Monday, April 25, 2011

Hey family. It's me again. That one kid in the Philippines. So, this week has been good. It's been super hot lately, cause it's hot season now. Hot season goes from about April, till June. And basically it's just really hot all day every day, and no rain. The other season is rainy season, where it's still hot, but it rains every day. So yeah. Been sweating a lot. I think I drink like 4 liters of water a day. So this week was holy week. Yipee! And 90% of the population of our area is Catholic, so that pretty much didn't help the work very much.. The people here in Negros Occidental don't do anything too crazy for holy week, but in other parts of the Philippines they have these giant processions where guys whip themselves with these whips that have razor blades and stuff on the ends of them, and the crucify some people, and do all sorts of crazy things. Here they just had a giant procession of all the Catholics walking and doing their little memorized prayer chants and following these big statues of like Mama Mary, and dead Jesus' and stuff. Kinda weird, but whatever. I don't really have too much to say this week cause we didn't really get to work that much, plus most of our investigators weren't there. Oh, it was Elder Malit's birthday on the 20th. That was fun. We just went to our branch presidents house and we had all this food and just had a little party with the members. Our branch president is still sick, but he's getting surgery tomorrow I think. Somehow they got government funding or something to pay for most his surgery, so they'll be all right. Sounds like everything is going well for you all. Oh yeah, what do you want me to do for calling home on Mother's Day? Thats coming up pretty soon. But I don't know Mom if you're even gonna be in America on Mother's Day.. Also, what gender of baby is Paul having, no one seems to tell me details like that. What is Rachel's last name? Why are Andrea and Barrett living at the house for a year? Where are Miriam and Damon going when their time is up with the Air Force? What grade is Lara Jane in? And how old is she? Are you guys ever gonna email those pictures I asked for like... 6 months ago? Dad already left for Europe? Wow. it feels like I haven't been to America in like 7 months or something. Well thanks for all you do. Love you all! Love Elder Andersen

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Well hey family, don't worry about me, I'm still alive and kicking! Sounds like you guys had a busy week! I did as well, but then again thats just become normal for me. So the news is I'm staying in Himoga-an for at least another transfer with Elder Malit, so that'll be good. Some bad news though, our branch president has been in the hospital this week. He has a stone in his gallbladder and needs surgery, but the problem is they don't have money to get the surgery. He looks bad, like he aged 20 years. so we're just praying for him. He has an appointment today in Bacolod to see whats up and if there are any other options than surgery. But things will work out I'm sure of it. Our investigators are doing well. We have this one family that is basically amazing. I don't know if it's allowed to have favorites, but if it is, they are my favorites. The mom of the family is the daughter of the branch president. She got married before their family was taught by the missionaries, so she wasn't baptized. But now we are teaching her and her husband and their son, and like I said they are just so cool. And so prepared to receive the gospel. They went to all sessions of conference even though they couldn't understand a word. So I'm really excited for them to be baptized and everything. This place is starting to feel like home to me now. Well hope you all had fun at the wedding and what not. Thank you all for everything! Love you! Love, Elder Andersen

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hey everyone, it's Elder Andersen again! (in the Philippines) This week was really good, but really busy. Last Monday we went to this old like mansion/plantation house for p-day. It was really really cool. It used to be 7 stories, but now it's only 4 cause some of it fell down. But yeah, basically its been around since the 1800's and was owned by this rich family who had all these sugar cane fields. Pretty much it's exactly like an old plantation house you would find in the south. Only its in the Philippines. Anyway, so we were able to just walk through it and look at all the old stuff they have in there. It's not a museum or anything, but they are trying to kind of make it in to one and preserve it. If they sold all the stuff they have in there they would probably make a lot of money, cause they have a huge library of all these old books, and magazines. I think they had the complete set of Newsweek magazines from 1960-1961. So yeah I was able to see a lot of neat things. Later in the week we had zone conference in Escalante. Those are always good because we receive new training and everything we need to become better. Then we had general conference on Saturday and Sunday. It was really good. I love hearing from the prophet and apostles and getting a refresher of what I need to do to improve. I was able to see the little segment on the church world news thing about the dedication of the new building on campus. So I got to see Rexburg, and even some people I knew! But we missed the Saturday afternoon session, so I wasn't able to see the combined choir from BYU-I. Oh well. And that was basically the week, cause we were hardly in our area this week with all the meetings we had and stuff, so we were only able to teach our investigators once this week. Kind of a bummer, but it's all right. Later today we find out who is transferring. Yes, it's been another 6 weeks! I don't want to transfer cause I want to see the people I've been working with for 3 months, baptized! But I feel like Elder Malit and I will both stay another transfer together here in Himoga-an. Well hopefully next week I can send some more pictures and stuff. Maybe some of that old house, and some of my area. OK well I love you all. Good luck with all the wedding stuff. Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mom, of course you can send me pictures! Did you just barely figure out you can email pictures? OK well this week has been good. It's been really hot, and sunshiny. Elder Malit says to tell you guys how awesome he is. Anyways, I'm really excited for our investigators. we have 8 investigators with a baptismal date for the end of April, and then maybe a couple in May. So I'm really hoping I don't get transferred so I can see these people I've been working with for 3 months baptized. You get pretty attached to people when you put so much effort in to help them. On tuesday we had companionship exchanges, so I was working in Cadiz, while another elder was working in Himoga-an, and I guess they went to this one family's house to teach them, and the little girl who is 14, but really really shy started crying cause she was scared that I wasn't there haha. What can I say, it's hard not to love me! Just kidding, I think it's just because I'm white and have blue eyes. I'm really not that cocky :) I have to tell you guys about this one investigator though. His name is Pedro, he's like 70 something, and he's hilarious! I don't exactly know how to describe him to you, I just want to take a video of him and send it to you, but I don't know if that would work. Anyway, so we were teaching him about the word of wisdom, and we told him all the things that go with that, and we were talking about illegal drugs, and then he was like, yeah those are really bad, and then proceeded to tell us this story of how he was in Bacolod, and all these people were smoking marijuana in bongs, and smoking houkas and stuff, and was like acting out how they smoked from bongs, and then said they were drinking alcohol and how they were all crazy and stuff ha I basically died laughing. The thing he really struggles with is prayer. He's a former catholic, so every time he prays, he prays to Jesus, and then says some memorized prayer. We explain literally every time we are there that we pray to Heavenly Father, and that prayer comes from the heart. We even had our branch president explain in VERY thoroughly and simply, pray the way we pray, and then asked him if he understood how we pray and asked him to explain it to us, which he did, so then we asked him to pray, and the first words he says? "O Ginoo, Jesucristo!" (O Lord, Jesus Christ) And then said his memorized prayer! Elder Malit and I just looked at each other and were holding back laughs, and we look at our branch president who has his eyes closed, but has this huge grin on his face and was also holding back laughs. So yeah, we're still working on that with him... But he'll get it one of these days :)  I have definitely learned how to be humble here on the mission. I've learned a lot of things, and I've only been out 8 1/2 months! Crazy! Well we didn't watch general conference here cause we watch it a week after you all do in America. So I'm excited to watch that this week. Ummm.... in other news, I now have a genuine rice belly. and weigh 160 pounds. But I think I'm done gaining weight now. I'm really out of shape now. I did 20 push ups this morning and then had to take like a 5 minute break! Pretty pathetic, but thats what happens on the mission. If you're working your hardest and stuff you are just tired basically all the time. But I don't mind it cause I know I'm doin the Lord's work. OK well things are awesome here, I'm loving the mission and loving life. Thanks for all your support and prayers! Love you all! Love, Elder Andersen