Monday, January 16, 2012

Hey Fam. Nope, I'm still here in Caduha-an. I have been here a long time, nearly 6 months now. But I should transfer probably on the 1st of next month. My how time flies. Well things this week were good. The Area Presidency gave a broadcast for all ward and branch councils on their goals for 2012. It was pretty amazing. I could definitely see that these men are inspired and are doing the work of the Lord. First off they just gave all the statistics of the Philippines area, which are a little pathetic and shocking. Like how only 150,000 of the 600,000 + members here are active. or how in 2010 only 600 + young men accepted mission calls while 20,000 did not. They compared the Church to the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5 how the servant notes that the branches have grown beyond the trunk(Strong Priesthood holders) and roots (Church Leaders) , so that when the storms of trials or whatever come, they cannot withstand, and souls are lost. But then they explained on how they expect us to change here. Their goals are 1 Strengthen Families: Every Family has daily prayer, scripture study, and weekly family home evening. Each member has his/her own scriptures. Increase number of temple recommend holders. 2 Daily scripture reading (2 Nephi 32:3) 3 Save the Rising Generation. Increase the number of young men serving missons. Incease YSA attendance. 4 Establish the Church. Increase the number of active Melchezidek Priesthood holders. Increase Sacrament Meeting attendance. 5 Rescue the One. Each member rescues someone this year. Every ward council prepares and maintains 15 names for acitvation for members and missionaries to teach. So thats it. They stressed that they are not after the numbers, but the souls. They also stressed how we need to be united under one vision for the work here to be effective. President Teh restated what he said last year during the jubilee celebration. "We have seen nothing yet and the best is yet to come." But he also added this will not happen if the people do not work for it and strive their best to rescue their brothers and sisters here in the Philippines. That is why the whole process of our missionary work has changed here. So we have our work cut out for us. It feels just as good to help someone come back to activity in the Church as it does to baptize someone into the Church. We have one member we have been working with the whole time I've been in this area. It's been so cool to see how the gospel has changed his life. again. When I first got here, he and his family never came to church, he had problems with the word of wisdom, and smoked, and was a drinker. We'd stop by his house and he'd hide his cigarettes and stuff. But after a while he let us in to teach his family. He is now fully reactivated, smoke and drink free, comes to church every sunday, and reads the scriptures everyday. He said to us yesterday when we were teaching him that because of his reading it makes him want to come to church every sunday and do more. His wife and kids can only come sometimes cause they live far away from the church and their children are still young. 4 boys all under the age of 7, the youngest being only a couple months old. But they still come sometimes. So this is the work we're doing, and I'm sure here not too long there will be hundreds of more stories like his, because that is what all 16 missions here in the Philippines are doing. The area presidency said one day Filipino missionaries will be the ones teaching their asian brothers and sisters, because the Philippines is the doorway to Asia. I can only imagine what the next 50 years will bring. So I guess that's it for me this week. Hope everything is going well for you! Really sad you don't have any snow. We don't either haha. Love, Elder Andersen

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