Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Well this week just flew by! It feels like Monday was just yesterday! Happy Halloween. They don't celebrate halloween here, which is kind of too bad. They don't have Thanksgiving either obviously, so because Christmas is the next big event, people start getting ready like, early to mid October. I've already seen so many Christmas lights, and trees, and Feliz navidad signs. It's kind of funny! Haha! We've even sung Christmas songs at church, lol.

Not a whole lot happened this week. We're mostly just working with our investigators with fechas, and preparing them for baptism. Some days I'll go on exchanges with another Elder, and sometimes that Elder is Hispanic, so I'm forced to just speak Spanish with them, which is tough, but it's good! I can hardly believe that I'm able to do it! The mission is great, because our days are never the same. There's always something different that happens, hitchhiking from one area to another, the crazy lady that wouldn't let go of my thumb, and kept telling us she was American, and LOTS of frecas (girls that cat call us in the street) haha, it's a crazy life! 

I don't know if I've said this, but laundry machines here are very different. You but water, detergent, and clothes in a part of it, and there's a little spinner at the bottom that spins it for 15 minutes, and then there's a little centrifuge that spins SUPER fast for five minutes to get the water out, then we hang our clothes to dry. It's a fun process, except when it rains on your clothes that are hung on the roof while you're gone. 

Teaching is going great, and we're in the process of teaching Pedro (The old man whose girlfriend of 40 years is trying to get baptized, and he had that dream, and he's trying to quit drinking) and the other day I shared a story from the book of mormon with him. It's found in the last part of 1st Nefi 3, and it's about when the angel appears to Laman, Lemuel, Nefi, and Sam, and tells them to stop beating them with the rod, and that they're supposed to get the plates.  Well, after the angel departs, Laman and Lemuel, immediately doubt saying: ¨How is it possible that we can get the plates, when Laban is so powerful?¨ So, I related this story to him, and if there's something I've learned from my trainer, it's that sometimes, you have to be bold. So I was very frank with him, and I told them that he has a choice. He had an incredible spiritual experience with his dream, and he can either be like Nefi, with an attitude of ´´I will go and do´´ Or he can be like laman and Lemuel, and immediately after his experience, doubt the power of the Lord, saying ´´How is it possible that the Lord can help me quit drinking?´´ I told him this, and when I was finished, I was actually surprised by how easily I had said it, and I truly felt like the spirit had guided me in that moment. He was pretty receptive to it, and told us that he was not going to drink anymore, so, I hope it works out!

For those of us, who may not receive answers in the forms of dreams or visions, we can relate it to the truths that we do know. We can commit to ourselves not to doubt the Lord. Not asking how it is possible that we can choose the right, or resist temptation, but we can trust in the Lord, and go forward with faith. That is our decision. 

Thank you all for your love, Hope this week is great!

Love, -Elder Anderson
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2016

First transfer... Check!

Hey everyone! Sounds like you guys had an awesome week at Lake Powell! Haha, that sounds so fun, and I'm glad you guys got to go! As far as this week goes, it was pretty uneventful to be honest! We taught a lot of lessons, contacted A TON and we got transfer calls yesterday, (I'm staying in San Juan to finish my training). My  comp and I are on fire though! We're always talking to people, and teaching and joking around in the streets. Life is so good here! 

BTW mom, I made your sloppy joes, and although they were really good, they didn't quite have the Paula touch, ya know? So your cooking is something I definitely miss! Haha, also I'll try to send a picture of a prank I played on the other Zone Leader in our house. So, every time it rains, there are a bunch of snails that start coming out in the streets. Especially near areas full of foliage and stuff. So, Elder Sisemore though it'd be funny one night to put a snail on my chair. The next time it rained, he thought 4 snails on my chair would be funny, and THEN he got the bright idea to put a few snails on my bed. He's getting transferred today, and so thank goodness last night it rained, so I had a chance to get some revenge. Which came in the form of: 60 snails on his desk!!! Haha, it was pretty funny, and we had a good laugh about it! 

My spiritual thought comes from a lesson we were having with a 16 year old named Jorgie. He's come to church a few times and we've taught him, but he was having trouble understanding the first lesson, and receiving an answer. So my companion compared asking for an answer to going to colmado when you want a Coca-Cola. He said, you wouldn't just go in and ask for a refresco, but you want to be specific. Because a specific question, like: "Is the church, or the Book of Mormon true?", is going to get a specific answer. Once my comp said that, I thought of something and shared it immediately. I said that just like if you're buying the refresco, you don't just get it, but you have to pay the price for it. And what is the price? A sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ. (Moroni 10:3-5) And that's the formula for any answer from God. Because through the power of the Holy Ghost, you can know the truth of all things.

Thanks for everything, and for all the support! I love you all!
-Elder Anderson








This is the letter he sent to his dad this week:

Hey Dad! Sounds like this week was great for you guys! I bet Lake Powell was so fun! My week was good too! BTW, I'm sorry I didn´t reply to you last week, but I thought a lot about what you said about teaching Sophia about the scriptures. It really is incredible to teach people about the things of the gospel. It's incredible that it's full of stories and principles simple enough for a child to understand, and yet, you can go a lifetime, and keep learning things about the things of the gospel. The more I learn, the more amazed I am. The knowledge and intelligence of God are amazing. Thank you for teaching me about the gospel Dad. I can never repay you for that. I only wish I would have talked with you more about gospel things. (Haha, if only 16-year-old me could hear me saying that) But I really do love the scriptures here, more than I ever have before. I'm so happy, and I love this work. Hope your week is great dad. Love you so much!
-Elder Anderson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Contacting for daaaaays

¡Hola familia! I want to apologize for last week. I wasn´t able to write a ton of people because the computer was suuuuper slow. But this week I don´t think I´ll have the same problem!

This week was great! I had my first zone meeting and I understood most of it, so that's some progress. My companion is a zone leader, so he and his ZL comp told us about the goal they have as a zone. On December 3rd, we're having what's called a noche blanca, which is where we are trying to have a bunch of baptisms on the same day. There are 7 companionships in our zone, and the goal is 20, so that's about 3 baptisms per companionship. I'm really excited to work after that goal!

So, as part of that goal, we decided to make some daily and weekly goals as a companionship. We decided that each day, the contacting goals that we made, we would complete no matter what, and that we wouldn't come back home at night until we had contacted and met our meta. So it's been tough, but as a result, we've had SO many new investigators and we've already begun to see the fruits of our labors. 
 

Real quick Spanish update for you. I've realized that the hard part of language learning is that sometimes you're learning a lot even if it feels like you've plateaued.  Day to day, it doesn't always feel like I've improved a lot, but if I look back, I am amazed by how much I've learned and I am able to do! I think our characters are really similar to that. God isn't going to take someone, and transform them into their full potential immediately. It has to be step by step. I write a quote in my planner every day, and last week I had one that said: ''Our only concern should be to do better than we did yesterday. Step by step is the law of growth. God does not expect an acorn to be a mighty oak before it has been a sapling'' -George E. Carpenter 

I do feel like I've improved a lot. I can teach lessons pretty fluently with my companion (although I'm sure it's riddled with grammatical errors) and yesterday, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting! (my strategy was to use lots of scriptures, because those are very well worded) and I actually got a lot of compliments afterwards, so I don't know if I had the gift of tongues, or if everyone just felt bad for the gringo! Haha!

My spiritual moment is this: We were teaching the parents of a kid named Joan, who's a recent convert. They're always very kind when we teach their son, and so we decided to teach them too sometime. So last night, we were teaching them about the restoration, and we got to the part where we invite them to pray about the message and ask if it's true. So we were talking about how they could receive an answer and the mom said ''Oh, I already know that it's true! I had a dream a while back, and I was told that you're church is true'' So me and Elder Garcia looked at each other, and we were like: Whaaaaaat! It was at this point, where my focus kind of drifted off, and when it comes to understanding people, I've got to kind of be in the zone, right? So the shock of this news kind of got me out of the zone, and these people started talking, and about 5 minutes later, I was lost as far as what they were talking about. All of the sudden, I got an impression, and it was like: ''Commit them to baptism'' and I was like: ''Ummmm, that's not the best idea, cause I have absolutely no idea what's being talked about right now'' and I kind of shrugged it off as just one of my own personal thoughts. Then, I thought of a talk that I heard from Elder Bednar in the CCM about how to know when it's a spiritual impression, and the conclusion I came to was that it would be better to do it even if it's not the spirit, than to not do it if it is. So right in that moment, I asked them to be baptized, and I felt really strongly afterwards, and I testified as a representative of Jesus Christ that it was the right thing to do. They looked and me, and thought for a second, and they agreed. So it worked! Afterwards, I asked my comp what was happening while I was lost, and he said that they were talking about stuff that bothered them, like polygamy, and that my comp was about to have a sort of bible bash with them, that he would have regretted, when out of the blue, I came out and challenged them to baptism. Kind of a cool experience. 

Guys, I know that the church is true, and I know it more and more every day. This work is amazing, and I'm so happy to be a part of it. I love you all so much, and I'm so glad we are an eternal family. 

-Elder Anderson

P.S. I went to a Haitian market the other day, and I got a flippin' machete!!!



Monday, October 10, 2016

First 2 baptisms!

First off, we didn´t really get hit much by hurricane Mathew, but it did DUMP rain on us on Tuesday and Wednesday. We tried to go out proselyting for a while, but eventually, the streets were basically rivers because the drainage system here 
isn´t the greatest, especially when we don´t have paved roads, so we ended up having to retreat back home early for some extra study.

On the bright side! On Saturday, I experienced my first baptism! The service was for two siblings: Ezer and Izari. Their parents are less active members, but their Aunt and Uncle are awesome, and their uncle was the one who actually baptized them! It was a really cool experience and after the ordinance, Izari, the 11 year old girl started to bear her testimony and just broke down and cried. That really touched me. And, I think it touched her parents too, so maybe, just maybe, they´ll start coming back to church! 

In other news, Ironelis is a  lady who´s been investigating for a while (like 2 years) and we almost have everything ready for her to get married so that she can be baptized! Then, if that wasn´t good enough, the other night, her husband had a dream in which Jesus told him to follow his wife´s example, and join the Mormon church, so now he´s being way more receptive than he ever was before! It´s incredible! Although, we went to teach him last night, and the dude was absolutely drunk. So we´ll be having a word of wisdom lesson real soon ;) 

Anyway, this computer´s real slow, and I have to go, but I hope all of you have a great week! I´ll keep McKenzie in my prayers. That was pretty sad to hear about, but I´m so glad she´s alive and responsive! God is a god of miracles, I truly believe that. Love you all! 

-Elder Anderson



Monday, October 3, 2016

Yooooo!!!

So, I had a pretty good week this week! On Tuesday, I did an English fast, and I thought that it went really well! For the most part, I spoke Spanish all day, which is honestly kind of incredible! The work here is going really well, and we have a brother and sister that are set to get baptized within the next couple weeks, so that´s really exciting!

So for the hurricane, we´ve been hearing about it since Wednesday that there was a hurricane supposed to hit on Friday. Well, Friday was like the least rainy day we had this week, but during general conference at the end of the priesthood session, we were told that the hurricane changed directions, turned into a category 4, and was headed right for us, but nothing happened. Even last night we got a phone call from president saying that we needed to be prepared to evacuate if necessary, but nothing happened. I don´t know if anything will ever happen, haha. Sometimes something small will happen, like it´ll start drizzling a little, or the wind will blow, and we´ll pretend to freak out like: Oh! It´s the hurricane! But we haven´t actually felt any of its effects.

General Conference was amazing, and my comp is awesome, so he hooked it up in English for us! So I got a ton out of it! Probably the most I´ve ever paid attention to conference in my life! So I´d like to share a little of what I learned. One of my favorite talks was President Uchtdorf opening the conference with his message about the plan of salvation. I´ve been teaching about it a lot, so it´s begun to be a subject very near and dear to me. He said ¨It should fill us with unspeakable and profound joy to know of the plan of salvation¨ and then he gave the advice that if it doesn´t the solution to that is to study it more, and learn more about it. I am going to take that advice this week and strive to learn about and study the plan so that when I am teaching someone about that perfect plan, I can feel of the unspeakable and profound joy President Uchtdorf describes. 

Anyway, that´s it for this week! I´m ready for another week of being one of the Lord´s servants here in San Juan! Love you all!

-Elder Anderson


The guagua ride to the temple 



Empanadas




Chicle Soda