Sunday, March 23, 2014

Almost 2 Weeks in and Still Going Strong!

Kumusta po kayo?!
How's life back in America where there are warm showers, people not peeing in the streets, no bug bites, no piles of garbage lining the roads, no fun street food, carpet on the floors, and no purified water? I feel so bad for all of you who are living that lifestyle, because life in the Philippines is the BEST! I did not think I would get so attached to the lifestyle here so quickly, but I have and it is great! Everything about it is awesome- the people, the food, the scenery, the hustle and bustle, just everything! It has been a great experience so far, and I am only a week and a half in! I can't wait for more to come!
Well to answer the question that everyone has been asking about... No more robbers!! Wahooo!! We got bars on our windows last Tuesday and now we can sleep in our apartment! And the best part is that I don't have to sleep on that little couch anymore and I can stretch out my legs when I sleep. HOLLA!! We were so blessed that our landlords live right next door and they were so willingly to fix the problem in such a timely manner. I could not be happier! Also, to address another question: I have yet to eat Balut yet! I haven't had an opportunity yet.. Well I guess I could buy one if I really wanted to, but I think I will wait until someone else wants to try it with me. I am so excited though!!
So we kind of have 3 new investigators! We had met a young woman named Cindy the other day on our way to an appointment and began to talk to her. We scheduled a time to come back and teach her, so last Wednesday we did just that. To our surprise, 2 of her friends joined in on the lesson- Rem and Jinky. They are all "Born Agains" and have a very strong belief and understanding of the Bible. Jinky seemed really interested in our message, and I know she felt the Spirit. Her answers were so sincere and I know she has a desire to know the truth. We are so excited to help her see how the Bible testifies of the restoration of the Church and how the Church of Jesus Christ is the exact gospel with the same authority that Christ established. I have very high hopes for her and I know how much this message can change her life. Cindy, on the other hand, did not seem as interested and asked a lot of questions about our lives back in America.. and Rem invited us to come to his church.. It was pretty great! We are supposed to teach them again tonight and I pray it goes well!
We just started teaching Andy and Meliza. They are a young couple with two cute little kids. Last night was our first real lesson with them and they are great! They had been taught previously by the Elders a while ago, and so they know quite a bit. Andy was especially interested in our lesson and I really think that they will be baptized. We are also teaching the Morales Family- Alejo and his son Angelo. We invited them to be baptized and they were super hesitant. Sis Judd and her previous companion had been teaching them for a while before I came, and had extended the invitation to be baptized multiple times. They don't seem to be progressing and I hope that they take our message more seriously. It is so sad to know how much the gospel can help these people, and they choose to reject it. Maybe right now is just not their time.
We teach so many less actives here- like SO MANY.. It is ridiculous! I swear, 95% of the ward is inactive. They are all such wonderful people and they have so much potential, however, they don't like to make commitments. We invited so many people to church yesterday, however, we only got one investigator there and one less active. I'm really happy that they had enough faith to come. I just wish I could do more to help the wonderful people here keep their commitments. It sure would be amazing!
The language... the gift of tongues is real! I am feeling it every single day! I am still SOOO far from being fluent or even comfortable with the language, but everyday gets better and better. I still get intimidated sometimes to talk, but I know I won't improve if I don't open my mouth, so that is what I have been doing, although I don't understand 85% of what the people say! OH and to top things off, I have the opportunity to speak in church on Sunday.. AHHHHH.. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!! Hahahahaha, it is all good! I am only about 2 weeks in and I am still going strong!! I can do it!! Haha

The other day we were teaching Sister Judy Ann, the young woman with two little kids. There were five of us crammed in a little 5x5 area as we taught her, and I sat on the floor with my knees up to my chin. As we were teaching her, I felt something jump onto my leg. I looked down and saw a mouse running right under my skirt.. It was so funny! I don't know why I wasn't scared, because if I was at home, I would have been freaking out here! I guess I'm just totally immersing myself in the culture here, and mice are the least of my worries!!
OH and I have only been called fat once so far and it was from a little 4 year old running through the streets! People have been warning me though that I am going to get really fat here from eating rice all the time.. Great... Hopefully with all the walking I do everyday, that won't be a problem!! Oh and everyone keeps telling me they want my skin and my hair and my eyes. This one girl couldn't believe that blue was my real eye color so she made me rub them to show her that they weren't contacts or anything! Oh and so many random people just walking by tell me that they want my nose... my nose... really?? Haha I just love the people here!!
Well things here are awesome! Thanks so much for all of your love, support, and prayers. I have felt them more than you can imagine. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and that there are many things here that the Lord needs me to do. I know without a doubt in my mind that this church is true- there is no way it couldn't be. Everything about it absolutely perfect and the happiness that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ is unimaginable. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve here in the Philippines. It is definitely hard and every day comes with a million emotions, but at the end of the day, I know why I am here. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how through Him we can find peace, comfort, solace, and pure happiness. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of all of His children and is yearning to bless us. His arms are always open, we just need to come to Him. Thanks to all of you for your amazing examples, especially my family. I don't know what I would do without you! Keep being amazing!!
Kita Kits sa Lunes!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Anderson

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Well hello hello! It's official.. the plane has landed and I am IN the mission field! What?!?! Insane, I know.. I still can't believe it myself!

We arrived in the Philippines late Tuesday night and got to stay in a hotel for the night- AWESOME! It felt like we were on vacation, however, that feeling did not last long as I have been put to work!

On Wednesday morning, all of us new missionaries from both the Provo and Manila MTCs met at the mission home, along with our trainers. We met the mission president and wife and had some training. President and Sister Revillo are AMAZING! They are so strong and they truly care for everyone and everything. I am amazed at the sacrifices they make each and everyday for the Quezon City Mission and the missionaries.

We got to go the WW2 memorial sight in Quezon! Dad, you would have loved it- totally reminds me of all of our family trips to different historical sights we have visited. It was way fun! Sister Oyler and I got to ride with Pres Revillo to the sight, and on the way there we stopped to pick his 7 year old son up from school. It was fun to have a little tour of the area.

My comp/trainer/nanay is Sister Judd from Syracuse, Utah. She is awesome! She is so patient with me and is always keeping an out for me! She has been such a support, especially when it comes to the language. She knows exactly what I'm feeling and is able to give me great insights. She gives me hope that one day I will be able to communicate with the people! The language is great, hard, frustrating, beautiful, confusing, and just about everything else you can imagine. I know the gift of tongues is real though and I have already received miracles. Just being able to understand a word here and there is great! I would like to know what people are saying fully though!

So my area is Cogeo, which is in the mountains! YAY! I am so happy to be out of the city. Just because I am in the mountains. Do not let this fool you- there are still people EVERYWHERE! I love it though! I know that Heavenly Father placed me here for a reason. It is kind of hard to understand my full potential when I don't feel like I can really communicate, but I know that with patience and diligence, it will all work out. Being here reminds me so much of India! Sometimes I forget that I am in the Philippines and think I am in India. The people are amazing and have already stolen my heart- especially the children!


Soooo.. On Thursday night, someone broke into our apartment while we were sleeping.. YUP! Cool, huh? All they stole was our DVD player, however, they had broken into our house the night before I got here too and stole all of Sister Judd's money. DON"T FEAR though, because I feel really safe here! It is a bit eerie to think that someone is rummaging through our house while we are asleep, but it's all good! Just part of the adventure, right? Pres Revillo is really worried about us though and said we need to get bars on the windows because that is how they are getting in. Until the bars are in place, we have had to drive up to Santisidro to another Sisters' apartment to spend the night. I've been sleeping on their couch, which is like 3 feet too small, but it's all good- at least we are safe! Hopefully the bars are up really soon!

So because the robbers stole all of Sister Judd's money and I haven't been able to convert mine yet, we have had to live off of the food we have... There's not much to eat, so we have been getting really creative! Everything tastes better in the Philippines though! Yesterday we were scrounging for stuff for lunch and ended up not even eating dinner- I wasn't hungry though, so that's good! We just got our money today though, so we will stock up on groceries! Haha it's been awesome! I love these kinds of adventures!

The people here are amazing! We've already done quite a bit of teaching, well Sister Judd has:) It's kind of hard for me to pipe in, especially when I don't know a whole lot, but my goal is to just start opening my mouth! If I don't, the language will never come! One of the people we have been visiting is Sister Agcamaran who is a less active. She has cervical cancer and it has gotten really bad. The other day while we were talking to her, she fell to her knees in excruciating pain. Her young daughter just sat by her in tears. I couldn't help but cry as well. It broke my heart to see her like this and know that because she doesn't have the money to get help, she could lose her life at a very young age. Her faith is so strong though. She is one of the sweetest people I have met so far- she even told me that I am part of her family.

One of our other investigators, Judy Ann, is 17 and has 2 children. She lives in a little 4x10 house. She really is progressing well, and we are trying to set up a way that she can get married because she turns 18 next month. Then after that, she can be baptized!! We are also teaching the Honrijas family. The mom, Victoria, has already accepted a baptismal date, however, her husband is a little harder to work with. They have 6 kids and I really hope that we can help them come unto Christ because I know the gospel will bless their family in SO many ways.



So we went to a baptism for some of the Elders on Saturday (It had to be postponed because no one in the bishopric was there), and as we were leaving, I totally fell down the stairs that lead to the street.. YUP! It was awesome! Those stairs are not made for American Sized feet- the steps are only like 6 inches wide!
Also, the other day when I went to put on my shoes, there were probably 300 ants just crawling in them! Cool, huh? Better than 400 ants! This has happened twice know.. I just hope that they continue to be ants in my shoes and not cockroaches!

We had stake conference on Saturday and Sunday. We took a tricycle up to Antipolo for the Saturday session and it was great! At the end of the conference, Pres Revillo had all of us missionaries in the stake (30 of us) come to the pulpit and sing "Called to Serve". The first verse was fine because it was in English, but little did I know that we were singing the second in Tagalog... Ya I had NO IDEA what I was singing! And I was in the middle too so I am sure everyone could see! Actually, one of the members came up to me afterwards and mentioned how I didn't know the song... Hahaha I probably looked so awkward!

For the Sunday session, we went to our ward house here in Cogeo, and watched it via satellite. The connection was awful though and no one could understand and thing. For 2 hours we all sat there confused.. And I kept dozing! I'm still trying to get adjusted to the time here!

Well the Philippines is awesome! I love it so much and I know I was sent here for a reason. Of course I have my ups and downs, but it is so comforting to know that the Lord never leaves His missionaries alone. Thank you for all of you love and support. I really can feel your prayers. There is power in this work and I am so happy to be a part of Helaman's army to help hasten the work. I love you all! Can't wait to hear from you soon!

Mahal kita!

Sister Anderson

Last set of pictures before leaving the MTC

Monday, March 3, 2014

Feels Like I'm Going to Disney World

Kumsuta po kayo?!

Masaya ako dahil pupunta ako sa Philippines sa lunes!!! ASTIG!! Excited ako para magmimision!!

This week has definitely been the BEST week so far. Just everything about the MTC is great and the BEST part of it all is that the Spirit here is so strong. I'm going to really miss it here- my teachers, the hustle and bustle of the missionaries, the early morning service, the chocolate chip cookies, spending countless hours trying to grasp the language, ice cream Wednesdays & Sundays, gym time, the amazing devotionals, the many friendships I've made, and the unity I feel between everyone as we are all called to be on the Lord's errand. My experience here has been indescribable, and I know I have many more amazing experiences to come while in the Philippines. For any of you who are reading this and are thinking about a mission, I truly believe with all my heart that serving a mission is one the BEST things you can ever do for the Lord. Obviously a mission is not for everyone, and some people have much greater things to do here, but please really pray to the Lord and know if a mission is what you need to do. I promise you, you will not regret this decision. 

I have already felt and seen so many blessings and miracles in my life in the short 5 weeks I've dedicated to the Lord. There is power in this work. One of the things I've gained a stronger testimony of is the strength and blessings that come with fasting. I have had to opportunity to be here for two fast Sundays and then last week had my own personal fast. I now am understanding why the Lord asks us to fast, and why He even sets aside one Sunday a month to take part in this great experience. Through fasting and prayer, the Lord has poured His blessings upon me and I know that He does grant us things according to our faith.

I got to host again on Wednesday! It was such a fun and neat experience! We got asked to host again this week, but we declined because we need ALL the class time we can get before we leave on Monday..

WE LEAVE ON MONDAY!! It's my very last Pday here at the MTC!! Isn't it cray cray?! Jokelang, jokelang! But really- this whole mission dealio is FLYING by!! I can't believe it! It feels like time is slipping through my fingers! I leave the MTC at 4:30am on Monday- we fly from SLC, to LAX, to Tokyo, and then to Mainila!!! Ahhhh I am soooooo excited, I can't even being to explain!! I can't wait to finally meet the people I've been dreaming about for the past six months. I have such a love for them that I can't even describe, and next week, I finally get to meet them. I am so blessed. On the day I left my house for the MTC, I told everyone it felt like I was going to Disneyland, but as I am preparing to head out to the Philppines, it feels like I'm going to DISNEYWORLD!! I cannot wait!


So the word of our zone is "suwerte" meaning good luck, lucky, etc.. I don't know why we say it all the time and we use it in the most random and bizarre sentences, but it's just what we do! The other night when I was walking from the restroom back to my room, Sister Oyler jumped out at me from behind a corner and screamed "Suwerte!" at the top of her lungs. I screamed bloody murder, not knowing what was going on and I quickly turned around to run but ran right into Sister Fewster who screamed "SWERTE!!!" at me.. I don't think my heart has every pumped so fast than it did at that moment... This is probably a "you needed to be there moment" to find this funny, but oh well! I thought it was hilarious!
Also, I totally got hit HARD in the face while playing volleyball this week! I totally fell down and couldn't get up because I was laughing so hard!

The gift of tongues is real and it is coming!! There is no way I could know as much as I do or be able to say what I can without the gift of tongues. I am so grateful for this gift. I'm still so far from perfect, but I know the Lord is definitely helping me. The language this week just started to make sense. My sentences are more fluid and I'm finally able to speak more comfortably from my heart. I AM NOT FLUENT BY ANY MEANS, but it really is starting to come together more. This was such a HUGE blessing. In one of our lessons, the investigator was talking SOOOO fast- faster than I've ever heard someone speak in English, and he was speaking in Tagalog. I understood everything he said and I knew how to respond to his questions. It was so great. I also had the opportunity to teach a Less Active, (Sister Cope- Terri Goff's cousin). We taught her the importance of church attendance and the Spirit was SO strong. I can't even begin to explain how neat it was, but the Spirit was there and it definitely guided our lesson. I was able to say everything I needed to in the language, and I know the Lord loosed my tongue. It was amazing. I know that the Lord will bless me if I just try to open my mouth and stop be scared about messing up. D&C 60:2.

Thanks for all of you love, support, prayers, packages, and letters! It means the world to me! Have a wonderful week and remember how much Heavenly Father loves you! Alma 26:37. I probably won't be able to write next week, but I will as soon as I can!! 


Sister Anderson