Sooo..the Philippines. Woo hoo! Uhm..it's a lot harder being here than I thought it would be. Every morning I wake up very homesick..I don't understand a lick of Tagalog, and my companion is native Filipino so there is very little English, and very little conversation between us. There's also that cultural barrier that makes it hard to talk to him. The people here are all very nice, but they laugh at me because I can't say or understand anything. The food makes me sick, but I think it's getting better now. I just...I wasn't expecting to be hit so hard and fast by everything. I don't know..anyways. It is very beautiful here, and I think living in Arizona prepared me for the climate better than most. It is the hot season here now, and then the wet season comes around May. That's when it rains and rains almost non-stop for like six months, but it's also a lot cooler. I know if I can just..endure the next few months, and learn all I can the language will come. I just want to be able to talk to people, and not have them stare and laugh at me.
The culture here is very laid back. It's also very...hmm...loud, I guess you can say. I think that's the best way to describe it, loud and chill. Oh! So on Saturday in the market I got four mangos for 50 pisos, which is like..$1.25. Haha. Yeah. What else...oh I committed a 10 year old boy named Jay to baptism. It was really cool :) I've already been offered balot but turned it down because I made a promise to Pres. Howard at the MTC not to eat it. He ate it and was sick for a week and a half so he made us all promise not to eat it.
Anyway! What's new with you guys? Mom how is it being off crutches? Aleigha you can go to prom..?? Kuwiliwili...that means weird. Maile! How is volleyball?? That is so cool you're playing!! I wish I could have started when I was your age. Dad how is work and stuff? That's cool you guys went to the Easter Pageant! And that's also cool about the screen door. That's what we do, we just prop the door open. There is no A/C in our house, just fans. And we also just have a bucket for a shower, hahaha. It's actually kinda nice.
Mom, I don't think I need anything. I'm not sure what the best way to send packages is, but I will ask this week. Oh, dearelder's still work over here. So that's definitely a reliable and cheap way to send mail.
Okay pamilya, I need to go now, but I will write you a letter soon! I can't send it until next monday, p-day, but we will see how long it takes to get there. Thank you for all that you do parents, mahal kita! I miss you sooo much!
Elder K.H. Rand
This is me in a palayan (rice field) and the other is me eating fish with my hands! The bishop of the ward I am in wanted to teach me how :) Oh! Kinda cool, kinda not, I am the first native English speaker to be a missionary in this ward. They were all shocked to find out I don't
This is me, my kasama Elder Cope, and a boy whose name I have forgotten because it is ridiculously hard to pronounce, standing by some palayans, or rice fields.
So I have a little bit more time, so I can write you guys some more. Please don't worry about me, I will be okay. I am in the Lord's hands. The struggles I am facing I'm sure have been faced by countless other missionaries. I've only been here four days, I'm sure it will become easier to live here and speak the language. I love you so much parents. I really do, and I am so grateful for you. This is the start of the next two years here, and I might as well make the most of it. I keep you all in my prayers. It's a very scary feeling being this far from home, but I know the Lord will provide. These first few days have been a rollercoaster of emotion, and I'm just along for the ride. I need to go now, but I love you so much family. Stay safe!
Elder Kendric H. Rand