Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moving Forward With The Work - June 28, 2010

Thank you so much for your love!
I care about you all so much and I am so glad to get emails from you and know that you are happy and doing well! I hope you are loving the family reunion. I am excited to hear about the missionaries from temple square next week!
So this week has been good. I feel like we are really moving forward with the work in this area! We still get rejected daily and are punted all the time but we keep finding new people and the Lord is truly blessing our efforts! I think that we should have a baptism in about two weeks, Rizza! She is a young girl and so sweet and just wants to keep progressing.  She is a little hard to teach because she is super shy and doesn’t want to answer our questions but she knows the answers and knows it is true so I guess even if it is hard for her to express herself it is the spirit that matters. We also have Evelyn who we were only able to teach once this week but she still loves it when we come over. We have four girls with baptismal goal dates but I think that we will have to drop the baptismal goal dates because they aren’t really progressing and don’t come to church. So it is hard when they know it is true and yet still don’t understand its importance. We just keep trying and keep finding. My companion Sister Gepiga would always sing a song "its fun to find" and it is true! Just stay positive and keep finding. We are teaching a new older man Tatay Mario and he is a nice man. We have only just started but we are hoping to see his progression.
I have been reading the book of Mormon lately and it is so great to see all the blessings of the lord and how much he loves us. And all he asks of us is to keep his commandments. We are teaching a new young women Liz and she seems really interested so we are excited!!! she understands our lessons and is excited for us to come back we are just hoping that we will be able to teach her husband in the future but he is never home and if he is he is shy to talk to us, but I know the lord can provide away. So the lord really does watch out for us!
so we had been punted a lot the other day and we didn’t reach our goal of lessons taught, which the number isn’t important but we weren’t able to share as much, so it just seemed like a long walk home. However right before we got into the area where our apartment is a lady stopped us. She said she had been wanting to talk to us. She is a less active member and her nieces live with her and they aren’t members but she wants us to teach them. So we followed them back to their house and we were able to share a message with them. I know that the lord puts us in the places we need to be. It was so simple but I know that the timing wasn’t luck! It was the hand of the lord. I know that this family needs the power of the gospel in their home and I am so thankful for the guidance of the lord!
The work is hard but I know that the Lord has a purpose for me and that he wants me to be happy! I love this work with all my heart! Day after day I see the blessings of the Lord and my testimony grows daily that this church truly is the true church of the Lord on the earth! How grateful I am for this truth and the blessing that the Lord has given me to share this message.
Sometimes I think about the fact that I am a sister missionary and that sisters are not commanded to go on missions but I feel that this was a command for me. I know that the Lord needs me here! I don’t know why I was chosen but I know that this is what he wants for me and the people here. I am so thankful for the blessing of the Lord. This is not a time to give back to the Lord or "repay him" because each and every day he gives me more and more and I get to see the blessing of the gospel in other people’s lives!
The lord gives us commandments and asks that we obey, if we don’t we just forfeit the blessings he has in store for us. I know that the Lord loves us and he provides tender mercies everyday and gives giant blessings such as a mission, we may not at first appreciate the grandeur of his blessings at the start but as time goes on and we look back on how far we have come we see the great work of the Lord in our lives and most important in our hearts, influencing us to change and to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. How grateful I am for Him. I am so blessed to share this wonderful message with the people here. And even if they don’t except right away everyday we bear our testimony and we let people know this is the truth, the Lord is here calling out to them.
I think about it sometimes when we are punted that this is the Lord, He calls out to us and we choose to listen and hear His word for us or to reject Him. Every one of us has that choice member, nonmember, missionary.
I know that this is the best work in the world - missionary work. We can always do missionary work if we just invite people to come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.
I love you all so much! I love this work even when it is hard some days. I do know that he believes in me and what I am doing. It is funny mom I changed the words of that song to and sang it to my last companion Sister Gepiga when she was having a hard day. It came on and I changed the words real quick, I like your version better. Ha-ha. But I love that song! Thank you so much for the music! It is amazing! It helps me to stay positive on the hard days and remember who I am and why I am here!
I talked to Brother Arman and he said he only sent one package! He wanted to make sure that it would get to you and then he would send the next one so I hope it gets to you soon. I think there should be a Liahona for the grandparents too. Grandma and grandpa and then one for grandma. I love you all so much!!!!! You are my inspiration. I have the family picture above my bed and I want families to be like ours forever! And happy even though it’s not perfect and we have trials too! We know the truth and we strive to live worthy of our covenants! All my companions have had broken families or nonmember families. Then members ask if my all my family are members. I love saying yes! Then I think about the fact that we have all been through the temple and I am so thankful for everyone’s good example to me and to know that I have a group of people who will be with me forever to love me support me and make me laugh! I love you all!
I will write more about our investigators progression next week! And I will tell you about zone conference! I love you!
So I forgot to tell you about the weather. It is still supper hot. Calamba is pretty much one of the hottest areas in the mission but we had a day when I was cold because it was raining like crazy and my dress got all wet. Ha-ha. This is the first time I have experienced tracting even if it is pouring! It is fun but it was only for a little while and then it stopped and was supper hot again. However the rain should start getting more frequent and they say that they always having flooding here in this area! Always. Every Sunday they talk about 72 hour kits because there will be a flood. So yay! Ha-ha fun here. I will write more when events transpire. Ha-ha :) love ya!
Love sister Andreasen

Monday, June 21, 2010

Turning Weaknesses Into Strengths - June 21, 2010

So I am so happy that you received my package but I have to tell you the reason you don’t know who or what anything is for is because they had to send it in two packages and they probably just didn’t come at the same exact time all thought they should so the other box probably has the letter that I sent with it. The extra San Diego Temple is for Danielle it said that in the letter and I was hoping that you could find a way to get it to her it is a wedding gift that is her new last name. I wanted to make one for Bert but I didn’t know where they were getting married, it is crazy to think that he is married now. If you can send pictures that would be great I would like to see his wife and how happy he is. I'm so happy for him
Thank you for printing stuff on the dedication and the cultural event they are something I will never forget.
So I received the package from you and grandma however they are still at the home of our Zone Leaders so I will get them on Wednesday.  I love you so much and thank you for your help and love for me as I am here on my mission.
So this week was full of growth and I have learned so much. I am so grateful for the Lord and all He does for me! He knows me and loves me and wants me to be happy for my time here on the mission. So this past little while has been a little hard on me and I haven’t really said anything because it is just things I need to work on and to become better, so I felt that that is what I needed to do just work hard on being the best missionary I could. However I was being very hard on myself. I didn’t feel worthy or that I was a good missionary and I felt like I was failing in Tagalog.  I didn’t really make my feelings known to anyone because I figured it was a personal problem. Then we had companion study on Tuesday and I just felt bad the whole day.  We had a district meeting and I wanted to be happy but I just felt like I was lacking in my offering to the Lord.
Then came our Zone interviews. President came to our area and he and the APs gave workshops! How blessed we are that the Lord inspires his servants even those that are our leaders here in the mission field. He helps them know what they need to say and it has blessed me so much! As I listened to the lessons that were saying - we need to find joy in service and not worry about the little things. They talked about how we all have weaknesses and we need to realize it to become better but we need not dwell on the things that we are not perfect at. The workshops were for me and I could feel the Saviors love for me so powerfully through workshops they gave, it helped me remember to stop thinking about myself. Stop judging myself and know that if I work hard I am being successful! One of the APs said a quote from Joseph B. Worthlin, I forgot the exact wording but something like "don’t worry, do your best and the Lord will do the rest" so I know that this is true, I was focusing on the negative and not the positive and I wasn’t finding ways to be better just thinking I am a bad missionary. After the workshops we were interviewed by President and I felt the love of my Savior in the interview. I had sorted things out in the workshops so I thought I shouldn’t worry President, everything will be fine. But because he truly is a servant of the Lord he knew the right things to say to get me to open up and we talked and I knew that even though I am not perfect the Lord is pleased with me and I am here for a reason, His reason and as I stay positive he will guide me and my happiness will go to others as well. Then I wanted to ask for a blessing but before I could President asked if I would like a blessing. I was so happy to receive those beautiful words from the Lord to me through inspiration. I know that this is the true church and that our Father in Heaven is looking out for us. We need to be strong and we need to stay positive but sometimes we become discouraged because of our own unworthiness. However, the Lord doesn’t forget us in these times, he gives us leaders to come and lift us. We are the servants of the Lord and we need to be strong but we can’t do it alone and we just need to give all that we can so that the Lord will make us strong through his power. The APs challenged us to make a grateful journal and it has been wonderful, great or small we receive so many blessings from the Lord each and every day! How I love this work. I have felt the spirit so strong this week and I have felt more positive even after people reject us or we are punted. I know that the Lord is still proud! I know that this gospel is for everyone and that he wants us to be happy and how happy I am to bring this message to others. Every week we gain new investigators yet it seems we lose investigators every week too. But I know that this message needs to go to all, if they accept it or not it is up to them.
We went up to one lady the other day and we asked if we could share a message with her and she said, in English, “I’m not interested" then we said that we know that we have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love us and that only through this gospel can we be saved, and then she said, again in English, " yeah, I believe in the symbolism of water" it came out of no were and we knew that no matter what we said she would just not be interested or listen so we left and it is crazy to feel that feeling of your heart breaking when a child of the Lord rejects the message and that one day they will realize what will save them. However we still have hope as our new investigator Evelyn and her parents listen to our message! I love this gospel and I know that it is true! The Lord blesses us so much and I have felt his love so strong. One of my favorite scriptures now is in D&C 6:34-37!:
34. Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let the earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
35. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
37. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
I love it! We are loved, we are His, and we will not fail! In this we can rejoice!
I love you all so much and even if I can’t hear from you next week it is okay I know you love me and I love you too!!!! I will continue to be happy and love the work and I will email you.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about Manila! It wasn’t that great. Although I took some fun pictures. We woke up early drove to Manila renewed our visa; I don't know why I wrote passports. And then we went to the biggest mall in the Philippines but we only had two hours so we pretty much ate and looked in a few shops then we came back. It was more just along day of traveling. But it was still fun to be grouped together with all the American missionaries!
I love you all so much!!!!
Love, Sister Andreasen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sister Ganaden and Sister Andreasen 
Thank you for your letter I love hearing from you each week it gives me strength to keep going.
I had an amazing week! We contacted some new investigators! One we went back to and she doesn’t want to talk to us. So sad day but it is okay we have hope for the others. So we met Evelyn. She is so amazing. We asked if we could share a message with her and she said yes, come in, she was so excited! We just spent the first little while talking with her and getting to know her. She has two young sons and she is supporting them on her own because just recently her husband left her for another woman. She started to cry and she was so sweet and just so open with us we shared about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how they love her and have a plan for her. She is super sweet and I think she wanted to come to church but we didn’t have the normal service this week.  So we finished the lesson and after her father came up and he too started to talk to us, then they told us that missionaries came and gave them service, they gave them wood for their house when the big storm came a while back. So it just shows that service opens the heart of people so we are hoping to teach Sister Evelyn and her mother and father! We are excited. We also met sisters and they were a little hesitant but they were nice and let us come in and they had questions about our lesson and were really interested! So that is exciting! It is so exciting when people progress. Then we had another investigator Liezel she hasn’t been able to come to church and so this week she was planning to come but we didn’t have the normal service so I think she was sad she couldn’t go to church so I think it just showed her that she needs to go. So we are hoping next week she will come for the first time :) we are also coming close to the members in our ward and we have a plan to learn the houses of more of the member’s active and less active! I love the work.
So the Book of Mormon, I read it in English and Tagalog at separate times. Because reading it in English is faster not just because I know all the words but also because Tagalog is longer!!! But it is going really well and I'm learning a lot, I love it! The Book of Mormon is so true! This last time while I was reading I just saw how it testifies of truth and that if the investigators will read it truly wanting to know for themselves if it is true they will know.
So now the moment you have been waiting for.... the temple dedication! Yes we were able to attend! And it was so very amazing! We were also able to attend the cultural event with one of our investigators, Rizza. I think she will be getting baptized soon and I think it was really good for her to get to this uplifting, spiritually activity.
The cultural event was amazing! They had so many youth dancing and all different types of cultural dances from the different influences they had a Muslim dance and Spanish dance and even dances coming from America because so many different cultures have influenced the Philippines. It was amazing! Then at the end they had the youth come out holding flags with all the young women values and they sang, it was great. And our young women investigator noticed all the different flags and that it was for young women and she was excited. She is so awesome! Then President Monson gave a blessing for the youth and said how happy he was that they could have events like this in the church for youth to come together and grow and mingle with other youth. It was so neat to learn more about this beautiful country that I love. It was also cool because that was on Saturday the 12th, which is the independence day of the Philippines. The dances were beautiful. And you know me I love to watch stuff like that so I was just loving it! And the spirit was so strong! We felt the spirit, even though it was just a broadcast it was just a wonderful feeling when the living prophet walked into the room and we got to tell Rizza that is the living prophet! It was a very special experience.

Attending the Cebu Temple Dedication Broadcast
Then the next day we were able to attend the temple dedication! It was gorgeous! The spirit was so strong! It felt as if we where actually in the temple and the talks were great about strength and about how wonderful it is to have temples so close and that the Lord has answered the prayers of the people to have another temple and now they need to us it! It was so amazing to be apart of the great missionary work. Here I am in the Philippines working on the "proclaiming the gospel" and now these saints have an opportunity to "redeem the dead" I am so grateful that this gospel is going forth to all people. The prophet and the other speakers just kept saying how nice the people are here and it is so true they are a good people and so open to excepting the gospel. This area is hard but I know that the people are the same we just need to find the ones with that open heart! I have such a greater desire to go to the temple and to do work! I wrote down my feelings so I won’t forget that when I get home I want to go to the temple as often as I can! I miss it so much. It was nice that in a way the temple came to me. It also made me excited for the time when I can go through the temple and be sealed to my future family. They talked about the joy and blessing of family sealing’s and I am so grateful that I am sealed to my family now and how wonderful it is to know that we will be together forever if we endure to the end. I am excited to prepare myself for the time when I will be sealed to my eternal companion and my future children. But right now it just gives me drive to tell other families that they can have this! They can be together forever and can find happiness even in a world that is getting worse and worse we can have a safe place in the temple. It truly is heaven on earth. How I love the temple! I am so grateful that we can enjoy the fullness of the gospel on the earth today! I am so grateful for it! I know that this is the true church I am so grateful for a living prophet. He expressed his loving side as he gave a really long talk just talking about his feelings and so much of it was his charity for other people, for his wife, for the Lord. I love him! I love being able to share this true message here in the Philippines! The Lord needs me here and I am grateful for his trust in me! At the cultural event President Monson said this " God gave us memories that we may have June roses in the December of our lives" I know that this time I have to serve here and the memories I have gained, am gaining, and will gain will be with me through out my life to give me comfort, help and strength! How I love the Lord and I see his blessings in my life everyday. We can always see the miracles of the Lord if we have faith and open our eyes to what the Lord has done for us! I love you all!
Go to the temple! I love you again and am thankful that we are a forever family through the temple!!!! I love you!
Love, Sister Andreasen

PS, I sent two new pictures of my comp and me and some elders right before we went to the temple dedication! Yay!!!!! I loved it I can’t even explain how strong the spirit was! The Lord truly loves his people and wants them to have the saving ordinances! How grateful I am for temples and for the tender mercies of the lord to be here in the Philippines and share this wonderful time with them! It is amazing how much the spirit can teach you if you are listening :) I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart and I know without a doubt this is the true church on the earth! I love the song If You Could Hie to Kolob! There is no end! These blessings go on forever and if we take advantage of our time here on earth they will be magnified in the eternities to come. I love you all!

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Companion - June 7, 2010

So it is crazy to think that school just ended it is just starting up again here. I loved your letter it was really nice to read. I'm so excited to meet the new Sister! That is awesome! Time goes so fast! It is crazy to think that just one year ago I was in her shoes. 
So this week has been crazy! Sister Gepiga wasn’t on the transfer list so we thought all was well and that there were no problems just keep going with the work.
 Sister Gepiga and Sister Andreasen
Then late Wednesday night we got a call from the AP’s and they told us that Sister Gepiga was being transferred so your just as shocked as me, I have a new companion now. She is really sweet her name is Sister Ganaden and I love her. I do miss Sister Gepiga they are both very different but I love them both so much. It was sad to see Sister Gepiga go and the time went so fast that I felt like we were just on exchanges. Sad :( but I will always love her and she taught me so much! Sister Ganaden is the last companion of Sister Smith so that is pretty cool we get to share comps. The work is going, it is still slow and we just dropped about 5 investigators because they weren’t progressing or keeping commitments. So we have a lot of finding to do and we are still being punted. However, I talked to the Sister that reopened this area not to long ago and we talked about the members so I guess we have a lot of less active members, so I think that that will be a lot of my mission here to help bring those who know the truth back! We have some great single adults in the ward who are going to work with us and help us find the less active! I'm excited! Ramil became a member of the Church on Sunday
Ramil's Baptism
and he is still as cute as ever he is going to back to Bicol so I will miss him so much but I know he will continue to grow in the gospel. We do have three young women with baptismal goal dates but two of them didn’t come to church; however one, Rizza is doing great! She had a traumatic experience so we have to teach her slowly but she understands and she has a testimony and has come to Church for the past 4 weeks! She is great! So that is about it for news.
I did download two pictures where we are covered in mud! It was disgusting, we had to carry this wet sand to a members house to help for when the rains come but it was a far place to carry it from and the way was all muddy and dirty and we were walking in black sludge and lets just say they don’t have very good plumbing here so you just figure that one out. Yeah it was gross but the family was so grateful for our help and it was still fun! I love this work and just helping people, anyone and everyone come closer to Christ.
We are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission, we have until December and my goal is to read it in English and Tagalog so that my Tagalog will improve and the spirit will strengthen me too. I just started but I have learned so much and I just see how ever scripture points to truth and it is just a testimony that this is the true Church on the earth today! I love it. 
Sister Clave has a saying it is "your heavenly children are watching over you make them proud" I know that part of the reason I am on a mission is for my future children I see how bad the world is and I know I need to be more prepared to help them be strong and to overcome the challenges here! I know that this is the truth I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve I know that it is a gift from the Lord and even when it gets hard I can have faith. It reminds me of that song and scripture "Ether 12:4, Wherefore who so believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, even a place on the right hand of God which hope cometh of faith maketh an anchor to the soul’s of men" I know we can do anything and over come anything through faith in Him!
I forgot to tell you with this transfer another batch mate of mine is in our zone, Elder Harris, he is also the "kid" of Elder French. So I am excited now we have 4 of us in one district crazy! 
I also got a package from Jolene! How sweet is she! It was so great to get and the AP’s actually brought it over the night of my birthday it was awesome I love her so much! 
I love you all and thank you for your kindness, prayers, and love! I loved the pictures on Walgreens! The kids are getting so big and they are so cute! I love them! I love you all! 
Love, Sister Andreasen