Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shoobeedoobee

Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! :)

So mom, you requested that I send you a short thing about my mission and stuff. So here ya go (sorry if the English is really bad): 

The last (almost) eight months have been challenging. As a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ I have been scorned, laughed at, rejected, and despised. I have experienced a heartbreak every Sunday, when investigators refuse to honor commitments they so easily made. And yet I know that the sorrow I feel for them cannot compare to the Godly ache that our Father feels for each of His children, when they reject the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. The world can be so dark sometimes, so dreary. But we are commanded to not be of the world. We have the ability to be bringers of light into the lives of those who may be burdened by sin and guilt, who may be in the darkest, most lonely time of their lives. And I have witnessed the redeeming power of the Atonement of our Savior and Master Jesus Christ in their lives. My favorite verse in the Doctrine and Covenants contains but seven words: "Light and truth forsake that evil one" (D&C 93:37). As members of His church you need to be a ray of light that pierces the darkness. It is a fact that where light exists, darkness cannot. If you share your testimony with someone that is a ray of light and truth in their life where darkness cannot hold sway. As full-time missionaries we need the Saints of this church. This church is not organized with the full-time missionaries on one side and the ecclesiastical portion on the other. But we are One. One in bringing others into the Fold. Work as one! The Elders need you, (and I hear there are Sisters now too), the work cannot be done without you! Give referrals, go out and work with them, add a witness to their testimonies that you know this message can bless their lives, fellowship the people they bring to church. Doing so will change the work. I so testify in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. :)

So I hope that's sufficient. I don't know how long you wanted it mom but hopefully it'll do. Anyway! My week has been a lot better, a lot of hard work. I've been pushing my companion hard, getting some baptisms set up next month for him. It's about 90% certain I'll transfer next transfer date because after his 12-week training he leads the area with a new companion, showing the new Elder the area and getting it set up for when he eventually transfers. We only had one investigator attend church yesterday, but we're really excited about her. She's 19, and her sister's a very strong member in the ward. And dad as for Ilocano, I've picked up a bit from my companion ;) And yes I absolutely love training! My trainee is so humble and can relate really well to people because he's a convert from the Catholic church. About 75% of people here are Catholic (might be a little dramatic, not too sure, but there's a heck of a lot of them). So it works really well! 

How are you guys? How's the family? I hope you guys are all right. That's cool the girls are on break. Gosh time goes by so fast! It seems like last week their summer break was ending. Wow..You guys have any plans? Anyway, hope you guys have a fun time :) I miss you all so much! Hey, please tell me what's going on in the world hahaha I feel so left out. ;) Dad that's cool you're going to Singapore this week! That'll be interesting! Aleigha it's good you've been staying busy. Sorry I don't have too much time I kinda thought about what I was writing for that thingamajig (Google counts that as a word??). So I gotta run, we're going to some waterfalls in a couple hours I'm really excited for :) I love you all so much! Mom thank you so much for sending a package :D:D I am so excited!! I love you family! 

Mahal Ko Kayo, 

Elder Kendric Rand


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pic from FB


{I'm assuming this was taken as Elder Keene was leaving for home...}

Monday, September 16, 2013

Catching Up!

{Dad's note: I'm trying to get caught up this week, since I've missed posting Kendric's letters so far all month! Some weeks include snippets of different letters to various family members.}

Sept 2, 2013

I went to Tarlac city last week to pick up my companion, and afterwards we went to SM Tarlac, which is a huggge supermall, and it felt like I was in America. It was NUTS, I saw posters for all the new movies coming out and stuff, it was insane. But then I came back and started working again this week, and this is what feels normal now. It's weird to describe, but it's true. The zone leaders that we're living with are both leaving within the next couple months, and one of them, Elder Keene, is just wondering what the heck he's gonna do when he gets back home. He actually has a really cool story. He was kicked out of his house as a teenage boy. He started making wooden things at woodshop at his high school, selling them, and saved up to buy a car. He lived out of his car throughout high school, then got a full-ride playing baseball in California. He went to school for business, then made his own carpentry business. Then he started getting taught by the missionaries. He got converted, sold his business, and came here. He now has to start all over again when he goes home. He's such a cool guy, I've learned so much from him. And he's really good at chess....Hahaha I've only beat him twice out of like 20 matches. Anyways, so our area is coming along. It's a little difficult training and opening an area, especially with me being pretty new still, but I am learning so much.

Love,
Elder Rand

~~~

So we are actually in a branch. It's pretty small. When I arrived here the weekly attendance was about 45. Now, after about 4 weeks of two missionary companionship's working here, it's up to about 65 :) So the work is progressing, even though sometimes it's hard to see the effects. It's just such a difference here, coming from a city like Cabiao where attendance is up in the 130's, 140's. It's different. There's not as many strong, firm members that are willing to work with us. It's just a different challenge here. But the work is improving.

So on p-days we usually just go do something to relax. Like play uno on the beach or something, go look at the water. Today though we played basketball, which was a lot of fun. We're gonna start doing it every week, so that should be cool :) Today we're going to a really super beautiful strip of beach, because it's one of the sister missionaries' here last week. Nuts!! Hahaha but we're all really excited for her.

So I don't know what else to talk about hahaha..I'm sorry I don't really have any new pictures, I was over in Pindangan, Camiling for most of this week, and the area was kinda bland. Haha or maybe I'm just spoiled by Baler :P

Love,
Elder Rand

~~~
~~~

Sept 8, 2013

{Dad's note: So for this one, we asked Kendric if he was okay after the typhoons we heard about...}

Hey dudes. So yeah, we got hit pretty hard by the typhoons. We haven't had fresh water for almost four days now. And the price of food has gone through the roof. We don't know how much longer our money will last..and the value of money is going down. It's better to trade food and useful goods instead of using money. Yesterday, the riots started, people stealing and plundering for food. It was a restless night. Gunshots firing, people screaming. I saw a man die trying to get a kilo of rice. All I've eaten the past few days is rice with salt. Just kidding, we're actually doing really good! I honestly didn't even know the Philippines got hit that hard by typhoons, I guess they weren't near us. It's raining pretty hard right now, but it's not a typhoon (yet). Do you know where exactly the typhoons hit? There was actually a zone service project in an area super far away, me and my companion didn't get to go because I had to pick him up from his trip to MRC. Ah so speaking of which, his training is going really well. He's progressing really well. I put a pic on this email of him and me, he's actually pure Ilocano speaking. So it's cool getting to pick up some Ilocano from him! We got to go to a really cool beach last Monday, it was a lot of fun. This week has been kind of slow, work-wise. But we got a couple of really cool investigators. One of them is a barangay captain, or I guess like captain of the village. He's a really cool guy, just very down-to-earth and interested in the Gospel. We also got an investigator from a referral who is amazing! In our third lesson we taught the Word of Wisdom and since then she's given up coffee. She comes to church every week, and is just progressing very well.


Love,
Elder Rand



~~~


This is at a beach in Dipaculao. Last p-day. So much fun! This is our zone, Baler Zone :) Definitely the most fun zone I've been in since being here.



~~~
~~~


Sept 16, 2013

Kumusta sa inyong lahat! 

Sooo this week has been pretty good! A lot of stress, a lot of rejection, but a lot of progression as well. Not just in our investigators, but in our companionship and myself as well. Right now we're in Cabanatuan, we're staying the night here and then we have zone conference tomorrow. I'm pretty excited for that, it always gives me a spiritual boost.

Uhmm...I really don't know what to talk about. It's been a really just...challenging week haha. I am grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with though, especially the opportunity to train. It's hard, but I am learning so much I wish I had learned earlier! As for how I'm doing, I'm staying healthy, and staying strong ;) Haha I put a couple pics on this email, of me and my trainee, and our district in Baler. Transfers happened this week, and for the first transfer of my mission, nothing happened to me!! Haha it was such a relief, I finally get something consistent in my mission :)

So we had a heartbreak this week at church, when not a single investigator of ours went to church. It was really hard, because now all of their baptismal goal dates need to be pushed back, so if it continues like this, and I'll probably transfer next transfer, I won't see any of our investigators get baptized here :( But hopefully we'll have a few set up so my trainee can get some baptisms in his first area. It's hard for him because we face so much rejection and denial on a daily basis in opening a new area. But it is helping him (and me) to learn fast, and be effective.

Anyways, I love you all so much! Parents, thank you for all you are doing for me. I love you and miss you all! Be safe, I hope you guys have a great week! Tell the other siblings I say hi ;)

Love,
Elder Rand