Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mapayapa pa.

Dear Mom,
I'm glad to hear that you liked my last email. This email will be comparatively short. The news about Jason getting to go to Australia on virtually nothing is amazing! His talents are taking him so many places and I'm so happy for him. He's been to so many foreign countries since I've left and I'm really jealous, Europe last year and now Australia now? I guess in all fairness, I've been living in a foreign country for almost two years now so I can't really complain haha.

This week has been very challenging. I've found out that the only real enemy I have in life sometimes is myself most times. Our schedule for the most part this past week has been fairly normal as far as appointments are concerned, but frustrating at most of the outcomes. 

It's been fun though, because I've spent a lot of time learning from Marcie since he's found a lot of time to work with us this week. This week I really learned from him how to love everyone, unconditionally. He does and sacrifices everything and is willing to step out of his comfortability zone, just to help others. I still get extremely nevous teaching with him. Most times I just freeze up in lessons and forget what I'm saying when he's there, even though that usually never happens to me. He's taught me so much and I'm grateful for that. Here is a picture of us getting a quick "dinner" of something called "lugaw" which is basically rice boiled in water. Marcie took the time treat me, which although not being an extremely expensive meal, meant a lot to me, because he knew I was hungry and hadn't had dinner. It was a cultural experience haha. Notice in the picture how much darker his is than mine. That would be because the pepper shaker head apparently wasn't screwed on all the way and when he went to add some pepper, the whole cap fell off along with the whole bottle of pepper haha. There were lots of good times, and lots of bad times this week. I felt like it was another one of those weeks where we worked really hard and just watched things not go our way. 

I think the most frustrating part of missionary work is seeing people lead themselves away from the Gospel and away from Christ. Seeing them stumble, fall, and make wrong decisions. It's frustrating and disappointing, and sometimes you just want to shake them, scream in their faces, and ask them what are thinking. To see people with the potential to soar, but see them limit themselves to poverty because they refuse to act and raise themselves up. To see parents allow their children to stray. To see people give up on themselves. To see people give up on Christ.

It's made me wonder a lot about how Father must feel sometimes when we choose to do wrong.

I read an email from one of my best friends and partners in crime at BYU who is in Mexico right now. Spencer and I were both band geeks and I really appreciated his message this week. Spencer comments,

"Confidence leads to success. As a percussionist, my instructors would always tell us: If you make a mistake, make it loud. A huge cymbal crash two beats early... is better than none at all, or playing with an tentative dynamic. I can apply the same concept to missionary work. Fear is the opposite of faith. As soon as I allow fear to enter into the equation, the Spirit jumps out. I'm striving to better reflect the light of Christ and be a more faithful and confident representative of Him."

Missionary work can be frustrating when you feel like you are doing nothing right. Life can be frustrating when you feel like you are doing nothing right - especially when you feel like you are trying your best. I love what Spencer says here though - it's all about confidence. Confidence that we can receive knowing that we have a Father in Heaven who disregards what outcomes may be, as long as we are giving and trying our best and learning how to trust in Him.

I've struggled a lot this week, but in turn I've learned a lot. At some points I've felt like heaven closed itself on me, but then, I've always had great reassurances that heaven hasn't closed on me. It seems like the hardest days are the days that God sends for me the most. I've felt his love through the members here, especially all the great things I've learned from Marcie, and seeing him in the background of my life. Learning to have confidence, trust, and faith I believe are eternal goals, and although we may not know how to get there or understand how to get there, one thing we can know and be sure of is that it's possible.

As for transfer annoucements, I will be staying and my companion, again, will be leaving and training a new missionary. Mapayapa pa.

Elder Corpuz