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