Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Dear Mom,
My motivation to email has really gone down the drain since I'll just be seeing you in a couple weeks. Next Monday I'll be emailing you for the last time, isn't that crazy? Where has two years gone? Things will be just back to normal in a few short days - whatever "normal" is anyway.

This past week has gone by pretty quick in some spots and long in others.

I started out this week thinking about what you told me a few weeks back mom, about just focusing on being a "true" missionary. I wasn't quite sure exactly what it took. I've talked a lot about how I've seen lots of "building" I guess the past few weeks. But is building yourself up enough to be that kind of missionary?

Last week, my companion and I were leaning on a road-rail waiting for the jeepney we needed that was taking forever, when an old lady, I swear, came out of no where. She was walking with a pretty bad limp (again I have no idea where she came from) and just looked me straight in the eyes like she needed help. So I got up and asked her if she was alright, and she replied that she had really bad arthritis in her knee. So we asked her if there was anything we could do to help her where she was planning on going and just replied that she just needed help crossing the street, which was a really big highway. What I love about the Filipino society, which I'm sure I've mentioned before, is that they have a very high respect for the elderly. As this old lady grabbed onto my and my companion's arms to let us support her crossing the street, cars saw and all slowed down and all stopped without honking their horns to make way for this old lady. As soon as we got to the other side, a security guard came and asked her, "Nanay, (or mother) where do we need to go?" and then took her from us and escorted her. As she let go of us though, she looked us straight in the eyes, and just said, "You really are true missionaries." My eyes watered a little after that, when I remembered what you said mom, and felt like I kind of figured it out. It has a lot to do with small, random, unnoticed acts of kindness. 

Thursday, I had my last zone conference which was memorable on lots of levels. Number one, probably, because I woke up and realized I had food-poisoning and was off and on the toilet the whole day not eating anything. I couldn't even enjoy the rice crispy treats that Sister Sperry made us that day. It was fun though, and by tradition, I shared my testimony as one of the elders going home. President Sperry taught us a lot about the "invisible" words we look over in the scriptures which made the scriptures come alive a little more since every time I read them. We talked about small words like "nevertheless," "wherefore," and "behold" and how they just that much of a difference. It's just such a human thing to skip over some of the most important things in life isn't it?

Friday I had my last baptism. Angel Rey had a pretty special baptism. The members did a great job in preparing food for and making him feel welcome. It was the first baptism I had that the whole branch presidency attended which was really special. Angel was baptized a few years back but was never confirmed because of complicated reasons. After awhile, he kind of gave up the hope to be baptized, but the past few weeks decided it was right for him. The baptism came out really nice and the senior couple in our ward, the Floyds, were also able to attend which was great.

Sunday reminded me again about how much I love music. The branch asked me to sing for sacrament meeting and then after, they asked me to (of course) help their branch choir. I just wanted to laugh because it seems like I always end up doing something musical everywhere I go. I was really happy to share my talents.

Today was my last temple day - and that was it.

This past week, I can relate to what one missionary said when I gave a workshop back in Valenzuela to our zone a few months back, and he told me how sometimes as a missionary, he feels "numb."

I just haven't been able to help myself the past few nights, laying in bed thinking about my mission. It's such a mix of emotions coming to the end, and I'm sure every return missionary can relate. I'm so excited when I think about home, but then I'm sad when I think about the people here. It's so bittersweet, and I don't know what to feel. It seems like that is the question that everyone and their mom (literally) has been asking me. "Elder Corpuz, how do you feel since you're about to go home?" I think I literally have become numb, and I feel like it's kind of a good thing. I just do my best to focus and do what you said mom, not worry about the people or the things that I'm leaving behind so much as the story I will leave behind. Something else I've realized is that even if I did extend, at some point it would end sooner or later - now, it's just sooner. Change is coming whether I like or or not, and I guess that's the beauty of life. It just takes courage now to accept what's coming and live for the future. I can't believe we're almost there.

Elder Corpuz

P.S. Pacquiao's fight is still all over the news here!