Monday, June 30, 2014

Family_1234

Good hapon dudes. Mom and Maile! Thanks for your letters! I really did appreciate them no matter how long they are, so don't worry. And dad, thanks! Vegas looks awesome! Hahaha but anyway, enough about that. This week has been killer. Just adjusting to the most diligent and obedient time of my mission. So many reports, phone calls going late into the night, and so much less time in the day. But I can honestly say this is the best time of my mission, I've been calling it the Golden Age because of how much I love it. My companion is so dang cool, we just get along so well. The area is so spread out, I could honestly say we walk more than a couple of hours a day to and from appointments, but somehow we still manage to average about 10 lessons a day. It seems like everyone here is just golden! I feel so blessed, seriously. "After the trial comes the blessings" right? As a zone leader it is pretty much a given I will never have a horrible companion again. This is honestly the best time of my mission. I'm trying hard right now to earn the respect of my zone, and for the most part it's been working. There's one elder who just stepped down from being a zl because he leaves this transfer and so he just doesn't give a dang about anything we say, but it's okay because he's going home soon :) This is just such a humbling experience, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel inadequate. But I'm doing the best I can. President Martino just went home earlier this morning and I am really going to miss him. He was such a mighty leader. But President Clark seems like a real good guy too, we're having a conference on Saturday to meet him. And then in August and October we're having mission tours by general authorities!! So I'm super excited for that. Hmmm...well I still have to do a lot of reporting, so I think I might call this good. But happy Independence Day America! Maile, it is close to your b-day too, happy birthday in advance dude. I love and miss you all! Ah so there is only one pic attached here, it's from our zone meeting earlier, and that's me and three of my batch who I was with in the MTC. It's cool because anywhere I go I have batch, because 30 of us came here together. All right! I love you all! Stay safe, and enjoy the fireworks if there are any. Till next week! 

-Elder Rand


Monday, June 23, 2014

...now I am in Santa Ignacia...

Hey dudes! Haha this week....blew my mind. Okay, so I was only in Guimba for 4 weeks, and now I am in Santa Ignacia. The area is probably the best area I've had in my mission, so many people are prepared to listen to us. And I had heard things about this area my entire mission, how amazing it was and how great the people are and all that but I never  even imagined I would get assigned here. And the other cool thing, my companion was a great leader when I first came in the mission, and I looked up to him a lot, and now we're companions! Crazy! So being a zone leader is all right (so far). It's a lot more reports and a lot more..I guess spiritual too. I actually feel more accountable for each missionary in this zone, and I've already felt the weight of the stewardship I've been given. It's just a lot more responsibility I guess. My companion is Elder Bausing, and he is the coolest comp I have ever had. I guess with all my other comps there has always been a huge culture-gap. But with Elder Bausing, he is like American. He talks about Star Wars and the Avengers and stuff, he knows more about comic books than anyone I know, and is just a super skilled missionary. We have a huge teaching pool here, but the problem is the distance to get to them. But that's just how it goes in the bukid ;) 

So yes, dad I actually can't tell you how many times I have thought about what I will tell people in my homecoming talk. I have thought about it for the last 16 months hahah! I just, I want people to see the change. I don't want to come back the same. I will definitely use my experiences from this mission too, don't worry :) And yes, I would kill for some Sweet Tomatoes, that sounds heavenly. And mom's cooking sounds better! 

Dad your training sounds legit. What is the exact title of your job? Whenever people ask what you do I tell them you're an anti-hacker. Hahaha I really have no clue though! 

That's so cool about all those homecomings and farewells. I had thought that the surge of missionaries was dying down a bit, but it sounds like it's still in full-force over there. And Tyler Porter sounds like a changed man! That is the coolest thing about missions. The very best comes out of us to serve the Lord. Oh and I did send Megan a short email. Just FYI mom, I have been trying to use proper spelling and grammar for this whole email, hahaha. 

So yes mom, we do pouch, but only to other missions in the Phils. and within our mission itself. So letters sent through the mail are all we can receive from back home. Uhmmmm.....I am sorry I did not carry my camera this week, because it's been pouring rain every day, but I will repent and carry it in plastic this week. Sis. Martino took a picture of me and my comp though, so you should be seeing that on her facebook.

All right, well thanks for all of your guys' letters! It sounds like this week is going to be super fun for you all! Provo, Vegas, roadtrips, flights....sounds awesome! Stay safe you guys, I miss you all and love you! As always I remain,

Your Son and Brother,

Elder Rand

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zone Leader


Ohana!

Ohana! Hahaha it is wonderful p-day again. And it sounds like you guys are pretty dang busy! There are so many homecomings! Holy cow. That is so cool to see. I'm glad they're all finishing right. And that's cool Aleigha is doing EFY this year, is this your first time dude? I never went haha I was always like "I have cooler things to do with my money" hahaha ;) So that's cool that you're going! And flying is not too bad, though I can tell you the 24 hours of flying here was not too fun, and dad can definitely testify of that. The coolest thing I remember in flying to Utah is at one point you can look down and see straight down into the Grand Canyon. Super cool. 

So just a little experience I had like half an hour ago. A simple little thing, but it's given me stronger faith. We got done playing soccer about 2 hours ago and then rode a jeepney about an hour here to Guimba, and so we went and got burgers from this little stand, and they were super cheap so I ordered 4 (this was not just me being fat, I just felt I needed to). So I ate two (they're tiny okay?) and I was like "why the heck did I order four??" and my comp was like "I need to print pictures". So we go up to this photo printing place, and there's this dirty, down-syndrome, homeless guy, and I'm just like "ahh frick what a poor guy" and enter the printing place, and then I get this feeling, that like forces my head to look down at my hand, holding the burgers. And I knew what I had to do, so I went outside, talked to the guy a bit and he just looked at me and muttered "tulong, tulong" or "help, help" in English. So I hand him the burgers and enter the photo place again. A few minutes later we walk out and this guy just looks so grateful, it was so cool. And then I look up and notice all these people nodding their heads in approval at me. Then I got shy and walked away really fast hahaha. It was a cool experience. 

So yesterday and Saturday, we had district conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake, and Pres. Teh conducted with Bishop Davies, Sis. McConkie, and Elder Quentin L. Cook there, and they all spoke and they had such good talks. One thing I really liked was a story Bishop Davies shared, perhaps you guys may have heard this in another conference or something, but it's the story of the Philadelphia temple. Bishop Davies was part of the committee to build the temple, so they went and found several properties that could be suited for the temple, but two stood out in particular. They got approval from the council of the twelve and first presidency to make an offer. The first choice they had was surprisingly, accepted readily by the owner. This man said he had owned the property some 25 years, and had many opportunities to develop it, but never did because he always felt the land had a "higher purpose". So they had the land ready, but then the city council intervened; they wanted the land to help the people, provide jobs, blah blah blah, basically just anti-Mormon prejudice. So they took the land from the Church. Bishop Davies then, in a last-ditch effort, scheduled a meeting with the mayor of Philly. In attendance was the mayor, a few non-member city councilmen, and Bishop Davies, the temple's architect, and two members of the local community, one being a Tongan who played for BYU's football team and in the NFL, and retired and is now a sports broadcaster in Philadelphia, I forget his name, but suffice it to say, he has prominence in Philly. So they're in this council with the mayor, and he obviously has his mind set. So they're trying to persuade him, then this famous Tongan member says "Mayor, may I speak?" And the mayor says of course, yes. And this member then bore testimony of how his family had sold their home, he and his siblings had sold fruit, to be able to travel to the Hamilton New Zealand temple to be sealed. Then he testified the city needs this temple, the people will be blessed by this temple. And sat down. Bishop Davies said it was silent for a few moments, then the temple architect got up and showed some sketches of the temple. After that, this is the really cool part. A non-member city councilman stood up and said the city needs this temple. That it will bring peace and beauty to their city, and bless the people there. Then the mayor's heart was softened, and the Church was allowed to continue work on the Temple. At the end of the meeting, the mayor asked Bishop Davies to say a closing prayer. How cool is that?? Ah it was the coolest story. And all the other talks were sooo good. They all really focused on the Filipino saints, they did so well. 

Well, as for that, that is currently my life. I am doing very well, I was sick the start of last week, but it's all but gone now. The work slowed down a bit last week, because of a funeral and district conference and other little things, but we are definitely seeing the fruits. One of our investigators attended distr. conf. with us yesterday and had really positive things to say about it, which was awesome. It was also a sacrifice for her because the jeepney ride is expensive and over an hour to get to the district center. And we've only taught her twice. Awesome!! 

Dad what's up with your foot? Mom says you're really hurtin. How long's it been like that? Are you gonna be able to do havasupai still?? ;) Haha hope it starts getting better! 

Caitlin can't wait 6 months to get sealed???? ARGGHHH tell her to wait!! That's so cool you guys went to the temple, I can't wait to get to go again. I get like this craving every now and then to go, buttttt....soon :) 

And how is Maile?? That's cool you're doing horesback stuff! And how's the guitar and piano? Getting good? ;) Write me dude! 

Aleigha, I just got your email so I'll respond to that :) Your art is so amazing dude! 

Well, I still have reports to do, but I will have you all know I put a priority on this letter today :) I mean, it's always a priority, but today I wrote this before doing ANYTHING else :) So I love you all, I hope you guys are healthy and safe, and enjoying break :) Well I guess Maile is really the only one, everyone else sounds super busy lol ;) Love you all! 

-Elder Rand

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hey Family!

Well mom, I got that package! Thank you sooo much for the socks, they are being used well :) And thanks too for the updated family pic! And har har, mom that card is hilarious. Were you trying to tell me something? ;) Ohhh man that moment is still one of the great injustices of history, when I got chewed out for riding that kiddie car down the driveway, and not Kimo and Cait for pushing it ;) But I'm not bitter! Not bitter....

So I think the trek and all that is done now right? Mom are you done with camp and all that? How was it all?? Did Aleigha have fun being a trekkie? ;)  I hope you all had fun. I really miss those kinds of activities. And don't take them for granted! The youth here don't get to do stuff like that. Especially in a branch, the budget is super tight. And speaking of branches, ours just got reorganized. So our branch mission leader just got stepped-up to second councilor, which means we are branch mission leader-less because there is no one to replace him! Hahaha but that's just how life goes when you're not under ward organization. 

As for teaching, we are teaching a TON of people. Last week we had over 50 lessons, this week we had about 46 I think. The highest I've ever had in a week is 52 I think, and that was in my second area which had the strongest work, so this area is giving it a run for the money. The problem is how far everything is. We're encouraged to focus on the center of strength, or the area immediately surrounding the chapel. But the thing is all the members who live there won't talk to us, they've all apostatized and went to the catholic church because they're lazy, don't want to pay tithing, and don't want responsibility or a calling. Actually from what I've observed, that's always why people join the catholic church haha..Kinda sad, they think they're saved from listening to pastors with no authority pray...

Well I just want mom to know I am doing well, super healthy now. I eat well, sleep well, p90x 6 days a week, and walk several kilometers a day. The cool thing about it all, is even after p90x, I will go to bed exhausted and wake up and my body is just not sore. Promises of the Lord are true, aren't they? Pretty cool. 

That's it for this week. I love you all. And I am super excited about the news. Dec. 17...whew! Don't worry, I will spend every day well. I've already caught the vision of becoming. Be safe this week, be happy! :) Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat, ngunit makikita ko kayo sa pasko! :) Ito ang panahon para sa akin na makapaglingkod sa Pinakamanakapanyarihan! 

Magpakailanman, ang anak at kapatid nyo, 

Elder Rand

{Note: Kendric found out this week that he will be coming home December 17th, one transfer early, so he can start back to school in January. We're really excited that he will be home for Christmas!}

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kumasta!!

Mom! Haha thanks for the email, it wasn't boring don't worry! But I will be honest, dad's email was so cool! Hahaha so I'll read your emails again, and try to answer questions first, since I'm so bad at that ;P Ah so yes, thanks for getting that info about Pima mom! I've written President Martino a formal letter now, because he asked me to do so, in which I requested to go home in the transfer in December. So we'll see! And yes, the Martino's are getting ready to go home. I am going to miss them so much, they are just the coolest people. But guess what, I talked to President about listening to his workshop on making money (he's a millionaire, he drove a ferarri before the mission) and he said that he would personally tutor me on business and making money after the mission if I would keep in touch with him. Whoa. Isn't that the coolest thing? He had an RM who applied the thing he learned from the workshop and approached President at a reunion. This RM now had multiple businesses here, and his primary focus was to get less-actives to church. So he owns a few little jeepney businesses. President said his next goal should be to own the company that makes the jeepneys. Hahaha yeah President is the man. 

So that picture from Sis. Martino, that's actually in my new area. In Guimba 3. That was in front of our area's chapel. It's such a beautiful area, but I do miss mountains, everything is flat.lly weird Katy Sprunt is serving a mission. What about Ian Vu? And I'll try to write Ethan if I have time after this. 

That's cool you all got to see Kimo. I'm glad he's got a new girlfriend who seems nice.

Well, as for me, this week has been killer. I've been trying to just focus on the work, and so we got 51 lessons this week. Hahaha one of the elders here was telling me the other day that he has a friend in Washington DC, and a good week for them is 3 lessons. Hahaha! So the way I look at it is: missionaries in 1st world countries, they have A/C, cars, bikes, nice apartments and delicious food, all the niceties in life. For us...We sweat when we work, walk, shower, and sit in the house, because our electric fans just blow hot air at us, we have few of the niceties in life, but.......... we get baptisms :) hahaha! 

I've also been doing a lot better with working out. My comp and I actually went jogging today! Super cool. And p90x is the best thing evahhh...

Well I am putting a couple o' pics on this email, of me and my comp, Elder Gallego, and our apartment because mom said she wants pics of where we're staying and all that. But MAN the internet sucks in the bukid. Anyway, I love you all. I honestly appreciate each of you soo much. Please be safe mahal ko kayong lahat! And as always, I remain,

Your Bro,

Elder Rand