Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December 11, 2017 ~ Week 71

This week was a good one! I can't believe it's over, and I can't believe I'm almost done training, and that I'm almost 20, and that it's almost Christmas, and also it's almost 2018! Crazy stuff! 

The branch might take a little bit longer. I guess that the Stake Presidency is rethinking it, and figuring out the details. So we'll have to wait and see when it actually happens. It's crazy that wards back home have different time schedules! Here it's always 9:00. 

Oh, by the way! I got your letters! Thanks so much for sending me those! It always gives me a little boost to be able to read your words! So thanks! And I'll be looking out for those packages!

We haven't gotten any snow yet here either, and I don't think it's coming. My comp and I have talked about how funny it would be if it did snow, and what everyone's reaction would be. Haha, they wouldn't know WHAT to do! I think everything would just shut down.

Light the world is going pretty well! It's not hard to find people with smart phones, but it IS hard to find people with internet or wifi, so we haven't been able to show the videos to as many people as I'd like, but it's good. I thought that it would've been funny to call you guys on day five. So instead, I called one of our senior missionaries Elder Buhler and told him how much I appreciate him. Lol. Have you guys seen the videos every day? I was pleasantly surprised when the day 2 video was in the DR. Super cool. 

This week we'll finally be having a baptism here in Canastica! We've been teaching a 13 year old named Daniel, and he's gonna get baptized on Saturday! He's a super good kid, and we're excited to get my comp his first baptism in the mission!

We usually have a ward activity every friday. Sometimes they're well organized, sometimes they're not. They're good for bringing investigators to though. 

Anyway, that was my week! We finally got the conferene issue of the Liahona, so I've loved reading the conference talks again. I love Elder Renlunds talk, wich focuses on the oath and the covenant of the priesthood. It's so important for all members of the church to understand the purpose and the power of the priesthood. I am grateful for the blessings of the priesthood in my life, and the access it has given me to the grace of Jesus Christ. 

I love you all, and I hope that you all have the best week ever! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN A WEEK MOM!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Anderson

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 4, 2017 ~ Week 70

Hey Mom! This week absolutely flew by. It was pretty good though. We found out some bad news. It's gonna take a while for Yireht (Our 8 year old investigator) to get baptized, because her uncle (the only active member in her family) is moving to Santiago next month, in the north of the country. So noone will be left here to take her to church. So we're going to try to work with her mom to see if we can reactivate her, but we'll see...

Also this week, we found out that one of our investigators is moving to the capital. His stepdad is abusive, and so they're planning on moving while he's away. So that's kind of sad. That's something that I've come to be so grateful for. A family that's together, and loving. That's definitely a gift from gospel living. So many families, not just here, but the families of some of my companions are so torn apart. People have 10 children, but its very rare for people to have 4 or more with the same spouse. I'm so grateful for a loving mother and father who teach and provide for their children.

Sorry that my letters are always so short, haha, I just don't really know what to talk about. My weeks are usually about the same without much variation. Things really are great though! I'm super excited to talk to you guys on Christmas! Only 3 more weeks!!! We'll see if I'm in the same area though, because transfers are on the 19th.

I hope that you all have the best week ever though! I love you so much!!!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27, 2017 ~ Week 69

Hey mom, I want to apologize because this letter is going to be kind of short, but this week was pretty normal, and pretty good. 

Thursday was pretty normal, but our Thanksgiving dinner was incredible. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin and apple pie. It was incredible! As far as national holidays here, they have a couple, but they don't really do anything super special for them. For christmas they put up lights and stuff in early october, so it's been Christmas here for a while already. We sometimes eat with members. Like, once every couple of weeks. 

As far as our investigators, we have a couple young men we're teaching. Pedro is 15 and Daniel is 13, and they're both awesome! They both have baptismal dates for the 16th of December. Daniel has now been to church twice, so that's awesome! They're really cool, and I'm glad that we found them. 

The mission actually ran out of books of mormon, so we've been now handing out a few triple combinations that are in the house. Haha, we just tell people to not worry about the other two books for now, and that we'll explain them later, but we want to focus on the book of mormon for now! Haha, we actually found this super cool guy the other day. We gave him a book of mormon, and when we came back, he had read the whole introduction, and the testimony of Joseph Smith, and he wrote down a bunch of the questions he had. So that was cool!

Sounds like you guys are doing well back home, I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! I'm doing great here! Sorry I don't really have much to say. The week was pretty normal!

Love you all!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017 ~ Week 68

Hey Mom! I'm not really sure what happened, but two weeks ago I didn't get an email from you, but I think it was just taking a while to arrive in my inbox. Something with myldsmail. Because I sent the email to dad at like 6:00 my time... I'm not sure what happened. But this week I got two emails from you! Haha, I guess it just got backed up a week. I'll write more in my main email!

Hey Mom! This week was a good one. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened, but it was good. Right now we have 3 baptisms planned for December that are pretty much for-sure going to go through. We have a little girl named Yiret. She's the niece of a member, and her mom is a less-active that we're trying to help reactivate. We also have Fredy, and Dorka, who are the parents of a recently returned missionary. References are honestly so great. They already have a support system in the church. They already like the church. It's the best way to do missionary work. References! But they're really good, and they are all really excited to get baptized. The only problem with Fredy and Dorka, is that they live in the capital, and practically live there, so we can only meet with them once every two weeks. So the lessons are going pretty slowly. 

We also have a couple of contacts that are progressing, and others that we've had to drop. They just aren't willing to read the book of mormon. And if they won't do that, of course they aren't going to recieve an answer about the truthfulness of the church. The book of mormon is so true, and one of the saddest things ever is seeing people reject it and not even giving it the chance it deserves. Plus, the Lord could have made it just a theological textbook, with nothing more than lists of commandments and charts of belief, but he was kind enough to make it a REALLY interesting story! Like, the book is actually entertaining! Haha, I love the stories in the book of mormon, and the many examples of those who have defended and lived the gospel. Not to mention the doctrinal bombs that we can learn from frequent study of it. It really is my favorite book in the world.

Lol, we don't really do a whole lot on P-days. I mostly just read or catch up on sleep, but in a few weeks we'll be going to some caves, so that should be pretty cool! What am I eating? Good question. Ramen noodles, PB and J, quesadillas. Haha, exactly what you'd expect me to be eating. 

We are now in week 9 of training. So 4 weeks to go! It's been really good, and we're speaking almost exclusively spanish now, so that's good! I definitely think it helps speak 100% of the time. Things are going really well now! My comp is able to share more in lessons, and he's progressing a lot! 

Anyway, everything's great, and I'm glad to be here! I love the work, and I love the gospel! I hope you all have the best week ever, and the best thanksgiving ever too!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017 ~ Week 67

Hey Dad! I actually quote you a lot with the "every problem has a solution and every solution takes time." haha, it's a very true priniciple! That's so great to hear about Hannah and McKay.

hey, I dont have a lot of time, but I wanted to let you know that I've been thinking a lot about my financial situation. And I've wondered if it might be wise to take a semester after I get back from the mission to work, and save up for school. I'm still not sure, but we'll have to talk a little about that on christmas. 

Anyway, have a great week! Love you dad!

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017 ~ Week 66

Hey mom, to answer your question, I'm the district leader here in canastíca. It's pretty good, I like planning district meetings and stuff. This week was pretty normal. Some of our investigators have had some struggle progressing, but things are good! Things haven't progressed a whole lot with the new branch. We found a couple of possible places to meet, but we'll see what happens with them. 

This week we had the opportunity to watch a transmission with Elder Cook. He was in the Santiago mission. But it was a really cool experience to hear from him and to be inspired. He left us all with a blessing that we would be able to see the blessings of our missions, not just in ourselves but the blessings recieved by our families and friends too.

Mom, I love you so much, and I am very grateful for everything that you have done and do for me. I know I haven't always been the easist child in the world, but I know that you love me in spite of my imperfections. The more I think about it, the more I realize that being a parent (ESPECIALLY being a mom) is like missionary work. Because it's ALL service, and sometimes those you serve don't appreciate what you do, or maybe even are angry at you for helping them. But moms and missionaries serve anyway, because they love those that they serve. Another similarity (Although the mom version is way more extreme) is that there's never a break. It's a 24/7 deal. I say that it's even more so with moms because even in the night, you aren't always in the clear! Also, Moms are missionaries to their children. More than 90 percent of people here are converts and everyone has "Their missionaries" That they talk about that taught them and their families. But "My missionaries" Are my parents! I learned the gospel in the home, and I think that's the best place to learn it. In short. I love you mom, and I'm very grateful for your love and service to me and to others.

I hope you have the best week ever!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, October 30, 2017

Baptismal Interviews

Hey Mom! This week was great! We had a training in the capital, so we went to that, and it went well. We also found some good people this week, and we currently have 9 baptismal dates! I am very surprised and happy at the success we've had here in 1 transfer starting everything over here, but it's been great! Hopefully as soon as the next transfer starts next week, we'll start to see some of these baptisms happen. Super exciting stuff though!

As far as halloween goes. Noone celebrates it. It's just a normal day here. It's probably for the best though. Because they use most holidays here as an excuse to drink. Like, even their kids birthday parties, the kids will play, and the adults will buy CRATES of beer. 

Our investigators are doing well though. Nicanor now has a baptismal date. He didn't come to church though even though he told us he was going to. So we'll see what happened with him. 

Once we get the branch started (Which I think will be near the end of November) I think we'll be attending the branch.

On Sunday, We actually had a little sacrament meeting outside of someone's house in the sister's area, because I had a baptismal interview there. That was a cool experience. I'll send you a picture of the meeting. Also, I love baptismal interviews. My favorite part about interviewing people is asking them to share their testimony with me, because it's always something very special and heartfelt, and it's a wonderful guage to see if someone is prepared and spiritually ready to recieve the sacred ordinance of baptism.

Anyway! It was a wonderful week! We taught a lot, and we worked hard! I'm now trying to wean my companion off of english, so we have "No english times" Hopefully that will help him out. Love you guys! Have an incredible week!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, October 23, 2017

Nueva Esperanza Branch

Hey! So, yesterday we had our Ward Council meeting, and it was announced that our ward is going to be organizing a branch in my area, because there are enough priesthood holders in that area to be able to do it. So our job is to go and look for a house to rent that would be big enough to have sacrament meeting in. It'll be a really fun experience I think! The ward is great though. Really organized, and we've got a great bishopric, and other great leaders too! 

Right now, we have 8 people with a baptismal fecha. Fredy, Dorka, and Arisleda are the parents and grandma of an RM in our ward.
 Yiret is the niece of a super cool member named Yoan
And Francisco, Eridamia, are an old couple we contacted, and their grandson is Fabián.
We also have Manuel, who is a super cool kid that's 17 years old.

All of them are doing really well! Francisco and Eridamia used to be 7th day Adventists, so they are having trouble with the Whole sabbath on sunday thing. But we are trying to explain that the key to resolving that doubt is to read the book of mormon, so we'll see what happens with them!

Anyway, everything's great! I'm loving it here, and the work is good! This week, I was studying in 2 Nephi 15, and at the end, it gives a super crazy prophecy about the last days in which it sounds like Isaiah is describing airplanes, and trains, and modern transportation in the last days for the gathering of Israel. I remember learning about that in seminary, but it was cool to be able to find it again. The book of Mormon is so true. I have gained a testimony of the truth of that book. I love it, and without it, I would be lost.

I love you all, and I hope you have the best week every! Thanks for being such a great family. You are in my prayers!!!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017 ~ Week 63

Hey Mom! This week was a good one, and we ended week 3 of the 12 weeks of training. Haha, it's good that we have two spanish speakers in the house, but it also makes me the official translator of the house so that communication is possible. It really is crazy though to think about how far I've come in the language from when I didn't think that I'd ever learn Spanish!

Training is going pretty well. Sometimes it's tough just because if we're going to do something, I've got to be the one to do it, but it's good! We're finding a lot, and doing a lot of teaching too!

We still don't have any baptismal dates in this area, but we should be getting a couple within the next two weeks!

My spiritual thought for the week comes from a quote from Isaiah in The Book of Mormon. 

In 1st Nephi 21:16, the Lord says:

16 Behold, have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

I love the imagery that is there in that scripture, that it was for us that he suffered, and just as a carpenter gets callouses and blisters from creating beautiful works out of wood, the Savior has the evidence of his work for us in the palms of his hands. 

I hope you all have a great week! I love you so much, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you in my life!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017 ~ Week 62

Hey Mom! 

As far life here, it´s pretty much the same, lots of finding, lots of teaching about the book of Mormon. But life is good. I like Canastíca. We have a really great ward here. It´s also kind of a nice mixture between the south and the capital. So we have a pretty good grocery store nearby, but there also aren´t a trillion people living in one small area. It´s more tranquilo.

There are four Elders in our house, and 10 people in our district. And in our house we have me and Elder Paolo, and Elder Ortiz from Mexico, and Elder Brutus who is also being trained. He's from the DR. 

I need to ask around about the waterfalls though! That sounds pretty awesome! I heard about some cool caves a little bit ago, and maybe we'll try and visit them one of  these P-days! 

Life is good though! I don't have any complaints. I think that my Spanish is getting even better now that I'm the only companion to speak and I feel like I am really perfecting the language with my grammar and everything! I hope this week is great for you all! I love you!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, October 2, 2017

Canastíca, San Cristóbal

Hey Mom! I´ll start by answering your questions!
I am now in the pueblo of Canastíca in the Zone of San Cristóbal which is the closest "Southern" Zone to the capital. It´s a super cool little town, and it´s got a pretty strong ward. And there were sisters here before, so the house is SUPER clean!

My companion is Elder Paolo, and he is from Yamhill, Oregon! He´s a super cool guy, and he´s really obedient, and ready to work hard! His spanish isn´t incredible, but neither was mine at 1 week in the field (Or anyone´s for that matter) and he has a strong desire to study and learn it, so he´ll be holding his own in lessons in no time. 

General Conference was great, and I made sure to get it hooked up in English so that my comp could understand... And I like it way better in English! My favorite talk was either President Nelson´s or Elder Anderson´s. I liked President Nelson´s because both our mission, and I personally have been focusing on the book of mormon recently, and I loved his question: "What is worth more to you: Diamonds, rubies, or The Book of Mormon?"

I also loved Elder Andersen´s because it felt very candid and genuine, and I liked the spirit that I could feel during the talk. I also loved the fact that he shared from Elder Hale´s talk, and the others and I felt like it was a nice tribute to Elder Hales. 

This week was great though! Lots of contacting! That's basically all we did, because we don't know anyone here, but it was a great week! I love you all, and I'm praying for each and every one of you!

Love, Elder Anderson

New area and a new companion

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Leaving El Café

Dear Mom, 

First of all, that´s so sad to hear about Puerto Rico. It sounds like there are a lot of people suffering both there, and in Mexico with the earthquake. 

This week was a good one! We have a couple baptismal dates with a couple of our investigators, but on Saturday, my companion and I were surprised to hear that we are both leaving the area! But we don't know where to still! What we do know, is that we'll both be training, and that means we'll both be "Whiting Out" Or going to an area without having one of the companions familiar with the area! So that will be a challenge. It'll mean a lot of work, and a lot of finding and knocking doors, but I'm excited for the challenge! 

That means I have to say goodbye to a few people here, which is always a little sad. I'm just really excited to see where I'm going though!

Anyway, I hope you all have a really great week! I love and am praying for you all!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hurricane Maria

We received another letter from the Mission President Monday evening concerning Hurricane Maria.  This has been a busy hurricane season in the Caribbean and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the hurricanes throughout the Caribbean and the United States.  We have seen and experienced firsthand the devastation and know of the physical and emotional toll that hurricanes take on individuals and communities as we lived in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  We are grateful for a wonderful mission president and his wife who are taking such good care of the missionaries and also easing the fears of the parents.   ~ Paula 

Dear Parents, Bishops, and Stake Presidents, 

We are now planning for Hurricane Maria which is forecast to reach our mission on Thursday, September 21st. We are following the same procedures as with Hurricane Irma. All missionaries have food, water, and other supplies, and will be in safe locations.  We will keep you updated as conditions change.

President Jose M. Santos


Domincan Republic Santo Domingo West Mission


Estimados padres, obispos y presidentes de estaca,

Ahora estamos preparandonos para el huracán María, que se prevé llegar a nuestra misión el jueves, 21 de septiembre. Estamos siguiendo los mismos procedimientos que con el huracán Irma. Todos los misioneros tienen comida, agua y otros suministros, y estarán en lugares seguros. Los mantendremos actualizado a medida que cambien las condiciones.


Presidente Jose M. santos

República Dominicana Santo Domingo Oeste Misión


Estimados padres, obispos y presidentes de estaca,

Agora estamos preparandonos para o huracán María, que prevê chegar a nossa missão o jueves, 21 de setembro. Estamos siguiendo os mesmos procedimentos com o huracán Irma. Todos os misioneros têm comida, água e outros fornecimentos e seguros em lugares seguros. Los mantendremos atualizado a medida que cambien as condições.


Presidente José M. santos


República Dominicana Santo Domingo Oeste Misión


Minamahal na mga Magulang, Bishop, at mga Pangulo ng Stake,


Nagpaplano na kami ngayon para sa Hurricane Maria na inaasahang maabot ang aming misyon sa Huwebes, Setyembre 21. Sinusunod namin ang parehong mga pamamaraan tulad ng Hurricane Irma. Lahat ng mga misyonero ay may pagkain, tubig, at iba pang mga suplay, at nasa mga ligtas na lugar. Patuloy naming i-update ang mga pagbabago habang nagbabago.


Pangulong Jose M. Santos

Republika ng Domincan Santo Domingo West Mission

September 18, 2017 ~ Week 58

Hey Mom! This week was great! Today is week 6 of the transfer, so on Saturday night I'll find out if I'm staying here in El Café or not. This transfer has been so fun with Elder Heaton though, and we've worked really hard together.

Our recent converts are doing well. The Salazar family is pretty good, although a couple of them have missed church a couple of times for various reasons. We´re just trying to help them get into good habits. Some of these things would be hard to change, but they´re doing well!

Haha, I'm pretty jealous of the fact that you guys are experiencing autumn because it's eternally summer here! Sorry I forgot to tell you about being District Leader. It's pretty normal. I just take numbers and do district meetings, so it's pretty easy. And by gas tank last week, I meant our natural gas for our stove. Sadly, only the assistants have a car...

I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing great! I hope that you all have a great week! The only thing that I NEED in the next package is a new journal. Because I'll run out of pages in March I think. But you can just surprise me with everything else. Oh! And chapstick! 
Love you so much!

P.S. I love that picture! 3 of the coolest ladies ever!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Irma

Hey Mom! This week was pretty interesting with the hurricane and everything. I don't have a whole lot of time, but I´m definitely okay! So that´s good! To be honest, my comp and I were expecting and half-hoping for a lot more rain and excitement than we got, but it's probably for the best! We received instructions to prepare, we bought jugs of water and lots of ramen, and filled up our gas tank. Then on Thursday, we just stayed in the house all day. So, we got some good study time, but most of the day was pretty boring. There really isn´t any damage at all here in the southern part of the country, so that´s good. The locals treated it pretty normally, almost too casually. I think that if it had hit down here, a LOT of people would have died for lack of preparation. It´s very touching to hear about everyone´s thoughts and prayers directed towards those affected. 

The rest of the week was good! Joel and Erick both came to church and I think they both had good experiences there! They are both doing great, and It's fun to be able to teach them! Everything down here is good! I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Love, Elder Anderson

P.S. I´ll send you pictures!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hurricane Irma - We all are safe

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Dear Parents,

Hurricane Irma has passed us and we are all fine.  The storm went farther north of us than they first predicted.  The result was that we experienced a tropical storm and not the effects of a hurricane.  We are very grateful for all of the prayers on our behalf.  All the missionaries are safe and sound and we are already back to work.


Queridos Padres,

Queremos comunicarles que el Huracán Irma ya pasó por la Republica Dominicana y todos nos encontramos bien. La tormenta paso hacia el norte del país como lo habían predicho. Por lo que los únicos efectos que pasaron en nuestra misión fueron lluvias y vientos. Gracias por todas sus oraciones, todos los misioneros se encuentran a salvo y ahora esta cada uno en sus áreas predicando. 


Queridos pais,

Queremos informá-lo de que o furacão Irma já passou pela República Dominicana e estamos todos bem. A tempestade se moveu para o norte como eles haviam predito. Portanto, os únicos efeitos que aconteceram em nossa missão foram as chuvas e os ventos. Obrigado por todas as suas orações, todos os missionários estão seguros e agora todos estão em suas áreas de pregação.


President José M. Santos

Misión Santo Domingo Oeste

República Dominicana

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Missionary Safety: Hurricane Irma

We received this letter from the Mission President on Tuesday, September 5.  We are so grateful for the comfort it has given us through the following few days as we watched and anticipated every move Hurricane Irma made in the Caribbean.
Thank you all for you thoughts and prayers during the last few days.  We are looking forward to hearing from him next Monday!  ~ Paula

Dear Parents,

As many of you are aware, the Caribbean is expecting a hurricane. We are taking all the precautions necessary for the safety of all of your sons and daughters.  Our area is said to not be in the red zone. As of now, we are expecting rain and stormy weather.

We had a meeting with all the mission leaders and have prepared them to execute emergency plans. We provided them with all the tools and information necessary to be prepared should the storm affect their area. We have notified all missionaries that they need to have nonperishable food and water for the duration of 2 weeks minimum. We have informed them that any extra expenses at this time will be reimbursed. Certain sets of missionaries have been relocated to safer areas to avoid the harsher areas of the storm. They will be staying with other missionaries in a more secure area. Leaders are in charge of calling their assigned missionaries every certain period of time. Bishops and Stake presidents are also aware of the situation and will be attentive to the wellbeing of the missionaries serving in their areas.

Please know that we are doing everything in our power to keep our missionaries safe. I will follow up on their safety as soon as the storm passes. We would appreciate your prayers, as usual. Your missionaries will be communicating with you on their normal preparation day.


President Santos

Santo Domingo West Mission, Dominican Republic


Queridos padres, 

Como muchos de ustedes saben, el Caribe está esperando un huracán. Estamos tomando todas las precauciones necesarias para la seguridad de todos sus hijos e hijas. Se dice que nuestra mision no está en la zona roja. Al momento, estamos esperando la lluvia y tormentas.

Tuvimos una reunión con todos los líderes de la misión y los hemos preparado para ejecutar planes de emergencia. Les proporcionamos todas las herramientas e información necesarias para estar preparados si la tormenta afecta su área. Hemos notificado a todos los misioneros que necesitan tener alimento y agua no perecederos por un mínimo de 2 semanas. Les hemos informado que los gastos adicionales en estos momentos serán reembolsados. Ciertos grupos de misioneros han sido reubicados en áreas más seguras para evitar las áreas en riesgo de la tormenta. Se quedarán con otros misioneros en un área más segura. Los líderes están a cargo de llamar a sus misioneros asignados cada cierto período de tiempo. Los obispos y los presidentes de estaca también estan conscientes de la situación y estarán atentos al bienestar de los misioneros que prestan servicios en sus áreas.

Por favor, sepan que estamos haciendo todo lo posible para mantener a nuestros misioneros a salvo. Daremos seguimiento de su seguridad tan pronto la tormenta pase. Apreciaríamos sus oraciones, como siempre. Sus misioneros se comunicarán con ustedes en su día de preparación normal. 


Presidente Santos 

Santo Domingo West Mission, República Dominicana

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017

Dear Mom, 

This week was awesome! We had some good lessons, we found some good people, and we had a lot of fun!
We had Zone Conference this week, and I don't know if I already told you guys, but this transfer I'm a district leader, so we got some training about that, and we also started a new Book of Mormon contact challenge, and a challenge to read the BOM as a mission before the end of the year.

This week we also went on splits with the MTC, and I got to leave with a kid from Grantsville! So that was pretty cool! Also, we got a new ward mission leader, and we were able to meet with him, and the rest of the ward council to discuss our needs and I'm very excited about the leadership in our ward!

We also made guacamole this week, one night we couldn't get much sleep because cockroaches kept coming into our room, and another night because the place next to us was blasting music all night! But, what can you do? 

We have two REALLY great investigators right now: Joel and Erick. Joel is super awesome and he goes to an American school, so he speaks perfect English, and his family is great too! They're really receptive, and I feel like they're going to make a lot of progress! Also, Erick is the husband of a member, and he's a super smart guy, and is excited to learn too!

Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Love You!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 ~ Week 55

These past two weeks have been really fun with Elder Heaton, and we've been working really hard! The biggest problem that we have is that we used to have a lot of investigators, but we just baptized the great majority of them, so now our job is to find find find. We did a lot of contacting this week, and found quite a few people. Some of them have a lot more potential than others do, but we'll see!

We have also been focusing a lot on our recent converts because there are a lot of them here. We've been working a lot with ward leaders to make sure that the recent converts have the support that they need. Home and visiting teachers, callings, etc. 

The eclipse sounds like it was pretty amazing! Sadly, we weren't able to see it at all here, but oh well. I'm glad that you guys were able to see it! Sounds like it was quite the adventure with the traffic and everything! 

I hope that everyone is doing well with school starting and everything! Everyone is so old now! Haha, but things are great here! There's not really a whole lot that happens day to day, but everything is good! Also, I've started sleeping in my hammock, so that's fun! Anyway, that's everything for now! Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

Hey Mom! This week was great! So, it turns out that my new companion isn't Elder Hilton. It's Elder Heaton! And that's awesome because he's from my group at the MTC! So we have the same amount of time in the mission, he's from Ogden, Utah, his name is Tanner, and basically we're the same person! I'm also very happy because he's an obedient missionary, and he likes to work hard (unlike some of my past companions) and even though I'd be surprised if we spend more than a transfer together, I know that this will be a really good 6 weeks with him!

This week was pretty normal, we're focusing on finding right now. Don't have a lot of current investigators, but we'll find some! We're teaching one guy who has a really cool house on the beach! I'll send some pictures!

Love you guys! Can't wait to see pictures of the eclipse!




Monday, August 14, 2017

Wedding, Baptisms, and Confirmations

This week was absolutely nuts, but I´m glad that we were able to work like crazy this week so that I could give my comp the perfect end to his mission. Working til the end! So, we had some frustrations early on as far as the government, and the whole process of getting people married, and there was also a miscommunication with our ward mission leader, who was going to talk to the ward about getting together the money to help the family get married, but he didn't really communicate that very well, so we got stuck in a hard spot right before, but we were able to gather up enough, with a small contribution from us to be able to get them married!

So on Friday, we drove down, and gave the documents, and paid the money, and they were officially husband and wife, then we got the baptismal registries signed because they were living the law of chasity, and on Saturday we had their baptism. Also a crazy day! In addition, a kid we've been teaching named Anthony got baptized! The baptism was a special experience and the coolest one was Sarah´s. Me and my comp both baptized her, and I said the blessing. It was cool, because we could tell that she was kind of scared, but we carried her down, and my comp held her, and as I started to say the prayer, she just looked at me, and she didn't seem like she was scared at all, she had so much trust. She is such a special soul, and is so happy, and is really just an example to us all. Compared to a lot of people, she seemingly has nothing, but she loves God, and is so innocent, and that's why she's so happy, because she knows what actually matters. When she prays, she prays for others. Those who don't have food, for the missionaries, for our families, even for those who can't walk. And I don't think she's even referring to herself when she says that. She's simply thinking of others.

Then on Sunday, we had the confirmations, and we asked members of the ward to do them. There were some very special blessings that were pronounced and I know that if they continue to live the gospel that those blessings will be realized. They are such a wonderful family and I'm going to do everything that I can to ensure that they continue to be nourished by the word of God, and continue in the path that they've now begun. 

Anyway, it was a great week here in El Café! I'm ready to get my new comp on Tuesday morning! All I know is that his name is something like, but not necesarily Elder Hilton, so we'll see! Haha, I love you all, and I hope that as school starts, that you all do well and enjoy the wonderful thing that is learning! Love you, and have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson


Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

Hey Mom! My year mark here was great! I burned a shirt, and I´ve been able to contemplate the fact that I've been here for a whole year already. Also, I can now look at my journal and see what I was doing exactly a year ago, so that's pretty cool! Things here are good! We've been working towards the marriage of the Salazar family, and there were some challenges that were presented. Principally the lack of organization in government here, but we've finally gotten the birth certificates and everything is going to work out. We had baptismal interviews for them, and right when we went onto their street, someone started blasting super loud music. Like, SUPER loud. So we ended up having to call a member and asked if we could have the interviews over there. But! "Every problem has a solution, and every solution takes time." So we've been doing a lot of problem solving here. Now we just have to get that wheelchair for Sarah. Our other investigators are doing okay, but this week we're going to focus on finding, and looking for references so that we can build up our pool of progressing investigators.

So, I've got about a week and a half left with my current comp, and then he'll be headed home. It's cool to be here in the capital because I get to see President Santos more. Not a lot, but more. 

Thanks for the email! I love you guys, and I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, July 31, 2017

One Year!

Hey Mom! I can't believe either that it's been a whole year already since I left! Absolutely crazy, but I guess time flies when you're having fun, right?  
I like the questions that you asked me, and here are my answers:

Q: What eternal truth do you know now, that you wished you had known or known better before you left on your mission?
A: I would honestly just say a love for the gospel. The fact that living the gospel brings us lasting happiness and peace. Before the mission I liked the gospel, and I enjoyed church, but I didn't see the absolute NECESSITY for it in my life like I do now.

Q: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a missionary?
A: Probably my ability to accept, love, and serve others. Companions, other missionaries, members, investigators, this is something I've had to develop, but I feel as though it's a strength now

Q: Complete this sentence (it can be as long or as short as you want): "I didn't expect my mission to be 
A: I didn't expect my mission to be anything like it is. I guess I really didn't know what to expect, but any expectation I had before wasn't very accurate. I don't really know how to explain this, but my mission has been way easier, and yet, way more difficult than I thought it would be. I am grateful for the unexpected though, because that's been what's forced me to grow.

Q: What have you learned about people through teaching and serving them every day?
A: I love this quote that President Hinckley once shared: "I used to complain that I didn't have shoes, until I saw someone who didn't have feet" 
Both Spiritually and Temporally speaking, I have been blessed with shoes in my life. I have a father who loves his children, honors his priesthood, and provides us with our needs and our wants. I have a Mother who loves and teaches us, constantly serves us, and is a wonderful example in word and deed. I have brothers and sisters whom I love, they love me, and each one is a wonderful blessing in my life. I have extended family as well (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) who are also great blessings to me. I was born in the United States, a promised land with incredible liberty and financial opportunity. I was raised in the only true and living church. I was blessed with friends who are great examples to me and share the same values. I have so much, and seeing people with so little has made me so sad at times, but I know that I can offer them the best thing that will improve their life. I've also learned what truly matters, and what offers true happiness.

Q: How has your testimony changed from the one you shared at your farewell a year ago?
A: When a testimony is put to the test, it either shrinks or grows. Mine has increased DRAMATICALLY. President Boyd K. Packer said that a testimony is found in the bearing of it. I have had the opportunity to bear it a lot, and I feel a stronger conviction every time. As the result of a lot of prayer, study, meditation, and earnest seeking.

I want you all to know that I love you, and miss you all. I hope this year goes fast, but I hope that I enjoy every moment that I have to share the gospel with others here. I am so grateful for each day that I've had as a missionary and for every person I've met here, and every experience I've had both the good and the bad. I know this work is real and that it is blessed by the hand of the Lord.

P.s. We had two baptisms the other day. Brayan, and Johao Aragonès!
I'll send pictures next week if I can. 

I love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, July 24, 2017

¡Feliz día de los pioneros!

Happy Pioneer day everyone! I hope that you guys have had a great day so far! I always loved the fact that we have two family holidays in July in Utah. Independence and Pioneer Day. So I hope you all have a lot of fun! 

This week was really good! We had lots of good lessons, and found some really good investigators 
this week! We were also able to do splits with the MTC again this week, and we ran into someone from Utah! Yeah, I didn't believe him until he told us he was from Taylorsville! Haha, that was crazy! He bought us lunch and we talked for a while. Really cool guy! Also, I went on intercambios with my Zone Leader, Elder Pinto. It was really good to go with him, and I learned a lot. 

The Salazar family is doing well. This week we're going to a government place with them to put a date for their wedding, so that's exciting! We're also trying to get a new wheelchair for Sara, so I'll let you know how that goes. 

This week we are going to have 2 baptisms! Brayan (Bryan) and Johaun (Joan). They are the stepsons of a member of our ward, and we're really excited for their baptism! Other than that, it's the same old same old around here. I love being a missionary, and I am happy with all of the success that we're seeing here. 

Love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 49

This week was a good one! We had Zone Conference with President Santos, and it was really good! President Santos is a great man, and you can feel his love for you when he's speaking. 

The highlight of this week was leaving with the MTC on splits! It seems like not that long ago that I left on splits when I was in the MTC and I didn't know any spanish. So it was very cool to be able to
experience that from the other side of things now. Oh, how far I've come. I now consider myself to be practically fluent. Obviously, there are words here and there that I don't know, but there are english words like that too! As far as grammar goes, I think I've pretty much got it down! It was fun though! I left with an Elder Jensen, and he was a cool guy. I hope to be able to train soon, because I think it would especially be fun to have someone with that "greenie fire" and all the excitement that comes with being a new missionary (personally, I don't think I've lost my greenie fire, and I plan on having it until the end) 

As far as the teaching goes, things are good, we're helping the father of the Salazar family to quit drinking, and we're helping to take care of papers and stuff to get them married. Also, we're trying to obtain a new wheelchair through the church charities for the little girl in the family. Things are good! Some people came to church this week, others didn't, but we'll keep trying!

I love you all, and I hope that you all have the best week ever!
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, July 10, 2017

¡Feliz 4 de Julio!

Happy Fourth of July! I hope that everyone made up for the fact that for the first time in 19 years, Tanner Anderson wasn't even there to celebrate the independence of his own country. But I celebrated here. In my bed. Cause I was sick. I don't know what happened but I felt like I needed to throw up, and had a fever all day, but the next day, I was mostly better until the night when I almost threw up again. But now I've recuperated all the way!

This week we had something we call a "Cosecha" (harvest) in our zone leader's area. Basically, after District meeting, we went over there, and gathered with the members, and went on splits to go find new investigators. It was good! I went with this kid named Arturo, and I called him "Arturo el duro" which is like, Arturo the strong, haha, I thought it was pretty clever! So, we went out, and started looking for people to contact, and we just went from house to house. For a bit, we just kept getting rejected over, and over, and over, until we found a guy who would listen, and we gave him the whole rundown on the restoration. I'll tell you, I completely agree with Elder Boyd K. Packer when he said "Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!" Every time I testify of the fact that Joseph Smith really saw the father and the son, and that we have a living prophet today, I feel my testimony of that reality grow stronger. That is one of my favorite parts of teaching, is the opportunity to testify of truth. 

So the cosecha went well, and we had a couple of good lessons! Then for the rest of the week, we continued to work with the investigators that we have. I don't know if I told you guys, but we ended up having to drop Mercedes and Carina. They looked up some anti-mormon stuff, and there are very simple and clear explanations to some of the doubts they expressed, but unless they "Doubt not, but be believing" (Mormon 9:27) they will never come unto a knowledge of the truth. Our other investigators and recent converts are doing well though! Basically the approach we've taken with recent converts is to go and read the Book of Mormon with them. Because the culture here, isn't very conducive to literacy, and doesn't encourage a love for reading, so we want to change that culture at least within the church, and with the Book of Mormon. Also, it's good to help them interpret some things that seem simple to those of us who have grown up in a scripture reading environment. Like Lehi's dream, or all of the Isaiah verses, and to give explanations of who are the twelve tribes, and why sometimes in the scriptures Gentiles is a bad thing, but sometimes it's simply a declaration of nationality. 

Also, this week I was tired of having hair, so I decided to buzz my head. Lol. I look like an egg. Maybe that will help me to not get cat called so much though! Haha, I'll send pictures!

Elder Anderson with Hair

Elder Anderson without hair

Anyway, that was my week! For the month of July, I started reading one chapter from proverbs a day, because there are 31 chapters, and I probably wouldn't ever read them in order otherwise, but I really like some of them! One I really liked was in Proverbs 1

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

I like that it says that the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Sometimes Satan allows people to live without difficulty so that they never humble themselves and come to God. The people in the great and spacious building sound like they must have been pretty wealthy, but if we are humble in whatever circumstance, in times of famine, and in times of plenty, we will "dwell in safety, and be quiet from fear of evil". 

I love you all, and I hope you have the best week ever!​
Love, Elder Anderson

Salazar family

Grandkids of some recent converts

Ocean on p-day

Ocean on p-day

Street art

Street art

Monday, July 3, 2017

11 Months and Lots of Changes

Hey all! This week was great! Michelle was baptized by our bishop on Saturday, so that was awesome! We´re still trying to teach her mom, so that´s a work in progress.

Also, President Nuckols left this week, and now we have a new President: President Santos. We had a meeting with him the other day, and I'm very excited to have him as our new mission president. He´s going to do some great things here in this mission. 

This week went well! We put 7 baptismal dates this week, and we ended up finding a few news too! Also, our ward split this week on Sunday! It was pretty unexpected, and now we have church at 8:00 on sundays, so that´ll be another challenge as far as getting investigators to church on time, but I guess it´ll help to seperate the prepared from the unprepared. 

As my thought for the week, I want to share something that I learned about fasting the other day. I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 59:
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.

14 Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.

What I thought was that it´s interesting that it compares the words fasting, and joy, and rejoicing. So basically, they should be the same thing. Or that when we´re living the gospel, we should be happy! And that's all there is to it!
Love you all, have a good week!
Love, Elder Anderson