Monday, April 26, 2010

First Transfer - April 26, 2010

The transfer!!!!!!
So I think this transfer is really to help me grow! Nothing is the same and it has been hard but I know that the Lord has a purpose for me here! I am in Cabuyao Zone and in Calamba First Ward. My new companion is Sister Gepiga.
So let us just start from the beginning. The baptism was so great and Sister Anabell bore her testimony and she thanked me and it was so sweet and I just love them and I love the Pakil Branch. Then I led the music for the closing him trying hard not to cry just smiling at everyone as my heart was breaking. Then after we took pictures with the Rubio family, then one of the youth was calling me so I went to see why and they said go to the bathroom. So I did and Sherlyn, Julie Fe, Maryann, and Jovelyn were all crying. I burst into tears and we all just cried together for a little while. Then sister Macabenta and I had some things we needed to get taken care of before transfers so we went to our various places and then back to our apartment and all the youth were there to say good bye it was so cute! I love them. Surprisingly I didn’t cry. I think because it didn’t feel real.
Anywoo, I packed and the next day was transfers. It was so hard to leave Pakil but like I said it didn’t really feel real. I did see Sister Clave and was so excited! I cried, I love her so much! She is amazing! She is still on Mindoro Island. Then I got my new comp Sister Gepiga, she is very quite. The zone leaders took us to my new area and it is a big city!!!!! Yuck!!!!! Ha-ha. I am really sad that I am in a city. We have an amusement park in our area, a mall, a Walter Mart (which I'm assuming is like a Wal-Mart) we also have a Burger King and 7 Eleven! There are so many people and so many cars I don’t really like it. But I know I will learn to love it!
My apartment is not as nice as the one in Pakil but it isn’t bad. We didn’t have any toilet paper, I had to go buy some and the shower isn’t that great so I pretty much just use the bucket. But it is not a problem.
The one thing about this area is that it is supper hot!!! They say it is one of the hottest areas in the mission. My companion was on an island before and she says it is hotter here! I hope I can get used to it. Its hard to sleep it is so so hot. We have a ward and they are all really nice we had a baptism my first Sunday and that was awesome her name is Tintin and she is a little 8 year old girl from a part member family. We have it on Sunday because I guess no one will come if it is on a different day. I met the bishop and he is really nice and we have some sweet youth too! Two girls just got mission calls. So I’m excited to get to know the people in the ward better. We have had so many dinner appointments and I guess we have one almost every night so that is nice.
However, it is a hard area they say. We don’t have many progressing investigators and my companion said that we meet new people and come back to teach and they aren’t there so we do a lot of walking. The people here are a lot different than the people in Pakil. Everyone in Pakil said hi and was super nice but people here just look at you like your crazy. So I’m hoping that we can just soften the hearts of the people.
One cool thing yet hard too, this was Sister Clayton's last area. So it is cool that I get to take her place after hearing so much about her. However, she was much better in Tagalog and I think everyone is expecting me to be the same. Sister Gepiga is from Cebu so she didn’t speak Tagalog before either but it was taught to her in school, so she said sometimes she would ask her companion and now I’m her companion and I can't give her that same help but I am trying.
This change is so different and it is going to be hard but I know I can do it and I just stay positive. I think my companion is having a hard time with the fact that she is still here in this area and she doesn’t like it and I do try to be positive because she gets discouraged every time we go to a house and the person isn’t home. I just tell her that we have someone else the Lord needs us to teach. And even if we walk all day and get rejected all day we are still working hard and that is what is important.
We had a dinner appointment last night and some of the young single adult girls were there and the bishop and they are so nice! I love them. They told me we will get along well plus bishop gave us a referral! So I don’t think it will be that bad I just have to get used to the change.
My companion says that our zone isn’t close so that’s sad. But maybe it will change. I am in a district with two of my batch, one American and one Filipino. They are companions. Elder Muller is my new district leader he is my batch. Oh speaking of district leaders. Elder French is transferred to San Pablo and he is the zone leader, companions with one of his friends from back home.
Well I have to go I hope I answer all your questions. I love you all! I’m okay really don’t worry! I will talk to you soon!!!!

Love, Sister Andreasen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Enduring Joyfully to the End - April 19, 2010

So I have good news and bad news and I will say the bad news first because it is always good to end happy! Right? That is what this life is all about! The plan of happiness. Okay sad news one, about Maryann she wants to but isn’t able to be baptized because her grandma wont let her! :( she wants it so bad though so we just told her to keep going to church and we have other investigators in her area and her cousin is an investigator too so we will see her and she likes to come with us for the lessons so I think she will be okay and one day when she is old enough she will be able to be baptized! The other bad news, well it’s not bad it is just sad, it is official I am being transferred :( it hasn’t really hit me yet but I know that sometime coming up soon I will be crying my eyes out! I love it here in Pakil I love the people and I hate to leave them and leave investigators! After Sister Clave left our teaching changed and I know that it just happens when a new missionary comes into the area. I will just have longer prayers because I will now be praying for new investigators and all the ones that I leave here! I can’t really believe it. This is my home. In the mission your trainer is called you mom and so that means I was born here in Pakil this is my home on the mission and I will never forget it here! I am excited to meet new people and see new parts of the Philippines and going to transfers I will be able to see Sister Clave!
So we have a baptism, it is on Thursday so that I can be here for it. I never thought I would be an advocate for divorce, but I am here. Here in the Philippines there is no divorce and so that makes it hard on people who want to be baptized. So do you remember one of the youth who was baptized in January his name is Aerol? Well his mom is getting baptized but this is the story. His mom and dad aren’t married because his dad was married to someone else before and they can’t get divorced so they are just living together. So we have to get special permission from our mission president but they can’t go to the temple if they aren’t married. So it is so sad! So I hope that one day the Philippines will have divorce not so people can end marriages but so that people who are trying to make their lives better and be a family forever will be able to obtain the blessings of the temple and be sealed as husband, wife, and whole families for time and all eternity. We just give them the hope that as they make the right choices and live the gospel of Jesus Christ and follow the commandments the Lord will provide a way even if it isn’t in this life! Aerol's dad’s sister Annabell's "husband" is a member however he is less active so we have been trying to help him come back to church and I think that seeing the desire his wife has, has softened his heart they went to conference as a family and they all went to church this last Sunday. Erica, Aerol's sister had a baptismal goal date before but then didn’t want to listen or get baptized but I think that seeing the example of her mom she wants too now! I'm so excited that she has a desire again. I know that this is what the gospel is about bringing families together! Families can truly be together forever but it is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ and the proper ordinances! I’m so thankful I get to see families coming together! I know how great an effect the mother has on a family and it just makes me see who we need to focus on when working on a family – the parents! They are the key truly! I’m really excited for her baptism and I will be here because it is on Thursday.
We received another referral it is another cousin of Maryann and Andrew and she is married and has a baby so hopefully they will progress. Also Christina the sister of Jovelyn now has a baptismal goal date! She is excited again and gaining more friends in the church!
We have a lot of success here and I know that the Lord guides this work. I am so grateful for the baptisms that are coming up here in Pakil. Even though I won’t be able to see them I’m so happy that people are coming unto Christ! As missionaries we get so excited for baptisms not because of the numbers but because it is a sign that they want to change their lives and live the gospel of Jesus Christ and that through that they might live again and be ready and worthy to see our Savior’s face!
I know that one day we will all have that opportunity! I am striving to continually be better so that I can look into his eyes and know that I made the right choices and so that I can be with him and my family forever! In studying the scriptures I have felt closer to my Savior and think about being prepared for eternity and I am so grateful I get to share that message with others. It is a driving force! Before I thought missionaries just tracted and worked. I knew they studied but I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t know they had an hour for personal and an hour for companionship study. How important it is! Not just for the work but for each and every person! I gave a talk this Sunday because it was my last Sunday and I spoke on enduring to the end, reading the scriptures, going to church, saying your prayers. I talked about how it seems simple and they seem like little things but how important they are to keep us on the right track always thinking about our Savior and making right choices! I know that that is true for missionaries and everyone!!!! I love it! The youth here like to ask what is you motto or quote and I didn’t really know but I know now “endure to the end”. But it’s not just about enduring but enduring joyfully to the end! I love it! I love the fact that we can be happy even through hard times! We have a Savior and he knows how to comfort us and this life is short! When we experience a hardship here it is to learn and grow so that in the future we can have complete and total happiness! What a great message we have for people!
Members are the key! Missionaries come and go but members are there always to give help and strength! I love it! It feels like I am going to start at square one again a new companion, a new area! At least my Tagalog will be better then when I first got here in Pakil. I think that this transfer will also help my Tagalog to improve, I know it will be hard but I’m excited – endure joyfully to the end right :)
I’m glad to here that Michael and Kori are doing well. I wish I would have talked to Michael more about his mission! Sorry Mikey! I hope you will still be willing to share later. I would love to see pictures of my "great nieces and nephews" not really, the puppies I would like to see pictures of the puppies.  Maybe when I get home I really will have a niece or nephew from Michael and Kori ;) I’m glad to hear that they are doing well though.
Supper cute that Savannah is in soccer! I want to see pictures of that too! Always give them my love and hugs and kisses from me! It seems far away still but mother’s day will be exciting especially if I get to see you all! :) But we will talk about that later.
Oh so I have pictures of me eating fish! Have you talked to Uncle Fred? What did he say? Does he eat the head too? It is actually really good. And the eyes, sorry if the grosses you out but its really not that bad I was scared at first but now I like it!

I also have a picture with the Adovas family! I love them! They give so many referrals! And the always want to feed us. But they are so sweet! 
I will be sad to say good bye to them! They gave us the referral of Maryann and Andrew!!!! :) I don’t want to transfer! Its okay it will be well next week I will give you the new news :)
Oh another exciting thing we have 6 less active families for our branch mission plan and all but one have started coming back to church! And through 3 we have gotten referrals! Awesome! I love inviting people to come unto Christ; members, less active members, non-members! Everyone!
I’m excited for dads calling he will do great! I know it! I always pray for you all I know the lord will bless you! Mom you do great things with the youth and I know if you are teaching seminary again it is because they need your spirit! They are the future! And you get to help them. Sister Faylor gave me so much strength, and that is as a seminary teacher! Even though they don’t say it your hours working on seminary lessons are affecting their lives! I know that the Lord will give you extra strength if you are teaching again! :) I love you! Oh so they have a "Filipina wonder woman" Darna and I always think of you, I know it’s cheesy but you really are wonder woman to me!!!!
I love you all so much and am always glad to hear you are doing well! I hope to see more pictures soon! I love you all so much!!!! I am always praying for you!

Love, Sister Andreasen

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Is A Long One - April 12, 2010

I love you all! I loved the story about Wyatt it made me so happy to know that he still remembers and loves me!  I love hearing about your lives and the new things that you are all doing. I really can’t believe Savannah is going to be in kindergarten!
I loved conference! I also was surprised that missionaries worked through conference. I understand that the work is so important but hearing the words of the prophet was amazing! I love conference! I think I had a lot of favorite talks. So I won’t lie conference made me want to be a mom even more! I love kids I am excited for the time when I will be able to raise a family of my own, however, I love being here because conference also scared me and I realized how much I need to prepare before the Lord will let me have my own family. I know that that is part of my purpose here on the mission, to prepare me to be a mother just like the quote from President Hinckley. I also liked the talk of Elder Holland, of course. He is just so bold and you can feel the love that he has for everyone! I also liked that he was so funny and made everyone laugh and then could change the spirit in an instant and touch our hearts with sweet words. It is like the picture of Christ in red that is everywhere. He isn’t smiling and people say that one side of his face was drawn to be kind and loving and the other stern so that we will be humbled and have a desire to be better and at the same time feel the love of our Savior. I think that is really what the savior does; and will do, he will tell us we are wrong and we need to repent and change yet he does it so perfectly with love and care so that we know that even though he is disappointed he loves us and just wants us to do better to be happier and to return to Him. That I think was the purpose of a lot of the talks to help others know how to do that and especially parents.  How grateful I am for this great message and the opportunity I have right now to share it with my brothers and sisters it brings so much joy to their lives and I know that they are thankful for it and I am just thankful the Lord has chosen me to be a part of it. I also liked the talks that you told me about the mother daughter one and the one about how we are the hands of the Savior.  It made me think of the song "we are the hands of heaven on earth".  I love that story I think someone told it in conference before but I love it and it takes on a new meaning when you are on a mission. I also thought of dad and that one song "I am the greatest" the one about the kid playing baseball. It is amazing to think how much you and dad have taught me through your actions and through righteous living I think a lot of times I wouldn’t really think about it but I’m grateful for your example to me. I am also grateful for the times when we used to go to "school" together and I would wait for you and I would go to your room to see if you were ready and I would find you praying! What a great example to me! I never have thanked you for that. I love you! I love my family and am so grateful for the good examples of you all.  I know I never have to fear the future because I always have a great family right behind me!
So about the work! It is great! We had 8 investigators go to church even though it was conference and really far for them to travel! It was great and I think they felt the spirit really strong even though it was in English :( but they will be able to read it in the Liahona in Tagalog! One of the investigators that came we have only taught once and his wife came too and we haven’t even taught her yet! It was great! Then we had a less active, part member family come and that was great! Sister Annabel has a baptismal goal date she loves the Church and is really excited and wants her husband to go back to church so hopefully this was a good step for him to come back. We haven’t been able to teach the guy that asked us for something to read he wasn’t home. We go back this week. But while we were outside of his house when he wasn’t there a lady came up to us and said I want you to come teach me! She was so excited and she said do you have time now? Come to my house! So we did and we gave a lesson to her, her husband, and her son. She said that missionaries taught her husband before and he was going to be baptized but she didn’t want him to but now she wants to be baptized. I don’t know what brought on the change but we are excited to keep teaching them! The lord truly does direct the work! The area is doing amazing and growing growing growing! The people of Pakil are truly ready for the message of the gospel!
We have one family that I think we have to drop I have a picture with them. 
They are the Satosa family and it is a lady and she is holding a baby, her name is heart because she was born on Valentines Day. I am so sad to have to stop teaching them because she really loves the message but she doesn’t act, we have been teaching them since December and she hasn’t been to church :( I love them and it breaks my heart but I know that sometimes we plant the seeds and others will harvest the field. So she will go in our area book and I hope some kind missionaries will find her again some day!
Then I have a picture with Maryann, Andrew, and Robby. 
Yes Maryann! She went to Manila and I didn’t think I would see her again but she is back and she is going to be able to be baptized! I’m wearing purple, Maryann white, Robby blue and Andrew blue and red. Then another boy who we are teaching is in the picture his name is Jerick.  The picture with Ann Satosa I am wearing my red dress. 
Then we have pictures at the Cadapan family’s home for dinner there! They are so sweet. Sister Cadapan always feeds us! And the food is really good. She is going to teach us how to cook later today! I’m so excited! And their daughter Bajeck is going on a mission and her call should come any day now! I’m so excited for her. 
Then silly pictures of Elder French and John Mark. There wasn’t enough buco "coconut" for everyone so they joked that it was cute that Elder French and John Mark could share. 
John Mark didn’t like the idea ha-ha. Then there are some other pictures of John Mark because he has teeth. Some of the people here lose their teeth but you have to get replacements to go on a mission and so he got new teeth and it was really exciting but he doesn’t like them so he didn’t want to take a picture. I’m so excited we have about five or more people in the ward getting ready to serve missions!  Yeah for the work! 
Then I have pictures with Kim the cute little girl giving me a kiss.  
Every time she sees me she holds open her arms to give me a hug and for me to hold her. She is so sweet. She is the sister of Jovelyn who I have pictures of her baptism! I’m so excited that she is a member now and she is so happy I know she will be strong. We were talking to their family and her mom said that the dad, who is in Korea, said well I might just have to become a member now.  I hope he does his sister is and one of his daughters and his other daughter has a baptismal goal date and Kim the little girl has been to church ever since she was a baby! So I think that one day they will be a whole family in the church it will just take time.  
Then I have pictures at the church with the cute kids who like to play with me! 
Then pictures again of John Mark willingly showing his pre-mission smile :) 
Then zone conference pictures! It was sister Clayton’s last zone conference :( 
There is a picture with me and a sister in a pink button up shirt and a gray sweater. Her name is Sister Warnick and she has a twin serving in Baguio and she is a companion with Sister Lapana! Awesome! I love it! 
There is also I picture of me having a soda, or soft drink, that is what they call it here in plastic :).  
Then they youth didn’t feel very close to Sister Macabenta so they threw her a birthday party even though her birthday is on Nov.1, they put up signs in our apartment it was really sweet!
Before conference we were able to go to a baptism of the Elders in our zone in Siniloan it was a young boy and he and his friends had a crush on me. They all wanted to take pictures with me it was funny. And then they wanted more on Sunday because we went back to Siniloan for conference, then they also gave me little notes. It was cute. I think the oldest is 12.  
I have a picture with Aubrey. I taught her once a long time ago. She lives in Paete. She plays the drums and is amazing. We went over to their house a couple times for pday and she and her mom tried to teach us how to play guitar and drums. I say try because I’m not very good. But Aubrey is amazing she is going to Manila this week because she is going to be on TV. She is only 9!
That’s all the pictures I hope you like them. I love them because I love the people here and the work. I know that I might have to transfer soon and I will be sad to leave the people here, but I will be excited to meet knew people and help new people. I love the work I am being blessed more than I even thought was possible!
I don’t know how the baptism was I wasn’t able to go or see her I will ask at transfers if I’m transferred and let you know.
Well I think that is it. I love you so much and hope that you are all doing well!
Love, Sister Andreasen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never - April 8, 2010

So I loved your email so much mom! The strength of the testimony of others is wonderful! I grow so much and I am so thankful that the Lord gives us other people to help us to learn and grow. I think that is one of the things I want to work on; humility, we can always learn something new from everyone we talk to and I just need to look for the things that we can learn from and take every situation as an opportunity to learn.
I love the gospel and I have been strengthened so much by the scriptures and the words of God! I am so excited for conference! We haven’t seen it yet, we will see it this Saturday and Sunday and I'm so excited.  It will be good because in the Philippines they do have traditions for the week of Easter but they are nothing that invites the spirit. They have parade type things and praise the saints and Jesus Christ and then the reenact his death on the cross. They also have people who walk around with their faces covered and dead banana leaves around their waste and hit their backs so that they bleed. It was really disturbing! I hated the feeling I had when we had to go by them! And then it was fast Sunday and we didn’t really have any lessons about the resurrection of Jesus Christ so I was a little sad so I am really looking forward to conference! I love knowing we have a living prophet and the correct authority in the Church!
We did have a baptism and I am so happy we did it was Jovelyn! she is so sweet! She is super shy but she is very concerned with being clean and worthy, the smallest sin she feels bad for! She is so strong already and I know she will just continue to grow! She is a great example for her family. Her grandmother past away while we were teaching her so we have talked about that a lot. she knows the Church is true but I'm not sure that she understands completely about after this life even though we have taught it. It is just like me I don’t think I really understood the plan of salvation until I studied it for myself and gained a testimony of truth. I talked to her today about the fact that we can do baptisms for the dead, it was only short and I told her we would have a full lesson about the temple and she was excited! She started to cry and I know that she loves the gospel she is so teachable and is open to the spirit; she feels it when it testifies of truth! I have learned so much from her!
Sorry I didn’t write to you on Monday we had our zone conference on Monday because President Anderson’s family is coming today because his granddaughter is going to be baptized in an ocean here! Awesome! So we are having p-day on Thursday it is so weird! So we have wanted to work on asking investigators for referrals because that is the mission goal and the workshop of our AP's. we planed to ask our investigators all this week and everyday we have been introduced to a new investigator by our investigators! It is so amazing such a blessing that when you do what you are asked to do and prepare the Lord just blesses you! We have truly been blessed in this area! I love it here! Then today we walked by a guy and he called out to me like a lot of guys do (because I'm American) and I just said hi like I usually do or good morning or whatever. Then he said you don’t have something for me to read? So we stopped and started talking to him and he said that he sees us all the time going to one of our investigators and so we said that we would come back and teach him if he wanted and he said yes. We gave him a pamphlet and said that we would go see him tomorrow. I hope that goes well and it isn’t just the fact that I am American. I'm excited because I think he is really interested in our message! He lives over by Andrew and Robby so I'm super excited for our appointments over there tomorrow and then conference! Then p-day again, it will be so weird!!! I feel like we will miss a lot of work time because of conference but I'm super excited for it. I guess some of the missionaries don’t go; they schedule appointments and just work. I can’t imagine I'm so excited for it. We have invited so many of our investigators and I really think that some of them will come even though it is far away.
I love this work and I know that the Lord is guiding it! It is so amazing to me to see the Lord’s hand in this work and to know that I am the one that is blessed! The Lord has allowed me to come and serve the people here and I just want to be worthy everyday to be called his servant and wear the name of Christ! I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life! I know it is true with all my heart!
Work work work that is the secret and I am so happy to know the secret! I love the work, at times it is hard but I know that as I keep going the Lord is helping me. We went to teach the Rodriguez family again and their older sister was their and so we taught lesson one to her and I think that she is really ready for our message! I love it! She has a desire to be with her family forever and wanted to know more about baptism so we taught a little bit so we could answer her question then asked if we could come back and teach her. She is about to have a baby so it might be a crazy time in her life but I think it is the perfect time too! The Lord truly does prepare people for the gospel!
I love you all so much and I am so glad that we can be together forever!
Oh, a little more about food. We eat all the time at the Cadapan families’ home.  I don’t know if I sent the picture and I think I may have already talked about them but I love them so much and Sister Cadapan is so sweet! Sister Macabenta likes fish so we eat a lot of it. It is actually really good. You can tell uncle Fred I said that too! I have even eaten the head and eyes! Don’t worry it isn’t as gross as it sounds its just food and it taste good. Oh and if you by a drink like a soft drink or something they have glass bottles and they pour it into a plastic bag with a straw. :) then we saw ice cream sandwiches, they are really an ice cream SANDWICH! They cut a roll down the middle and then fill it with ice cream.  Yeah, I can tell you that that is not on any type of diet but they are the two best comfort foods ever ha-ha. So that is a little food update.
I hope I answered your questions. Oh p-day it is always different a lot of times we have zone activities or at least district activities but I think most of the time when we are with other missionaries it is zone conference or a service project I will have to look at the pictures again to let you know. I think that is it.
Thank you so much for everything! I love you all! Stay strong always and just remember the simple things are the things that matter most! Prayer, Church, Scripture Study! I love you!
Love, Sister Andreasen