Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 43...Lasam Philppines

I got sick I think!

 Hey y'all  

So this week we were crazy busy and found like a million investigators. The water got fixed on like Friday and we have had a couple more power outages so that has been splendid.  But we bike and walk super far and it is still really really hot and  I am so flipping tired all the time!   I haven't been able to study all week because I feel so weak and tired every day during study time so I have been resting as much as I can.  I think Elder Roberto has been kinda mad at me cause I think he thinks I am being lazy but I have been so dead and I don't know why. Then finally on Saturday at the end of the day while we were working my stomach started to hurt and I got a headache and my bones felt weak and stuff. I kept saying I felt sick but for some reason my companion kept thinking I was just really tired and he kept saying "Wow, you are really tired!"  Then yesterday, on Sunday we went to church and I felt like death. It hurt to bathe cause my bones just hurt from the cold shock from the water and my stomach hurt and my temperature started to rise and stuff.  So after church we went home and I slept all day.  Elder Roberto kept coming in like every two hours and asking me when we were going to work and I literally wanted to kill him. Like, I AM SICK BRO! WALKING HURTS BRO!  Despite every time I told him I am sick and that my hole body hurt, he just couldn't grasp the fact. One of the zone leaders texted us to see if I was okay and Elder Roberto told him I was just really tired haha. I am not just tired, I am sick! I AM DYING BRO!?  Haha its okay I forgive him.

But yah last night before bed I drank my magic drink stuff and I started to feel a lot better after awhile.  Right now, I don't have a fever anymore and my bones don't hurt but I still feel a little fragile.  SO this is crazy cause this is my first time ever getting some sort of illness on my entire mission!  Which is absolutely insane. Because I am American and I have been in the Philippines for almost 9 months and only now have i gotten something. Usually right when all the Americans get here they all have problems with sicknesses right away, but for me I have in good health this whole time up to yesterday. So bummer dude my streak is broken.

We have a baptism coming on Friday. Its a 12 year old kid whose whole fam is Mormon. His parents are less active and were too lazy to prepare him for baptism when he was 8 so here we are. Plus next week we are gonna baptize his little brother who is 9.  We have been extremely busy since we got the other 2 Elders area and now it is just 2 of us here in big old Lasam. Oh yah one of our new zone leaders is a Filipino who was assigned here in Lasam for like 7 months and he wants to come do exchanges here on Tuesday uhhhgg. Its really annoying cause He thinks we suck and keeps making comments about how he is going to 'fix' Lasam or something. He keeps making comments about stuff and talking about how much better Lasam was when he was here but in reality all of his recent converts that he baptized are less active and they haven't even been members for one year yet. So there's that.

Yah this was a long and hard week. We worked real hard but i was pretty miserable so that wasn't fun. The apartment has been much quieter now that there is just 2 of us. Hopefully this week will be better for me and even better for the work.

I love you all! 

-Elder Andersen

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 42...Lasam Philippines

Sweating a lot and no water and stuff, plus transfers...

 Eventful week, I am not sure where to begin....

Maybe I will start with the fact that I have been living the past 4 or 5 days without water in the house and the 2 without electricity. The water motor broke or something and it needs to be replaced, but our landlords are in Manila and wont come back until tomorrow.  So just to put this into perspective, try and think up every single thing you use electricity for in one day. Then, think of everything you use water for in one day (Shower, going to the bathroom, cooking, brushing your teeth etc.).  Imagine not being able to do any of those things for 4 or so days. Then,  imagine that you live in the Philippines in the month of April, where it is about 90-100 degrees plus humidity when the sun is out, and it is still 80 degrees plus humidity when the sun goes down and all through out the night while you sleep, oh and lets not forget the concrete house you live in, and also you are on the second floor (heat rises), which seems to trap and keep the heat in pretty well. Also you are a missionary and you bike 10 to 15 miles a day, or you walk 10 to 15 miles a day. Now you cant shower, turn on your electric fan or anything that has to  do with water or electricity, and this is life for 4 to 5 days.  This has been my week haha :)
Also Elder Harrold and Elder Ergiza are both getting transferred. And also there will be no replacements meaning their area is now mine and Elder Roberto's which happens to be all of Lasam which happens to be HUGE!  SO me and my companion are not quite sure how we are going to handle that, because we already struggle getting to everyone in our own area and we are so busy and booked so how on earth are we gonna make time for the people in their area?  Crazy man.  Plus we have been combined with another district so we have to travel every Thursday about an hour there and an hour back which is lame haha. Anyway this new transfer has lots of new complications that we aren't sure how to deal with, and it is gonna be nuts and hard but I am sure we will figure something out.  Lots of things have changed in the mission too, there are new AP's and office Elders and I am the only white person left in this zone so I will be back to speaking a ton of Tagalog haha. 
Which I am totally fine with, it just means I will get that much better at it.
May is coming up which means mothers day which means skype so I am excited for that.  Also we have mission tour in Laoag at the beginning of May so I get to return back to Ilokos,aka civilization, after 4 months, which will be weird haha.  

The work this week has been okay. We had some investigators come to church so we are hoping that will continue. Our two families who are really interested have been super busy because they are rice farmers and the rice farmers and crazy busy right now as I just said because it is summer time and they are harvesting all the crops right now. So we haven't been able to teach them for about 2 weeks which is lame.   We are trying to do lots of finding and oym ( open your mouth) right now so we can have lots of people to chose from just in case the investigators we have don't progress and stuff.  But we kinda have to redo our whole work schedule now because President gave us the other half of 
Lasam so we  have a lot of planning and figuring out to do.  Crazy dude.
So that is this week.  Lots of sweat and not very much bathing. Sleeping has been a nightmare :) But its okay cause I am sure someone else in the world has got it worse than us.  Like maybe the kid in my homeward who just got called to Freetown Africa haha. Shout out to Kamden Rasmussen haha you will do great!

I love you all! Keep praying and stuff. And sent some packages!! I am in serious need of some packages from the people I love,it has been a while! Packages for missionaries are seriously the best thing ever!

-Elder Andersen

Monday, April 11, 2016

week 41...Lasam Philippines

Conference Weekend...

The only thing I have to report this week is about conference. I was spiritually fed and had many prayers answered.

Priesthood session was the first thing we watched and it was amazing. I feel like the as we priesthood bearers, we got chastised pretty good. The guy who said the opening prayer even ask that we would get chastised haha. It was awesome. I was blown away by every person that spoke and felt the spirit real strong. Especially the Prophets short yet powerful message. Especially the story about the 2 guys stranded in the ocean waiting for the rescue boat, and then one of them commanded the boat with the priesthood to turn around and pick them up. I got chills when to prophet told that story.  Both sessions on Sunday also blew me away.

I will record some of what I wrote in my journal last night as in relation to conference...

'I feel this conference that I was spiritually fed. I prayed before hand, and asked that the Lord would teach me great things from on high by his Spirit this weekend, and He has answered my prayers.  I feel sufficiently chastened and desire to repent, improve and follow the Savior.  I desire to call upon God and humble myself sufficiently before Him. I desire to honor the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood which I bare, and honor my covenants, and from this time forth to rededicate myself to serve God with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I feel someone ashamed of the attitude and level of dedication that I have allowed to overcome me and deceive me these past few months of my mission. I wish to repent and offer a sacrifice of acceptable and complete service and dedication to the Lord.  I Know the Lord knows me, and that my mission has been constructed to help me grow, and I believe that the Lord has called me to the Philippines Laoag mission that I may be tested, and be exposed to opposition, because I know the Lord trusts me and expects me to overcome and rise above my trials and my challenges. I know I am in God's hands, and I am but clay in the potters hands. I feel anew a desire to work harder and exercise faith, and fear no man. I chose to humble myself before the Lord and fear God. I feel I have not sufficiently feared God lately, and I have feared man too much. I must repent.'

Yes its true I need to do better.  I remember something one of my best friends said in one of his emails a few weeks back. Elder Winget who is serving in Mexico said' " ....if you come home with a bunch of energy and aren't tired, you know you didn't give it your all that week. I have yet to find a reason to have a bunch of energy in the nights of a mission. The only thing we should have is happiness and tiredness that we did our best today and that's that."

I complete agree. Now there have been nights on my mission, maybe  the majority of them, where I came home and was dead tired. Unfortunately however, I have had to many nights where I have come home after work and I wasn't all that tired. Now I am not saying that just because you aren't tired after your work means that you are a bad missionary. But for me I have had too many nights where i felt like I didn't give everything I had to the Lord that day.  I don't want to have those days anymore.  I want to give Him everything. Every thought. Every breath. Everything.

I prayed that conference would provide the help and encouragement I needed and thanks be to God, because it did.  Also thanks be to God for my many family members and friends who have reached out to me with words of love and encouragement. May God bless you all.

I love this Gospel, I love this Church. I love Jesus Christ. I have covenanted to serve Him, and though I am far from perfect, I truly am trying my hardest. Yes I stumble sometimes just like we all do.  Jeffrey R Holland said that "In the gospel we even get credit for trying."  I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity that I have to serve Him for two years and with all of my waking hours. It is only short time and it cannot afford to be wasted.  The mission has been nothing like i expected it to be. It is not easy, as I expected it to be. This is the hardest mental and emotional thing I have ever done. But that is mortality is it not?  Elder Oaks talked about opposition, and we cant grow with out it. We need trials. We need hard things. We need to be stretched and tested and tempered and refined. This life was never meant to be easy, and thanks be to God that it isn't easy. It was never part of God's plan that this life would be easy, so we shouldn't be surprised when it gets hard every once in a while, nor whine or complain about it.  

Anyways... I have learned a lot this week, and also these past 9 months. And I am more than positive that there is a whole lot left for me to learn in the next 15.

I love you all. 

-Elder Andersen
We rode this thing to conference haha

And I rode on the top

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 40....Lasam Philippines

Hi America,

I have been gone for 9 months......... woah

It was a chill week.  The work was much much better because it is not Holy Week anymore :)  We have been focusing on the members this week and teaching them to be more missionary minded. We showed them a cool video with no words and just music and its about a family doing missionary work.   So we want all the Lasam families to be like that one say they can get a chapel and become a ward and also so we can become a stake.  We shared D&C 38:40-42 as the Lord's commandment and then D&C 18:10-16 as the blessings if we keep the commandment.  Good stuff.

So Our 2 families didn't make it to church again this week :(  They promised they would come :(  But they didn't  :(  But they are both doing better with their WoW stuff. They are still awesome and they really want to come to church. They just haven't yet I guess. 

I finished the Book of Mormon again.  So ill.  The book blows my mind every time i read it, but especially this time.  Like seriously, I learned that they had elephants in America, and also Cureloms and Cumeloms or something like that. I really want to know what a Curelom looks like.  Also what on earth did Moroni do for almost 40 years after the battle of the hill Cumorah?  That is all long time to be alone.  Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and I know it for a fact.  So now I don't know what to read. So I think I am gonna read True to the Faith real quick, and then just go hard on PMG, so I can get better at doing missionary work.

So life at the apartment is fun. Cause Elder Harrold has come out of his shell a little bit and he plays tons of pranks on everyone and jokes around and he bugs the crap out of us and makes us laugh, which he has also said that its the new Elder Harrold that is exclusive to Lasam.  He said that his whole mission so far he has been quite and rather depressed. So He is a much happier dude now (its because we are nice to him unlike most of his previous missionary roommates). Yah. And me and Elder Roberto went jogging the other day cause I am fat, but Elder Roberto thought he could keep pace cuz we bike almost everyday, but he thought wrong and got way tired and couldn't keep up hahahahaha. noob. Biking is useless. I have been biking since my first area and I am still 20 to 15 pounds too heavy (cuz rice three times day).

But also life is kinda lame too at the apartment because it is flipping hot right now, even at night time, even with an electric fan, and It is hard to sleep which makes it in turn a nightmare to wake up. But yah I am still alive. 

 I love Lasam and also my companion. Me and Elder Roberto laugh all the time and we have a blast. I love the people here in Lasam so much And when the day comes that I have to leave I will definitely cry.  I am expecting to be here one more transfer after this one, but you never know what will happen.

I love you all.

-Elder Andersen