Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lonely and forgotten.

 Dear Mom,
Can you believe it? Transfers... again? I just don't understand; each transfer is six weeks, but each one seems to get shorter and shorter.

Haha yeah dad, Jason going to Australia to pet Kangaroos and me here in the Philippines going to hug monkeys. What on earth are you sons doing? The zoo was in Montalban dad, and is supposed to be the largest zoo in Asia... all I'm going to say is that if that's true, then I would not like to see any other zoos in Asia.

This week was a really quick week. It was pretty different because Marcie wasn't working with us anymore, but it was a growing experience for me. I didn't have an amazing returned missionary to fall back on or read my mind during lessons - it was just me and my junior. It was a great time to measure to see how far I've come from Marcie's help and pointers though. I'm no where near perfect at Tagalog or teaching, but I've seen progress  and I can't ask for much more.

This week, I thought about something that Elder Holland said about how everyone comes to a point in life where they just need to know that things are going to get better, and something I've learned this week, is that that is very, very true. There was something I realized this week that gave me a lot of hope though.

Over the past few days, I've had one phrase pretty much pounded into my head on several different occasions by several different people: God is mindful of you.

That seems to be one of the greatest things I've realized and seen over my mission. The comforting knowledge that although sometimes we feel like no one is thinking of us or that we're not important to anyone, Someone is always thinking of us and we will always be important to Someone. And that Someone happens to be the greatest being in the universe.

In seeing God's hand in my life, I know He's definitely mindful of me - whether through situations or through the people He sends me. The best part though, is being to able be that person that God sends to help or to answer prayers of others.

Last week was a rainy and depressing week. On Tuesday, we were punted from a lot of appointments and caught out in the rain. As we walked from appointment to appointment, we were continuously disappointed in the lack of good excuses that these people had to opt out of letting us share with them. Then finally we were let into Sister Sales' home, and Carla, her oldest daughter, to our surprise was there. Carla rarely gets to attend church and is never home because she is so busy with school, so I was really happy to see her. She usually isn't to excited to see us, but when we walked in that time, she beamed. She was so anxious for us to share, and instigated the beginning of the lesson. I was pretty confused why she was so excited for us to be there, but then it started to make sense.

Carla shared with us how she had been having a really hard day. How she felt lonely and unimportant, so she came downstairs to login to facebook to hopefully find someone to talk to but couldn't find anyone. She felt forgotten. So she said she went upstairs and said a prayer in tears and came back down stairs to be with her mother. Not much longer after, there was a knock on the door, and it was us with Joemark, someone she grew up with but had somewhat lost contact with in the church. She was so happy that we were there that it brought it her to tears, because she knew that God didn't forget her. No matter what kind of monster we can manage to turn ourselves into, it never fails that God always reaches back when we reach out to Him.

It's true that sometimes in life, we just need to feel loved. I think sometimes we just lack to see the love that God shows us and puts right in front of us everyday. Sometimes we do just need to know that things will get better. When trials and change and clouds and tears are overpowering never-ending, I know that if we reach out to God in prayer and ask Him with love to rescue us, He will rescue us.

God will never forget you.

Elder Corpuz

"You are not invisible to Heavenly Father. He loves you."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

P.S. Here are some pictures from the zoo some from office life last week!

Scariest thing ever!

The Floyds tooks us out to McDonalds for lunch last Friday!
Pretty ironic picture, I found this in Elder Azuela's picture album.

Monday, March 19, 2012

One decision at a time.

Dear Mom,
My time is extremely short right now because we spent too much time at the zoo this morning so forgive me if this email is unusually short.

On Wednesday we had our Zone Conference. I was really surprised to see Elder Posadas walk in to the meeting that morning who is now also in the office as of that morning. It's going to be a blast to be in the same zone with him again, at least for the last few weeks of the transfer.

The Primary President arranging the kids.
 Saturday was a special day - Lester's baptism. Lester is probably one of the smartest kids I've ever taught. He memorizes nearly everything we teach him and memorizes hymns like nothing. We did our best to make his baptism special, since this will possibly be my last to see here in the Philippines, and in turn, it came out special. We woke up really early to scrub the font down and clean the church and then spent nearly the rest of the day in preparation. It turned out just fine - all the people that mattered to me and Lester were there, so as far as I was concerned, although it wasn't exactly the full congregation, it was just enough.
Lester and his Aunt - Sister Joy.

Sister Young the Primary President and Sister Tapan, bishop's wife.
This is what nurses wear in the Philippines.

This week has been a little better, but pretty sad. It was Kuya's last week before he leaves to Ilo Ilo tomorrow. He was able to work with us nearly everyday to try to squeeze out every last moment to help us and spend time with us since I will be gone by the time he gets back. I will miss Marcie a lot. We've had our times and disappointments as well as times that we just didn't understand one another, but we've learned a lot from one another in turn. I guess it's the theme of the mission and the theme of life - endless, but hopeful goodbyes - when in the Gospel.

I've been a bit nostalgic this past week with my mission coming to a close in just a short matter of days. I've thought to myself and asked myself what has changed? People say I'm supposed to come back a "man" but I feel like I'm coming back a "mom". I felt like for the most part, all I've learned to do is clean, cook, and get mad at other elders for not cleaning and cooking. (Mom I included a picture today of something you would have yelled at me for - putting an empty juice bottle back in the fridge haha.) Thinking about all that, I decided that if I haven't changed, I needed to figure out what I had to do to change, because I don't have all the time in the world left.

After a lot of thought, I thought about something Kuya Marcie had shared in a lesson last week about how the Lord works line upon line, precept upon precept. I thought about how that also applies to how we shape our lives. One decision on top of another, adding up to a chain of decisions over the years of our lives.

I concluded that if I wanted to change, it's really a simple thing. It takes thought - just like you always say mom. "Think before every decision you make" those words still ring vividly in my ears since the day you said them when I got set apart; as well as dads call to not procrastinate on the same day. We change one choice at a time, one day at a time, and eventually, these series of good decisions and days add up to a lifetime that we will look back at and not regret.

After realizing that after my mission I won't come home perfect, but I will hopefully come home improved, my mind was brought to peace. I will do my best to make the best of what I have left, maybe not by making miracles, but doing the simple right things that I know I need to be doing.

Elder Corpuz