Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 83...Laoag Philippines

It takes patience to dunk'em

Hello everyone that reads these emails.  I can't speak English well anymore. Whenever I see English speakers that aren't missionaries, I never know what to say or how to start a conversation. I literally have zero communication skills now.  Probably because pretty much everyday of my life when ever I meet some one, I say (In Tagalog) hi and what my name is and then I ask them where they live and what they are doing and if they have a family and then pretty soon after that I am testifying of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. So I apologize  if My emails are getting more and more boring to read because I have literally no more skills other than teaching the Gospel, and that's in Tagalog not English haha. Sorry po I don't marunong na at English. I mean I can talk to other missionaries put we don't even speak English. We speak Taglish.

This week, I am gonna try and tell you guys more stories, because last week  asked my fam if my emails were getting boring, and they were like yah tell more stories, so that's what I guess I'll try to do this week.

Here's a story fa y'all. Earlier this week Elder Costales and I were looking for some referrals and also some former investigators that we found in the area book, in centro near our apartment.  Finding people you are looking for in the Philippines is different. Almost nobody has a legit address, so you have to ask people in the general area of where you know the person lives, and it usually takes a pretty long time, but on the bright side we get to share the Gospel with everyone we ask for directions! So it's like killing two birds with one stone! But a lot of the time the people don't know the people we are looking for so it gets kinda frustrating. So at this particular time we were looking for a mother named Remy who was taught all the missionary lessons by other missionaries way back when, but she never was able to give up work to go to church, so she was dropped I guess. So anyways we were looking for her house and we had been looking for her for  the past 45 minutes and no body knew her, and so we asked this one family if they knew her and they said they didn't, but while we were asking a little girl came up to us and said that Remy was her mom. So we she took us to her house, which happened to be the people's we just asked next door neighbor and I was like what the flip they don't even know their own neighbors? But anyways, we shared with Remy's whole family and it turns out that her husband and three children are all pretty active members, but they go to a different ward because way back when they moved out of their old ward's boundaries but refuse to switch wards so that is kind of frustrating too. But we shared a message about How the Gospel blesses families, and while we taught, Brother Rommel, Remy's husband, told us his conversion story, about how the old church he used to belong to excommunicated him because he married outside of their church membership. After that he was really sorrowful and he asked God why he got kicked out of the true church. After that experience he was angry with all the churches and he decided that he would never go to church again and just pray instead, and he became a drunkard and just went to real low point in his life.  Then his family moved to Laoag and the missionaries found and taught and baptized them! SO their whole fam has been baptized except for Remy! But we found her at the perfect time because she told us that she was already making arrangements at work so that she will be able to start coming to church. She knows she will get baptized, but now it's only a matter of when. The lesson we shared was short and powerful and the Spirit was their and we could feel all their testimonies and Remy's desire to be baptized.  There have been so many other times on my mission where God just some how guides us to the right people and the right time in their lives.  A lot of the baptisms I have had on my mission are people that just didn't have the faith strong enough to give things up to be baptized before with other missionaries, but I transfer in and pick them up and God enlightens us with knowledge and discernment and we give them that little push they need, and not many weeks follow before they get dunked.  Life is short and the mission is shorter so we gotta dunk 'em while we can!

We have a really good group of people right now that we are working with to get them into the waters of baptism, but a lot of little problems and challenges keep coming up in their lives and we are trying to help them solve their problems so they can receive the ordinances of salvation.  We have two different investigators who need to get married to their spouses before they can get baptized. We have another investigator, John Henry who is done with the lessons and should have got baptized this Saturday, but he got married to a member last week, and they have been on a honey moon this whole last week, and we just heard that he wont be able to be baptized next week either, so hopefully March!  The other two are sisters Anne and Jesha May, who are trying to get married to their husbands. They both already have kids and have lived with their husbands for many years, they just never have done the paperwork for marriage yet.  The problem is both of their husbands are being noobs and keep backing out on the planned marriage date and we don't know why haha. Both of their husbands are less active members. So it's kinda frustrating because they are so ready to be baptized, and it's actually super easy for them to get married because they pretty much already are. They just need some signatures and to fill out some forms and boom they are married. SO Elder Costales and I are just being patient with them and trying to do everything we can to help them get married and be more prepared for baptism.

We also have Princess, Queenie and Krisha Ignacio who all want to be baptized and have been coming to church since January but we asked their dad if they could be baptized and he didn't say yes, yet... haha. But we are working with him and we have faith that the Lord will soften his heart and let them be baptized in the coming weeks!  We are trying to teach him but he is hardly ever home. It takes patience to dunk 'em lemme tell ya haha.

This coming Saturday is a good one though! The baptisms of Jessa may, Michael, and Shiela Tungpalan are set and they are ready! And right after their baptisms we will be visited by Elder Bednar! I'm so stoked!!

Well I think that's good for this week. Like the title of the email, It takes patience to dunk 'em, but we are pushing them and doing everything in our power to make sure they are ready and also find more scattered Israel everyday in the process.  
Baptism is the gate way to everything good in life so we are doing everything we can so God can pour His blessing on all His children that immerse themselves in the covenant of the Lord.  

Keep Praying for us so we can dunk these people! They need the blessings that come with baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I love you all! Sorry I still have no pictures! Its hard to take pictures without a camera!
-Elder Andersen

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