Thursday, March 28, 2013

Safe Arrival in the Philippines


Dear Family,

Your missionary has arrived in the Philippines Angeles Mission safely. Your missionary has received training, a new companion, and a proselyting area.

Thank you for sharing  your missionary with us.

Mahal,

Sister Martino
Philippines Angeles Mission

Monday, March 25, 2013

Phone Call!

Kendric was able to call from the SLC airport tonight! We were all really excited to talk to him and were able to do so for a little over 30 minutes. 23 of them are traveling together to the Angeles mission and another 30 were a couple of hours ahead, going to the Bagio (sp?) mission. They have a really long trip ahead of them, around 25 hours on planes and then 6 on a bus.

He sounded good and is really excited to get into the field. We asked him to bear his testimony and he was able to do that in Tagalog! Very cool.

He said that the Church was filming some footage recently about the MTC for one of their "location" segments between the upcoming Conference sessions. They took a lot of shots of him in the choir, so he's hoping we will get to see him. If anyone has an opportunity to record this, please do! Thanks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mailing address in the Philippines

Well, Kendric leaves for the Philippines tomorrow. He sent us a quick email last night saying that he bought a phone card and can call us from the airport, so we are looking forward to that.

Here is his mailing address in the Philippines:

Elder Kendric Hekoa Rand
Philippines Angeles Mission
1827 Gumain St, Redwood Villas
Clark Field, Angeles City
2009 Pampanga
Philippines

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kendric's mission president's blog

President Martino's blog

Last emails from the MTC...

Magandang araw pamilya ko! :)

So I got my travel plans! I leave the MTC on March 25, at 6:30P.M., so my flights are all throughout the night. I start from Salt Lake to LAX. I get at the Salt Lake airport probably around 7:30, 7:45ish and leave 9:48. I arrive at LAX around 10:45 and leave around 1 something in the morning. From there I fly to Hong Kong. And then from there to Manila. THEN I have a long ride on a bus to Angeles :) Woo hoo! Yeah I'm scared out of my mind we're leaving so soon. But I know the Lord will make up the difference if I do the best I can. Oh it's weird because I totally just skip a day. I leave the 25th, and arrive the 27th. ???  

So funny thing! The Ewoks in Star Wars Epi, VI speak Tagalog! So when I get back, I will be able to understand everything they say! :) Hahaha so my first companion, when personal exercise comes along on my first morning in the Philippines I wanna start swinging a stick around like a lightsaber, making all the noises. And then be like "Teach me to talk with the Ewoks!". 

An update on Elder Vaitai: Don't worry about a thing. The kid is insanely resilient and acts like it's not even there. He had some procedure done the last couple of weeks and he's doing a lot better. Elder Taylor however, his kasama, has cracked two ribs from a cough he's had the last couple of days. So, we don't know if he's going to have to stay here for a few weeks or not. 

This week in choir we are singing an awesome arrangement of "Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching." The dude who arranged it did it just for the MTC choir, so when it starts getting popular you can know that I was in the choir that first sang it ;);) We've been told the speaker tonight is supposed to be "very special" so we'll keep our fingers crossed! 

I go to the temple this morning, which I'm super excited about. Last time for two years :( 

Hey! That's so funny about Carmel hahaha! You should've put up a "If found, please keep" sign ;) 

Dad, a .243 would be sweet! Ahh I'm so excited for you guys to put in for elkkk! That would be so much fun. Hahah you prestiged?? And hey, a water softener, niiiiice :) How's work? Dude I was so shocked when I saw you wrote me a letter..by hand! Hey how did your Dr.'s appointment go?

Mom, woo hoo no crutches! Oh I got all of your packages :) Thank you so much!! Happy Easter :) So physical therapy. That's no fun :( But it sounds like you're legs better than dad's now ;) I like the scripture you sent me :) Mahal kita mom! 

Aleigha, how'd your Dr.'s appointment go? You glad Carmel's back? Have any awesome movies come out? Oh! When do you shadow that Vet? That'll be fun :) 

Maile, do the soccer and volleyball clinicsss!! They will be so much fun :) How do YOU feel about Carmel coming back? 

Shelbi, hellooo :) How are you? Are your parents getting better now that I'm gone? Are they understanding a bit more? Hey! I got your letter :) Salamatttt! I haven't gotten the packet of pictures though :( But that's okay, they will show up :)

Okay, I'm going to send some pictures, let me know if you get them! Mahal kita pamilya ko at Shelbi :) I love and miss you all! Thank you so much mom and dad for all that you do for me :) I love you! 

Love, 
Elder Rand

---

So the[se] pics... are me getting to know my Polynesian side ;) The first pic is from when you sent me that bread (thank you mom :)) and the Samoan kid and the Tongan (Elder Ete and Elder Vaitai) broke out the Spam and corned beef. Haha it was so good. The other picture is me and Elder Taylor wearing lava-lavas given to us from another Samoan, Elder Tuivaiti. Hahaha we try to have fun here ;)




---

The first pic is me and Elder Kochney, he's from Canada and he's hilarious. The other pic is me, Elder Vaitai, Wilson, and Warnick. Warnick is a super funny, semi-awkward kid. He's going to Angeles too. There are 5 of us going to Angeles, the other 7 are going to Baguio. Me, Wilson, Lytle, Warnick and Horsbourgh are going to Angeles.



---

This is Elder 'Aisea, one of my favorite missionaries here. He's district leader for disctrict 15d, and one of the coolest guys I know. The other skinny white kid is Warnick ;) I guess I do look pretty small compared to everyone else huh? 



---

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

12 Mar 2013

Magandang umaga! So it is 3:46 in the morning as of right now, and I am in the laundry room waiting for my clothes to be done! Our entire district is down here, who's bright idea it was to come at this time, I don't know. But it officially sucks. I've slept about three hours! Whoo-hoo. 

So anyway. It's been a really long week. Tagalog is coming, but I feel like we're not really going to learn any more, besides like vocab, until we get out to the Philippines and start using it. Two districts in our zone shipped off yesterday and it got me soooo anxious to leave. We all cannot wait to go. The days here are too structured. I cannot wait to get into the field. 

Haha, so funny story about Elder Vaitai. A couple stories actually..

So he was introduced to laxatives as part of his surgery, because he can't take "strong dumps" (his doctor's words). And he has this friend from Fiji, and he's like "'Ey Fiji! Come eat dis orange lolly (candy in Australian, which Elder Taylor taught him)". And so Fiji eats it, and later that night I guess he crapped allllll over his bed, and had to get a new mattress. Hahahahhaha it was hilarious :)

And then, so we haven't seen him all day, and he comes walking into the cafeteria on crutches. And so we asked him why he had them, and why the doctor's making him use them. And it took like five minutes for him to tell us the truth: he stole them while some kid was crapping on the toilet in the bathroom and ran away with them. So that poor kid was sitting on the toilet waiting for him to bring them back. Hahahahahahahaha it makes me laugh writing this, but I did feel bad for the kid too. 

The temple has been good! It's nice going every week, and we know we're not going to be able to go in the Philippines so it makes every chance we get to go that much better. 



Uhmm....so my official departure date is March 25. We get our travel plans this Thursday I believe, so I will send that to you on Tuesday. 

Caitlin, thanks for the letter! I am writing you back, so I don't want to be repetitive and say everything in this email, but that's cool about your date! ;) I'm pretty jealous you're going to the beach too. Ahh I can't wait to see the beach over there. Oh and yes. The food is horrible.

Aleigha, thanks for your letters too. And yes I found them all in my bags! Hahaha thanks a lot :) I wrote a song for you just now. It goes a little something like this:

Aleigha and xxxxxx sitting in a tree. H-U-G-G-I-N-G. 

That's all. No kissing! 

Maile, thanks for your letter too :) It makes me super super happy hearing from you! Did you guys get a new dog yet? 

Mom and Dad, thanks for everything :) I miss you guys a lot! Mom, I realllllly miss your cooking. Because this food has just gotten so unappetizing. I'm doing very well so don't worry about me :) Oh however, the ATM is kind of dodgy here, and I need to take out some money. I think I need $200 for the airport right? If I can, I'll withdraw some money this week. If not can I use my debit card at the airport? Thanks! Mom how's your leg?? And that's cool your calling is starting to pick up a little bit. Dad how's work? Oh hey I found my razors! :) Oh hey mom! I'm sending a little package to Shelbi, could you give it to her when you can? Thanks mom :)

Shelbi, thank you for all of your letters :) However, I would love to get some pictures of you!! Mom, could you maybe remind her everytime you see her? ;) Because I don't have any pictures, and it really bums me out..But hey! How is your life? How are you doing? It's going to suck not getting mail until I transfer, but hopefully you'll be getting mine often. Hey will you send me your address? I can't remember the first four numbers. :( 2679 E Edward Ln? Something like that? Salamat :) Hey be expecting a package from me soon! I'm sending it today, and it has the last few day's letters in it so if you don't get a letter for a few days it's because they're in that package :) I love you <3 Please be safe Shelbi, I'm praying for you always.

So mom and dad (maybe just dad, I'm not sure you know how mom) could you please forward these to xxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxx? Thank you sooo much! And thanks again for the packages :) They made me so happy! Ingat kayo! I love you and miss you all so much! Have fun getting a better dog, and be safe! Dad, don't get too stressed in work :) I will see you all soon! 

It's already been a month!! ...Tomorrow!! 

5 Mar 2013

Kumusta po kayo pamilya ko? (And Shelbi ;))

As I have come to know, the days are long, but the weeks are SHORT. Time is flying by here, but the days are a drag to get through. I cannot wait to get to the Philippines. 

So our district is made up of 12 Elders, no Sisters. We are one of the few, and it is nice because the guys are focused (most of the time). Four of us are going to Angeles (the land of the chosen) and the others are going to Bagiuo. Interesting thing though! We were wondering why so many were assigned there, and roughly half of them are going to be opening a new mission in the Philippines. So that's pretty cool! 

OH. Important thing. In the Philippines they don't have addresses so I won't get your letters until each time I transfer, which can be up to 2 months. You send them to the mission home and then I get them when I go to a new district. 

Uhmm...let's see...

Oh! So Elder Vaitai has been diagnosed with a AVM, which I guess is a pool of blood that forms in his brain when he exerts himself. We found out because his right half of his body started going numb after playing volleyball. So! He's headed to Salt Lake today to get something done for it. I guess when he was in Tonga (he's had the condition since birth) they would tell him to suck it up and take a Tylenol so he's never known about it. And he's never had a CAT Scan before, which is how they found it. Anyway, we gave him a blessing and we'll know he'll be all right. 

So at M. Russell Ballard's devotional, he made an apostolic blessing to us and it was sooo awesome. I have a copy of what he said, I'll try and get a copy sent over to you. I am so humble for the opportunity I had to sing to him. Choir is definitely one of the funnest things at the MTC. And I am learning Tagalog hymns too! :) They sound funky but they're really cool. Oh and I'm singing in an all-men's choir, "Ye Elder's of Israel". 

So in the pics I attached the wrestler action figure is what we found in our room's Narnia chute, which is the air vents that you can pull off and hide things in for the next people who come into your room. Oh! That's another thing, they put another bed in our room so there will be SIX FRIGGIN MISSIONARIES in one room. Eww. Hahaha! 




In the pics, the white dude I'm with is my kasama. The Tongan dude who is just staring at the camera awkwardly is Elder Vaitai. Hahaha and the other one throwing sign language up is Elder Tuivaiti. They're all really cool guys.





I'll send another email with more pics! The limit is 25mb so I gotta split them up sorry.

Aleigha how are you doing?? Are you bummed about Carmel? It's okay, you guys will get a cooler better dog ;) How's school? Are your classes hard? Oh!!! I HEARD YOU WENT ON A DAAAATEEEE!! ;) Was it fun?? Are you and xxxxxx married yet? ;) Joke lang! Oh I don't know if I told you guys this yet, but that's how Philo's say just kidding. They hold the peace sign against their cheek and yell "Joke lang!!" hahaha it looks rediculous.

Maile, what about you? How are your studies going? Thanks for your letter :) It made me really happy getting it! 

Dad, that's cool about doing work with the church! And I'm glad you still have a hunting buddy. Oh Elder Mortensen's first name is Cade. 





Shelbi, how is Las Vegas?? I think you're there now right? Please please please please be safe! Oh! And please send me pictures! Salamat nobya :) 

Okay I'm running out of time so if this letter sounds short or impersonal I really don't mean it to be, I am just trying to get everything said and sent. I love and miss you all so much! Send me stuff! It's nice ;) Hahaha joke lang! But seriously, thanks for the packages mom :) Love you! Oh please please please forward these to Shelbi's emails! Salamat :) 

Oh I want to bear you my testimony in Tagalog: 

Alam ko po na totoo ang aklat ni mormon. Alam ko po na totoong propeta po si Joseph Smith. Isinalin po si Joseph Smith ng aklat ni mormon sa pamamagitan ng kapangyarihan ng Diyos. Alam ko po na tagapagligtas po si Jesucristo. Alam ko po na totoo po ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw. Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, amen. 

{Tim's note, this isn't too bad based on Google Translate: "I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that am a true prophet Joseph Smith. Please Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know Jesus Christ as Savior please. I know to be true are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saint. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."}

26 Feb 2013


Kumusta po kayo pamilya ko?? (And Shelbi! ;))

Oh yeah, could you guys forward these to xxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxx and tell her you sent them? Thanks so much!

So first off, the MTC is PACKED. There are some 4500 missionaries here, and we're getting several hundred more tomorrow. It is ridiculous, but at the same time you look at all the faces around you and you know God is hastening the work. We are indeed the elite Army of God.

Aleigha, that is sooo sick about your javalina! RRggghhh Elder Mortenson and I have been talking about hunting almost non-stop since we've gotten to know each other. He is my favorite Elder here, he's from Eager, AZ so he does a lot of Elk hunting in Alpine, and he's also a decent predator hunter.

I have sooo many pictures I want to share with you guys but for some reason my camera won't connect to the MTC's computers, I think it's some safety feature they have :(

I hope you guys have been getting my letters. It's kinda funny, I got letters from Julianna Natalie and Will Marx and I still haven't gotten letters from my own little sisters ;)

Our devotionals here are so awesome. We haven't seen any apostles yet but the speakers have all been pretty high up in the church hierarchy.

So I'm singing in the MTC's choir :) If I were here one week longer I would be singing at General Conference. Right now, we're practicing "Consider the Lillies". Listen to it, it is so good!

In class this week I learned that while in a mission like the Philippines, you do actually get proposed to like in "The Other Side of Heaven"! Brother Nuttall, our teacher, got proposed to like 20 some-odd times. Also of interest, the Philippines has monkeys! But Sister Watkins told us they're MEAN. She got chased around by one that was trying to bite her leg. Oh and Brother Nuttall said you have to be careful while walking through rice fields because cobras chill on the paths. And the path is only a few inches across. Hahaha you can't really turn around either so you have to jump over them! Oh another thing, in the Philippines they have no concept of time. So you'll make an appointment and ask what time to come over and they'll give one of three answers: "Umaga, hapon, or gabi", which means "morning, afternoon, or evening." So their youth activity went for two straight weeks, because they were having so much fun and not caring about time. They just camped in the parking lot! And Relief Society things go for 10 hours, on average. Church can last 4-5 hours instead of 3.

Elder Vaitai is doing a lot better. He doesn't like Elder Taylor too much because he says "You talk too much". Hahaha, but they're coming around to each other. Elder xxxxxx has had a hard life. He spent most of his life in prison, and fought for a living on the streets. He respects me because I'm the best setter in volleyball ;)

Oh mom, I don't really need any of that vaccination stuff. You can just mail it all together if it's be best..? I don't need anything right this moment, just whenever you can get stuff over please :)

MAILE HOW ARE YOU DOING?? Hahaha how's school and stuff? Have you unlocked anything cool for Mario Kart??

Shelbi!! (If my pamilya forwards this to you) O'ano? (That means "Hows't?" Wait..I guess that's still too brown for you. It means "How's it?" Ugh that sounds so white ;)) I miss you :) But! Know that I am safe and working hard. That is so cool you got accepted to BYU! And got that job offer! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx If you need to know anything at all, ask me. I will tell you right now the MTC will not be anything like what you are expecting. The days are long as heck, but the weeks are quick. The weeks are long, but months are short. Or so I hear ;)

Anyways, I'm almost out of time, but I love you guys so much! (And you Shelbi ;)) I miss you, I hope you all stay safe. Write me!

Love, Elder Rand

19 Feb 2013 (#3)


Kumusta po kayo father!

Dude, I am JEALOUS. Homygoodness I am jealous ;) I want to go hunting sooo bad.

Oo, Tagalog is going mabuti, mas mabuti. We've learned so much in the last almost-week. We're praying, bearing testimony, and teaching in Tagalog. We're teaching our first investigator and she talks so flipping fast. She'll look at us all expectantly after like a 2 minute long speech, and Elder Wilson (my kasama) and I will just be like ".....uh...oo." hahaha oo means "yes".

Anywho, my kasama is Elder Wilson, and our roomies are a Tongan and an Aussie, Elder Vaitai and Taylor respectively. Elder Taylor is sooo hilarious xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Hahaha we have these things called "Narnia chutes" in the room and they're A/C vents where previous missionaries leave crap for the next Elders who room there. And we found a nerf gun with like 20 bullets. Elder Vaitai picks one up, and says in a thick Tongan accent "I am go-een to shoot all da othah meesionaries" and he runs out of the room and we hear all these screams and it was hilarious. Him and Elder Taylor don't really get along. xxxxxx will just wander off and we'll have to go look for him for like an hour.

Dude, the weather? Not too bad ;) Just a little nippy in the mornings ;)

Well hey, my time's almost up. But I sent an email to mom too you can read. Next time I'll email you first so I can write you a longer one ;) I love you dad, and miss you!

Love, 
Elder Rand 

19 Feb 2013 (#2)


It is FREEZING here. But not too bad ;)
 
Oh! A couple of things that I kind of need...Hahaha :)
 
Tide to go! those little pens that take out stains?
A binder, with page protectors so I can save letters :)
 
Those are not entirely necessary, and certainly not a priority. If you can get them to me at the Philippines that would be fantastico! ;) I'll let you know if I think of anything else. I can only email on Tuesdays, but I love you!

19 Feb 2013 (His first email home)


Kumusta po kayo mom!

WHOOOO HOOOOO P-DAY!!! Holy cow it has been the longest, hardest, most draining week of my life. And yes, I've talked to Sis. Hancock, Elder Lee, and Elder Brown! Ty is on the same floor as me actually.

Tagalog is mabuti. We've learned how to say prayers and bear testimony and teach the first chapter of PMG in the last 5 days. Yeah. We're the first group to be here for 6 weeks learning Tagalog, everyone else before us has been here 10. So the work is hastening! It's difficult at times but I know if I do my part the Spirit will help with the rest. My kasama is Elder Wilson, he's a really cool Elder. We room with an Australian named Elder Taylor and he is so fun to be around. His kasama is a Tongan named Elder Vaitai. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

I haven't seen any general authorities yet, but Elder Taylor met Uchtdorf in the lobby two days ago. Since he's international he got to call home to tell his pamilya he got here okay and that's where he saw him.

Have you guys been getting my letters? Will you please make sure Shelbi gets hers? Maybe have Aleigha take them to her at seminary?

Oh! Aleigha! So I was sitting in my room thinking about awesome movies and stuff and I had a revelation. The captain in Star Trek, the one who makes Thor captain, is the bad guy in Iron Man. Yeah. Mind-blown.

We just got back from the temple, which was awesome. I have pictures from Sunday when we walked over there but I don't have my camera with me and we only have 30 minutes to use email. Hey could you maybe show Shelbi these emails? I'm not allowed to email non-family.

We've been teaching an investigator, Sis. Ramos and it is nuts. Yesterday was our third lesson, and it was the first time we actually felt espiritu santo in it, because we are getting to a level of understanding in Tagalog that allows us to communicate better.

Agh, I miss you guys so much! I have been washing my hands mom :) I'm really bad at remembering to journal, but I am burning through the scriptures with a passion hahaha :)

Anyways, I love and miss all of you! I am doing great, it's pretty hard though sometimes when I think I'm not gonna see you guys for two years. But enduring to the end will bring blessings :)

Love,
Elder Rand

Intro

Kendric left for the MTC in Provo on Feb. 13, 2013. He will be there until March 25, when he leaves for the Philippines Angeles Mission. Tomi and I will be publishing his (slightly edited) emails here so family and friends can keep in touch with how he's doing. ~Tim