Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy and full.

Dear Mom,
Either I'm really early or you guys are really late because I haven't heard from any of you yet! I'm sure you are all just having a great Sunday together. I'm really excited to get to talk to you all next Sunday - I feel like I was just calling you for Christmas! 

Since Wednesday not too much has happened. We had temple tour again on Saturday and I couldn't even explain how many people I saw. I was getting called left and right seeing families and faces that I haven't seen in a really long time from nearly every area I've been assigned in. I failed at taking pictures that day, these are the only two I got.

I was super surprised to see the former Elder Ogden at the temple. Brother Ogden was one of teachers at the MTC while I was there and I've been assigned in quite a few of his areas here. Each of his areas, to this day, still talk about him - mind you it's been about four years since he's been home now. Mapayapa was one of his areas as well as my very first area - Bago Bantay. It's hard to follow legacies like his and then try to leave yours as well. He, since coming home, has put together a non-profit organization that comes to the Philippines once a year and helps children with cleft lip and palate defects. My companion and I were just walking with our crowd around the temple and saw a bunch of Americans walking around and had quite the surprise. It was amazing to get to see them here along with other teachers I had in the MTC.

Something I've grown to love about the Filipino culture, my culture, is how thoughtful they are of one another and how gracious they are. People here in the Philippines act as one very large family, and they hate to think of their family and friends going hungry. Food is very important here and very valued. I was really touched on Saturday when our neighbor, who we took to temple tour, stopped by and brought by some bananas she had bought just to say thank you for taking her and her neice to Manila that morning. Such a simple thing. Such a powerful thing.

Filipinos are always thinking about ways to show their love and help one another by sharing their greatest gift of food with one another. My favorite thing to see is that when a Filipino has left over food from dinner, they will bring it to their neighbor's house and share it with them out of nothing but genuine sincerity. While on the other hand when an American has left over food from dinner, they put it in their refrigerator so that they can eat it themselves later. You will never leave a Filipino's house hungry, because it's custom to feed any visitor you have. The most touching, is when parents make only enough to make ends meet and feed their children and then smile at them saying, "I am happy and full, because you are happy and full." I've had people sacrifice just enough to be able to feed me out of just the love they have in their hearts and tell me just that. I love the Philippines and I love being Filipino.

Well, it's that time again. It's time for my final transfer announcement, and there will for sure be a transfer in my companionship. My companion, Elder Anderson, just found out that he will be training this morning and we're both really excited - or at least I am haha. He told me over breakfast this morning that it was my "fault" because he was companions with me haha. The very first day I was with him, I sat down with him and told him "Elder, get ready to train." Transfer after transfer, each one of my companions as well as districts I have been over have had the highest privileges in the mission to train and I'm so proud of each and every single one of them. I know Elder Anderson will be in for the time of his life the next twelve weeks and be an amazing trainer.

I'm excited to talk to you all on Mother's day, take care until then. 

Elder Corpuz

P.S. I forgot to upload these pictures awhile back. Enjoy!

Some companionship bonding.

Far from the city.