Week 79: Quiet Homecoming

Dear family and friends,
Transfer calls have come and I’m pleased to announce that I’m not affected with the transfer, that is, I’m staying here in the area for 6 months by April and I’m still staying with my companion. I’m affected however because basically most of missionaries whom I’ve met since the beginning of my mission have gone home by now. That’s like really sad because I’ve known them throughout my mission and made close friendships with them. That also means I’m old in the mission now, and will soon be departing in 4 months starting March.
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Last night we were at SM to help departing missionaries with their luggage and getting them to apartments where they would sleepover to get early to the mission home the next morning. It was great to see Sister Emery (Florida) again. The last time I met here was at MLC early February and thought I’d never see her again. We basically talked for like an hour outside and it was so much fun catching up with her and just reminiscing how great our missions have been since we first arrived in the mission together 18 months ago. I’ll miss her and think of her often.
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It was a teary farewell with Sister Walters (New Zealand) and Elder Sardido (Valenzuela) right after special stake conference ended on Sunday. I’ve been in the same zones with Sister Walters for like half of her mission so we were really really close especially in Santa Cruz where we had Elder Sardido as our zone leader. I also got to share a tearful hug with the AP Elder Tumanguil (Tuguegarao), though I hate crying in front of many people. But in the mission it’s not uncommon to see elders tearfully hugging each other goodbyes because the Spirit could get really strong. These remarkable missionaries have helped me shape my life for the better through their influence and examples. I’ll miss them more than words can express.
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It always catches me off guard how fast time flies. You look back and you’re amazed how far you’ve walked and you realized it’s too late to give up now. You look back and you recognize how the hand of the Lord has carried you through all the trials and tribulations you encounter in the missionary life. And then you can say with confidence that the Lord loves you enough to refine you into a better you.
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I love you all. I can’t wait to see you soon….

Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 77: Repeat Over Again the Same Things as Before

Dear family and friends,

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So on Saturday it was my companion’s anniversary in the mission. He asked for a cake. But I was quite hesitant because I’ve never done anything extravagant to any of my companions before and I have trust issues. But I decided to do it anyway because he’s a great companion. So I bought him a cake from red ribbon with a personal message. Then we went to a member house to have “budol fight” for lunch (I really don’t like “budol fight”; I think it’s really barbaric).
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MLC on Friday. Sister Emery is going home. She’s one of my BFFs here in the mission field because we’ve been together since our first area. She’s going back to Florida in a couple of weeks and it’s gonna be different without her. It’s true what people say that when your sister batchmates are home it means you’re old and about to go home as well. It’s sad!
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Nothing much happening in here in San Pablo! This week has gone cold again. It’s been windy and drizzling at the same time, but enough sunlight to make the day bright.
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Thanks for not e-mailing. But I love all of you. I really do. Thanks for your support.
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Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 76: Rough Stones

Dear family and friends,

Well this week’s weather is pretty crazy. The weather is now pretty dry and hot at the same time, but thank goodness I always have my mesh garments on.
This week’s gonna be busy. We just got back from zone p-day; tomorrow we will have an exchange with another elders;Wednesday is zone interviews; Thursday is district meeting; and Friday would be MLC. Saturday would be my companion’s celebration for his one year mark in the mission; and coordination with the sister training leaders to discuss zone business. We should be already preparing for President Nelson’s arrival on the 21st.
I’m just tired! I’m really tired. Zone p-day was on Tayak Hills which is in Nagcarlan and gives a beautiful view of most Laguna bayans. The hiking got me really tired this morning. But it wasn’t a full hike because we rented a jeep that would bring us to the top, so we’re only gonna have to hike for 10 minutes. We just brought the zone to the top of the hill and played some games and then descended to eat. (Pictures will come when the time is ready.)
I hope everyone’s having a good time in their comfy beds and recliner chairs—some things I haven’t found in the mish! Love you all!

Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Sent from my iPad