Monday, June 20, 2011

This is my army.

Dear Mom,

Jason is in college! That is sweet! I'm sure he will love BYU and hope that he'll make the best of friends just like I made. The first few weeks even for me were hard with the adjustment, but I know that everything will work out. My prayers as well as my friends prayers here in the mission and at home are with him. Also a congrats to Jase on graduation this coming week!

Before I start, Happy Father's Day Dad! Man, I was really thinking about you the other day; about how you've been there with me through thick or thin. I especially thought about you this past week. We were able to do service for a lady and I thought about how hard you would have worked if you were there. I told myself that I had to work hard and make it good, just like my dad would. We did a couple jobs. One is repainted the inside of this house that was actually built by missionaries about ten years ago for this family. Now, they are having us repaint it and build a house for a friend they have. She has a sad story, her husband started beating her and without laws in this country, there isn't much to do. So she's found refuge here and we're building her a place to stay where she doesn't have to worry about rent. I knew that if you were here dad, you would be right by my side doing the work with me, but since you're not, I told myself I'd work twice as hard for you.

I also thought about this story that I read in a church magazine called the "Liahona" the other day about a father and son who went four-wheeling. The story goes that the father and son left, but the son went off track into a dangerous area but his dad didn't notice. After they had been separated for about two miles I think, the dad said that he heard his son scream, "Dad I need you!" So he went back and found his son. Something without a doubt was with divine assistance. I thought about a story that you might not remember. Do you remember when we used to go for bike rides in Oklahoma? Or when you used to run and Jason and I road our bikes? I must have been maybe six or seven, but do you remember that one bridge with the really steep hill with the bush on the other side that I rollerbladed into onetime? Yeah, that one. I was thinking about the time when I was riding my bike up that hill, but being really, really tired. I remember almost getting to the top and giving it my all, but just not being able to do it. So finally, I just let go of the peddles, knowing I'd just go straight back and probably get really hurt. And then, all I can remember, is falling for a split second, then feeling a hand on my back pushing me to the top. It was my dad - just in time. I know you must have seen me and rushed to my rescue and know that you will always be there for me dad. Thanks for everything. You're the best dad in the world, I wouldn't have anyone else.

Well, this has been a short, ordinary week. It's still great nonetheless though. And yeah, I can open a can with just a knife now!

I gave a member my camera so hopefully they will be able to upload the pictures with the captions I sent. This week, I really just want to talk all about my ward missionaries in these wards - the youth. This is my army.

I'm serving currently in two wards here in San Mateo, Rizal - the San Mateo Ward and Ampid Ward. Each has the most youth I've seen my whole mission and they all are really solid. I've had a chance to work with most of these youth who are preparing for missions and all I can say is that I am really learning from these 16-18 year olds.

Each of these kids has a story, every single one of them. Out of the pictures from the temple last week and the one we took after our missionary coordination meeting yesterday, I think only one or two of them has a full active family in church. All the others come to church by themselves. Most come from either inactive families or are converts. Some walk miles in the rain to come to church and sacrifice days to come work with us and find people to bring to the gospel. All of their families seem really rough, but they are all so strong. I wish I could tell you about all of them but one of them, Enrique, is one of only two active teenagers in his family. His family has about six kids with different fathers and things just are not regular for him. When I apologized, he just smiled and said that it was okay because he was used to it. These kids find refuge in the church and the ward takes care of them. I know that life has dealt them some tough cards right now, but I know it's because they are strong. One day, they will all go out and change the lives of so many people. They are my heroes.

As for now, we're getting ready for the mission split rapidly coming up. We'll be having interviews and seeing President and Sister DeLaMare for the final time on Wednesday and welcoming in the new mission within the next couple weeks. It's going to be a crazy site to see. Hope all is well back home, I'll talk to you soon!

Elder Corpuz