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

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