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




Monday, June 26, 2017

We Talk of Christ

My companion is feeling better now, so that's good news! We got out this week, and were able to work hard to make up for the time that we missed. 

This week, we got a call from the second counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, and she was wondering if we could come and give the lessons to her granddaughter. So we went to start the lessons, and she was the most prepared person I have ever taught! Her name is Michelle, and her Grandma is the only member of her family, but she's been coming to church since she was 5 years olds, and she just turned 8 last month. So we had the first lesson, and it wasn't even really a lesson. It was literally us asking questions and her giving really great answers! It was awesome, and she's super smart! We put a baptismal date for July 1st with her, and our goal is to end up teaching her mom. 

Teaching her, along with all of my experiences here, has made me really grateful for the blessing of growing up in the church. It really is an incredible thing to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ from a young age. It reminds me of a scripture that we memorized as a family.
 2 Nephi 25:26 
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

It's so important to teach children about this stuff. It can change and shape lives. The gospel is so good! 

Anyway, that was my week. We're probably going to have to drop Mercedes and Carina. They aren't progressing, and they won't read in the Book of Mormon, even though we've left that invitation for them like 3 times in a row. 

Hope you are all doing great! I love you all so much, and I hope you have a great week!



--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Una Semana Aburrida

It was so great to see the pictures of the baptism! Those pictures absolutely melted my heart! Tell Sophia that I am so proud of and so happy for her! Also, thanks for the dabbing picture! Haha, I'm so glad that everything worked out as far as the river level and the weather!

Well, as far as my week goes, it was actually pretty boring. My comp got sick halfway through the week. So my days consisted of reading, and cleaning the house and stuff. I honestly think that that is one of my callings in the mission. Cleaning the mission houses. They end up getting so dirty, and somebody has to clean them. So that's what I do.

Anyway. Sorry for such a short, boring letter. My comp is getting better now, so I'll definitely have more to write about next week! I hope that you all have an incredible week. I love you all so much!

--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, June 12, 2017

Just Can't Quit Coffee

Hey Mom! This week had its ups and its downs. I'll start with the main down:

We have two investigators: Mercedes and Carina. Mercedes is in her 60s and Carina is her daughter and is in her 30s. Now, they've both been progressing pretty well recently. They've been coming to church, they've started to read the book of mormon. We went through the first 3 lessons with them just fine, and they both said that they belive it's true. Then we got to the Word of Wisdom. Now, they knew about it beforehand, because they were introduced to the church by a member friend, but when we got to the part about coffee. Mercedes basically told us that she wouldn't give it up. We were kind of surprised by her adamancy in not quitting. She told us that she simply didn't think it was necessary to quit. We asked her if she believed in the book of mormon and Joseph Smith. She said yes, but didn't think coffee is wrong. We asked her if she thought coffee is bad for her. She said yes, but doesn't want to quit. In the end, I think that it just comes down to her desire to do it. She believes it's true, but just doesn't want to act on it. Please keep Mercedes in your prayers. We'll keep trying with her.

One of the highlights of the week was last Monday. We had a family home evening with the Salazar family, and it went really well! It was a great experience for all, and there was a part where we talked about family prayer, and President Nuckols was talking, and turned to me and said: "Elder Anderson, did your family have any traditions for family prayer?" Well, I immediately thought of the prayer bell. I told them that we had that bell, and every night, I'd here it ring so that we could gather and pray, and that everytime I hear a loud bell, I think of praying with the family. It was a good memory to remember :)

The rest of the week went well! We had lots of good experiences, and I'm so glad to be here in El Café. Even if someone just won't quit their café. I love you all, and I hope you have the best week ever!



--
Con Amor, Elder Anderson

Monday, June 5, 2017

El Café - Semana Dos

Hey Mom! This week was a great one! Let me tell you why: We started off the week by getting our apoyo (Our money) and going to a grocery store called bravo.  And let me tell you, that place is a paradise. I'm talking about a clean, organized, store. With space to walk! It was incredible! And things were a LOT less expensive there too.

As far as the work, things are going great! We are still teaching the Salazar family, and they're progressing really well. In fact, tonight we have a family home evening with them in President Nuckol's house. So that'll be good! We also have 2 investigators: Carina, and her mom Mercedes that are progressing well. They have a baptismal date for the 1st of July! Then we have this guy named Benjamin that we are teaching. He's a great guy, but he has a wife who lives in the US that doesn't want him to get baptized. So we're working with him and trying to figure out the best way to help him in his situation. 

We also found A LOT of new investigators this week! My comp and I set a goal to get 12 news, and we ended up getting 15! We met one family who one of the ladies says that she was baptized into the church a long time ago. We'll have to see if that's true though, because right after saying that she asked if we believed in the new testament, and if there were any differences between mormons and catholics... haha, we also got a reference from a 14 year old member. We went to talk with his friend and we ended up teaching the friend's sister, him, and his 2 other friends too. They all seemed really interested, and they all had really good questions, so we'll see what happens with them! 

Today for Pday, we went to an underground cave with a pool of water. It was pretty sweet. I'll send pictures. 

As a spiritual thought for the week. I want to share one of the scriptures I've recently memorized in spanish. I find that it helps a lot to be able to say scriptures in spanish from memory, because I've known a lot of them in English, but if you try to translate in your head, it doesn't work out exactly like you want it to. But the scripture is in Mathew 11:28-30

28 ¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I find it really interesting that we aren't giving our yoke to Christ, and saying: "Okay, thanks for taking that for me. Appreciate it. See ya later!" What we are doing is taking on Christ's yoke. He's not doing all of the work, because he can't force us to keep the commandments. He can't force us to use the atonement. He can't force us to repent. He's helping us to be able to push, to be able to work. But we have the promise that if we let him, if we decide to push alongside him. It will be easy. It will be light. Not because it isn't a hard load to carry, but because we have the strongest pusher helping us along. 

I know that that is true. I know that God loves us. I know that we can make it. We just have to live the gospel and let Christ lead us. That's all there is to it. I know the church is true, and I know that this work is important. I love you all, and I hope that you have the best week ever!

Monday, May 29, 2017

El Café- Semana Uno

My first week in my 3rd area went really well! My companion is Elder Larkin from Las Vegas and he's a super good guy, and I have the honor of being his last companion in the mission before he goes home in August. The area is VERY different from Neyba. There are so many people crammed into a very small space and you'll see what I mean from the picture I'll send. Also, I'm REALLY close to the ocean. Which means that I have a sweet view from the roof of my apartment AND it's super humid! It's like, pretty uncomfortably humid all the time, which is tough, but whatever, there are worse things. haha

We have a few really good investigators here in our area. We are teaching this absolutely AWESOME family. The Salazar family. They have 5 kids, but there are also a few uncles and people that we always teach when we're sharing with them. I taught the family my first night here, and I just fell in love with this family. They're pretty poor, but they're just so happy, and so kind. They have a little 7 year old who is super cute, and they have another little girl in a wheelchair who is so polite, and always smiling. I am so excited to teach this family, and to see them progress and be baptized.

Also! It is so strange to be in a ward again after attending small branches for 10 months. It is a nice change though to be in a place where there's a bishopric, teachers that teach. Elders quorums that home teach. I don't know, it's kind of a relief! Also, the bishop and his family are so great. They have the missionaries come to their house every sunday and have a feast! We had chicken wings, roast beef, potatoes, pasta, salad. I felt like I was back home! And they do it EVERY SUNDAY! Oh, and the bishop's daughter-in-law asked me where I was from, and I said "Utah" and she said "what part?" and I was surprised because usually people don't ask that here, but I said "It's west of Salt Lake, it's called Tooele County" And she said in perfect English: "Oh, I served there! In West Valley!" Haha, it was so weird to hear that! And her husband said he had a mission companion from Stansbury Park. Rob Christensen or something. Pretty cool! 

Anyway, I think I'll really like this area. It's different, but it's good. I'll let you guys know how my second week goes here! I love you all, and I hope you guys have a great start to your summer!
--
Love, Elder Anderson






Monday, May 22, 2017

Transfers...



Hey Mom! So, to answer your questions... I'm leaving Neyba! We got calls on Saturday night, and I'm actually the only one from my district leaving. I'm finally going to the capital though! I'm going to an area called "El Café" (kind of ironic because I'm a missionary serving in an area named the coffee) Haha, but I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go meet my new comp: Elder Larkin. He's from Las Vegas, so I'm sure it'll be fun! It'll be a little sad leaving Neyba, but I'm excited for a new adventure, and I'm also excited for big grocery stores and maybe fast food!

As far as this week goes, it went pretty well! I had 4 two hour long gua gua rides for Zone Conference, and for District Conference on Sunday. I'm really excited for my gua gua ride to the capital to be the last one I'll have for a while. Other than that, I just kept preparing the investigators that we have for baptism, we now have 10 baptismal dates, and although it would be nice to be able to witness the more of the fruits of my labors while I'm here, I'm ready to go plant some more seeds in my next area.

Anyway, that's honestly about it! It was so nice to be able to talk to you guys on Sunday. I'll admit that I was pretty trunky on Monday, and also on Tuesday, but that's to be exprcted! I got right back to work after that though. I'm so happy for Jarrett and Nikki, and I was way more happy on Tuesday because my bro was getting married than I was sad because I wasn't there. 

Well! That's about it for this week! I'll let you guys know next week how my next area and my comp are. See ya!

--
Love, Elder Anderson

P.S. The photos are of me and some investigators, and also, the one peso coins I've been saving up for my entire mission. I tried to spend them today, and they're worth so little that nobody wants them. I finally convinced some dude to sell me a gatorade for them. Haha, it's funny how worthless they are. The majority of the time, they don't even give one peso coins as change, they'll just give you a little candy or a mint or something instead...


















Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Mom!!! I don't really know how, but I'm pretty sure that during all of the excitement yesterday, I neglected to tell you happy mother's day. So... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! I hope your day was incredible and that you were told a million times how great of a mother you are, and that you never forget that fact. You are the best mom in the world! :) 

It was absolutely incredible to talk with you guys yesterday, and it's crazy to think that the next time I talk to you guys, it'll be Christmas again! Really crazy stuff! I know that I've said this a lot, but I really am so grateful to have such an amazing family full of people who love me, support me, and help me through everything. Haha, like I told mom yesterday though: "It sucks so bad that I have such an awesome family!" Because I miss you guys so much! 

This week was a good one, we have a lot of people that are progressing really well, which is really great, but also too bad, that we're having so much success right now that I'm just about to leave Neyba. I just pray that a really good missionary comes to Neyba to replace me. Someone's gotta come and help Givelord, Millord, Lionny, Yinairy, Mariely, Jeisy, and all of my converts here!

On Saturday, Selenni got baptized. It was a really good service and it was cool to watch her take that step in her life. She's got a lot of friends now who are really interested in the church, so that'll be great if she can help them out and have a whole group of good strong youth in the branch here.

I'll let you guys know next week where I'm headed next! I'm excited to go, but I think I'm also going to miss Neyba. There are some really great people here. I hope that I've made an impact here, and that I've had an influence in helping to bring people closer to Jesus Christ. 

I love you all. I hope you have a great week!

--
Love, Elder Anderson
Ps. Thanks for the pictures! The first one is the jugs of water we have, and this week I made a goal to drink an entire jug straight from the jug.
The other one is a picture of some crazy little girls that I met in Duvergé at a member's house
The last one is a picture of my comp with the branch budget, haha






IMG_0333.JPG

IMG_0290.JPG

Our most recent family picture:  Mother's Day 2017



Monday, May 8, 2017

I love to see the temple. I don't love four 4 hour guagua rides

This week consisted of a lot of work, but not a lot of what you'd normally call "Missionary Work". First off, on Tuesday morning, we got up at 3:30 in the morning to take a gua gua to the capital for the mission temple trip. We even ended up arriving late, because we're the missionaries who are in the absolute outskirts of everything. In fact, when they finish the temple in Port-au-prince Haiti, it'll be closer to us in Neyba than the temple in Santo Domingo. It was a really good experience though. I love the temple so much, and it's incredible to feel the peace of that holy place after all of the stresses of missionary work. 

After the temple on Tuesday, we came back and spent Wednesday and Thursday preparing for the trip to the temple with the branch. We had to buy the food, gather the money from everyone who said they would go, rent another gua gua, because the original driver cancelled on us last minute, make sure the rooms were reserved, and help people with family history so that they could take their family names. Needless to say, it was pretty stressful. It was a great feeling to be in the temple twice in one week though, and I'm positive that when I'm home, I will not take the temple for granted. We are very lucky to have so many temples so close to us. Where my companion lives, his ward has to save up to take an airplane every six months to the closest temple that's like 16 hours away driving. Then they stay for a week and fly home. Crazy! 

That's just about everything that happened this week though. Some days are hard, some days are incredible. That's life and the mission is no different. Recently, I've been trying to memorize The Living Christ document (In Spanish and English) and one line really sticks out to me. It says that "He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it." Sometimes I feel like that. People sometimes say some very unkind things towards us, and sometimes I get kind of angry at the fact that I'm simply trying to serve these people, being away from my family, in a country and a culture that is unfamiliar, speaking a foreign language, and some people despise us for it. But then I think that that's what happened to Christ (Obviously on an entirely different level) It was not easy for him. His entire life was literally dedicated to helping, teaching, and serving, and he was despised for it. So, that just makes me think that the mission, and life as a member of this church is made to help us become more like Christ, and that thought makes me happy. 

Anyway, I love you all, and I hope you have a great week. We might be having a baptism on Saturday. We've been teaching this girl named for Selenni for a while, so we'll see! Also, I'm SO PUMPED to talk to you on Mother's day. See you then! Bye!
--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

Hey Mom! How's it going? My week this week was actually a HUGE improvement from last week. Let's just say that I decided the only thing I could do was to control my actions and just willingly forgive, and if anyone holds any kind of grudge for anything, that's out of my control, and it's on them. 

This week we had another baptism though! José Cristobal Morillo Vasquez is this awesome 16 year old that we've been teaching for a while now, and we called him a "miembro seca" or dry member, because pretty much the only thing he lacked was the baptism. In fact, a lot of the members were super surprised when we said that he was getting baptized because they thought he was already a member. It was fun to teach him though, because he was already attending seminary and everything, so he already had a pretty good basic knowledge of the gospel. I'll send you guys pictures of his baptism that we had Saturday night. And on Sunday, I confirmed him, and it was a really cool experience, because I've confirmed people before, but usually I have to think well beforehand about the things that I'm going to say, because you know, it's in Spanish. This time though, the words just started to flow, and I don't recall exactly what I said, but I know that I used some words and phrases that I KNOW that I did not know before, but they just sort of came to me. I don't know how to explain it other than that blessing was really guided by the spirit. 

Also, a kind of funny story from the week: I've actually become pretty famous around here in Neyba because of a joke I've been telling. The joke: "¿Porqué chocó la guagua?" (Why did the bus crash?) "Porque el chofer era una funda de pan" (Because the driver was a bag of bread). Haha, but now, whenever we see a group of kids in the street, they say: "Mormons! Tell the joke!", and I tell it, and they die of laughter. Pretty funny stuff, but what's even better is that we ended up getting a contact out of that of three kids that now have a baptismal date. So hey, telling jokes can be effective missionary work.

Anyway, that's about it for my week! I love you guys!

--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ola!

Hey Mom! Sorry, I don't have a whole ton of time, but I just wanted to let you know that I loved the package that you sent! I love you guys so much, and I'm so glad I have the family that I do. The Institute Director for the area delivered it to me, when he was teaching institute at our chapel, and my comp and I were going to get haircuts. I loved that talk from President Nelson too, and I'm also in the process of completing his challenge! 

Anyway, not a whole lot happened this week, we're just still teaching, and everything's going pretty well. I promise I'll send you a more detailed letter next week. Love you so much! Have a great week, and tell Hunter and Hannah good luck for me!

Love, Tanner


Monday, April 17, 2017

La Semana Santa

Alright, so first off, I'm ticked. Royally ticked, and I'm about to tell you why. This week was the week before Easter, and here they call it "Semana Santa" or "Holy Week" pretty awesome right? Yeah, not quite. Basically, religion here is just such a cultural thing that it doesn't mean a whole lot to most people. Easter Sunday, for example. A great time to go to church with your family, and remember Jesus Christ. Well, our church attendance bombed yesterday. Practically nobody came. And on Friday, the day in which Jesus Christ was crucified and died for all of us. Yeah, they pass the day doing exactly what Jesus doesn't want them to do... Drinking. SO MUCH DRINKING. Which means a lot of cat calls from the girls. And also talking with a few drunks. Oh, and they don´t eat meat all week. Just fish. So basically just a bunch of apostasy. Aaaahh. What can you do, right? Just gotta keep teaching, and hope that they learn!

This week had some redeemable qualities however. One of them being that my new comp is awesome! He's from Brasil, and I'm trying to learn a little bit of portugese from him! He's a really fun guy, and he'll be a great Branch President here. Also, we had 21 lessons with members this week, which is a personal record, so we work pretty well together!

Anyway, that's about it for this week. Givelord and Millord are still progressing. And I think they'll both be baptized next week. And we've got 4 more that are also progressing right now. Life is good, even though sometimes people are frustrating. Part of the mission is learning to love the people, and sometimes it's easy, but other times, you've got to have some heavenly help :) Have a great week! Love you!


--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Branch President, Same Pueblo

Ke Lo Ke familia!!!! I can´t believe it´s already Monday again. The weeks are flying by here in Neyba, and it looks like I´ll have a fourth transfer here! This could be my last transfer here, but then again, it might not be. I´ve heard that since President and Sister Nuckols are leaving, and President and SIster de los Santos are coming in June, that the next transfer will only be 3 weeks long, and that the transfer after will be 9 weeks. So we´ll see how long I stay for. All I know is that I want to stay as long as possible because I love Neyba. I just got a new companion though! His name is Elder Souza, and he´s from Brazil, so I´ll be learning some Portugese this next transfer! He was my zone leader, but our zone is HUGE as far as distance goes (the smallest as far as population of missionaries) so I never met him before, but he´s a cool dude! Also, he´s the new Branch President here, but since I already know how to do the Branch President stuff, it´s my job to teach him, and show him the ropes, which is super wierd, but kind of fun!

The rest of the week was really good! I went on divisions in Duvergé again, and we talked with this SUPER rich family that lives there, and have always been pretty good friends of the missionaries (they´re catholic by tradition, and aren´t interested in converting) but we were trying to get a job for a future missionary in Duvergé at the dude´s business. We talked with them for a while, and honestly it was SO enjoyable.

Also during the week, a member came to the house and took back all of the dishes that were his that I guess he had lent to us... And we were left with just about nothing. I didn´t even have a pan to boil water in. And we had 1 fork. Just one... So I called the mission office, and they approved for us to buy some new dishes for the house, so now we have a pot, some plates, and 4 forks! haha, the only problem is that we haven´t had water since Tuesday night, so now all of our new dishes are sitting in the sink, unwashed, and we don´t have anything clean. What a joy, right! 

Investigator report: I got Books of Mormon in Creole for Givelord and his brother Millord and Millord is almost done with 2nd Nephi, and it´s been about a week and a half! Those two are gold! Also, we had 2 baptisms planned for this past Sunday, but we postponed them due to the fact that one of them didn´t have very many times in a row coming to church, and I´m not going to baptize a less active, and the other told us that she REALLY likes coffee, and she had a hard time understanding why we can´t drink it. So those two will come along I think, they just need a little more time. I feel really good about having them wait though. This country has such a bad problem with less-active and Inactive members, and I´m not going to add to it. I´d rather have zero baptisms, and have my investigators be baptized when they´re ready by the next missionaries that come, than to baptized a hundred people, and have them all go inactive.
That´s why before I baptize someone, I like to read Mosiah 4-5 with them, which talks about the peoples reaction after King Benjamin speaks to them, and the results of their changed hearts. When Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the twelve was here, he told us that before baptism, every investigator needs to have two things:
1. A love for the book of Mormon
2. A personal experience of repentance with the Lord 
I realized that those are also the two of the things that we need if we are to becomemore converted ourselves. But one of my favorite parts of Mosiah 5 is verse 7, that says:

7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
Basically, when we are "Born again" (Baptized) we are becoming sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, and how do we do that? With a change of heart (Repentance), through Faith on his name.
It´s a pretty cool theme, and I really love studying all the connections through the 5 points of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyway, that was my week, and I hope you all have a great week as well. ¡Les Amo!

--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, April 3, 2017

Conferencia General

Wow. Conference was sooooo goooooood! And it was even more incredible because I got a sick hookup with a laptop, so we watched it in English :) I especially loved Elder Hollands talk about the music of life, and having sunshine in your soul. In the priesthood session, I loved Elder Bednar´s talk about being called to serve, and being assigned to labor, and I also loved President Uchtdorf´s talk about the most important calling in the church being the one you currently hold. And I especially loved Elder Joaquin E. Costa´s talk, because I felt like he was talking right to the investigators there, and it was super good! Seriously though, I absolutely love general conference, and I always feel spiritually lifted afterwards.

The rest of the week was pretty good, we´re still teaching Givelord and his brother, and they both came to ALL of the sessions of general conference. ALL OF THEM. AS INVESTIGATORS. I was so impressed. I was talking to Givelord the other day though, and come to find out, he doesn´t have his papers to be in the country. Which made me so sad, because 1. If you don´t have papers here, the only work you can find is construction, or like working on a farm, and neither of those is lucrative, or reliable. He gets work like, 3 times a week at most, and gets paid 300 pesos (6 dollars) a day at most. I don´t know how he survives. and 2. He has a girlfriend that he lives with, but there´s no way to get them married if they aren´t citizens. So my heart was broken for him, because I want him to have this gospel so bad, and he wants it too. So one night, I was thinking about his situation, and I just prayed with all of my heart. Pleading with God that he might provide a way for Givelord to be able to be baptized. I had no idea if it was even possible, but I decided to put my trust in The Lord.

The next night, we had an activity in the church, and I was talking with Givelord, and out of the blue, he told me that he was going to break up with his girlfriend. He was like: "I know that if I have a wife, that I need to get married, and I´m not ready to get married" He also said that part of the reason was because his girlfriend doesn´t want to come to church, and he wants to follow Jesus. I was kind of surprised, but I told him that he should pray about it, and do whatever God tells him to do. Honestly, that was the most surprising way I´ve seen a prayer answered. I did not expect that to be the answer, but hey, it´s a solution. We´ll see what happens, but I know that if we trust the Lord, everything will work out. One of the scriptures I love to share with people, especially when we start talking to them about ideas that are a little different from what they´ve always thought about christianity is Proverbs 3:5-6 

 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Sometimes things don´t go exactly as we think they´ll go, but things will always be okay if we trust in the Lord. I believe that with all my heart. I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
-- 
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, March 27, 2017

Water's Back! Maybe...

So, we finally got our water back, and I think that this time, it´s for good!  Well, I thought it was permanent, but then this morning I woke up, and turned on the sink to brush my teeth, and I about lost my mind because the water was gone. But! It just came back about an hour ago, so we´re good! Haha, this week was actually a surprise because of the amount of water we had in the form of precipitation. To give you some background, the past 3 and a half months that I´ve been in Neyba, the most rain I´ve seen is 5 minutes of sprinkling, and that happened twice. But the past week, it rained HARD for like, 3 days in a row. It was a really awesome change, but rain is the most effective way to clear a Dominican street in like 10 seconds or less. Everyone says that rain makes them sick, and they put plastic bags on their head because if the rain touches your hair, that´s what causes sickness. I don´t understand, and I´ve gotten tired of asking questions, because no one really has any good answers for me.

This week, I actually had a super cool lesson. It all started a couple weeks ago, when I was walking to the chapel with my roommate Elder Tuddenham, and some Haitians were building a house, and one called over to us in English and said "I need Jesus in my life!" At first, I thought it was just someone heckling us, because all the time people are saying things in the street like "Quieres Café?" (Do you want coffee?) or people that don´t think that we believe in God will sarcastically tell us God Bless, and almost any occasion when someone tries to speak English. So this dude calls us over, and we say hi, and he says "I need Jesus in my life, and I was wondering if you guys can help me with that?" So I told him, "Yeah, we can help you with that!" Then he said "Also, I want to get baptized. Can you guys help me with that too?" And I said "Yes, we can help you with that too!" Haha, so, we talked with him, and I gave him a Spanish pamphlet, but he told us that he doesn't speak Spanish yet, and so I told him that we´d stop by his house sometime and bring him one in Creole.

So this week, my comp and I started teaching him, and this guy is AWESOME! His name is GiveLord. Yup. GiveLord, and he´s from the other side of the border. He lives here with his wife and brother. He speaks Creole, French, and English, but not Spanish; and his wife and brother speak Creole, French, and Spanish, but not English. So we´ve been teaching GiveLord in English, and it is so weird! It just doesn´t really feel as natural to talk about the gospel in English anymore. Even Praying in English is weird, and I always have Spanish words coming to mind instead of English ones! My comp speaks a little English, but not a ton, and his accent is pretty thick, so I do the majority of teaching with him.  When his brother is there. I teach in English, and then my comp teaches his brother the same thing in Spanish, and we´re talking about a pamphlet that´s in Creole, and sometimes Givelord and his brother talk in Creole, so we are having Trilingual lessons over here! They are really awesome though, and I can see them progressing really well. 

Something surprising that I´ve gained here, is a love for the Haitian people. Obviously this doesn´t apply to everyone, and there are many exceptions, but a lot of Dominicans I´ve met are fairly impatient, brash, and prideful. In contrast, almost all of the Haitians I´ve talked to are extremely kind, humble, and just wonderful people. There´s a lot of stigma in this country about the Haitians, and I´ve had to give a few boches (a boche is like a stern talking to, or a chastisement) to some Dominicans who have said racist remarks that I disagree with about Hatians. Yes, there are some people in Haiti who practice voodoo and witchcraft and there have been stories of cannibalism, but you can´t judge an entire race, culture, or country, based on the actions of a few people. (As a side note, I think that´s a huge problem we´re seeing in America with Islam) All in all, I love Dominicans, and I love Haitians, and I think that some people here need to cut Hatians a break, because there are some good people over there.

Other than that, we had our Branch Conference this week, and I thought that it went really well. It was hard to count everyone at church on Sunday, which is always a good sign! Also, I am SO pumped for General Conference. I´ve been pretty thrifty with my money so that I can buy the colmado out of every snack it has while the two other American Elders and I watch conference in my office. (I´ve got an air conditioner in there) haha, not to mention how excited I am to hear the words of the living prophets. 
Conference is always great, and I´ve gained a newfound love for it, in addition to everything else gospel related on my mission. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week, and that you all know how much I love you! 
If you want to know what every single Evangelical churchgoer says when we talk to them, just look up 2 Nefi 29:3. Lol.
--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, March 20, 2017

No Water, No Problem

The heading of this letter is a lie. Not having water is actually a huge problem for us here. This week, we were without water for three days. Had it again for two days, and then lost it again. It´s so true that you don´t really know what you´ve got until it´s gone. When you don´t have water you can´t: Shower, wash dishes, use the bathroom, get a haircut (because you´d have to shower), wash clothes, brush your teeth, mop the floor, or wash your hands. A few of the things (like brushing our teeth, and washing hands) we just use our jugs of drinking water for, and as for going to the bathroom, we just have to hold it until we go to the chapel. Oh well though! There´s not really anything we can do about it right now, so we have to just keep working, and then check if there´s water yet when we come home. 

This week wasn´t entirely uneventful, we went to Galvan, which is a little pueblito about a 25 minute guagua ride from Neyba. We have 1 active member from there, and she gave us a couple of references, so we went to go meet them and start teaching them. So, we started teaching this one lady. We start with a prayer, and we start talking about who Jesus was and what he did. Suddenly, she excused herself to talk with some girl (we were teaching outside on the street) and all of the sudden, the two girls (the one we were teaching, and the one who she was talking with) started to fight. Not just a small fight either! These were pretty big girls, and they were pulling hair, and one of them slammed the other down on the hood of a car! About 5 seconds later, there were about 30 people around, trying to pull the two girls apart. 30 seconds later, the crowd got them apart, and the two began yelling at each other. Needless to say, we didn´t end up finishing that lesson!

I asked my comp if I could give a talk on Sunday about the pioneers, because nobody seems to know who they are, so I did, and I thought it went really well. I think it´s so important for everyone to learn about the history of the church, and a huge part of that is the pioneers. Even though nobody here is related to them, I explained that it´s a shared heritage of everyone who is a member, and that they can follow the example by being pioneers in here in Neyba. We have quite a few pioneers here in Neyba. We´re preparing the branches first group of missionaries ever. The first missionary left about a month before I came to Neyba, and we have about 6 youth that are going to leave within the next year. I´m excited for all of them!

It was a crazy week, but a good one. I´m so glad to be serving here in Neyba, and in the Dominican Republic. There are some good people here who have desires to change, and I´m trying to find and help those people. I love you all, and I wish you a great week!

--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pretty Neat Week

I had a good week here in Neyba! On Wednesday we had our district meeting, and afterwards, I went on splits with Elder Mayhew in Duvergé. You guys actually met Elder Mayhew at the airport, when you gave him the letters you had for me. 
He´s a way cool guy, and he works hard, so we went to Duvergé, and contacted for about 6 hours straight! It was pretty fun though. I always like contacting, because you always get to meet a few crazies, and I think almost all of the crazy mission stories come from contacting! Then when Elder Mayhew and I got to his apartment, we got ourselves a pizza (not quite as good as Little Caesar´s, but the best pizza I´ve ever had in this country), and we reflected on how crazy the difference was between when we contacted in the CCM, and now that we´ve had a bit of experience out here. I´ll tell you what, the difference is HUGE! There were moments when I thought I´d never learn the language, but everything comes with work, time, and the Lord´s help.

Later in the week, we ran into this preacher/pastor that lives next to our chapel, and he started asking questions about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, so later on in the week, we swung by to answer some of his questions. We  decided to give him lesson one so that we could answer his questions, but we never even ended up getting past the first 2 pages of the pamphlet. We basically had a bible bash that wasn´t really a bible bash with him. We started talking about prophets, and then he would ask what we thought a prophet was, who were some examples of prophets, and he´d explain to us that moses was a prophet, and did lots of stuff, and we´d be like: "yeah, we know that, but let´s get back on subject", and he´d be like "oh yeah, sorry" and we´d explain a tiny bit more, and then he´d cut in again. It ended up being an alright lesson, but he got hung up on a bunch of things, so we´ll see how it goes with him. I think he just invited us over to try to prove us wrong or something, but it´s not a huge deal, because he didn´t know a TON of what he was talking about. As the dominicans say, he told us a lot of "pura vaina".

Then, on Saturday we had our baptism! It was kind of funny, because she decided to ask Elder Capellan (the other Elder in our district) to baptize her. Oh well! It doesn´t really matter who performs the ordinance, what matters is by what authority it's performed.  It was really neat, and I´m really happy for her! Also, this week we had "El Domingo de Invitados" (Sunday of invites) and it went REALLY well! We normally have about 90 people maximum in our ward, but yesterday we had 138 people! It was great, and I think that a lot of those people are some great future investigators! The only problem yesterday, is that we had 3 talks, and two of them went for about half an hour each, a choir number, the sacrament for 138 people, with only 3 trays, and 4 confirmations, AND we started sacrament meeting a little late, so instead of ending at 10:00, we ended at about 11:00. Haha, yeah... I just hope we didn´t scare people away from ever coming back to another sacrament meeting. 

But yeah! That was my week! It was a success, and we worked hard! There´s nowhere I´d rather be than right here in Neyba York. It´s been interesting for me in the mission because I always thought I knew everything about the gospel, until I had to teach it. And do it all in another language. I´ll tell you one thing, I have learned a LOT, and I´ve still got a long way to go, but one thing I really enjoyed finding this week was the way Moroni explains the gospel of Christ, and the connections between all of the principle in Moroni 8:25-26. It was a lot of fun to look through that, and figure out when he´s talking about which principle. I´d highly reccomend a mini study of those two verses. 

Anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks for being the best family in the world. I love you guys so much, and I hope your week is incredible!
--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, March 6, 2017

Every Day is a Surprise

Dear Mom,

 First of all, I am so glad to hear about the results of everything back home, it sounds like everyone did really well in all of their various activities, and I'm so happy to hear about everyone's success!

As far as my week, it was good! We're finishing up teaching Joanna right now, so we'll have her baptism on Saturday! We're also working with a few news that we have right now, and I think this week, we're probably going to have to do a bit of an investigator purge, and weed out those who aren't progressing at all. Now that I´ve seen the beginning to baptism process of a few converts, I want to start working more efficiently with those who actually have the desire to learn and progress. A problem that we run into a lot is people here prefer to let you into their house and "listen" to your message than to refuse us altogether. So sometimes, it's hard not to waste your time with some people.

Well, one surprise that we ran into this week was the following: We were at the chapel Saturday morning, reviewing the calendar for March, and we were about to leave for an appointment we had with the Mother of a member of the branch. We had taught this lady once before, and she's pretty old, and blind, but we were planning on bringing the Book of Mormon on audio disc, so that she could listen to it. Well, the appointment was at 11:30, and just as we were about to leave, we got a call from one of her neighbors telling us that she had died. So that was definitely the saddest way I've had one of my appointments fall through. 

That was the sad part of our week, but the rest of it was actually really good. I feel good about the work that we did, and I can't wait to continue working with the branch, and the investigators that we have here!

To answer your question mom, we got one new elder in our house this transfer. His name is Elder Tuddenham, and not a single person here can pronounce his name even close to what it is. He's A cool guy, and he's from Utah as well (from Wasatch). Also, in our district we got an Elder from my MTC group. Elder Mayhew. He was one of my good friends from the MTC, so I'm really pumped to have him here with us!

But that´s about it for my week! It had some ups and downs, but things always have a way of evening out on the upside! I love it here in Neyba, which is too bad, because I don´t know how I´m gonna get a better area after this one! Haha, love you, and I hope everyone has an incredible semana!

--
Love, Élder Anderson

Monday, February 27, 2017

3rd Transfer in Neyba!

Wow! Honestly, I know you guys are super jealous of the warm weather over here, but I´m wishing it was as cold here as it is there! We just got transfer calls on Saturday, and it looks like I´ll be staying in Neyba for at least another transfer! This week was good! Fernanda and Joanna are learning lots and they're still progressing towards baptism! 

So, one thing that isn´t so fun about being so far from the capital is that it takes us a while to get certain materials. Like the lesson pamphlets. Hopefully we´ll be getting some at transfers, but right now, we are out of the restoration, and the plan of salvation which are the two best lessons to start teaching with usually. So we´ve had to do so many contacts using the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if we don´t get some more, we´re going to have to start contacting with the word of wisdom, or law of chasity! Lol. 

Another thing that´s not so great about being way out here is the fact that in a couple of weeks, Elder Neil L. Andersen is going to Santo Domingo, and those in the capital get to go listen to him live, and meet him, and us out here are watching it by transmission. So it really doesn´t make a difference for us that he´s on the island. Oh well...

This week we had a really cool lesson with a family that aren´t even our investigators. So, we were out teaching with a recent convert. A 12-year-old kid named Leomar. Well, we were trying to teach, but we walked from house to house for an hour and a half, because all of the appointments that we had fell through. So finally, we asked him where Mariangel and Christopher live (investigators of the other companionship here in Neyba). They´re awesome, but their parents won´t let them get baptized) So, we went to their house, and started talking to them. Then just as we were about to leave, their mom came home, and we started talking to her. Then, we saw Elder Robinson, and Elder Capellan coming over. So, without planning on any of this, we had 4 missionaries, the 2 investigators, and their mom, all in a spur of the moment lesson. And let me tell you. The lesson was straight fiiiiire. We started talking, and then when one of us was finished, another would start. It was like having 2 Almas, and 2 Amuleks all in a lesson.

So, it turns out that the reason the mom didn´t want to give permission to her kids, is that she is a member, but she told us that she never was really converted, and she thought the missionaries were nice, and never really had her own testimony, and she didn´t want the same thing to happen to her kids. 

Elder Bednar said in a missionary broadcast that we had once, that sometimes, if you learn something while you´re teaching it, that´s probably the Holy Ghost. So, I definitely think that it was the Holy Ghost helping me teach in that moment. I told her that conversion was not a destination, but a path. That if you are increasing your faith, then you can say that you are converted. It´s not where you are at, but the direction that you´re moving. Then I shared in Mosiah 18, when Alma is preaching, and says that if it´s your DESIRE to be baptized and to follow Christ, that´s all that you need.  God gives us everything when we truly have a desire for those things. Not because we´ve earned them. Because we can´t earn salvation. We just need a true desire.

Well, I think our lesson worked, because those 2 kids now have permission to be baptized! It´s fun to see how the Lord works, and how much I´m learning while I´m teaching others. Anyway. That was the highlight of my week! I hope your weeks are just as great. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, February 13, 2017

To and Fro

Dear Mom,
This week was pretty good! We did a LOT of travelling this week, because that´s kind of inevitable out here. We traveled out to Duvergé one time this week, which is a little group about an hour away from us that is technically part of our branch. They meet in a rented schoolhouse, which is pretty small, but the hope is that they can get enough people that we get a chapel built out there. 

We also traveled to Azua (town 2 hours away) on Thursday for a Zone Conference, which was good! We talked a lot about the Restoration, and how we can more effectively teach about it while explaining the importance of the restoration in our lives. 

Then yesterday, my comp and I went to Barahona (two hours in a different direction) in the morning for a meeting of all of the branch presidents in our district. And this morning, we went back to Barahona as a district to go see the ocean and eat pizza. 

So it´s been a pretty long week as far as the traveling aspect. A couple times I had to stand up for the whole trip. Anyway. Pretty wiped out from that. As far as investigators, we had a few that were kind of progressing, but they kept promising to come to church, and they haven´t been a single time, so time to start looking for some new people who will actually keep commitments. Haha, All in all though, it was an incredible week here in the DR! I hope things are great there at home. I´m so happy to hear about McKay and his opportunity to be ordained a deacon. I´m so proud of everyone in my family!

I love you all, and I hope this week is the best of your lives. Love you SOOOOOO much!
-- 
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017 - Week 27

Hey Mom!!! This week was a good one! We currently have 3 investigators with a baptismal date, but none of them showed up to church yesterday... That´s probably the biggest frustration that we run into here is the fact that everyone is willing and open to talk about religion, but hardly anyone ever follows through with their commitments. But! We keep loving them, and keep inviting anyway.

Friday night, we had a social activity over at a members house that we brought a couple investigators to. I started feeling really sick, and I had a pretty high fever, so I went to bed, and when I woke up in the morning, I felt absolutely fine! So that was kind of wierd.
Haha, to be honest, that´s the most exciting thing that happened this week! Maybe this next week will be more action-packed, but we´ll see. Anyway, hope this week was great for you guys, and I hope how much I love you! 

--
Love, Elder Anderson

Monday, January 30, 2017

2 Bautismos Màs!

So on Saturday, we had 4 baptisms as a district, and 2 of those were my comp and I. I had the opportunity to baptize Juan Carlos, and Elder Torres baptized Emily. It was an awesome experience, and the service was really touching. I had the opportunity to give a talk about being born again. It´s pretty interesting that in the account of Jesus talking to Nicodemus he says that unless a man is born again he cannot SEE the kingdom of God, and if a man is not born of water and of the spirit he cannot ENTER the kingdom. I think that the two are different things. The baptism is the ordinance essential to enter the kingdom of God, but being born again is your conversion. I think that before baptism, you have the beginning of your conversion, and you begin to see the kingdom, but obviously conversion is a process rather than a destination, so I´m convinced that being born again is the lifetime commitment of living on the covenant path, and the more you progress, the more understanding you have, and the more you are able to ¨see¨ the kingdom of God.

Anyway, that was an amazing experience. Also, that same day, me and my comp traveled at 6:00 in the morning to Azua. Which is where we had a seminary and Institute teacher training. (So I´m pretty much Dad now) Well we got there, and Luis Santana was there! So that was awesome!

Other than that, there was a worldwide broadcast for all missionaries, and basically they´re taking out a lot of the key indicators that we´re supposed to report on each week. I´m pretty excited about it. 

Anyway, that was my week! It was awesome, and I can´t believe I hit 6 months this week! Time flies when you´re working hard! Hope everyone has a great week!
--
Love, Elder Anderson








Monday, January 23, 2017

Hitchhiking and more

This week was good, and it went by super fast! To be honest, not a whole lot happened this week. We´re just working with the investigators we have right now, and especially with Juan Carlos, and with an 11-year-old girl named Emily. Last night, we watched the movie ¨Joseph Smith, Profet of the Restoration¨ with all of our investigators. It was really awesome, and I think they all really liked it. 

As far as transportation to places, we basically have 3 options here in the southern areas. Walking, gua-guas, and hitchinking. We don´t have any far out areas here in Neyba, so we don´t really have to hitchike. But to answer your question, nobody has a car here. If they have a vehicle it´s always a motorcycle. We have one member with a truck, and it actually just broke down. Yeah, you´ve usually got to be pretty rich to have a car here.

It´s crazy to hear about life back home, but it sounds like everyone is doing great! Especially Jarrett!!!! I´m SO SO SO happy for him!

This week, I want to share something from the talk I gave yesterday. I was talking about The Book of Mormon, and the importance of reading it, and I shared about my parents, and how dedicated they were to reading the Book of Mormon in our home, and the special spirit I could always feel because of that. I really think that´s one of the best gifts I´ve been given, is a family, and parents who love the gospel.
Anyway, hope this week is great for you all back home!
Love, Elder Anderson


Monday, January 16, 2017

Santo Domingo and Back

Alrighty, so last Monday/Tuesday were pretty crazy. Let me give you the low-down. So the reason I had to go to the capital was to finish my visa stuff and get my permanent residency card or something. The plan was to leave from Neyba at 3:00 on Monday, meetup with another missionary who lives about an hour away in a pueblo called Vicente Noble, and then leave with him (Elder Stephen) to The Capital (about a 3 and a half hour gua gua ride). That was the plan... We went to the gua gua stop, and they said that there were only gua guas going to this pueblo just outside Vicente noble. So we ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​called the missionaries there, and told them to meet us at the other pueblo. So we arrived there, and I hitchiked with the Elder Stephen and the other Vicente Noble Elders to Vicente Noble. Then we sat and waited at the gua gua stop there for a couple hours. Turned out, there were not any more going to the Capital. Whoops. So we called the assistants, and told them we´d leave first thing in the morning. And the first gua gua leaving in the morning was at 4:00 am.

So, I spent the night with the Elders there. I was supposed to be sleeping in the mission house, which would have been incredible... But we got up at 3:30 to go to the gua gua stop. That´s where we met Yefrey. He was in the park at 4:00 am flat out drunk. At first he tried speaking English with me (Just Hello and Please repeated over and over) We talked with him for a while, and at the end, he ended up crying, and telling us how much he loved us. Haha, it was really, really funny, but also I felt bad, and I hope that he can get his life together. Anyway, the visa stuff went well, and I even got some Wendy´s in the capital (I appreciate fast food so much now) and took some pictures by the coast (see the link I sent). It was a good trip, but I was dead tired by the end of it. It´s a good thing one of my biggest talents is sleeping literally anywhere, and that does include gua guas. Haha.


To answer your questions mom, I don´t do a whole lot on P-days here. Mostly clean the house, Do laundry, take a nap (My personal favorite). There definitely isn't a whole lot of opportunity for recreation here. As far as investigators, Juan Carlos is progressing great. He hasn´t missed a day of church since we started with him, AND he comes to almost all of the activities of the branch too! The dude is straight up gold!!! He was telling me last week that he actually grew up in Madrid, Spain, so I was telling him about Jarrett, and the areas he had. 

As far as Sundays here, I usually spend the class time handing out roles and putting out any fires there are (and there is always someone that has a problem for me to take care of) That´s my week though! It was pretty good, and we got transfer calls, and everything in Neyba´s the same. Which is a relief because I love this place! Anyway, love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Anderson

P.S. I can´t think of anything I need now, but if I do, I´ll let you know

P.P.S. Here are some pictures!