Sunday, December 4, 2011


Elder Posadas and Elder Corpuz' last picture.
Dear Mom,
The days have been long. Days always seem long when you go through a drastic change. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days of taming perilous skies and saving lives. Crossing the country and conquering the unreacheable. Cradling to pins or wearing pink casts. Things only our family would understand. Time just goes and leaves us behind if we're not ready. And when we aren't ready, anxiety and pain always seem to be there to suffocate us.

Transfer announcements were exciting, humiliating, and heart wrenching. After I left you from my last email, all Elder Jolley and I did was go around and pretty much cry for the rest of the night with some of the toughest goodbyes the mission has ever promised me. The last night was hard. It was really, really hard, on top of disappointments with friends. Sleep seemed to be the only temporary answer as well as a last move that eventually would take us to the inevitable future. The jeepney ride to the transfer point in Novaliches was quiet and sad. Elder Posadas and I sat right next to each other with our arms wrapped around one another, like two little brothers venturing off to some kind of unknown place not knowing what would become of them - scared, anxious, but excited for the unexpectable future. And then the verdict.

Elder Posadas - Burgos, Montalban.
Elder Jolley - Novaliches, Quezon City.
Elder Corpuz - Fairview, Quezon City.

We all, the two especially, were given heavy-duty responsibilities in the mission, and I am so, so proud of them, because I know that the Lord is so proud of them. It's so obvious that Father is taking these young missionaries, and preparing them to lead this mission as the mission will exponentially grow in the near future, and I know Elder Jolley and Elder Posadas will be a part of that. I miss them both. It's comforting to know that mine and Elder Posadas' area just about border each other. In fact there's a jeep that runs straight through the middle of both of our areas. It's still not the same though.

Marulas ward youth.

The Young Women in Marulas ward with Analyn in the middle, one of their converts.

Three of Elder Jolley and Elder Corpuz' converts - Jason, Analyn, and Johnart.

The Elders with Bishop Natano and his family.

Leaving their house.
Yet my new area has been a blessing and welcomed me with open arms. My new companion's name is Elder Betita, from Negros Occidental, Philippines - an Ilongo. I'm opening another area again which means we will be starting from nothing, like we did in Marulas. But that's the exciting part. It's a challenge.

Yesterday, I felt the warmth of the love of the ward for us, the name of the ward ironically being the "Mapayapa" ward; the root of the word translating into "Peace." The members are great (and most of them are Ilocano mom and dad). What I appreciated the most yesterday was the music.

I've been kind of like a delicacy in the mission as a somewhat talented musician and piano player. I always do my best to share a little with each new ward I go to. After I got up from playing yesterday though, I didn't realize that I was about to be wiped on the floor. I had stepped into a ward with many, many professional pianists, some in Conservatory music who have studied abroad. Something I've never experienced here in the Philippines, but I loved it and I appreciated it.

I was able to give a short talk yesterday as new missionaries usually do, and I talked about two things. The first: music.

It was like Heavenly Father new exactly what I needed to pick me up that day, and he knew the best way was through song. We sang three hymns yesterday, and heard a musical number - each being of some special value to me. The first, "I Believe in Christ," - the last song that Taylor picked for my farewell since I let her pick the music for that day. The second, "As Now We Take the Sacrament," my favorite sacrament hymn as well as the musical number, "Our Savior's Love" - the first hymn I ever learned to play. Finally the closing hymn, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" - a hymn that has been really special to me and Elder Posadas as we were able to perform it together on several occasions. I shared about the power of music and how it softens hearts and how it was just the comfort I needed to feel after all these rainy days.

The second, I talked about something that Elder Posadas had wrote to me in a letter. Yeah, we would write each other before, I know, we're weird. But this is something I will never forget, he writes:

Patuloy tayong harapin lahat, kahit anuman yan, kasama mo ako.
Let's move forward together facing everything, whatever it may be, I am with you.

Something I think about often. How he will always be with me, seen or not. And then thinking about how much more our Savior and Heavenly Father promise us that too. They promise that They will be with us.

It's been hard. Change is always hard. Lots of tears. Lots of goodbyes. Lots of pain. I've felt lonely. Really lonely. I felt like I missed a lot of people, but I wasn't being missed. I felt like the change was a bit on the unbearable side. I've come to know it's true that men's hearts shall fail them when they are weak (Luke 21) because they forget their identity and they forget their purpose. Yet I've learned that if you have faith, you can handle difficulties in having an eternal perspective and knowing that all will be well.

Heartaches will come.

For us individuals that feel weak in the heart or fearful in heart, be patient. Perfection comes not in this life, whether in yourself, or your surroundings, but in the next life. Don't demand things that aren't reasonable. Demand improvement. As we let the Lord help us through that, He will make the difference.

The only peace we will ever find in this life is in the Gospel, where we are securely under the wings of it's Prince. I've learned that happiness only comes when we look for it in eternal things. With a realization of Heavenly Father and His love for us, we can hold Him to make every situation a situation that will end well. Elder Posadas' dad in his last letter reminded me of something that you and dad always told me growing up in remembering to not hold on to the past, but to move on and lead with a chin up into the future, taking steps forward and not backwards.

The pattern for those who cling to the Gospel is never failing:


Elder Corpuz