Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 62...Ilocos Philippines

It's September....which means it's my birthday soon, which means this will be my 2nd b-day on the mission, which means my next b-day I wont be a missionary anymore.... woah.  

I only have 10 months to go!! That creeps me out! Next month I will only be single digits away from going home. whaaaa???

Anyways, I am in Vintar now with my trainee Elder Puefua!  He is awesome! I love him already. He's a cool dude. He plays soccer and rugby and danced ballet and has a really good voice. He is from Payson Utah, and is Samoan. He eats a lot...and he eats anything... haha.  He loves being a missionary and he already loves the Philippines!  He can't say much in Tagalog yet, but I'm trying to teach him all I know and get him teaching the lessons as soon as possible. He carries around a note book to work, where he copied down what he is supposed to say when we teach haha. I try to get him not to using it, but he always resorts back to it haha. It is really fun though to teach him Tagalog. I can kinda understand now what it must feel like to have to be one of the MTC teachers teaching Tagalog.  Man its so hard cause nothing sticks for them haha.  But I remember what it was like to be new in the Philippines so I understand completely.

He was supposed to get here Tuesday night but there was a crazy rainstorm and his plane flew in circles around Laoag like 3 times trying to land but decided it was to dangerous so they just went back to Manila haha.  I had to wait until Wednesday night to meet him and go to Vintar. 

We had a really solid first week in Vintar. It's a pretty new branch, and is just ready to explode with baptisms. There are tons of YW and like no YM and so we defiantly need to find priesthood. All the pieces are there and all we need to do is follow the Spirit, exercise faith, pray continually, and thrust in our sickles with our might and let the Lord do wonders among us.  Yesterday we had our missionary coordination meeting with the branch leaders and we showed them our 12 week baptismal plan for Vintar branch. I'm not gonna tell you what our goal is, but let's just say the branch flipped out and they got real excited and sometimes scared and doubtful and I had to pump them up and stuff haha. I made them read Alma 22:26 and I reminded them of times in the scriptures like the day of Pentecost and stuff like that so they wouldn't think I am crazy (even though I still kinda am).  But they gave us 6 referrals just yesterday so we are excited about that.

I started planning out this baptismal plan in my last area over a month ago, and I didn't really tell anyone about it. But now my Zone leader and the branch knows about it so now I am feeling a ton of pressure and fear and doubt and Satan is definitely trying to bug me to death right now.  But I feel like God has prepared me and led me and suffered me to come to this point in my mission to this specific place and I just I have to trust Him and follow the Spirit, and let Him do His thing. Because if we rely on Him, and exercise faith and doubt not and fear not, He will do wonders among us, and make us instruments in bringing thousands of souls to repentance.

This week I have just been reading Preach My Gospel a ton and trying to be humble and responsive to the impressions of the Spirit. Because I know the only way anything gets done in the Lord's Vineyard is when we do it His way.  Which means we must repent continually, exercise faith, bring about good works, and pray continually without ceasing. (See Alma 26:22)

Here is Elder Puefua's favorite scripture which I thought was awesome. 
10 Be thou humbleand the Lorthy God shall lead thee by  the hand, and give thee answeto thy prayers.

Just be humble and receptive to the Spirit and let God do the dirty work. That's all I want to do right now, for the rest of my mission, and hopefully for the rest of my life haha.

Thank you all for the prayers, support, and everything! And also don't forget my birthday on the 26th! hehe.

-Elder Andersen

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