Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 13 Santo Domingo Philippines

So yah,
Family week... 
 It's a Filipino holiday I guess. We celebrated it with the branch on Saturday which was also my birthday. We went on a motorcade around the town and we held up signs that said stuff like "Families are eternal!" and other Mormon stuff, haha. It was really annoying cause all the people on motorcycles honked the whole time and it was giving me a headache. Then we went back to the church and played these dumb games. The branch bought me a cake though and sang this totally messed up version of the happy birthday song. Then they came and put cake on my face.  Prettyfunnnnn...
Later in the evening the sister missionaries had a baptism and they had me be the baptizer since it was my birthday. Super cool. The guy has been an investigator since June I think. He is 22. We also had one of our investigators get baptized on Thursday, his name is Frankelli. He is 8 years old and he is an African-Filipino. His mom is a member so it didn't count as a convert baptism, but that's okay! Salvation all the same! 

Yah, so I bought my self 2 ice cream cones from 7eleven or my birthday haha WAHOOO.
I bought a mosquito net so that has minimized the bites.  They are still always floating around me though, all the flippin time. In the shower, in the bathroom, during study, anywhere really. So I'm always swatting the air. haha.

Tagalog still comin. The Book of Mormon is so true. I read 13 chapters today while Elder Tejada got his homegoing x-ray in Vigan hospital. 

Love you all!
-Elder Andersen

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 12 Santo Domingo Philippines

 I'm okay guys. I'm over the house and the bugs haha.  My arms and face look like war zone though from the mosquito bites.  I bought a mosquito net today so hopefully I can get it to work tonight.  I'm still a little homesick though hehe. I miss Utah and English.

I've come to discover that the main source of all my emotional hardships stem from the language. I want to help these people, and I want to bear sincere and powerful testimony that I have about the Book of Mormon, and about Christ, and about the Restoration, but I cant yet. I can somewhat teach to them, and ask them questions, but I cannot understand any thing that comes out of there mouth, so as a result I get discouraged. Usually I am excited and motivated after my study and I am eager to fulfill my purpose and help these people.  Then we go and proselyte and usually by the end of proselyting I am discouraged and frustrated because of my inability to understand and communicate with these people. Then the cycle usually repeats the next day.

Its going pretty well with elder Tajada and I. He is funny, and he doesn't want to go home because their is a sister in the mission who he wants to marry, but she has a boy friend in her home ward at home.  He won't tell me her name and where her area is haha. But I do know that she is a pinay and is like an inch taller than him.  Hahaha poor guy.  He is pretty clean, but yah..... basta (what I have said is sufficient=basta)  He cooks a lot, but he leaves meat and dirty dishes out over night all the time and it bugs the poop out of me cause there is always an army of ants feasting on the food residue after only about an hour. I try to clean the dishes as much as possible so that doesn't happen, but some times he eats when I don't know and then leaves them out, or he puts them in the rice cooker thinking they are safe.  DUDE THERE ARE SO MANY BUGS IN THIS APARTMENT, CLEAN YOOO PLATE. Whatever haha.

 But I did have a few concerns. After the first few days, I noticed that the lesson we were teaching to our investigators, especially in lesson 1 and 2, only covered 1 to 2 principles at a time. ( halimbawa- Lesson 1 priciple 1-2, and then the next visit would be principle 3-4, and then 5-6, and then 7-8. ganoon. So basically these investigators wouldn't be introduced to the Book of Mormon until the 4th lesson.) I also noticed that we have many investigators, but most of them are not reading the book of Mormon, praying or going to church. Yet Elder Tejada had us teaching them about the Law of Chastity or the Word of Wisdom or something like that, and these people haven't even prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true.  Technically, if these people don't keep their commitments after the first 3 to 4 lessons, you have to drop them. But it seems like Elder Tejada and Elder Pasqual (his old companion) Have taught like 7-8 lessons to some of these people, and they haven't prayed to know if the BOM is true.

 So I expressed to Elder Tejada my feelings during one of the nightly evaluations and of course I prayed for the Spirit before hand. He told me they were instructed to teach shorter lessons by the old mission president because many missionaries were in people homes for to long, but they took it as don't teach the full first lesson in one visit, which is not good according to PMG and the MTC. And he agreed to teach our investigators full lesson one, and emphasize on the Book of Mormon.

Yahhh. So I ate snail. and it was not that bad, but still kinda weird.
And yah basta my arms looks like a toad.

Also we have been biking, but we have these 2 old bikes that have so many problems, and we have to take them into the bike shop like every day. All the mechanics and the security gaurd laugh every time we come in.  They are so nice and cool though, and fix are stuff for free a lot.  But its okay because we gave out a book of mormon to one of the mechanics.

Also, on Friday, This guy named Tabasan, came up to us in the bike shop. He knew we were Mormon, and also that we were preachers. He spoke good English so I talked to him a lot. He told us that he owned the bike shop.  He is a catholic (90% of the Philippines is catholic)  and when he was a boy he trained for 12 years to be a priest, and he told us a story about how he went into the mountains and preached to the guerrilla rebels.  He said he was very learned in the bible and he like our church and our people, and he said we are nice, but he doesn't like Iglesia ni Cristo ( Ill tell you about them another time. Look them up) We gave him a restoration pamphlet and he said he reads every night and that he will read the whole thing.  I was so mad because I didn't have a BOM on me.
We had to go to the bike shop again the next morning and he was there! I offered him a book of Mormon but he said he doesn't like to read in Tagalog, so I gave him my beloved English pocket BOM :( But he said he will read it! He is in Manila for business as we speak to I hope when he returns he will want us to teach him. I can already tell that this man was sent to us by God, and I think that he will be baptized eventually, I've been praying for him every night.
My English is already becoming broken and I'm getting a Filipino accent haha. You can probably already tell by the way I word things in these emails, my spelling is trashed haha.

Well its my b-day in 5 days haha. Send me stuff :D
-Elder Andersen

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 11 Santo Domingo Philippines

Soooooo it's been quite the past couple of days....

 Manila Temple

 My new companion is Elder Tajada. He is a Filipino and he barely speaks English. He speaks super fast Tagalog and he has a soft I can never ever figure out what he is saying. I get trained for 12 weeks, but Elder Tajada is going home in 5 weeks, so I guess I will get a new trainer soon. We have been assigned to Santo Domingo, which is just North of Vigan city. Annnnnnddd Booyyyy it's pretty out here, but it's definitely third world. Pretty much everyone out here farms or does something that has to do with farming. Everyone has the skinny dogs and chickens and some people have cows. It rains pretty much once a day here. Oh yah, and most everyone has dirt floors or concrete floors and no AC and yah. We are soooooo blessed in America it's ridiculous.

So the first thing we did in the area on Friday was we went to our apartment. I don't know how I have been able to sleep at night. There are spider webs all over the walls and the ceiling and the bathroom and the shower and They all have spiders in them. Tons of mosquitoes. You should see my arms. I'm being eaten alive. There are occasionally Geckos crawling along the walls, (I don't mind the geckos) I caught a glimpse of a rat one night. There were also 2 huuugggee roaches in the kitchen one night that would not, I mean WOULD NOT die. So I just left them and they disappeared so IDK where they are now. There was a centipede under a flip flop in the cold shower this morning, mice, flies everywhere all of the time and who knows what else. There was something weird flying around the room last night I don't even know how to describe it. So yah.

 Also I got to meet the branch today, interesting experience. So there was about 40 people at church on Sunday. Most of them are women. Really the only priesthood in the building was the Branch president and his counselors and the Ward clerk and a couple others and then about 4 or 5 young men. (Oh yah everyone here pretty much speaks ilokano, but they have to switch to Tagalog so we can understand each other). I gave my 2 minute welcome testimony and stuff then after that we had mcm, which is where the missionaries meet with the branch president. There are 4 of us. Me and Elder Tajada and two sisters. Thank goodness one of the sisters is from Utah so I can talk to someone because I have no idea what anyone is saying to me all day long. Its pretty much the worst.  So anyway, we did the meeting which I couldn't understand because everyone just babbled in Tagalog and I understood nothing and then I volunteered to speak on Sunday and then they asked me if I had anything I wanted to say. I said yes. I spoke in Taglish haha, so I could try to express my thoughts. I asked how many less actives were in the branch. We have an 18 % attendance rate, 546 members, 316 families, 48 active Melchizedek priesthood holders and 229 potential priesthood holders. Whhhhhaaaaatttt this is nuts.

Most of the people we have been teaching are investigators, the people that Elder Tajada and his old companion were teaching. How on earth are we supposed to baptize people and keep them active if the branch is so weak? Not to mention, only about 10 of us sang the hymns.  Most people weren't even paying attention. People were watching basketball on their phones DURING THE SACRAMENT SERVICE, and I heard gun shot noises coming from some kids smart phone. There is no branch unity. So I expressed to the counsel that our first priority should be the branch and we need to make an effort to inspire the active members and reactivate the less actives.  The sisters and the branch president seemed to really agree.

I am soooo stressed out, The Lord has me here for a reason, I know that, but I am so stressed out. I know what we have to do, my companion is close to leaving, and I don't speak the language yet. I feel this tremendous weight on my shoulders and it's hard. I am definitely praying my guts out so please pray for me, my companion, and especially for the Santo Domingo area B.

Oh also, there are these service missionaries who live here and apparently they are really sharp in tongue and have offended many of the members who are now less active.  The Lord must expect a lot from me or something because I couldn't feel more over whelmed and alone. I know through Faith and Prayer, and action, The Lord can turn this area around, so I am trying my best. Please pray for us. 

Also I never thought I would get homesick. I miss Utah and my family and my ward and my clean house with my clean bed and no bugs inside and all that hahah, but I'm pushing through. I'm praying a lot and I'm trying to improve my companionship unity with Elder Tajada. I find the most comfort in the scriptures and prayer and study, but usually right when I wake up in the morning I feel very overwhelmed. My emotions are on a roller coaster ride haha. I've cried like 4 times during my prayers haha. I think its safe to say that this is the HARDEST THING I could have ever even imagined to be entrusted with. The Lord is counting on me. The mission president is counting on me. The whole Santo Domingo are counting on me (well there spirits are, they just don't know it) My family is counting on me, uhhhgg. And I don't even know the language. So yah, I'm stressed hahah. I  don't show it on the outside and to my companion, but I feel like my head is gonna explode hehehe. 

Sorry, I don't want to burden you all with all this, I just kinda went on a tangent. Oh well. Don't worry, I'm full hands on deck, and I'm giving it everything I know how. It's just nuts haha. I feel very similar to the prophets of the BOM. I can feel the weight the task and the responsibility, but All those stories in the BOM usually had a happy ending.  So I have faith and I know the Lord is with me.  
I feel similar to Alma when he gave up the judgment seat to go and preach the word unto the churches of the Nephites, (hopefully this doesn't turn out like ammonihah hahaha)
Ingat! I love and miss you all! 
-Elder Andersen

Here is a map of his the Laoag Mission...

 Here Is Vigan City...

Not too shabby, and here is Santo Domingo...

Arial view...

 Some cool, old building

 Me and Elder Langevelde

 Farm Land in between Laoag and Santo Domingo

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 10 Laoag Philippines

Kumusta!! Dito na kami sa Laoag!! 

Laoag is the prettiest place in the whole entire planet. Flying in an looking out the window was sooooooooobrang ganda talaga!! I am here. I have some pics but I can't figure out how to send them from these internet cafes yet so.......mamaya. 

When we got off the plane, President and the office missionaries came and picked us up. We went to Mcdonalds and ate fries and rice and this fried chicken and it was actually sooo good. Mcdonalds here is pretty masarap. We slept at the mission home last night and tonight. President and Sister Andrada are so nice and funny and the food..... SOBRANG SARAP. Sister Andrada can really cook some good shtuff.  The mission home and office is so ridiculously nice. Like 5 star.... 

So today, President Andrada is interviewing us all individually, and we our touring Laoag, and then tomorrow we get assigned to our Trainers and they will ship us off.  The farthest part of the mission is the Cagayan area, which is a 6 hour bus drive along the north coast, so yahhhhhh maybe I will get sent there haha we will see. 

Also I am getting good at teaching the first lesson when using the pictures at the front of the Aklat ni Mormon sa Tagalog. The office missionaries told us that we will mostly be teaching in Tagalog, but it depends on the area. The old people typically like to be taught in ilokano. So we will see what happens. But yah Laoag is Talagang talagang maganda it's awesome. P day is on Monday so you will here more soon, hopefully I can send some pictures!
Ingat Kayo!
-Elder Andersen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 9 Manila MTC

Yahhhh Philippines.....Yahhhhh.......

Here is our breakfast...

This is the MTC courtyard   oooooo maganda iyen!

They celebrate Christmas here from September to December

I am attempting the Filipino squat here, but I'm not good at it yet and it hurts my shins :D
Pogi muli..........

Here are some parts of Manila we saw from outside the van window...

So we went proselyting in Quezon City on Saturday.  We went on splits with the Elders there. So nuts. So Ghetto. So Sketchy. So Cool. So Fun. We were probably proselyting in the poorest part of the city, very humbling. We taught a recent convert named Aissa about prayer, then we had a couple appointments fall through, so we taught this inactive ladies family, and her husband who was a non member, we taught them about the importance of reading scriptures and the Book of Mormon. So Funnnnn and a long story so I cant tell it now. 
I couldn't take pics during proselyting cause yah that would be bad. But yah Manila is crazy, the craziest traffic you could ever imagine. People just walk in the middle of the street whenever, oh the jeepneys hahah riding in the jeepneys is so fun, hahahahah just look it up. Also yesterday we went though immigration and it took forever, Elder Langeveld and I placed a Book of Mormon with this guy named Ralph and we gave his contact info to thr MTC president for the missionaries in Manila. Sooo awesome. Can't wait to go to Laoag. So me and Elder Langeveld fly out to Laoag at noon tomorrow and its only an hour flight because apparently it takes like 18 hours to bus there from Manila. 
More Later! Paalam na!
-Elder Andersen

Housing in Manila

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week 8 Traveling to Manila Philippines

Kumusta ang mga kaibigan ko!!.....

Dumating ako so Manila safely!! Dito kami na! 
So yeah I'm here in the Manila MTC! I'm safe!. I would send some pictures but I cant figure out how! Its way humid here, pero gusto ko siya! The plain ride from San Fran to Hong Kong was pretty long. I slept for most of the 13 hour flight so that was good. The plane stunk like Indian food the whole time haha pero ayos lang!  It felt super weird leaving the U.S. It was a little scary, and especially since everyone on the plain was Asian and Indian (including the flight attendants), didn't speak English very well, and weren't Christian!  Everyone was watching all these super good movies on their TVs and also there was lots of good music that I could have listened to. They had the whole Alt J This is all Yours album and I WANTED TO LISTEN TO IT SOOO BAADDD! But I just studied Tagalog, read the BoM and slept for 13 hours sooo AYOS. Also we were flying with the sun so we had lots of daylight, I just slept whenever I was tired and I'm doing great! Landing in Hong Kong was weird,  but we quickly went to the boarding of the plane to Manila and I immediately felt so happy and excited when I saw all the Filipinos! I said Kumusta po kayo everyone that I could, and a couple were like Mabuti! Kumusta ka elder!? So sweet, but most of them smiled and looked at us weird because we are white people that are all dressed up going to the Philippines trying to speak there language. So awesome. 
The Plane ride from Hong Kong to Manila is about 2 hours. It was about 8 at night when we got on the plane and about 6 am in Utah for most of y'all. We sat down and down at the end of our row of 4 was a Filipino guy, he talked to Elder Child's from the other district. he asked us who we were and what we were doing, then he told us that he was from some Christian religion, and he told us that we call ourselves Jesus Christs church but that we don't even believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior, or something like that hahaha. I wish I was sitting closer to him, cause I could really talked to him so I kinda just listened. But Elder Child's told him that wasn't true and then the guy changed the subject and talked about something else, and then fell asleep for the rest of the plain ride hahaha. Then a little later, one of the Flight attendants who is Filipino, came down and asked us who we were, and then she asked us what the difference between us and Jehovah's Witness was. I told that we have the BOM and then she said, Oh yah! I've seen that play in NY! It was hilarious! And then I said, well this is not quite the same, and then I told her about how its another testament of Jesus Christ and stuff, and she just smiled and said " oh I know, I know." and yah hahah she didn't want to her about it. Then she asked us just like where we were going and for how long and exchanged some Tagalog phrases and stuff and then resumed her flight attendant duties. She was way nice! That darn BOM play is annoying! Oh well. We landed in Manila  I was sooooooo excited! We landed and the MTC president was waiting for us with these Filipino members that greeted us and helped cause get all situated. They were sooo funny and cool. they all made fun of us and told us how to say cool Tagalog slang words and they were so fun! I love the Philippines! I said Kumusta to everyone in the airport and some said Hi Elder! and yah, so fun already.

So then this morning we were granted extra time to recover from Jet lag and then we ate breakfast. It was just rice, fried eggs, and these hot dogs.....and it was SOOOOBRANG MASARAP (so very delicious) I love the food already. It reminded me of the Filipino restaurant my family used to eat at in San Ramon.  The milk on the other hand...... so gross. I think it was like baby formula or something. The Manila MTC is much smaller, but its sweet. Its soo pretty here! I cant wait to send you guys pics! Were only here for 3 and a half days, then we are getting shipped to our respective missions. I'm soooooo stoked! We get to go proselyting in Manila for like 4 hours today and you can sure bet that im gonna open my mouth and MAG-USAP NA MAY LAHAT NG TAO!!! I'm soooo stoked. Well I'm sure you are all just as excited as I am for me to be here in the field. Its gonna be an adventure.

Alam ko na totoo ang simbahan nito. At na buhay si jesucristo! Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo amen!
Paalam na!
-Elder Andersen

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 7 Provo MTC

So not a whole lot in the past few days...

Elder Langeveld and I were released as zone leaders on Sunday. We are scrambling now and packing and doing laundry so it's kinda nuts. We leave the MTC travel office at 3:30 am tomorrow :I  I bought 3 Aklat ni Mormons in English to give in the airports and stuff, so that should be cool. 

Ingat for now. 
-Elder Andersen