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

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