Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Week 105...Sarrat Philippines

Hey everyone. I'm coming home next week. So this is my last email! Wow I can't believe the two years has come and gone so fast and I'm going home. Has it really been two years since I stumbled a little too confidently into the MTC to learn how to speak Tagalog?  
It has been the fastest/slowest 2 years ever haha,  it depends. It has been an eventful 2 years for me and I can honestly say that it has been the best two years FOR my life. I like saying the best two years FOR my life rather than OF my life because I learned so much and I want to take all that home and have even better years to come.  My knowledge of the Gospel has grown and I have had so many great experiences learning a new language (and a half) and serving with and among the Filipinos. I have met so many great people here in the Philippines and I have been lucky enough to be an instrument in God's hands to bring a few souls into the fold and I can't wait to see the fruits of my labors blossom into big lofty trees in the years to come! I hope and pray that the people I have taught and baptized will continue and I hope to see them make it to the temple and serve missions of their own!  I'm I will miss this time I had to serve the Lord here in the Philippines!
I would also like to thank every one who has supported me and prayed for me and those I have been serving. The occasionally packages and letters from family and friends and the Silkwood Ward has always been much appreciated! Thank you all so much and God bless you!

I'd like to briefly bare to you all my testimony that I know God lives and that He is our Loving Heavenly Father in whom's image we have been created. I know that Jesus Christ, His Son, is the Savior of the world and He suffered paid the debt of all our sins and He died for us yet He rose again and Has paved a way for us to find our way back to God. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Priesthood have been restored in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Even today the is guided by living prophets and apostles. I know that these things are true and that if we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and His chosen Servants we will be happy and we will find ourselves safely back into the presence of God to be judged of our works in the flesh and we shall receive all that the Father hath. 
These things I share in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Andersen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 104...Sarrat Philippines

We had a good week. We had exchanges with the zone leaders in Laoag which is my old area! I got to go to Lapaz and see some of my recent converts! Me and Elder Uiele went first to Rodolfo's house. He is an older fellow that me and Elder Costales found while street contacting and I remember after the first time we taught him the restoration and bout the priesthood he said that it totally made sense an he pretty much asked us to baptize him. He was actually first exposed to the church back in the 80s when he was one of the carpenters for the Bantay Chapel which the first ever church in Ilocos region. He said ever since then he had always preferred the Mormon church, the missionaries just never found him until us I guess.He never progressed while I was there because of his work on Sunday delivering fish to Manila. Apparently after i transferred he still didn't progress and struggled giving up alcohol but he finally curbed it and got baptized in June and he has also received the Aaronic Priesthood. It was so good to see him and you can see the light of the gospel in his eyes! We taught him about the temples and how amazing it is on the inside an dhow everyone dresses in white and that they are so Holy that God Himself could visit. He loves it and He could be a important player to the future progression of the church in Lapaz. Lapaz is really far from the church and there are lots of less actives out there that don't have the money to get to centro.  Rudy has to large vans that can fit 10 people each in them and he is apparently driving by all the members and investigators houses before church and offering them free rides! Rudy is the man and he is currently trying to get his wife and kids to get baptized because he really wants them all to go to the temple as a family one day.
We also went and saw Michael Javier who is the 18 year old that we baptized on my last week in Laoag back in March, He apparently only went to church twice after I transferred and then he hasn't really come since. He remembered me though and he was happy to see me. We talked to him about serving a mission and we shared experiences and bore testimony and I really think he felt something and I hope considers going on a mission after he finishes his studies.

It was so good to see my converts and my old area!

The work here in Sarrat is progressing...slowly haha. We do have a baptism on the 22nd and possible ones in the weeks following. I have to check facebook to see if they go through though because I will be back in the land of milk and honey by then! Haha. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super excited because I am super duper excited. 

Don't worry guys I'm not too trunky, I am trying to  finish the Book of Mormon again before I go home. I love reading that Book over and over because every time you read it it likes you have a new filter on and you pick up different things and you understand the doctrine differently.  The last time  I just read it the Book cover to cover was about 9 months ago so It's been awhile since I have just focused on the Book of Mormon and I have learned a lot and changed a lot in the past 9 months and there is just so much I am picking up from the Book that I have never even noticed or thought of before! The Book true guys!

Heads up If any of you can come to my homecomings; my St. George homecoming in my old ward is on August 13th. My family moved up North last month to Daybreak Utah so my homecoming talk in that ward is on July 30th for any of you that are in Northern Utah. I will land at Salt Lake Airport sometime on Wednesday July 26th.
Keep going strong guys! I love you all
-Elder Andersen

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 102...A Conversion Story

This is Gabe's mom. HI!  He didn't send a letter this week, so I thought I would share a powerful conversion story that was sent to me.  I am sharing it with her permission.  


The Book of Mormon makes me feel spiritually whole. It is my main source of spiritual light. Of course I didn't always know that, but I know that now.

(Taking place in January, 2015)

I always went about feeling empty inside. I never felt whole--just like there was something always missing. One night, I was feeling very empty and I contemplated a bit over the matter. I wondered if this was a feeling that I would have forever. I just felt so empty. I decided to pray about it. I remember specifically what I prayed for--that I was not happy, and that I was afraid that I was never going to be. I also asked God to teach me how to pray.

I believe that it was three days later, when my LDS friend Allison and I decided to go to the school talent show together. After the show, we were having a casual conversation, and eventually the topic of God came up. We talked a little about the church and I remember her telling me that she has “never known anything so true”--whatever that meant. It was a short and simple conversation, but she ended up inviting me to church that Sunday, and I went. Church was good.

I remember being at Allison’s house one day, and both her and her mom were telling me about Joseph Smith. They didn't go into much detail. All I really knew was that he prayed and was led to the church. I thought, “hey, that's kind of like me, I prayed and I am being led to this church.” I always compared myself to him in that sense. I believed that he was a prophet.

(Taking place in February, 2015)

I believe that it was the second Sunday when I met the missionaries. Their names were Elder Taylor and Elder Pettingill. I had my first missionary lesson at Allison’s house very soon after I met them. I invited a few friends. The lesson was on the restoration. It was good. After everyone left, Allison and I ran upstairs to her room. I remember telling her to hurry up as we were going up the stairs. For whatever reason, I had a sense of urgency. It was as if my spirit subconsciously knew that I was going to have a holy and miraculous spiritual experience, and it could not wait to get to it. When she closed the door, I kind of collapsed on the floor and just bawled. I was overcome with such perfect joy, and my heart felt perfectly whole. I kept saying two things one after another, repeatedly, because it was all I could say. “I know for a fact that this church is true.” And, “I am SO happy.” I no longer believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet. That belief was gone--diminished. I knew it. “I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it…” And the fact that I was feeling a happiness so intense, was a miracle. One night, I am afraid that I am never going to be happy.. (one missionary lesson later) ..and I am overcome with this unspeakable joy and happiness. It is safe to say, that God silenced that fear. ...“And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”...

I slept over at Allison’s house the next Saturday. I remember feeling a crazy amount of peace as I was going to sleep that night. I remember feeling so blessed. I felt like my life was perfect. I had just experienced a God-given miracle, and I was going to continue on that road to happiness. I was going to be baptized soon, and I was going to attend church the next day, and I was going to have another missionary lesson on Monday, and it was only going to get better from here on out. Nothing could go wrong. It seriously felt like nothing could go wrong.

It was after church that Sunday when I received a rather insensitive phone call from my dad’s girlfriend. It was followed by a car ride home full of ignorant criticism about the church and I. I took a BoM with me when I left Allison's house that day. I held on to it in the car as I was being told all manner of silly things. As she would talk to me in such a way, I felt strongly that I should not say a word, so I didn't. When I came home, I went straight to my room, and sat on the floor, and held onto my BoM, and just cried. I didn't read it because I couldn't understand it at the time. I just held onto it because all I knew, was that it was true and holy, and that I needed to hold onto it.

My dad and his girlfriend made me stop going to church, stop having lessons, stop using the internet, stop hanging out with friends, and they took me out of Track. She took my BoM’s away from me, and she called it trash as she threw it in the trash. They read me anti-Mormon literature--which is only convincing if you do not know anything about the church, and at that time I didn’t know much. Not to say that I was convinced, because I wasn't. I was just a little confused.

I remember this one specific prayer I had one night after they read me anti-Mormon literature. In my prayer I just kept repeating to God, “I know the church is true.” After a while of repeating the fact, and trying to convince myself of the matter, it finally hit me.. I know that the church is true.. because I already asked Him.. The thought of my missionary lesson came to mind. I remembered my words.. “I know for a fact that this church is true..” I remembered the feeling, and I remembered the unshaken certainty that I had. That was it. It was true and nothing could convince me otherwise. I held on to that lesson with everything I had in me. It prepared me. God allowed that one lesson, to prepare me for all the adversity. “And behold I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come..”

I also remember asking myself one night, why I wanted to believe so badly that the church is true. My answer to myself was, “because nothing has ever made me so happy.” ...Then it must be true right? Right. There is no way that lies and deceit could ever cause such joy in one’s heart. (Alma 30:35) And that was very plain for me to understand.

The journey to my baptism was tough, but Heavenly Father prepared me well. I was definitely being cooked in the refiner’s fire. And as I would come to understand why this trial was happening, I would often wonder to myself why I was so blessed to receive such attention from God. To literally be molded in his very hands, I felt so blessed.

This the beginning of my story. This is how it all got started.

Adriana Alexis Acejo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 101...Sarrat Philippines

Hey Everyone I transferred back to Sarrat for my last 6 weeks of my mission! I don't know why but I'm back and I'm the district leader and life is good.  Everyone here is trying to feed me tons of soda and crap and make me fat again but I'm trying to resist. 

Its summer time when I go home in 5 weeks so I gotta be ready and not look like a skinny fat man when I come home! Elder Cabanus just went home! So crazy! My new companion is Elder Irving he is a white guy from New Zealand! He is my first ever white companion since the MTC haha. I was hoping for an Americano before I go home but oh well! The elder I am replacing here also just went home and the area is literally empty. They didn't leave anything for us so we are starting from ground zero here for my last 6 weeks we will see how it goes. 

I wanted to tell you guys about Joshua, and American we were teaching back in Camalaniugan. He is the guy in the white shirt and no tie on the very right in some of the pictures above. Joshua is 22 years old and from Virginia and he is half Filipino. He has been living here in the Philippines for about the past year and has been going to college here. His mom, who is a filipina, grew up here in Camalaniugan and he has been here to sort of connect with his roots I guess.  We met him by meeting his aunt at an elementary school where the branch was doing a service project; and his aunt wanted us to come and meet Josh and teach him how to speak Tagalog. I told here I don't know if I can teach him how to be fluent in Tagalog (cuz gift of tongues) but I said we would love to meet him. 
We have been teaching him since April and he has been to church twice and is now passed Jacob in the Book of Mormon! I invited him to be baptized but he is still apprehensive and has some doubts about Christianity and the Bible in general, and that's okay, but He says will keep reading and he has felt a lot better about it all since meeting us and reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. I was a little disappointed to know that I would be transferring because I was planning on helping Josh get baptized before I go home in July and possibly even prepare for a mission. But I was forced to leave his information behind for the new Elders who will replace and just hope and pray he will decide to be baptized. Over about a month and a half I got really close with Josh and we would visit him almost every day. We played Basketball with him and we would pick him up for church and buy him food all the time. Remember he doesn't know Tagalog so I was like the first person he can legit talk to in the past year... I hope and pray Josh will decide to get baptized! 
Before I transferred I gave him my quad and a bunch of gospel related Books and talks from Elder Bednar and also some of Joseph Smith Sermons. He has a lot of potential and he has been going through a lot of hard things personally and in his family and I hope that he will ultimately see that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can fix all the damage and transform him into the person God has foreordained him to be!

Yah unexpected transfers kinda suck but hey at least I don't live in that one trash can of an apartment anymore! On the downside I am back in Iloccos where missionaries get fat so we will see what happens haha.
-Elder Andersen

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Week 99...Cagayan Philippines

I threw up...

Hey Everyone. It's been an eventful few weeks. We have had a lot of baptisms and other activities as of late. We just got bag from Laoag yesterday for MLC and exchanges with the APs.  

I threw up last night on the 6 hour bus ride haha ALL OVER THE FLOOR because I was dumb and thought I could fight it off but I couldn't haha and the bus drivers were super mad at me. After it was cleaned up they gave me plastic bags and I threw up 2 more times but nothing was coming out. It was the worst. It was all because I ate these Donuts that were probably not fresh right before we got on the bus. Surprisingly though that was the first time in my whole mission that I have ever thrown up, and it wasn't even because of like stomach bugs and parasites that everyone that serves here gets.

The pictures you see above were from this last Saturday. Our Investigator Levina Gabatanga got baptized! She is awesome! We wanted to baptize her last week, but her mom was on her 1 month break from Singapore and they were super busy. Plus Levina's older brother was trying talk her out of getting baptized because he wanted her to get baptized in his the families original church. But she didn't care and she knows its true and so she wanted to get baptized anyway haha.  So we baptized her in the Cagayan river because the churches water pump over heated (because its really hot outside) and so we had to improvise last minute and do it in the river.  

Also last week we baptized the Reconoce couple! They are in last weeks pictures. Nestor has had a huge struggle with overcoming his alcohol and tobacco addiction but he finally was able to get it under control and so they finally got baptized last week!

While we were in Laoag the last few days I found out that Rodolfo Asuncion from La Paz is getting baptized this coming Saturday, who is the investigator that Elder Costales and I found through street contacting and we taught him the first 3 lessons and then I transferred. I was so happy when I heard that because he is a golden investigator. He told us he wanted to be baptized after the first time we taught him! He would have been baptized while I was in Laoag but he couldn't because he would drive to manila every Sunday for work. He finally switched his schedule around so he could come ti church! He also had a drinking problem and we talked to him while he was drunk a couple of times haha and he is super funny when he is drunk. But ya I'm so happy that he is getting baptized! President Andrada has met him and was talking about him in our MLC about how golden he was! This is really cool milestone fro me too because He is the 40th person I have taught that has been baptized in my mission! I cant believe God has allowed me to be a part of 40 peoples baptisms! To me that is a miracle and is another comforter that my 2 years has been well worth the sacrifice!

Elder Cabanus is going home this week!  So crazy! Then me in 6 weeks...I'm excited not gonna lie at all haha.

Well that's all i got this week. Have fun and remember to pray always! That is something I have been working on lately, praying more frequently especial prayers in the heart through out the day. I'll talk to you guys again next week.
-Elder Andersen


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Week 95...Cagayan Philippines

Hey everyone I don't have the time for a solid email this week. We have Mission Tour this week with Elder Bowen who is the Philippines area president. We have to catch a bus to Laoag in about an hour or so so were a little rushed.  So sorry I don't have anything good for you guys this week. We did have Le Anne's baptism on Saturday, haaha but they were late to Sacrament the next morning so she didn't get confirmed. So will we confirm her next week.
I love you all
-Elder Andersen

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week 94...Cagayan Philippines

Hey y'all.  Our baptism got postponed to this coming Saturday. Another slow week. Every one has tons of money because they just harvested and sold all their crops, so now everyone is having weddings and parties of all sorts. We have barely taught at all this week and all of our progressing have been pretty busy. We still are planning on a good amount of baptisms for this month of May starting this Saturday so we will keep pushing for those.

Last Monday Elder Cabanus and I were looking for the beach and we found some tennis courts instead! So I borrowed someones racket and I got to hit for the first time in 21 months! It was a dream come true and I wasn't as rusty as I thought I would be. I forgot how much I love tennis haha. I was a little over excited tho because I was playing in rubber shoes and that resulted in the blister shown above...Haha i had trouble walking at work the next day but i still managed. 

On a side note lots of people our watching the NBA playoffs here because the Philippines loves basketball and my team the Jazz just won a game 7 against the Clippers! Man that makes me happy too I forgot how much i love the Jazz haha. That was my child hood!  On the down side though they play the Warriors in round 2 so that's not to fun...

Anyways...Spiritual stuff...Ummm...Hahahah its been a long week mentally. The work is probably at an all time slow for the past 2 weeks because of the cultures of the people in the area we are assigned in.  Seriously 100% of the people we teach are bukid farmers so they are all partying hard right now because the are finishing up the harvest.

I promise that I will work extra harder this week to get all these party people attention so we can teach them the gospel haha.  We should have Le Anne's baptism this Saturday of all goes to plan so that is exciting.

I know the church is true. God lives. His Son Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind. Agency is real. Its all up to us. What we do on a day to day basis is completely up to us. Jesus Christs Atonement and triumph over sin and death makes it so. We are blessed with agency and the capacity to create our own destinies. If we will choose wisely and follow the Spirit our agency will be enlarged.  The Book is blue. Its all true. Joe Smith is a prophet. So is Tommy Monson. I love you all.
-Elder Andersen

Sunday, April 23, 2017

week 93...Cagayan Philippines

Hey guys. This week was a little lower key than most. It consisted of lots of walking, lots of sweating, a few sun burnt faces, and not a lot of teaching etc. Its nothin a missionary of this church ain't familiar with though. Its summer in the Philippines and its also harvest time for the rice fields so there isn't a person any where that isn't busy as can be. On a side note... I have learned that 6 of the people Elder Costales and I were teaching back when I was in Laoag have now been baptized in my absence! Jesha May Fermin and her niece angel, Jerome and Jeremiah and Joseph Daquiaog, and Remy Dalos! As far as I know, 6 more of the people we were teaching could be baptized by the time i can ask Elder Costales at the next Missionary Leadership Counsel in two weeks!  This news makes me so happy!  Elder Cabanus and I are baptizing Leanne Gallema this weekend! So Though the work was a little slower this week, there is much to be excited about in the coming weeks!

So work was a little slower this week. On the contrary, I have learned profound spiritual principles that I still dont entirely understand. It's all just simply about faith. What is it? What on earth is it? A regular person with a regular understanding would perhaps just simply reply, "belief".  HAHAHA. Its so much more than a man's mere beliefs. There is also an idea that floats around that faith or belief in something ends with the obtaining of a sure knowledge of something, perhaps assuming that that knowledge is obtained through sight. So to put it simply, there is an idea (that I too once had) that believing is seeing, but that believing will end once you see, because faith or believe will them become knowledge... I guess this would be true if the definition of faith was merely belief in something. But that is not what faith is. Faith is so much more.  And I would like to say that knowledge, obtained through sight or by any other means (like study or experience etc), will never terminate faith. Faith does not and never will end with knowledge...

So I gotta give a little credit (actually all of it) to "Lectures on Faith" that was primarily written by Joseph Smith while teaching in the 1835 School of the Prophets in Kirtland Ohio. I highly recommend it to any Latter Saint and I promise that the way you see the gospel of Jesus Christ will never be the same. I'm re-reading it a second time and I still don't fully understand the doctrine being taught because the doctrine and definition of faith, or better said, faith in God, is just to big for a finite mind to comprehend. But as it has done for me, I am sure the Holy Ghost will teach you and help you understand that portion that you are able to presently understand. 

So I dont want to spoil faith in God for anyone cause none of you will learn from me as well as you could from actually reading the lectures. But I just want to talk a little about what I understand from faith's simple definition given by Paul in the eleventh book of Hebrews in the first verse.  'Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)  So... faith is the assurance (or hope, or belief) in the evidence (or existence) in unseen things.  And so... naturally, faith is the principle of action in all intelligent beings... How so? Because we see from the following verses that "through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (verse 3) and that "by faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."  So not just in those verses, but many of the verse in the chapter use action words or verbs, and associating them with faith.  Faith is not only the assurance of the evidence of unseen things and the principle of action in all intelligent beings in spiritual or religious matters, but also in simple every day life... Joseph Smith beautifully explains it in the lectures themselves like this"If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thoughts and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action, in them; that without it, both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity, and all their exertions would cease, both physical and mental.

 Were this class to go back and reflect upon the history of their lives, from the period of their first recollection, and ask themselves, what principle excited them to action, or what gave them energy and activity, in all their lawful avocations, callings and pursuits, what would be the answer? Would it not be that it was the assurance which we had of the existence of things which we had not seen, as yet?—Was it not the hope which you had, in consequence of your belief in the existence of unseen things, which stimulated you to action and exertion, in order to obtain them? Are you not dependent on your faith, or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them? Would you have ever sown if you had not believed that you would reap? Would you have ever planted if you had not believed that you would gather? Would you have ever asked unless you had believed that you would receive? Would you have ever sought unless you had believed that you would have found? Or would you have ever knocked unless you had believed that it would have been opened unto you? In a word, is there any thing that you would have done, either physical or mental, if you had not previously believed? Are not all your exertions, of every kind, dependent on your faith? Or may we not ask, what have you, or what do you possess, which you have not obtained by reason of your faith? Your food, your raiment, your lodgings, are they not all by reason of your faith? Reflect, and ask yourselves, if these things are not so. Turn your thoughts on your own minds, and see if faith is not the moving cause of all action in yourselves; and if the moving cause in you, is it not in all other intelligent beings?"

I would add, what man every managed to build a house before first imagining it up in his mind, and planning and scheming on how he will do it step by step? And as the man initiates action based on the assurance ( or hope) of the yet unseen house, that action produces evidence as the once unseen house comes to life before his eyes. So what does these principles have to do with faith (in its longer definition) in God? Well I will let you guys read the lectures for themselves haha.

Well that is my spiritual rant for the week. I love you all!
-Elder Andersen

Sunday, April 16, 2017

week 92...Cagayan Philippines

Good week!

We baptized Irene Urian, Genelyn Flores and Vhia FLores! Irene and Genelyn are Sisters and Vhia is Genelyn's daughter!  These are saints! They were found by the missionaries that we replaced. When we transferred in, they had come to church for the first time the Sunday before. We tracked them on our 2nd day in the area,there house is way up in the hills and mountains When we first taught them, both Irene and Genelyn hadn't yet considered baptism and weren't even sure they would come back to church the next Sunday.  Irene did tell us that she liked the doctrine of the plan of salvation which helped her cope with the death of her husband last October. Regardless of what was taught by the previous elders, we taught all of them about baptism. We taught them the what and the why and the how and we covered every possible thing we could about it so that they could not misunderstand it.  We had to tear down some false beliefs and concepts that they have adapted because of the Filipino and Catholic cultures to do so but we did it none the less. The effect was immediate.  The Spirit testified to their hearts that they needed to be re baptized, this time by immersion for the remission of sins and by priesthood authority only found in this church. You could see it in there eyes. We extended all three of them an invitation to be baptized and they all accepted. We invited them to come to church again as well, but they still seemed unsure they would be able because of travel and distance purposes.  The next day on Sunday, they did come to church, and to our surprise, they brought 5 others with them.  Grandpa, Aunts and nieces and nephews.  Haha we were so pleasantly surprised!

These experiences have increased my testimony in the simple and pure doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All we did was teach baptism. nothing else. like Elder Packer says, true doctrine understood changes behavior.  It worked for these three ladies, and they were so effected that they invited all their family members to church the next day without us even asking them!  We are currently focusing on teaching many people in that same compound that they live in that they have been inviting and the future seems bright for these people. We are expecting more success in the weeks to follow! 
Thanks especially to God and also our "Amulek" which is Irene, who is still invited more and more people in her compound each week to learn about the restored gospel!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week 90...Cagayan Philippines

Busy I Is....

Sorry everyone! We've been real busy. Monday we had Missionary Leadership Counsel at the mission home and then Tuesday we had exchanges with the Assistants in Laoag and then we took a 6 hour bus ride home in the middle of the night. So we are doing a mini Pday right now but I don't have time to tell you all the details about my week.  We haven't seen conference yet but we will see it this weekend, and I am so excited!. This last Sunday we had 14 investigators at church! The work is exploding and I fill my faith growing as I help strengthen the members and investigators here in the area as well as helping the other missionaries to be more effective in the work!

I got to take pictures last Tuesday during our exchanges with the Santa Ana elders last Tuesday, at the very tip top of the Philippines!  Also this week I ate Shark, and a cat sized rat climbed on me in the middle of the night, and I slept on the floor.  

I promise I'll have a good email for y'all next week!

I wanted to share with you what I learned about the difference between God's plan and Satan's plan pre-mortally, and how his plan still hasn't change here on earth. And also how here on earth most of us ignorantly are fooled into following his plan to take away or inhibit our agency. Some of us ignorantly would prefer his plan over God's. Most of this might not make much sense but I hope I will have some time and remember to share with you next week!

Jesus lives and He loves us, but He also expects a lot from us!  Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And from small things proceedeth that which is great!  

Also in the new edition of the Liahona about Elder Bednar's visit to the Philippines, you can see me and my companion's picture in the top right corner of the right hand page! I'm famous!

Next week na lang!
-Elder Andersen

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 89...Cagayan Philippines


I'm back in the boonies! Its good to be back in Cagayan. This place is kinda crazy.  On my first day in Camalaniugan it rained and was cloudy, which was super crazy because I don't think it has rained once in the past three months while I was in Laoag. Elder Cabanus and I were walking down this super long dirt trail that leads to the people that live in the mountains, and it  was right after it rained and it was still cloudy, but there was this crazy hot wind that felt like it was coming form the ground releasing all the heat because it hasn't rained in so long. Haha Im no scientist but it could be legit haha.

Camalaniugan is cool. There are just tons of Coconut tress every where, oh and rice fields as far as the eye can see. The "niug" in the word is the Ilokano word for buko, or coconut so maybe there is a reason why its called Camalaniugan.  The people here are a lot darker and rougher looking than the people in Ilocos. Its probably because most of the men are bukid farmers and work in the rice fields under the blazing hot sun all day everyday.

The apartment here reminds me a lot of my first apartment in Lasam. If any of you remember, that was January of 2016, when I was living in this old depressing, dilapidated wooden shack that was flooding from irrigation.  Don't worry this apartment isn't that bad, it just kinda looks like the other one and reminds me of it.  Its super hot sometimes in the apartment cause the Philippines, and it's also right next to the highway so its super noisy and hard to sleep. And our neighbors are these crazy people that just laugh and yell and scream and swear at each other really loud all the time. Sometimes when we are trying to sleep, but its all good. I guess I'm just kinda picky right now because I just transferred from the mansion in Laoag which is the nicest apartment in the  mission, so I guess I had it coming.  Our water pump broke a few days ago and we could shower for almost 2 days, but the district President came and fixed the pump and saved the day Halleluiah!

I love my new companion! Elder Cabanus is the bomb.com  He goes home in June so were are both in that last stretch! We have been working our tales off and the branch already likes us a ton so that's a good sign!

We started working about 5 days ago here in the new area and we have been hitting the dirt streets!  Just this week we found 42 new investigators and we found so many part member families and scattered Israel just in 5 days that I can't believed the past missionaries missed them.  We were really surprised this Sunday when 9 of our investigators came to church!  They all came in a cable car about 5 minutes late and they all walked in at the same time and the members were kinda freaking out cause they haven't seen that many investigators at church at once in a long time!  We are so excited to keep thrusting in our sickle and there is so much work to be done!

Every night this week ELder Cabanus and I have just come home and crashed because we are so tired from walking and talking and  teaching, but its great because the sleep of the laboring man is sweet!

We are baptizing the Reconoce couple this Saturday after they get married on Friday! Ill fill you in on them next week!

I love you all and remember to put your shoulder to the wheel!  We reap what we sow, and there is no substitute for good hard work!
-Elder Andersen