Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Well it's great to hear that I'm an aunt again! Hope all is going well with Kim and little Lucy Mae! Well this week has been pretty good. We had a specialized training for our district on saturday, and it was really good and I think is really going to help the work progress. Then this coming wednesday we will have zone conference. More training! So that'll be good. We're just continuing to hasten the work here. Also this next week we will have to go to Binalbagan to the stake center because they are doing a Jubilee exhibit for the stake all about how the church got started here in the Philippines. It's mostly for investigators and people who are not familiar with the church. We've been asked to attend so we can answer questions and things like that. Because of the Jubilee exhibit, we had a senior couple come to church with us yesterday from Manila, from the Church's public affairs department or something. They were here to help set up the exhibit and everything. It was a cool experience, because they don't speak Illongo, so I had to translate a lot for them, it was just weird cause I guess I never realized what a gift it is for me to know the language and I can just translate without even thinking about it. I hope sometime in the future I can be assigned in a Cebuano speaking area so that I can learn Cebuano as well. I'd also really like to learn Tagalog. The problem is, it's so much harder to learn if you don't hear people speaking it. Maybe I'll get a Filipino companion some time that can teach me Tagalog. So yeah, the work has been going well. We had one of our investigator families come to church so that was exciting! Hopefully our other ones come next week or we might have to drop them.. But anyway, things are going well. No, I haven't gotten my package yet, but hopefully this week. Hope you all have a great week and thanks for everything! Love you all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hello family. This week has been pretty good. I guess some interesting news is I survived a 6.2 magnitude earthquake this week. Before you freak out, let me explain. Yes, it was a 6.2, but nothing happened, nobody died, and everyone is just fine. Even peoples' little bamboo shacks didn't fall down. The worst damage I heard about was like peoples flower pots breaking and stuff. It was weird cause I've never felt one before. It woke us up at 4:50 in the morning, I kinda just sat up in bed and had to take it in for a few seconds to make sure it was real and not dreaming. But then my companion sat up too and was like, "What's going on" and I was like, "I think it's an earthquake." "Ok cool." And we went back to sleep. Or tried to, but it was hard cause there were all these after shocks that kept shaking our beds and keeping us awake. One of the missionaries in our house didnt' even wake up! I really don't know how. If it was a more serious earthquake and our house was falling down, he'd be a goner for sure. Anyway, the work here has been going pretty well. We've been able to go to a lot of people I haven't been able to go to yet, cause we split the area now and so that has been really helpful. We've found several investigators that are part member families. They are what President Tobias wants us to focus on. Part member families, and unordained males. So we've been working to find them, and see if we can help them receive the gospel/return to activity etc.. The weather has been a little crazy cause there are 2 baguios in the Philippines right now I think. So during the day it's super hot, but then around 5 or 6 it'll just pour rain for an hour or longer. We definitely got soaked this week on Wednesday. One of the ward members was working with us in this more mountainous area with rice fields and sugarcane fields, stuff like that, cause in that area there are about 300 members, and maybe 25 or so active. Anyway he had his 8 year old son with him, Nikko, and we were walking back towards civilization, and it started to rain. So we started walking really fast, cause when it rains here, it pours, and doesn't stop! So I scooped up Nikko in my arms and we all just started running in the rain, down this path that was basically just puddles and mud.We ran for a good mile before we got to Sister "Ping"s house. She is one of those members that is like a mother to the missionaries and she's awesome. She gave us some towels to dry off, and every time we come over she insists on feeding us. Her house is the one we ate snails at. She's a good cook. Then she cut up this pineapple, and Elder Aubrey and I ate the whole thing. The fruit here is amazing. I'm attaching a couple of pictures for you to see.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hey fam. Well sounds like you guys are just having all sorts of fun and going on all sorts of vacations!  This week has been pretty good. Fist off, I have a new companion! His name is Elder Aubrey, and he's from Ogden. It's pretty cool cause I knew him back in the MTC he is the batch below me. So yeah. Also this week we got  two more missionaries to be assigned here in Kabankalan, which is good, cause this city is huge and it was really hard for just us two do to everything. It's really going to help the ward progress. So right now there are  6 of us in one house  so we're pretty squished! The other  2 are assigned in Oringao, which is a barangay of Kabankalan about  20 minutes away from here. They were supposed to be living there, but the owner of the house wanted more than they originally said, and so the office is still trying to negotiate with them. So in the mean time, it's sardines. Thats the biggest news from me. Other than that we've just been doing our work. Oh I saw my first monkey this week! He gave me a high five cause I gave him some fruit. I was kinda scared he was gonna claw my face off at first cause he was just hanging down from this chain on a tree, but it seemed pretty nice. Our church attendance was about 20 higher than last week, so that was great. It's nice to see some of the fruits of your efforts! Wowsers, this week I'll be hitting my year mark! It's gone by fast, and everybody tells me it just goes by faster and faster. Hopefully I will be sending you guys a small package with some things (like some letters I wrote forever ago and still haven't sent) along with some other things.  Ok, well thanks for all your prayers, cares, and everything else. Love you guys. Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hey Family! Well I am now officially 20 years old. We didn't do anything special on my birthday, cause we had work to do, but today we went to this place called mag-aso. You can tell what that is by the pictures. It was really cool! Don't worry we didn't go swimming! So this week has been good. I've had ups and downs. I guess thats just the way it is on a mission! We had a really cool experience this week. We were trying to find these members, so we asked people if they knew where they lived. We went to the house, and a guy came out and was just talking to us in English, which doesn't happen too often, well, I guess it doesn't happen too often that they can actually speak English instead of people saying things like, "Hey Joe! Where have you going?" Anyway, so this guy was way good at English (it was funny cause we spoke to him in Illongo, but he spoke to us in English) He wasn't a member, and didn't know who we were looking for, but he told us his son in law was an American. The son in law wasn't there, but his wife and two kids were. The kids can only speak English, cause they lived in America, they're only living here for like a year. So yeah, the wife is a Filipino, but she's lived in America for like 6 years so she speaks English like an American, and so does the whole fam damily! It was way weird. But they were really nice and fed us and everything. We gave the guy a pamphlet, and he also asked for a Book of Mormon, which we didn't have any English ones,so we gotta go back sometime and get him one. Usually Americans here that are married to Filipinas are like 60 and they're wives are like 25 cause they're gold diggers. But this guy volunteered for the peace corps, so he was here for 2 years as well, and can speak Illongo too. He seemed like a really cool guy. He works for the government as a financial analyst or something, and right now he's assigned in Afghanistan. But yeah, it was just a really cool experience. Our other investigators are doing ok as well. I mean we're constantly finding and dropping ones, but we have quite a few progressing. We had a really sad experience this week too. We received a referral from the Ilo-ilo mission of a part member family here in Kabankalan. We went and contacted them, the wife is a member but a long time inactive, and she has a husband and 2 kids. We taught them and it was just a really good lesson. The husband seemed to be eating it up. He even accepted a baptismal date. But the next time we went back, he told us he had thought about it and he's not going to leave the religion he grew up in (catholic). The dumb thing is he said he didn't even think the catholic church was true and that he didn't know which church was, but he said he doesn't believe a church can save you. So we explained everything about how the church is not just some other church, and that Jesus Christ himself is guiding it. And how its so easy to know. Just read one chapter in the Book of Mormon and ask God if it's true. But he wouldn't even do that. He just kept saying how he didn't want to change and everything. It hurt. It really did. He will be one of those people I see in the next life and go up to with tears in my eyes and say, "I tried. I did everything I could to help you, but you didn't listen." But you know, thats life. Thats Heavenly Fathers plan for us, and thats the way it's gotta be. So yeah, just a couple experiences from my week. We've done a lot of trying to work with part member families and unordained males, because thats what President Tobias wants. So things are going well, hard to believe I've been out almost a year now! When did that happen? All right, I gotta run, but thanks for all the birthday wishes and love! Love Elder Andersen.