Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 74...Sarrat Philippines


HAHA I totally didn't even notice Thanksgiving happened until just now when I saw pictures from home!  Thanksgiving isn't a thing here in the Philippines so sorry I forgot.  I guess ate a Big n' Tasty cheeseburger at McDonald's on thanksgiving day though!  I wasn't even good haha. I'm pretty down too because apparently my fam roasted a turkey that they wrapped in bacon for Thanksgiving. :(

This was a very interesting week. It went surprisingly fast, despite all of the problems that me and Elder Basa had to deal with in the zone pretty much all week long. My first week as ZL, which was last week, was pretty chill and we just worked our area. But I guess everyone in the zone decided to go crazy this week and so it was kinda nuts. Tuesday we had emergency exchanges in Laoag. The elders were having companion problems and were pretty much at ends with each other so we had to step in and help them out. After that   we received a bunch of reports from members about the missionaries in another area doing stuff they shouldn't be so we had to get the APs and President involved, and that got ugly fast lemme tell ya.  Then some of those missionaries got mad at me and Elder Basa for telling on them and it was just ridiculous.  Then to top the week off, yesterday the Sisters here in Sarrat put the icing on the cake and texted us saying that they are both getting emergency transferred this week for reasons we don't know, which means that me and Elder Basa's area just got huge and now we have to work both their area and ours until January when President can put 2 more missionaries back in Sarrat. HAHAHAHAH Other peoples problems = the zone leaders problems. 

I am still trying to find the right balance as far as how I should go about being a Zone leader, because if any of you know me, I am kinda just chill and friendly with about everyone and I mind my own business and let other people do their own thing. So this is kinda hard for me because I am held accountable for my zone by President, the APs and of course the Lord, and now I need to lead and guide my zone which might require me to correct and supervise at times. I am not one to chastise or micro manage or get in your face or anything so I am trying to follow the example of some of the great leaders that have helped guide me through out my life in this Church. Like my bishops and priesthood leaders and seminary teachers and so many really that have made a huge impact in my life and helped me when I needed guidance. Particularly I try to follow the example of my Bishop back home, Bishop Wilkins, who has helped me and been a perfect example to me of a Christ-like and humble leader. I have noticed a huge difference in the content my prayers since I have been called to lead, and I realize how important it is to have the Spirit with me always, as well as the need for the gift of charity and the Pure Love of Christ.  I had 2 opportunities this week to give priesthood blessings this week and I was so grateful that the Spirit was there to guide my words and touch my heart. 

Despite all the craziness that comes with being a leader, I love this opportunity that the Lord has given me to serve and lead.  Its hard and stressful and kinda a pain in the neck sometimes, but I have gained a lot of respect and understanding for what it is like for leaders in the church.  This next week will be interesting because now we have to figure out how to incorporate the Sisters area and progressing investigators into out schedule so we will see what happens.

I started reading Jesus The Christ about 3 weeks ago for the 2nd time and it's blowing my mind AGAIN.  Jesus is so amazing and James E Talmage makes Him sound like a super hero BECAUSE HE IS!  I love the book so much.

That's it for this week!

I love you all and Happy Holidays
-Elder Andersen



Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 73....Sarrat Philippines

Happy Holidays everyone! 

Hope it's gud. Sorry that I haven't emailed in 2 weeks! Things have been kinda crazy!  Last week I got transferred and made a zone leader of the Laoag East Zone,  and yah things have been kinda nutz.  I transferred to Sarrat, an area that's about 15 minutes away from my last area, Vintar. Actually Vintar is part of my zone haha.  My new companion is a tiny Filipino named Elder Basa (Elder Read haha)! He is awesome and I look up (or down) to him so much haha. He was my DL before transfers so I have already known him and respected him for a while.

I have already learned so much from my first week of being a zone leader and I am learning tons also from Elder Basa, who is awesome, and I couldn't be more lucky to have him as my companion!  He has already helped me learn so much and he has been an answer to my prayers!

My first week has been fantastic and the area has so much potential! It is another developing branch, but it is part of the Laoag stake. They have a little meeting house just like Lasam and Vintar so I am used to that haha.  But this has been the most organized branch that I have been assigned in so far on my mission, and we have a great branch president, President Sabala, who is magnifying his calling wonderfully!  He is so cool and he saved us from starvation last night after all of the church meetings we had to go to. And because we ran out of food at the apartment haha.

Through out this whole week I have been dedicating my prayers for the most part to asking God to give me the gift of Christ like love/charity. I have sought this gift periodically throughout my mission, but until now I have always felt like I have been lacking. I usually feel genuine love for those that I teach but, like I said I have still always felt like I have lacked.  But this whole week I really made it a focus  to pray for the gift of charity every night, and I have actually started to feel a difference.  I have been following Mormon's advice in Moroni chapter 7 verse 48 to "pray with all energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all those who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ," and i have been feeling a gradual yet noticeable change in my heart.  I particularly felt the Spirit so strong  during church yesterday, while we were watching a clip from a counsel meeting that Elder Holland attended. Elder Holland was talking about the call to teach and how to teach like the Savior, and while I listened and pondered in my heart, I felt a warm feeling that made me want to go outside and shout and declare glad tidings to everyone within the sound of my voice, and to serve like the Savior. I didn't do it but I really wanted to haha.  I was super excited to go out and work later in the evening but unfortunately that didn't happen because we had meetings haha.  I hope these feeling will continue to increase and that God will endow me with the gift of true Christ like love.

We also had some instigators surprise yesterday by coming to church. Her name was Mina Anchola and she also brought her daughter in-law with her triplets. We had only met them on Saturday the day before, and we gave them a pamphlet and taught an overview of the Restoration and invited them to come to church. And they came! WOW.  Kinda weird cause it didn't seem like she was that interested.  But yeah I'm not complaining haha.

Also this week we received the sad news that President and Sister Andrada's oldest son died in a motor cycle accident in Manila this last Thursday. He is an RM from the Las Vegas Nevada mission.  They have been in Manila for the past few days, and we have been praying for them. So sad. :( You guys should pray for them.

Well  I think that is all for this week. I have a camera now so I can finally start taking pictures and showing them to you guys! So be excited about that! I love you all and God loves you more!
-Elder Andersen