Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello family! Well this week has been a pretty good one. We watched general conference this week, and it was awesome! It strengthens my testimony every time that Jesus Christ is at the head of this church and guides us through living prophets and apostles. Their messages are truly inspired and I have learned so much. I was a little shocked to see how old Robert D. Hales and Richard G. Scott have gotten though. I can't believe President Monson has been an apostle for 48 years now! Holy cow! Time flies when you're doing the Lord's work, I can testify of that. Well our investigators are doing well, except none of them came to general conference. Real bummer. We are so blessed in America to watch it in our homes, or even just go to a close by church to watch it. Here the stake borders are large, and from the farthest point in the stake it takes a good hour by bus to get to the stake center, and a large amount of money to pay if you have a family. If it's just one person, it's not too bad, but still a good sum of money for these people. I am touched by the faith of the members here, and all their sacrifices they make to spread the gospel and live the gospel. There are times when it makes me sick with how blessed I am in my life. I had to fight back tears the other night when we visited our elders quorum president because of the condition of his home. It's made of some 1/8 inch plywood, rusted metal, bamboo, and some random other materials to make what we would call a shack and probably would demolish the thing. But it is their home. It was raining hard, and water was pouring in through the "roof", which is no more than rusty 1/4 inch sheets of metal with large holes, allowing water to pour in. The back wall of the house is pretty much just styrofaom and some kind of fabric, so the house behind can't see in. But no matter how bad their situation is, they are happy and full of faith. When it started raining he just kind of laughed and said, "Sorry Elders my house is a little bit broken. I've been meaning to fix it, but we don't have the money yet." Then he continued to talk to us about what he had read in a church book earlier during his lunch break. It was about Joseph F. Smith when those ruffians were coming through and said they would kill any Mormon. Well you know the rest of the story. Anyway, brother commented something like this," The early members of the church had some pretty rough trials didn't they?" and here he is with rain pouring into his house that is falling apart and his wife and 3 little kids. My heart always breaks with people like that. The Requirons are kind of the same. Their house is just really tiny though, it doesn't leak water. But there are 5 of them in a room about the size of our entry room. I always just want to like drop money or something when I meet such people. They help strengthen my testimony and want to work harder, and to be grateful for all the blessings I enjoy in my life. Also this week I found out that zombies are real! And I'm not joking! We were at a members house and she was telling us about where she grew up. She grew up on panay (the island next to us), and lived in a place a 14 hour walk to the closest city. No cars, motorcycles, or anything else could get in there cause it is so mountainous. So you had to walk. Anyway, she said no one owned the land, they just lived off the land and enjoyed their lives. It actually sounded a lot like the law of consecration until she told us about the zombies. She was just explaining the life of people and then she was talking about when people die and then they come alive again. And I was like, wait what?? And she was like, "yeah, they died and then then get up again and are alive, but not at the same time." So I continued to ask her about these things and she said that when people die, they would mourn for them, and then they would get up and walk out of the house and then just continue to walk around for however long. They can't bend their arms or legs or anything, and nothing can "kill" them except water. I didn't think she was serious, but she was! She said they won't hurt you if they know you, but if they don't know you they will chase you and kill you and eat your nose and ears. She said they can't talk but make noises. If someone killed them, they will get revenge on the person. If they just died a natural death, they just walk around for however long I guess. She said sometimes they are like "alive" for more than a year. They only eat these certain weed things, and when they are hungry they can't talk, so they just come up to the door and scratch on it and make these really creepy noises. I asked her what happened if you didn't give them food, and she was just like, "you always give them food." I asked her how/why that happened when people died, and she said it's because they didn't have a church there, believe in God, or even know who he is really. She was converted when she went to Manila for work as a teenager. It was way weird. I never thought zombies were real, but they are! She was like, "Why are you so curious about them, don't they have them in America?", and I was like, "Umm, no way!" and she was like, "But I always see them on t.v. so I just thought they had them everywhere." Haha. So yeah, zombies are real. Well I guess that is it for me this week! Thank you all for your thoughts and love and everything else! Love you all! Love, Elder Andersen

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