Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 9, 2017

Magandang araw mga kaibigan at kamag-anak ko!

Well, this week was super busy.  We had three different exchanges this week and have two more coming this week.  We had a lot of great lessons this week, even though our investigators got a little confused why my companion kept changing every time we came to teach them.  However, I think the change in companions was really helpful for the investigators because each missionary teaches and testifies in his own special way, and it was a great experience for the investigators to have so many unique testimonies shared with them.  As a result of our hard work, we were able to have 6 investigators come to church, which was definitely a blessing.

However, the best experience I had this week was while I was on exchanges with Elder Vincent, the companion of our district leader.  We went to teach this group of investigators who are progressing. In total they are 8, but one was absent when we taught them.  Anyway, we were able to teach them the entire Restoration of the Gospel and committed them to pray and read the Book of Mormon to come to know of its truthfulness.  They willingly accepted those commitments.  After that, we then extended a Baptismal Date to all of them and they...
... Rejected it.

So, we hopefully would have had 7 more baptisms scheduled for August, but I'm actually grateful that they rejected it because it helped me understand that they are true investigators and they want to understand for themselves if this is the right decision for them.  I know over time, if they really put in the effort to come to understand, they will receive that witness. 

Other than that nothing else really happened this week.

I hope you all have a great week and a fantastic day!

Mahal ko kayong lahat! 

Elder Anderson

July 3, 2017

Naimbag nga aldaw dagitit kakabsatko!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!!!  I hope you all celebrate this beautiful day of freedom and remember the price that was paid for this amazing country!

This week was pretty busy.  We held exchanges with the District Leader in Lal-lo and I was with his junior companion in our area.  I had a plan already to go and then Elder Saplan (My exchanges companion) tells me he has never, in his four months as a missionary in the field, done a solid finding activity, causing me to move some of our appointments and have some good tracting and street contacting that day.  Here in the Philippines, tracting is actually pretty effective because most people here are very friendly and will always let you have a first lesson with them.  We did all the finding activities and came up with 15 new investigators that day!  At the end of the exchanges, Elder Saplan told me he was so exhausted, but also so happy with our experiences that day.

Later in the week we were able to teach Josh, he finally came back from his trips in Manila and Tuguegaro.  We asked him about his scripture study and he told us he had brought his scriptures with him and studied them as much as he could while out of town! It was so great to hear!  We continued following up with him and we discovered his concern on why he was reluctant to be baptized.  He told us that he is someone who likes to analyze and comprehend all aspects of something before acting upon it.  He told us he loves reading and studying the word, he just has a hard time applying it in his life because he hasn't examined every possible aspect of it.

After this, we shared an analogy with him to help him understand the difference between simple belief and knowledge with faith, action, and application.  Josh loves basketball, so we used that to show how we need to apply things rather than simply studying about them.  We shared how someone who wanted to improve their basketball game could spend all of their time and energy studying about basketball, different shooting techniques, different plays, different ways to handle the ball, and different formations.  However, all that time and energy would simply be wasted if he didn't apply the knowledge.  That someone needed to practice, use his new knowledge and act on it based on what experts say is the best way to shoot, the best formation, the best way to handle the ball.  After acting on his knowledge and practicing the things he studied, he has improved.  He now can say that knowledge he has is true and good, because his game got better.  (Sorry if the analogy doesn't make sense, it's easier to talk about it than type it).  After this analogy, Josh said he was enlightened and said he felt like he understood more about faith and applying knowledge to himself.  We invited him to read Alma 32 and we will be returning to him tomorrow to follow up on the assignment.

That's all for this week, I hope you all have a great linggo!

Mahal ko kayong lahat! 

Elder Anderson

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June 25, 2017

Magandang araw mga kamaganak at kaibigan ko!

This week was a pretty busy week. We had exchanges with our District Leader and I was able to work in their area, which is just in the other branch in Camalaniugan, but I was surprised at how different the people were just across the street haha.  I realized that I am so blessed in my area, even though it's the farthest area in Camalaniugan.  The people in our area are so humble and so friendly. Next week we have exchanges with another District Leader in our zone. Hopefully we will be able to see the weaknesses in our zone so we can help them become strengths as we continue to work in the other areas in the zone.

We were able to extend three more baptismal dates this week and found thirty-six new investigators! The three baptismal dates are all part-member investigators and they are lined up for baptism in three weeks.  We are excited to see them progress. Josh wasn't able to come to church this week because he was still out of town. This week we are going to try our best to teach him so he can be baptized soon.  

One of our new investigators shared a great experience with us.  All of her life she had been told by her aunt to just pray and God would give her anything if it was His will.  So she wrote down all of the things she would pray for, and when the blessing came into her life she would put a check next to the blessing on the list.  Then, after she got married, the doctor said she could not have kids. However, she prayed and fasted for a whole week, and after that week she found out she was pregnant.  Her son is now 7 months old and he is the happiest kid I have ever met.  

The power found in prayer and fasting really works.  If any of you are going through a trial or seeking after a specific blessing, I would challenge you to study about fasting and prayer, and then fast and pray based on what you've learned.  If it be the will of the Lord and if your faith is great enough, the blessings that will come will be greater than anything you have ever experienced.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!

Until next week! 

June 18, 2017

Hello everyone!

This week was extremely busy, so I don't have any pictures this week. However, this has also probably been one of the best weeks in my mission.

Elder Andon and I arrived in Camalaniugan last Tuesday and as soon as we drop our stuff off at the apartment we went out and worked.  We found some members and we contacted the investigator of the previous elders who turns out to be an American from Washington D.C. who is here for college. His name is Josh Anderson, and he is great! However, he doesn't speak any Tagalog, so I get to teach in English which is quite refreshing but also a different challenge because my companion doesn't speak too much English.  But, the lessons we have had with him have been THE BEST lessons I have ever had on my mission.  I always come away from those lessons refreshed and energized with the Spirit.  He is scheduled for baptism on July 1 and we are both confident that he will be getting baptized on that date!

So the people here in my new area are quite possibly the nicest people I have ever met.  Also, one of the Elders in my apartment is Elder Anuat, who was my second companion! It's been cool to catch up with him.  He's also my District Leader. 

Oh, and our apartment is pretty gross.  I'll have pictures next week but it's nasty. Our water is yellow and we have to get our drinking water from a filtering station.  It's infested with cockroaches as big as my palm. 

That's all for this week!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!

June 11, 2017 Pictures

June 11, 2017

Magandang araw!
This week was pretty great, but a rollercoaster of emotion.
First off, transfer texts came this last Saturday and I am being transferred.  This was pretty hard for me, I have come to love this area and the people here so much that I don't want to leave.  However, I know that God has a plan for me and He knows better than I.  I am ready to perform His will and know that I can accomplish all things with His help.
My new area is Camalaniugan, which is in Aparri Zone. My companion is Elder Andon and I have actually met him before.  If I remember right, he is from Micronesia and he is quite possibly the happiest Elder I have ever met!  I'm so excited for this new area, even though we are both new to the area.  Also, I have been called as a zone leader, which is what the subject line is referring to.  I am extremely nervous but also very excited for this upcoming assignment and I know that, no matter what my weaknesses may be, if I trust in the Lord everything will work out.
This week was pretty alright in the work though.  We had exchanges this week with the District Leader and I worked in his area with his trainee.  We had a good time, and some great lessons! We found one sister who had been an investigator a long time ago, and half of her family got baptized.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how important it is for all of our lives.  After we testified, she promised she would read the Book of Mormon and we set a time for us to return.
It really is true how important and vital the Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, is for all of us.  I always feel the Spirit so strongly as I study the Scriptures, and I'm so grateful for the guidance and knowledge they give me everyday.  I hope all of us will make time to read the Scriptures everyday.  I know they are what give us true direction and knowledge in our lives!
Have a great week!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!

May 28, 2017

A letter to James for his birthday:

Hey Dad,

So, this letter is going to be in a bigger font because I know you don't like to read small words haha.  But I know it's your birthday, and I felt like I should write to you personally.

First off, I want to say that I love you.  I'm proud of you.  You are the greatest example to me and the kids.  You have always sought out what is best for me, and I thank you for that.  And even though I was pretty hard-headed sometimes, you still loved me.  Thank you for always supporting me and helping me become a better man and priesthood holder. 

Thank you for always magnifying your calling and also taking time to help the family.  Here on the mission, I've really learned the importance of priesthood duty and family.  They are inseparable, and you have done a tremendous job in balancing both of those vital roles as a father and priesthood holder.  I know that sometimes you feel like you aren't quite doing as good as you think you should be, but let me tell you that you are the greatest dad a son could ask for.  

You are a mentor, a teacher, a leader, but most importantly you are a father.  You take on so many roles, but you never forget that the most important is that of being a dad.  You care deeply for every one of us kids.   Here on the mission, I've definitely realized the many times where you have shown your love for me.  I've realized the time you taught me how to drive a manual, the many times you tried to teach me how to be patient, or whenever you made time to come to my band concerts, those were all instances where you did something because you loved me.

Now, I'm sorry if my English wasn't too great in this letter (speaking a different language with a completely different grammar structure kind of erases all of the things learned in AP English) but I hope you got the message that I love you.  You are the greatest example to me.  I am so lucky that you are the father that the Father has blessed me with.  Thank you for all that you do for me and the family.

You are amazing Dad,
I love you,

May 21, 2017

I'm not sure what happened to the group letter Luke sent us on this week, here is one he sent me:

Hey Mom,

It was great to talk to you, and yeah... the internet cut out here. But it was probably easier for us than to say goodbye. 

Your week sounds nice.  I'm glad you got to go to the temple. I really miss the temple, and I can't wait to go back and attend after the mission.  It's amazing to me that people become less active after going to the temple. It's such an amazing experience and the Spirit is poured out from Heaven when you attend the temple, how can people turn away from that?

Anyway, this week was pretty great in the work, you'll be able to read about it in the group email. But the baptism went well :) She gave a great testimony and she is going to do all that she can to help her family accept the gospel too :)

That's really kind of it for this week.

In the package, I could use more airheads, sour patch kids, and some nice ties (Hopefully Jerry Garcia ties) But other than that I don't have anything I need.

I love you so much Mom,

May 14, 2017-- Mother's Day

Our second phone call with Elder Anderson came on Mother's Day.  He told us he would be calling at 8:00 pm our time.  Our excitement crescendoed as the time approached, but we were disappointed when 8:00 came and went, then 9:00, then 10:00 pm.  Around 11:00 pm, I started to panic a little bit as I had visions of a car accident, or something worse, happening to the elders as they were going to the internet cafe.  I wasn't sure what to do other than pray for comfort.

Finally, at around midnight, Luke made contact with us.  The internet on the entire island had gone out that day.  We woke up all of the kids and gathered around the computer anticipating the call.  Our connection this time, as opposed to Christmastime, was much clearer.  It was so good to hear his voice and see his face.  We had a great chat for nearly an hour and a half.  As the time came to say goodbye, the internet cut out again.  I counted that as a tender mercy.  I've realized that the goodbyes are always bittersweet.  It was easier to just have the internet hang up on us all.

Talking with Luke was such a blessing.  It was apparent from his stories, his mannerisms, and his spirit that he has given himself to the work and is growing in ways that only the Lord can help him grow.  I am so grateful to be a part of his life and this experience.

May 7, 2017 Pictures

Batac Zone

Investigator Family

May 7, 2017

Hello everyone! 

So, this week was pretty great. we had a great week of serving others and teaching.

First off, we had an awesome experience with an investigator this week.  His name is John Mark and we had met him a couple of weeks ago through finding. We found him at his aunt's house though, so we weren't able to return to teach him at his home (in the Philippines, there aren't any addresses). However, while we were walking to one of our appointments, he stepped out of a house which, believe it or not, was his, and called us over. At first we were a little scared, most people don't call two teenage boys in white shirts and ties just to chat, nevertheless, we approached him. He smiled and asked us to share with him. We sat down, opened the lesson with a prayer, and began talking about Christ and His love for him.  We asked him how Christ had helped him in his life and he relayed a story about a motorcycle accident he had.  He told us how he thought he was going to die, but he woke up in the hospital. After he woke up, he resolved to follow Christ, for he believed Christ had given him his life to give him a chance to change.  He told us how he knew the message we had would help him come unto Christ, and he was excited to hear more about it.  We felt prompted to extend a baptismal date and he accepted for June 3.  We set a return appointment for this week and we are excited to see him progress.

Now, for the service. This last Saturday was the National Day of Service here in the Philippines, and our ward decided to go to an elementary school and repaint the desks and chairs of the students. It was a fantastic experience and I'm so grateful for it. However, my body hurts. The reason why is because of a stance called the Filipino Squat (you can probably look it up). Anyway, I was in that position all day while painting and, afterwards, my body wanted to kill me for it.  But, hey, a small price to pay for service right?  

I hope you all look for opportunities to serve this week.  Even if it may be painful, or you may be sore afterwards, remember that serving others also serves God. We are all brothers and sisters, so show your love for your siblings through some service this week! There is no better way to help others feel God's love!

Mahal ko kayong lahat!

April 30, 2017 Pictures

This is a gagamba fight, it's like pokemon here in the philippines. Me and my companion looked for some nice big spiders while walking home from our last appointment and we had a battle in our apartment.

San Lorenzo Missionaries

April 30, 2017

Magandang araw mga kapamilya at kaibigan ko! 
Time flies so fast in the mission.  That's right, another transfer gone, just like that.  It feels like yesterday my companion and I entered San Lorenzo for the first time. It's hard to believe we've already spent six weeks there.
Anyway, this week was pretty alright.  We had more appointments cancel on us because it's school vacation right now, but we had some solid lessons as well. First off, we had a great teaching experience with our investigator, Norlene.  She has been praying for a while to find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  We had already taught her about prayer and how to receive an answer to her prayers, but she had never felt like she had gotten one.  Then, in our lesson this week we followed up on her prayers (PMG chapter 11 to all my missionaries out there) and she told us she knew that The Book of Mormon is true and she knew Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the gospel here on the earth in our time.  We told her that was great and shared our testimonies as well. Then something amazing happened, she asked to be baptized! We set her a date on May 27 and she is looking great to progress.  I can't wait to see the changes that will happen in her life.

Also, Nanay Selly is doing great. She came to church again this week and she is on track for baptism on the 20th. She is so excited about the gospel and we feel that she is converted and ready for baptism.
That's really all for this week. Keep studying the scriptures everyone, especially the Book of Mormon. It really is the key for continuing conversion (thanks for helping me understand that Dad :) ) Even if you are an active member of the Church, your testimony will become dull if you do not continually sharpen it with the Word of God. Daily, strive to feast upon the words of Christ, for they truly tell you all things that you must do.
Have a great week everyone!