Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Need to grow.

Dear Mom,
Tears again. I feel like I just got done crying from leaving my last area yesterday and now I'm leaving again. Got the announcement this morning that I will be the only one transferring out Fairview zone.

The past week was rocky too. We had some good experiences though mixed in with the hard ones. I was on exchanges helping to train missionaries all week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Wednesday was really special though because I got to participate on exchanges with the missionaries from the Manila Philippines Missionary Training Center. In sheer coincidence, their teacher decided to come work with me and my missionary and their teacher happened to be Kuya Marcie's follow-up trainer in the mission! What luck no?

Elder Compao and I fit in Elder Vea's old pants!

This kid in the back blew my singing out of the water!

This night was really funny. We were shopping last minute on Saturday after exchanges and decided to buy ice cream for dinner. Sister Dupleto from my first area (Bago Bantay!) saw us and was just like... "Oh elders, if only your moms could see you now.

Sunday was really, really special and I was really content with my final Sunday in Mapayapa. The church was the fullest I had seen it, and the best part, is that Sister Hostallero, Marcie's mom, came to church. Sister has been my biggest goal here in Mapayapa. Ever since I got here nearly 18 weeks ago, I promised myself that I would do everything I could to get her back to church after having fallen away from the church in 1999. I wanted to do it mostly as a way to thank Marcie for all he had done for me, and Sunday, we did it. Sister came to church out of her own free will and the congregations jaws were on the ground. There is nothing like welcoming one of God's children back home.

Palm Sunday is a bit different here. People oragami the palms to make a little bit of money.

The future Elder Romero who has just returned to the church.

The Ragasa Family

The Lopez Family
The rest of the week went pretty well. I accepted pretty early on that I will transfer so I started preparing pretty early so I could have a lot of time to say goodbye. I did my best to make it around and said bye to the ward on Sunday, then on Monday Kuya Marcie got home and I was able to spend the last few days together with him and get in some more good last minute learning - both in teaching and in life. This morning, he and Joemark attended my last  meeting and played a pretty good part in helping me continue to help train my missionaries. It meant a lot to me and they as well, I believe, enjoyed it.

Today has been hard though. Lots of tears again. After our meeting this morning, I just sat on the stage and looked around the chapel and was just me. I blurred my vision in tears because of how much I will miss Mapayapa, without a doubt my favorite area. Almost anti-climatically, it got dark outside and started to rain. Kuya, Joemark, and Elder all sat beside me and comforted me like a little boy. This is the only the I hate about being Elder Corpuz. Elder Corpuz has to say goodbye a lot, and Elder Corpuz is not good at goodbyes.

Afterwords, Marcie, Joemark, Elder Azuela, and I headed out and had lunch and I was just pretty much silent the whole time in sheer depression. On the walk back to the house, Kuya really touched me with something he said that I know is right though.

Trying to comfort me, he looked at me sincerely and said Ading (an Ilocano word that means "little brother"), it's okay. It's time for you to grow more.

He told me how Heavenly Father knew that I've done everything I can already here, and it's time for me to move on to another place so I can continue to grow. Hearing that, I felt so much comfort come over me, because I knew he was right.

Life is ever changing. Experiences can’t be repeated but memories can be replayed. What’s most important to realize, is that I’ve found out from the past week, is that dwelling on the past, doesn’t bring the past back. It happened. It’s never coming back. And as much as you want to cling to the moments that matter most, you’re better off focusing to make greater moments happen in the future. Although sometimes goodbyes are hard, they are never permanent.It will be different, but different is good. It adds essence to life. Sometimes you can’t help the tears, especially when you’re leaving your best friends behind, but don’t drown yourself in them. After all, this isn’t the end. This is not where our stories end.

I will miss Mapayapa, but I know that I'll be back here in just a few months with you mom, and I'm so excited for you to meet the people that I love here because I know you will love them too. For now, I have three months left. Three months to make good habits, just like Mat's told me to do, and three months to continue to grow.