Week 88: “All the Grown Folk Things Separation Brings”

Dear family and friends,

Transfer day was bittersweet. After the glorious spiritual manifestations I’ve received both in the celestial room of the holy temple and the healing quarters of the MRC, I went back to my area in San Pablo having to bid farewell to my cherished companion. I miss Elder Barrizo…. Being separated with him really broke my heart; it was as though I had Alzheimer’s the whole time and when I came to my senses it was already too late to mend things between us. After our final hug together I tried my best not to cry on the bus. I arrived in my new area with my heart aching and full of bitterness that I didn’t get to spend much time with him after my stay in the MRC. It really made me sad….
I just want to wrap up what happened during the rest of my stay there in Manila. Apparently I broke the indexing record made by an elder. In his 2 week stay in the MRC, he indexed 500 names; during my 5 day stay there, I indexed 600 names. That was so funny that they drew a picture of me on the whiteboard with a crown that says “INDEX KING”.
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The last few days there were very relaxing. We made aprons.
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Sister Moyes was really clever.
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My apron. Trying to be cute.
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My MRC companion’s apron.
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Then some pictures outside the kitchen!

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So much fun haha.
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Tuesday morning we went to Mabuhay which is like a home for all the kids with eye, lips, and feet differences. It’s not owned by the Church but it’s run by members of the Church. They have branches in Davao and Cebu as well, so if you know anybody who has those kind of problems, bring them there, and it’s totally free.
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My last Tuesday there I went through the temple again for the second time together with Elder Jazmines and Sister Parojinog and with the rest of the MRC fam. I met my mission’s April departing batch but our session was 2 hours after theirs. I spent much time again in the celestial room to receive revelations and encouragement from my Heavenly Father.

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I am now in San Jose, Batangas with my new companion, Elder McLaughlin. He’s from New Zealand and he’s British, so that’s something different! At first it was quite hard to understand him because he’s very nasal haha. I’m still district leader and I don’t even like it anymore because I’ve been a missionary leader for more than a year now. Whatever. Below is a picture of us planning during a blackout.

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The last thing I’m gonna say is that: it is super hot. While we’re at work I feel like I can always cry because the heat just gets through my shoes. I don’t have an umbrella yet but I don’t want to use one because it’s too heavy. #thirdworldprobs
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission
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Week 87: Broken People

Dear family and friends,

Hey everyone I wonder if my mission president has informed my family and thus they informed you or not about the recent news about me. A lot of things have happened this cycle and I have been depressed hence I was not able to function fully and fulfill my missionary responsibilities for a long period of time. My mission president finally decided that I need emotional help so he had me sent to the Missionary Recovery Center adjacent to the Missionary Training Center and of course just right across the Manila Temple in Quezon City. He called me about the decision at 11:00 PM Friday and asked me to pack up so he could pick me up at 4:30 AM Saturday. We arrived here in Manila at 7:30 AM together with Elder Alos, who is my district leader in my zone. It’s funny, because both leaders are injured!
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I’ve already sat in 2 therapy sessions with Elder Garrett, the Area Mental Health Advisor, one of which was done an hour ago. We discussed a lot of things about myself and why and how I’m feeling this way and I’m proud to say that he’s really helping. : )
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I arrived here in the morning really hungry so they kindly made me rice and eggs and hot sauce. Just the comfort food that I need. I have with me 5 other missionaries who are called to serve in different missions in the Philippines. One of which is Sister Moyes who is serving in Cebu mission and she speaks Cebuano really well. Another sister is not with us as she is now going under the knife today. I’m on a trio companionship with Elder Alos and Elder Jasminez (serving in Davao). I got to get through the Manila temple on Saturday evening with Elder Alos and I must say that I have felt peace again which I have not really felt for a long time in the field.
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One thing I realized is that we are all broken people here, and the Lord loves broken things, because He can fix them. One time I woke up and got up from my bed early I went to the living room and just sat while the radio was playing instrumental of “Love One Another” and there was this big painting on the wall of the the great Samaritan helping the injured Jew and I felt the Spirit so strong within me and realized how grateful we are for the charity that the Lord Jesus Christ shows to each one of us and how we ought to share the same charity to other people around us.
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It could be kind of boring here but I’m trying to stop lurking in my room in the darkness by enjoying the sunlight more and talking to the people more. I try to spend most of my time indexing records for family history. If you currently can’t preach the gospel to the living, why not help it be preached to the dead?
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The piano and our room in the MRC.
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Laying on the couch when I’m tired and need relaxation is my favourite. However they don’t want missionaries to get the hang of relaxing way too often because it could get them really “off” with missionary work. Every night we do nightly devotionals, just some sharing time about how the MRC and the gospel are currently helping us heal and how the Savior’s atoning sacrifice could make us whole. And I wonder, how could the holes in His hands and wrists could make us whole?
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On Sunday we attended sacrament meeting in Quirino Ward 2, just 15 minutes away from the MRC. The ward was reverent and was spiritually uplifting, and I think there were like 10 missionaries there in that ward, including senior couples and MRC staff.
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It’s a 3 storey chapel with elevator!
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Van ride selfie with the MRC district. F-U-N
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Because the Savior has gone through all things, He can help us go through with whatever our problems are.
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This Monday I learned that I am now released as a zone leader and transferred back to Lipa zone as a regular missionary. My new companion is Elder McLaughlin who has only been out in the field for 3 months now. I’ll be his follow up trainer.
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Gratitude door.
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This sweet sentence gives a different meaning when you’re in trials.

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The MRC senior missionaries are out for dinner on Sunday night, but we weren’t left to ourselves. So they hired babysitters! And we played games like “scrambled words” and “name that tune”. Team Elders won against Team Sisters!
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Just before the babysitters leave.
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You see? I’m having fun here, and you don’t have to worry about me. I love you all. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight. I’ll be fine, and I’m on my way back now. I love you!
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Sent from my iPad

Week 86: Tomorrow the Lord Will do Wonders Among You

Dear family and friends,

General Conference weekend has ended now! I hope everyone of you enjoyed it and resolved to apply and live the messages you’ve heard. This conference is memorable for me as it was the last general conference I had attended as a missionary. I had some personal questions answered as well.

Nothing much has happened this week except that I decided to dye my hair brown on Friday for a chance. But the dye won’t just stick on my hair for some reasons. My companion tried dyeing my hair again this morning but it still wouldn’t still. I’m quite upset about that. I also got a different haircut now and getting brown shoes and brown belt. It’s a change for the few remaining months I have left in the mission field! Excited!

Last week was supposed to be transfer week but because of the changes in the MTC schedule our mission transfers was extended for 2 weeks. We are now in the first week of the transfer extension so we’ll obviously get the call on Saturday. I feel the transfer call coming deep into my bones. For some strange reasons I think I need to leave the area but I still want to stay in the companionship and in the zone. Only the Lord knows what’s His plan for this upcoming transfer, and I’m really thrilled for it.

Last of all, I’d like to give a shoutout to my parents with whom I haven’t had communication for several weeks already. What’s happening down there? Y’all need to stop tripping and start sending me long e-mails. Please don’t snub me!

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Mission

Sent from my iPad

Week 85: Life After Death!

Dear family and friends,

Well there’s still nothing much going on in the mission. Forgive me I still don’t have new pictures to send with this e-mail. Too tired to use the camera!
So this morning we just got back from service in Nagcarlan. I was so bored I barely did anything, but it was fun to help these wonderful members build a house for somebody. We ended at around 10 AM and then went directly to the barbershop to get a haircut. I waited for 2 hours but my name hadn’t been called yet so I got really upset my companion and I just walked out of the shop. It was already too late to stay for a haircut so I decided I’ll just get it next week.
Missionary work could get really mundane; you do the same things over and over again. But you could put some fun and spice in especially when you’re with your companion. Elder Barrizo and I have been getting along really well; I think he’s the nicest companion I’ve had so far. #trustissues It’s true what they say: you can’t love other people if you can’t love your companion first. Companions really make a difference in your mission life. If you get along and love and respect each other, the work gets easier and smoother and more fun. It’s less stress. : )
I hope everyone’s having fun down there in Cebu. I miss you most! I’m still not really sure if I’ll be home in July or in August. Come what may. I’m enjoying my stay here. The best is yet to come here in the mission; I hope it does as well down there.

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Mission
Sent from my iPad