Monday, July 28, 2014

Fam!

Okay, so I took my camera everywhere this week, but didn't have very many opportunities to take pics. But I tried. So I'll put a few on this email :) 

Well I am glad to hear from you all. Aleigha, just FYI I have of course heard of the EFY Medley, we had a missionary choir in Angeles Zone and sang at a fireside, super powerful. And that's nuts how busy it is for you right now! Hang in there! 

Mom I have actually been thinking about going to Snow College again. I keep getting talked into it by missionaries who have studied there. I hear nothing but awesomeness about that school. Hmmmm...

Okay, so answers to mom's quetions. I am doing awesome!! It was a great week, full of hard work and good vibes. I am still in Santa Ignacia, and this may actually be my last. Zone leaders tend to stay in an area a lot longer than others. We'll see. It is still pouring rain about every day, my clothes never get dry, for you see we have no dryers, merely the sun. And the sun doesn't shine in rainy season. I haven't seen the sun for a few months now. So we come home soaking wet, put wet clothes on the next day, and it is gross, but an adventure, right? :) My shoes, I bought a cheap pair of rubber shoes so my leather ones don't get ruined. My socks are holding up :) There are 20 missionaries in this zone, and one of them is a sister from St. David! So super close to us actually. 

Mom, thanks for the story, that's cool perspective. That's definitely one thing this mission has taught me though, is perspective perspective perspective. I've studied the Celestial Kingdom so much lately, and sometimes I feel like I will only ever be good enough to enter the Terrestrial Kingdom, it is such a battle for the short existence we have here. Will I be good enough? That is the question. What am I doing everyday to deserve a spot there? Anyway, that's what's been on my mind of late. 

Dad, I cannot believe it, I have 20 weeks left. 20 p-days. You will get 20 more letters from me and then I will be speaking with you face-to-face. RHYSRth that's weird. Haha that's funny about Ty Bingham's language study material. I've done the same thing trying to learn Ilokano, and taken some of Iglesia ni Cristo's materials. It helps! Haha..And good news about the hunt. That's like a couple weeks before I'm home. GOOD NEWS. We'll be feasting on venison. And to your questions, yes typhoons are the norm here. They stop being terrifying after the third one or so, which happened to me when I was on the coast in Baler. Tin roofs flying everywhere chopping things in half. Heheh you just gotta keep a sharp eye open ;) and yes! My companion is seriously the best I've had my whole mission. 

Maile, thanks for writing dude! I'm glad middle school isn't too bad, I know it's got a bad hype to it. Just enjoi ^_^ Cowabunga dude! 

Okay, so I guess to end I will tell you all about my Sunday yesterday. Okay just FYI Sundays are the WORST in the mission. They are just super stressful and NOT relaxing at all. But anyway, so yesterday our sacrament started and we were texting and calling our investigators because we had ZERO investigators at sacrament meeting. Not good. So we were super depressed, and just sent out a mass text to all our less-actives and investigators asking them to go to church. And we were just sitting on this bench all sad and stuff and then the door opens and one of our really progressing investigators walks in crying because her husband had abused her for wanting to go to church but she decided to come anyway. Then another walks in with her nana, who's a recent convert. Then our family walks in and they bring one of their friends we've been teaching, and she finally went to church!! So we had six investigators attend church yesterday when we were planning for four. Super cool. Thanks for all your prayers, they work :) 

Okay, well that's my email to y'all today ;) I love you so much. Thanks for your support! Next week again! 

Love,
Elder Rand 

PS This pic is from our FHE last Monday, and six of the people in the picture are investigators! (Four of them went to church yesterday!) 


This is my sad little home-made breakfast burrito. I learned how to make flour tortillas this week since the Philippines doesn't believe in tortillas. 


This next one is the umu we cooked. That's the Tongan form of kaluah pig. So, yeah. We feasted. Oh my gosh it was so good, and I know how to cook meat underground now. Elder Faka'osita of course taught me, and he is doing so much better. In the picture it is unburied already, so just FYI it is cooked under ground. Heh. Okay bye. 


{Something happened to this pic when he sent it...}

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Catching up for July...

July 6th
Hello family! So I am super sorry, this letter might be short, my comp and I are editing a video for the school of elders tomorrow at our Mission Leadership Council, which is in Tarlac with President Clark and all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. AND I still have to do all of my reports. Heheh. Ohhh man. Mom, I liked your letter. It helps a lot to know that this is all normal. And yesh, to answer your question, I have met with President Clark a few times since he's gotten here. He's from Salt Lake originally, but he's coming from Illinois. He is an awesome guy. Yesterday my companion and I met with all the stake leaders, and we and President Clark had a meeting to coordinate our goals with theirs. It was super cool. I really love being a zone leader, you get to get so much experience like this in councils and reporting, ahh it's the best. And my zone is awesome. 

Sooo 4th of July. You know what's sad? I totally forgot about it because I had the worst LBM of my life. Diarrhea from hades or something. For like 2 days I was pooping my guts out. Oh my gosh it was the worst thing I've experienced in my life, I almost pooped my pants like 7 times in lessons. But! It's gone now ;) Whoooo....

Likewise, there are so many flippin' ways to die in this area. A few people got killed by lightning a few weeks ago, an old lady got bit by a cobra, some people died from high blood, one from a stroke, I mean holy cow! I was in a tricycle that almost crashed. And yesterday, I was walking on the LEFT side of the road and a huge van almost hit me because he was overtaking from the right side of the road! I was ticked! And then my fever/explosive diarrhea experience. But man this area is awesome :) But heck, I am so sick of rainy season. When it rains, it pours, and we get soaking wet for the rest of the day, and those clothes don't dry out for a few days because it's so humid. When it doesn't rain, it is super hot, and super humid. Bleh. I can't wait for AZ weather. Hot, but DRY... ahhhh....

Dad, thanks for the pics! Awesome. I miss America. And I am glad you all got home okay, even though dad got stuck in Boston :/ 

How are you all?? How's EFY Aleigha? I think I will probably transfer to BYU after LDSBC. So you should look into it too :) Maile, thanks for writing too! :) Maile, I will be straight up honest, I hated middle school, but that's cuz of the friends I had, or rather lack of friends. You'll be fine cuz you have a lot of friends with you :) 

All right, gotta run, but I love you all so much. The internet suck here, but I'll try to send a few pics after reporting. Love you! Thanks for everything :)

July 13th
Fam!
I really liked your letters this week parents, thanks :) What is the story of Saturday's Warrior? It sounds really cool but I have no idea what it is. And Aleigha! You're going on a mission!! Ahhh that's so cool! I hope you come here! Then we could speak Tagalog and stuff! Hahahaaa..Maile, happy happy birthday dude! Man so much stuff is happening over there!
As for here, let's seeee....
So we have a baptism happening this saturday :) yay! Her name is Sheryl, her entire family are recent converts, and she's finally started going to church and taking lessons, so for the last few weeks her progression has been awesome. Mission Leadership Council was a full day mom, from 9 in the morning to 9 at night on Tuesday, and then a morning devotional on Wednesday morning. SUPER cool. It is awesome because my entire MTC district (except for one Elder) are all zone leaders, so we got to hang out at MLC. It's super cool. My batch is the best haha :) Anndddd what else. Hm. Ah. Please keep Elder Faka'osita in your prayers..he is also my batch, and we're housemates with him and his comp. They were at a service project yesterday and he got sliced on his foot with a rusty machete. His foot is swollen now and super infected, and he has a fever and can't walk. So please pray for him. Ahh I hope he'll be okay..He's from Tonga, and I keep thinking of that part in "The Other Side of Heaven" when that guy slices his leg open and dies. AHhhhh but that won't happen.
Anyway, I think this is kinda a boring letter, but I don't have anything else to write about :( But I love you all so much! And I am so happy for our family, that Cait's getting sealed/endowed, and Aleigha's gonna serve a mission. We're the best :) Heh, all right, stay classy family :)
Love,

Elder Rand

July 20th
Family! 

Okay, so I will try to answer all of mom's questions first:

Haha I am doing great mom :) And yes that typhoon came through and ripped things up a bit, but our zone didn't get hit to bad, we were on the outskirts of the big storm. We just had a bit of flooding and heavy heavy rain. My comp and I are great, and things at church are improving a lot. This ward is the strongest ward I have been assigned in my whole mission. Super cool! My finger is healed, and has nno problems, just a gnarly scar :) I am staying healthy, bought some things to do p90x more fully and have been doing that, but it's not a steady schedule because most of my day is full now. Elder Faka'osita! He is doing awesome, he has healed very well, and has no problems with it...for now. Thanks for supporting him family, you guys are awesome! 

Now for dad, our baptism was a success! Yay! Her recent convert brother got to baptize her :) So that was a super spiritual experience for them both. 

So I don't really remember how a ward functions in America. You know, you always hear that the Church is the same every where, that it is unviersal, and that's true, but it doesn't function as well as it does in America and in other countries (from my perspective of the Church in the Philippines). Home teaching has been a problem in the entire Philippines, with visiting teaching a little bit better. I have personally seen corruption in leadership on my mission, and have been able to do nothing about it. I am just so excited to see how a real ward functions in America. I know even in Arizona, we had problems, and young men were kind of scarce, but it has so many fewer problems than here. Just don't take for granted the Church in America. And liekwise, I am also super curious about how missions function in America. I might write someone over there....hmm...

Okay, so I apologize for the length and quality of this letter, but I really have to go, but this week I will write a letter in advance and just type it up next monday. Ahhh too many reportsss...heh heh, I love you all! Enjoy the sister missionaries, and let me know if they're cool and stuff... ;) Mahal ko kayong lahat!! 

-Elder Rand