Monday, October 25, 2010

So... I'm staying in La Castellana next transfer! yay! But I'm a little nervous for my follow up trainer. Oh well, it'll work out.. this week has been hot! We haven't had like any rain this week, which is weird, and last week we had a ton of rain cause of the Baguio that came through northern Luzon. But it's been good. We have some really good investigators that are doing well. The one sister, sister Johna, is the mother of the Villanueva family and she is always surprising us. She's not even a member yet, but she knows a ton and is definitely going to be a future leader in the church. So last week she was talking to us about Lucy Mack Smith, this week she told us she is preparing to receive her patriarchal blessing! haha it's so awesome! She and her husband and niece are scheduled to get baptized on November 20th I think. Then we have this other family we found last week that is really prepared for us. They read the book of mormon, pray, and a couple of them were able to go to church yesterday. The father was taught years ago in Manila, so he remembers a little, and they are way accepting of the gospel. We asked him to pray at the end of our lesson, and he did, and then at our next lesson he told us that was the first time he had ever prayed, and since then has been praying for everything. So they're way cool, except they speak Tagalog, which I don't remember much anymore cause I've been so focused on Illongo. I can understand a lot of it, but I can't speak it very well. Even elder Sanchez who speaks Tagalog said he was having a hard time teaching them cause he hasn't spoken it in forever. We had zone conference this week, it was really good. President Tobias is awesome, and the training we received was really good. We are really focusing on retention and reactivation, or "rescue" as we call it. Because there were so many converts back in the day and stuff that were either missionary converts or were baptized just because. Now we have very high standards for baptism to insure the people endure to the end. But there are so many people that are not enduring to the end, and that is what we are focusing on. Also helping the wards and branches function like a normal ward or branch should, because they really don't have any idea because none of them has ever been in a fully functioning ward. We are trying to help the members realize what really being a member of this church means, and that they can't be content just going to church on sunday... thats proving a little difficult, but I'm confident we can help them, and help this branch. It used to be a ward, but now the average attendance is 85. Thats a little pathetic, and thats what we want to change. So yeah, good things are happening. I can't believe I'll be in my second transfer next week! I really need to learn Illongo fast! I can understand and say more each day, but it's still slow. And a bit frustrating at times, but it's all good. I'm doing well, miss you all, love you! -Elder Andersen

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