Monday, June 18, 2012

You: Your worst enemy.

Dear Mom & Dad,
Happy Father's day dad!

Well, this is it. Can you believe it? Last email, I thought we'd never get here. I don't know if it feels like yesterday that you were dropping me off at the airport, but it certainly doesn't feel like two years has gone by. I just can't seem to register that I'm starting my last email home to you right now!

It hasn't been very long since I last emailed you. Rainy season has indeed been in full force with Baguio Butchoy (or something like that) moving right through. It finally stopped raining a little bit today which was nice. Traveling through the mud is really the only bad thing about rain, other than that, it's nice for things to be nice and cool.

I had my last temple tour this past week, and we tried to make it as special as we could. As with all other temple tours, a lot of the people bailed the last minute so we didn't get the great turn out that we wanted, but we still had a really good time. Elder and I got some cooking lessons from the Pulgado family who has a catering business. They taught us how to make some good desserts that we made for temple tour. When we went over that night to help cook for the next day, Sister Pulgado had an apron and hat out ready for me that their kids used to use growing up haha, it was a lot of fun! Temple tour was a bit sad and gloomy, but it was a great last temple tour.

My companion is obsessed with this setting on my camera.

Gilbert and Andrew, our future missionaries!

Elder Corpuz invited me up front to help him teach haha.

The dessert me and Elder Staples made!

The primary presentation for the dads.
Lunch after branch council.

Today we had our last zone activity and decided to go bowling. Little did we know that two other zones decided to go bowling in the same place so their was a pretty good chunk of our mission at the bowling alley this morning and no one else! It was a lot of fun and was a great last zone activity. I saw Elder Miller, my "batch," who is going home with me and we both just had time to reminisce and talk about how sleep seems to not come so easily anymore and time just keeps unavoidingly moving right along.

Me and Elder Miller with the sisters.
Little Vegas.

Elder Millano, a brand new missionary from Pangasinan.

The question of the day today, as it seems it has been for the whole transfer, was about what was the best advice I could give new missionaries for the mission. I honestly had no idea what to say for an answer. There's no way I could sum up all the lessons I've learned and experiences I've had in a few short words of advice, workshop, or email. The lessons I've learned are incomparable and the experiences, irreplaceable. But of all the things I think I've learned on the mission, I think this is possibly the most important lesson that I've learned.

Over the table for lunch today, after Elder Responte asked me that question, I looked at him and just said - "Just be yourself."

I've found that the greatest obstacle I've had on my mission and possibly my whole life is myself. I become my worst enemy. I stop myself from being successful. I stop myself from working towards my dreams. I compare myself to others. I shut myself down. I give in. I give up.

Elder Responte and Elder Millano.
The purpose of life is to learn and prepare. To get yourself ready. I've found that it's extremely difficult to help people when you don't know who you are or what you stand for. We forget what matters most and we hold ourselves back from achieving great things. Most of us choose not to live up to our own potential and convince ourselves that we simply cannot be as good as other people, putting imaginary roadblocks in front of us, barring any kind of achievement we could accomplish. We wish for what seems improbable. And what we don't realize is that impossible things are happening every day.

We've each been given amazing gifts in life, although sometimes, we refuse to see them because we are too busy wishing we were something else. But if we just can look at ourselves and remember who we are, believe in ourselves and love ourselves, much of the trials of life would decrease insurmountably in difficulty. Just be who you are meant to be. "Good luck" isn't needed because God promises to bless us as long as we're running as hard as we can, within the bounds, and in the direction that He wants us to be. Literally getting over ourselves, that natural part of us inclined to the things of a temporal world, is the biggest challenge I feel any of us can face, but when we remember who we are and undo the unreasonable bounds we set for ourselves, we can truly shine and be happy.

As for now, I don't have anything so far to say about my mission coming to a close soon, aside of that there is still work to be done! It's not the end just yet. I'll see you next week!

Elder Corpuz