Monday, April 30, 2012

Well hey all. So, I transferred again, and am now up in the mountains in a place called Dian-ay! And when I say mountains, I mean mountains, holy cow! It's way cool though, I'll have to see if I can send ya'll some pictures next week or somethin. Also, a lot of the people are Cebuano here, so it's exciting to try and learn. I hope I can get it down by the time I get home! My companion is Elder Winfield from Tuscon, Arizona. He's real cool and we get along well and have a lot in common. I always seem to find weird connections with my American companions, and this one is that two of his older siblings worked at Jacob lake. Russell and
Hilary Winfield. So Miriam and Andrea, do you know either of them? Weird huh? I didn't think anyone else knew that place existed. But this week was good and I'm really enjoying the work here. I definitely don't feel like I'm going home in 3 months, other than the fact I am always tired, which might have something to do with all the mountain climbing we've been doing. This place is kinda what I thought of when I thought Philippines. I'm trying to adjust to Cebuano. It's not too hard, cause it's close to Illongo, but there are differences. If the people are speaking pure Cebuano, I can probably only understand about 50% of the conversation. My companion doesn't know Cebuano either, but it's all right cause people here understand Illongo too. Just understanding them is the problem sometimes haha. Well, I suppose that it for me this week. Love you all! Love, Elder Andersen

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hey Family, what's kickin? Well this week has been good. We had zone conference this past week. It was really good. I was able to talk with President Tobias about some of the problems and challenges in the branch I'm serving in. And just got some good motivation to sprint to the finish of my mission. Only 2 transfers left! I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. I just try to avoid thinking about it too much. Well our work has been about the same. We get around to about 90% of the members each week, or at least to their houses. One of the biggest challenges in this area, is that no one is home from about 1 to 5, so we get punted a lot from out appointments, cause everyone is out working in the sugarcane and rice fields. But at least we get to stop by and let people know we care about them. Another challenge is that we can't teach if there are no males in the home. So even if there are some people home, and no males, you still can't teach them. Our attendance was at 23 this sunday. I was hoping for a lot more, but you know that's life. I taught the youth book of mormon sunday school class. There was only 3 of them, and I was teaching and explaining about mosiah 7-9 and everything that happened there. How the people of King Limhi discovered the civilization of the Jaredites. Then I asked them if they knew who the Jaredites were. They didn't. So then I had to go off and explain the story of the Jaredites. They also didn't know the story of the Tower of Babel. Haha. Spiritual babies. But it's ok, I'm glad I could help them grow in a knowledge of the gospel. Transfers are on Wednesday. I'm not sure if I'll transfer or not. I won't find out until tomorrow. If I don't, I'll most likely be in this area until the end of my mission. So I sent you some pictures finally! We went to a mini zoo today for p-day. It was actually really cool! And, as you can see, we got to hold big snakes! That one we're holding weighs 100 pounds, and they said it ate 3 chickens last night! A couple other elders came with us and the senior couple. They are the Adams couple from Bountiful, Utah. They are way cool and we love having them here. Anyway, I guess that is all for me right now. Love you all and hope that all is well. Love, Greg

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hey Fam. Welp, this week has been all right. Hard to believe it's P-day again! I don't know where the time goes! This week we've just continued in trying to help this branch. One of the problems though, is that the district doesn't really do anything to help this branch. You have to remember all of these people have been members for less than 5 years and have never gone to church anywhere else except the small little meetinghouse, and have no idea how the church is supposed to run. The district has never sent a high councilman or anything to help them out to know what they need to do. The branch president here was like, "We always have meetings, and they always tell me to do things, and I tell them I don't know how, and they say "Don't worry, we'll help you" and then they never do. So then I just try to figure things out on my own." I also discovered this branch has never had Liahonas. How are they supposed to do their home and visiting teaching if they don't have the message they're supposed to share? How are they supposed to study the words of the living prophets?? It's ridiculous. But we have zone conference tomorrow so I'll talk to President Tobias about it. Hopefully he can do something about it. The members here are really all spiritual babies, so when we teach them we can only feed them milk and honey, cause they aren't ready for the meat yet. Someday........ but at least our attendance went up to 25 yesterday. That's the highest it's been since I've been here. The problem is, where are the other 55 members? So it's making progress, slowly, but surely. It's been ridiculously hot lately. I think this is the hottest it's been my whole mission! I'm pretty much constantly sweating. Ok well, I think thats all for me this week! Love you all! Love, Greg

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hey all! Sounds like you all had a good easter. Mom, you seemed to have enjoyed hiding the eggs haha. I'll get some good snake pictures for you all in a couple weeks! Well everyone seems to be becoming world travelers! The Arctic, Europe, Yugoslavia! Why doesn't anyone want to come to the Philippines? It's a great place! Only our family huh? Well I might still have to be anti social. It's hard talking to white people that aren't missionaries. What exactly are the dates for this family reunion? Anywho they don't really celebrate easter here.. well they do, just in a really strange way. The have Good Friday or Holy Friday, and they all parade around chanting stuff and worshipping statues of Jesus and Mama Mary and other weird stuff. When I saw it last year I thought it was like the Ku Klux Klan or something cause all these priests were dressed up in these robes that looked like kkk robes and had torches cause it was like 3 in the morning and were carrying a cross. I thought they were gonna go burn it or something. But they didn't. Crazy Catholics. Well we watched general conference this week. It was way awesome, and I felt like all they're messages were centered on to what I'm trying to help these people here and the issues they're facing. Especially about families and forgiving others. And being a worthy priesthood holder. Elder Packer and Elder Hales weren't lookin too great. I don't know if they're going to be at the next general conference. But anyway, it was really good. Except it was only in English so most our members didn't really understand it. So we're gonna help them with that. Things have been getting better with the work. I mean, we're not seeing huge, rapid changes, but we are seeing some. Attendance went up last week so that was good. We even had 3 investigators at church! We also got a referral and we visited the family, and they seem really cool. They have 8 kids and live in a house the size of our living room. Thats how it is for a lot of people. So this week should actually be able to teach them. And now we know where most people live so we're really starting to do some real work. Things are going well. I had a sad, but neat experience this week. On sunday we were out working and we passed by these people and there was this drunk guy and he was only wearing briefs, and all the people were teasing him and stuff, and they had got him to carry this big heavy piece of wood on his shoulder and run around with it, and then they saw me and they were like run to the cano! Run to the Cano! So the guy, stumbling all over is trying to run to me but before he got to me he fell over into the sugar cane field and the big piece of wood was on his neck and he was just lying there and all the people were laughing and pointing at him, so I went over to him and picked the wood off of his neck and helped him up, and at that time I was blessed with just a feeling of true charity for this man. It was just a cool little experience where the Lord let me see through his eyes for a couple of minutes. After that I just told the guy not to drink anymore. I'm gonna go back and try and teach him this week and see if he'll receive us. But yeah, that's pretty much it for me this week. Thank you all very much for your prayers and everything you do for me. I need them, so keep em coming! Well I love you all! Until next week, Love Elder Andersen

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hey family. Well this week has proven just as challenging as last. This week there was a big fiesta, so that did not help at all cause everyone was out partying and watching everything at the fiesta. Also this week was graduation week, and it was on Sunday, so only 11 people came to church! 3 out of 26 recent converts, one of which went back to church at the bible baptist church! I don't know how these people were baptized, or why the elders before us even baptized them! So yeah.. But it's good we're still working hard and just doing everything we can to help out the branch. The problem is most of them won't help themselves. They are kinda way lazy.. so we're working on them to get their little tails in order! It's hard in working with a new branch cause there aren't really any strong members that have good solid testimonies and can help the newer members get through their problems. They're all kinda in the same boat.. But yeah things are good in the barnyard.. We get to watch general conference next week so I'm excited for that. My last one on the mission! WOW! OK well I guess that's all for me this week! Love you all! Love, Greg