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