Monday, December 23, 2013

Family!! :) Merry Christmas!

Hey guys!! So yes, it is really really close to Christmas! Not gonna lie, it totally does not feel like it in this weather. Haha but I know it's coming! Mom, please please please do not worry too much about my package, I am totally okay if I get it a little bit late :) Thank you so much for all you do for me mom and dad :) I do have a slight problem, but only slight. My camera is slowly deteriorating and I think it's gonna die soon. The lens like can't open anymore and the touch screen broke. But please please do not worry about this. I can make do without a camera! I will just have my friends send pictures they take with their cameras to my email. 

Anyway, I am so sorry. I always have so much to say to you guys and comment on but I always, always forget. And then the whole week until p-day I'm just thinking "I should've said this or that". So I am really really sorry if my emails stink..

Dad, that new book series sounds SWEET. I have an addiction to deep gospel doctrine. My personal studies have been insane lately. And I cannot wait to be able to read books outside of the missionary library. Like Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage. But man if you have any deep doctrine you could write me about that would be way cool. 

Mom, sounds like your party was cool! That is way cool you had that many non-members attend! It really is exciting how much the work is picking up all around the world. And the cool thing is, President Martino told us in one of our meetings I don't know if I will live to see the Second Coming, but I would be surprised if you didn't see it in your time." This is coming from one of the coolest, most righteous men I have ever met. Oh gosh his workshops are so interesting. I get to go to District Leader Council every other month and went last month for the first time and just the things he says and the things he knows he is able to convey with such a powerful spirit. It is amazing listening to him speak. Anyway, I'm sorry my thoughts are so scattered right now. But this has a point. The gospel needs to be preached to all the world before Christ's Second Coming, but not everyone who hears it has to accept before He can come. And so in seeing everything that's going on, there are about 5 things from the revelations in the scriptures that still need to happen before Christ can come again. Five things! That's not very many. So this time is just..crazy. So exciting.

Anyway, so my week has been a roller coaster, but just about every week is like that I suppose. My companion found out he's going back to Tacloban Mission, and so I think he's kind of given up on the work here so I feel like I'm doing everything. But at the same time I know he's my companion for a reason. I've been working very hard on developing Christ-like attributes, which in my previous areas I didn't really focus too much on. But lately I've just felt like that's what I've been needing to learn. President told me last transfer "I hope you're learning what you're supposed to from all these companions", (last transfer I had 3 different comps). So I figured this is what I need. 

Our baptism is continuing but we found out it won't go to us, it counts as a child of convert because he's 8 years old and his parents are LA members. But we talked to our BP before, and Edmar doesn't have a record so he said the baptism would be ours, but the mission said no haha, so I won't have any baptisms until January at least. Our area is super hard in getting new investigators and the ones we have now aren't progressing too well. I guess in the past the church here has had some drama and problems that the people in Bamban have noticed and don't want to associate with the CJCLDS. :(  

So that's where we're at! I am so excited to talk to you all this week! I wish you all a very merry Christmas! 


Elder Rand :) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pictures... More Picha's!

First off, I am trying really hard to be exactly obedient and it really restricts our email time. So I am trying to make a quality email for you guys, and I think the thing mom and dad like the best is pictures, so I will try to send a lot today! But I do apologize for a lack of a letter. I am doing very well, getting along a whole lot better with my companion. Secondly, I will be calling you in 9 days!! :) I will try to call early in the morning here, maybe about 8 or 9ish here, which I think is early evening there. I will be skyping you guys, and will make sure things are all good with that next week. I believe I should have dad's skype name still. So I hope you guys like the pictures. We didn't have an oven to bake those cupcakes so I just made batter and ate that! ;D Also, the banner was really long so I wore it. Oh my goodness that package was the Thank you all sooo much! I did receive everything just fine, it didn't look like they searched it or anything. Thank you so much family :) 
The other pictures are of us building a part of a house for the Eugenio family. So I have more pictures to send, but I don't think they'll fit in one email, so look for another email I'll be sending ASAP. I love you guys! :) Happy birthday Aleigha!! :)  Dad, bummer about all that happened to you this week! Haha I hope your traveling this week goes better. That is soo cool about the deer you saw! I can't wait to go out with you again. Well, I'll send this email cuz it's about full, but look for more! 

Elder Rand

These pictures are some of the primary kids in our branch. We went for a little hike with them. The boy is our investigator, he'll be baptized on Dec. 28th

I love you family! Happy holidays :)


Elder K.H.Rand

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kumusta brads!

Hey fam! 

So I'm glad to hear everything that's going on with you guys! That's a bummer dad has to travel on Sunday..but kinda cool he's going to NY..? Hahaha hey mom! I did get my package today! Me and my comp went to Tarlac today to go to the mall cuz he needed a few things and I got to pick it up from the office. Thank you sooo much!! I haven't opened it yet, but will as soon as I get a chance later :D:D Thank you so much family! 

So this week has been kind of hard..I will be honest I was a bit trunky this week. But I did what the Prophet said to and just went to work. We killed the work this week! This week we have had the highest number of lessons since I've been in this area. I like the days where I don't have time to think about myself, where I can really just go out and do good. We've also been doing a lot of community service. We actually helped build a house the other day, I learned how to mix cement and all that jazz. I have some pics but I forgot my camera today sorry :( So today I was on the bus going to Tarlac and they had some talk radio thing on, and I realized without really thinking about it I was understanding everything they were saying! It was so cool! Finally, I'm at the point where it's not too hard to translate what I'm hearing. I also got a haircut earlier and was pullin out some Ilocano with the barber :) But that's still really hard actually. I don't understand hardly anything to be honest hahah ;) 

So rainy season is officially over, and won't be back until next May! Woo hoo! AND that means Mangoes are coming soon... :D So excited. But it doesn't feel like Christmas at all. It's actually summer here right now -_- Hahaha but the theme of the mission right now is white Christmas, not in snow, but the people who will be getting baptised this month. We have a couple in our area who should be getting baptized on the 28th. So excited!! :) 

So I got Caitlin's letter today! It sounds like she is happy. Kimo also sent me a birthday card I got today :) I can't wait to see everyone again. One of my best friends here is going home tomorrow, medical release. Elder Whittemore, I think I mentioned him to you guys. I'm gonna miss him a lot. 

WELL. I guess I'll call it a wrap here. Thank you so much for all you guys are doing. I read in some old Liahona yesterday "a mission is a family affair". It just reminded me just how much you are all doing for me. Thank you. I love you. Please know that I am safe and working hard :) Til we meet! 

Elder Rand 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hey Dudes (The dude abides)

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! And man I miss Thanksgiving. You know what we did for Thanksgiving? Me and Elder Whittemore bought "burgers". 'Murica. Ah and I found out he's going home soon because of a problem with his back...which really sucks because we were in the MTC together and we're way good friends. That's gonna be kind of hard I think..

But anyway, thanks a lot for all of your support. My birthday was pretty awesome though! We had our district conference and Elder Meim, from the Philippines Area Seventy came and presided, and gave some really cool speeches. In the Saturday adult session he talked a lot about member missionary work and used all of us full-time missionaries to help his presentation. We got up to the front and had these role-plays where we show the members how to make contact with friends/neighbors and invite them to hear a message. Then yesterday he had me come up and bear my testimony at the youth/YSA session about why I decided to serve a mission and how it's blessed me. A member of the Seventy asked me!! Heh I was a bit nervous, let's just say that..

We waited til today to do stuff, but today was really fun! My district and I went hiking to some waterfalls in our area, with some branch members so it was pretty cool :) I put some pictures on, the sisters wearing name tags are the sisters in my district, but next transfer their area is splitting and we'll be getting another sister companionship. The two dudes on the rock with me are the other elders in my district. I like them a lot, I was actually with both of them in Paniqui Zone when I first got here.

Haha mom you asked about sports last week and I ran out of time and forgot to email you about it! So basketball is actually huge here! That's like the only sport they play. Which kinda sucks because I really really miss soccer. But it's kind of ridiculous. They definitely need to stop playing basketball. They're all so small and scrawny, it's not their sport! I think the native sport is way cooler, it's like a cross between soccer and volleyball. Sipa Takraw , I think it's called. But with basketball, I's..I don't know how to describe it. Watching them play, it's like watching a bunch of little ninjas run around a court with a ball, doing weird body movements and jumps and stuff that just doesn't work! Hahaha but anyway.

Man I miss you guys. I can't wait to call you guys on Christmas. I hope this letter makes up for the short ones I've been sending the last few weeks. I love you all so much. Dad good luck on your business trips! I hope you are all safe. 


Elder K.H. Rand

Some pix from Sis Martino's FB page...