Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 48...Lasam Philippines

Guess what! I'm not transferring :D

This was a slow week, and a week full of anticipation, and uncertainty...cuz I was 100% sure that I was gonna transfer since I have been here for 5 months...BUT I'M NOT! The fact that I was anticipating makes it kind of an anticlimactic let down I guess, but  is not at all a actual let down because I love Lasam and I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be here for at least 6 more weeks. Also I will have the chance to harvest what I have planted meaning I will get to see the fruits of my labors baptized! We have at least 4 sure baptisms this June, and hopefully we will have lots and lots in July but the trick there is that we have to go find them first. But it is possible with the Lord and I am praying that we will find lots of people this week that we can prepare for baptism in July. 

 Me and Elder Roberto have decided we are gonna focus on and find part member families, college age students, and families who can afford to come to church.  That is also what President has advised us to do so we will see as it goes. One of the hard things here in the Philippines is that we can find lots of families to teach just about anywhere but they're mostly from the poorer farming class of people and no matter how much they love being taught or even tell us that they know our message is true, they just don't take our commitments seriously (meaning they don't read the BoM and Pray and about it) and they don't have the means to come to church. I have had my heart broken by more than a few of these kinds of families but as much as we love them and want them to accept the gospel, if they aren't keeping the commitments then we are actually wasting valuable time that we could be using to go and look for people who will accept and act on the message. It is a hard, sad and frustrating thing but it is the truth.

This week, since I thought I was transferring, we scheduled tons of dinner appointments haha so I could kind of say good bye to the members.  Haha they all kept asking me on Sunday if I was transferring and they refused to believe me when I kept telling them that I wouldn't be. HEHE thanks fo tha FUD!

I have been learning a lot these past 2 weeks. Cuz last Sunday I borrowed and Old Testament Seminary Student Manuel from the church and have been reading all sorts of amazing and enlightening stuff about Adam, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Joseph, Moses and the ever so forgetful children of Israel etc etc. I AM LEARNING A TON. And also I have been called to repentance through my studies of these great ancient prophets. I am learning a great deal about obedience, faith, covenants, sacrifice, and a lot about the beauty of symbolism, and about how the law of Moses and and how 'every whit points to the great eternal sacrifice of the Holy One of Israel' being Jesus Christ, and the tabernacle. I have literally been convinced that it would be better if we were still living The Law of Moses, with all its crazy weird and seemingly pointless laws, rituals and ordinances and practices. In reality, they were given a strict and preparatory law that was designed by the Lord to remind Ancient Israel of the Son of God who would come. And they were reminded almost every minute of every day with seemingly pointless rituals that were all actually calculating symbolically to remind them of Christ. The Law of Moses aka the preparatory gospel is actually way awesome and if it was followed a man/woman  would find himself very close to God. I think we would all benefit greatly from something like that, especially the silly Filipino's, or more especially...ME. But I am sure the Lord fulfilled it for a reason and He expects us to use our noggins instead here in these last days, which happens to be really hard. :(

My advice, the little things matter so much.  Every little choice we make in the course of one day is so important. That is the reason the Lord gave ancient Israel the Law of Moses, so that if followed and internalized, one could go through out a full day without forgetting Lord. Is that not what we covenanted to do when we were baptized, and the covenant that we remake every Sunday when we partake of the Sacrament? To take upon us the name of Christ, and ALWAYS REMEMBER Him, and keep His commandments which He has given us, so that the Spirit will ALWAYS be with us? The little things matter and we can't let little sins that seem harmless and innocent keep us from ALWAYS remembering the Lord, so we can have the Spirit to be with us ALWAYS.  So read the scriptures, pray always with real intent and with faith, go to church, don't listen to bad music, and say bad things, and every other little and seemingly harmless thing that we do in the course of a day. Fill your minds with good and uplifting thoughts, with light and truth, and focus on the Lord.  Do all you can to be the disciple of Christ that you have covenanted to be, and the Lord will carry us the rest of the way to His kingdom, by forgiving our sins and teaching us and making us more like Him day by day, because His grace is sufficient for us after all we can do. 

Sorry for the Shpeel but I know that it is a true shpeel. I love you all and pray for you. Thank you for your support and your prayers. Until next week,

-Elder Andersen

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