Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last week's & this week's emails

Jan 12th
Oh my gosh....mom you like bagoong?? I absolutely loathe it!! I am so sick of bagoong! And since I'm in an Ilocano area everything is drenched in it!! Hahaha and mom I will send you some pictures of me eating mangoes ;) They're green right now, so that's exactly what we do; we slice 'em up and eat them with shoyu and/or bagoong (but shoyu is better..). Sooo good! That's really cool about your calling mom! But I bet you're a bit stressed lately..But still, I bet it's cool getting to be with Maile in primary every week. And man, I wish I was there with you guys. Hahaha but it's okay, almost to a year!! ;) And MAN!! Buntis naman si Caitlin (Caitlin is super pregnant)!!! HAHAHA SHE'S SO BIGGGG. Bahahahaha....Anyway. Mom thanks a lot for getting that p90x! Super excited. :) 

Dad, that is so cool they made a movie for Lone survivor. How was Mark Wahlberg? That guy's a boss. And shoot, 4 months to go until bear season? That's so cool. And that's pretty cool you got to see your sister and mom too. Please tell Paul congrats for getting into JAG, that's cool too. And dad thanks for depositing that money, I will get a camera soon, I'm just waiting to see what happens with these transfers. And yes, I got to baptize Edmar Hallig yesterday, but it didn't count for us, it counted for the branch. But that is okay because the important thing is he got baptized! ;) 

Aleigha, I wish I would've watched more of the Sherlock series before I left, but hopefully by the time I get back they'll have more on Netflix. Dude, enjoy school! I really do miss learning, and wish I spent my time better in school...hahaha..and bunso (that's Maile) thanks for writing me again! Hahaha I'll be honest though, Google Translate doesn't make too much sense sometimes so I don't think I understood your whole letter. But it's the thought that counts ;) Love ya bunso! 

Well this week has been all right. Kinda kicked my butt a little bit, but we worked hard. Just looking forward to transfers this week, I'll let you know next monday what happens. I want real investigators who actually learn and engage in lessons. But that's okay. Just trying to endure until I do get transferred. If I were to leave, this area is definitely in better shape than it was when I got here. Oh just something cool about my life. I got all my white shirts tailored for like...$2. Yeah. All right. That's about it. I love you guys all so much! I hope everythings good over there in the Promised Land. Be safe! Mahal na mahal ko kayo :)

Love,

Elder K.H. Rand

Jan 19th
Well I have officially left Bamban, and am now in the thick of it. Hahaha this is a huge change, I have never experience anything like this before in my mission! I am in Angeles City itself, in an area called Balibago. It is amazing!! I love the city! But whereas when I transfered to Bamban people told me I was going to "outer darkness", when I got transfered here I was told I'm going to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is wicked, it really is, and it feels a bit like Las Vegas actually. My area has what is called the "red and blue zones". Red zone, I cannot touch with a 50 ft. pole. If I set foot in there I will get sent home in a heartbeat. Blue zone, we can ride jeepneys through, but again if I get off in the blue zone it's a one-way ticket to America. I think you guys know why these areas are forbidden, so I won't explain it. Anyway, there are white people everywhere. But not the ones you'd ever want to talk to. They're the ones who are here only for evil purposes. I've seen sooo many white people, old, fat, and they have their arm slung around some young filipina girl. It's so so sad..But my ward is great. We have a really good ward mission leader, and an assistant just got called yesterday. And the FOOD!! There is sooo much food here!! I ate a krispy kreme doughnut the other day, and I about died. Then they have wendy's, mc'dos, burger king, and so much street food. Ah yes so I am going today to get a new camera, because there are 3 huge malls in this area. Thank you so much parents. And my companion is great. I am his follow-up trainer, and so I'm helping him refine some of the skills he's learned already, and at the same time of course I'm learning from him. He's so cool, I like him a lot and I'm excited to see where this companionship goes. So every morning during my personal study I've been reading the best talk ever, given by Elder Callister. It's called "Consecrated Missionary" and it has changed my mission. He talks about how sometimes missionaries will just change their behavior, doing things because that's the rule. But he talks about how we have to go deeper, until a change happens in our nature, not just behavior. And that's what I am striving for. Exact obedience. Doing everything I can every day. It's the best feeling at the end of the day when I can honestly say in prayer I've done all I can this day. One thing that is so hard in this area is controlling thoughts, especially with all the filth around. But I feel like when that was once my weakness, it is truly becoming a strength. After this mission, I think I'll have learned to conquer my old Goliaths.

Well other than that, it sounds like you are all doing well. I'm glad you guys had fun shooting dad! And you totally should've shot my AR! ;) And 7 falls sounds like so much fun right now. But hey, almost hit a year. Just a little....bit....more. :) I love you all so much. Please know I am doing well, and healthy. Actually I've started taking airborne cuz the city is filthy and everyone has coughs and colds. :D yay! All right, calling it a wrap. Have a great week family! :) 

Love, 

Elder Rand

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