Monday, October 11, 2010

Well hello family! This week has been pretty great. It's weird, the days seem so long, but the weeks seem to be flying by! I know that doesn't really make sense, but whatever... So I'm not really even sure what to write about this week. Things have been going well in La Castellana, the people are awesome. It's really neat, we have been teaching this one family for a while and most of them are baptized, well actually it's like 3 families but they are all related and live right next to/ with each other ha it's a little complicated. Anyway so we've been teaching them and they are way awesome, they are the ones I told you about that gave me the bananas. So we were teaching them and the grandpa of the family has never listened to our message, and before he talked to us actually really hated us, we were teaching his daughters and he wouldn't let them be taught, but they all prayed and he let them be taught and baptized, and their families also, and since then he is really nice to us but still hasn't let us teach him or anything. But a couple nights ago we went and taught them a lesson and he was there and listened to the whole thing, and was way interested and asked really cool questions and then stuff, and yesterday he came to general conference! the whole family of 30 or so did it was so awesome! they told us in that lesson that was the first time they had all been together in a long time. I think that brother, brother bebong (people have really weird names here) realized how much the gospel had changed his family's lives and everything. Hopefully he will continue to listen and want to be baptized. We had some other really good lessons this week too. We've been so busy in fact we've had to go on splits with President Oliverio and J.R. It is amazing how if you have the faith that Heavenly Father is preparing his children to hear his message, you will find them. It's funny, when you go up to people, if they don't really want to talk to you they kind of just pretend like you're not there, but they are nice enough to listen to our message sometimes and so we start and they won't be paying much attention, but then after they feel the spirit and can feel that we are different than everyone else, they really start to listen and pay attention and ask questions it's neat. You can definitely tell when the spirit is working through you in a lesson. We've found some way cool families and we are hoping they will be baptized. We've received a bunch of new training this week on how to improve our teachings and stuff and they have really helped. They want us now, to give a baptismal invitation, or commitment in just the 1st or 2nd lesson. I'm lucky I just got here and am getting this training now, so I don't really have to change my ways haha. Well Illongo is still hard, but I think it's coming slowly... I hope. It's frustrating sometimes, but it's ok. We had to go to La Carlota to the stake center to watch conference on Saturday and Sunday, it was really good. I think I definitely got more out of this conference than other ones before. But, the funnest part of going to conference was driving there. The branch hired what they call a silakian (sp?) which is basically just a big truck. So 50 or 60 of us all crammed in and drove the 45 minutes to La Carlota it was way fun, especially since I was riding on the roof of the cab of the truck haha. They are harvesting the sugar cane here now, it's so primitive, they just chop it down with machetes. It takes them forever to harvest just one field, and then they load it up on a truck or a trailer thing hooked to a karabaw. My goal is to ride one of those before I leave. Haha funny story, ok well first cultural note: peeing in public, like on the streets, on walls, trees, or whatever is perfectly acceptable here. So the other night we were in a different city cause we had to talk to the elders there, and we were on a bus going back to la castellana and we got a flat, so we were standing outside waiting for them to change the tire and this guy gets off the bus, goes to the back tire, and just does his business! hahaha mind you there are still 50+ people on the bus and like 20 outside. I died laughing. So many things like that make me laugh here. Like walking back to our house at night past the karaoke bars and hearing the people singing because they can't sing, but there they are singing with all their might. ahh I love it. So yeah, things have been going well, busy, but good. Thank you for all your support and prayers and everything, they are much appreciated. Love you all! Love Elder Andersen (aka Joe)

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