Monday, March 24, 2014

Priesthood Power

Hey guys!

So this week has been prettty cool. Today we hiked Mt. Arayat, and it was killer. Like, at least 3x as strenuous as Picacho Peak. It was nutss hahaha I almost died. But it was so cool up at the top, I'll send some pics if I can, this computer is having technical problems..anyway!

So I had a really really cool experience this week. There is this less-active RM in our ward, and he makes about $2/day. He and his wife are supppper poor. So his wife is due in April, so it's close now. So we get a phone call from him, and he asks us if we can give his wife a blessing. We say yes of course and head over as soon as we can. Once there we try to figure out what's going on, she's not really saying too much, just that her stomach is really hurting. So I give her a blessing, and while I'm giving it I feel impressed to tell her that the delivery will go smoothly and she and the baby will be healthy. I had no idea why I said that, because she's not due until April. Then we leave, don't really think too much of it. We went back two days after, and hours after that blessing she had given birth to their baby. And because they are so poor it was in their house, without a doctor or nurse or anything. And everything went fine! It was the coolest thing. I can't tell you how many things have happened in this mission that have given me a firm testimony of the Priesthood. It is such a humbling experience being here, so amazing. So that's my cool story of the week.

As for our investigators, we have two new amazing people. They came from referrals, and they are such cool people.

I'm glad you guys got to go to the temple. Speaking of which, Elder Stenquist and I might be going to the Manile Temple, we're waiting for the approval from Pres. Martino, but it looks like it's a go! We'll see.

Dad, I am super stoked for you to go hunting!! I think that would be totally awesome if you got a wolf tag, because you never know, right? Mom, I haven't tried my debit card yet because I think I took $200 out in Dec, isn't that right? I think. And I did get all my pairs of insoles, thanks so much!! They help A LOT. I don't think I'll need anymore before I go home, but I'll let you know. :)

Aleigha and Maile, have fun at school! I am so sorry I don't have time to write you guys today, but I have read both of your emails, thank you!! :) I love all of you so much, please say hi to everyone for me :) 

Love,

Elder Rand

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly email & pix

Hey family!

Hahaha, so I'm glad those pics of me at zone conference made it to the facebook ;) Hahaha I tried to photobomb as many as I could!! Heheh...

And mom, dad's emails are pretty dang cool with all the pics and all, but I still love yours too!! Haha, and hey! Thanks for the pics by the way! Gemma is suppper cute!!

Dad, thank you for sharing about my mission, that made me feel really good that is seemed to have an impact. This mission is the best thing ever, and even though it has also been the most challenging thing I have ever done, it is so worth it. Not just for me, but for those I can help. I am doing my best to be consecrated.

Oh my gosh, the zone conference we went to this week was soooo good. What Pres. Martino did was go through the last 24 hours of the Saviour's life, using the bible videos and us singing hymns between videos. It was so powerful. And the mission training plan this month is on becoming a master teacher, following the way Jesus Christ taught, and it is so cool. We are focusing on teaching pure doctrine, teaching lessons using purely inspired questions from the Spirit, and it is so cool. And I didn't realize it, but the last several months have been focused on reaching this one outcome of becoming a master teacher. It started out in the summer, June-ish, focusing on sanctification, purging ourselves from our old sins. Then we moved to consecration, giving our all to the Lord, and then to being covenant-keepers, focusing on the covenants we have made to the Lord. And finally, we have reached becoming master teachers. It is the coolest thing, and I look around at myself, and all the missionaries who have actually followed the training, and the transformation is so amazing. I feel like every struggle and trial for the last year have been preparing me to become a master teacher. And at the end of that conference, president gave us a fresh Book of Mormon, and told us to study purely the Atonement. It has been so cool every morning getting to focus my study on the Atonement. In addition to that I am re-reading Jesus the Christ, and it has just been so spiritual the last few weeks. Man I love it.

Dad, I like what you wrote about Sis. Hoyt. It is true, it really is. We talked about Jesus invites us to be like Him, but in this life that is impossible to be perfect, but in the life to come we can obtain it. It is the path we choose in this life however that prepares us for perfection in the next. Carry on! I hope you are feeling better now, too. That bites you were sick for so long, and couldn't exercise.

Hey! Speaking of which, I'm sorry to be a bother, but have you had a chance yet to convert p90x? If not, it's okay, but I am really looking forward to it :) Thanks dad! And mom!! Oh my gosh, I know everything that you're talking about, but I think some of the names for those desserts are in Ilokano, I'm not sure. But that coconut mochi stuff in the coconut milk stuff is the BEST. It's called bilo-bilo here, and I love it! And lumpia is like just the best. I hope you know it is mango season here, and I am eating them EVERY DAY!! Hahahaha just kidding, I love you mom ;) But seriously, every day.

So....that's my life. I tried to make this moer in-depth and descriptive hahaha. I love you all, thanks for everything you are doing. I miss you all so much, and everyday is a day closer, but I'm making the most of it :) 

Love,

Elder Rand

~~~

We went to a place called Nayong Pilipino, and so these are a few pics from that :) So there were 24 of us, and that pic is with us all in one jeepney -_- hahaha ;) love you guys!









Thursday, March 13, 2014

Facebook pix

A couple pix with Kendric in them. He's kind of buried in both, but we don't get many pictures so we take what we get. :)

He's the prairie dog-looking guy in the back left...

 Second row from the top, a little left of center, with his head turned to the side...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Magandang hapon, mga tao.

Magandang hapon, mga tao. Tatayo ba ang tunay na 'slim shady?' *good afternoon, people. will the real slim shady please stand up?*

Heh, so this week has been pretty cool! We've been tearing it up with the work, and have been purging the area. I guess what I mean by that is we've been really focusing on no time wasted, finding those investigators who are really progressing and have that desire to listen and act. It's been hard, in fact we only had one investigator go to church yesterday, so we took a hard blow this week, but hopefully we'll see the fruits in the upcoming weeks. 

So I'm getting way good at cooking fried rice. Haha, basically we've been living off that for the last few days. The other day Stenquist and I made pancakes!! Hahah yeah, sweet right? I know that probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is! Because you can only get stuff to make pancakes in the city, so this is a first for me in this mission ;) I did in fact like the powdered milk mom! And as for the breathe stuff, I am running low. The only stuff I got from you was back when I was in Bamban, so I don't know if customs might have taken it, or if it never made it in the package. Thanks for writing more about your past. I really do appreciate it mom. It's pretty cool getting to know more about your parents' culture here. And I hear Ilocos Norte is super beautiful. I just..ha I wish it was easier to learn Ilokano! 

Thanks for sending pics of Cait's baby!! She is so cute! All right, I gotta write the girls, but I love you parents, and family. You guys are the best! Stay strong. 

Love,

Elder Rand



Monday, March 3, 2014

Letter(s)!

HAHA! Guess what happened this transfer??? Me. Stenquist. Housemates. Boom. This is my life!! AHhhhhh it is the greatest. He is the man. So I am still in Angeles, but I have a new companion. Elder Larita. He's from Tacloban, the place Yolanda hit. But his family's all safe and that. Things are going all right in this area, we had a few investigators dropped this week, one stumbled into some anti-Mormon trash on the internet, and the other got super offended. So we'll see what happens with those..Other than that, life is great here. Thank you for the package!! I did indeed get my debit card, thank you so much. And thanks so much for everything else, it was perfect :) 

So this last week I met a ward member from Cabiao. Do you remember? That was my second area! And it was the area I was in for only 6 weeks. So back then, I always thought I didn't really leave too much of an impression there, but this sister I met, we baptized her husband. And it was the coolest thing to see how her and her family is doing now. You can just tell they are so much happier, and the Gospel is important to them. Ahh it was the best feeling ever!! And this week I got to dedicate a grave for a member who died! It was really cool! I mean, not that I'm excited about her dying, that's horrible, but I mean the things I've gotten to do on this mission that have helped build my testimony of the Priesthood are numerous. Actually yesterday, the sisters in my district called us while we were at church, and said they needed an emergency blessing. Sister Naldoza had blacked out and was feeling nauseous and light headed so we headed over there and gave her a blessing. I called them later last night, and she was completely fine! It was so cool, the Priesthood is real. And church was such a good experience this week too. I met an American from Bountiful, who bore testimony yesterday. He works for UPS and so he goes all over the world, and he and I talked for a bit. He gave such a cool testimony. Sorry I'm all over the place with this letter!

The temple dedication sounds like it was amazing! That's so cool the first presidency went! And Pres. Leseure sounds like an amazing guy. I'm glad it was a spiritual experience. I cannot tell you how excited I am to go to the temple again! And man, I guess I'm gonna have a new niece soon?? What's up??? 

Ah dad, I'm gonna type up that thing for you. I might use some of the same experiences in this letter, is that okay? I love you guys, thank you for all your prayers and love. I miss you all! Be safe :) 

Love,

Elder Rand




{Kendric also wrote the following letter to me to use as a 'report' of his mission to date in our ward, something the Bishop has asked for...}

Well, I'm Elder Rand. I'm serving in the Angeles Zone, of the Philippines Angeles Mission, in an area called Balibago. I am a District Leader, one of five in our zone. Right now, we have a very inconsistent teaching pool, as we find and drop investigators every day, and search for those who will hear our message, the "elect" we might say. One of the elect that we have been teaching is Glen. He is a Baptist, and has started seriously investigating the Church. He is humble, and thirsty for knowledge. Teaching him and numerous others has given me a deep appreciation for this Church. I have taught Roman Catholics, Born Again, Baptists, Free Masons, Knights of Colombus, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehova's Witnesses, and sooo many others. And each other religion may have a truth or two, some may have several truths, but none of them have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I suppose one thing I would have studied more diligently before this mission is the words of the living prophets, and those who have lived in this final dispensation. They are inspired, revelatory messages that will bless all in the human family who accept them. There are no holes in the doctrine of Mormonism, there are no unexplained concepts or missing pieces of authority. And all of it is traced to the Priesthood of God, and the infinite and eternal Atonement of our Saviour Jesus the Christ. I have learned so much of Him, he is the Master Teacher, the Master Physician, the Master of us all. And His authority exists this day in the living prophets of this Church. I have had many experiences that have confirmed this truth to me, through the grace of Him who giveth all things. I have seen first-hand the works of God manifest through the Priesthood. I have seen the sick healed, devils conquered, and hearts and lives changed through His power. It is real. One experience in particular comes to my mind. While serving in Cabiao, I met the sister of an investigator. She was sick, and pregnant. She was also an elect soul. She asked for a blessing, and had the faith to be healed. She was. Her testimony grew. She came to know the Authority exists in our time. I wish I could tell every young man preparing to serve that the Priesthood he holds is true, that he needs to always be worthy to hold it. I guess that's it. I love you all, and wish you all the very best. Thank you for your love and prayers! Mahal ko kayo. 

-Elder Rand



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Facebook photos

We found a few photos that the Mission President's wife posted on FB. He evidently got our package and I'm assuming he got transferred. Hope we find out in tonight's email.