Week 94: Stay to the Very End

Dear family and friends,

Water and dirt in a fancy bottle.
So it has been really humid lately. You may remember from my weekly letter that I said it’s been raining a lot; it still has, but this week’s been different. It’s crazy because it could rain really really hard but then right after it gets really really humid. There’s no burning heat from the sun as it’s covered by the gray clouds, yet the weather is totally humid for some reasons I can’t explain. I keep up with this kind of weather by taking breaks in 7/11 just as how I did in San Pablo when I was there at the beginning of the summer. Now that we are in the middle of the summer-rainfall transition everything’s going crazy. I have been complaining a lot to my companion about how hot and humid it has been but all is well. Evian water is a favourite treat.
In a similar note, I forgot to inform you that the Church has now revised missionary clothing guidelines. We elders are now allowed to wear sunglasses for protection from the sun. Of course, as you would expect, I have procured sunglasses because I easily get sunburned when it’s too hot and my eyes could sting really bad. Sisters are now also allowed to wear pants to protect against mosquito bites. We have not received official instructions from our mission president regarding these changes, but I asked my mission president’s wife for permission to wear glasses. There some instructions however that we should remove sunglasses when we are indoors and talking to people in the street, but so far that’s what we know for sunglasses.
Burger King is my favourite now. I don’t even rice anymore.
It was stake conference season last weekend. We didn’t get to attend the Priesthood and Saturday session but we got to attend the general session yesterday. There were several inspiring speakers who gave really good talks on the pulpit, including my mission president and his wife and an Elder Villanueva from the Area Seventy. The Lipa Stake Center was definitely and staggeringly filled during the conference, as evidenced by the 5 overflowing rooms for people who didn’t make it to the good seats.
There are only two zones in the mission which have easy access to Starbucks—one in Lucena and the other here in Lipa. You may remember how my last Christmas wasn’t complete because I didn’t get to have Starbucks for Christmas eve.
Transfer day will be this Thursday but I’m not transferred and I’m staying with the same companion. Next week would begin my last cycle here in the mission field, and I have felt mixed emotions and found that words are totally inadequate in expressing how I feel as I approach my walk down Parley Street. As the days drag on to my homecoming I realized that I have been losing my conviction in and becoming more complacent with the usual activities in missionary work. In spite of this unusual state, my desire to finish strong becomes firmer and firmer as I look to Christ and His example in finishing strong in his mortal ministry. Just as how the Israelites’ soles were wet before the Red Sea departed; much like how the Saints in Nauvoo made their first step into the snow to the unknown; in quite similarity to how Joseph Smith surrendered himself like a lamb to the slaughter—so are my feelings regarding going home in such a short time. The last 41 days are and should be the most important, and I don’t want to waste them by slacking off and doing nothing. In honor of my grandparents who faithfully served their couple mission together, I want to stay to the very end.
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Sent from my iPad

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