Sunday, April 6, 2014

Not Again

Hello po!!
How is everyone doing! I had Pday last Wednesday because it was temple day, so now I get another Pday only 5 days later! Wahoo!
This week went by so fast! I cannot even believe it! I guess time flies when you're having fun, right?
The work here is going well. Definitely hard, but I know it is not supposed to be easy. We taught quite a few lessons this week and were constantly on the go. Walking around in the heat all day everyday can sometimes be a chore, but I LOVE it. There is never a moment where I am not drenched in my own sweat and am dripping from every inch of my body, but I am so very glad that Heavenly Father sent me to the Philippines. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and that I have so many things to do here that have not yet been completed. The work here can sometimes be intimidating, but I have witnessed everyday the power and strength the God gives to His missionaries. I am so grateful for His hand in my life.
So last Wednesday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the temple. The temple here is absolutely gorgeous, and the Spirit there is even more amazing. I am so blessed to be able to attend the temple every transfer. I was feeling kind of discouraged last week, especially about the language, and going to the temple was exactly what I needed to be able to give me the strength and hope I needed to press on. I know that the temple really is the House of the Lord and it really is a refuge from everything hard, discouraging, and uncertain in this world.
We were able to get three new investigators this week! The first was Jen, who stopped us last Sunday as we were walking around inviting our investigators and less actives to church. We have only taught her once, but I really think she could be potential. The other two investigators we have are Shanin(14) and Eunice(11). These cute girls are the nieces of one of the less actives we teach- the Almusara's. The girls parents were sealed in the temple and are no longer active. They actually thought that because their children were born  in the covenant, they didn't need to be baptized. Well we definitely told them that was not the case, and the girls as well as their mom are excited for us to teach them. Both times we met with the girls, they had their cute friends join our lessons too- May-May, Rain, Al, and Princess. They even bring some of their friends to church. Even though they aren't members, they are great examples to me of what it means to be an everyday missionary.
We had Zone Interviews of Thursday so we got to go up to Antipolo for almost the whole day. We had workshops that were great and I got to meet with President Revillo. He is amazing and I feel so blessed to have him as my mission president. He is so full of love and concern and he really has a wonderful spirit about him. Just being in his presence gives me the hope that I need to keep pressing on and doing this great work. I was also able to go back up the Antipolo on Saturday to watch the General Women's Conference. It was great! I sat their with tears in my eyes the entire time and I felt so strongly the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children, especially His daughters. It was an amazing conference, and it was SO weird to see white people on the screen! I'm used to just seeing beautiful, brown, Filipinos!
On Saturday night, Sis Judd and I went to go visit one of the less actives, Sis Carmona. She doesn't like missionaries, but she let us into her house. We sat down and she went straight to her sewing machine to work on her projects. We tried asking her questions and she would not reply.. Talk about awkward! Sis Judd and I sat there trying so hard not to laugh.. I mean if you don't want to talk to us, just tell us you are busy and don't want us to come in!
The other day we were walking and a drunk old man came up to me. He grabbed my hand, put it on his bare sweaty chest and began to breath down my throat with the lovely smell of alcohol. I kept taking a step back and when I did, he would take a step forward. I literally had to pry my hand from his and tell him I had to go. It took FOREVER for me to be set free and I just had to keep reminding myself, "He's a child of God too. Heavenly Father loves him!!"
Last sunday when we were walking, two salesmen came up to us, trying to sell us coffee. We told them that we didn't drink coffee as it is against our beliefs. They went on to tell us that we should promote their coffee to all of our investigators as well as all of our family back home who isn't Mormon.. Ya, of course we will help you sell coffee! Especially to all our investigators who were are telling to stop drinking it! Some people! The best part was that the salesmen was walking around with a pink child's sized jacket with embroidered flowers, a stethoscope around his neck, and a safari hat on his head... Ya, not sketchy at all!
Sooooooo basically I am the biggest dork in the ENTIRE WORLD. Yesterday after church, I was walking down those dumb stairs... and yup... you guessed it... I fell down AGAIN... and rolled my other ankle. Not again... I seriously don't know what to do with myself! I was trying to be so careful and take one step at a time, and the next thing I knew, I was flat on my back. I think I win the biggest goof award.
Last Friday we went to one of our investigators, Sister Judy Ann, the 18 year old with 2 children. She didn't attend church last week and so we asked her why. She said that she didn't have any food so she and Philip took the girls to her Mom's house for three days so they could eat. I knew that people struggled here financially and I knew that some people didn't have much food, but I didn't understand the extent of this until we spoke to Judy Ann. They have no food. Like literally zero. If they are lucky they get a tiny cup of ulam or rice from their neighbors. It is not uncommon for them to go days without eating. They are all skin and bones, and her youngest daughter looks like she is going to evaporate. It took everything in me to not break down into tears when she was telling us all of this. I really take everything I have for granted. My life is so easy. Sis Judd and I left heartbroken and knew that we couldn't let them live like this. We bought rice and some other things from the store and took it to her. We didn't want her to get the wrong idea about missionaries and were hesitant to drop it off, but thank heavens she was sleeping when we brought the food. We placed it inside her home with a note saying that it was from the ward. I pray this food will last them and that they will be able to see the blessings that come through the gospel.
Life here all in all is going well. The language is still a struggle, but it's definitely coming! I am trying so hard to not let the language be a barrier and showing my love in deeds, rather than words. I am so grateful for the gift of tongues. It is real. There is no way I would be where I am with the language without the help of the Lord. I know he is aware of me and that he wants me to succeed. I am doing my best and He is making up the difference.
Hope all is well back on the home front. I pray for you all multiple times a day!! Keep being amazing and can't wait to hear from you soon!!
Sis Anderson

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