Week 3: Terrible Homesickness

Family and Friends,

Thanks for the e-mails. I didn’t get to send my weekly letter last week because it wasn’t scheduled at the MTC and we didn’t get to e-mail when we arrived at the mission home. I am now in Lucena. I’ve been totally homesick with all this new environment and new people. I literally cried when I opened your e-mails and saw your pictures because it was such a long period of time that I didn’t get to reach out to the outside world.

We left the MTC on Wednesday at 4 AM. I’ve got everything packed and ready so the bus left earlier than scheduled. There were 10 of us including the Provo missionaries. It’s supposed to be 11 but one of us was not permitted to get through the MTC because they want his heart enlargement fixed before they send him to the field, so he is expected to arrive next month instead. I really felt sorry for him. I gave him a hug and told him that we’re all gonna be waiting for him at the field. We arrived in San Pablo sometime at 7 and was greeted by President and Sister Mangum together with the Assistants and Office Elders at the mission home. We then had breakfast and lunch and orientation for the mission. We stayed the night at the hotel because we’re too many for the mission home to accommodate.

I think that the homesickness really started at the hotel. Everything was just TOO overwhelming, you know? It was just like on Monday we were still at the MTC with the devotional and enjoying our dinner, on Tuesday we started packing, and on Wednesday morning we were already leaving the MTC. Everything just happened too fast for me and I think I’m having trouble adjusting with all the different places and people. Like I was enjoying my time at the MTC, then the next minute we’re at the mission home still enjoying our time, and then the next minute I’m thrown out to this cardboard box apartment.

The first few days have been so rough for me. I’d wake up so horribly sad and want to go home asap. I can’t iron my clothes without getting a headache because everything is still spinning in my head. I’m living together with my companion and the zone leaders, and I don’t like talking to them because they’re too different from me. They’re too different with the people that I lived with at the MTC.

The place is different too. Lucena is like TOO urban for me. Think of a missionary living and serving at Colon Street. Looks wrong right?

What I’m experiencing right now really reminds me of when President Hinckley served his mission in England, and (maybe) like me, he was feeling terribly homesick and wanted to go home, to which his father reacted, “forget yourself and go to work”. How though? I think the most interesting part about being a missionary is the part where you have to forget about yourself. Forget myself. That sounds sad though? It’s sad how I would have to forget myself in order to serve other people.

I really don’t know though. I’ve been here for only 5 days and maybe I’m still getting used to the place. Don’t worry about me.

I don’t eat much here, but I feast upon the words of Christ.

Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

PS: LL1W, congrats on the choir performance. I knew you’d do great. Congrats Mom.
PS2: As I’m writing this letter, there’s an Elder beside me who’s checking his Facebook and playing DOTA.
PS3: Send me more letters please! Or DearElders.

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