Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Missionary-Personal-Trainer.

 Dear Mom,
Yeah, how about them pictures? That service project definitely built a lot of character that day. I just about died when I read this quote from your email though:

"Nice pictures you sent. Elders in true labor. Just make sure you put on some bug spray."

Yup, that's my mom. And mom you'll be proud to know that Elder Corpuz was the only one wearing that monster 99% DEET bug spray you bought me. Yup, they call me "maarte" here, but I just like to think of it as taking care of myself the way that my mom would have me take care of myself. Tama ba mom?

The trend has held through this week. Just good times here. Lots and lots of good times.

On Thursday, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Vea in the district. I wish I would have taken a picture of both of us together - he's about four times my size and made me look a lot more smaller than I actually am. He's a big polynesian, but has an even bigger heart, and despite his size, he is probably one of the most humble, and teachable missionaries I have ever met.

On Saturday, we were supposed to do more service, but ended up not having much more to do, so I ended up just helping a member a little in preparing for taking the ACT in hopes to attend BYU in Fall of 2013 while my companion helped his father make a chair I believe. Service truly comes in more ways than one.

And as a small aside, Sunday Elder Shumway and I made oreo-cookie-oatmeal-pancakes. They were the most delicious pancakes I have ever had in my life hands down. I also learned how to flip things in pans - I'm still trying to master the 360 though haha. I attached some pictures of Elder Shumways mistake though - same mistake I make in burning (yeah I burnt my toast again this morning) toast and rice. I was slowly opening the egg carton, but had a little trouble, so he opened it really fast and the last egg at the end of the carton hopped out and thud-ed on the floor. Patient is always the step that everyone regrets they didn't take.

"Take it again, I look high."
"Take it again, I look like a monkey."

A recurring lesson that I've learned here on the mission is about how God takes care of us as His children by guiding His children to help one another. It's amazing the effects that one person can make in another person's life. Each of us different and incomparable. And the variety of friends that the world has to offer us is a variety of lessons that we can potentially learn.

In this area, I've been blessed with my own missionary-personal-trainer if you will, a brother and returned missionary in the ward named Marcelino - or Marcie for short. From the same province us our family mom and dad, Ilocos!

Marcie served in the Laoag mission and went home the exact same day and transfer that Elder Tengelsen did. He knew a lot of my batch from the MTC as well as other missionaries I know that are serving in Laoag. He served in many of the highest positions in the mission and was undoubtedly, one of the best missionaries that Laoag had to offer. It's been a blessing to be able to serve in his area.

As a missionary, he's taught me a lot, especially in teaching. He works with us as much as time will permit with his busy schedule and does his best to always make sure that our lessons are evaluated and that I learn and grow as a missionary. It's really intimidating working with him, but it's helped me learn new things, and kept me on my toes. I get the opportunity to train so many missionaries, and now I've gotten a little special attention here in Mapayapa because Marcie is in turn, training me.

Seeing Marcie's example has been a great boost in motivation for the last six months of my mission. I've looked through his scriptures and manuals and seen how diligently he's studied and worked and it's overwhelmed me a bit, but made me want to strive to do more. He's a great role model in obedience, but must of all, a great friend. I've found my twin in the mission, a big sister, and another younger mother, and now, I've found a big brother, who stands firm in the Gospel. It made me smile last week when he found out I was a little sick and not taking care of myself and he made sure to let me know that I needed to quit being hard-headed and take a step back to take care of myself. While I'm here, I've personally made it my goal to help him by helping strengthening his family who has strayed away somewhat from the church. Hopefully by a little faith, I can at leave a change in them to pay back for the many things I've learned from Marcie.

Considering all these things, I thought about the nature of God this past week. Walking past all the people I walk past everyday, I tried to process how he could possibly know all of us - each and every single one of us personally. And somehow He does; a fact that a human mind cannot process. He knows who we are. He knows what we need. He knows who we need.

I saw this magnet on the fridge this morning and thought it was perfect. I know that God does touch us and take care of us through the people He sends us. This week He sent me three: Elder Vea taught me to be more humble, Elder Taulelei taught me to be more patient, and Marcie taught me how to be the best me.

The work is going great and we saw 25 less-active members return to church this week. Things simply could not just be any better. As Mat simply put it many months ago, a working missionary is a happy missionary.

Elder Corpuz

P.S. Jason, I'm going to live out your advice in your email and report on that next week. Count on it, because you indeed are black.

P.P.S. Stole some pictures from Elder Shumway's camera and attached them. Enjoy! 

This is our toilet paper alternative.
This was one of our district meetings.
Someday ask them what the purpose of this was haha.

Absolutely nothing!

Burnt rice yeah!