Sunday, December 18, 2016

November 20, 2016 (I know it's out of order but I don't know how to fix it)

Magandang umaga, hapon, o gabi!

So, this week was pretty crazy, so sit tight and buckle up because it's gonna be a wild ride. (Ok, maybe not THAT wild).

Anyway, as you all know I was transferred to the farthest area from the mission home, Santa Ana.  I share an apartment with the Zone Leaders, and my new companion is Elder Torion.  He's Filipino and from Leyte, which is in the Tacloban mission.  We are opening an area, and this is my third time doing so, so I guess you could say I'm experienced at opening areas.  The Elders before us didn't keep any records, so we're literally starting from scratch, but that's ok. This week we found 18 new investigators in about four days, so that's pretty exciting.

I'm still doing ok, but my new area is very different from my first two.  My first two areas were located in the Ilocos Sur province, while my area now is in Cagayan province.  Cagayan is the poorest province in my mission, and it's a lot colder here than in Ilocos, it also is more of what you think the Philippines to be like, Buko trees, Kubo huts, and eating lots of fish and rice.  I love it here.  The people here are a lot nicer and more receptive.  The members in the area will rush out to meet the Elders as we're walking along the street.  It's fantastic!

We had a pretty cool experience the other day.  As Elder Torion and I were working, we found a Tatay (literally father, but used like Brother) carrying wood to his house. He stopped for a rest and we went up to him and introduced ourselves to him.  He was really receptive, and we were able to hold a lesson while he was taking a break about the Plan of Salvation.  He was really excited about it.  We then offered to carry the wood to his house and he accepted.  After getting to his house, he introduced us to his family and they asked if we could come back and teach them about the gospel. They also referred us to their family members that live all around them.  I asked him why he was so receptive and he told me that he had a relative in the next area over that was converted and he saw a huge change in her life and she received a lot of help from the missionaries and the members.  I can't wait to see if they progress.

Anyway, that's all I've got for this week, nothing much happened.  
I won't be sending pictures at all this transfer, the internet here is extremely slow and it takes way too long to send pictures. If I can find a place that has fast internet, I'll try to send them (Even though I know I've been terrible at it).

Mahal ko kayo lahat!
-Elder Anderson

December 11, 2016

Naimbag nga bigad, malim, o rabi!

That's right, that was Ilocano, the other crazy language in my mission that I'm supposed to learn even though I have no learning materials for it!  I'm picking it up little by little, hopefully I'll be able to speak it as well as Tagalog by the end of my mission.  

Anyway, this week was ok.  I had a great time working and my companion and I continue to strengthen our companionship, but none of our progressing investigators came to church yesterday.  I was pretty sad because they had been so excited to accept the gospel.  We weren't able to visit them yesterday either, so we have no idea why they suddenly stopped.  I was almost discouraged, but I remembered that we all have agency, and even though others may exercise it poorly, we are able to exercise our own by choosing how to react to setbacks.  I realized that the only thing I can do is my best. It's what the Lord expects of me and what I expect of myself. If I do that, then I know that I couldn't have done something better, because I did my best.

Sorry if that was a little confusing, there have been a lot of thoughts going through my head this week.  We had some trouble with our Zone Leaders getting along this week, and our District Leader is having trouble with his companion as well. I'm not sure why drama exists in the mission, its disappointing that missionaries can't be united in this work because of petty arguments. Oh well, like I said, we all have agency.

Next week is Christmas Conference for the whole mission, so my next email will be sent from Laoag! I'm so excited! The missionaries in my zone will be staying in a hotel for the duration of the conference! I'll actually have a comfortable bed!  Hopefully they'll have hot water too... We'll see.

Now for my spiritual thought.  In this Christmas season, we do tend to focus on material things, whether they be for ourselves or for others.  This time of year really should not be one of stress, but of joy, love, and peace. This is the time we celebrate the most important birth in the history of the whole world.  Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the reason we celebrate.  Remember Him. He is the reason why we can have peace in this life. Through Him, we can become worthy to live with God again.

Always remember Christ, and seek to represent Him.

Mahal ko kayo,
-Elder Anderson

December 4, 2016

Hello everybody!

This week was pretty busy, but fantastic as always.

First off, Elder Torion and I had a great time teaching and working together.  He's seriously a hilarious guy.  He's from Leyte, which is in the Visayas region of the Philippines.  The Visayan people are known for their sense of humor, and let me tell you, the reputation is deserving.  One night, he had all of us in the apartment crying we were laughing so hard.  I love our companionship!

Anyway, the Anchetas weren't able to come to church yesterday, so we visited them and asked why they weren't able to come.  They explained they had to go to a different city for some medicine, but they were really sorry they weren't able to make it to church.  We were able to teach them all of lesson two and they committed to read the Book of Mormon as a family! They are truly amazing!

Next, we had Jelica come to church. She's twelve years old and lives with her aunt. Her aunt is a member, but has been less-active for a long time.  We've been asking her to help her niece come to church and progress towards baptism. Last week, not yesterday, they did not come to church, but yesterday they did! The branch president pulled us aside and asked what we did, Sister Ramirez (Jelica's aunt) hasn't been to church for a LONG time.  It was great to see them come to church and feel the spirit.  They were happy that they were able to come to church and said they'd come next week as well!! 

We now have three progressing investigators in our area, and they really look like they'll continue to progress until baptism!

Now, spiritual thought time: 
This week, I've been studying Christlike attributes (I try to take one week out of every month and dedicate my studies to Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel) and it's always interesting how every time I start studying the chapter again, I learn something new.
The attribute I want to share with you now is Hope.  It's hard for us sometimes to understand what Hope really is. Many times, we think it's synonymous with faith, but that is not the case. It is true, that faith and hope are undeniably linked together, but faith precedes hope. When we have faith, we hope for things which are not seen which are true.  That hope we have is an expectation and assurance that the things we are promised through the gospel will be given us. Hope can be likened unto a knowledge, a personal testimony, that the blessings we have been promised will come. Whether it be a remission of sins through repentance, being resurrected, or living together with our families forever, we can receive an assurance that these things will come to pass through our hope.  I know that our hope, if based on faith in correct principles, can bring us comfort in times of hardship, for we know that everything will be alright in the end.

Mahal ko kayo!
Ingat kayo!
-Elder Anderson

November 27, 2016

Hello po kayo lahat!

I'm doing fine just so you all know.  It was a great week as usual, lot's of hard work and lots of spiritual thoughts. I'll be sharing two today because I forgot to share one last week.

However, first off I'll talk about my progressing investigators! That's right, I have two progressing investigators in my second week in the open area.  Their names are Brother and Sister Ancieta, they are a married couple with a one year old son. It's a pretty awesome experience how we met them, so I'll share it with you. Brother Ancieta was carrying wood to his house, but had stopped to take a break. We could tell the load was heavy and he was struggling, so we offered to help him.  At first, he turned us down, so we just introduced ourselves as missionaries and what our message was.  He asked us to share with him. We gave an overview of The Plan of Salvation and he was super interested and receptive. We closed with a prayer and insisted on carrying the wood to his house. He obliged, and we eventually came to his house, and his whole family was there!  We introduced ourselves to them and they were really happy to meet us.  They asked us to come back and we've met with them several times now.  They're scheduled for baptism on December 31.  They came to church yesterday and loved it, they are keeping our commitments, and asking how else they can prepare to be baptized.  They're amazing!  I can't wait to see them progress!

Spiritual thought time:
1. I was reading the Bible Dictionary, and I read about prayer.  I had never really realized how deep the connection prayer has with our Heavenly Father, my favorite thing the BD explained was this: "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
I know it's long, but it's all true. Sometimes we take for granted the power of prayer and our true relationship with Heavenly Father.

2. I finished the Old Testament yesterday, so I've now read the entire Standard Works while on my mission. It was amazing to witness and connect all of the prophecies of the Savior to His life and ministry here on earth.  It just goes to show that the Lord really does reveal His will through His prophets, and even if we don't understand the true meaning behind their words, we need to follow them.  The Lord does not lie, and all things He has said will come to pass WILL come to pass in His own due time.

That's it for this week, until next time!
-Elder Anderson

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A note from mom, November 13, 2016

Hi Luke,

I am sorry you are getting transferred. That can be difficult when you don't get to witness the fruits of your labors as you would like to. Take comfort in knowing that you made a difference and the best seeds planted are those in your own heart. At the end of each area and eventually your mission, the real value of the experience is the growth within yourself and your testimony. I can tell from your letters you have had tremendous experiences and growth in this area, that is a success. Turn to the Lord and ask for confirmation that your work is done in this area (at least for now) and ask for a feeling of peace. I know you will receive it. I love you!

Hi Mom,
I did receive that peace.  The night I found out I was transferring, I couldn't sleep.  The idea came into my head I should ask for peace and guidance.  I prayed, and instantly this warm, comforting sensation and a voice came into my head saying, "everything will be alright."  It was fantastic, and I know this is the plan of the Lord for me.

Hi Luke,

That is awesome, thanks for sharing that experience. I had a similar experience when I was in the field. I was called to be a trainer immediately after I was trained, 8 weeks in. I was terrified and overwhelmed. I went into the next room and poured out my heart and felt that same peace. Later, when I doubted again, I prayed again and didn't feel anything but read in my scriptures later in D&C when the Lord is talking to Oliver Cowdry and says remember when you sought me "did I not speak peace to your soul? What further witness do you need?" I have reflected often on that experience.

That is a fantastic experience.  I met another Elder here (He's from Houston actually) and he was called to be a trainer immediately after his training as well. I was worried I was going to be the same way, this was the last week of my training. However, when I found out I didn't have a calling, I was disappointed.  For some reason, I wanted to train or be a mission leader because I felt like I would do a good job at it.  I realized, however, that the Lord knows what I'm ready for, even if I don't feel like it's what I'm ready for.

Hi Luke,

You will be called to train or lead soon enough. Enjoy this time of learning and try to learn as much as you can, from your companion, leaders and members. You will be blessed. I'm glad you had that experience, it's always good to get a reminder that the Lord is aware of you. I am sure proud of you.

Also, just because you weren't called to be a trainer doesn't mean you wouldn't have done a good job or couldn't do it. You just have different things to learn. The missionary that was called to train right after training has things to learn that you may not. I know one of the reasons I was called to train so early is I needed to get out of my comfort zone faster. It was really easy for me to hang back and let my trainer take the lead. I know the rug had to be pulled out or I would have continued like that for a few more months. I was able to come up with the confidence I was lacking and progressed much quicker in my mission experience than I would have otherwise. You likely don't need that lesson:)

November 13, 2016

Magandang umaga, hapon, o gabi!

Kumusta kayo lahat?  I'm doing good.  This week has been extremely busy, so I'll try to fill you in on as much as I can.  

First off, Novelyn had her baptismal interview last Saturday and she was found to be ready for baptism!  She's being baptized this Saturday and I'm super excited for her!  This is the first baptism in Cabugao in over six months! The branch is really excited and they're happy to see the missionaries start to have success due to their hard work.

Next, we had one of our investigators, Vladimir, text us on Tuesday saying "Elders, gusto gusto ko magmisyon sana. Tulungan ninyo ako no ihanda ang sarili mo para sa baptism." Which means "Elders, I really really REALLY want to serve a mission.  Help me prepare myself for baptism."  Elder Anuat and I were extremely excited to hear this.  Vladimir has a testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. He has shared his testimony with us and has started sharing the gospel with his friends.  He's an awesome guy, and I'm excited to see him progress.  His baptism is scheduled for December 10. It's been an awesome experience to witness his conversion to the gospel.

We also had two new investigators this week from referrals, and they are very interested in the gospel. Both have a close relative who referred them to us, and their relatives join in on our lessons with them and share their testimony with the investigators. It's extremely powerful, and both of them (Shane and James) accepted the invitation to be baptized on December 10!  If everything goes to plan, we'll have three baptisms on December 10!

I just wish I'd be there to witness them all.  That's right, I'm being transferred again.  After having a very strong transfer in Cabugao, I'm being transferred to the farthest area in the mission on the opposite side of the island: Santa Ana.  Apparently I'm opening an area again, so we'll see how it goes.  I know the Lord has a plan for me, but I'm not ashamed to admit I was very excited to witness my first baptism in the mission.  Oh well, I'm sure there will be more people to accept the gospel in my new area, I'm just not looking forward to the ten hour bus ride to my new area.  

Spiritual thought time :)
This week, I was reading David A. Bednar's book "The Power To Become".  It's all about becoming Christlike and strengthening those attributes that help us truly take His name upon ourselves as members of the Church.  He gives a discourse on obedience, and one sentence really stuck out to me that I never realized, "True obedience is aligning our will with God's." I realized the truthfulness of this sentence this week more than ever. I really didn't want to transfer, my companion and I were having a lot of success and we were learning a lot from each other.  However, I realize now that this is the Lord's will, and I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded me.  I'm going to follow the mantra of Joseph Smith, "When the Lord commands, do it."  

That's all for this week,
Thank you for all the prayers and support!
Mahal ko kayo lahat,
-Elder Anderson

November 6, 2016

Magandang umaga, hapon, o gabi pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko!

Kumusta kayo lahat?

Ayos lang ako, masaya palagi kasi ako ay nagmimisyon.

Anyway, sorry for the Tagalog. I'm just loving this crazy, broken language more and more everyday.  I have made leaps and bounds in this language, I can testify that the gift of tongues is real.  I've just had a good week working and learning. I don't really have any exciting news this week, but I can report that I'm happy and well.

This week I had exchanges with the elders in my district because my companion is the district leader.  Elder Anuat worked in Sinait while I stayed in Cabugao and worked with Elder Hair (Americano siya).  Elder Hair is from Houston, Texas and has been on the mission for almost a year now.  He's pretty great in Tagalog and we had a good time working together.  What I learned from our exchanges is how to better use Ang Aklat Ni Mormon in my language study. I'd been using it before, but I had been simply stopping at every word I didn't know and checking the English Scriptures to determine what the word really was.  This slowed my progress because it didn't help me understand how to use the word in the correct context.  In Tagalog, there are many, many different types of conjugations for verbs, and their context determines what type of conjugation is used.  Simply looking up the words I didn't know just caused me to learn the word, but take it out of context. Now, I read the whole verse in Tagalog, the verse in English, and then the verse in Tagalog again to learn how the word is used in context. It has seriously helped me understand how to construct much better sentences in my speaking and increased my vocabulary by an extremely large amount.  One member, extremely nice, actually told me that I was now fluent in Tagalog (Which is not true at all, I am EXTREMELY far from perfect) which really boosted my confidence in the language.

Spiritual Thought time:
 I read "The Continuous Atonement" this week, which is a phenomenal read that I highly recommend, and I gained a lot of insights on the atonement.  In one experience, the author shares about a missionary who began to feel guilty of past sins that he didn't fully confess for. The missionary had assumed that the sins were not necessary to confess, and had given half confessions.  The missionary was a hard-working, successful missionary, and his progress had brought him closer to Christ, also causing some guilt to eat into his mind as he became even more spiritual. He confessed them to his mission president and his mission president told him that, the sins should have been confessed, but they would not cause him to be sent home.  The missionary thanked the president for the relief he felt, but the memories of the past still haunted him.  The mission president then showed the missionary a polished marble egg.  He explained to the missionary that what made the marble beautiful were the dark veins of imperfection.  If the marble was spotless and perfectly white, it would look fake and cheap, but the veins of darkness were reminders of the metamorphic process the rock had been through and they were what caused the polished marble to be so beautiful.  

We are all like marble.  We've all made mistakes in the past and many times those mistakes haunt us in our memories.  We all bear veins of darkness.  However, as we apply the atonement in our life, our marble becomes polished and the marble shines and becomes beautiful.  The polishing process doesn't remove the dark veins, just as the Atonement specifically doesn't remove our memories of the sin, to do so would destroy the lesson we learned from our mistake.  Those lessons we learn from our mistakes are what truly help us become Christ like. Those veins of darkness are the evidence that we have made mistakes, but we've learned from them too.  They are evidence of the application of the Atonement we made in our life.  If we've truly applied the Atonement in our life, we will be able to face God and be perfect. Not perfect because we're spotless, but perfect because we've been polished.

Mahal ko kayo lahat. Mahal tayo ng Diyos.
-Elder Anderson

Pictures from October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016

Magandang Umaga, Hapon, o Gabi lahat na pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko!

Kumusta kayo lahat?

This week was pretty fantastic :)

We had exchanges this week with the Zone Leaders and my companion and I learned a lot on our exchanges on how to do better finding.  Our Zone goal this transfer is to increase our findings and baptismal dates.  Our Zone Leaders taught Elder Anuat and I how to find more investigators and how to extend the baptismal invitation more effectively and naturally in the first or second lesson.  We applied their teachings and found... 33 New Investigators!!!!!  This is pretty impressive considering in our mission we only count people as "new investigators" if they give us a return appointment.  Our teaching pool gained a HUGE boost from this week, and we're going to continue to apply these teachings to bring the gospel to as many people as possible!  Also, we now have 7 investigators with a baptismal date, and we will be doing everything we can to help them progress and enter the gate on the pathway of salvation that is baptism.

We continue to have progress with Novelyn. She seriously loves the gospel and is always so happy to learn from us and come to church!  She's always so excited to come and let us know that she was able to read her assignment and explain what she learned.  We're going to be finishing up her lessons this week and preparing her for the baptismal interview. 

One of our new investigators this week was also very receptive. Her name is Rena, and she's 14 years old.  We found her while teaching another one of our investigators Rena happened to be visiting.  We taught Rena a majority of the first lesson and then taught our other investigator (Stephanie) the first part of the Plan of Salvation.  Stephanie was participating in the lesson, but Rena really became interested about what we were teaching Stephanie and started asking questions of her own.  We took down her address and gave her a Restoration pamphlet, Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and a Book of Mormon.  She was super excited to have us come visit her and told us exactly how to get to her house.  I have a seriously good feeling about her!

That was our week. Overall I'd say it was pretty successful.

Now for a spiritual thought.  I was studying Preach My Gospel, Chapter 6 (You missionaries know what I'm talking about), and was reading about humility. I had a sudden thought come into my head that I wrote in the 'notes' section of Preach My Gospel.  It said, essentially, "Pride is one of the greatest tools the adversary has in his arsenal to catch us into the habits of the natural man.  Therefore, if we want to avoid the natural man, we must strengthen our strongest weapon against pride: humility.  As we are gracious in accepting instruction, recognize God's will more than our own, and be quick to apologize when pride does inevitably creep into our lives, we will have that much more strength to resist the lure of the adversary that we fall for all too often."  Let us all strive to be humble and avoid pride in all our doings.  I know that as we do so, we will gain so much more strength against the adversary than we can imagine!

I love you all and I thank you for your prayers and support!
-Elder Anderson

October 23, 2016

Hello everyone! 

First off, I want you all to know that I am safe and I have no injuries from the Hurricane :)

It was a pretty crazy, but pretty boring as well.  You'd think that the hurricane would make things interesting... but it caused a power outage and we were stuck inside all day... Needless to say, I did finish Jesus The Christ so that was good (read about 300 pages that day...). For those who have not read Jesus The Christ, I would highly recommend it.  Talmage has fantastic insights on the life of Christ and all that He did for us.  I learned so much from Jesus The Christ that I can apply in my own teaching and for the rest of my life. I'm so grateful for the Savior's sacrifice for us and His plain and simple teachings that allow us to understand our purpose in life.  I am amazed at how much I simply didn't know/comprehend about Christ's life and ministry. The significance of His sacrifice for us is truly incomprehensible. 

Other than the storm, the rest of the week was spent teaching and finding :)  We now have five investigators with baptismal dates, all scheduled for either the 12 or 19 of November.  I'm so happy to witness the joy the gospel brings in the lives of these children of God.  I'm so grateful for my opportunity and privilege to serve the Lord, whom I love. 

Novelyn came to church again this week, and she was as excited as ever to be there and learn about the gospel.  She's always so happy to learn about the gospel, and she constantly tells us that she is so happy for our teaching her.  I love watching the gospel enlighten her mind and life.  I've never seen someone gain so much joy from anything else in the world.

The storm wasn't too bad.  Hurricanes are pretty terrifying and the wind was quite merciless on our windows, but at least it cooled down a little bit here :)  However, lots of trees were blown down and many houses took damage. Thankfully, our house was in the safer area, so nothing too crazy happened to us or our area. From what I understand, all of the missionaries are safe.  I thank you all for the prayers you may have offered, they definitely were felt and made a difference.  

That's really all I have, sorry that this one is pretty short.

Mahal ko kayo!
-Elder Anderson

Pictures, October 16, 2016

October 16, 2016

Magandang Umaga o Hapon o Gabi!

What a fantastic week!  I seriously love missionary work! There is no greater work nor joy that can be felt except through this great and marvelous work!

First off, let me explain about the picture I sent last week with me feeding the tiger.  Last transfer, our zone went to a zoo for a zone activity, and the zoo offered a walk with tigers experience for 500 pisos (about ten dollars).  Obviously, I paid the 500 pisos and got to participate in this once in a lifetime experience.  Yes the tiger is real and yes I was feeding it from a baby bottle.  It was pretty fantastic.

Anyway, back to the more important matters.

I seriously love my companion and area!  My companion, Elder Anuat, is our District Leader and is a fantastic example to me.  We work really well together and we're becoming good friends. 

Last week was our first week of complete proselyting.We opened the area and spent the first full week finding the members and becoming acquainted with the members who would be willing to work with us.  It was a good way to gain the trust of the members and to lay a good foundation for our work.

This week, however, was very successful. Earlier in the week, we were contacted by a man, Brother Abe, as we were eating dinner at Bigmak, and he was super curious about the gospel and we gave him a Book of Mormon.  We went to his home earlier this week and taught him all of the First Lesson.  He had a lot of questions and we wrote them down so that we could answer them next time.  We also extended the commitment to baptism and he accepted.  He is scheduled to be baptized on November 12.  

Next, we contacted a referral from a member to teach his younger sister who just returned home from Cagayan (a far area of the Philippines) and she's super excited to learn the gospel.  We extended an invitation to be baptized and she accepted! She is scheduled for November 19, which is actually her birthday.  She came to church yesterday and was so excited to show us that she was there that after sacrament meeting she came up to us and said, "Elders! I'm here!" I'm so excited for her and she's so happy that the gospel came into her life.  Her older brother, a super active member, teaches her with us and his testimony really helps her understand the joy of the gospel.

Now, for something of a different tune... There is a super typhoon scheduled to hit our mission this week on Wednesday named Typhoon Lawin.. We'll see how it will affect the mission, but I would appreciate your prayers for me and all the missionaries in my mission to stay safe during this time. And a heads up, I may not be able to email on Monday if there's power loss.

Also, my condolences go to the Giacolone Family.  You guys are amazing and are in my prayers.

That's all I have for this week, until next time! (hopefully next week)
-Elder Anderson

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pictures-- October 9

October 9, 2016

Magandang araw!

Hello everybody! What a fantastic week this has been!

I'll start off with my new area/companion.  My new area is Cabugao, and it's been going well here.  We spent this week teaching our investigators but focusing mainly and finding the member's homes in our area.  My new companion is Elder Anuat, a Filipino from Bacolod, and he's way awesome! He's actually our district leader, and he is super hard working!  I'm so grateful to be his companion! I know we're going to have a lot of success together!

This week I was also able to watch conference!  Due to the time difference of the Philippines and America, conference is watched a week later here.  I'm so grateful to have living prophets on the Earth today to lead and guide us!  I finished the book "Our Heritage" this week, and it gave me a new gratitude for living prophets.  I never fully understood how truly blessed we are to live in this dispensation where we get to here from living prophets on a regular basis!  I can't wait for the next general conference!

I'll give some of my thoughts from each of the talks, starting with Priesthood Session (Here, priesthood session is first)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Home teaching is the first source of help for members of the Church, and it should be treated in high regard, a blessing and a privilege to serve other members of this Church.  Be God's emissaries to His children!

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr.

As we read the Book of Mormon regularly, the Spirit will be felt more strongly in our lives.  We will be able to better resist temptation, shake off contention, and abound in the love of the Lord.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It's alright to admit that you need help.  To be successful, you need to find your "Amuleks," those whom the Lord has prepared to help you and His work. Be the call of action!

President Henry B. Eyring

Give Aaronic Priesthood holders the faith they need by helping them understand they can draw upon the power of God.  As a Melchezidek Priesthood holder, lead by example to the young priesthood brethren of the Church.

President Thomas S. Monson

The blessings of the Word of Wisdom are real, and can come at unexpected, but critical times

Saturday Morning Session
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

We must realize just how much we have in our lives, we have been given so many sacred and sublime gifts in our lives and sometimes we are so past feeling that we don't realize just how lucky we are to have this restored gospel in our lives.

Elder Robert D. Hales

No manual is more helpful than the Scriptures and the guidance of the Spirit.  That's all we really need in our lives to help make important, eternal decisions.

Sister Carol F. McConkie

All three members of the Godhead are engaged in prayer, making it a very powerful, personal tool for us to strengthen our relationship with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

Elder Craig C. Christensen

It's ok for us to have questions about the gospel, but we cannot let those questions paralyze our faith.  Rather we must seek after answers through sincere study and prayer.  If we do these things, we will receive an answer.

Elder Juan A. Uceda

Promptings from the Spirit should not be ignored. God knows more than we do, so why should we ignore His voice?

Elder J. Devn Cornish

The Lord always believes in us, even if we don't believe in ourselves.

Elder Neil L. Andersen

Even with our strong desire to share the gospel, we may be discouraged based on our past, unfruitful efforts.  However, we should strive to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places, regardless of the reception of that witness.  Be thou an example of the believers.

Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder Quinten L. Cook

We've all been given a space for repentance in this life, but we have to USE it!

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

We can all witness a miracle in our lives, and that is receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon through the Holy Ghost

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

God's love is everlasting, perfect, and great; but, it is not unconditional.  We must respond to His love appropriately by keeping the commandments and receive the grace of Christ by having faith in Him and follow the principles of the gospel.

Elder W. Mark Bassett

The mysteries of God can be unfolded unto us through sincere prayer, humility, trusting in the prophets, and diligent study but often takes time

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

Sometimes, we don't know why we are where we are, but we must know that there is a purpose in our actions that God knows

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Our efforts to share the gospel should not be limited to our comfortable circle of friends

Sunday Morning Session
President Thomas S. Monson

Our gospel contains the plan of salvation for all men, and without the atonement of Jesus Christ, all would be lost.

Elder Russell M. Nelson

We are supposed to have joy in this life, it's the purpose of life to have joy! Seek after the joy of the world!

Elder Peter F. Meurs

Prepare for the Sacrament throughout the week, and contemplate our spiritual progress. Each sacrament meeting should show progress in our spirituality and with it a commitment to continue to progress.

Sister Linda S. Reeves

Repentance is difficult, possibly the most difficult thing we have to do, but its reward is well worth the temporary heartache and pain.

Bishop Dean M. Davies

We cannot let our worship turn into routine. Each Sunday service should be central to our lives, something we yearn for and seek out.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins

We must resist the temptation of the natural man to condemn others

Elder M. Russell Ballard

The Savior is always able to rebuke any storm that comes upon our life

President Henry B. Eyring

As we feel gratitude for what the Savior sacrificed for us, we feel a deeper love for Him and the Sacrament gains a deeper meaning for us.

Sunday Afternoon Session
Elder David A. Bednar

Serving Him requires all our heart, might, mind, and strength. As we serve others with all our heart, might, mind, and strength we turn away the selfish tendencies of the natural man and come to know the Lord personally.

Brother Brian K. Ashton

Learning of the doctrine of Christ and living its principles and performing its ordinances allows us to receive all of the blessings that come from the Plan of Salvation, and the doctrine of Christ is the only way we can do so.

Elder Carl B. Cook

We have greater power as we unify and serve together in the Lord's work

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

No mistake we make will revoke God's love, but we must continue to follow the commandments and strive to do our best to become like Christ

Elder Evan A. Schmutz

Without faith, the trials and sorrows of life can obscure or eclipse the eternal, joyful rewards of the gospel

Elder K. Brett Nattress

Parents can have a profound effect on their children's spiritually through example and starting to teach their children while they are still young. This will help them want to learn more about the gospel and understand their purpose in this life.

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Real repentance requires faith, and when applied correctly, transforms repentance from a miserable behavior correction into a joyful change of self.

I know that was a lot, but I felt I had to share those with you.  Hopefully one of those thoughts helps you in your life.  I know that God loves each of us because He gave us prophets to let us know what we should do in our lives.

I love you all
Elder Anderson

October 2, 2016

Hello Everyone!!!!!!

Man, this has been a crazy crazy week, many things have happened.  First off, I just want to say that I've almost gotten comfortable being away from America, so I think I'm finally beginning to adjust to this beautiful, very different country :)

First off, I went on exchanges with Elder Paulo and Elder Fees this week (District Leader and Zone Leader respectively) and we had a great time working and teaching.  With Elder Paulo, I was able to teach an investigating family and answer questions they had about the Resurrection and what is going to happen to us at the Second Coming of Christ.  We answered her questions using scriptures from the New Testament and The Book of Mormon, but she wasn't quite understanding.  Then, I felt prompted to share my testimony of the resurrection and the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It was amazing.  I've never felt the Spirit speak through me so powerfully and clearly, and I was able to speak Tagalog that I didn't even know I knew.  After I shared my testimony, she paused and said she finally understood.  It was fantastic!

With Elder Fees, we taught an investigator named Stephen, a retired police officer.  This was my second time teaching him, and amazing things happened.  The first time I went to teach him, we did a follow-up on his reading of the Panunumbalik ng Ebanghelyo Ni Jesucristo pamphlet (Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) and he said he wasn't able to read from it, which was saddening, but we read over the first couple of principles with him.  However, this time we went back and he said he had read his assigned reading and we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We explained what the Book of Mormon is and how it helps us come unto Christ.  We read from the Introduction and afterwards committed him to read the first Chapter of 1 Nephi.  He accepted, and we extended a baptismal date for November 12 which he also accepted.  He was extremely excited to read the Book of Mormon, he was literally jumping up and down in his seat.  It was so fantastic to see the excitement the Spirit gave him!

Also (wait for it) (wait for it)...... I'm being transferred!  I'm not going very far, just to Cabugao, the area just north of San Juan, but I actually have a meetinghouse in my area!!!!!!!  I'm so excited!!! My new companion is Elder Anuat, who I won't meet until tomorrow.  I'm so excited!  I get to continue to teach Stephen and other investigators that I've taught when going on exchanges/splits with Elder Fees.  I seriously can't wait!!!!!

That's all I've got for today, thank you all for your emails, support, and prayers.
Mahal Ko Kayo!
-Elder Anderson

September 25, 2016

Hello everyone!
Now that that's out of the way, I'm going to start my email :)  I'm doing find, this week went pretty well.  We were finally able to get the mission standard for new investigators this week, it was great!  The crazy thing is that it happened all in an afternoon, within four hours we had 16 new investigators in my area!  It was so great!  
My companion and I are doing ok, just doing the work of the Lord :)
This week I had exchanges with my zone leader, Elder Fees, and we stumbled upon one of my investigators houses (which I didn't recognize because we normally only visit him at night) and we taught a lesson about Joseph Smith, Principles 4-6 of Lesson 1.  It was awesome because I knew my Zone Leader was prompted by the Spirit on what to teach.  He had never met this investigator before and didn't know any of his previous concerns, but taught a lesson that addressed his concerns completely.  It was so great to feel the Spirit so strongly and to testify to this man!  
For my birthday, members invited us over for both lunch and dinner, which was really fun.  We had a cake and they sang happy birthday, and I got two new T-shirts from some very generous members.  I wasn't expecting any gifts, which made me even more grateful for what they gave me. It was a pretty good day all around :)
That's all I've got for this week, thanks for listening and tune in next week for another exciting (kind of) update on Elder Anderson's experience in the Philippines!
Mahal ko kayo!
​​-Elder Anderson

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Letter to Mom

Hey Mom, I'm doing fine here :)
Like you said in your email, sometimes the weeks seem long but then all of the sudden it's Sunday and the last Sunday felt like yesterday.
Anyway, my companion is great, we don't have problems with each other, but we don't really relate on anything, so it's a little difficult to talk about things so we're pretty quiet.  I'm not sure if there's anything else to say.
This transfer is almost over, and apparently the mission president doesn't tend to keep training for all 12 weeks, and will almost always change companions for new missionaries on their first transfer, so we'll see what happens.
I gotta say, I really miss chocolate milk.  They don't have dairy products here, their dairy is simply rehydrated powdered milk, so it's... weird tasting.  Anyway, I continue to lose weight, but I feel great, so I'm still not worried :)
Today our zone went to the zoo and I got to walk a full-grown tiger and feed it from a bottle, so that was cool :)  I'll send pictures next week because I don't have my converter with me. 
I love you and I miss you

Week 4 San Juan

Hello everybody!
Well, it happened.  I got called on to speak in church yesterday.  Thankfully, I was told the day before, so I had some time to prepare.  I spoke on faith, and I think it went pretty well.  I gave the talk in English in order to say exactly what I wanted to say, but I shared my testimony in Tagalog in the end and I was able to say things I didn't even know I knew.  
This week wasn't really eventful, however we were invited to several Family Home Evenings, which were all pretty fun.  However, I think my companion takes advantage of me, being new and all, and I had to give the thought at every single one, but at least I learned a lot in how to teach, so I guess I can be grateful for that :)

Our area continues to have no progress, which frustrates me because we work so hard and pray and study and do all that we can to find new investigators, but nothing comes from it.  The thing that frustrates me the most is that Filipinos are so nice, which sounds like it should be a good thing, but it makes it difficult to know if they are really interested in the message we have or simply are trying to be kind to us.  So far, they've all been simply trying to be nice, so no progressing investigators and no baptismal dates, but we will keep pressing on!  The hymn "Carry On" comes to my mind if I ever start to feel discouraged at all.  It helps me continue to have good spirits and be thankful for all the blessings that God has given me.  If anyone has any advice that helped in their mission (obviously if you served one) it would be greatly appreciated.
My companion and I are doing well, we don't fight but we don't really talk to each other either.  We don't really relate on anything and it can be kind of difficult.  Oh well, we work and that's what's good.
That's all I've got for this week, I don't have any pictures this week but I will have some next week.
Thank you for all the emails and birthday wishes!  Next time I send an email I will be "One year older and wiser too!"
Mahal ko kayo!