Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The hardest week.

Dear Mom,
I wish I could write this email to you and completely hide everything that's happened this past week. It's been a hard week. In the end, there have been many lessons learned though.

Our first picture.
I'm pretty sad to say that in my supposed favorite area as of now, this was my last week. I guess that's just how life works, especially when you enjoy things so much.

It seemed like the whole week was just days building up to Enrique's birthday. Coordinating with his family, getting little things here and there, running errands and what not. I guess that's pretty much what it all led up to and probably the highlight of the week and the transfer.

Making malagkit!

We arranged with his family to have a small get together and surprise 17th birthday party for Enrique last Friday. They would provide pancit and I was answer to the dessert - I chose "malagkit" or sticky rice because I really wanted to learn how to make it. We also put together a few presents: I gave him the set of hankerchiefs that Sister Jen from my first area gave me, because I knew that if she were here she'd want to give him something, a Tagalog bible because that's what they are studying in seminary this year, the scriptures that the Squires sent, and a case that I got him for the scriptures.

I wish you could have been there to see his reaction when he walked into the door.

Enrique took speechless to the next level. He walked in and just stared at everything and everyone. I yelled "Surprise!"... but he still didn't respond. People were kind of confused, but understood. His mom got mad at him because he didn't look very happy and explained how we had been putting this all together for him. He came in and just sat down. Didn't say "hi", didn't say anything. I honestly was a little hurt, so I stepped outside and his mom explained to me that this is the first time his whole life that he ever celebrated his birthday because they've never had enough money. He told me later on that day, the whole time he was just forcing back the tears. The tears came out though when he started opening the presents. It was a success and although he didn't say much, you could see the gratitude in his eyes. Afterwards he spent the rest of the day working with us and practicing for the show the next day.

Asked me to light the candles.

Enrique with his mom, step-siblings, and cousin.
Handkerchiefs from Sister Jen
Tagalog Bible - this is when the tears started.
Scripture case.
Scriptures from the Squires
The next day was the Cultural Show for our stake. Each of the seven wards or branches prepared one modern dance and one cultural, Filipino dance. It came out really great. We had one of the people we are teaching participate and brought some people we were teaching to watch. We had special permission to attend so it was really a treat.

The girl with the bangs in the middle's name is Jenny, she'll be baptized this coming Saturday.

This dance was the best! It was about a duck or something.

Liszete on the left and Jorome on the right, we are teaching Liszete right now.

And then after the show that night, things just went downhill. Things were said, misunderstood, mistakes big and small were made, and gossip on top of everything else took a hold of any good we had done in the ward - all with Enrique and I right in the middle. Everyone was left with a sleepless Saturday night. Sunday, things seemed to be worked out for the most part and things were fixed most importantly between Enrique and I. But people have insisted on opening up the problem again and again, so leaving the area will just be the best thing for the both of us.

It hurts a lot, it hurts to leave like this when there were no cruel intentions. It's a time that I've missed home a lot, but to have the comfort of knowing the our Heavenly Father knows my heart and the hearts of those involved makes me have just a little bit of hope. I'm thankful for the lessons learned, although it's come to the expense of Enrique and I's friendship, but I know prayers, time, and hope will heal. I can't take your hugs right now, but I can take your prayers. I know somehow, someway, somethings will be okay.

In thinking of all that's happened, I've thought about a couple of Carrie Underwood songs: "So Small" and "Lessons Learned."

These songs talk about how sometimes problems just seem so big at the time, and although we just feel like giving up, the most important of all to realize is that love is what matters after all and makes the problems seem so small. It's easy to get lost in problems that seem so big at the time and think that you can't change, but with every break in your heart and tear that falls from your eyes, we learn lessons for our eternal benefit. It's difficult when you can't see the eternal perspective, but stepping back and seeing how our problems in this life our so short, gives us hope. Knowing that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all sins and gives us all another chance is something that I've learned really in this past week. It will be hard to leave this area, but I am grateful of the things have happened to help me to finish my mission with a humbler heart and more open alert eyes.

I guess we will just see where the Lord takes me now. I know time will heal the wounds that were left here and I hope to be able to come back without sour feelings. For now I'll just remember Sunday night, put my trust in the Lord, and hope for the best.

Thanks for your love, prayers, and support. Keep them coming - especially now.

Elder Corpuz

Pictures from Sunday night -