the strangest sound that I can't even described. It sounded like those tube party favor things that make kind of a scooping noise when you rock it back in forth - just something really strange. Anyway, it sounded like it was coming from 702394875029384750392 different directions and I just turned to the ward missionary working with us and asked what it was. She laughed and responded "frogs." I just looked at her and was like... no. Frogs say "ribbit." It was just all laughs after that.

Saturday we made it to temple tour - great as usual. Our tour was at the same time with Elder Peterson which was great. We have been in the same zone all the way up until now my whole mission so seeing him was quite the treat. He is in Valenzuela now, just by Caloocan.

Church was great on Sunday. Want to know something cool? I don't know if the "Ensign" magazines still get sent to our house, but maybe you can look into it. In the May issue from General Conference, there are pictures from all around the world, but mostly just Utah. Towards the back, there is a picture of some young women walking to the church from "Montalban, Philippines." I am serving in their ward right now! The Ampid ward! Crazy right?

And the last bit of crazy news, (did I mention me and Elder Corpuz are in the same zone again?) because I am part of the Montalban zone, I will be a part of the new mission, the Philippines Quezon City North Mission, as of July 1, 2011. It is going to be crazy being the first missionaries in a brand new mission. Our new mission president will be President Sperry. When I found out, I was actually really sad. Pretty much all of my friends are in the other mission including the majority of the people I was with in the MTC, including Elder Frost, my MTC companion. Elder Haws and Elder Christensen are also in the south mission. It was hard news to take, but also exciting. So maybe mom, they'll have to take that plaque they gave you back and add one more mission to it! It's going to be great though, and even better news, it means I'll be coming home three weeks early, the end of June 2012! This transfer will be a long nine week transfer though, so that's where the sacrifice will be. Either way it will be exciting. The goodbyes this transfer will be hard, but the standard we will be setting is even greater.

I attached a picture from our zone meeting this morning that I think you will enjoy. My new zone is great and our theme for this transfer is"Better than Heroes." Because we don't save lives, we save souls.

Here we go again - let it begin.

Elder Corpuz