Monday, November 24, 2014

...My second to last letter...

A sobering thought just occured: this is my second to last letter to you. Talk about crazy. Another thought: in just twenty days I will be traveling down to the mission home in Tarlac, and proselyting will be officially over. Hm. I might cry right now. Haaa but anyway! How is everyone?? Sounds like your Sabbath was really relaxed. Sounds delightful :) My Sunday was a lot of my companion and I trying to reactivate less-actives, and we spent many fruitless hours inviting those members to church. It was not encouraging, as none of them attended. But then the ray of hope! Two of our less-actives we had visited several times during the week showed up for Sacrament meeting! Ahhh I cannot tell you how awesome that was. This area is definitely taking its toll on my mentality. It is so unfruitful. And yet things like that keep us going. But honestly, and this is dead honest, I feel like I have been trying to finish a race, that last stretch, and suddenly my legs have fallen off. It's like I am literally crawling with my arms to the finish line. BUT. The important thing is I am trying to follow Pres. Hinckley's father's advice and "forget myself and go to work". :) BUT 20 DAYS. Haha just kidding ;) 

So my companion almost went apostate this week, and it's because of me. For some reason when we got back to the apartment we started getting into the topic of the plan of salvation, and then he started asking some questions to himself about God and I then I mentioned the doctrine of plural gods, and he about died. Ohmahgosh, it took me about an hour of explaining and using the scriptures and "Mormon Doctrine" to tell him about it, and after that he was quiet for about an hour, and then he came out of the room and he just said "I don't think I can accept that". And he was honestly thinking of going home, and I was like "ah frick" and had to talk to him more about it and clarify it, and finally really late at night he said he'd sleep on it. The next day he was like "yeah, I knew that all along" like nothing had happened and since then he's been all right, but super absorbed in studying now. Which is good because he was lazy as heck before, which really bugged me. But since then I've seen some really positive changes, and he's super excited about everything he learns. So I guess it was a good thing..? 

Okay, so I actually had a couple really cool experiences this week where I saw the tender mercies of the Lord in my life. I had exchanges this week, and actually got to go back to Maria, but in Maria A not B. So it wasn't technically my area, but if you remember, I worked there for about 4 weeks when my companion was sick and in the MRC. So I got to know that area really well. So anyway, that's not really important to the story, sorry, but Elder Anasario and I had just gotten punted from everyone of his planned appointments. So we were just standing on the side of the street trying to make a plan to figure out what to do. And then all of a sudden this girl walking past us stops and starts talking to me, and shaking my hand like we had been friends forever, and I'm like "whooooo are you?". So she introduces herself, her name is Candy. And I'm like 'okay, that's vaguely familiar' and then she tells me her story, and it is so cool. So here, I'll tell it from my point of view, and then fill in that one-year gap with what she told me.  
Back when Elder Ofiana and I were in that area, we had run out of teaching appointments. If you guys remember we were opening that area up, and I was training Elder Ofiana so of course he had no idea what was going on. So we went to members and tried to get referrals, and we got one, for Candy and her family. So we went over there, and tried to teach them. We got through part of the first lesson, and the father started falling asleep, the mother was pre-occupied, and Candy and her siblings were obviously not listening to a word we said. So we ended the lesson early, and called it quits. We went back with high-hopes, and this time the family, who we heard talking inside, decided to hide when we went up to their door and wouldn't have anything to do with us. So we moved their teaching record in our area book from the "new investigator" section into the "former investigator" section. And that was that. I guess a few months ago some missionaries here found that record, said "heck let's go for it" and in that period of time the family had read some of the Book of Mormon we had left with them, and all were baptized except one son who is living in Manila. Talk about a pick-me-up! My whole mission I had read in Preach My Gospel where it says "no effort is wasted" but this totally gave me a testimony of that. So cool! 

Okay, so I hope you guys have noticed this is a bit longer letter, and I've actually spent almost all of my time on this letter. Dad I do not have a digital copy of my itinerary, but I will ask the office to maybe send a new one? I can kind of tell you from memory a few parts of it. I will be leaving Manila Dec. 17 at 9:04am. From there I will travel I think about 3 hrs to Tokyo. Then I leave for Seattle, and that's about a 9 hr flight. Then I will fly from Seattle to Tucson, and should be arriving about 2:04 pm, I believe. Next week I will try to give a more complete report. Mom, thank you for depositing that money! I did get it withdrawn, thank you so much :) And Aleigha, your date idea sounds frickin cool! Hahaha let me know how that goes, and your hunt as well! Maile, of course I am still game for that concert ;) Okay okay I really have to go do my report. But I have several pictures simultaneously uploading, and they will follow shortly. :) Love you all! 

-Elder Kendric Rand 

This is our meeting house here in San Luis. Yeahhh.....

This is my district! Minus two of them. Haha, from our activity earlier! 

This is our activity from last week, we rode this boat to a mountain where back in the day Filipinos survived a huge typhoon by climbing to the top. We made it to their camp, and saw some cool little memorials and stuff. But the boat, the boat made it worth it ;) By the way that is the entire Baler zone in that pic :) 

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