Sunday, August 17, 2014

The More the Merrier

August 17, 2014
Hello hello!!!
Things here in Cogeo are still going amazing! I cannot even begin to explain the progress that has happened here in just the 5ish months that I have been here. This ward has gone from being almost nonfunctional with like 80 members (80% of which were little kids), to completely functioning with the chapel filled to the brim every week. What a miracle it has been!

This week has been great! Norma and Augosto are still doing just amazing and they are so excited to be baptized. We have finished almost all of the lessons with them- they just need to get the 4 weeks in a row coming to church, and then will be baptized next month!!

Norma's sister, Lita. is doing just as great! We have been teaching Lita's daughter Michelle, and Michelle's female friend, Dyline. Turns out Michelle and Dyline are in a homosexual relationship... Fun stuff!!  It makes things so hard! Michelle is extremely potential and she even told us that she feels like our message is true... Sister Alfoja and I have been DREADING teaching them the Law of Chastity and we both literally had nightmares of teaching them that lesson. We decided to face our fears and teach Lita, Michelle, and Dyline the Law of Chastity this past week. Turns out Michelle and Dyline are going on vacation for a month and so they aren't going to be here, so we ended up just teaching Lita about the Law of Chastity. What a relief!!! Heavenly Father really does answer my prayers;)

On Thursday night at about 10:45 our phone rang. I was like 80% asleep and just let Sister Alfoja answer it. After a quick 1 minute conversation of the phone she woke me up and told me that our companionship is turning into a trio... What?! We are getting a new companion?! We were told that they were doing Emergency Transfers and that the new sister would be at our apartment the next morning at 9am. I was so nervous! Change is not my favorite thing in the world, so I was kind of anxious of what the new sister would be like! She arrived the next morning and turns our she is super great! Her name is Sister Faasavalu- she's 22 years old, originally from Samoa, but has been living in Hawaii for the past few years. She is just a transfer behind me and really is such a sweet sister! I was worried that a threesome would be hard because there is always one that is left out, but the three of us are doing awesome! The more the merrier, right?! Our apartment can only technically fit 4 sisters though... we only have 4 beds, 4 desks, and 1 bathroom for all of us, so I think someone in our companionship is leaving next transfer.... and all the members keep telling me that I am leaving... and I think I am too... Transfers are next Wednesday, but we will find out next pday who is staying and who is going. Man. I LOVE this area and we have 13 progressing investigators and 11 of them have baptismal dates for next transfer... how I really want to stay.. But I guess the Lord knows best!!
Yesterday we taught the most amazing lesson ever- like EVER! Last week 2 men in their mid to late 20's showed up at our ward, one of which was referred to us by some sisters in another area. We wanted to teach them last Sunday, but in order to teach males, we need another woman present, so we were not able to. The two of them, Leonard and Renald, showed up at church again yesterday and had a great time! In the evening, Joan Honrejas worked with us so that we could teach the two of them. They are GOLDEN!! They are so open and honest and they are literally hungering and thirsting after the truth. The Spirit was so strong as they explained to us why they want to be taught and their reasons for wanting to come closer to Christ. The words just seemed to flow off my tongue and we all 3 companions taught in great unity. They Spirit was ultimately the teacher though, which is why the lesson was so powerful. Near the end of the lesson, a distinct impression came to me that I needed to invite Leonard and Renald to be baptized. I tried to brush the prompting aside because I didn't want the two of them to be overwhelmed because after all, this was our first visit with them. But then Heavenly Father gave me a nudge and reminded me, "Sister Anderson, as a missionary, your role is to invite others to come unto Christ and to repent. If you do not invite them to be baptized, you are denying them the opportunity for them to draw near to me and enter into my kingdom." Wow. Now I really had to do it! So at that moment, I testified to them of the truth of our message and then said, "Brothers, once you have prayed and know for yourself that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?" There was a long silence as both of the men set with their heads down pondering. The Spirit was so thick that you could almost hold it. Leonard then looked up at me and said that he would. After abut 10 more seconds, Renald looked me in the eyes and too said that he too would be baptized. We extended them a date for October 4th. From this experience, I have really gained a testimony of following the promptings of the Spirit. I was a testament to me that Heavenly Father does use the weak and the simple things/people to do his great work. Through following the promptings of the Spirit, miracles will happen.
Life as a missionary couldn't be better! The area is progressing, the investigators are progressing, the ward is progressing, my language skills are progressing... just everything is looking great! There are still struggles and frustrations, but great things happen when you really understand your role as a missionary. It makes all the trials seem so small in the big scheme of things.
Thanks for all your prayers. I literally felt them a lot this week and your prayers keep me moving when I don't know if I can go much longer.
Mahal na mahal kita!!
Sister Anderson

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