Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simply complicated.

Dear Mom,
What a long stretch of a week. Sorry if it took me so long to email. It was my first temple day since January - enjoyable to say the least.

The heat went down this week a little. We've been getting a bit of rain the past few days which has cooled off the temperature a bit. Enough to actually sleep at night anyway. (For exchange, we lost water for about three days so I've been old fashion pumping water out of wells and hulling pails to the house - talk about an experience!) We've, on a brighter note, been getting fed a lot, just so you know mom and in case you were wondering if I'm eating out here. Although allergies will never grow on me, this area and the people sure are. Plaridel just might not be that bad.

Just a funny aside that my companion might kill me for. During one of our lessons, he really demonstrated his greeni-ness in the mission. He recited the most quoted scripture of all time "For God so loved the world..." and you know the rest, and then looked at me and was like... "Elder, where's that scripture again?" and recovered and said, "Oh yeah, James 1:5" to which I couldn't help but laugh and then give him the "You've gotta be kidding me" look that Elder Jolley remembers haha. Then I kindly shouted, "John 3:16! Are you serious?!" Oh man haha. It's okay to make mistakes.We're all learning and as long as we learn from them, laughing, moving on, and not repeating makes things like that okay. 

Something else that I kept forgetting to share is that a couple weeks back, I got a forwarded email from Mike Swindle, one of my very best friends who is probably getting of his plane and landing back home right now as I type. He told me that he ran into and talked to a little Mexican kid with some members and said that he served in my mission! It turned out to be Elder Esmerio! One of my very best friends! Mike made sure to tell me about it and gave me a lot of comfort helping me to remember that I'm still being thought of thousands of miles away. What a small world.
It was a pretty full week aside of that. We had mission tour again and Elder Adern of the Seventy from New Zealand came and talked to us. It was quite the kick! He and President Sperry had some great things prepared for us. They put on a little skit about how to dress properly and my world was shattered for about two minutes when President Sperry stood up with an unbuttoned shirt, loose tie, and rolled-up shirt sleeves. They talked a lot about details we need to realize as missionaries and about keeping good class. I really appreciated all of that. We were also invited as a zone to have dinner at our stake president, President Cunanan's daughters wedding who just returned from the Butuan mission right after, it was great!

Our famous Chinese Elder, Elder Wu! He's a celebrity to us!

That was pretty much it for that though, and then we just had a normal week.

Something I realized the other day while putting together a workshop for a district I was invited to teach (I thought me not being a leader anymore meant I wouldn't have to do things like this anymore!) is how simply complicated life is.

I can remember how frustrating T/F (true or false) tests were back home in high school. The sly phrases that tricked me and the days were I just didn't know the material and I just would guess and hope for the best. I've realized life is a lot like that. 

In Preach My Gospel, there is a bullet under developing Christ-like attributes that says that we become Christ-like in our daily doings - one decision at a time. We literally create our own destinies by doing things that lead to it - or not. It's frustrating to think of sometimes wondering why then, as humans, do we let ourselves sin? I guess it's just part of the blood that runs through our veins. When logically thought out though, it really is in our hands - liberty and eternal life, or captivity and death.

I've realized that there's just no room for darkness in my life and that I would keep that thought in my head in my daily doings. It's helped a lot. Just seeking for the good and remembering that God never asked me, or any of us, to go through anything on our own.

Today, I saw a little bit of Him reminding me that he's there for me again. At the temple, I ran into Kuya Marcie and was able to talk to him for a second which was a great lift. And also, I was really touched by the brother who helped me through into the final room in the temple session. He held my hand and helped me in and looked at me with tears in his eyes. He shook my hand tight and was so happy that I was where I was and that I made it where I made it. It made me think of how much more happy Heavenly Father will welcome me into heaven one day and how much more touching that will be to see this tears run down His eyes too. Right now, it's just about passing it through this test - simply and complicatedly choosing the right.

Elder Corpuz

P.S. An Elder Chapman just got here from Vegas! He's also just like me! I met him this morning, a Filipino who can't speak Tagalog - he just graduated in 2011 and went to Basic!

What I take a shower with! Not cold enough!