Monday, June 27, 2011

My Mini-Me

Dear Mom,
What a week, I don't even know where to begin.

Before then, sounds like Jason has having a blast at BYU! Sister Squires says he's known as the "piano man" from what Dan tells her. That's for sure my little brother. I wish I could have been there to see his graduation, but just like you said mom, I'm just as proud of him as you are. He will someday change the world with his music.

I guess we can start with the weather, since that's been our main battling factor. We had two typhoons come through this week. Actually a really funny story. So the first one, "Egay," came in and left, and then a second one came in, drew the other one back, and they combined to make a super typhoon! Our areas were at some spots, knee high in water. It rained straight, no stopping, from Tuesday until Saturday morning. It was a pretty crazy experience, and people were afraid that it was going to be "Ondoy" again, a huge disaster that flooded all of Metro Manila, taking many lives, nearly two years ago. And to only think it is the beginning of rainy season. For days we went through floods and mud and mud and mud to make it to people to only find empty houses or people diligently cleaning destroyed houses. It's been great to leave prayers and help them. In some areas, missionaries were evacuated to higher ground because of possible flooding. Fortunately, everyone is okay.

Well, we saw the return of the Davocol Family to church this past week. I included some pictures at the family home evening we had with them, just like the one Jason attended the other night. It's just a night where the family gets together and we have a short lesson and play games! Hope you like the pictures!

This game is called "Penoy Henoy"... I think.  You have a partner and in front of your partners head is a word. They are given a category and try to guess the word and all you can say is oo (yes), hindi (no), or puwede (lit. you can).

This is Elder Tengelsen's favorite game. What you do is you point to someone and they make an animal noise and then you have to try to guess who it is. 

Poor Enrique never seems to do well when we play games haha.

Brother Davocol was the funniest... he's not pointing at anyone right now... just a wall haha.
Wednesday we had interviews with President DeLaMare for the very last time. It was really sad, but exciting. My companion and I were extremely blessed when President decided that he wanted to work with us for the day. The lesson we got to teach with them was a lesson I will never forget. Not many missionaries can say that their mission president asked if it was okay to come with them to a lesson. How lucky were we.

President and Sister DeLaMare with us and the Marilag Family
I guess for this week, I just want to talk a little more about one of the youth in the Ampid area. His name is Enrique - my mini-me. I am not sure where I can start with this kid. I have had a lot of time to spend with this 16 year-old boy this past week, and all I can say, is that I found me. Enrique is the oldest in his family; a very broken family. His dad passed away while he was young and his other siblings all have different fathers. He is the only active member in the church, and in reality, the only one really striving to do good. He walks about three miles nearly everyday, rain or heat to make it to the church at least four or five times a week with activities. This past week he also set aside a lot of time to work with us.

In the time I got to spend with him, I have found the sixteen year old kid that I was when I found the missionaries. Definitely not the most perfect, a tad disobedient, but just wanting to be loved and belong. He works very hard in church, although he isn't very smart, and for some reason, I've just felt like he is someone that I really need to help. Friday night he ran to our apartment in the middle of the storm, even through floods for a few miles just to talk, and it turned out all he really wanted was a hug. He's told me that he's never been as close as we are with anyone in his family, and told me that he prays everyday that I'll spend my last year in this area. I can't even begin to say what effect he has had on me as a missionary or person.

Today, my companion and I took him and one of the other young men, Mak-Mak, to get Enrique a pair of shoes. He has one pair that he uses for church and school that are really beat up, and doesn't have anything else to use. His feet are pretty beat up from not having a decent pair to use. We searched for a really long time, and tried on lots of pairs, but finally found the right pair. I couldn't explain to you how happy and thankful he was at the end of the day when I handed him the shoes to take home and he gave me the biggest hug I've gotten my whole mission, smiling and teary-eyed. I can remember feeling that much love for my missionaries when I was sixteen. Going through such a hard time in life, they helped me clean up and find true happiness in eternal things, rather than temporal, worldly things. I can remember their phone calls every night, just making sure I was okay. Elder Russell, always treated me like his little brother. Every time he would call me he would open the call with "Hey Buddy," and end it with, "Love you buddy, keep your nose clean." I remember telling them, Elder Russell and Elder Bullock, that someday I would serve a mission and find a troubled, little sixteen-year-old like me to help. Now, I tell Enrique the same thing - "Love you buddy, keep your nose clean."

It's odd to be important to someone, but to see him confide in me as an older brother has really given me a chance to feel just a little bit of God's love for His children. I'm not sure where I will go from here, but I'm going to do everything in my power to help him have a good life. I know that there is no greater joy in life than just that.

Elder Corpuz

P.S. - We put on a sweet teaching for our ward missionaries last week. It was awesome and went well! Remember when I told you my ward was in the Ensign? Look for some of these girls there!