Monday, November 7, 2011

Wow Mom, I'm impressed! You are really on top of things! I just hope I
remembered everything I wanted! If not, then oh well. I'll live haha.
Things sound cold there. Yikes. Good thing I get home in July. I get
cold here just when it rains, and even then it's still like 70
degrees! How was Halloween for you all? You should send me some
pictures of the little chillins all dressed up in their costumes. So
things have gone pretty well this week I suppose. We had 2 baptisms!
Those are always awesome! We completed 2 part member families. This
week I almost felt more like a psychiatrist rather than a missionary!
It seemed like everywhere we went, all the members and investigators
and problems and they would just tell me all about their problems and
then asked me what they should do! People really look up to the
missionaries here, even though we are just 20 year old kids. It
definitely has helped me mature and grow, and also remember how
important this calling is, and that even though I'm just a 20 year old
kid, I can do miracles if the Lord requires it. It was nice this week
not having to ride a bus to get home and being able to work longer and
get to more people. On Saturday we helped a member dig the foundations
for his house. I thought I knew how to dig back home, but here it is
probably 3 times harder! The dirt here is so thick and sticky and
heavy. You go two inches into the ground and all you're digging is
straight clay! I don't know how they do it all day! Filipinos have
amazing endurance. Anyway, so like I said things are going well. We'll
get transfer announcements tomorrow, and my companion, Elder Groves,
is probably transferring and so I'll have a new companion. Lets hope I
like him cause it's just gonna be us two in the house haha. It's been
very rainy this week. I have had a hard time keeping my shoes dry! I
rotate them everyday usually, so once the one pair gets soaked I have
to put it in front of the electric fan all the next day and hope they
are dry before I have to use them again! Drying clothes is a challenge
as well, but we make do. We still don't have a stove in our apartment
so we've been cooking with charcoal, just like real Filipino's! We had
to drop one of the investigator families we were teaching because they
just would not progress! It was sad, but that's life as a missionary.
The parents just wanted their kid to join the Church so he would be a
good kid, but they don't want to change themselves. The parents are
Catholic (so they say, but here loads of people say they are Catholic
but never go to church or even know what their own doctrine or
teachings are) and they said they aren't going to join the "Mormons"
church.  I told her, "Sister, this isn't the "Mormons" church, this is
the Church of Jesus Christ." She just kinda went quiet and then said,
Well I'm content in the Catholic church." And that was that. So we're
just working on finding new investigators and really help this area
progress. We had 90 people at church yesterday, which was really good.
Usually we range from 60-80. Hopefully that number will just keep
going up! The Church has only been in the Philippines for 50 years, so
all the processes don't work as well as they should, but they're
getting there. This branch could be a ward right now if they just had
more members paying a full-tithe. Tithing is really hard for them here
because one, they're really poor. And two, because they live day to
day here. A lot of them have never heard of the concept of saving
money. They just live off their daily income. Members that have been
in the Church are better at it than newer ones, but everyone is
learning. Yesterday in Elders' quorum the teacher asked the question,
"Why is it important to teach the gospel?" I looked around at every
single person in the room (about 20) and saw that all of them are
converts. None of them were born into the Church. If no one had taught
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I'm afraid just Elder Groves and I would
have been at Church. Really helped me see how great a work this is,
and even if I don't see the immediate fruits of my labors, they will
come eventually. I learn so much everyday, I love it! Well family, I
suppose that is it for me this week. Love you all and am grateful for
everything! Love, Elder Andersen

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