Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Transfer Week - January 25, 2010

Hello again!
  How is everything? I hope all is well. First off I loved the story about Timmy! That is so cute! I miss the kids a lot because I only get to see cute kids for the time of a lesson and I don’t get to play with them like I did with our kids.
So the news. We didn’t baptize Julie Fe this last Saturday because she didn’t finish the lessons but we are having her and Lorie Anne’s baptism this Thursday. Why Thursday you ask. Well it is transfer week and this is my last week with Sister Clave! I'm so sad!!!! I love her so so much! It will be hard to readjust to a new companion. Plus I will be senior for a week because my companion won’t know the area! Crazy! I’m a little nervous! But I know it will all be okay. 

I was worried that they would transfer Elder French and I was scared because I don’t think my companion will speak English as well as Sister Clave and so it would be hard if I needed to explain things and couldn’t but Elder French is staying in the Peate area but sadly Elder Darang his companion is being transferred! We are all a little sad because we have so much fun together! The missionaries here always make zone and/or district t-shirts so we are having one made and I’m way excited!
Enough about the area!
Things are going well, the Satosa family still hasn’t been to church but that is because Sister Satosa is pregnant and she is older so it isn’t safe and she has high blood pressure and she is allergic to so many things and so she can’t take medicine. We went to their home to teach and she was really excited about a living prophet and the Liahona! So we are going to bring her one. I don’t know if I will see her be baptized but I know one day she will be! She reads and prays but the pregnancy is so hard on her that I don’t think she will be able to come to church until after the baby and that isn’t until June. We shall see. But sometimes her daughters come to church so we will just have to make sure they come so they can get baptized and then after the baby she can go to church with them.
So the Jayme family was progressing so much and I felt like we were going to be able to move the baptism of Jovelyn up. However now I am worried that we might have to move it back but we will see. We would go over and teach and their mom would sometimes listen and sometimes not. But their grandma would listen, even when she was acting like she wasn’t we knew she was and she liked our message. One day we went and she wasn’t feeling well, then they took her to the hospital and then about two days later she past away! It was so shocking! We went to their house to teach them and give them some comfort because their grandma was in the hospital and that is when we found out she past away. What they do here is put the body in the casket and it stays in their house for a week so everyone can come and see her before the funeral. So we can’t teach them for a week. This Thursday is the funeral so we well see. I just feel so bad. Jovelyn said I was praying why did this happen. So we have a lot to teach and it will be hard and Sister Clave will be gone! But I know it will be okay and this might just open the door so that their mom will listen to our message more. It just makes me so grateful to know the truth of the restored gospel and know that we are a forever family! We went over the other day and just shared a spiritual thought and just tried to help them. Jovelyn is having a really hard time with it but I think it will just make her faith strong in the long run. It is so sad though!
Then the Suarez family is struggling and I don’t know how to help them they don’t have any money and her husband doesn’t have a job! It is so sad so we are going to the government because elections are going on and I guess they help people more near elections so we will see, but she named her baby Angel! She is so cute! She also hasn’t been to church but the oldest daughter has so that is good!
We are teaching a new family the Revadulla family! They are amazing! The dad is a member and the mom said that she has never been interested in the church until we came. Now they are all listening to the lessons! They came to church as a family last Sunday and they are reading the scriptures and saying family prayer! It is so wonderful! The first time we taught her their son was passed out on the floor because he was drunk. We didn’t really want to teach with him just lying there like that but they insisted that it was fine and so we taught. Then the next lesson he was listening. Then we taught about the word of wisdom and the mom drinks coffee and is now cutting back a lot. She is slowly stopping. Raymart the son drinks coffee would sometimes drink and sometimes smoke. He said he won't drink or smoke anymore and he has cut back on his coffee too. That is a little harder because he had 3 cups a day. But Saturday he only had one cup and Sunday he didn’t have any! They are so great!!!!! I’m so excited for them! This is the first whole family that we have taught that actually came to church together! Yeah!

So I’m sending pictures there is one of me in pink and Sister Clave in purple and a girl in the middle with food around. That is Bajeck! She is amazing she is 23 and puts her papers in this February! She works with us and she is so so sweet! I’m so excited for her! There is a picture of me outside the church with a bunch of girls in strips and those are all the young women who worked with us! They are awesome three of them are recent converts! Jonabeth, Judyann, Luisa! 

Then we went to a service and we were weeding. After we went in their house and their rat just had babies. I’m holding the babies. They were so small! They didn’t have any fur! They looked gross and you could see their insides because their skin was so thin! The little kids just kept bringing me more and more. Haha. 

Then there are many pictures with kittens and me. We saved the kittens from dying! They were being eaten by ants and we got them and got the ants off. They were just abandoned and so we took them to try and give them away but no one would take them. They were so cute and you know I couldn’t just leave them! So we ended up having to take them to our apartment. Which is not allowed but they would have died! But we didn’t keep them. We tried to give them milk but they were too little so they wouldn’t drink it. We went to our neighbor’s house and they said they know a cat that just had kittens and they would take care of them. 

Then they asked us to stay for dinner and we got to know them a little bit. They are very sweet and we are going to go back and teach them! Yeah! So the kittens are named Re and Ferral because they gave us a referral!In the pictures with the kittens there is also Jonabeth and Aerol! 

So that is about it, it has been a crazy week! And hard but it was great too. Well I love you.  Oh the weather. It is winter her and I’m cold in the morning and late at night so it is hard to shower because it is only cold water but it’s okay. I think I’m just getting used to the hot and that is why I get a little chilly. It rains unexpectedly. It will be bright and sunny and hot and then in just a couple minutes it will start to rain. It is really windy here so it is like being back at home. But that only happens in the winter.
I did get the money grandma sent. Thank her from me please! Thank you for your package! I’m so excited! Lets see what else did you ask oh my weight I’m not sure but I don’t feel like it is that much. I have had stomach problems once in a while but it's not bad and can’t stop the work! The language is okay I still get frustrated at myself especially when I study but it is okay and the Lord is helping me with what I need to say during the lessons! I just need to keep trying; Sister Clave is a big help and Elder French too. I’m excited that you were able to talk to Sister Smith’s mom! I miss Sister Smith so much!
Thank you for everything! I love you all so much! Thank you for the quote! I love it! Sister Clave and I were studying and we got talking about how the Lord is preparing us to be mothers and I just thank you for being such a wonderful mother! And teaching me so much! I thank dad for being a worthy priesthood holder and for giving me blessings. Sister Clave didn’t have that growing up and I’m so blessed to have my family! I have always had a goal of getting married in the temple and being a great mother because of the example of my family and your love! I love you all I’m grateful for the church in our lives!
Until next week! :)
Sister Andreasen

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hello Family! - January 18, 2010

So I love getting your email each week and hearing about the family!
So let me just say it has been a great week! Mom I think you are rubbing off on me because so many of the people we are teaching are young women! Haha. So Julie Fe is my favorite investigator! Shhh. She is 14 and supper awesome! She was taught by missionaries before but she never got baptized, we started teaching her and she came to church and she is so active she even sang at a baptism with the youth but when we asked her if she wanted to set a baptismal goal date she would say no. Then one day we were talking to her about it and she said it is because her dad doesn’t want her to be baptized. So we decided to pray and fast for her and she said she would pray too. So a couple weeks went by and then we went to teach her this week and she ran out to us and said Sister! My dad said I can get baptized!!! She was so excited she wanted to be baptized this past Saturday but we told her we had to finish some things first with lessons and everything. So she is getting baptized this Saturday! Yeah!!!! She gave the closing prayer in our lesson that day and thanked Heavenly Father for changing her father’s mind and she started to cry and of course so did I! I love her so much! I'm so excited! We had Luisa's baptism this past Saturday.  She is 12 and we are teaching her and her two sisters. One has a baptismal goal date but is not sure and the other one doesn’t want to set a goal date yet. However they both know it is true especially Lorana. The oldest one, she is 18 and so smart and she knows what we are teaching is true yet she just doesn’t want to change. 

She is hard-core catholic. Which I have a picture of one of the catholic churches here.It is funny because they change the second commandment so that they can have their woodcarvings of Mary and things. It is so sad though because so many just live that way because it is tradition they don’t even know what they believe yet they won’t leave their religion. But I know one day Lorana will be ready. 
I haven’t been able to get a picture with Sister Susa yet soon though. I do have one with Julie Fe and Sister Olivia. I’m wearing purple and so is Julie Fe and there are little kids in the picture and Sister Olivia is pregnant. 

But not anymore! Saturday night she had her baby! Yeah! It is a girl but she doesn’t have a name yet. So she said that she would go to church in two weeks so she can recover. Her husband also wants to go and they would have if she didn’t have the baby. The only problem is they don’t have any money. They didn’t even know how they were going to pay the lady that helped them with the birth. It is so sad and I wish I could do more to help them but I can’t I can only help feed and nourish them spiritually. 
We had the baptism of Aerol and Jonabeth and I will send pictures of that too. One of our families the Satosa family was suppose to come to church but then there dad got called away for work and so they couldn’t come because she is pregnant and he doesn’t want her to go alone with all the kids. She knows it is true and she said she is so happy that she has meet us and she wants all of her girls to be baptized and to be like me! It was so sweet! She said I’m so proud of you! She doesn’t even know me that well. It was so sweet! I just told her that it was the gospel of Jesus Christ and that through it everyone can be happy and find purpose and direction in life! I love the work and I know it is blessing the lives of these people! So we only had two investigators at church on Sunday because it was raining and people don’t want to get sick or their kids to get sick but I know next week will be better!
Our branch president doesn’t have any family here because they moved but he is staying here until he is released I don’t know why. Anywoo, we went over to his house for dinner the other night with the elders and it was so fun! He is a funny guy and he cooked and we cooked and it felt good to get close to our leaders!
So funny story we were walking to an appointment and we walked by a house and a little girl looked at us and she pointed to me and said "mama mama sexy" haha. Everyone uses the word sexy here. I have lost weight from when I first got here and some of the members will say "o, sexy na" which means wow your sexy now. Haha it is weird. It is more like saying oh slimmer now. Haha. They are funny. The little kids are so cute and I have some pictures with them.
We are teaching the Jayme family and Jovelyn went to the baptism of Luisa and she told us that she had a feeling and she thinks it is the answer to her prayers and that she thinks she wants to be baptized. We told her that it was the spirit. Then on Sunday we went to teach her and then she wanted to come with us to our next appointment it was so cute! She is amazing! So one day you will see a picture of her baptism but I might have one of her before that.
Oh funny story so Mary is big here because of the Catholic Church. So before Aerol got baptized we were teaching about the Godhead and we ask him if he knew who they were. He said "Diyos Ama" (Heavenly Father) we were excited then he said "Diyos Anak" (the Son or Jesus Christ) we were thinking yes! He’s got this! Then it came to the third one and you could tell he wasn’t sure but wanted to give us an answer so in a question tone he said "Mama Mary" haha. It was funny. And then we taught him truth about the Godhead and it was great! He works with the elders and wants to go on a mission! The youth here are so strong. Oh I also have a picture of Laiza and Maryann. 

Youth that help us its two of them one is smaller and that is Laiza they should be at the end because were some of the last pictures I got this week. So that is my week so far.
Thank you so much! I love you all!!!! Thank you for the stories about the kids! I still think it is crazy about Bert but that is life :) and I’m excited for him! You should ask him if it is the girl he told me about before I left on my mission. Send my love to everyone tell Paul happy birthday!
The Church is true and it brings the most joy anyone could experience!
Sister Andreasen

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today Was A Great Email Day - January 11, 2010

I love you all!
So first off! I'm so sorry!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, MICHAEL, AND GRANDMA!
I’m so sorry I didn’t say anything about it last week I think I just got so upset but I did think about you and I wished you Happy Birthday I love you so much and hope all your birthdays were great!
Today was a great email day because I received all your emails and I also got one from grandma and Jolene! I’m so excited she said she is going to read the Book of Mormon! I am really excited for that! I also received grandma’s package I don’t know why it took so long but it did. The treats were great and me and the other missionaries enjoyed/are enjoying them! I will have to send you a picture of Sister Susa I hope next week, she couldn’t come to church this week because she went out of town so I hope this coming week. I miss her we don’t see her as much because she is now in the area of Elder French.

Speaking of Elder French. He is sitting right next to me checking his email and he said that he got an email from his mom titled "Sister Andreasen” We didn’t know what it was about and he tried to open it but the computer was being weird. But then I read the email from you. He is my District Leader and it is just him and his companion and Sister Clave and I in our district. We see each other on Sundays for church, Mondays for pday, Tuesday for district meeting, Saturdays sometimes if we have a baptism. We see them a lot and both him and elder Darang, his companion are great! We are all very close! He is also great to have around because he knows Tagalog! He helps me so much! Sister Clave is great help but not like Elder French because he knows what I’m going through and things that helped him and what we learned in the MTC. It is just nice to have the help. He is funny too so I think the Lord blessed the Peate area and also me because they are both a great blessing to Sister Clave and I! He is the one that really wanted to me to eat the balut so bad.
So the work here is going great we went to the Satosa family and the dad was there! He was "working" so he didn’t come in for the lesson but he was right outside and could hear us. He was using a really loud machine to work and amazingly it became quite for our lesson then he had to come in and do his work. He was making a type of rings. The point is the whole time he was acting like he was working and not listening but he was! Because we left and were walking to our next appointment in the area and he drove by in his tricycle because he had left right after we did. He was there to listen and I think he enjoyed the message. So we have another appointment set to teach him. We were also able to teach Sister Olivia’s husband twice and we found their new house. We hadn’t planed to teach them and we went to one of our appointments. Then we were walking and I looked over and saw some little kids and I love little kids so I smiled and then I realized it was Olivia kids and so we stopped and taught them. The Lord truly did want them to be taught at that moment and I think that the husband knows the message is true. I’m so excited. This week Aerol Rubio the sweet 13 year old boy who help me down the slippery mountain got baptized and Jonabeth the one that was suppose to be baptized these past two weeks. So it was a great week! I love the Jayme family, it is two young women who are ready to be baptized and one wants to go teaching with us, I’m so excited! We are also teaching their aunts aunt she is a little old lady and she has no hair she is so cute and I will take a picture with her next Sunday so I can send it to you. We left her house last Sunday and she said "I love you!" as we left she is so cute!
Sorry this is so short. There will be more next week and pictures too! I love you all!!!!! I pray for you everyday! Tagalog is hard and sometimes I feel that I’m not helping anyone change but then I realize that the only one who can help people, truly help them is the Lord and I know if I have the spirit then it will be in our lessons and it is the real teacher! I know that the Lord is helping me and the people we visit, the Church is true! And I’m grateful for it each and everyday more and more! I love you all!!!!! So so much!!!!!

Love, Sister Andreasen

p.s. Tell Bert congrats and that is crazy!!!!! ahhh! I can’t wait to hear more. If you talk to him ask him if it is the same girl he talked to me about and tell him I want to get an invite even though I won’t be able to go.
Random things I forgot to say… We did have to stay home early on New Years Eve we had a feast I will send pictures. We tried to go to bed on time but couldn’t sleep because of the fireworks, they were so loud! The traditions are just fireworks and Christmas goes till the 9th of Jan. because that is three Kings none of the Filipino missionaries know what Three Kings really means its just a holiday. One tradition is to eat 12 round fruits before the New Year, you also wear polka dots and carry change in your pockets on New Years Eve so that you will have money in the coming year.
Sister Clave said thank you and merry Christmas too she said thank you for the stuff in the packages and she said she is going to write you a letter! Thank you for everything I love you all so much.
Please tell Grandma Beverly I love her so much and thank you for her email. I have to go so I will send her an email next week but I love her very much and I’m grateful for temples too! And her work in them!

I love you all!

Sister Andreasen

Monday, January 4, 2010

Worst P-Day Ever!! January 4, 2010

So last pday I didn’t have an email from you because we had just talked and now I don’t have an email again! I am pretty sure it is because my mailbox is "full" the thing is I delete all my emails so I don’t know what happened! So now it is just depressing I was so excited to get my email from you and now I cant! :( Well I love you all and maybe you can send two emails next week :) the one meant for this day and the one for next week. Well the work is still going great! Ahhh I'm still so frustrated! I just realized that the phone that I was talking to you on stopped working too! So now two things have stopped communication! Ahhh!
Okay I’m over it now haha. Just had to get upset for a second. So lets talk about the work because it is amazing! We have some great investigators! First I will talk about the ones in the school for the evacuees. Two families, the Suares and the Olila. Sister Suarez wants to be baptized but we haven’t taught her all the lessons and she isn’t going to church because she is pregnant and past due and doesn’t want to have the baby in the church so I hope the baby comes soon. We were just able to teach her husband which is really exciting because we have never taught him! The Olila family is the same way we have never met the father the mom says she wants the whole family to be baptized but they can’t be a whole family without the dad so we are trying to find a time to teach him. But Sister Olila has a daughter Julie she is my favorite! She is so strong she goes to church and activities and she reads the Book of Mormon! She is great but she doesn’t want to get baptized because she is worried about what her dad would say. But just the other night Sister Clave didn’t feel good and so we were debating going out again or just stay in because she was sick. So we said a prayer and then decided to go see the families at the school! It was one of the best lessons ever! I know we were suppose to go there and that is when they all said they wanted to be baptized. Sister Suares wanted to be baptized this Saturday because she wanted to do it before the baby. She is excited! Then Sister Olila said the thing about her whole family being baptized and so we are now focusing on the husbands.
That is the same for the Satosa family. We went to their house and taught about the restoration and the spirit was really strong we teach the mom and her kids but the dad is always working. So we talked about Sister Satosa's feelings and she says she knows are message is true and wants her husband to listen and she wants to go to church but she has a hard time because she has many kids and she is also pregnant. Her youngest daughter Jenn who is 7 always tells her dad what we taught and then her mom will correct her or add to what she says. I think he will listen! So we left their house wishing we could have met the dad but excited for our next appointment because she said he would be there. Then we got on a tricycle to go to a baptism at the church. We were talking to the tricycle driver and introduced ourselves and were inviting him to church while we were doing this we found out that it was the Satosa father!!!! Haha! The Lord is truly in this work! I love it! We also have two youth that I think will be setting a baptismal goal date soon!
Then we are teaching the Rodriguez family! They are amazing! They are all so nice but it first started out that we were teaching the 12-year-old girl there and now we are teach her two older sisters too. The oldest one is 17 and she would listen every now and then but one lesson she started to ask questions and now she listens to every lesson! She is very smart and ready to hear the gospel. However she is a devoted catholic and her church is the same time as ours so she hasn’t come. But last night we were sharing about obedience and prayer and the spirit was so strong! Then we talked about the holy ghost and how we can know the truth and I know she felt the Holy Ghost and that she felt it is true she was excited to pray about it and fell the spirit so I hope she will continue to progress and have enough courage and faith to go to church! The gospel is amazing! Our district is great! We had a baptism of the Elders this Saturday but it was one of the girls that Sister Clave and I had been teaching so it was exciting for us! The work is wonderful!
Seeing the split of my area makes me realize that I won’t be here forever, which is sad because I love it but it also makes me see that the Lord’s work will go on! It will be sad to leave Pakil but I hope that that won’t happen for a while! Because it truly is such an amazing area! Everyone says it not just me, because it is my first area but from what I hear it is one of the best! And I won’t argue at all!
I know the Lord loves his children I see it everyday here and I am thankful for his hand and loving help! I am learning so much from everyone I meet! The lord always strengthens and blesses me. I just have to have the faith to know that he can do all things and I can do all things through his power! Even speak in Tagalog!
Well I love you all I know I will be so excited for next week and for your letter!
I hope all is well. I haven’t received grandmas package yet I'm hoping sometime this week I will let you know as soon as I do. Thank you for everything!
If you can in your next package please send pictures of baby Tyler! I'm excited to see him!
I love you all! So very much!
Love sister Andreasen

Another Phone Call - December 26, 2009

During our Christmas phone call with Bethany she told us that her apartment owner gave a Christmas party for all the tenants and that she and her companion attended.  While at the party she met the owner's brother who was visiting from the states for a wedding.  They got to talking and small world - it turns out that he lived in Victorville a few years back and his two kids graduated from Victor Valley High School.  The same high school that Bethany attended for two years.  How crazy is that?
When he got back to the states he called to tell us how much he had enjoyed meeting Bethany and that he had pictures of her and would send them when he could.  We received the pictures last Saturday.  He said he also had a DVD of her and Sister Clave singing and would send that when he could.  We were so excited to hear from him and thought it was so nice of him to take the time to call and send the pictures.

Christmas Phone Call - December 25, 2009

We called Sister Andreasen on Christmas day which was actually the day after Christmas for her.  We all got to speak to her, Mom, Dad, Siblings, Grandparents and nieces and nephews.  I was very exciting to hear her voice.  She sounded so happy and to say she was excited too would be an understatement!  We got to talk for just under three hours until the minutes on the phone card abruptly ran out.  But in all it was wonderful.  She told us how much she love the humble people of the Philippines and how beautiful it is there.  She has so many opportunities to teach and share that amazing testimony of hers.  She said that the Filipino people love Christmas and put up the decorations and begin celebrating before our Thanksgiving.  Michael could hear firecrackers going off in the background.  She still struggles with the language which is normal.  However the Lord's spirit is with her and helps break the language barrier.  She told of an experience where she was teaching a woman and that things didn't seem to be going very well and after she was finished the woman told her that she couldn't understand anything Bethany was saying.  Then she shared an experience where she was teaching a woman and could feel the spirit so strong and after the woman, with tears in her eyes hugged Bethany and said she believed everything that was taught.  What a difference the spirit can make.
Bethany says that there is music everywhere they go and that at night the people in other apartments play music that they can hear.  She was thankful to have Church CDs to listen to instead.  The Filipino people love music and karaoke.  She told us that all the boys there want to be in a boy band and that they will be singing on the streets everywhere they go.  She said for the Ward Christmas party each auxiliary did a karaoke number.

Bethany loves her companion Sister Clave who has been very helpful to her with everything from language lessons to helping her know which food to eat and which food to pass on.  Sister Clave is a nurse and helped Bethany when she recently had an ear infection that got so bad that she had to go to the hospital.  Sister Clave helped wash her hair when she couldn't get her ears wet and stayed up with in the middle of the night when her ears hurt so badly that she  couldn't sleep.  She said that she never wants to leave Sister Clave and will be sad when they will part because of transfers.
Bethany said she had Balut - a fertilized chicken egg that is cooked and eaten out of the shell at about 17 weeks gestation.   They buy the Balut from street vendors. She said it wasn't bad...but the look on her face tells the story better than words.

 I'm not sure how she did it but she has always been the most adventurous when it came to trying new foods.  She has also had chicken intestines and some other interesting things.  She says that she does enjoy the food for the most part and that the people there are always willing to feed them.
It seemed like the phone call went so fast but it was so good to hear her voice and know that she is happy and loving her mission.  I don't think Bethany could have been call to any place that would have suited her personality more.  She expressed over and over how much she loves the people of the Philippines and how happy she is to have the opportunity to serve a mission.  She is in a beautiful place with beautiful people.  She is learning that we can be happy no matter how humble our circumstances.  This experience will be with Bethany the rest of her life as a blessing and a strength that she could get no where else.  So even though we miss her we are happy for all that she is learning.  We are blessed because of her service.